New York Mets 50th Anniversary: 50 Predictions for the Next 50 Years
2012 marks the Mets' 50th Anniversary. With this being said, now is a good time to look back on the good, bad and ugly moments of Mets' history.
The 1960s Mets were very unsuccessful for the most part until 1969; they shocked the world by winning the World Series against the Orioles. In the 1970s, the Mets won one pennant, but most of those years were marred by poor trades and bad general decision making.
The 1980s then became by far the best decade in Mets' history. They did not do particularly well from 1980-1983, but beginning in 1984, the Mets won over 85 games in each season for the rest of the decade. Although most of those seasons ended with the Mets finishing in a close second place in the NL East, they did win the NL East in 1988 and won their second World Series championship in 1986.
As the 1990s approached, this decade became a roller coaster for the Mets.
After another successful season in 1990, the Mets went on a downward spiral from 1991-1993. The Mets then began to turn the corner in 1994, but the results did not show until 1997 when the Mets won 88 games despite a third place finish. The 1998 team finished one game shy of a postseason berth, but the 1999 team won the NL Wild Card and reached the NLCS.
In the 2000s, the Mets began the decade by winning another NL Wild Card, but this time, they got to the World Series before losing to the Yankees. The next four seasons from 2001-2004 were all inconsistent due to underachieving teams in all four years, not to mention a very chaotic front office.
2005 was a relatively successful rebuilding season, and in 2006, the Mets won the NL East and were extremely close to reaching the World Series. That would be the last legitimately successful season for the Mets.
While the 2007 and 2008 teams both endured unique epic collapses that wiped out assumed postseason berths, the 2009-2011 teams were marred with injuries, bad contracts and a difficult adjustment to a new stadium in Citi Field, which debuted in 2009.
This leads up to the upcoming 2012 season, which many predict will not go particularly well for the Mets despite some of the young talent the team now has.
Regardless, the 2012 season will be memorable as the franchise celebrates its 51st season with a tribute to the previous 50 seasons. Hopefully, there will be a lot of events this year dedicated to praising past Mets' legends from 1962 through today.
This is a good time to predict 50 potential events that could (and hopefully will) occur within the next 50 years before the Mets' 100th anniversary. In no particular order, here are 50 predictions for the next 50 years of Mets' history.
Predictions No. 1 & 2
1. David Wright Will Re-Sign with the Mets at the End of His Current Contract
This may be a very bold statement to make right now in light of all the trade rumors, but Wright is the face of the Mets' franchise, and there really is no other third baseman in all of baseball that could replace what Wright has accomplished with the Mets throughout his career.
With other premier third basemen like Evan Longoria and Ryan Zimmerman both locked into long-term deals with the Rays and Nationals, respectively, look for the Mets to follow suit with Wright once Fred Wilpon's financial situation gets better.
2. The Mets Will Not Have a Shortstop as Good as Jose Reyes Was For a Long Time
In all honesty, premier shortstops with a talent level similar to that of former Met Jose Reyes do not appear too often.
Reyes had been the Mets' star shortstop since his professional debut midway through the 2003 season. To many of the younger Mets' fans, he's the only shortstop they've really known.
Filling his shoes will be a very difficult process to complete and is something that players like Ruben Tejada will never live up to. Look for Tejada to last no more than two years as the Mets' starting shortstop until top prospect Wilmer Flores is ready for the big leagues.
Who knows if Flores by then will even be playing shortstop due to his tall and well-built frame. All in all, Reyes will still be considered the Mets' greatest shortstop of all time within the next 20 years, if not longer.
Predictions No. 3 & 4
3. Daniel Murphy Will Not Find a Permanent Home at Second Base
Unless he really learns how to turn double plays consistently and avoid knee injuries from ending more of his seasons too early, Daniel Murphy will not be a long-term fixture at second base for the Mets.
There are a few options the team have with him though. One is to have Murphy replace David Wright at third base, which is his natural position, in the event that Wright gets traded away, but hopefully that situation will not occur.
Another possibility is to trade Murphy to an American League team that could use an upgrade at third base or even first base. With the DH option, Murphy would always have a spot in the lineup and would likely become more successful in that role.
The fact of the matter is that Murphy is a pure hitter, but in order to play regularly in the National League and for the Mets in particular, he will need to find a position other than first base and third base.
