At the beginging of the season it was pretty safe to say that many of us Mets fans wrote off the team before anything got started. The team's record in spring training didn't really help the perception of the team much either. Most of knew going into the 2012 season that the team wasn't going to be in the race and that this season was going to be a rebuilding year. However most of us supported Sandy Alderson's plan of building the club for the long term which would take time to undo the damage Omar Minaya did during his tenure.
Then the first series of the season happened against our hated rivals, the Atlanta Braves who took our spot as the top chokers of the National League East. Of course their 2011 season collapse was helped due to our beloved Mets taking two of three in our final series against them. Our first game saw the return of our ace Johan Santana (who had his own set of questions going into this season) pitching for the first time since 2010 and held the Braves scoreless which would lead to a victory. Little did we know the Mets would end up sweeping the Braves (who were predicted in the offseason to be in the playoffs again as a wild card). The first series' against our division rivals all went the Mets' way with the exception of the series against the Nationals. However even with the Nationals series aside it showed that this team can compete in what was billed as the toughest division in the National League if not all of Major League Baseball. Also our second series against the Phillies saw us sweeping them in their own house. A feat the team hasn't done in six years.
The first two months were filled with ups and downs but they were both winning months and in the month of June we ended up seeing Santana pitch a no-hitter. The first no-hitter in Mets history, lifting another monkey off the club's back. The month of June saw the emergence of our knuckler, R.A. Dickey who up until the All-Star break (who ended up being in it) was being talked about as a potential candidate for National League Cy Young along side Matt Cain (Giants) and Gio Gonzalez (Nationals). The team finished all three months with a winning record up until the All Star break. At this point many "experts" or what I like to call hacks said that the team should've been 20 games below .500 and prepping to listen to offers for David Wright. The media propaganda houses also suggested that the team should also be listening to offers for R.A. Dickey as many believed him to be a one hit wonder. Obviously those of us here know that Dickey has been a serviceable started since his 2010 call up. The first half of the season had been a nice surprise for many of us who wrote the team off and just wanted to wait for football or hockey to start.
Here we are after the All-Star break with only one victory out of three series' played. In typical fan fashion everyone is calling for Sandy Alderson's head. From twitter to various Mets blogs throwing all the criticism at Alderson that he got from back to the day he was hired. The standard moneyball insults, doesn't want to win, Wilpon's lap dog, etc. People fail to realize that like how Rome wasn't built in a day, rebuilding a baseball team follows the same principal. Baseball isn't like football and basketball in which you can fill holes and problems via the previous year's draft. A baseball draftee isn't going to be effective for the big club for at least three or four years and that's if the draftee is still with the club who drafted him. This principal alone makes any criticism Alderson in regarding to how he constructed this years team to be foolish. At the time the Pagan trade and the bullpen signings made sense based on their stats, it's not Alderson's fault that they don't work out. Did people forget that Alderson was pretty much in the dark in the offseason in regards to what was in the war chest? You can't blame the employee for scraping things together when the boss leaves him with nothing.
Alderson has a plan and that plan is to build a competitive club for the long term which includes NOT making panic or win now moves. Such moves in addition to some of the mindless contracts that were given out during the Minaya era are what put the club in the situation that it's in the first place. Of course the Madoff scandal didn't do us many favors either. It's one of the reasons Alderson isn't out their rushing to get a trade done. One can't gamble the future for a shot at the present. It took Frank Cashen six years to rebuild the club into a competitive force in the National League at the very least Alderson deserves that amount of time. Do I think it will be another six years before we see October again? No, I think the club will be competitive in a much shorter time especially with the current playoff format.
Do I like that the team is in this slump? No. Did I enjoy the season up until this point? Yes. Do I get that fans are pissed that this is looking like another second half going down the tubes? Yes I totally get that but based on Alderson's plan 2012 is going to be similar to 1980 in which the club starts to turn the corner. Granted the season still isn't over and anything can happen but we do have to be realistic. We as fans of this team have suffered alot in recent years but I firmly believe that Alderson and his crew are the right people for the job. If people want to call for his head after only a year and a half on the job then fine but just remember we all put up with Minaya's regime for five years before he got the boot.