Ah, so much to talk about, where do I begin?
Let’s start with the fans: In regards to whether or not Mets fans are over-reacting and booing the team too much, too soon: Get over it. This is New York and we expect nothing but the best. When Yankee fans explain that they are not sore losers, but rather, they just will not accept mediocrity, we shut up and listen. It works the same way for us. I do feel that maybe we would not have gotten as upset as we have this early in the season had it not been for last year’s disaster finish. But that’s all water under the Whitestone bridge. There have been rumors that suggest that these are the reasons why a lot of players don’t want to play in New York, and those that do, end up playing better on the road than at home. Part of it could be that hitters don’t enjoy hitting at Shea, although I can’t see why. But you’ll see, it will be the same deal at Citi Field. Players need to remember that this is the greatest city in the world and we want the greatest team on the field to represent it and bring a championship home. I said it last year and I’ll say it again – we only get upset because we care. When the team plays well, we’ll let them know it. And when they play bad, we’re gonna let them know that too.
Here is the deal with the Mets, as evidenced in last night’s game: Reyes ignites this team. Maybe the reason he cooled down the end of last year had something to do with Willie telling him to cut the crap with the handshakes and the dancing around. If that’s not who he is and he needs to do that to play well, why take that from him? This year, however, it seems they have come to a happy medium and Reyes can once again do what he does.
Wright just wears out left-handed pitchers. Leading the league in RBIs (actually tied for the lead), he continues to prove why he is the star of this team. Church and Pagan have gotten off to tremendous starts and in comparison to last year, Delgado has gotten of to a decent start this year. Beltran is coming around, although, I am never too worried about him.
Pitching is going to be the difference. Perez and Pelfrey have been right on, and Nelson Figueroa was a pleasant surprise. Santana has not done any harm, despite the fans’ harsh criticisms. No one will pitch brilliantly every single time out there, I don‘t care who you are! His Mets debut at home was a disappointment, but cut him some slack, geeeeeez! Maine will come around and as for Pedro, well, only time will tell. Poor Billy Wagner has gotten absolutely no opportunity to do what he gets paid to do – save games. Similar to last year, either the Mets have a giant lead that would not entitle him to a save, or they are losing and it doesn‘t matter.
My only concern so far has been Schneider, and his inability to catch, well, anything. But as Mets fans heard tonight, it was a pitch sign issue with Heilman that caused so many problems for him, and the situation has hopefully been rectified with the addition of a new sign when calling Heilman’s pitches.
So there you have it – the first two weeks of the season in a nutshell, as I see it. Huge disappointment not seeing Paul LoDuca play in this series with the Nationals. But life goes on. As does the 2008 season – one game at a time.