4. Ike Davis Will Blossom Into a Star Slugger and Possibly One of the Mets' Greatest Hitters Ever
Despite a pretty good rookie campaign, first baseman Ike Davis has yet to prove to the league that he can become the feared slugger that he is definitely capable of being.
With Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols both relocating to the American League, this will open the door to many more opportunities for Davis to go to the All-Star Game each year. As of right now, the only competition he would really face would be from Freddie Freeman, Ryan Howard (when healthy—he's likely to miss all of the 2012 season) and Joey Votto.
If Davis puts up solid numbers each year, there's no reason why he should not be a Mets' representative for at least the next five or six seasons.
Davis, within a few years, should be able to break the Mets' single season home run record, which is currently at 41 home runs. Even 50-plus home runs is within Davis' potential thanks to his explosive power and the distance he gets from many of his home runs.
As long as he stays healthy, the Mets should be excited to have someone who will soon became one of the elite players in all of baseball.
What should not be overlooked though is Davis' amazing defense at first base.
He could very well become the Mets' second coming of Keith Hernandez defensively. Hernandez won a record 11 Gold Glove Awards during his career and six of them were with the Mets.
After seeing some of Davis' spectacular catches in 2010, there is every reason to believe that he could win 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards of his own.
Predictions No. 5 & 6
5. Jason Bay Will Get Traded or Released at the End of the 2012 Season if He Does Not Produce
Over the past two seasons, it has become pretty clear that Jason Bay has become a complete bust for the Mets.
He did not get even 20 home runs or 80 RBI in each season, and that is way below the expectations of someone who is getting paid $66 million over four years. Now that he is in the third year of his contract, Bay must prove that he can still hit if he does not want the rest of his career to continue on the downward spiral it is currently going on.
Not only is Bay hurting the Mets' chances of winning and his own career but his presence also blocks a potential spot in left field for one of the Mets' prospects for the next two seasons.
After Bay's contract is up, the Mets will have to figure out who will become the new left fielder, but no one will know before then if Bay continues to play every day and struggle at the plate.
To Bay's credit, he has shown that he works hard and hustles on every play, not to mention that he has made a few really nice catches in the outfield. However, Bay was paid to hit, and he has not provided the results expected of him. He needs to either hit now or pray that he doesn't get confined to the bench for the rest of his career.
6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis Will Be the Mets' Opening Day Center Fielder in 2013
With the veteran Andres Torres mostly liked intended to just be a placeholder for the 2012 season, Nieuwenhuis should be ready for the major leagues within another year.
Nieuwenhuis is a great all-around player with above-average hitting and defensive skills. He is not projected to a big-time slugger but should be able to hit around 20 home runs per season.
Looking ahead to the 2013 season, he would be a good candidate for either the second or seventh spot in the lineup.
Predictions No. 7 & 8
7. Lucas Duda Will Have a Breakout Season in 2012
After showing his great potential for becoming a slugger at the end of the 2011 season, Lucas Duda should definitely have a breakout season in 2012 as long as his hitting is more consistent and not as streaky as it was in 2011.
Right now, Duda is basically a left-handed hitting version of what Butch Huskey once was for the Mets from 1996-1998. He is a big, lumbering player and is a natural first baseman that has converted into a right fielder.
Like Duda, Huskey was a streaky hitter but always had great potential with his explosive power. Hopefully, Duda can get past that and become one of the league's feared sluggers along with Ike Davis.
If the Mets could have two reliable sluggers in the lineup, this could definitely help the team offensively, especially after the lack of offense the Mets have produced since 2009.
8. Josh Thole Will Remain the Mets' Catcher For Years to Come (Unless the Mets Happen to Trade For or Sign a Much Better Free Agent)
So far, in his almost two full seasons as the Mets' starting catcher, Josh Thole has been rather decent. He has been great defensively and has worked very well with the pitching staff.
His throwing arm is also quite underrated. However, as far as his hitting goes, Thole still has a lot to prove. He may never become a power hitter but should hopefully raise his average at least close to the .300 mark.
Right now, Thole is slated to bat seventh in the Mets' lineup, but if he can get on base at a higher rate, he could definitely become a great hitter at the second spot because he would be good at moving runners over.
