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The Daily Stache

So What’s Next For The Mets After The “Trollstand”

darnaud

Sometimes I like to think that I have all the answers to anything someone throws my way. That is especially true when talking about the Mets.

One problem I have is that I don’t have all the answers and the other problem is that it is especially true when talking about the Mets.

I was prepared for the worst almost two weeks ago when they limped home after a 1-6 trip in Pittsburgh and Atlanta. I was ready for the final burial to be at hand for them in the 2014 season, forced the live out the final two plus months of the season wondering where we go from here.

Then a funny thing happened, the Mets didn’t fall off the cliff quite yet. An 8-2 home-stand, culminated with a sweep at the mercy of the Miami Marlins, have the Mets riding high and fans thinking to themselves, “what if?”

That 8-2 run at Citi Field, a run they had not seen at home since the 2010 season when they went 9-1 in April of that year, was as much about the 2014 Mets being trolls than anything else. It is why I call that 10 game stretch the “Trollstand”.

The 2014 Mets should already be dead and buried. They should be playing out the string, helping fill the few weeks before the NFL starts and looking towards the off-season and the 2015 season.

The problem for the people, including myself, that expected the worst, the worst hasn’t come yet. The fear now is that the worst is about to come and it will be painful to watch. For seven long years the worst has always come and it has always lived up to it’s billing.

I don’t begrudge the people on social media that preach the negative about the team even when it has played so well recently. They have, like all of us, seen the worst and expect it to happen. It is easier to take the losses when you see them coming.

But it is that question of “what if” that makes the upcoming second half so intriguing. The first ten games for the Mets in San Diego, Seattle and Milwaukee should tell us quite a bit about our beloved team of trolls. It will inform us whether to truly believe the best is yet the come or the worst is about to get here.

The first half saw its ups and downs. It’s firings and walk off losses. It saw a team that looked both good and bad, sometimes within the same game. It saw players like Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada step up and play better when they were challenged to do so. It saw David Wright slump for a big part of it, Travis d’Arnaud get sent to AAA and Curtis Granderson be booed before the ink was dry on his contract.

But what I’m seeing as I write this is a team that has the potential to be fun, to be interesting, and that we wont have our eyes glazed over watching this team by the end of July. To answer the question of “what if” in a, dare I say, positive way.

I wont sit here and make promises of a better second half than we have seen in years. You only can watch the same thing over and over, second half collapses, and predict against it before realizing that maybe it’s time to see things from the other side.

Some fans have sworn on their lives that they wont be sucked in by this team and I applaud them for their ability to ward off the excitement considering 10 games out of 162 is not much.

But what I can say is that although this team is not playoff worthy, that this team may not make a dent in a playoff race this season, the season can still have it’s fun.

The 2005 Mets won 83 games and fell apart in early September. They are one of my favorite teams of all time though and the main reason is that the team was fun. It had broken free from the ashes of the Art Howe era and made the fan base finally see the light at the end of the tunnel that Cliff Floyd once famously talked about.

The 2014 Mets can do the same thing in the second half. I’m not asking or demanding that they must win the division, win the wild card game or even make it. I want them to but I know it is not realistic.

What I’m asking for and hopefully going to see is that this team makes things fun again in Flushing. Make this season the per-cursor to many winning seasons to come. Show us once again that their is a light at the end of this current tunnel and we are almost on the other side.

The 2014 Mets are not going anywhere much like the 2005 Mets ended up not going anywhere. But what the 2005 team did was show this fan base that their is hope. Now the 2014 Mets can do the same.

This season will most likely end on a Sunday afternoon in Queens with the Houston Astros as the visitor. It will end as the past seven seasons have ended, with another playoff less year and maybe even another year without a winning record.

But I figure, lets have a little fun in August and September before that day comes. Show me and the fan base that maybe, just maybe, 2015 will really be a new beginning.

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