From Jeff Passan -
The New York Mets are like a Jenga tower right now, fragile and teetering, everyone waiting for it to crumble, and poised to scream, bellow and cackle when it does.
If the Mets do collapse — if they really, truly do blow their seven-game division lead they held on Sept. 12 — it will register as one of baseball’s all-time great accordion jobs, and not just because they’re from New York.
To see a team with immense talent play like bums is harrowing. The Mets blew another inexplicable game Thursday night, ceding a three-run ninth-inning lead in an 8-7 extra-innings loss at Florida. It was the Mets’ sixth loss in seven games, and Philadelphia’s 7-6 comeback win against Washington propelled them to 1 1/2 games behind the Mets in the National League East standings.
Closer Billy Wagner was the latest denizen of the Mets’ training room, missing the game with back spasms and forcing manager Willie Randolph to rely on a patchwork bullpen that behaved as such. Afterward, Wagner said all he could do was “wish and hope and pray” for his return.
The rest of Queens wishes, hopes and prays for a pulse. The entire borough is quivering with fear, which makes Mike and the Mad Dog’s lives a lot easier and gives the tabloid headline writers a chance to earn their paychecks.
This is how scapegoats are built, and this year Randolph has assumed that mantel. All of a sudden, now that the Mets are losing, his lack of fire is in question.
Man, you have to feel sorry for Willow. Randolph is a big part of Yankees history. Only ten players have appeared in games for the team more times than Willie. He won two rings with the Yankees as a player (in 1977 and 1978) and won a ring with the team four more times as a coach (in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000).
I wish for him to see better days soon – unless he’s facing the Yankees, of course.