New Years Mets Rant
New Year’s is supposed to be a time of optimism. We write resolutions in the hopes of making ourselves better people(or at least, more accepting of ourselves). The dropping of the ball, the fireworks, and the ushering in of a new digit at the end of the vintage are supposed to be signs of better things to come.
Why don’t I feel that way as a Mets fan?
Oh sure, the organization cleaned out the old management and brought in a fantasy team of front office folks. At some point in the far future, that decision may or may not lead to success on the field. But for now, for 2011, success is hardly within reach.
After collapsing from an almost-certain playoff spot in the final weeks of two consecutive seasons, the Mets gave us two consecutive, miserable, unbearable losing seasons. To add injury to insult, we watched Johan Santana go under the knife on his pitching shoulder, cutting out any chance of seeing the ace pitcher start on Opening Day 2011.
Meantime, the Phillies assembled The Greatest Rotation In History by signing Cliff Lee, the Braves acquired Dan Uggla, and the lowly Nationals asserted themselves as a serious team by giving Jayson Werth an irresponsible 7-year contract.
And what did the Mets do? They signed D.J. Carrasco, Ronny Paulino, and Boof Bonser, and traded for Chin-lung Hu (whoever that is).
To top it all off, new GM Sandy Alderson announced that although there would be $60M coming off the books after what is sure to be another dreadful season in 2011, the Mets would not necessarily reinvest all of that into 2012. Further, when asked if there would be an extension offered to Jose Reyes, the answer was “we’ll see” — which in turn, means that 2011 is Reyes’ final season as a Met.
This news is supposed to please me, by the way. I’m supposed to be pleased that the Mets are saying goodbye to one of the few players who could provide a genuine reason for me to watch the team play as they drudge through what is looking to be several dark years of “rebuilding”.
And, I’m supposed to be pleased that Sandy Alderson is going to find ways to be more thrifty in the spending of Fred Wilpon’s money. As if I care about Fred Wilpon’s money. I’m supposed to be excited about the future of the Mets because random individuals say that Sandy Alderson, J.P. Ricciardi, and Paul DePodesta are smart people. Mind you, I don’t for a minute doubt the intelligence of those three men; I’m sure their IQs are off the charts. But I’m just not ready to take a blind leap of faith in the theory that being smart equals World Championships. Perhaps it’s because I vividly remember when Omar Minaya was hired, and those same random individuals expressed high hopes for the Mets because Minaya was “a great talent evaluator”.
Perhaps I’m a pessimist. Or maybe I need to see things before I begin believing them.
Action — and inaction — speaks louder than words. And thus far, I’m not hearing anything that makes me feel good about the upcoming Mets season.
Except one thing: the fact that there WILL be a season. The most inactive offseason in recent memory has caused cabin fever to set in earlier than usual. Not sure about you, but somehow this winter seems longer and colder than ever. Yes, I know winter is technically only a few weeks old, but for me, winter begins when the baseball season ends — and it felt like the season ended in late July (maybe earlier).
It’s about six weeks before pitchers and catchers report. I’m counting the minutes.