The Mets should take a page from the Jets' book and get themselves a reality TV show as soon as possible. Not because they'd be anywhere near as entertaining as Rex Ryan's bunch, but because there's never been a group as desperate for a dose of reality -- even by the sliding scale of reality TV standards -- as the Mets.
Want proof? There was Jerry Manuel telling reporters last week that he still thinks the team can make the playoffs and, as a result, won't be playing young players at the expense of the team's veterans. Or then there's the word from a team official who told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that the Mets haven't even discussed the merits of building around youth. And, finally, there was Omar Minaya at Citi Field before Wednesday night's loss to the Marlins.
"Guys, we're still in the hunt," the GM said. "We're seven games out of the wild card and we're still in August. You want to win games."
There isn't a soul associated with this team that would know reality if it squatted over them and defecated on their chest.
Despite what Manuel, Minaya and, presumably, the Wilpons believe, the Mets aren't in the hunt for anything more than the title of most bamboozled franchise in New York. And that includes the Knicks. They are seven games out of the Wild Card with six teams ahead of them in the race for that bauble. That's near the hunt, not in it, and their refusal to admit what's going on should be baffling.
It isn't baffling, though, because we're all too aware that the Mets have somehow managed to combine being overly concerned with public opinion with an utter inability to understand what the public wants from them. No Mets fan is fooled by Minaya into thinking that there's a playoff berth there for the taking and they aren't going to be buying tickets in September because Manuel is planning to play a bunch of mediocre vets who won't be here when the Mets actually matter again. They aren't going to be fooled by words, no matter how florid they might be.
After all these years, it should be clear that, more than anything else, fans want action. They want to see a plan instituted and executed over a long period of time. They want that plan to cover everything from the general manager to the 25th man on the roster and they want that plan to remain in place even when the team hits the occasional bump in the road.
In other words, they want the Mets to stop acting like the Mets.