Mets Look Back With Uncertain Future

Mets unveil 50th anniversary plans while questions about the present fester

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, Nov 17, 2011  |  Updated 10:42 AM EDT
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Mets Look Back With Uncertain Future

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This isn't the kind of banner the Mets are looking for.

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It probably shouldn't be surprising that the Mets' launch of their 50th anniversary celebration couldn't go off without a hitch.

The team unveiled a video as part of the announcement of their plans for the season-long look back at the team's history. As you'd imagine, it included plenty of clips from 1969 and 1986 but things got a little lighter as time marched forward to the present day.

Most glaring was the absence of any shots of Jose Reyes, who may or may not be the team's shortstop when the 2012 season gets underway next April. Regardless of how that turns out, he is a pretty significant piece of the team's history to leave out of a video that is supposed to celebrate the history of the team.

You'd imagine that the team's intent was to gloss over the possibility that showing the video becomes a perpetual reminder that Reyes left the team before the big anniversary year, which makes you wonder if they are aware of editing technologies. Glossing things over seemed like the order of the day overall.

The Mets showed off the uniforms they'll wear this season and the duds should look familiar to anyone who remembers the good old days before the team decided black should be part of their color scheme. They also announced that Banner Day would make a return after several years in the storage bin, a welcome return even if the team signaled that the signs of yesteryear that reveled in the team's mediocrity will not be welcome on the field this year.

That's probably a good thing, because new uniforms and Tom Seaver bobblehead giveaways aren't going to provide nearly enough distraction from what's looking more and more like a long season in Queens. The Reyes Watch has moved from fear that he's leaving to a grudging acceptance that he's leaving and the team's focus on players like Matt Capps and Frank Francisco makes it clear that there's no savior walking through the door.

And that's perfectly fine. The Mets shouldn't be looking for a quick fix to what ails them, but they also shouldn't be trying to sell anyone a bill of goods that they can't back up.

The Mets are slashing the payroll significantly and pinning whatever hopes they have on complete returns to form by players like Johan Santana and Daniel Murphy. Even if they get those returns, this isn't a roster that looks like it can contend and suggesting otherwise isn't going to win them any more fans.

As Ken Davidoff of Newsday points out, the Mets have a strong man leading the transition in Sandy Alderson. The rest of the franchise needs to come clean about the extent of that transition now instead of trying to cover it up under a pile of history. 

If they don't, people are going to start realize that the present looks a lot more like those first Mets teams and that's not going to be good for anybody.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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