At the very moment, no one else in the Mets' organization could really replace Thole as the everyday catcher, although he will need to improve his hitting against left-handed pitchers in order to avoid platoons from occurring.
If he can do that and if the Mets don't happen to sign a premier catcher from the open market or trade for one, it's very likely that Thole could be with the Mets for at least another five seasons. Whether this will be good or bad for the Mets has yet to be determined.
Predictions No. 9 and 10
9. Johan Santana Will Bounce Back in 2012. However, He Will Then Get Traded Sometime in 2013.
Health will always be the key for Johan Santana.
After seeing his 2009 and 2010 seasons both end early due to injuries, as well as the fact that he missed all of 2011 recovering from more injuries, Santana will have a lot to prove regarding his health.
He also will have to prove that he can still be the same dominating pitcher that won two Cy Young Awards as a member of the Twins. That is not likely to happen because his velocity will probably be lower than before, but if Santana maintains good command on his pitches, he could still win 10-12 games easily.
The Mets right now are counting on him to be a solid ace, and as long as he stays off the disabled list, he should definitely have a solid season.
With this being said, 2013 will be the last guaranteed year on Santana's $137.5 million contract with the Mets, and at this point, it would make a lot of sense for him to get traded by the 2013 trade deadline.
A Santana trade could even happen as soon as this coming season here in 2012, but if he stays healthy, Santana's value will only increase by the 2013 trade deadline. If he does not get traded by then, it would be very unlikely that his option for 2014 would get picked up by the team.
All in all, Santana has a maximum of two full seasons left with the Mets, and hopefully, he will make the most of them and revive his own career.
10. Jon Niese Will Have a Breakout Season in 2012 and Will Lower His ERA
If there's one pitcher in the Mets' projected 2012 starting rotation that really has a lot of potential to blossom in the coming years that pitcher would be Jon Niese. Niese finished 11-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 2011. While those numbers certainly reflect Niese failing to become a consistently good pitcher so far in his career, he has shown that at times, he can pitch very well and dominate the opposition.
In a rotation that lacks a pitcher with a tremendous amount of velocity, Niese would probably be considered the Mets' hardest throwing pitcher in the rotation. If his numbers are better and more consistent than in the past, Niese could find himself make a trip or two to the All-Star Game and could also see himself as a fixture in the Mets' rotation for many years.
With the Mets' three top pitching prospects in Jeruys Familia, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler all projected to pitch for the Mets no later than the start of the 2014 season, the Mets will need at least one solid left-handed pitcher to balance out the rotation.
If Niese really takes his game to another level in the next two years, he could become a part of what may be one of the best rotations in franchise history.
Predictions No. 11 & 12
11. Mike Pelfrey Will Not Be a Met in 2014
Unless he really improves and puts up great numbers in both 2012 and 2013, Mike Pelfrey will likely be the odd man out of what will become a crowded rotation in a few seasons.
Due to his inconsistent career and the fact that the Mets will soon have a three-headed monster in Jeruys Familia, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler anchoring the rotation, the Mets will most likely have to trade Pelfrey away.
The only thing that will really make the Mets' front office want to keep him is if he proves himself to be dependable and consistent enough to be a fifth starter by then, assuming Jon Niese will be the fourth and only left-handed starter.
However, due to Pelfrey's track record, he is more likely to depart within two seasons, especially if Dillon Gee pitches much better than him. There would also be the possibility of moving Pelfrey to a long-reliever role, but he may not be best suited for such a role.
12. Dillon Gee Will Be the Mets' Fifth Starter By 2014
Assuming he improves on his solid rookie campaign, Dillon Gee has the potential to become a solid major league pitcher for years to come.
He will by no means be an ace but more of a dependable innings eater to help solidify the back of the rotation. Imagine a Mets' rotation led by Familia, Harvey and Wheeler, plus Niese as a dependable southpaw and Gee as a fifth starter.
When a team has someone like Gee as a fifth starter, it just shows how stacked the rotation really is. Assuming he stays healthy and doesn't get sidetracked by any injuries, Gee will continue to develop into a solid pitcher for years to come.
Predictions No. 13 & 14
13. 2013 Will Be R.A. Dickey's Last Season as a Starting Pitcher For the Mets
This does not mean that Dickey will no longer be a Met after 2013. It just means that the rotation will get crowded.
