I have been a Mets fan since my birth 41 years ago, and in that time I have seen more than a handful of highs – and more than my share of lows. I have lived through Frank Taveras and Alex Trevino, Bob Bailor and Bruce Bosclair, Rich Rodriguez and Tony Tarasco, and now Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada.
This is why whenever somebody looks at me cross-eyed when they find out that I am indeed a Mets fan I summon the old credo:
“I’m a Mets fan – I hope for the best, but I expect the worst”
That being said I am trying to stay positive this hot stove season because I have to think that ownership understands that they are at a crossroads. Because of the Madoff scandal, this team has seen it’s payroll shrink from its $150 million dollar apex to the $90 million dollar level when this season opened on April 1st.
Both Ownership and General Manager Sandy Alderson are on the record saying they have money to burn and they intend on importing better talent than in previous seasons. I hope against hope that they aren’t paying lip service to the fans, and maybe I will be less skeptical when I see the first “big” acquisition – whether a free agent signing or trade – announced. But right now I will try to check my apathy at the door.
The thing that makes me feel a bit skeptical is that the general feeling out there is that the Mets may only be able ( or willing) to spend upwards of $40 million on new talent which would bring the payroll up to around the same $90 million give or take. Teams can win with that kind of payroll, but this team has a serious lack of talent on the big league level with the exception of a handful of players. With this alleged $40 million you definitely wont be able to afford a Ellsbury – or even a Choo, Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if Marlon Byrd will command – and get a 3-year, $40 million dollar contract coming off the season he just had.
The rumors that are circulating out there and say that the Mets aren’t interested in any of the three available Dodger outfielders makes me just scratch my head. I feel like the Mets have the money and want to buy the Kobe beef, but they may once again settle for the 2 day old chuck roast that has been reduced for a quick sell.
For now, I’m not really jaded – more like confused – and I can only hope that by the time the Mets are set to open Spring Training come February, they will have imported some much needed talent that will be impactful not only in 2014, but for many years to come.
But once again my mind reverts back to that old credo:
I’m a Mets fan – I hope for the best, but expect the worst.
And with that said…..
HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!!!
Mets alumni celebrating birthdays today include:
Outfielder from ’75-’77, Mike Vail is 62 (1951). One has to wonder what might have been if he didn’t shatter his ankle while playing a pickup game of basketball during the ’75 offseason.
Mets general manager from ’04-’10, Omar Minaya is 55 (1958) Although I am not one of Minaya’s biggest fans I am thankful that he was able to get the Mets back into contention within 2 years of his hiring. It is the simple fact that he sacrificed the future by making some ill advised trades and draft selections that have partially put this team in the situation it is currently in.
Utility infielder from the ’92 season, Junior Noboa is 49 (1964).
One of the biggest goats in Mets history, Kenny Rogers is 49 (1964).
Right fielder from the ’06 and ’07 seasons, Shawn Green is 41 (1972). Yes by the time the Mets obtained the “Hebrew Hammer”, Green was on the downside of his career. He still managed to hit a combined .284 with14 homers and 61 ribbies, and he absolutely raked in the ’06 postseason.
Some other notables include:
The New York Mets signed free agent utility outfielder, Carlos Mendoza on November 10, 1992.
The Atlanta Braves signed reserve outfielder, Esix Snead of the New York Mets as a free agent on November 10, 2004. Snead played parts of 2 seasons with the Mets, compiling a .308 batting average with one homerun, 3 rbis and 4 stolen bases in 18 games.
The Mets granted middle reliever, Shingo Takatsu free agency on November 10, 2005.
The New York Mets signed free agent middle reliever, Raul Valdes on November 10, 2006.
The Philadelphia Phillies signed utility infielder, Wilson Valdez of the New York Mets as a free agent on November 10, 2009.
When a Queens donut shop owner discovered that his morning supply of fresh-baked donuts had all been robbed and called the police, the two officers that responded looked at each other and said, “Gotta go to Mo’s.” Thirty minutes later the caper was solved as Mo Vaughn was cuffed and taken into custody – covered in powdered sugar. (Guest Mo Vaughn joke by Joe D.)