BY MICHAEL GANCI
I know it’s a little bit early for the Thanksgiving article, but I really could not help myself. With the meal of the year looming in the not so distant future, I decided to compare what the Mets should be thankful for, even though things do not seem so peachy at this junction.
First, we should be thankful we are not the Royals, Athletics, Nationals, and Pirates. These are teams that were also pretty atrocious last year and don’t seem to be improving much. Can anyone actually see any of these teams being a playoff contender any time in the near future? I can’t, and say anything you want about the Royals having the AL CY Young award winner, they don’t have anything close to what they need to be a playoff team.
I am also thankful for Jeff Francoeur. This was one of the lone bright spots of the 2009 season. When the Mets acquired him for Ryan Church, I didn’t really know what to make of it. I knew it was the right move, but this guy was a “Brave”. There was no way this was going to work. But in a season in which we saw a lot of misjudgment, this ended up being one of the best moves to make. Now they are discussing an extension, and we could do a lot worse than having him in right field next season.
The next thing that comes to mind in which we are thankful for is the city our team plays in. Losing is just not acceptable here. Imagine being a Pirates fan. They watched Nate McClouth bloom only to see him get traded. Now Andrew McCutchen is the next big thing in Pittsburgh. But how long do you think it is going to be until he gets traded? Only time will tell. But personally, I couldn’t imagine rooting for a team that has a zero percent chance of winning every year.
Here’s a question. Should we be thankful for Omar Minaya? I mean, the guy did help bring the winning mindset back to Queens. He did sign Pedro Martinez, which of course led to a domino affect that included Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and more. I say the jury is still out. None of those teams have gone to a championship, and that is what it is all about. After watching the boys across town take one home, this team and management should be hungrier than ever. But then again, look who we are talking about.
One thing we might be thankful for soon may be a looming return. I see that a lot of people want to move on from this possibility, but it is looking more and more like the return of Carlos Delgado might be the best solution for next season. If it’s a one-year pact, go for it, and then we can look forward to a post-2010 free agent class that includes Lance Berkman, Jorge Cantu, Paul Konerko, Derrek Lee, and Carlos Pena? Did I mention that Albert Pujols has a $16 million club option for 2011? I wonder if they will pick that up.
In the long run, I think the team is going to be alright, but in terms of 2010, I am not really so optimistic. Your thoughts?