For the fan in enemy territory

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Changing seasons will lead to change

Every spring, it is the same scenario. As the leaves bud into a beautiful, green bloom and thoughts of spring renew hopes of glory, there comes a revitalization of interest from each fan. For the New York Mets, if spring hopes eternal, then autumn is where those hopes die.

Throughout the scorching summer months that follow the resurgence of life in spring, the team keeps their chances alive and their fans' interest piqued. However, as the leaves wither away into a cold, shriveled shell of their former selves, they begin to gracefully fall to the ground. So with the change of the season, the visions of grandeur change into delusions as the team also withers away into irrelevancy.

As players begin to fall one by one, some in not so elegant fashion while others float into another team's back yard, one thing is clear. The chances are growing more dim by the hour. As the seasons begin to change, so the baseball season has already done so. Both changing into an icy, cold and still demise. The eerie quiet of winter will be upon us much sooner than we anticipate. Just as the change in seasons is inevitable, it is equally so for the Mets.

There will be change. This current management cannot withstand the awesome weight of multiple collapses and multimillion dollar busts much longer before it buckles under the enormous pressure. The one carrying the brunt of the weight, is GM Omar Minaya. How much longer can sustain the scrutiny and weight of the future on his shoulders?

He is balancing two enormous anvils, one on each shoulder. The first one is the metric ton that is the manager, Jerry Manuel. His inept media presence and poor managerial skills have created an examination so intense, that it reflects on Minaya for hiring him in the first place. The second shoulder bears the anvil of inconsistency and injured key players with enormous contracts.

These players make up a minority of the roster, however they tie up the majority of the payroll. Player after player have gone down to injury or mediocrity. Each time, it causes Minaya's decision making to be called into question by the masses. Even with all of the weight on him, he could balance it if he were not handcuffed and limited in his transactions by ownership's budget restrictions.

This is the real reason he was unable to make a midseason trade or multiple offseason signings of significance. Now, several months later, we all see with our hindsight sharpened and our wit fully prepared to lash out. Let us remember, however, before we do, that change will come about regardless of our venting.

If it does not occur in management by season's end, it will most definitely cost Minaya his job at some point. Either way, change will come about. Whether it be now, or a year from now, it is inevitable. It is the thing that never changes in baseball or life: everything changes. As the calendar changes to September and the roster expansions make room for the younger kids, let us think back to the collapses of seasons' past.

It is the only way we can learn for future seasons. As the dreadful summer swoon sets up another possible mediocre finish to another wasted season for this team's core, the lesson is clear. Though hope is all but gone for this season, we will endure the cold winter with growing optimism that warms our hearts as we think of that mid-February day when pitchers and catchers report.

The flowers and leaves will bloom again after the harsh winter chill is gone. Then, our team will return to Port St. Lucie healthy, with a bounce in their step and a chip on their shoulders. As the seasons bring renewal of life, so they bring hope. It is eternal after all, just like baseball.