Could You Root Against The Mets?

For fans of the Phillies, Braves, Yankees and probably every other team in MLB, the titular question is a simple one. For those who pledge loyalty to the Flushing Debacle, things might be a little murkier. Mets fans: imagine you're watching Mets-Nationals on May 19th. Francisco Rodriguez comes into the game in the 9th inning, attempting to protect a 7-4 lead. He loads the bases and surrenders a game winning grand slam to Adam Dunn, and the Nationals win 8-7. The Mets fall to seven games out in the NL East -- and you are happy about it. Why? Because you want the Mets to have a poor season, hopefully forcing a massive organizational overhaul.

Omar Minaya's contract was inexplicably extended in September 2008, with the Mets in the midst of a pennant race. It made no sense then and looks even worse now. Recapping the failures of the Mets front office since then would be redundant -- we all know the blunders of Omar and co. by heart at this point, culminating in the preposterous Carlos Beltran surgery situation. It's pretty clear that Omar needs to be relieved of his duties. In addition, a drastic change in front office philosophy is necessary. Think Bavasi to Zduriencik drastic. Another disastrous season, record-wise, might bring about such a transformation. If a repeat of 2009 meant the end of the Omar reign and impetus for ownership to make a change, could you root for it to happen? Could you root against the Mets?

In the short term it would hurt. David Wright and Jose Reyes should be entering their primes, and Johan Santana is in his late prime. Rooting for another wasted season as players like these age a year would be difficult. Presently constructed, the Mets look capable of winning 85 games, which would probably give most fans a feeling of optimism and Omar a stay of execution. A 70-75 win season is likely needed for the Wilpons to consider pulling the trigger. Injuries and underachievement make this a very real possibility, as we learned in 2009.

The apparent disregard the current regime has for utilizing all information available for player evaluation is unacceptable for any franchise, much less one with the considerable resources of the Mets. A change is needed, and the long-term benefits to the team and its fanbase would probably outweigh the 2010 disappointment. No more lectures about "false hustle". No more absurd vesting options. It's not a given that ownership would seek a candidate in the mold of Theo Epstein or Andrew Friedman -- they could hire Omar Part Deux. However, dismissing Omar would at least give the Wilpons a chance to start over and right the ship.

In theory, hoping the Mets lose makes sense -- it's for the greater good. In reality it's tough to root against individual players, and therefore nearly impossible to root against the team (for me, at least). Most of the team is comprised of likeable, hard-working players. The Alex Cora signing was dumb but rooting for a man of his ilk to fail is pretty misanthropic. Jeff Francoeur's bizarre refusal to adjust his approach at the plate is frustrating, yet his swing is sweet and it's fun watching him hit line-drives. Go Jeff! The Mets losing might ultimately be beneficial, especially out of the gate (adios Jerry Manuel). Unfortunately, it's just not something I can bring myself to root for.

A request for this poll -- please don't take part unless you are a Mets fan.

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