Tim Marchman, formerly a fan of the Mets and always one of my favorite writers on any subject, has a column in the Wall Street Journal today in which he posits that the Mets are "either the worst good team in the National League or the best bad one, and it's hard to tell which."
Math is no help; run differential is not destiny. Mysticism does little more, though an online Magic 8 Ball did answer "Definitely" when asked if the team will contend. The front office, including reliably opaque general manager Sandy Alderson, seems inclined to ride things out for now, which seems shrewd and savvy.
Already, this is a year of perfect moments. There was the team's first no-hitter ever, and then Dickey bettering it with six starts that rate among the most dominant runs in modern history, one described by Roger Angell as feeling like watching "the game's lost silences falling around you." There could be something more, too, if the men in suits and their agent, manager Terry Collins, come around to realize the power of small fixes.
Marchman goes on to talk about the Mets' bullpen, which has been the worst in baseball by a fairly significant margin, but points out that reliever performance ebbs and flows from month to month and year to year, and that much of the damage was done by pitchers like Manny Acosta who we're unlikely to hear from again, at least not any time soon.
It's a great adumbration of the Mets' season so far by Marchman, who knows how to write and does so in a voice that isn't nauseatingly derivative of everyone else's.