After the disappointing end to the 2007 season, many Mets fans were forced to start thinking of the 2008 season even before the calendar changed. Morale is a big concern of mine.
As a player, I would be thinking, hey, there were no major moves to change the make-up of this team, which means that we have to do so much more with what we already have. And any changes we did make, involve a lot of “getting to know you,” as in the case with Brian Schneider and the pitching staff. Is it possible that not seeing any major moves could bring down the morale of this team?
There are two things the Mets must do right off the bat (no punt intended) to increase morale. They must have a healthy and successful Spring Training, with no injuries and a winning pre-season record, and they must start the regular season on a positive note, winning Opening Day and at least seven of their first ten games. This will build confidence and character, and reinforce the fundamentals needed to win.
This year, I want to see a tougher Willie Randolph. No more excuses, no more accepting mediocrity. I know it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. But let’s face it – for the Mets and Mets fans alike, it is whether you win or lose. We can accept losing a game, but not a season.