Joe D, I loved your article. As you say:
Sometimes, all it takes is just one guy to reinvigorate a clubhouse and get them motivated and excited and focused on the big picture which is winning baseball games.
The change in the clubhouse started when Jeff Francoeur arrived, and it’s taken longer than I expected for everyone to start coming around, but ultimately they have and that’s what is most important.
The arrival of Ike Davis was the finishing touch on what is now a rejuvenated clubhouse that once again believes in themselves and are determined to elevate their level of play.
I know that there are still many of who continue to rein in your optimism. But believe me when I tell you that this bullpen is as good as, if not better, than the one we had in 2006 when we came sooooo close to the World Series. The depth which was sorely lacking last season is suddenly very good and probably the best in the NL East. Imagine when Murphy and Beltran do return and the bench all of a sudden becomes the best in the league? Pelfrey’s improvement is not a fluke, it’s just a year late, but it’s for real. The world did not fall apart with Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur manning the corner outfield spots as some speculated. Citi Field is no longer the albatross so many believed it to be. The Mets can win in Citi Field and DO have a homefield advantage. Everyone who wondered if Jose Reyes would be the same upon his return, have seen the evidence with their own eyes. Reyes is back.
These things I just ran off are just a few of the reasons that lead me to believe these Mets are not a fluke. These Mets are completely legit.
I’m sorry but I’m not ready to sign on to your prematurely heightened expectations for the 2010 season. Here’s why.
Starting Pitching: If Mike Pelfrey keeps going at even close to the same pace as he has in April, I will not only eat my hat but also make a large contribution to MMO. There are still so many unanswered questions about Jon Niese, John Maine, and Ollie Perez. I’ll be better able to evaluate Niese after tonight’s start against the Phillies. (Note I am writing this at 6:10 PM an hour before game time.) John (I threw 97%, 87 MPH fastballs and the Dodgers still couldn’t hit me) Maine has proven nothing. Oliver Perez has proven nothing other than he probably won’t be as bad as last year. As backups for the rotation we have Dillon (not ready for prime time) Gee, and R.A. (what’s R.A. stand for anyway) Dickey.
Relief Pitching: A great bullpen in April does not translate into a great bullpen at the all-star break. Let’s see whose arm hasn’t fallen off by mid July. In any event, relief pitchers go hot and cold. The entire relief staff happens to all be hot at the same time.
Offense: Jose Reyes has been awful. And he is doubly awful as a #3 hitter. Let’s see David Wright hit consistently with some power. And let’s see Jeff Francoeur continue being patient for another month. And Ike Davis? Is he the second coming of Jayson Heyward who is now batting .239 and with one RBI in his last 8 games.
The Mets deserve the credit for going 9-1 on this homestand. But the timing was right for their success. They played three teams; the Cubs, Braves, and Dodgers who came into Citifield playing horribly and left Citifield playing even worse. Errors and bonehead mistakes alone caused these teams to lose at least two games.
Sorry for the downer. I think I’m being realistic.
Are there reasons to be excited?? Absolutely YES!!
And remember – you’re never as good as you think when on a winning streak and you’re never as bad as you think when you’re on a losing streak.