I have to admit, i joined 4 SB Nation blogs just to write this FanPost, because I wanted to say it so bad.
The Mets aren't going to win a division crown next year; there are just too many great pitchers in Philly. They likely wont win a division title, because only one team in the NL wins that. But they have a chance, which is something very few people are giving them. Most important, though, they'll be competitive.
Sandy Alderson came in saying that all along, "we will be competitive in 2011" and nobody believes him. Why not?
Everyone is talking about awful pitching, which the Mets likely have. You have to remember though, they play in Citi Field, which is a great confidence boost for a pitcher. Mets pitchers weren't the reason they were out of it last year; if you are okay with remembering last season, you can remember so many 0-0 and 1-0 and 1-1 and 2-1 games going into the final 3 innings, and you sat there with no confidence in anything changing from the Amazin's perspective. Jeez, Jon Niese threw a one-hitter last year, looking dominant, in Citi Field.
So we look to the offense, the 0 run offense. Is the offense not enough, when healthy, to produce? You can't sit there in front of your computer and tell me that this lineup lacks the talent:
The key to this is 2B. Luis Castillo has been a black hole to the Mets lineup for 2 years, and it has made the bottom 1/3 of the lineup an automatic inning, in a game when an inning is precious. A guy like Paulino (hopefully Thole as well) is an average, but plus-side hitter who, more importantly than the positives, does not make your lineup worse, when used properly. Alderson and Terry Collins need to figure out who needs to fall into that 8 slot without hurting the lineup, before they worry about an 8 hitter helping the team.
Which is all they are doing right now. We aren't being lied to, like some people are saying, by the front office, being told that we're going to be competitive without making any moves. Sandy is picking up the guys that we always wish we had when we found ourselves picking Luis Hernandez and Fernando Tatis (post-miracle season) off the bench to strike out in a clutch 8th inning AB. The Jerry Hairston Jr types. These are the players that win championships, when built around great Free Agent players. Though we may not have those guys now, the $50M+ coming off the books next year is waiting.
The biggest issue the team isnt addressing personnel-wise is the bullpen. The bullpen is a mess right now, and holds nobody that I trust in any late inning. I understand that it isnt easy to build a great bullpen, but signing Will Ohman before he was signed would have helped. A Joe Beimel-type is needed if we want to develop our own Luke Gregerson. Feliciano was the only guy I trusted to not give up a game-tying run, and he's in the Bronx now. I can forgive the FO for being coy on this; you can build a bullpen every year...the necessary arms are on the market nearly every year.
I love what's going on with the Mets right now, especially the Terry Collins signing. A two-year deal for Collins means that the baseball operations juggernaut of Alderson, Riccardi and DePodesta are not focusing on the X's and O's of baseball. As bad as that sounds, at least they can't overanalyze, like some Jerry Manuel's did. Instead, they're looking at the health of the organization and the team, and the philosophy behind Mets baseball. A guy like Terry Collins is the right man to take this team from Spring Training to September/October, instilling a consistant message throughout. I just hope that they don't turn over as much personnel as I think they will, because a big-time free agent will have an easier time learning to play Mets baseball if 5 or 6/8 starters, 3/4 of the bench and half the pitching staff is already onboard.
Listen guys....of my 6 teams, 5 have fired their head coach since baseball season ended (Gary Williams is the sole survivor). I have no clue where some of my teams are headed in the future, but I can say with confidence, despite the superior talent of my Vikings, I'm most confident in the Mets plans for the future, and feel that for the first time in a while, my favorite team is in good hands. Thanks for reading.
Lets Go Mets baby, Lets Go Mets.