So, just like every recent spring, the Mets are not picked to do anything in 2013. In most cases, they are not even mentioned as being a team in the National League East, which to me is quite insulting. The so-called “experts” don’t pick the Mets to finish above .500 yet alone being mentioned for even a Wild Card spot.
Why not the Wild Card? Why not even the Division?
Yes, most people would say to me at this point ” Ok Clare, are you crazy?”. And maybe I am. But I have faith in our team and have had that faith since 1968. I saw that team in 1969 who no one picked to do anything shock the world and win it all. It had a lot of no-names at the time – Al Weis, Cal Koonce, J.C. Martin and Bobby Pfeil to name a few. It also had some good solid players who went on the great noteriety – Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Tug McGraw, Tommie Agee and my first favorite Met, Cleon Jones. We had Gil Hodges as our manager and he was the right man for the job. He led with a quiet demeanor but the players all knew he meant business.
No one believed in that team either.
I saw the 1986 Mets – picked by many to win and for the most part, had a great regular season and playoffs. But, in the World Series, they met their match in the Boston Red Sox. I’ll never forget Game Six and the feelings I had. Here we were, one strike away from losing to the Red Sox and ending the Curse of the Bambino. We would always have to carry that around and in New York, that would have been almost impossible, especially since our cross town rival Yankees would never let us live that down. But, what did the Mets do? They rallied under incredible odds to not only win that game, but win the whole thing. When Mookie’s grounder went by Buckner, it was a feeling that I have never had up to then or since.Pure elation!
No one believed in that team either.
Here we are getting ready to start the 2013 season and no one is picking us to do anything. We have a mix of young talent, proven players and veterans from other clubs. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? But, you can’t look at the roster on paper and assume that the Mets have no shot at even a Wild Card. Every team has a shot; all teams are filled with major league talent. Who’s to say that Matt Harvey and Johan Santana won’t have good solid years? Can David Wright continue to be the franchise player? How about d’Arnaud – is he the real deal? I know our outfield is a little shaky, but why can’t Nieuwenhuis and Duda play well out there? Will Cowgill and Baxter get a chance? Who knows!
But, even with all the questions, we still have a team that will be worth rooting for. Maybe we will have a rebuilding year and all the critics will be correct. But, just maybe, things will all gel together this year. We could be the team no one sees coming. We could be the team that puts it all together and just plays hard and doesn’t have all the pressure that the other “contenders” have. And even if we don’t make the playoffs, it will never deter me from being a Mets fan.
My daughter, who is a Mets fan too, told me once ” Mom, when you are a Mets fan, you are true to the team. No one can stick with a team like this unless they are really a fan!”. She wears her orange and blue all the time, even though we live in Phillies country. That is what a Mets fan does – tells everyone that we are proud of our team and follow each game right down to the last one.
So, enjoy the 2013 campaign everyone. Let’s see if our Mets can prove everyone wrong and let’s shoot for the playoffs. It would make for one magical year – us hosting the All Star Game and playoff games in the same year. And don’t get discouraged if our year turns out badly. Our future is bright with our young guns and we will be financially able to add more pieces of the puzzle in 2014.
Come out and cheer for our team – let’s show everyone that being a Mets fan is about loyalty and faith. Let’s Go Mets in 2013!!