Sabermetrics or not, the Mets offseason was a collection of minor signings meant to represent depth and upside. There weren’t many good or great players to be had at anything approaching reasonable value and the Mets roster wasn’t the swiss cheese of baseball rosters that many made it out to be. Alderson hit the holes, and hit them hard. Multiples options for second base and lots of bench guys to slot in at various positions around the field to provide suitable backups and provide depth should a regular need to sit out a couple of days. A handful of pitchers who have potential, or have had a great year or two when they stay healthy to make up the two empty rotation spots, and a barrel full of relievers to make up a bullpen in what sounds like it will be a no-holds barred cage match in Spring Training for the last three or four spots.
Optimism is not a sin. I try, and I’ll continue to try until the division is clinched, to make a case for how and why the Mets will win the division. The odds may be stacked against them and they may need more things to go right than would be considered normal luck but that doesn’t mean they it’s impossible, or that it’s useless to be hopeful and upbeat that they can happen, and that the Mets can win.
I truly believe that the Mets could have one of the best offenses in the National League, and I’m not going to be shy about proclaiming that. Looking at the lineup, it’s certainly not a stretch. There is a certain amount of recovery from some and growing from others needed for it to happen, but it’s not out of the question. Closer to Opening Day I’ll make my official case for how and why I’m predicting the Mets will clinch the division on 9/25 against the Phillies.
Most importantly, the games still have to be played. Every year there are dozens of pitchers that were great and revert to being pretty average. There are rookies that take off in their second year to have great years, and players that overcome injury in previous seasons to have bounce back years. When those players bouncing back are perennial All-Stars, the bounce is that much higher. There are surprises every season; no one knows what’s going to happen. Even the predicted favorite from the offseason rarely makes it all the way to the World Series. Take the Sports Illustrated picks from last season; not even one supposed expert got either of the pennant winners correct.
So don’t get caught up in the negativity around the Mets. There is nothing wrong with thinking some of the Mets signings will have a good year and stay healthy, that Ike Davis could blossom into an excellent player or that Reyes and Beltran in their walk year put up numbers close to their career norms. With better coaching and leadership it’s a pretty good bet that the Mets will get more out of their talent than they have in years past. Remember: Optimism is not a sin!
Update: Here’s a post by Brian DiMenna who’s joined the Optimistic Mets Fan Club.
Tags: Baseball, believe, believe in the mets, best offense, best offense in the national league, Carlos Beltran, chris young, Jose Reyes, Mets, mets optimism, mets roster, mets signings, mlb, New York Mets, offseason signings, Omar Minaya, optimism is not a sin, optimistic mets fan, patrick flood, predictions, sandy alderson, scratchbomb, sports, sports illustrated predictions, ted berg, ya gotta believe
The Mets have played six games against the bottom of the division and lost the four games I didn’t attend.
There are still some good things to take from the season so far though, and you can read about them in detail in my post for The Real Dirty Mets Blog.
The fans at the park so far have been pretty pathetic, in terms of their booing Santana and failure to really get into any of the games and actually cheer like Mets fans used to. Greg over at Faith and Fear in Flushing recaps this issue rather nicely.
Patrick Flood wrote a nice piece that really drives home how much we’ve missed Reyes. This piece represents another reason why I think it was despicable of Jerry Manuel to bunt Reyes over on Saturday.
It seems even the beat writers are stirring about it being time to fire Jerry Manuel, something I’ve long felt was necessary. For better or worse I don’t believe the Mets will do anything before May 3rd after the first series agains the Phillies.