What makes baseball so great, or any sport for that matter, is that at some point it ends and begins again. Sometimes it is a fresh start in a new
place with new expectations and goals in mind. Sometimes it is the same year in and year out. For the New York Mets, spring training comes with a new beginning. This is the year of redemption for some, of firsts for others, and a new life.
Francisco Rodriguez arrived to camp with apologies on his lips and forgiveness in his dreams. Yes, he wants to play baseball. He wants to do the job he was paid to do. However, he understands that he needs his teammates behind that. The only way for that to happen is through the beautiful gift of forgiveness.
Was Rodriguez wrong in what he did? Yes. Is he owning up for his actions? Yes. Does he deserve to be forgiven? Yes. I mean, you went to college, right? You have been in relationships, right? So then you have done stupid things as well and should not be one to judge. So you forgive, forget and move on to baseball. Nothing else can be done about it. So why dwell?
Then there is Carlos Beltran. Mets fans still have a hard time forgiving him for the 2006 NLCS game and feel that he really has done nothing since for this team. Never mind the fact that he has been injured. No. That does not matter, right? He is just lazy, right? Wrong! He has been working non-stop to try to get back in shape to be healthy for this year. Since it is a contract year, that is a benefit for the Mets. Think of it this way: He wants another good contract. So he has no choice but to perform at his best. Plus, he is fighting for a job that he could lose to Angel Pagan.
As for the rest of the team, they have a new sheriff in town with Terry Collins. He is a no-nonsense type of guy. This is something that I love about him. Saying the right things are one thing. Jerry Manuel has shown us that. Action is another. Collins has begun acting on what he has preached by letting the players know they have to earn their jobs.
The law has been passed. It is a clean slate for everyone, including Oliver Perez. Collins, and even new GM Sandy Alderson, want to see what they have with their own eyes. What others have seen does not really matter to them. They will work with their staff to make assessments. That is the key. This is a whole new staff as well. Nobody is into “he said-she said”. It is what they see and only what they see.
I have to say this baseball season will definitely bring life back into a fan base whose faith has been killed by empty promises. So what is different?
The only promise that has been made is that results will be seen and moves will be made according to the needs of the club. Other than that, there are no promises. Just hard work and determination. And isn’t that all that the fans can realistically ask for?