An Appropriate Way to End It
October 4th, 2010 by slangon

Well, the 2010 baseball regular season has come to an end. There was excitement for some, nail biting for others and, for many teams and fans, bitter disappointment. I guess as a Mets fan, I’ve had a few months to get comfortable with the idea of yet another October free of baseball games that actually meant something to me, but somehow those damn Mets managed to make even the meaningless final game of another meaningless season gut wrenching and hard to watch.

If you missed it, or more likely just didn’t pay any attention because you don’t care, the Mets lost the final game of the 2010 season to the Washington Nationals in 14 innings by the score of 2-1. That in itself wasn’t too terrible, but it was the way it happened. After Mike Pelfrey pitched 7 good innings, only allowing 1 run, Jerry Manuel ran out of relief pitchers and by the time the 14th inning rolled around (because of course the Mets offense was utterly unable to do anything against Livan Hernandez and the other Nationals pitchers) he had the choice of either sending Ollie Perez out to the mound, or using a position player.

I personally would’ve put more faith in any of the position players on the team, but I guess in a game that doesn’t matter that would’ve been a pretty harsh public slap in the face to Oliver. Then again, most of his career with the Mets has been a slap in the face to the fans, so maybe he would’ve deserved it.

Anyway, Jerry did not opt to send Jose Reyes and his cannon of  an arm to the hill, although I would’ve been interested to see that.

Nor did he send David Wright up there with his arsenal of tailing fastballs and sliders and other assorted breaking pitches that he always seems to throw Ike Davis’ way when he’s executing a routine ground out.

I don’t know how much of that had to do with the fact that he didn’t want to use those guys or how much had to do with the fact that he took them both out of the game after the 9th so that they could get an ovation coming off the field.

So here it is, the top of the 14th inning in the last game of the season in which the Mets have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention over 2 weeks ago, although in reality they were eliminated further back than that. The manager, who is all but assured of being let go after this game ends, brings in the pitcher who will be earning $12 million next year despite not winning a game this year while posting a 6.80 ERA, and who was signed to a stupid $36 million contract by the GM who has about as much chance of being the Mets’ GM next year as Jerry Manuel has of being the Mets’ manager.

In an oddly perfect ending to this terribly imperfect season, Ollie hits a batter, walks 2 to load the bases and then walks in the winning run. The only thing that would’ve made it a more perfect ending is if the game ended right there with Ollie standing slump shouldered on the hill as the 4 Washington players jog in a slow circle around him, moving on to their base. Of course, since this circus was happening at Citi Field, we still had to sit through Pat Misch get the last 2 batters out and then wait for the Mets to get those final 3 outs to put a final bullet in this dying cow of a season.

Even odder still, I seriously can’t wait until spring training.

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