In 2012, the New York Mets may not be expecting a World Series appearance, but the fans are still hoping for the best.
Even in a rebuilding season in Queens, the Mets faithful don't want to sit through another horrid season and would like to see a best-case scenario for their beloved team.
Here are the best-case scenarios for the Mets this year in order from most likely to happen to least likely.
To say the Mets were plagued with injuries last season would be a major understatement. Johan Santana missed the entire season, Ike Davis missed nearly the entire season, Daniel Murphy was on the DL at the end of the season, Jose Reyes missed 36 games and so on and so on.
The Mets may surprise and have a good start to the season, but if injuries start to pile on when May hits, very few will be surprised.
If this year's Mets stay healthy, that does not necessarily guarantee success.
The Mets have a big hole to fill at shortstop with Jose Reyes gone. Ruben Tejada has the ability to be a good player down the road, but if he struggles this season, it will be a long year, regardless of whether the team struggles with injuries.
Also, another major problem for the Mets is starting pitching. When Chris Capuano signed with the Dodgers, that left the Mets with almost no pitching depth. If one of the five Mets starters gets injured (see last slide) or if one of them struggles, the Mets do not have many options as far as replacements go.
This best-case scenario is very unlikely. So many things would have to work out for this to happen, including every best-case scenario mentioned so far.
Ruben Tejada will need to produce at an extremely high level, Johan Santana will have to be back to Cy Young form, every key player stays healthy, and Ike Davis/Lucas Duda take advantage of the shortened Citi Field fence en route to 20-25 home runs each.
This could be a long season for Mets fans.