August Is Once Again the Cruelest Month for Mets

Frank Francisco rages while the other Mets just shrug

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    If you played for the Mets, you'd hide your face too.

    During an interview on WFAN Wednesday afternoon, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said that the team needed an infusion of productive players.

    His team went out Wednesday evening and proved that Alderson has an accurate eye for the state of his baseball club. They lost 5-2 to the Rockies, their fourth straight loss overall and third straight to a team that opened the series more than 10 games behind the Mets in the race for whatever teams going nowhere race for come August.

    It was a 3-2 game headed into the ninth inning, but Frank Francisco happened and the Mets were down by three and the bottom of the ninth couldn't have been any more perfunctory. Francisco, who normally seems as bothered by his mediocrity as an elephant is bothered by an ant, went nuts in the dugout and took out a water cooler.

    Such things are occasionally amusing, but it was mostly pathetic watching this grown man assault an inanimate object at the tail end of yet another August loss. Where do you summon such feelings of rage at this point?

    Most nights, including everything about Wednesday night up until Francisco's "Look how much I care!" moment, find the Mets simply trying to get the game over with so that they can get the season over with and possibly find a new place to play next season. That lack of effort carries over to sloppy baseball and all those Terry Collins rants about fundamentals now feel like an extended Monty Python sketch or some other absurd take on baseball comedy.

    Collins got a lot of credit for how well the Mets played in the first half, so it is odd that he's gotten so little blame for how horribly wrong things have gone as his team plays like the worst of anything Jeff Torborg or Art Howe threw out on the field. Inferior talent is the easy and rightful explanation for the team's record, but Collins can't even get these guys to try and that seems to represent a problem.

    The Mets are now 11-28 in their last 39 games and 7-13 in August, a mark that drops their record in the month to 39-64 in the month over the last four seasons. That's 100-loss baseball, a mark they haven't reached in the last three years and probably won't reach this year but such technicalities offer little solace while watching yet another Mets team melt down in the summer.

    Collins is only responsible for two of those meltdowns, but they've both been doozies. His teams seem to tune him out at about the same point every year, which suggests he might not be the man to make the step from crushing your heart at midseason to crushing your heart in October.

    And there's still more than a month left to go of this nightmare. Alderson's hiring bought the team a little time, but they've pretty much used it all up after two years that looked exactly like the Jerry Manuel era.

    No one really expects them to win, but it's fair to expect them to try and the Mets collectively haven't shown any evidence of that since the All-Star break. Some players have kept their honor, including Wednesday starter Matt Harvey, but most are making it clear nightly that they'd rather be anywhere else in the world.

    We're not sure exactly where Alderson plans to find that infusion of productivity, but starting with guys who actually give a whit about playing for the Mets would be a good start.

    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.