Is it just me, or does it seem like every sports writer - whether it be from a local newspaper, an internet sports site like si.com or an internet news site like yahoo! - thinks that they know what the Mets should do better than Mets management (and die-hard fans) and that they know everything us fans are worrying about or
To clarify, I am not saying that all things reporters have been writing are bad or wrong, or that all reporters have been so narrow-minded - although many of the good points made lately by certain writers appear very similar to what I read on Metsblog.com and other fan run sites and blogs.
The general feeling among writers appears to be that the Mets are a joke of a team, both in the front office and on the field, that no players want to sign here (they would rather play in Beirut according to one genius), and that there is no way they have hope for 2010 and beyond because both their current team and minor leagues are in shambles. The reported signing of Jason Bay has only lead to writers re-stating their feelings of how bad a shape the Mets are in. They also seem to cite us fans being extremely disgruntled as the reason why the Mets making are irrational decisions, and think that we have missed out on Lackey and Wolf among others I am sure. Reasons for us being so disgruntled include the lack of major moves and the moves of the Yankees - sure we care about both, but we are fine waiting for the major move if it means we don't do something stupid like bid against ourselves for no reason and we don't have to compete with the Yankees for a playoff spot, so we don't care that much - we would just rather see them fail or to lose more in the deals.
So lets look at some facts:
1) As of now, this 2010 team has plenty of All-Stars in Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, Johan Santana, K-Rod, and now Jason Bay. That is 7 at least one-time all-stars, and 6 who could reasonably be expected to play at an all-star level next year (sorry Luis). This in addition to some nice complementary players like Feliciano, Pagan, Cora, Francoeur (some dudes really just try and are good at driving in runs), Murphy, Blanco, and Escobar. Unfortunately, there is only one additional starter we can truly feel comfortable with as of now in Pelfrey, but we still have money to spend (reports are Bay will only get 10 mil in 2010) and already have way more internal options, who appear competent enough to compete, than in past seasons - there is Maine, Perez and Niese (who, along with Johan and Pelf, are the projected Mets starters for 2010) then Figgy, Misch, Stoner, Nieve, Dillon Gee if he comes back strong and maybe even someone unexpected.
2) As has been documented many places and times before, the Mets were in first place in 2009 before injuries struck - perhaps someone knows where I can find the article that showed how the Mets fared as Delgado then Reyes then Beltran then Santana went down for the rest of the relevant season. For the Red Sox, this might be like if Papi then Ellsbury then Youkilis then Lester went down; for the Phillies like if Howard then Rollins then Victorino then Hamels went down; and I could continue with every good team, and none of them would have been able to recover. Just eyeballing it, but I estimate the Mets at 3rd most wins in the NL since 2006 despite last years awful performance (with the Phillies and Dodgers ahead of them). So with all these all-stars, and recent success with these stars, what would players not like about the Mets?
3) The Mets minor leagues were not favorably ranked by Baseball America recently (a seemingly fair analyzer of teams) but they were also not among the worst five. The reason the Mets did not have a better ranking was due to the lack of talent that can impact the 2010 Mets. That truth being said, Baseball America did say the Mets have a nice top 10 prospects. Also, in 2009, the lower levels featured a number of (mostly) pitchers from recent drafts (2008 especially, which seems like an awesome draft for us) that were really good last year and will make the competition for rotation spots in A and AA very competitive the next few seasons.
4) If the Mets were ever going to do something just because us fans wanted it done then I think it might have happened last offseason when Manny was unsigned until Spring Training and we had a ridiculous combo of Tatis and Murphy for left field. While I never thought those two would flop so hard, I had hoped Omar would at least try to sign Manny for a little since there was zero interest elsewhere and he eventually wanted a 2 year deal - which would have held us over until next years great free agent class.
5) We still have money to upgrade the other positions we need - pitching (with many pitchers left out there), a starting catcher or a better backup than Santos to mix and match with Blanco, a platoon partner for Murphy and then the bench (though another LOOGY would be nice too). Lackey and Wolf were the two top starters available, but they also got paid more, and for more years than the Mets (and us fans) were comfortable considering for their risk. Bengie Molina is likely to join us soon, at what cost in years I am not sure, but certainly not for the 3 years and 20 mil he set out for. It is likely not even going to be for more than 1 year with a vesting option, as the Mets know they have no competition and only want him at that rate. Interestingly, the reported contract between the Mets and Bay is the same exact one the Mets initially offered. Obviously we are not dumb enough to increase our bid when no one is close (did the Yankees not get praised all season long for doing that last year with CC).
So true, we could use another consistent starter - and two would be better - but we got the money and are otherwise in pretty good shape. I am not saying we are going to topple the Phillies, but I think our lineup is better or as good as everyone else in the league and our pitching should improve on last years showing (or not showing since 4/5 would-be starters was injured for a bit) with a chance to be above average in the right storm of health/free agent signings.
Most of these jerks picked our Mets to win it all last year, based on the previous years performance and since we were bringing in an injured Putz and declining K-Rod. Now they think we suck thanks to a season of replacement players filling in for all-stars - logical. I think I feel better now that I got that all out. I hope the jerks keep doubting the Mets because it will just prove how short-sighted (or un-researched) they are being.