Newly-acquired closer Francisco Rodriguez deemed his new squad, the New York Mets, as the "team to beat" in the National League East this season.
Is this guy kidding?
If he means they are the team that the rest of the division beats in September as they collapse, then I won't blame him. But, I strongly doubt that's what he's getting at.
Anyway, Rodriguez (who signed a 3-year/$37 million contract with the Mets this offseason,) must not have paid attention to the team from Flushing that watched their last two seasons go straight down the toilet.
The Mets have blown significant division leads in the last month of the regular season in each of the last two seasons.
Team to beat? What? They haven't seen the postseason since 2006.
Oh, something I almost forgot. Their arch-rival, the Philadelphia Phillies, are the reigning World Series Champions!
The Phillies are the team to beat in that division and will be until someone knocks them from their throne.
The Mets made some key acquisitions to boost up an awful bullpen by signing Rodriguez, and trading for Seattle Mariners' closer J.J. Putz, who will set up Rodriguez.
They also signed Washington Nationals' starter Tim Redding, along with old veteran starters Freddy Garcia and Livan Hernandez, both to minor league deals. Plus, they re-signed lefty starter Oliver Perez.
But besides adding a couple of strong arms to the bullpen, and a couple starters far from their prime, the Mets did nothing to bolster their lineup.
Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Carlos Beltran will all be there, and should have productive seasons.
But do they really think Carlos Delgado will be what he was last year? Met fans wanted him out of town until out of nowhere, he had a breakout game against the Yankees in the first game of a doubleheader.
Delgado then was steadily productive throughout the rest of the season. But look at their outfield besides Beltran.
Daniel Murphy, Fernando Tatis, Ryan Church, Marlon Anderson, and Jeremy Reed. If you're scared of any of those names, you throw slower than Jamie Moyer.
The catching platoon consists of Brian Schneider and Ramon Castro.
Come on, K-Rod! You call this the team to beat in your division? Give me a break!
The Phillies are incredibly better than the Mets in every part of the roster. Well, maybe except the starting rotation.
The Mets rotation should look like this: Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez, and Tim Redding.
While the Phillies' includes World Series MVP Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer, and Kyle Kendrick. I give a slight edge to the Mets here, but just because Santana heads the rotation.
But in no way does that make the Mets the team to beat in the NL East.
The Phillies have two MVP's in their infield, as well as the best second-baseman in the game in Chase Utley.
Then throw in Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, and Jayson Werth in the outfield.
The Mets are in no way the team to beat in that division. It's the Phillies. Period.