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During Willie Randolph's tenure with "The New Mets," we as fans have become accustomed to seeing a baseball product of the highest quality, and Randolph's managerial style keeps the players hustling. The Mets had a never-say-die attitude, as evidenced by pitching Roberto Hernandez for, like, six straight games, during Willie's first year, for he was the only reliever of any quality.

But when the Mets were snuffed out tonight by Randy Wolf, whose umpire brother needs to cool it on the omniscience, the team seemed resigned to their fate as losers.

Come to think of it, the team has been playing that way for a while. It can be seen in the lack of late rallies, the relievers' inability to hold any lead (or deficit), and other characteristics which have shepherded this team to an unfortunate 2-7 record in their last nine games, with Jorge Sosa having started both Mets wins.

The New Mets aren't resigned, in theory. They fix problems; they never quit. Last year, they were the Cardiac Kids, with Endy Chavez, David Wright, and Carlos Beltran mastering the late-inning walkoff hit. This year, in a game that probably would have proved crucial for stemming the tide of defeat, Willie Randolph sent up his big three hitters in the ninth: Jose Valentin, Ruben Gotay, and Ricky Ledee.

Disgraceful. Valentin was dispatched on a first-pitch swing, and Gotay and Ledee both have K's next to their name in your scorecard. I know Takashi Saito is good, and the rest of that Dodgers bullpen is pretty strong as well, but these are the Mets. Remember that club who ran over the Dodgers in the NLDS, even with Steve Trachsel (by the way, 5-4, 3.82 ERA for Baltimore this season) starting one of the games.

The Mets got out to an early lead tonight, as has often been the case during this losing streak. Yet after three quick runs, the Mets proceeded to cough up runs and hang on for dear life, committing errors and making poor baseball decisions. What is to be made of the smart decision in pitching out during the suicide squeeze, only to see Tony "Not Bobby" Abreu go from first to third on a poor throw by Captain Red Ass.

This team is inexplicably resigned to their fate as a losing bunch: why play aggressively? Why get important hits in the late innings? They are doomed to lose, because of reliever clowns like Mota, Schoeneweis, and Aaron Sele (who was better off in the witness protection program). And don't get me started about Aaron Heilman.
What does it mean for the team when Willie says things like, "Nothing's better." regarding the condition of Moises Alou? The team must sense that sense of urgency from "quality veteran leaders" like Moises, who has missed nearly a month with a pulled left quad.

A pulled quad? Really, Moises? You are making us suffer through Endy Chavez (who's now out for over a month), Ben Johnson, David Newhan, the premature Carlos Gomez era, and Ricky effing Ledee because of your precious quad? Shawn Green, hardly the image that first comes to mind when thinking of tough guy baseball players, missed less time with a broken bone in his foot.

A broken bone, Moises. You have a pulled muscle! I hope your Workmen's Comp is paying well, because if any Mets fan gets a shot at you, I wouldn't be surprised if you met the Phil Leotardo treatment. Moises is not new to this ire, I am sure, as even before joining the Mets he had served fourteen separate DL stints in his career.

Moises is nothing but a cancer. Beltran is slumping. Delgado is seemingly showing signs of life, but can't manage a hit in crucial situations. The Duck is regressing to the mean. Reyes is devoid of that power which showed itself last year.

The spirit of this team is gone, and I don't know who can bring it back. It's more than just complacency: it's that the Mets are essentially smoked for the evening once they fall behind in a game. Fight isn't enough. They have to start coming back. The bullpen needs to keep the team in games.

Sure, there are things that this team is doing right. I like Carlos Gomez, Wright is locked in, Jorge Sosa is a godsend, and the rest of the starting pitching hasn't been terrible, although one would hope they could go deeper into games. I'm not sure the Mets should stop getting out ahead, although it hasn't boded terribly well for them of late. The good behaviors on this team still outweigh the negatives.

Don't stop

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