It’s Not As Bad As Some Would Have You Believe

Loyal, stupid and in denial are the three words that most accurately describes me when talking about the 2010 Mets. Firstly, I’ve been a Met fan for over 35 years. In that time I’ve been treated to one World Championship. If that’s not loyalty, I don’t know what is. Even as we watched the stars get injured one by one last season, I still watched about 140 games last year.

Stupidity and in denial go hand in hand. I must be stupid, because I’m just understanding the gloom and drama that Met fans are bringing to the 2010 season. Sure last year was a disaster, but that doesn’t mean this year will be bad too. Lets just talk about the gloom, doom and drama surrounding the injuries.

In February we were all shocked and stunned that Carlos Beltran had surgery on his injured leg. Even worse he did it without the Mets knowledge according to the team. The talk in February from some Met fans and baseball experts went like this: “Beltran is done. He’ll be lucky if he can ever play centerfield again after this surgery.” Or “Beltran’s playing days as a Met are over. Who wants an outfielder over 30 years old, just coming off surgery?”.

Carlos Beltran is one of the most underrated players in the game. The Mets are a better team with him, than without him. That said, Beltran’s recovery is on target. He’s been in Florida all spring and is getting into shape. He’s due to be back sometime in May. Maybe I’m stupid and in denial, but both Angel Pagan, and Gary Matthews Jr. have had solid springs. The Mets should be okay in centerfield until Beltran gets back.

Next on the injury list was Jose Reyes. I wouldn’t even call the Reyes situation an injury. It was more like a health condition. Again we were treated to high drama, and hints of steroid usage.

I read an article by John Harper in the NY Daily News, that strongly alluded to Reyes using steroids. There was no proof of this, and within a relatively short time Reyes was back with the team, getting in shape for the season. The drama didn’t stop there. Now there are stories that “unnamed sources” on the Mets believe the organization is “babying Reyes”. Unnamed sources, does that mean the guy directing cars in the parking lot?

Reyes should be back by the end of the Nationals series next Sunday, or during the road trip to Colorado and St. Louis. In the meantime Alex Cora and Ruben Tejada should be just fine. Cora has proven to be a reliable back up, and Tejada has hit like mad all spring.

Then Daniel Murphy got injured. All winter long I heard many Met fans and experts saying that they wanted to see anyone other than Daniel Murphy play first base. Some fans even wanted the 36-year old Carlos Delgado, just off hip surgery to come back and play first. Now that Murphy gets injured, the same fans who didn’t want him to play in the first place, are the ones jumping up and down and whining the loudest.

Jerry Manuel announced that Mike Jacobs and Fernando Tatis will platoon at first until Murphy gets back. Jacobs didn’t have a great year last season while stuck in baseball purgatory, also known as Kansas City. Tatis, like Alex Cora is a decent back-up guy, and can hit the ball with some pop. Until Murphy returns, I think the Mets will be fine with this platoon.

The Mets, this early in the season are in a good spot to replace Beltran, Reyes and Murphy. I’m just not getting the constant negativity the fans and the media put on this team. But then again maybe I’m just stupid and in denial.