New York Mets: 3 Reasons to Show Up at Citi Field If Season Continues to Spiral
At the All-Star break, the New York Mets sported a 46-45 record and sat a lofty 7.5 games behind the wild card leading Atlanta Braves. The lead was not insurmountable by any means, but the Mets needed to come firing out of the gate to start the second half in order to keep themselves in the thick of playoff contention.
A week later, the Mets find themselves at 47-48 and 9.5 games behind Atlanta. They've dropped three of four games since the break, and the clock appears as if it's about to strike midnight on any miraculous Mets surge in 2011.
You can bet that in the coming weeks Sandy Alderson will trade Carlos Beltran, symbolizing the waiving of the proverbial white flag on the 2011 season. When he does, Citi Field will turn into a ghost town, and the Mets will once again be relegated to the middle pages of the sports section.
However, this season isn't like every other lost Mets campaign. Not every position is occupied by over-priced veterans with little to no impact on the club's future (Just one position). One look around the diamond and you'll quickly realize that this year's club possesses a plethora of integral pieces in terms of this club's future.
There's still reason to show up at Citi Field throughout the dog days of summer, regardless of how far the Mets fall out of contention.
Here are three reasons why.
Continued Maturation of the Youngsters
Ruben Tejada. Justin Turner. Daniel Murphy. Josh Thole. Lucas Duda. Dillon Gee. Jon Niese. Bobby Parnell.
Has there ever been a more entertaining group of young players on any one Mets roster than in 2011? These players have breathed life into what appeared to be a dormant club before their respective arrivals. They've given Mets fans a glimpse of what the future could hold; Grit, scrappiness and hard-nosed play. In other words, a team that New York's blue-collar community can be proud of.
As the season progresses into the stretch run, why not show up at Citi Field and watch these guys play?
This isn't the Mets of years past, when aging veterans would provide stop-gaps at positions already decimated by injury. This is the future of your team, Mets fans.
Go watch Daniel Murphy blossom into one of the league's finest hitters, or Ruben Tejada turn in yet another web gem. Check out Justin Turner take the extra base, or Bobby Parnell finally developing into not only the closer of the future, but the closer of the present, too.
Believe it or not, better days lie ahead in Mets land. Regardless of their place in the standings, the second half of this season will provide fans with an exciting glimpse into the future.
Can David Wright Bounce Back?
Going out to Shea Stadium/Citi Field just to see David Wright play used to be well worth the price of admission.
However, it's widespread knowledge that this isn't the same David Wright who used to make fans clamor over his play.
David's horrid start to his 2011 campaign forced fans to grow impatient with his inconsistencies, and his extended stay on the disabled list for most of the season has given fans reason to grow outraged.
Upon Wright's return from the disabled list, he'll be embarking on what is undoubtedly the most important stretch of games in his career. If David can comeback hot and prove that his slow start to 2011 was in fact the result of back problems, he'll once again find himself endeared in the hearts of Mets fans.
But should David stumble out of the gate, then the boos will grow louder, and the trade rumors will swirl even more violently.
The second half of the 2011 season can provide David with the opportunity to regain his larger-than-life status in New York, or to play himself out of a Mets uniform.
Who wouldn't want to be in the audience to watch this soap opera unfold?
The Potential Jose Reyes Farewell Tour
Make no mistake about it Mets fans, the second half of this season may very well provide you with your last chance to see Jose Reyes in a Mets uniform.
For all the excitement and memories he's given this fan base since he broke into the league in 2003, one half a season doesn't seem like nearly enough time.
But with Reyes putting up MVP-like numbers and set to test the free agent market, this could be the last time Mets fans find themselves cheering for Jose.
You can be certain that there will be desperate calls of "Keep Jose" throughout every remaining home game, coupled with the ever popular "Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose" chants everytime the all-world shortstop legs out a triple.
The maturation of Reyes from a raw 19-year-old into one of baseball's brightest stars has been a pleasure to watch, and Mets fans will regret not paying a potential farewell to one of the best who ever donned the orange and blue.