Featured Post: “Ya Gotta Believe” Are More Than Just Words

Ya Gotta Believe!  ~  Tug McGraw
Ya Gotta Believe! ~ Tug McGraw

About a week ago, I posted an opinion piece about having hope in the spring. Why? Because there is no reason to be negative and already count your team out just days before or after pitchers and catchers report.

I got a lot of feedback on the post — both good and bad.

As I sit here on Feb. 16 to write a follow-up post, I watch college basketball with my New York Mets hat on with the door wide open in my family room because it’s nice and cool outside here in Florida.

And as we get closer to yet another season, I can’t help but think to myself, “What if?”

What if the Mets surprise people and can grab a Wild Card? What if they stay healthy, play technically sound baseball, and make a run at the division title? Once they get into the playoffs, what if everything clicks and it goes further?

All of those are what ifs, which, essentially, mean nothing. But they are reasons to hope that the losing is over. They are reasons to hope that this team is turning the corner — or, better, turned the corner.

Every year, the beat writers — who, undoubtedly, have the most access to the team/organization — predict wins/losses. Yet again, it appears as if most of them don’t think this year’s Mets team will be much of a contender.

You know what? That’s fine. I’ve always been the kind of person who roots for teams who are underdogs. (I’m a lifelong Jaguars fan, after all.)

On paper, it might not look like the Mets have the most daunting starting rotation or lineup.

Or do they?

On the hill, Matt Harvey can win 15 games this season. So can Jon Niese. And, if healthy, Johan Santana, too. We don’t know what we’re going to get with Marcum or Gee this season, but I’d bet they are consistent.

The bullpen is basically brand new. And can it be any worse than last year? Yes, but not likely.

Ike Davis could hit 30 home runs and more than 90 RBIs. He has the potential to be the best first baseman in the National League, and I expect him to perform. Daniel Murphy knows he is the second baseman, and how many times last season did you say, “Woah, Murph, what a play.” By the way, he should hit over .300

Ruben Tejada is so smooth at shortstop, and I expect to him to consistently get better ash e matures and gets older.

David Wright is at third. Nothing more needs to be said. I think he’ll be even better this year, because he knows how much time he has to win. And this is his team.

In the outfield, Lucas Duda has great power potential, which we all know. I think he finds consistency to go with that power.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Collin Cowgill, Mike Baxter are scrappy players. And I think Marlon Byrd will be a huge surprise, because, well, why not?

Oh, and don’t forget, no matter who is behind the plate — John Buck or Travis d’Arnaud — the offensive performance behind home plate won’t even be comparable to last season. They’ll play strong defense, too.

Yes, they are weaknesses to the New York Mets. There are for every team. And I know this is making it sound like they are going to win the World Series, but that’s not what I’m trying to convey. I’m trying to point out the positives this team possesses, not just the negatives, which seems to happen so often.

What do you think, though? What’s your feeling on this year’s team? If you’re just going to say they are going to be awful, don’t even both commenting.

I’ve told you why I think the Mets have a reason to believe in 2013, what are your reasons? I know you have some.

I’ve always been a person of gut feeling, and I don’t know why, but I have had a gut feeling since December that the Mets are turning things around. I have a feeling that 2013 is going to memorable — for many reasons.

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