The Jets’ win helped Joe Benigno celebrate his 69th birthday, which was last Monday, “but it was definitely tempered by the disgrace of the Mets,” as he told Tiki & Tierney Monday afternoon in his weekly spot.
Joe had ranted about Jacob deGrom last week, but now, the other 27 guys on the roster are in his crosshairs too.
“It’s more than just deGrom, I’m so disgusted with the Mets. They teased us all year, and I said this team was the best team since the 1986 championship team – and I was completely wrong,” Joe said in a rant to open his appearance. “Out of 180 days, this team was in first place for 175 days, and they blew it. Everyone not named Jeff McNeil didn’t get it done this weekend, and let’s be honest, bro: anything short of a World Series title this season is a disappointment, and knows now, because let’s tell it like it is: they blew the freakin’ division.”
Indeed, the Mets were in or tied for first all but two days of the season through Sept. 30, but the sweep at the hands of the Braves now has them one loss or one Atlanta win from a Wild Card berth, even with the potential for 100 or 101 wins still on the table.
And, it has Joe no longer believing the Mets will add 2022 to 1986 and 1969…or even 1973, 2000, and 2015.
“I don’t want to hear from anybody that they’re still in the playoffs – they have no shot at a World Series now,” Joe said, before noting that the Mets were 2-4 against their likely opponent in the Wild Card round, San Diego. “There’s no guarantee they even win that series, but if they do, are they going to beat the Dodgers? And if by some miracle they do beat the Dodgers, I’m going to watch them get embarrassed again by the Braves in the NLCS? Come on.”
That’s where BT chimed in and placed a good chunk of the blame on Billy Eppler, basically blaming his trade deadline moves (or lack thereof) for playing as much of a role as the fact that the pitching big three didn’t get it done.
“The Starling Marte injury really came back to hurt them; it was a major hit because he was as good as anybody,” Joe replied. “But you look in the beginning, when he brought in Vogelbach and Ruf and Naquin, early on it looked good, but you’re not wrong. You saw this series just how much better the Braves lineup is than the Mets’ lineup.”
And then it was Francisco Lindor’s turn through the wringer.
“Come on, I know he has 25 homers and 100 RBI and plays terrific defense, but $35 million for this guy? Where were the big hits? He stunk in this series,” Joe said. “Their lineup pales in comparison, no question about it.”
Tiki, trying to be Devil’s advocate, wondered if Joe and other Mets fans might be overreacting and overlooking a strong season because it didn’t finish in a division title…and Joe agreed that yes, timing is indeed everything.
“If you would’ve told me before the year they’d win 98 games and make the playoffs, great, but when you’re in first place all year, that changes everything,” Joe said. “And if they get knocked out in the Wild Card round, this is an absolute failure of a year!”
Tiki still tried to defend Eppler, Steve Cohen, and Buck Showalter for doing a good job, and Joe agreed they have, but it wasn’t good enough…and it just keeps a bad narrative going.
“Tiki, we’ve been fooled! They blew it last year, too,” Joe said, “and let me say one more thing: you can go back to the ‘80s, but every time the Mets are in a close division race, they never, ever win it.”
BT chimed in one more time and tried to keep up hope that the pitching rebounds, and in a couple weeks, the Mets are off life support and maybe in the NLCS – but the writing is on the wall that deGrom may opt out, and with so many other free agents, this might’ve been the window…which now appears to be slammed shut.
“DeGrom don’t want to be in New York anymore, he wants out,” Joe said. “Nimmo is a free agent, Diaz is a free agent, Carrasco and Walker and Bassitt…what are they going to do with these guys? I think you have to bring Diaz and Nimmo back, and maybe Bassitt if deGrom is gonna walk!”
Follow Joe Benigno on Twitter: @JoeBenigno_Real