Unlike Mark McGwire, whom then-Athletics general manager Sandy Alderson popped with the 10th overall pick of the 1984 draft, the Mets are here to talk about the past.
Not the distant past; that constitutes more of a Yankees thing. The Mets, their season in serious jeopardy of getting ugly early, prefer to discuss what they have accomplished the previous two years.
The past, they believe, can be prelude to a third straight miracle(ish) revival. Alderson, now the Mets’ GM, and his manager, Terry Collins, preached this gospel Friday afternoon at Citi Field. Then, the Mets ended their seven-game losing streak and opened this important homestand with a crisp, 3-0 victory over Mike Trout and the Angels.
“I think we’ve been responsive in the past. Resilient. And I think we certainly will be again,” Alderson said before the game. “And that’s true not just this season, but in past seasons.”
“They’ll fight back,” Collins added. “They have in the past, and they’ll do it again.”
Such words, in the wake of a ghastly start (the Mets now are 17-23), raise some questions: Can you go to this well too often? Can you wear out the effectiveness of your message the same way a pitcher’s elbow risks fatigue from an abundance of split-fingered fastballs?
Can a team be too old and tired to dig itself out of another deep chasm?
“Maybe. There might be [risk in bringing up the past too much],” Collins said. “But we mentioned it the first day of spring training, when we had our team meeting about, ‘Hey, look, it’s going to be a long year, we’re going to have our ups and downs and we’ve gone through the downs before. So make sure you don’t get too high when things are good and you don’t get too low when things are bad.’ ”
That seems like a sensible enough message. However, things remain quite low, even after Jacob deGrom’s best outing of the season. The Mets have been plagued by injuries, underperformance and questions about their…