48 hours until opening day and Mets fans are getting their finest Mets regalia ready for opening day. The jersey’s are washed and hung, the Mets caps with a nice bend of the brim and you can almost taste the garlic-parmesan fries . The weatherman claims it will be 70 degrees on Monday so a nice blue three quarter sleeve under your brand new egg shell pinstripe home uni may do. By the way , what will the Mets be wearing on Monday ? I would home the new pinstripe uni’s and all blue caps. Pomp and Circumstance will be there as well (Pomp never travels without Circumstance but Circumstance has had a stellar solo career). So the fans will there, the new uni’s will be there, the new Mets Hall of Fame will be there, the old Home Run Apple will be there, the new and improved Mets décor of $iti Field will be there but there will be something missing on Monday ? Know what it is? OPTIMISIM. Sure there will be some in attendance who preach “My Mets Right or Wrong”? but those of us who have waited through a winter of frigid temperatures, snow storms, and record rain and flooding not seen in these parts since an ark ferried animals in pairs, know the motto for the 2010 Mets: HOPE FOR THE BEST, EXPECT THE WORST.
I would love to be optimistic, to sit here and tell you this Mets team will contend in the NL East and come September, will be in the thick of the pennant race. I would love to tell you I feel the Mets will be a n “Aw Shit!” team:
“Who we playin’ in our next series”
“Aw Shit, there on tough team right now”
Now that’s not to say I won’t root, root-root for the home team and it’s a damn shame if they don’t win, but looking at the 25 players coming North and the management making the decisions , I can’t make a case for the NY Mets to make it to the 2010 post season.
The biggest mistake management made this off season was not deciding to either fire Jerry Manuel or extend his contract for another year. Manuel’s job status is going to become daily fodder on blogs, newspapers and most importantly sports talk radio. You know early on Manuel will make a move or non-move that will have Mets fans heads explode and odds are he’ll makes such a misstep when the next day is an off day so the angry mobs can spew and spew. You either have confidence in the skipper or you don’t , right now the only reason Manuel was not fired is because the Skill Sets couldn’t stomach paying him $1 mil to sit on his front porch back home in Cali.
Omar Minaya is a bit of a different case. He’s still around due to money but he won’t be fired not when he is owed three more years of salary if anything he will be given a position as a high paid scout. There are no more free lunches in Flushing.
Just looking at the personnel, the best you can hope is 81 wins, and that’s without any of the medical disasters of last year. The front office talks about confidence in the starting pitching, especially Ollie Perez and John Maine but they jettison Jon Niese ,a player who at the start of spring training it was said would be used slowly due to his surgically repaired hammy.
The bullpen will be made up of an All Star closer (Frankie Rodz) a LOOGY turned set up man (Vitamin Pedro) two pitchers from the Japanese League (Ryota Igarashi and Hisanori Takahashi) who are not the first Japanese pitchers to fling for the Mets but hopefully they are the first two to do it with some success, a middle reliever who made the team because he makes $975K (Sean Green) over a guy who is a Man of the People (Nelly Figs) who would make just over league minimum, a guy who is a long reliver in starters clothing in Fernando Neve and a twenty year old, Jenry Mejia who really should be learning his craft in the bushes but is here to save the manager from an all expenses paid summer vacation.
The offense is in disarray as well with three starters out. Carlos Beltran is working out and could be ready by sometime in May (June?) he’s on the DL because he went to a doctor to get his aching knee looked at instead of subscribing to the Mets method of handling injury by rubbing dirt on the injured body part and having the gall to let the doctor remove twenty five bone fragments without saying “May I?” to the Jeffey Skill Sets. The other two starters on the shelf, were struck by illness (Jose Reyes) and a good old fashion baseball injury (Daniel Murphy sprain knee sliding into second base) Reyes should be back by the weekend and Murphy hopefully in a few weeks , but both these injuries wreck havoc on the line up as Alex Cora and Mike Jacobs are hardly the right understudies for the jobs. Neither is Fernando Tatis, a nice man from what I’m told but he has this nasty habit of killing rally’s by hitting into double plays at the most inopportune times and quite frankly should not be on this team over a guy like Chris Carter who is younger and has a work ethic and intenseness that is sorely lacking on this team.
The other problem and unlike Jay-Z the Mets seem to have more than 99 problems, the biggest being that every team in the NL East has gotten better. Last year the only team in the division the Mets won the season series from was against the Nationals (10-8). Against the Braves they were a woeful 5-13. The Phillies beat the Mets 12 out of 18 times and they dropped 11 of 18 to the Marlins. It wasn’t just injuries that lead to this kind of suckitude.
So where do I think our beloved Metsies will finish ? Believe me I ‘d love to say the Mets will be a positive surprise this season but I doubt they will even be a .500 team. The Mets and Nats will fight it out for 4th place