Spring Training Isn’t What It Used To Be

Spring Training is upon us, and as pitchers and catchers are getting ready to report to Port St. Lucie, I just don’t feel any excitement so far.  Usually at this time of year I’m looking forward to Spring Training and the upcoming baseball season, but so far I don’t feel any the usual excitement and anticipation stirring inside me.

2009 was just awful to be a fan of the New York Mets.  Injuries and incompetence ran rampant and by July we were out of playoff contention.  For me October 4th, 2009, the last regular season game, could not come fast enough.  The day after the season ended we all know how Fred Wilpon, Omar Minaya (who may or may not be the General Manager) and Dave Howard did a media blitz promising that 2010 would be different.  The mistakes handling injuries would not happen again the 3 Stooges promised us. They also promised that they would spend what was needed in improving the season.

Well, it’s February 9th, 2010, and before the new season even starts the Mets already have already embarrassed themselves and us with the handling of Carlos Beltran’s knee surgery. As usual, the Mets made their one traditional big move by signing Jason Bay, and then filling in the rest of the blanks with a bunch of backup catchers, reclamation projects and overpaying bench players like Alex Cora because he’s a nice guy. It’s the same tired script we’ve seen again and again under the Minaya era.

The truth is I wasn’t expecting the Mets to make good on the promises they made after last season ended. My blinders are off, but I was hoping they would prove me wrong.  I sit here and see how nothing has really changed from the 2009 season and it fills me with despair and hopelessness for 2010. Will the Mets lose 90 games if everyone stays healthy?  Most likely they won’t, but I don’t see them winning over 85 games this year and it’s hard to envision them making the post season.  The way this team is currently operates, just doesn’t seeming like a recipe for success.

The Mets are going into the season with two backup catchers who will log more playing time than they deserve, Daniel Murphy who will keep first base warm until something better comes along, an immovable second baseman that the club doesn’t want but refuse to dump his contract, and their fourth outfielder will most likely be their everyday centerfielder on opening day. The problems with the rotation are well documented.

You can call me negative and say that it’s only February, but we were saying a lot of the same things in early 2009.  The Mets have alienated me, my hopes aren’t high for 2010, but because I love this team I will be watching and going to games, hoping that they prove me wrong.