Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Optimism

Posted by JD on January 31, 2010

Recently, @arivero212 posted the following tweet: An optimist is someone who falls off the Empire State Building and after 50 floors says, “So far, so good.”

It instantly made me think of the Mets’ off-season, which has been tough to stomach at times. The Mets pledged to improve their team and they did land big-name pickup Jason Bay. That’s nice and all, but he’s not the best fit for the team and there’s definitely a vibe around him indicating the Mets might not have been his first choice. We’ll see how it works out but it certainly wasn’t the ticket-selling move the Mets were looking for.

Almost immediately after the Bay signing the Mets had to endure the Carlos Beltran saga. Both sides could have handled it better, but it was the Mets who got egg on their faces by threatening to file a grievance over Beltran’s failure to receive a third opinion prior to undergoing surgery. I understand that they were only “protecting their rights under the contract” and I’m glad someone in the front office is covering all of the bases, but the resulting public relations fallout ruined any good will the Mets might have garnered with the Bay signing. Oh, and they lost their best player for at least the first month of the season. Just a tough week to be a Mets fan.

And it doesn’t get much better from there: they failed to land a front line starting pitcher, shuffled the bullpen a little (we’ll have to see if it’s an improvement), and they’ve signed, re-signed, or traded for a group of largely mediocre bench players (I’m trying to be kind). It might turn out that their best moves were losing out on a group of lackluster starting pitchers (and one fat catcher) who wanted multi-year deals. Sometimes the moves you don’t make work out the best, but they never generate optimism when you’re not making them. Or something.

So here we find ourselves entering February, pinning our hopes on the core’s return to good health and hoping they can carry a largely uninspiring supporting cast past the Phillies and Marlins. How can you stay optimistic in such a situation? I wish I had a good answer for you. I can’t honestly tell you that everything will work out OK because I honestly don’t believe it. Not this year, anyway. But I will advise you to take pleasure in the little positives as much as you can:

Johan Santana should make 35 starts and some of them will be downright awesome. Try to enjoy him while he’s still in his prime, and don’t dwell too much it when his teammates let him down.

David Wright should bounce back from one of the weirdest seasons I can remember. The way he performs will be one of the most interesting sub-plots of the season.

Jose Reyes might (damn, I can’t even type “will” here) be healthy. Watching him hit triples and run the bases is always fun.

Mike Pelfrey still holds a lot of promise and is, I think, on the precipice of a breakthrough season. As it unfolds, encourage him to persevere and cheer if he overcomes.

Jon Niese and Fernando Martinez (and maybe Josh Thole and Ike Davis) are sure to resurface at some point. If all else fails, we can embrace the future and their potential.

When you boil it all down, the best advice I can give you is this: whatever elements you chose to focus on, always remember to try your damnedest to ignore the concrete rushing up to meet you. 2010 is going to be that kind of season.

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