Ok..that was a few questions.
The goal here isn't to assign blame. There is plenty of that to go around. The root of this problem can be narrowed down to poor financial and personnel decisions. That's how we got here and that's why we've remained a punch line for five years and counting.
So, I ask again. How do we fix it and then make sure it doesn't happen again?
First and foremost I urge fans to get over the notion: "I don't care what it costs, I just want the team to get better". You should care, a lot. We can rage against the machine all we'd like, but its apparent at this point the Wilpons aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Because we have a common interest, the Mets, their financial woes are also ours. Accept the notion of a mid-market payroll and lets think about how we can make this thing work.
The other thing I implore fans to do is try to find a contract longer than five years in length that worked out to the team's benefit. They are few and far between. Bad contracts played a large part in the organization's inability to right itself in recent years. The "best" available deal, may not be the right one.
Think past this year and the next. Your rebuilding something, not putting the final touches on it. Crazy contracts for players on their early thirties don't work if you're years away from a world series run. It takes time..unfortunately more than we've already endured. The Mets are our team, and their problems are our problems. It took more than a few years to break it, so it's probably going to take that long to out it back together.
I know you want to win now. I'm sure they do to, but let's look farther than the end of our nose so we can grasp the reality of the situation, and collectively start moving forward.