The Yankees are better than the Mets, I won’t insult you to suggest otherwise. But, that doesn’t mean the gap can’t close.
The Mets, when healthy, have talent, but truth be told probably more unrealized potential. When it comes to their abilities, they are an uncashed check.
Yes, yes, I know … the Yankees have the whole check book, but that’s not the point.
Watching the Yankees dispose of the Phillies was reminiscent of watching the Phillies dispose of the Mets. The Phillies had their chances to win the Series. Hell, they could have won without leaving Philly. But, they gave the Yankees too many extra outs and whatever mistakes the Yankees made they couldn’t take advantage of them.
That’s how the Mets played all season.
Yes, they were hurt and battered, but they also didn’t play alert, fundamental, crisp baseball. Too many wasted opportunities; too much giving the opposition extra chances to score. The Yankees, as talented as they are, also play the game the right way.
They are loaded with power, which is the great eraser, but they can also manufacture runs, and when they have the opportunity for a big inning they take advantage. The Johnny Damon steal is one example.
I don’t know what moves the Mets will make in the offseason. I do know adding one pitcher, or one left fielder won’t cut it. I also know getting all their pieces back healthy won’t cut it, either. A combination of both makes them better, but not an elite team.
The Mets won’t win until they start thinking and playing like winners. It’s that simple. Until they play the game the right way, they will still defeat themselves.
Taking away their power – from both the Yankees and Phillies – a common thread they have that’s not woven into the Mets fabric is playing the game the right way. They have the physical abilities, but too many intangibles are missing.
Changes must be made, foremost is the attitude.
The guy who should be thinking about this most is Jerry Manuel. I believe Manuel is a guy who treats players like adults. He gives them leeway, he shows patience. But, he shows too much. The whip has to come down, and he’d better be thinking about to whom and when, because if he doesn’t 2010 will be like 2009 – a wasteland.