When I started writing this article, the Mets were in first place. Then they weren't, and now they are again. It's just been one of those seasons.
Zack Wheeler and Josh Edgin went down with Tommy John surgery before the season started. David Wright... well, who the heck knows if and when he's coming back. Jenrry Mejia was suspended for 80 days. Vic Black, Jerry Blevins, Buddy Carlyle, Travis d'Arnaud, Dilson Herrera, Daniel Murphy, Rafael Montero, and Bobby Parnell have all spent time on the disabled list. Throw in a few outfielders and that's a pretty competitive baseball team sitting on the bench with some boo-boos (I know these injuries are serious, but this is getting ridiculous).
The Mets are 33-29, four games above .500 and a game and a half ahead the Nationals. All things considered, I think that's pretty impressive. On June 13 of last year, the Mets were 29-37. The year before, 24-36. You have to go all the way back to 2012 just to find a winning record at this point in the season. This year, through all the injuries and suspensions and general heartache, your New York Mets are winning.
The losses have been ugly. They've been no-hitters and walk-off walks and all kinds of embarrassing feats of mediocrity. Then again, some of the wins have been ugly too. But you know what? At the end of the season, the record is all that matters. Not how they won or how they lost, just that they did.
Should the Mets have spent more money or initiated a trade in the offseason to add some offense? Yes. Did anyone actually expect them to do so? I sure didn't. This is the Mets. They don't give out big contracts and they don't pull the trigger on big trades for superstars. We know this. As pathetic and unfortunate as it is, until the Commissioner's office steps in, the Wilpons are going to keep their wallets sealed and keep Sandy Alderson guessing. Is it enough to turn a fan against a team? Absolutely. But not Mets fans.
Every year on Passover, my family and I say "next year in Jerusalem." It's a phrase that hopes for a brighter tomorrow, for the next holiday at home. For a long time, that's how it felt to be a Mets fan too: it'll be better next year. Wright will bounce back with a .320 batting average and 100 RBI. Lucas Duda will hit 40 home runs. Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard will combine to go 60-15 and the bullpen will be flawless. It was always next year, and then by the time May rolled around, it was time to start wishing the calendar pages to fly by until April again.
This year, while your Mets sit at or near first place, just celebrate the success. You can shout and yell about poor managerial decisions, about sticking with Wilmer Flores at shortstop or hiding Steven Matz in Triple-A, and about how the Mets are only in first place because the rest of the division is crummy. But from your apartment in Brooklyn, there's not much you can do.
Complaining is cathartic and it's kind of fun, but it's also going to put you in an early grave from excessive stress. So instead, cheer when Duda homers and wear your Dark Knight masks on Harvey Day. Wave a crudely crafted Mjolnir on Thor's starts (or a more artistic one, if you're so inclined) and do the Mejia stomp in the stands. Unless Alderson reads Amazin' Avenue (and, if so, hi!), no one here has any power to actually change the team. So just cry during the losses, celebrate during the wins, and love the Mets. It's so much easier.