It’s finally over. The Mets 2021 season has officially come to an end. They finish the season with a record of 77-85 and 11.5 games out of first place in the NL East. 

 

A season that started out so promising turned into an absolute disaster. Trying to rank where this season fits on the disappointment scale is hard to do, but let’s discuss it. 

 

The worst and most disappointing season for the Mets in recent history was the 2007 season. The previous year, the Mets had appeared in the NLCS and were a base-hit away from advancing to the World Series. It was a great season and in 2007, the Mets yet again found themselves playing good baseball. With just 17 games left to play in the 2007 season the Mets had a 7-game lead in the NL East. However, they would blow it. The Mets went 5-12 in those 17 games, including, most importantly, getting swept at home by their division rival Philadelphia Phillies. If the Mets had won just one of those games, they would have won the division. They even had a chance to save their season with their ace going on the final day of the season. Instead, Tom Glavine gave up seven runs in the first inning, sealing the club’s fate.

 

It’s a season that is hard to forget if you lived it. Writing about it and recollecting still brings back nightmares of what could have been. The 2007 season is still the worst season in Mets history, I don’t think I’d get too many arguments there. Where 2021 ranks though, is an interesting discussion.

 

I’ll first start with 1988. The 1988 season hurts Met fans to this day. Looking at that season from afar, you’ll say – they won 100 games and made the playoffs, and yes it seems a bit odd to include this due to those facts. However, many considered this team better than the team that won the World Series two years earlier and they fell to the Dodgers 4 games to 3 in the NLCS.

 

Add that with the fact that the Mets had a series lead of 2 games to 1 lead over led the Dodgers 4-2 in the entering the 9th inning of game four. Had the Mets held on they would’ve taken a demanding 3-1 series lead. All Mets ace Doc Gooden had to do was get three outs. 

 

Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia had other plans. Gooden walked John Shelby to lead off the 9th and Scioscia represented the tying run. He took a first pitch fastball from Gooden and crushed it into right field to tie the game. 

 

The Shea Stadium crowd was stunned. Scioscia was not a power hitter, hitting just 35 career home runs in 8.5 years in his big league career at that point. It was just one of two post-season homers he would hit in his big-league career. The Dodgers would win game four in extra innings and go on to win the series. The Scioscia Homer was the turning point of the series. 

 

That season still haunts many Met fans. It was a huge disappointment the team didn’t make the World Series, even though they won 100 games. Yet, there were at least some positive moments from 1988. Comparing it to 2021, 1988 is nowhere near as bad. There are a couple of seasons that rank up there.

 

Two seasons that come to mind are the 1992 season and the 2002 season. Lets start with 1992.

 

The Mets had the highest payroll in baseball that season at just over $44 million. During free agency GM Al Harazin spent a ton of money. In free agency, they brought in high priced outfielder Bobby Bonilla, top end starter Bret Saberhagen and future Hall of Famer Eddie Murray. 

 

The team had high expectations, but internal problems started right from the get go and managed to destroy the team from within. They finished 1992 with a record of 72-90. 

 

In 2002, a similar thing happened. The Mets traded for slugger Mo Vaughn and future hall of Famer Roberto Alomar. They also traded for outfielder Roger Cedeno who at the time was the Mets all-time single season stolen base king. They also signed power hitter Jeromy Burnitz in free agency. 

 

The 2002 season had high expectations but fell far short of any playoff mark. Alomar and Vaughn were far from the players they were in years past and Burnitz was worse, hitting just .215. Cedeno, who stole 66 bases in 1999 and hit .313, stole just 25 bases and hit .260 in 2002. The starting pitching that year fell apart and the Mets finished at 75-86, costing manager Bobby Valentine his job. The Mets had some internal issues in 2002 as well.

 

The 1992 season is legendary due to the turmoil surrounding it. The 2002 was a huge disappointment. However, I am not sure it compares to 2021 with all the optimism heading into the season. The Mets brought in significant pieces in free agency and trades, while also having a new owner who is willing to spend the money to help bring the team into the 21st century.

 

I’m sure that there are other folks who would say that the 1992 or 2002 season may rank up there with 2021, as far as disappointment goes. In 20 years, people will look at the record from the 2021 season and think it was just another underwhelming season, when through July it was so much more than that. The Mets had a 5-game lead on July 31 and finished the season 11.5 games out. In two months, the Mets lost 16.5 games in the division. That’s hard to do. The only thing worse is the collapse of 2007. 

 

That’s why 2021 ranks up there as one of the most disappointing season in Mets history.

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