When I see a baseball bat and a glove, I think of a father playing with his kid. When I see a baseball player, I see potential heroes to those little boys and girls. I see players who at one time had heroes of their own.
New Mets catcher, Travis d’Arnaud looked up to Mike Piazza.
Darryl Strawberry was David Wright’s hero.
Now here they are in spring training trying to become heroes. Some are wet behind the ears like Zack Wheeler. Others are veterans like Wright and Johan Santana.
The heroics of last year don’t matter. Only the here and now. So they prepare. No matter if they are new to this or old, it is understood that preparation is key to a successful season. It is key to a successful career.
Young and old, they stand side by side. The young listening to the older generation to see what they need to do in order to get to their level. Once upon a time, the kids looked up to these players and now they are colleagues. They are teammates.
Earlier last week, Santana made this comment to a reporter regarding the potential for more no-hitter games for the New York Mets while looking over at Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler’s lockers:
…we can have a few more around here pretty soon.
One single statement fills an entire fan base with hope. It motivates the kids. It makes GM Sandy Alderson look like a genius in all of the movies he has made to acquire young players. It makes him look like he knew what he was doing by not bringing OF Michael Bourn to the team.
Are there questions for the upcoming season? Yes. Yet here is the thing. The potential we see in the future of this franchise, far outweighs the questions we are currently asking.
So while the spring training games are only about a week old, my message to the fan base is simply: enjoy the ride. These spring training games are not merely games. They are a glimpse into the future. They are a taste of what we will see possibly this year. There is no negativity going into the 2013 season. There is excitement.
For a couple of years we have heard about what Harvey can do. Now we have seen it.
Since the Carlos Beltran trade to the San Francisco Giants, all we heard about was what Wheeler can throw. You saw it in two innings this past Saturday having thrown 30 pitches – 19 for strikes – in just two innings. Yes he was a little crazy to start, but he settled down. You hear what veterans like C John Buck has to say about the kid and it pumps you up for the future to be now.
You think about what future C Travis d’Arnaud will be like under the watchful eye of Buck. The excitement continues to build. The future heroes are making their way into the big club. If not by September, then surely by 2014, these kids will be up for the challenge. The future starts with Harvey. Then it continues from there. It only goes up.
There is no pressure on this team. Only excitement. Only a bright light at the end of a dark tunnel that seemed to go on forever.