Since their infamous 2007 collapse, the New York Mets just can’t seem to get a break.
The Mets and their fans have to believe that things will get better as I don’t know what else could go wrong.
So, can Mets fans start believing again or will 2012 prove to be another bust in Queens?
Let’s take a look….
Skipper Terry Collins could not be more perfect a leader for the Mets. Collins truly believes in the team and he manages with passion. The players respect and want to win for Collins because of the energy he brings day in and day out. As Collins heads into his second season in New York, the Mets will once again look for him to be their guide and he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. As ex-Met Carlos Beltran once said, “He is a good man.” And the Mets could not be luckier for it.
Welcome back Johan Santana! The Mets finally have their ace back and the even better news is that Santana has looked good in Spring Training. The last time Mets fans saw the two-time CY Young winner was September 2, 2010 so it will be a treat to have him take the mound at Citi-Field on Opening Day vs. the Braves. If Santana stays healthy and is pitching like he is capable, the Mets have a certified star at the top of their rotation again and he will win games.
Also take note that first baseman Ike Davis is back too after missing almost all of 2011; and this kid can rake. Baring that his ankle holds up and his Valley Fever doesn’t become an issue look for a big year from a seriously talented Davis.
Owner Fred Wilpon has screwed up this team in every way possible. From building a ballpark that their franchise player can’t hit in, to being involved with Bernie Madoff, Wilpon has wrecked the franchise. The Mets might share New York City with the mighty Yankees but they never were looked down upon until now and Mets fans have had enough, as ticket sales have plummeted. With Wilpon cutting the payroll by over $70+ million this off-season to pay for his off-the-field mistakes makes it hard for the Mets to stay relevant. And on top of everything Wilpon started openly criticizing the players last season and that just cannot happen. Wilpon should have sold the team but didn’t for his own selfish reasons, which is a shame because he has singlehandedly ruined any chances the Mets have to get back to being great again. In my opinion, anyone involved with Madoff cannot be trusted and Wilpon was his childhood best friend.
PLAYER(s)/GAME-CHANGERS TO WATCH:
1) David Wright and Jason Bay have not been productive the last two seasons, as they either struggled or were on the DL. Yes, a lot of the blame here is on the owners for building Citi-Field with unreasonable dimensions but that has been fixed now so these two are expected to hit. Bay hit 36 homers, 29 doubles and 119 RBIs in 2009 with the Red Sox; and Wright hit 29 homers, 36 doubles, 103 RBIs and stole 19 bases in 2010, so they are both capable of slugging 20+ homers and driving in 100+ runs. Both have to stay healthy and motivated for the Mets to have any chance to finish above .500 in 2012.
I don’t know how to say this nicely but the Mets will finish last in the NL Central in 2012.
The Nationals and Marlins both made massive improvements during the off-season, as the Mets did the opposite by trimming payroll so Wilpon could his lawyers and the Madoff victims he screwed. They also watched their All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes sign with the division rival Marlins.
The Mets don’t suck, as it will be tough for them to compete in the NL East but finishing at .500 is not unrealistic.
Pending no divine intervention, this is going to be another tough year for Mets fans and I would say things are finally going in the right direction but I don’t want to jinx them.
Just hang in there….it is a long season and hey you never now.