Furthermore, Dickey's current contract only lasts through this season because there is a club option for 2013. If Dickey pitches well, the Mets will likely pick up the option. However, the fact of the matter is that Dickey will be 39 by the end of the 2013 season, and there simply will not be any room for him in the rotation by 2014. He could re-sign as a long reliever and swing pitcher that could make occasional spot starts, but Dickey has no more than two years left in him as a regular starting pitcher.
Hopefully, he can make the most of his next season or two with the Mets. This year's team certainly will need big numbers from him to get somewhere.
14. Jenrry Mejia Will Be the Mets' Closer of the Future
As a fire-baller with triple-digit velocity, Jenrry Mejia will be much better suited as a closer in the future than as a starting pitcher. The Mets' rotation will get crowded, and once he establishes more consistent control and develops another secondary pitch or two, Mejia should thrive as a closer. There will be nothing stopping him from breaking Armando Benitez's single season save record at 43 saves.
Health is the main concern for Mejia, who missed all of 2011 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Hopefully, he can stay healthy and become the dependable closer the Mets have not had since Billy Wagner's 2006 season.
Predictions No. 15 & 16
15. Bobby Parnell Will Become a Dependable Set-Up Man
Although Bobby Parnell has been in this role before, he will need to start getting used to it because in a few seasons Jenrry Mejia will be the closer, and Parnell will be pitching the eighth innings for the Mets.
Parnell auditioned more or less as the Mets' closer in 2011 but struggled in this new role, which eventually went to Manny Acosta.
If Parnell can get back to being the dominant set-up man he was in early 2009, he can become a fixture in the bullpen for years to come.
16. The Mets Will Struggle to Find a Long-Term Left-Handed Reliever
Pedro Feliciano was a Met for almost 10 seasons, but there is no way that current left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak will be with the Mets beyond 2013 or even 2012.
The Mets will keep finding one southpaw reliever to replace another through free agency. This is not necessarily going to occur after each and every season but at least once every three seasons would be quite realistic.
Predictions No. 17 & 18
17. Terry Collins Will Be At the Helm For Another Three Seasons
With the 2013 option now exercised for manager Terry Collins' contract, he will be the Mets' skipper at least through then and may get re-signed for another season after that.
However, Collins will be turning 63 this season, and if anything were to happen to his health, his managerial career would have to come to an end. Hopefully, such a situation will not occur to Collins, who did a great job overall as a manager in 2011.
The 2012 team may not be too much better than the 2011 squad, but there is every reason to believe that Collins will do everything he can to bring the most out of his players. He is currently the right kind of manager for a team that the Mets currently have. Hopefully, by 2013, he can find a way to get the Mets to win some more games and compete for the NL East title.
18. Wally Backman Will Succeed Terry Collins as the Mets Manager (Whenever That May Be)
It's becoming more and more clear through his recent promotions that former Met Wally Backman will one day become the successor to Terry Collins as the Mets' manager. This could happen as soon as 2014 but may be another year or so after that instead.
Regardless, Backman's stern demeanor will work well with a Mets team that will by then be rebuilt and full of young homegrown talent.
Predictions No. 19 & 20
19. Sandy Alderson's Strategy Will End Up Working For the Mets
Ever since becoming the Mets' general manager in 2010, Sandy Alderson's goals for the Mets have been clear—become successful, shed away bad and expensive contracts, free up payroll and develop young homegrown talent.
Right now, almost all of the Mets' bad contracts are off the books and the prospects are continuing to develop. It really seems as if Alderson's plan for success down the road is really materializing for the Mets.
Hopefully, by the time that the top talent is ready for the big leagues, the Mets will be able to contend for the postseason and maybe even win a championship in this decade.
20. Alderson Will Not Get Fired Any Time Soon
Unless some significantly bad moves are made in the near future, it is very unlikely that Alderson will lose his job within the next five seasons. Alderson may be 64 years old now, but his mind is still probably as sharp as it was when he was 24. Of course, at his age, anything could happen that could significantly affect him, but hopefully, Alderson will continue to be healthy.
Predictions No. 21 & 22
21. Fred Wilpon Will Remain the Mets' Principal Owner Throughout the Rest of His Life
The aging Mets' principal owner may be going through some very tough financial issues right now in light of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, but as he has in the past, Wilpon will find a way to work through it and still remain the Mets' principal owner.
