Archive for the ‘Opening Day’ Category

Well, Here We Are

April 4, 2012

The purpose of this post is not to drop mind-blowing insight or tinkle in your pants it’s so funny humor per the norm.  To be completely honest, it is solely to document my thoughts heading into the beginning of the 2012 season.  My apologies to those of you that came here to have your minds blown or to tinkle in your pants.

Let it be known that on the eve of Opening Day, I feel pretty calm.  I am excited that baseball is upon us, but I have absolutely no irrational beliefs that the Mets will finish better than fourth place in their division this season.

The cool thing about this is that anything better will be a sign of over achievement which takes a lot of angst out of the equation.  Low expectations equal low stress.

My expectation for 2012 is to leisurely enjoy each game with the hopes that I begin to pick up on signs that the Mets will contend next year, or more realistically in 2014.  With that in mind, here are some things I feel could happen this year:

  • Ruben Tejada will play a solid, consistent shortstop defensively, and hit .270.
  • Daniel Murphy will boast a plus .300 batting average but will struggle at second base.  However, it will still be a better showing than Luis Castillo’s efforts as a Met.
  • Lucas Duda and Ike Davis will both blast 20 plus homers, maybe even 30 plus.
  • David Wright will hit .280 and his strike outs will decrease, but will still rely on the submarine heaves across the diamond that will lead to a number of throwing errors.
  • Johan Santana will remain relatively healthy and pick up 12 wins.
  • Mr. Met will serve some jail time after beating Billy The Marlin’s ass after Billy insinuates that he has always been Jose Reyes’ favorite mascot. Who names a fish Billy anyway?
  • Mike Pelfrey will have his last season as a starter as a New York Met.
  • Tim Byrdak will be effective for a second consecutive season, largely due to the fact that he graced the first ever cover of the Facebook page.
  • The Mets will still be looking for a true closer, even though Bobby Parnell will have a better showing this season.
  • Andres Torres will be hurt much of the season.  After all, dude is 34 years old, that’s ancient for a lead off man playing CF.
  • I don’t even want to discuss Jason Bay.  I am just going to hope like heck he has a good season.  He sure seems like a swell guy and I’d hate to see him have another tough go of it.

New York Mets Opening Day Optimism

April 15, 2010

David Wright (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

-Originally posted on Average Adam: Sports and People April 4, 2010.

Opening Day optimism, there is nothing like it in sports.  Cubs fans have thrived on it for over 100 years.

This is, by far, my favorite time of the year on the sports calendar.  The snow has melted, the grass is turning green, and I can start to hear the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd.

I have been a New York Mets fan my entire life.  As a kid, I was unrealistic in my belief that the Mets were unbeatable.  This may have something to do with the fact that my formidable years as a baseball fan took place in the 80′s, when the Mets had one of the most exciting teams in all of baseball.

Darryl, Doc, Mex, Nails, and The Kid were my heroes.  Shea Stadium was the Mecca of baseball.  A sacred place that I would journey to some day.  Growing up in the Midwest created quite an obstacle for a pilgrimage to see the home run apple and the giant scoreboard in right field.

As I grew older, I became more realistic about the team the Mets were fielding each Spring.  I started to question some of their moves, and the first signs of doubt crept in.  The early nineties brought the “lets sign veterans past their prime for outlandish sums of money” phase.  This part of Mets’ history was particularly hard to swallow.  Even during this brutal period, I found myself saying “maybe the front office knows something the rest of the league doesn’t”.

Before I knew it, the Mets started to creep back into contention.  Todd Hundley quickly became one of my favorite players, and I could see the potential for a winning season.  The late nineties ushered in the Bobby Valentine years.  My beloved club put together a solid team with one of the best infields I have ever witnessed.  I will stack Ventura, Ordonez, Alfonzo, and Olerud up against any infield in the history of the game.  This team played hard and introduced fan favorites like Benny Agbayani, a player that played consistently above his talent level.  The late nineties also brought Mike Piazza.

Each spring I believed this would finally be the year we would dethrone the hated Braves.  It was easy to hate them.  They won EVERY YEAR, and had John Rocker on their roster.  The turn of the century finally brought me another World Series, only to lose to the Yankees.

After the World Series, my optimism was high.  Steve Phillips, destined to repeat the fate of the early nineties, started signing players like Mo Vaughn and Roberto Alomar.  I thought the Mets were stacked.  The wheels quickly feel off the wagon.

The basement life was short lived because my Spring optimism soon shifted to the home grown talent of Jose Reyes and David Wright.  2006 came along, and the Mets started to remind me of my 1986 heroes.  They seemed to play with great confidence, and were able to overcome most of the challenges that came their way.  They fell just a bit short in a very exciting NLCS. It was a heart breaking loss, but I felt like the Mets had built a team that would be in the playoffs for many years to come.

This brings me to the present.  I have never left the roller coaster that is the New York Mets.  Two historic collapses and a throw-away, injury laden, season in 2009 brings me to 2010.

I still believe.  I still have optimism for the upcoming season.  My head tells me that the Mets will improve. It just isn’t possible to be devastated by injuries two seasons in a row.  My head also tells me that the Phillies and Braves are going to be tough to beat, and the Mets will finish in third place in the NL East.

My gut, or better yet my heart, is telling me that the playoffs are obtainable.  Johan Santana will be Johan Santana.  Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, and Oliver Perez will show their brilliance all season long.  The kind that they they have only flashed for short periods of time in the past.  Jose Reyes will be back and once again spark the entire lineup like he did in 2006.  David Wright will no longer feel the pressure of carrying the entire franchise and will get protection from Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran.

It is the best time of the year in sports because, once again, I believe.

-Originally posted on Bleacher Report.


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