The other day we discussed the six concerns the Mets have going into 2012. Just to prove to you that I’m not always, 100% pessimistic — and to satisfy the request of MetsToday reader “Steven” — today we’ll look at bright spots.
Memories of one-hit wonders such as Phil Plantier, Shane Spencer, Mike Jacobs, Mike Vail, and Kevin Maas (crazy fact: Jamie Moyer is two years older than Maas) keep me from getting my hopes up about Lucas Duda. But this spring the big kid from Southern Cal picked right up right where he left off at the end of 2011, and seems poised to assume the role of run-producing slugger in the middle of the Mets lineup. It’s going to be fun to watch him grow this year.
There wasn’t a question about Ike’s talent this spring — only his health. It appears as though his season-ending injury is far behind him, and he shook off Valley Fever as well. The Davis and Duda Show may be Flushing’s headliner in 2012.
When R.A. burst on the scene in 2010, it seemed about as real as a Disney movie. But he backed it up — and then some — with a solid 2011, and there is no reason to believe he won’t do the same again in ’12 and beyond. Dickey is a pleasure to watch on the mound, is a great interview, and is easy to root for.
In his first year calling Citi Field home, David Wright changed his approach and his swing to be more of a contact hitter, and the short stroke resulted in a .307 average and .390 OBP but only 10 homeruns. The next year, he completely overhauled his approach and swing again, this time swinging for the far-out fences. He hit 29 homers, but his average dropped below .300 for the first time in his career and his strikeouts skyrocketed. Last year, I believe he finally “figured it out” and was merging the two approaches into one that would have returned him to his elite status — except, he physically couldn’t pull it off due to injury. Further, I believe Wright is disgusted with the way his 2011 played out and is motivated to be a beast — on both sides of the ball — in 2012. We shall see, and if I’m right, it will be fun to watch.
Cheap Seats and Short Lines at the Shake Shack
I think the Mets are going to have a hard time selling tickets this year. I also think people who have purchased season tickets are going to have a hard time dumping them. Which means the secondary market — i.e., StubHub — will likely offer regular bargains. There’s every reason to believe you’ll be able to get decent seats to watch a Major League game at Citi Field for $10 or less, and then have the opportunity to check out all of those great food stands that previously had eternally long lines. Hey, there’s always a silver lining, if you look for it.
Cheap Trick in Concert
Who even knew Cheap Trick was still in existence? The Cheap Trick concert on July 20 could prove to be a turning point in the team’s season, depending on what the Mets’ won-lost record is at that time and who is on the trading block. Maybe the Mets will still be in the race, and be looking to add a few final pieces to the puzzle. Or maybe “Cheap Trick” will turn out to symbolize an ill-timed joke.
What potential bright spots do you envision as we begin the 2012 season? Post them in the comments.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.