He has stated repeatedly that the Mets are a family-run business, which means that as long as he lives, he will not give up ownership.
However, Wilpon is now 75 years old, and his health is not getting any better right now. It's only a matter of time until his health declines so much that he will be forced to give full control to his son, Jeff Wilpon.
22. Once He Attains Full Ownership, Jeff Wilpon Will Do Everything He Can To Keep the Mets Within the Family
With his father having ownership of the Mets since 1980, Jeff Wilpon has held an executive position of his own within the franchise for many years. He has been the Mets' longtime Chief Operating Officer, and by now, it's inevitable that once his father's health declines significantly, the younger Wilpon will run the Mets as his own.
He will be expected to run the team in the same manner that his father commanded the team. Over the years, Wilpon has been a bit more camera-friendly, so this could work for the Mets and their fans in order to present a better image to the media and viewers. With all this being said, the thought of Jeff Wilpon trying to sell the Mets would be virtually unimaginable.
Predictions No. 23 & 24
23. Mike Piazza's No. 31 Will Get Retired By the Time He Gets Inducted Into the National Baseball Hall of Fame
While the Wilpons have always been reluctant to officially retire a player's number, one player whose number will definitely get retired is No. 31, which represents former Mets' catcher Mike Piazza's remarkable accomplishments as a Met from 1998-2005.
Piazza's first year of eligibility will be in 2013, but the Mets may simply retire it before then.
Nonetheless, by the time he is in the Hall of Fame, he will get inducted into the Mets' Hall of Fame and have his number retired that year as well. He was one of the greatest hitters in Mets' history and the face of the franchise throughout his Mets years. He will also become just the second Hall of Famer to go in as a Met.
24. Howard Johnson Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
Howard Johnson was arguably the Mets' greatest third baseman until a man named David Wright came along. Even now, it would be hard to argue that Wright's career numbers are better than that of Johnson's.
Although it took him a few years to get an everyday job, Johnson had great seasons in 1987, 1989 and 1991. He even lead the National League in both home runs and RBI in 1991. The fact that he had been coaching for the Mets in recent years may be why his induction has not already occurred, but he will become a part of the Mets' Hall of Fame soon enough.
Predictions No. 25 & 26
25. Ron Darling Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
One of the best pitchers in Mets' history, Darling has long deserved to be a member of the Mets' Hall of Fame. Not only was he once a great pitcher, but since 2006, Darling has been a great announcer for the Mets on SNY and has even won an Emmy Award for his broadcasting.
All in all, Darling's body of work as a Met is more than enough for him to get inducted into the Mets' Hall of Fame.
26. Jesse Orosco Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
When one thinks of the 1986 World Series, one of the first names that would come to mind would be Jesse Orosco, the closer of the world championship team. Orosco saved some very significant games for the Mets during the 1986 postseason and still ranks among the top in Mets' history among the most significant pitching categories that relief pitchers are measured by.
Look for Orosco to be one of the last Mets of the 1980s to get inducted.
Predictions No. 27 & 28
27. Sid Fernandez Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
Sid Fernandez was one of the Mets' greatest left-handed pitchers and was quite dominant in the late 1980s, largely thanks to the fact that he was a high strikeout pitcher.
He was overshadowed at the time by more high profile pitching teammates in Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling, but Fernandez soon emerged as one of the Mets' more dependable pitchers.
His pitching contributions out of the bullpen in the 1986 postseason were amazing and very critical to the Mets' championship that year. Look for Fernandez to get in within the next five years.
28. Wally Backman Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
Wally Backman was one of the Mets' greatest second basemen ever and was a great table setter for the Mets' powerful offense in the 1980s. He was a gritty player that always hustled and made the most of every situation he was in. He is now managing in the Mets' minor league system, and there's a good chance that he could one day become the Mets' manager.
There is the possibility that he has not gotten inducted yet because the Mets were envisioning Backman becoming the Mets' eventual manager down the road. Backman's potential induction could take a good number of years to materialize, but there is still a good chance that he will get inducted one day.
Predictions No. 29 & 30
29. Bobby Valentine Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
Bobby Valentine was one of the Mets' greatest managers ever. He was at the helm from 1996-2002. He brought a lot of charisma to the teams he managed and led some of the Mets' most successful teams within the last 20 years.
