If you were to glance at the National League standings this Labor Day weekend, your first thought might have been “why am I a Mets fan?’ But if you looked closely, and have still been following the team, the answer is quite apparent. The Mets, a team that most saw as the worst in league, is sitting in third place in one of baseball’s toughest divisions.
The Mets are also very close to finishing the 2010 campaign at or better than .500. Big deal, you may say, but consider this - of the 16 teams in the National League, as of Labor Day only six are at .500 or better! Strange as it may sound if the Mets finish at .500 or better they would have finished in the top half of the division. Then, come 2012, anything goes.
1) Santana, Davis, Wright, Young, Reyes, Murphy: Not even scratching the surface of Mets who missed significant time due to injury. You have to think, at least half these guys will be healthy and have a major impact on the 2012 Mets (oh yes, Reyes will be back). On the pitching side alone, a rotation featuring Santana & Young should guarantee the Mets at least six additional wins. David Wright for 150 games and Davis for 150 games should give the Mets six more wins. It puts the Mets on target for 93 wins!
2) Never Say Die Mets: Under Terry Collins, the 2011 Mets have become the Never Say Die Mets. This is no longer a team that you see mail it in every night, the way they did under both Willie & Jerry. This is a team that honestly believes they have a chance to win each and every night. 2011 was a chance for the Mets to mesh and grow as a team, in 2012 the expectations will be much higher, and so long as Terry can have these guys believing in themselves, the Mets will be fine.
3) Give Sandy A Chance: GM Sandy Alderson had a mess to clean up in 2011. The offseason should prove to be very interesting as Sandy adds pieces to the team. Tops on the list needs to be a closer. If Sandy can add a few more small pieces, in 2012 the post season is possible.
1) A Very Tough NL East: In the introduction I mentioned the Mets are playing in one baseball’s toughest divisions. Over the the few years the Phillies have been great. The Braves are a perennial powerhouse. But in 2012, expect Washington to be better, as there young pitchers mature, and expect Florida to be in the mix, after they re-brand themselves as the Miami Marlins. Unlike the AL East, the National League could have five legitimate contenders next season.
2) The Ownership Mess: I’ve given up following this saga of the Wilpons and Bernie Madoff. I have a real tough time getting my brain around the dollars they are fighting over. For now, I’m going to assume the Wilpons aren’t going anywhere, and the Mets will succeed in spite of them.
3) Disgruntled Fans: Met fans, we need to stay the course. I know if you’re reading this entry, you haven’t jumped ship. Tell your friends, family and anyone else who will listen, good things are on the horizon at Citi Field!