With the onset of actual baseball games being played in Florida and Arizona this week, we can all enjoy a sigh of relief that spring training has finally arrived. To those of us in the northeast, there’s a major streak of envy at the comparably better weather both Arizona and Florida are having right now. Just a few days ago I was digging my car, yet again, out of 18 inches of snow. Where’s Al Gore when you need him?
The New York Mets are coming off a disappointing, injury riddled season. Every Met fan, every baseball fan is well aware of it. The follies and poor play of 2009 seem to have done as much if not more damage to the Mets fans psyche than even seeing the Yankee’s win the 2009 World Series. Such is life. Get over it. Take a pill. Whatever it takes just let it go. I have an edict for Mets fans this year and if they adhere to it I promise no matter the outcome you’ll be thanking me by seasons end.
Stop comparing the Mets to the Yankees. Yes we aren’t the well oiled machine that the Yanks are…now. That wasn’t always the case friends. If you’re old enough to remember the Yankee’s of the 1970’s then you’d agree. How did they fix that? It starts at the top basically when George Steinbrenner finally stopped his daily meddling. Then gradually over the years he hired brilliant minds, many of whom went unknown and under the radar, to do the everyday grind work that has truly cemented them into the dynasty they are today. Add a lot of luck and great scouting and the fact that George Steinbrenner puts his money into each and every level of his team and you have a recipe for success. The Yankees had many lean years before the Jeter’s and the Pettitte’s arrived. It takes time and patience and of course the right leadership.
So with that said what about the Mets? The Mets can do the very same. They are in the biggest market in the world regardless what effect the Madoff scandal had. Now does this long term plan include the likes of an Omar Minaya or a Jeff Wilpon? Some would hope not. I’m giving this crew one last go of it. In the meantime the team needs to focus on scouting and developing. If any money was saved from not signing every free agent this winter, like so many Met fans foolishly wanted, it should go there first. The ownership of the Wilson’s, Fred and son Jeff, need to step back for a moment and decide if this team of theirs is just a token of their accumulated family wealth or in my opinion, a symbol of the greatest city in the world no different than the Empire State building, the Garden, or dare I say, the Yankees. Until the moment they treat this jewel that is in their care, for now, the way it should be treated things won’t change. We will always be that OTHER New York team.
This is my second post for Metsmerized and I want to thank Joe for bringing me into the fold. I also want to thank him for letting me give my overall take on the Mets and the upcoming year. I’ll be with you all on Mondays giving you more precise takes on what I think will be a very interesting year for the Metropolitans. To quote Casey Stengel, “ Finding good players is easy, getting them to play together is something else”. We shall see won’t we.