For 2 1/4 seasons the Mets have acted as if theyâ€™re the National Leagueâ€™s best team, but the cold truth is that they havenâ€™t been anything special since 2006. They fell to historic pieces last fall â€” 12 losses in their final 17 games â€” and this year, when they are supposed to prove that collapse was an epic fluke, theyâ€™ve proved only that theyâ€™re both overheated and undermanaged.
And here, not for the first or even the hundredth time, we see why the Braves remain the gold standard of communal harmony. They donâ€™t throw 25 players together without consideration for compatibility. (Remember when Sports Illustrated hailed Mets GM Omar Minaya as a â€œMixmasterâ€?) The manager never creates problems; he defuses them. And if thereâ€™s one thing Iâ€™ve learned in 30 years of hanging around clubhouses, itâ€™s that mood absolutely matters.