Valentine's tenure was not the smoothest, and he unfortunately had to go through more nonsense than he probably would have wanted to go through, but through it all, Valentine remained a popular person among his players and Mets fans.
The way he brought the 1997 team to within playoff contention when they were not even expected to contend was quite remarkable. What was even more amazing was the job he did in leading the Mets to the NLCS in 1999 and the World Series in 2000.
His teams were not the most star-studded, but they were quite successful because Valentine kept believing in certain players, and it ended up paying off for the team.
Look for Valentine to be one of the next people to get inducted.
30. Edgardo Alfonzo Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
Edgardo Alfonzo was one of the most underrated players around the league during his career, but few can argue that the Mets have ever had a better second baseman during the franchise's 50-year history, even though Alfonzo only spent three of his eight full seasons with the Mets as the everyday second baseman.
Coincidentally, Alfonzo happened to play second base during his two defining seasons in 1999 and 2000 as well as in 2001. Alfonzo was also one of the better third basemen in Mets history as well.
He was the everyday third baseman from 1997-1998 and in 2002. He was a genuine five-tool player. While the Mets' offense at the time was led by Mike Piazza, Alfonzo was one of the most consistent contributors and was never an easy out. Alfonzo will likely get inducted either at the same time as his former teammates Mike Piazza and Al Leiter.
Predictions No. 31 & 32
31. Al Leiter Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
No starting pitcher represented the Mets in the late 1990s and early 2000s better than Al Leiter. From 1998-2004, Leiter became one of the Mets' most dependable pitchers and averaged over 13 wins in that time span.
Leiter won 17 games for the Mets in 1998, which was the most by a Mets' pitcher since 1990 and then won one of the most important games in Mets' history when he defeated the Reds by throwing a complete game shutout in the one-game playoff that helped the Mets attain the NL Wild Card in 1999.
Leiter is very deserving of a Mets' Hall of Fame induction and should get inducted within the next decade.
32. Carlos Beltran Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
Although half of his years as a Met were marred by injuries, Carlos Beltran was arguably the greatest center fielder the Mets have ever had and produced some great seasons from 2006-2008.
His 2006 season in particular was one of the top single seasons in Mets history. He hit 41 home runs that year, which tied Todd Hundley's record set in 1996. He was also the final Met to ever hit a home run at Shea Stadium in 2008. With Beltran still in his playing days, him getting inducted into the Mets' Hall of Fame will not happen for many years, but nonetheless, it will occur down the road.
Predictions No. 33 & 34
33. Jose Reyes Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
Like Beltran, Reyes' calling to the Mets' Hall of Fame will not happen for many years, but nonetheless, it will still happen. Reyes was the Mets' greatest shortstop in his nine years of service to the franchise.
The Mets also had never had an elite offensive shortstop, as most of the Mets' shortstops over the year were more defensive oriented, but Reyes was the greatest leadoff hitter in franchise history and became the greatest base stealer of all time for the Mets as well. Look for Reyes' induction to occur at least 15 years from now.
34. David Wright Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
Another player that will definitely get inducted into the Mets' Hall of Fame in the future is David Wright, the Mets' current face of the franchise. He has become one of the best all-around position players in team history and already holds some Mets' career records.
Wright will hopefully remain a Met for his entire career and if he keeps playing as well as he has so far, there's a good chance his No. 5 could eventually get retired as well. Only time will tell whether Wright would be deserving of that honor.
Predictions No. 35 & 36
35. Gary Cohen Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
A member of the Mets' broadcasting team since 1989, Gary Cohen has been part of the Mets for over 20 years. He worked mostly in the radio booth through 2005 until he was moved to being the television play-by-play announcer on SNY starting in 2006.
He quickly became one of the most respected announcers in all of sports and it seems as if it will be a long time until Cohen will be ready to retire. He has certainly done an excellent job broadcasting Mets games during his career and even a National Baseball Hall of Fame induction could be possible for him down the road.
36. Howie Rose Will Get Inducted Into the Mets' Hall of Fame
Another longtime Mets broadcast member, Rose has been around the Mets since 1994 in both television and radio capacities. Like Cohen, Rose has always distinguished himself as one of baseball's best announcers and he currently is the play-by-play radio announcer for the Mets on the WFAN network.
