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Mets machine wonders exactly when year flipped back to '07

Big League Stew

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When we last checked in with the New York Mets, everything seemed just fine. They were leading the Phillies in the NL East by a few games, were talking whether which Carlos — Beltran or Delgado — was more valuable to the team and were saying things like, "Oh, collapses are so 2007. Not this time around. No sir."

Of course, now that the Mets have lost three straight —including two to the Nats — to fall out of first place, the tune is a much different one. Let's pop a head into the Mets' universe and see what they're saying, shall we?

Ben Shpigel, New York Times: "Though many of the particulars regarding this September's slide differ from the Mets' epic collapse last season, something is clearly happening to this team. No longer do I not believe what I just saw. The Mets have lost three in a row — two straight to the worst team in baseball ... No one could have predicted this — or would have wanted to. But it is not entirely surprising, is it?"

Mike Vaccaro, New York Post: "This is what the season has been reduced to, with 12 games to go for the Mets New York Mets : staring at the scoreboard, begging for help, relying on the kindness of strangers, hoping the numbers look better out of town than they do in front of their own eyes. It's a hell of a way to spend a pennant race."

Jon Lewin, Subway Squawkers: "On Tuesday afternoon, I went online as a seven-pack owner to try to get playoff tickets. I was happy to get through right away and score four seats to Game 1 of the NLDS. Granted, my seats were probably closer to home plate in Citi Field than in Shea, but what did it matter- my team was in first place and the playoffs were in sight. I'm still glad to have my tickets, but I'm also glad that, if the Mets do not make it to Game 1 of the NLDS, I will have no trouble getting a refund. Of course, I know this from my experience last year."

Eric Simon, Amazin' Avenue: "The .. reason I want the Mets to make the playoffs is because I don't want to be subjected to another offseason of the can't-win-in-Septembers, didn't-have-the-hearts, and Phillies-just-wanted-it-mores from the local media. If the Mets fall short again it won't be because of any of those things. It'll be simply because they lacked the production necessary to come out ahead during the final three weeks of the season. If they lose out in 2008 the way they did in 2007 it'll be because they didn't play well enough, not because they didn't want it enough. But hell, we're getting ahead of ourselves here."

Andrew Vazzano, The 'Ropolitans: "Sixth inning, runners on first and second, two outs for David Wright at the plate. Crack! There goes a smoking line drive to deep left... Back back back goes Willie Harris...he leaps...throws his glove up...and smack the ball lands in the glove and Harris lands on the ground. Wright slams his helmet down in frustration.

"309 miles away, I echo Wright's emotions, slamming my helmet into the closest immovable object: the wall ... Oops ... I just stared at the helmet, nearly in two pieces, in my hand. There she was, the helmet I have worn for two years, thrown around for two crazy seasons, flung across the room on countless occasions, and she just couldn't hold it up anymore.

"She's hurt, but I think she's salvageable."

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