Much as I hate to detract from Sunday evening’s 6-3 win over the Phillies, surely every breathing Mets fan —- even those who’d just as soon see Billy Wagner playing in traffic on the L.I.E. — has to shake his or her skull at the notion of a World Series aspirant heading down the stretch with Luis Ayala and Al Reyes as the last lines of defense.  From Newsday’s David Lennon :

The Mets learned today that Billy Wagner has a torn MCL in his left elbow and will need season-ending surgery that could impact 2009 as well, a person familiar with the situation said. In what figured to be his last obstacle, Wagner cut short a simulated game on Sunday and left Shea without speaking to reporters. He had an MRI this morning that reveled the extent of his injury.

Wagner has been on the disabled list since Aug. 3, and after some trial-and-error, the Mets have turned over the closer™s duties to Luis Ayala, who is 5-for-6 in save opportunities. Ayala was acquired from the Nationals on Aug. 17 for Anderson Hernandez. But with Wagner now in doubt for 2009, the Mets could be involved in the bidding for the Angels™ Francisco Rodriguez, who will be a free-agent at the end of this season.

So there we are, my friends. Leading the NL East by two games with 19 to play, and we’re already making plans for next season.  Sure, Ayala’s not hurt the Mets too badly thus far, but if the Amazins manage to keep the Phillies at bay and go deep into the postseason, they’ll be doing so with the most suspect relief corps of any alleged contender in memory.

Registration is now open
for ’08 Playoff tickets at Shea. The entire process seems rather difficult compared to say, mugging Aaron Heilman and stealing his clothes.  I realize Heilman’s current seats aren’t so hot, but they compare favorably to the upper deck.