More recently, Rose, who has been a Mets fan all his life has been the Mets' master of ceremonies during various on-field events and celebrations. While a National Baseball Hall of Fame induction is certainly possible for Rose, a Mets' Hall of Fame induction is pretty much guaranteed at this point, but it will be many years until Rose will be ready to retire.
Predictions No. 37 & 38
37. Matt Harvey Will Not Only Become One of the National League's Best Pitchers But Will Also Win At Least One NL Cy Young Award
Ever since he got drafted, there has been a lot of hype surrounding pitching prospect Matt Harvey. Harvey will begin the 2012 season in Double A Binghamton, but could definitely get promoted to Triple A at some point this year.
Some even say he could make his professional debut sometime this year, but hopefully this does not happen too soon so that he can keep developing well. Harvey could start in the Mets' rotation by 2013, but he will be in there by 2014 for sure.
Look for Harvey to bring credibility back to the Mets' pitching, make a good number of trips to the All-Star Game during his career and win at least one Cy Young Award, most likely within the next ten years.
38. Zack Wheeler Will Have a Very Good Career of His Own and Will Be a Perennial All-Star
Currently the Mets' top overall prospect, Zack Wheeler is a year or two away from being able to become a difference maker in the Mets' rotation. Like Harvey, Wheeler has a ton of potential and it could very well be that Wheeler may become the ace of the staff over Harvey. Wheeler could be the one that gets more attention and wins more awards.
Regardless, the Mets will soon be blessed to have both leading the rotation and Wheeler could become one of the Mets' best fire-balling starters since Dwight Gooden. Within the next ten years, Wheeler should hopefully have at least four or five All-Star Game appearances, an average of 12-15 wins a season, and maybe even a Cy Young Award and/or World Series championship all under his belt.
Predictions No. 39 & 40
39. Jeruys Familia Will Have a Very Solid Career of His Own
The final member of the Mets' upcoming three-headed monster within their rotation is Jeruys Familia, who could be the first of the three to make his professional debut, maybe even as soon as 2012.
His ceiling is not projected as high as that of Harvey and Wheeler, but Familia will be a distinguished pitcher as well. Some All-Star Game appearances and at least 10-12 wins a season should both be within reasonable expectations for him.
He could use the fact that he has been considered the "third man" of the Mets' next wave of star pitchers into make himself even better and prove that his pitching is similar to Harvey and Wheeler.
40. Familia, Harvey and Wheeler Will Lead the Mets Back to the Postseason Within the Next Five Years
Serious progress has been made on the Mets' rebuilding. Once the top prospects are up in the majors for good in either 2013 or 2014, the Mets should and will be expected to really compete more than they have at any point in the past decade.
Familia, Harvey and Wheeler will lead a loaded rotation, while Jenrry Mejia and Bobby Parnell will both likely anchor the bullpen. Offensively, Ike Davis and David Wright will lead the charge and by then, top prospects Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Cesar Puello will both hopefully be ready to contribute in the big leagues as well.
Two years from now, the Phillies will have run their course and most of the team's core will be past its prime. The Braves and Marlins will both stick around as good teams. As for the Nationals, they do have a lot of potential, but as seen with Stephen Strasburg in 2011, injuries will not produce any results, so they would need to make sure everyone is healthy. All in all, 2014 and 2015 would definitely be good years for the Mets to start really competing again for the postseason and beyond.
Predictions No. 41 & 42
41. The Mets Will Win at Least One Championship by 2020
Yes, this is a bold statement to make, especially with the kind of team the Mets have now. However, once Familia, Harvey and Wheeler are all pitching in the major leagues, the Mets' pitching will be completely at another level.
The additions of Nieuwenhuis and Puello will help Davis, Wright and Lucas Duda become one of baseball's better lineups as well. The Mets are certainly due to win a World Series, especially after everything they have been through in recent years and the efforts currently being made to rebuild the franchise.
Thus, a championship by 2020 should not be completely unreasonable.
42. The Mets Will Win At Least Four Championships Through 2062
This is yet another high goal to set.
The thing though is that the Mets have won two championships in their first 50 years, so why not double it for the next 50 years?
One could never know whether the Mets in the future will put together a dynasty or continue to struggle like they have during many of the first 50 years. Anything can happen in 50 years. The bottom line is that the Mets deserve more and hopefully, they will earn more championships by the time the Mets are celebrating their 100 year anniversary.
