Well, it's spring training time again! Hope springs eternal and everyone thinks that their team has a shot at winning the World Series. And then there are the Mets fans.
I have been a fan since 1968 so as the Mets celebrate their 50th year, I am celebrating my 44th. I have seen it all over the four plus decades that I have followed this team. Yet, every spring, I am optimistic that the season will be a good one.
Now, how about this season?
I would say that I am a realist. I know that we are in a rebuilding mode this year and maybe next as well. I know that there will be many long games that we will suffer through. I also know that there are things to look forward to. Seeing Johan Santana pitch well yesterday was a positive sign. Let's hope that he can continue his comeback and that we will see him often in 2012.
I am also optimistic that in moving the fences in at Citi Field, David Wright and Jason Bay can have big comeback seasons. They both have a lot to prove, especially Wright who is in the last year of his contract. Since David is my favorite player, I would hate to see the Mets in a situation where they felt they had to trade David at the deadline. Let's hope the Mets are playing well enough that this is not even discussed.
Yes, we lost Jose Reyes - a big blow. But I am looking forward to seeing how Ruben Tejada answers the challenge. He has a lot of tools but is also young and needs the playing time. I also hope that Daniel Murphy finally gets a year without injuries. He deserves it because he works hard and has been knocked down and out for the past few years.
There are many questions about this team. Can Josh Thole become that number one catcher that we wish for? How will the rest of our starting pitchers fare this year? Can R.A. Dickey have another good year? Will Mike Pelfrey have a comeback season after a disappointing 2011 campaign? Can Jon Niese build on a solid 2011 and continue to improve? How about the bullpen with our new additions?
Questions abound with this team. And the off the field Wilpon-Madoff saga doesn't help. No one is picking the Mets to do anything this year. How do I feel about that? Well, anything that the Mets accomplish this year is more than anyone will expect. So, all we can do is go up! Let the so-called experts pick the Mets to do nothing. That's fine with me. How did that work for the nay-sayers who didn't pick the New York Giants to do anything either?
I have been through many rebuilding years and it's not all bad. You get a chance to see the young players and what the future could hold for this team. More than ever, we need to show our orange and blue pride and root for our Mets. I will be there again, watching every game and getting to the ones I can.
Let's Go Mets in 2012 - enjoy the season, everyone!