Thursday, April 1, 2010

Time to Fight Back

According to everyone at ESPN (except for Bobby Valentine), the Mets are going to finish in 4th place this season. According to Bill Madden in the Daily News, the Mets are going to win 77 games. And according to Sports Illustrated, the publication that picked the 2009 Mets to win the World Series, the 2010 Mets will win 79 games and finish in 4th place. Once the pessimism started, after nearly every Met got hurt last year, it ran rampant and it's now become fashionable for every writer on the face of the Earth to doubt/make fun of/unfairly attack the New York Mets.

Negativity sells, so it's no shock that today's New York Post headline screamed "What a Mess," in response to the fact that Jose Reyes would be missing 4 games before returning on April 10th. The sad thing, is that there are people who don't follow the Mets as religiously as some others, who pick up the newspaper and actually believe the stuff they're printing.

When their core was healthy, from 2005 through 2008, the Mets averaged 90 wins per year. Last year, nearly every important member of the team was lost to a significant injury for a significant period of time. If the Yankees lost Derek Jeter, Mark Teixiera, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes and 10 others (like the Mets lost Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, David Wright, Johan Santana, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Jon Niese, JJ Putz and 10 others), they wouldn't have done a damn thing last year. That didn't happen to the Yankees, though, it happened to the Mets. And since it did, the Mets (who averaged 90 wins the previous 4 seasons) have become a punchline for no good reason. That ends now.

Spring Training stats shouldn't matter. To writers and talking heads though, they do (but only ones that can be spun into negatives). The Mets' starting pitchers this spring have high ERA's, so according to the writers and talking heads, the pitching will be a mess this season. The Mets are leading the Grapefruit League in HR's this spring, but no one knows that. Why? Because it isn't negative. A few weeks ago, writers were screaming that Jose Reyes would be out until June. Now, the Mets are being extra cautious with him (with good reason), meaning he should return April 10th. Still, the writers find a way to bash the Mets for the 4 games Reyes will miss. It's a joke...enough to make you shake your head so much it'll eventually lead to chronic neck pain.

Here's what the Mets need to do: Starting April 5th, prove to everyone that the team that averaged 90 wins from 2005 through 2008 wasn't a 4 year abberation. 2009 (and the absurd amount of injuries that led to 92 losses) was the aberration.

Take the field a little after 1PM on Monday the 5th, and take it with pride and a touch of anger.

Take the field and have respect for it, and the fans that fill it day after day, night after night.

Take the field, and if an opposing pitcher throws at David Wright, throw at that team's best player and beat the hell out of their entire team if it comes to it.

Take the field and feed off of us. Feel the energy when we chant, when we rise as one, when we scream for a strikeout.

This offseason has been nearly unbearable. All we've heard is that the Mets have question marks, while the other teams have potential. The Mets didn't sign enough players, but the other teams were fiscally responsible. The Mets, with one of the best cores in all of baseball, are a joke and have no shot.

It's been all words until today. Now, the Mets attempt to fight back with their actions.

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