Predicitons No. 43 & 44
43. The Mets Will Still Be Playing at Citi Field in 2062
Citi Field, the Mets' current home stadium made its debut in 2009. With the way is has been set up and with all the amazing features the stadium has, it would be fair to say that Citi Field should last much longer than Shea Stadium ever did.
It is large around the concourse and very family friendly. There simply is not much to really critique about the stadium, especially now that the fences have moved, which will benefit the Mets' hitters for sure.
44. The Citi Field Fences Will Not Get Moved Again
This past offseason, the Mets decided to move the fences in at Citi Field in order to hopefully boost the power numbers among their hitters. Home run hitters such as David Wright and Jason Bay had gotten the deep original fences into their heads, which caused both to not hit as well as they did in previous seasons.
Hopefully, this recent move will be favorable to everyone so that the dimensions do not have to get reconfigured. It will now be more of a fair park, just like Shea Stadium was, and this should definitely work for both hitters and pitchers.
Predictions No. 45 & 46
45. The Mets Will Host the 2013 MLB All-Star Game
It's just about all but certain now that the Mets will win the rights to hosting the MLB All-Star Game in July of 2013. This would be exciting for the Mets because they have not been the host since 1964.
As a result, the franchise is certainly due to host the Mid-Summer Classic. With the Citi Field fences moving in, Home Run Derby would definitely become more fun for everyone and seeing an All-Star Game at a place like Citi Field would look really cool as well.
46. The Mets Franchise Will Not Relocate to Another City
Very few, if any people would actually think this could happen, but just to put it out there, the Mets will stay in New York for good.
If they were to move, MLB would simply get another New York team to represent the National League, and then another expansion team would have to get formed in order to keep the total number of teams at an even number.
Thus, the Mets will stay in New York for good, and there should never be any concerns about this.
Predictions No. 47 & 48
47. The Mets Will Sell More Tickets if the Team Starts Winning a Lot of More in the Future
In the past two years, the Mets have had some trouble selling tickets. The Mets have not played particularly well since Citi Field's opening in 2009.
As a result, fewer people have come to the ballpark because they would not want to watch the Mets play poorly and lose. Instead of simply lowering ticket prices more and more, what the Mets need to do is get a more elite team onto the field that will win more.
Once the Mets start winning all the games will instantly become sold out and the Mets' staff will benefit a lot more from successful winning seasons.
48. There Will Always Be a Cow-Bell Man at the Ballpark
The current cow-bell man will probably continue to roam Citi Field for years to come, but in the event that he moves, passes away or simply stops going to Mets games, a new cow-bell man will soon appear and take his spot across the stadium. All in all, there will always be a cow-bell man at Citi Field.
Predictions No. 49 & 50
49. Mr. Met Will Continue to be a Part of the Fan Experience Forever
As long as the Mets exist, Mr. Met will exist.
He is too much of a fan favorite and legendary mascot to even think of disappearing. Mr. Met appears regularly at just about every Mets-related event, whether it's at Citi Field or around New York City, Mr. Met is always around and willing to help out with anything. He's especially very good with young children, who tend to take a particular liking to him.
Mr. Met was not always part of the Mets' culture, but after his reappearance in 1994, he has become a fixture across all aspects of the Mets. No mascot does more for his team than Mr. Met and again, as long as the Mets exist, so will Mr. Met.
50. The Mets Will Still Have the Most Loyal Fans in All of Sports
Last but not least, the Mets are special because they have they have the most devoted and committed fanbase among any sports team in the world.
Unlike some of the more popular teams out there, just about every Mets fan is a true Mets fan deep down inside. In other words, the term "bandwagon" simply doesn't exist within the Mets fan base. Most fans take pride in cheering for a team like the Mets that may not win every year but will always put out their best efforts and have fun while doing so. This definitely makes the fan experience a lot more enjoyable, regardless of the wins and losses.
In 50 years from now, Mets fans will still be as devoted as they always were since 1962. Through the good, the bad and the ugly, Mets fans stay loyal because they know it's the right thing to do and that the team will win more in the future. These aspects are what really defines a true fan. Each and every Mets fan in the world should be proud and take pride in themselves for always staying true to their team. Not all fans can say this, but every Mets fan can.
And that is why the Mets' fanbase is the most loyal of any sports team.