This morning while I was gassing up my wife's Saturn at our local Costco ( $2.71 a gallon !), another man interrupted the song "Daydream Believer" that was playing in my head. " Like your jacket" he said to me as he pointed to my Mets jacket . There was a touch of melancholy laced happiness in his voice. I noticed he too was wearing a Mets jacket and I politely said "thanks". " Tough year , hopefully they will make drastic changes this winter" he said with a shrug. " I hope so" I responded. " Yeah it's tough seeing less than a thousand people in the stands " he said dryly. " Yeah it looks as though we are back to the days of Grant's Tomb" He nodded he head and responded "I know ... I lived through it too" .So we shook hands when we finished topping off our gas tanks and went our separate ways, but I began wondering to myself " Is this team in that kind of dire straights? "Honestly there are many parrallels between the Mets of the last two years and the teams from the late '70's and early '80's. They both had likable managers ( then Torre - now Manuel) . Botheras of Met teams had their share of injuries, and both teams cornerstones were good pitching, decent bullpens and anemic offenses. I can't draw the same conclusions about the ownership though. The late Joan Payson's husband, Charles didn't care about the Mets so he let his daughter , Lorinda deRoulettake ownership. She didn't meddle in the teams affairs, she left the team in the less than capable hands of M. Donald Grant, who ran the team into the ground with his thrifty style as a general manager.But is the team as bad as the dark times? Well judging by their current record of '79-82 I have to say no. This team is a few tweaks away from being respectable again. We have a better talent pool than we did thirty odd years ago. With the onset of players such as Ike Davis , Bobby Parnell and Jonathan Niese, along with Josh Thole and possible Lucas Duda and Jennry Mejia, a turn around may happen quicker than we expect. This team needs a strong voice from within the organization, and it has to come from whomever the new general manager and manager will be. But veterans like David Wright and Angel Pagan will have to make their voices heard also. There should be no more excuses, there should be no rolling over and playing dead after a bad inning. This team needs to get focused and get angry. It needs a take no prisoners attitude. It needs to be more like the Mets of '86 than the Mets of '06.Lets just keep out fingers crossed that next year is more like '84-'86 than '77-'83." Goodbye & farewell"And with that said.... HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!Today would have been the 74th birthday of one time Mets pitcher, Jack Lamabe (1936)New York Mets released reliever, Hal Reniff on October 3, 1967.New York Mets released relief pitcher,Manny Hernandez on October 3, 1989.Mo Vaughn will be on hand today to introduce his new food line - " Mo's Morsel's "And today marks the last day of Jerry Manuel's tenure as Mets manager. I propose after the last out of the game is made, we all raise a pint of beer to him and wish him the best .