David Lennon is an award-winning columnist and author who has been a staff writer at Newsday since 1991.
Think of what we've witnessed from the Mets this past week. A baby raccoon loose in the weight room. Two feel-good trades undercut by a 162-game PED suspension. Wilmer Flores in tears as Wednesday's tentative deal for Carlos Gomez, rubber-stamped on Twitter, unraveled in a Citi Field office.
And the kicker? Thursday's 8-7 loss to the Padres, a game twice interrupted by rain that stretched for 6 hours, 12 minutes.
Jeurys Familia was two strikes away from closing it in the ninth inning when the first deluge came. After a 44-minute delay, Familia finished the Mets instead, giving up a three-run homer by Justin Upton that sailed through a downpour.
Shocking? Not really. How's the saying go? Expect the worst and you'll never be disappointed?
The Mets, and their followers, must be getting numb to this by now. Oh, and before we forget to mention it, about an hour after the marathon ended at Citi Field, the Brewers traded Gomez to the Astros, suspect hip (say the Mets) and all.
Give Sandy Alderson this much credit: No one can take their eyes off the Mets lately. They pack more drama into a week than "The Real Housewives of Orange County" does into a year. What's next? Flying the team charter to the Sahara to see if the players can survive with canteens of Gatorade and a few packets of dill pickle sunflower seeds?
These days, the Mets transcend winning and losing. Every success is immediately followed by crushing failure, and at no time this season was this trait better illustrated than the week leading up to Friday's 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.
It began with such promise, too. First, the call-up of top prospect Michael Conforto, followed later that night by the deals for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, who instantly made an impact. Then, after the trade for Tyler Clippard, the week suddenly turned sour.
Jenrry Mejia flunked a PED test for the second time -- this season -- and joined Alex Rodriguez as the only two players to be slapped with a 162-game suspension. The collapse of the Gomez deal, Flores crying on the back pages of all three tabloids and Thursday's stinging defeat, sabotaged by the Mets' suddenly worrisome bullpen.
After the Flores debacle, Collins told everyone to remember that his players are not "stone-cold robots." We already knew that. But it seems to be a common theme in the clubhouse lately.
"We're all human out there," said Jon Niese, whom Collins described as "cooked" after only 87 pitches Thursday. "We're not tigers in a circus, jumping through rings of fire and put in cages afterward. We have feelings and make mistakes."
While the Mets are busy showcasing their flaws, now might be a good time for a few to step up, with the Nationals rolling into Citi Field this weekend. Or for Alderson to import another bat in the hours before the deadline.
The Mets again insisted that they backed out of the Gomez trade because of concerns about a hip condition -- not financial reasons, as the Brewers reportedly suggested. But with Milwaukee flipping him to the Astros so soon, that was another black eye for the Mets.
Collins was forced into more damage control before Thursday's game as he tried to smooth over Flores' hurt feelings. But in the bigger picture, does it really matter? The Mets already showed their willingness to trade Flores and the rehabbing Zack Wheeler, so neither player can be too comfortable. There's a good chance they could be gone in the next deal. Or during the offseason.
"It's been different," Flores said. "But what happened [Wednesday] is in the past now. I've got to play."
Can the Mets put this week behind them? They've bounced back from plenty of other bad stretches this season. A bad weekend against the Nats might be crippling to the Mets' chances for the NL East crown.
We just can't wait to see what happens next.