It’s hard to believe that Spring training is finally here when I look out the window and still see piles of snow everywhere, but sure enough, today is the day.
I wasn’t very thrilled with our offseason, in fact I thought it was a lot like a stroll through the aisles of Dollar Tree; picking up a few cheap deals here and a couple of closeouts there. Nothing really to get all that excited about, and certainly not the same sensations we felt when we salivated over seeing Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran, and even K-Rod in a Met uniform for the very first time.
I don’t think the kids will be flocking to Digital Domain Park this Spring to get their fresh new Rawlings Baseballs signed by Boof Bonser or Taylor Tankersley. In fact, most kids would probably freak out if someone like Willie Harris autographed their ball and say something like, “Dude! What the hell did you do?? I paid $20 bucks for that baseball and now it’s ruined!” Ahh, but such is life in this new era of Mets baseball.
For six straight seasons we showed up to the Spring Festival with the “Belle of the Ball”, and now we’re mixing it up with a the “Wall-Flowers” nobody that nobody else wanted to dance with.
Some of the clichés we”ve heard this offseason are already wearing very thin on me, especially this one, which has been said or heard for every pitcher we signed thus far:
“Great move by Sandy Alderson. I think <Insert Pitchers Name> is a perfect fit for Citi Field and his numbers will certainly get a boost.”
Can somebody please answer me this question…
Is there any pitcher alive or dead whose numbers would have been hurt by pitching in Citi Field?
Can we please stop using this same line over and over and over again to make an otherwise mediocre or poor pitcher look better than he really is? Come on guys… Enough already…
I remember all the comments in the last few years made right here on this site that said Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay were going to get hammered in Citizens Bank Park, and that they were finished. Yeah, right…
Try to remember these words…
A great pitcher is still a great pitcher no matter what park he pitches in. Conversely, a poor pitcher is STILL a poor pitcher no matter what park he pitches in. I mean for crying out loud, shouldn’t you know this already?
We signed about a dozen arms this offseason, none of them great, all of them risky, and those are the facts. No need to make anything more or less of it. Pedro Feliciano and Hisanori Takahashi are gone. Johan Santana’s return will be no earlier than July. Those are some more facts. Hopefully, some good pitching will emerge from this slew of new faces, because as we know, this is baseball and anything can and always does happen.
On offense, not much has changed. We go into next season with basically the same lineup we ended the 2010 season with. There’s still plenty of questions.
Will Josh Thole be able to withstand the rigors of being an everyday catcher, and will he make adjustments to his approach at the plate now that the book is out on him?
Can Jason Bay, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran all bounce back this season and spend more time on the field than in the trainers room?
Whomever wins the second base job, will he have better range defensively? Will he add anything to the offense?
Will Ike Davis keep chasing pitches out of the strike zone as more and more pitchers will stop feeding him fastballs and start throwing him down and in or high and outside?
The only significant changes made this offseason were to the bench, as Willie Harris and Scott Hairston will fill the reserve outfield spots, Ronny Paulino takes over as backup catcher, and Chin-leng Hu is locked in as the middle infielder. Only room for one more remains, and that will be decided at the end of spring training.
For the last few years, we’ve headed into Spring Training with high expectations and ended each season with our hopes dashed and our pride crumbling.
This year we go into St. Lucie with the lowest expectations since the Steve Phillips and Dan Duquette years. Maybe the outcome will surprise us all. One thing is certain though, you can be sure that there will never be a dull moment.
Lets Go Mets… No, seriously, I’m not kidding… Lets Go Mets!