Let's examine two main points that have been regurgitated during this fan/media freak out and take a few things into consideration:
1. The Mets' offense is putrid: It's true that the Mets are near the bottom of the NL in most of the major offensive categories, but it's also true that they have played the least amount of games -32- in the Majors (every other team has played between 33 and 36). We also need to take into account the fact that aside from the opening 6 game road trip and the recent 6 game swing through Arizona and L.A., the Mets have played all of their games in cold weather cities (including at home in one of the worst pitchers ballparks in baseball). Let's also realize that the Mets have caught nearly every teams' top 2 pitchers so far this season. The Mets were without Moises Alou until recently, Carlos Beltran has done virtually nothing so far, and Jose Reyes has been maddeningly inconsistent. Still, the team is somehow 17-15. If you think that Beltran is a .220 hitter, that Jose Reyes has peaked at 24, and that David Wright will hit .265 this year, maybe you're right to be worried about the offense. Something tells me, though, that those guys will hit.
2. The fans have turned on the team: I've been to 5 games so far this year, and I will admit that I've never seen this much vitriol this early in the season. What's important to note, though, is that most of said vitriol has been coming out of the mouths of casual fans. If you want to take the pulse of the fanbase, go to sites like Nyfuturestars.com or Nyfansonly.com or read what Cerrone and his cronies have to say over at Metsblog. You can't usually take an accurate pulse of this team's fanbase by observing the behavior of casual fans at Shea Stadium. If you see a guy booing at Shea that looks like he belongs in Yankee Stadium corporate seats (hint: he'll be wearing a belt bag circa 1989, sitting with his wife whose skin looks like it's sliding off of her skeleton, and he'll be the guy that remains in his seat instead of standing to cheer when the Mets are scoring) pay him no mind. Since the 2006 season began, I've seen an influx of these types at Shea. They're at the game to pass judgment and have knee-jerk reactions. They boo, turn to who they're with, and then laugh at the scene they're causing. These people aren't die-hards, and they're not speaking for all of us. If you want to see the team's die-hards and get a gist of how they feel, head out to Shea on a Tuesday night against the Nats (where there's a 2 hour rain delay) and observe the fans that are left after that delay. Those are the die-hards. And die-hards don't boo Ace's who are making their first start at Shea, they don't boo relievers before they've thrown a pitch (unless it's Mota or Armando Benitez) and they don't boo Carlos Beltran for grounding out to 2nd base. Idiots do. If you're one of those idiots, stay home.
Let's all take a deep breath. Willie Randolph's lack of knowledge is beyond repair, but the Mets of 2008 can win in spite of him. Give them a chance to heat up with the weather.
Ramon Castro is coming back and he's bringing his mascot sized head with him.