With the spike in popularity of blogs over the last few years, it should be easy for most serious Mets fans to ignore the uninformed spittle that drips from the mouth's (or fingertips) of a majority of the so called "experts" in our midst. Whether the negativity is planted in our daily papers, voiced on SNY, or tweeted (two of the most obnoxious offenders are Dave Lennon and Steve Popper), the presence of it makes something clear: The majority of the level-headed (and most informed) commentary comes from our own - fellow fans. However, when blind negativity is voiced by one of our own - and is given play on Metsblog, it's especially grating.
Let’s see… Johan Santana may be out for the year, Carlos Beltran is one slide away form blowing out both knees, Jose Reyes is one hard run from blowing out a
hammy, and Krod is one fight away from prison. We have a rookie catcher, two pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery, Mike Pelfrey’s Psychiatrist passed
away so the yips may be back, the franchise 3rd baseman has yet to step up and be a leader, an ongoing hole at 2nd base and the team can’t/won’t be spending any money anytime soon. Did I miss something?
As seen above, anyone can find negative spin if they're searching for it. However, the foolishness displayed above is absurd. The writer argues that Jose Reyes is "one hard run from blowing out a hammy." Who isn't? He intimates that Francisco Rodriguez may go to jail if he assaults someone. Who wouldn't? He makes a baseless accusation about David Wright, somehow turns Luis Castillo being released (and second base being taken over by someone with actual upside) into a negative, and asserts what the financial situation will be as if he's Sandy Alderson. In the rest of the piece, the writer attempts to speak of the Madoff situation as if he's an authority on the subject - and can tell the future. He isn't, and he can't.
Anyway, the point here isn't that David Daniels from Metsreport.com is ridiculously negative about the 2011 campaign. The point is that his claim - that the Mets have no shot at making the Playoffs - seems to be the belief of far too many (both media and fans). Why is that? It certainly can't be the projected 25 man roster. Even those who rarely allow an optimistic thought to cross their mind have to allow for the possibility that a team that won 79 games last year could scrape some more wins together and have a win total in the mid or high 80's. And if that happened, they'd be contenders.
While I'm confident that my evaluation of the team is level-headed, and most die-hard fans have the ability to ignore the sky-is-falling mentality, it's clear that the coverage of the team is negatively affecting a large portion of the fanbase. Negativity sells. It's what draws listeners to Mike Francesa's show. It's shocking to me that a team that averaged 90 wins per year from 2005-2008 (before succumbing to injuries in 2009 and having a sub-par year in 2010), is now being treated as if it's the Pittsburgh Pirates or Kansas City Royals. And it's worrisome that one of the main things that can help bring financial stability to the franchise - the potential of fans in the seats - is being sabotaged before the season begins.
Allow me to re-write the paragraph from David Daniels from the point of view of a realist. Not an optimist, but a realist:
Let’s see… Johan Santana is out until late June at the earliest. His rehab is moving along, though. If Santana comes back this season, it'd be great. If not, one could argue that the added offense, more stable bullpen, and a Manager who actually knows how to Manage may offset the absence of Santana. Carlos Beltran's knees are still giving him trouble, and he's unlikely to ever be the MVP caliber player he was in 2006. Fortunately,Sandy Alderson has prepared for the likelihood that Beltran will miss time in 2011 by filling in the roster appropriately. Jose Reyes, like every other human being on Earth, is one hard run from blowing a hammy. Let's hope he doesn't. K-Rod is one fight away from prison, as are most people who are forced to obey laws. We have a rookie catcher with tons of promise who has focused on improving his defense, two pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery who aren't being counted on to anchor the rotation and who have adequate replacements waiting in the minors should they re-injure themselves. Mike Pelfrey’s Psychiatrist passed away, which is terrible. Prayers go out to the man's family. The franchise's 3rd baseman has been a leader by example, an ongoing hole at 2nd base was filled when the team cut Luis Castillo and replaced him with someone who actually has upside,and Sandy Alderson noted today that the money to add a piece at the deadline would be there should the Mets be in contention. Did I miss something?
How easy was that? And that's just being realistic.
I'm not asking the Media and the fans who take them at face value to make everything sound optimistic. And I'm not asking them to stop printing pieces that are designed to catch eyeballs. What I'm asking is for them to once in a while, simply cover the team. Report the facts. One of the Mets' beat guys does this, the rest not so much. It's turned into a vicious cycle. The media spews negativity, often reporting things incorrectly. The fans react to it by venting on SNY and WFAN and Twitter. And by blogging about it. The writers then cite the venting they themselves caused as one of the reasons the team is in so called "disarray."
The team isn't in disarray. The season hasn't even started.
Until the media considers fair coverage, the Mets will simply have to be the Jake Taylor to their Rachel Phelps.
Get at it, boys.