Let’s hop into the Blogging Mets time machine for a little history lesson, because as the old saying goes, “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” It may be too late for Brodie Van Wagenen, though.
Following a disappointing 2001 season in which the Mets failed to return to the postseason, then-GM Steve Phillips took decisive action to get back into October. He made four bold moves — trading for Mo Vaughn and Roberto Alomar, and signing free agents Roger Cedeno and Jeromy Burnitz. There was no way all four moves could fail, right? Wrong. They were all various levels of terrible and the Mets finished in last place in 2002, with a record of 75-86.
Let’s return to current day. Following a 77-85 record in 2018 (still seven games better than the miserable 2017 season), new GM Van Wagenen also made some bold moves to remake the team. He brought in Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz from the Mariners, and signed Jeurys Familia, Wilson Ramos, Justin Wilson and Jed Lowrie as free agents. There is no way all of these moves could fail again, right. So far, wrong. Familia looks lost. Cano looks old. Diaz started out well but has been awful lately. Wilson has been injured most of the season. And Lowrie has been injured all of the season. Ramos has actually been all right, but he can’t seem to get on the same page as the Mets best pitcher, which is a problem. The team currently sits at a mediocre 34-37.
Are you seeing a parallel? Are we doomed to repeat 2002? Not necessarily — it does not mean these players cannot turn it around and lead the Mets to the promised land (or at least to .500) this season. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that bold moves by questionable decision-makers usually don’t end well. Maybe that’s why Sandy Alderson always acted with such timidity — he was smart enough to know the history and did not want to repeat it.
In any case, the Mets are not a particularly good team right now and the new arrivals are mostly to blame. They need to figure this out, and now, or this season will be lost very soon.