It looked like the worm inside the Met's home run apple had finally turned.
Sandy Alderson's hiring got them a burst of good notices around the city for the first time in a long time. His resume and serious approach to the job were welcome additions to a front office that needed someone who knew how to make a plan, and his first move, hiring J.P. Ricciardi to help with personnel decisions, was a sign that the team was moving in the right direction. All was well in Metsland.
Until Thursday, that is.
That's when the news broke that clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels was under investigation by the NYPD and Queens District Attorney for his role in a gambling ring. According to the Daily News, Samuels told officials from Major League Baseball that he had bet on baseball games, which Pete Rose could tell you is the biggest no-no in the game.
There's no indication that any Mets players are implicated in the investigation in any way, but you can be sure that it will be looked into and could potentially serve as a distraction while Alderson is trying to go about making over the roster.
It's not the first time Samuels has been attached to an embarrassing situation for the Mets. He's the guy who hired Kirk Radomski, the clubhouse assistant turned steroid dealer and supplier whose role in the Mitchell Report helped make the Shea Stadium clubhouse one of the flashpoints for baseball's performance enhancing drug problem.
Coming up with two things more damaging to baseball's integrity than gambling and drug use isn't easy, so it is just wonderful that the Mets have been able to find themselves in the middle of each over the last few years. When you throw in the madness that was front office executive Tony Bernazard and the lingering stench left by the Madoff scandal, it paints a picture of an organization that's so dysfunctional that it boggles the mind that things haven't actually been worse on the field.
It's actually rather impressive that they were able to pull that off. Four years of blown leads, epic collapses, baserunning blunders and Oliver Perez would seem to be the absolute bottom of the barrel, yet the Mets actually found a way to get even deeper into the muck.
It's a shame they don't make greeting cards to honor occasions like this.
If there's an upside to the timing of the news about Samuels, it is that the Mets can dump all this garbage out all at once before the next chapter in Mets history truly begins. Let this be the final time that the line between right and wrong gets crossed on the Mets' watch and it will all become something we look back on and laugh at while enjoying a Mets team that is a source of more than just embarrassment.