"Come get us."
These words, spoken by New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen in January, were supposed to be the rallying cry for the 2019 Mets season. After two seasons out of the playoffs and several offseason additions, the rookie GM targeted the rest of his division, taunting the National League East to take down the Mets.
Indeed, "come get us" has become a rallying cry for the Mets this season - just not in the way it was intended to.
At his midseason presser, Van Wagenen spoke the words that every Mets fan has been thinking.
"They came and got us," he said.
On the first day after the All-Star Break, the Mets aren't where they're supposed to be. They are 10 games under .500, have the second-worst record in the National League, much closer to the National League cellar than a playoff spot.
In regards to their immediate competition, the team is 13.5 games back in the NL East. While Van Wagenen was willing to admit and move on from his preseason blunder on Friday, that doesn't mean he'll be any less tame next offseason.
"I said it. I think what you'll learn, and what I hope to always be, is that I'll say what I believe. I wasn't shy in the offseason, but they came and got us," Van Wagenen said.
Although Van Wagenen reiterated that the team will never quit, he spoke about facing reality for the rest of the season and adjusting expectations.
"For the second half of this year, I think we have low expectations for what we can be," Van Wagenen said. "I think now we'll take the underdog role and run with it, and try to prove some people wrong this year and try to prove some people wrong with it next year."
The "come get us" remark wasn't the only thing that Van Wagenen indirectly apologized for on Friday.
After reports of a "heated meeting" following a 7-2 loss to the Phillies on July 5 that reportedly involved the Mets' general manager throwing a chair, Van Wagenen spoke about what happened.
"I was frustrated. I think our fans have been frustrated," Van Wagenen said. "I think emotion sometimes is good because it can rattle the cage, to a degree, in an attempt to find different ways to yield results. "My goal when I had the meeting with the coaches, before the emotion ramped up, was to try something different ... It came after another tough loss and I let those emotions get to me"