Mets 4, Marlins 2
MIAMI -- David Wright watched the final four innings from the dugout as his teammates closed out a meaningless final game.
Now the goal for the New York Mets is to keep Wright and start winning.
The Mets (74-88) finished fourth in the NL East for the fourth year in a row, but they believe things are on the upswing after the settlement of a suit stemming from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.
General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets will make "every effort" to reach long-term deals with third baseman Wright and 20-game winner R.A. Dickey, and the team might be more active this offseason in the trade and free-agent markets.
"The organization is in a stronger position than a year ago," Alderson said.
Wright said he is optimistic the Mets will be better in 2013.
"It's difficult because of how the season ended," he said. "But when you look back and evaluate this team as a whole, there is a lot of good that came out of this year and a lot of positives that you can take into next year."
The Mets hold a $16 million option for Wright for next year. He said he hasn't thought about a possible long-term deal.
"I'm sure in a couple of weeks I'll be able to think about it a little bit more and just enjoy the process," he said.
Rookie Jeremy Hefner (4-7), who hopes to make the Mets' roster in 2013, closed the season with his second consecutive strong start. He allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings.
"I know I can pitch here," he said.
The Marlins (69-93), touted as playoff contenders after an offseason spending binge, instead posted their worst record since 1999.
Miami heads into the offseason with questions about the future of manager Ozzie Guillen and president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest. Owner Jeffrey Loria wasn't at the game, but he hasn't ruled out changes at the top.
Following the finale, Guillen met briefly with Beinfest and general manager Michael Hill.
"They're going to have a meeting soon about it," Guillen said. "It's a very tough situation. We all failed, and we're all a big part of this bad season. They have to think about it, and with time see what we need, and think with their mind and not their heart. Right now it's too hard to make decisions because everybody is bitter and very upset and disappointed with the season. I think they're doing the right thing to think about it."
The fates of Guillen and Beinfest are in doubt even though both are under contract through 2015. That's how badly the season went after a rebranding of the franchise and the move into a new ballpark.
"Everyone is happy it's done," said slugger Giancarlo Stanton, one of the team's few bright spots. "It wasn't a great year for all of us as a whole."
With a crowd of 27,418 for the finale, the Marlins drew more than 2.2 million fans, 12th-best in the NL but their highest total since 1997.
The Mets were hardly a long-ball team this season, but they showed some muscle at the end. Hairston reached the 20-homer milestone for the first time. Andres Torres hit his third.
Wright went 0 for 2 before leaving the game and finished at .306 with 21 homers and 93 RBIs.
"It's tough to evaluate yourself the way you finished as a team," he said. "At some point I'll look back and be proud of what I was able to accomplish. Now is not the time for that."
Davis, whose average dipped to .158 in June, ended up at .227 with 90 RBIs.
"You look at the power numbers and RBI numbers, and I'm there," he said. "But I don't consider myself a .220 hitter. Hopefully I get a chance to prove next year that I can do better."
NOTES: The Mets finished 12-6 against Miami and tied a franchise record for most victories in a year against the Marlins, set in 2001. ... The Mets improved to 79-79 in Miami. ... The roof at the Marlins' new ballpark was open for eight of 81 games, and only once after June 13. ... The Mets' Bobby Parnell, who earned his seventh save, didn't allow a run in his final 11 1-3 innings.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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