You must be out of your mind if you believe.
Spring Training has finally arrived kiddies and so have the preview rags. So what do these magazines have to say? If I were you, I would not be quick to want to the answer. Almost every magazine I have looked at, including Sporting News, has the Mets finishing in fourth place behind the Florida Marlins. Shocked? Not so much. What shocked me, to a certain degree was the USA Today baseball preview which had the Mets finishing in last place.
You all know I feel the Mets will finish in at least third place ahead of the Marlins who, by the way, have been a thorn in our side for a few years now. I would love it if the Mets could kill them.
I have been saying for a month now that new manager Terry Collins is going to work wonders with this team. He has made it known to the players fighting for their jobs where he stands and that is a good sign. The players know he will not stand for nonsense, super stardom matters very little as does big contracts. If you don’t produce, you get cut loose. Simple as that.
Roster spots are being speculated now and I have issues with the one by the Sporting News predictions. Right away, and rightfully so, left and center field positions are given to Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran. As for right field, there is no mention of Angel Pagan. They have Fernando Martinez as competing for the job but the team bringing in a right fielder. What is wrong with Pagan in right? What reason do they have to believe that a kid who has been ravaged by injuries will even make it to the bigs this year?
That was my big issue. It is as if Pagan is the one who will be coming off the bench. If this were to happen, which I can almost guarantee will not, it will be a slap in Pagan’s face because he has done more then enough to prove that he deserves a starting role with this team. If you want to have Martinez come off the bench to get his feet soaked in because Beltran is likely to leave at the end of the season, that is fine. You just do not tell a player who has shown he can play everyday that he is coming off the bench for a kid who has not proven anything.
The Mets do have questions with their pitching staff. Spots four and five are up in the air as is the bullpen. Faith remains in Mike Pelfrey, Jonathon Niese and R.A. Dickey. Losing Pedro Feliciano and Hisanori Takahashi will have an impact on this team. The pitching is the only worry I would have with the 2011 New York Mets. Pitching coach Dan Warthen certainly has his job cut out for him.
The Mets will not make it to the playoffs this year. I strongly believe that. Will they make a push and do better than every body seems to think? I will say yes. When you think of the talent this team has plus the addition of Terry Collins as manager, there is no question in my mind this is a team that will produce and give the Atlanta Braves a run for second place. I feel they will end the season in third behind Atlanta, but making Atlanta very nervous.
This city will get excited again. Not for the team in the South Bronx, but the team that nobody wants to believe in. The Mets will do special things this year.
So should Mets fans believe? Yes! Until the September tells you otherwise, you believe. You go into this 2011 season with the battle cry that Tug McGraw made specifically for the New York Mets on your lips: