I hate to be the ultimate Debby Downer. I love my Mets. I always will love my Mets, because they will always be my Mets.
But let's be realistic here, the Mets aren’t in great shape financially and they’ve had bad karma of late because their team was purchased using “Madoff money.”
Don’t get me wrong, I still think the Mets have a legitimate shot at contending for a majority of the season. They have talent, but they play in one of the best divisions in baseball, which makes life extremely difficult when playing for that Wild Card spot. And in order for the Mets to make strides forward, they must take a couple of steps back.
I’m not rooting against the Mets. I actually hope I’m 100 percent off on all of these—well, most—I kind of hope to see Beltran gone. So without letting my heart interfere with my head, here’s eight things that I am not expecting out of the Amazins this season.
As all Met fans know, their past-his-prime ace, Johan Santana, is coming off shoulder surgery. There have already been reports that his progress was derailed earlier this spring, which Santana shut down.
I personally don’t buy into that media hype. But what I do buy into is the fact that Santana is 32 years old and—not that I know from experience—I can imagine recovering from shoulder surgery at 32 is a lot more difficult than recovering at 22.
I’m a big Johan fan and have always been a supporter of the sign-and-trade the Mets performed in order to acquire him, even though I knew this would happen later on in the contract.
I’m rooting for him to come back before the All-Star break, but I just don’t see it happening. And if he does come back in early July, I really wouldn’t mind seeing four great starts before the Mets pawn him off for prospects. I would be sad to see Johan go, but that might be what’s best for the franchise.
But who knows? Hopefully he comes back late July in the middle of a playoff run and pitches the Mets into the postseason for the first time since ’06.
Last season was the best of Pelfrey’s still young career. He got off to a hot start, but cooled off in the middle of the season.
The Mets are asking for more from Big Pelf this season, anointing him Opening Day starter and all, and I believe Pelfrey has the head and skill set to handle the duty. But being an ace is more than just that Opening Day start.
Pelfrey will more often than not be facing the other team’s best pitcher.
I believe Pelfrey will make strides towards becoming a better pitcher in 2011. However, I don’t think he’ll do it by winning 15 games again. In a perfect world, he’d win 20 (I have him on my fantasy team), but I just don’t see it. The season starts with him facing Josh Johnson and the Marlins on Opening Day, and then he will be facing the Phillies and one of their four aces in his next start.
Rough season ahead in the win column for Big Pelf.
I hate this guy. The Mets can get out of some his contract if he doesn’t finish 55 games this season for the team.
Good, Terry Collins don’t let him.
Bobby Parnell is the future closer of this team. Who doesn’t want a guy who throws in triple digits with a swagger finishing games? I’m shocked Parnell isn’t the closer heading into this season. I mean, I’m not perfect, but who beats up an old man?
D-Murph is a good hitter—sorry, I misspoke—a great hitter.
But this guy just can’t play the field.
If you stick him in the outfield, he’ll miss an easy fly ball. If you put him at second, he’s not smooth enough to play the position.
I’ve learned that you build a baseball team up the middle: catcher, shortstop, second base and center fielder. Those should be your best defensive players. So why would you put Daniel Murphy at second base? And if you don’t put him at second, where else can you put him?
Ike Davis has established himself at first, Wright’s at third and the outfield experiment didn’t work.
I don’t want to trash Murph—I love the guy—he’s been working his butt of to be able to find a spot on the field. It’s just not working out for him. I think the Mets are doing him a disservice by keeping him and trying him at all these positions. He’s clearly a natural DH and I want the best for the guy. He’s a great bat off the bench for the Mets, but he can also be a great bat in a line up for someone in the American league.
I’m rooting for D-Murph. I hope he develops into a decent fielding second basemen so the Mets can get that bat in their lineup, but I just don’t see it.
Look at the knuckles on this guy.
Last year’s surprise success story, R.A. Dickey, will be looking to replicate last season in 2011.
I believe that Dickey has the mindset and knuckles to do it, but the league will catch up to him.
I love Dickey, but you never know what you’re going to get with a knuckleballer. He could throw a one-hit shutout one day (obviously not a no-hitter because he pitches for the Mets) and then give up five runs the next.
Dickey will duplicate last season and will post similar numbers, but last season his ERA was 2.84, which was among the league leaders. Posting a sub-3.00 ERA would mean Dickey would have a fantastic season, but it’s just unlikely he will be able to do it back-to-back seasons. The knuckleball is just too hit-or-miss, no pun intended.
Carlos Beltran has been the talk of training camp, and not for good reasons. That knee isn’t in great shape.
This is the last year of his contract—an expensive contract at that—so it’s not out of the question that the Mets will trade Beltran before the July 31st deadline.
Beltran has already said that he doesn’t mind moving to right field, like he had a choice or anything. Angel Pagan is the future—a guy you can build around. Beltran is the past. He’s part of a seven-year past that involved two late-season collapses, injuries, good production and part of the aforementioned bad karma that buying players with stolen money gets you.
If everything plays out right for the Mets, Beltran gets off to a hot start, gains some trade value and they ship him off for much-needed prospects.
Reyes is a free agent after the 2011 season and has been a key player for the Mets over his big league tenure. Every time the Mets have been good, Reyes has been good. Whenever they’ve been bad, Reyes has been hurt or slumping.
In my opinion, there aren’t many other players in baseball that have a greater effect on their team than Reyes.
Should the Mets resign Reyes? Absolutely. Do they have the funds to do it? That remains to be seen.
One would think that Reyes would be a key component to help the turnaround of the franchise, but Reyes could command a high price tag—a price tag the Mets might not be able to meet with their current financial situation. There have even been talks of the Mets trading Reyes to a contender in season.
With all that being said, Reyes will remain a Met after the 2011 season but will not be able to get a contract done in-season. There is too much going on financially with the Mets for them to focus on getting that much-needed contract done.
Alright, Mets fans, lets face it: They aren’t making the playoffs.
A lot of you don’t need to be told that and some of you remain optimistic that they will overcome their shortcomings and surprise the world (yes, I’m in that minority). The division is too good this season and the Mets have had too much bad luck in the past.
I’m leaving it at that—there’s nothing else to say on this matter without making myself extremely depressed by writing this.