This is how low things have gotten in this Mets season: The preferable storyline to come out of Wednesday night's 6-2 loss to the Rockies was one about dissension in the clubhouse because Jerry Manuel didn't use Francisco Rodriguez with a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning.
Manny Acosta gave up a grand slam to Melvin Mora, K-Rod flipped out at reporters after the game and it seemed like we'd be reading a lot about how Manuel must be fired immediately. People would drag up the fact that the Mets haven't won two games in a row since June, they'd bring up the way fans are getting angry and booing David Wright again and they'd say that change was the only option at this point in time.
Now, though, firing Manuel would merely be an attempt to change the story from what happened after the game. We don't know all the details but we know it isn't good when it takes a bail bondsman and not a gesture with your right arm to summon your closer from the pen. Francisco Rodriguez is going to be a mighty big story the rest of the way and there's no spin to put on this that doesn't wind up with another Mets season consumed by the fires of embarrassment.
It started even before K-Rod allegedly tuned up his father-in-law. There was his shoving match with bullpen coach Randy Niemann earlier this year and Jeff Francoeur's self-absorbed whining about losing playing time. There's Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo and Fred Wilpon asking rhetorical questions about sunrises when asked if anyone would be held accountable for another losing season. There's Johan Santana getting sued and accused of sexual assault and then there's Jose Reyes saying that it is hard to concentrate while playing shortstop for a major league team.
The way this season was falling apart on the field was bad enough but all of this other business makes it so much worse. Taken in tandem with everything that happened last season, it's hard to avoid thinking about this team the same way you think about the bleach-spraying, firecracker tossing, utterly reprehensible Mets of Bobby Bonilla, Vince Coleman and Bret Saberhagen.
This team isn't just bad, it's impossible to like and that's a state of affairs that comes up far too often for this franchise.