I will tell you, being now two months removed from the Mets early exit from the playoffs, that I am more firm in my belief that in 2006 the team just wasn't ready. Although they seemed to be ready - with the maturity of David Wright, the playoff acumen of Carols Beltran and Tom Glavine and the leadership of Delgado and Franco - still I think it was just too early. Clearly Mets fans were not ready either. Yes, we were hungry, nay starved for a title, and yet we have not gotten over self-doubt. When we booed Carlos Beltran in April we reeked of a lack of self-confidence. When we chanted "Yankees Suck" after beating the Padres in August it exposed us as a fanbase who were still looking over our shoulders. And in December, when the Atlanta Braves make a relatively minor trade for a set-up man and the commenters on MetsBlog all but lose their sh*t over this brilliant move by Schuerholz, all but anointing Atlanta the 2007 title, it shows we still have a ways to go in our self-confidence as fans of this team. Remember the swagger of 1986? I sure do. It wasn't just Darryl Doc and Dykstra's swagger - we fans had that air of confidence too. We were barely aware of our neighbors in the Bronx. We didn't seat any competitor. We need to get back to that. Pitchers and Catchers report in 66 days. Our self confidence needs to show up soon after.
The Darren Oliver Era: Over. Oliver is signing with the California Angels of The West Coast for 2007. Here's a guy who was all set to retire after the 2005 season, and the Mets invited him to Spring Training. He didn't crack the rotation, but he decided to stick around anyway and help out in the 'pen. He was an MVP (Mets Valuable Player) in the season in that on more than one occasion he bailed out a starter and kept us in the game, while also protecting the rest of the bullpen from being overworked. We won't forget his playoff performance either.
Transplanted Ex-Met Update: Jay Payton signed a two year deal with The Baltimore Birdcraps. He and fellow transplanted ex-mets Chad Bradford and Melvin Mora are headed for another year looking up at the Junkees, BoSox and Blue Jays, and will fight it out with the Florida Rays for the saddest franchise in the East.
Victor Zambrano Era: Over?
The Mets non-tendered Victor Zambrano yesterday, making him a free agent and meaning any other team can bid for his services. I would make a joke here but Tanyon Sturtze found himself a job this offseason so who the hell knows?