Let's begin by throwing out the obvious. If the Mets somehow have a magical season, ala the Orioles last year, and they find themselves playing in a one game wild card playoff, the season will undoubtedly have been a success. It may happen. But it's bloody unlikely. So in the absence of a post season appearance what else do you need to see from this team in 2013, to consider it a successful year?
A- Being some what relevant in the playoff picture come September, "playing meaningful games" -
And I don't mean meaningful games as in not yet mathematically eliminated, but they need to leapfrog 6-7 teams and close the season on an unbelievable run to make the playoffs. I mean meaningful with a realistic shot of making the second wild card, say 2-3 games out on Sept. 1. This too does not seem realistic to occur, however.
B- A breakout season by one of the young players-
By this I don't mean a quiet but solid 2.5 WAR campaign. I mean something like Matt Harvey having a 141 ERA+ over a full season. Or if D'arnaud comes up and OPS'es 850 over roughly a full season. Tejada, Harvey, Wheeler, D'arnaud - one of them need to be the real deal we have been hoping for.
C- Sandy Alderson plays ninja Gm again-
This is requires that one of the vets on the team, like Johan, Francisco, Marcum or Lyon are playing well enough for a contending team to want them, If Sandy can turn one of them into another top 100 prospect, like he did with Beltran, that would be pretty sweet.
D- Finish the season in at least third position in the NL East-
Since 2009, the Mets have finished the season fourth in the division. In 09 and 10 they finished only ahead of the Nats, and the past two years they only finished ahead of the Marlins. They were always closer to last place than to first. It would be nice to see some improvement in the standings. At the very least, the Mets should finish the season ahead of the Marlins and the Phillies. This would bode well for the Mets future and also, as a bonus, provide further proof that the Phillies are sliding into the abyss.
E- The outfield doesn't implode-
Nobody expects the Mets outfield to be any good this season. All I am asking for is to somehow find a way to be average. Hopefully Terry Collins platoons the outfield correctly and somehow they manage to not embarrass themselves, and become a drag on the rest of the team. If the Mets can squeeze average play from the outfield, that would at least allow me to watch this team without throwing items at my screen.
F- An all round special moment occurs-
Something like Johan's no-hitter last year. Maybe another no-hitter. Maybe a perfect game. Maybe Ike goes crazy and blasts 50 "big dongs". Maybe Dubs win the batting title. TdA or Wheeler win ROY. One of those occurrences that remind us how crazy this sport is, and how much we love it. Something that will rekindle good feelings about this team.
That's it. Six different options. In my view, if the team doesn't make a magical run into the post season, I need to see a few of these options checked off in order for me to consider 2013 a success. How about you?