Mets vice president of player development Paul DePodesta told Marc Carig of Newsday that there’s a good vibe around the Mets as spring training approaches on the heels of a disappointing 74-88 season in 2013,
“Going into this year, absolutely, there’s a lot more, I don’t even know what you call it,” said DePodesta. “It’s not swagger yet, because we haven’t earned that. But there’s certainly a lot more optimism.”
If you listened to some of the comments made by Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Dillon Gee and Eric Young Jr. in the last few days, they all had that same feeling that this Spring was going to be more exciting than previous camps. When each were asked what was so different, it was no coincidence they all mentioned the additions of Colon and Grandy.
That’s what’s been missing these last 4-5 Spring Trainings, the excitement that comes with those new big faces in camp. Spending on big talent isn’t just for the fans, it also has a big psychological impact on the players.
The Mets will need to do more, but this has been a positive first step in the right direction. Will the Mets continue to invest in the team in the future? That’s the big question. Most Met fans I know are fed up with half measures. And the comments made on Thursday by Sandy Alderson rubbed many the wrong way.
Alderson expects the team’s payroll to increase in future seasons, but only if the fans show up at the gate and attendance thrives at Citi Field. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
Winning cures a great many sins in baseball. This much is true. But I’m wondering what happens when the Mets are one big piece away from a real shot at the brass ring and then they decide to pass on the perfect free agent because attendance didn’t warrant the expenditure?
With regard to the Mets’ $87 million offseason tab, even DePo acknowledges the importance of it and what it means to the team and the fan base. “That’s a significant step forward for us.”
Spending doesn’t always equate with winning, but it sure does help and the last 25 years of post season data proves it. Just because the team did a lousy job of targeting and signing the right players, you don’t just give up. You don’t just throw your hands up in the air and wait 20 years for your farm to produce one post season appearance like the Pirates, Last I checked, this was still the Empire State.
“Ultimately, our job as an organization is to win at the big-league level,” he said. “And that’s where these successes need to manifest themselves. But there’s a road that you have to take to get there. I think we are passing significant markers in that road. That’s exciting.”
I agree with him. I’ve been saying it for over a year now that this franchise has turned a corner. But we can’t stop there. We need to start building some momentum.
What happens at the next trade deadline if we are at .500?
More selling, or do we finally start buying?
It’s been so long since Sandy has been a buyer I often wonder if he even remembers how it’s done.
“There’s a lot more belief now than there has been,” DePo said.
Yep, and let’s see how this front office believes in this team if they play good baseball through July and need some help to grab one of those two wild card spots..
I guess we’ll all know then just how committed to winning they really are.