“It's Panic City,’’ Mets GM Sandy Alderson said last Friday, referring to fan and media reaction to his team's recently-concluded seven-game losing streak.
This past Sunday, after his team completed a sweep of the Reds, Alderson said, “Here they come, the citizens of Panic City," as the team's beat reporters walked by him in the tunnel under Citi Field (June 29, 2015).
This name is a good indication of Alderson's confidence in his roster, and his view of how we react. But, you know, he's right, this is Panic City... and I love every second of it.
It's been this way for as long as I can remember. It feels different now because the Ya Gotta Believe spirit has been beaten out of us the last eight seasons. But, if you think about it, we've never been a calm and cool fanbase, which is one of things I love about being a Mets fan. I love the passion, the emotional roller coaster and the heated debates. And, the constant skepticism and fear eating at my faith only makes the winning that much more fun -- which brings me to 2015...
In just 77 games this season, I've already run multiple trips across back and forth across town, making frequent stops between Take Back New York and The Season is Over.
I want to believe the season bottomed out last Wednesday night, when the Mets lost their seventh-consecutive game to fall a game below .500. I've been saying all season that -- in the best-case scenario -- success will come at the end of a holding-on-for-dear-life type of season, in hopes that we don't fly off the rails. Last Wednesday, it felt we were all losing our collective grip on 2015 and about to got tossed from the vehicle. But, the Mets got back on their horse -- again -- and are now winners of four in row, back above .500, they have a new, young pitcher, Steven Matz, in the mix and the trade market will soon be opening.
That said, while May and June may have been the bumpy road through Panic City, I have a feeling July will be like driving through a war zone.
In July, the Mets will play games against the Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals, D-Backs and Padres, and four against the Nationals. Their quest for the postseason could take a big step forward or a larger step back this month, considering the Mets are playing most of the teams competing for the same slot they want in October.
In other words, hop on, buckle up and enjoy your ride through Panic City and hope the driver, Mr. Alderson, knows the way home...