– SI Online – Tom Verducci – Inside Baseball – SI’s Tom Verducci: How the Mets became a mess – Tuesday September 10, 2002 01:22 PM

Verducci, the world’s worst baseball writer, attempts to figure out how the media’s precious Mets flopped like a flounder on hot cement. You want to know what went wrong? The Braves have the best record in baseball. That’s pretty much it. The Mets are about as good as they were last year, but it doesn’t matter because the Braves are 20 games better. It wouldn’t have mattered if the Mets’ additions had been superb, instead of having bad years each and every one (as was more or less predictable in all cases) and the Mets had improved by ten games.

Oh, Bobby Valentine thinks the Mets can stand pat and win the division next year. Which I suppose is possible, if the Braves lose Maddux and Glavine. And Kevin Millwood tears up his arm. And Gary Sheffield decides to join a monastery. And Bobby Abreu and Pat Burrell drive off a cliff. Mo Vaughn will be five years removed from his last good season, a year older and fifteen pounds heavier. Mike Piazza isn’t going to get healthier in his thirties. If the Mets stand pat they’ll lose 100 games.