It has been a long and tedious wait. Endless promises of a franchise coming close to competing has put a strain on a fan base who grows tired of no results.
What if your parents made a promise to give you a car one year? They never specify what year. They just say that you will get one. Year one goes by and there is no car with your name. You get your permit in anticipation of the inevitable day. Year two goes by and you get lessons which leads to your license. Year three and the only car in the driveway is the family car. So you almost give up, but kind of still hold on to the hope of your car coming up the driveway.
Mets general manager, Sandy Alderson, has become said parent. Since his arrival to Flushing, he brought promises of a competing franchise. Looking at what he did with his cleaning house first mentality, you probably thought the man was a loon. Instead, you now see why Steve Kettmann has dubbed Alderson as a baseball maverick.
Not giving a second thought as to what anybody thought about him, Alderson got rid of fan favorite R.A. Dickey without batting an eyelash. In exchange, he got Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard from the Toronto Blue Jays. Alderson allowed Jose Reyes to walk away. For that, he got money off the books. He said “adios” to Carlos Beltran in order to acquire Zack Wheeler. Injury riddled Jason Bay was released. All bad contracts, like the Bay and Luis Castillo contract, were gone. While payroll was slashed, the prospects were in place to make their way up and bring a true competitive team back to Flushing.
One person who understands the frustration by Mets fans is manager Terry Collins. He told Phil Rogers of MLB.com:
It’s been tough. There have been times there are big names out there [available in trades or free agency] and we said, ‘We have to hold tight, we have to be patient. Our guys are coming, and when they get here, we’re going to be good for a long period of time.’ And I think that time is right around the corner. I hope it starts [tonight].
This is where the Mets and their fans find themselves right now. The latest cog, Noah Syndergaard, with a 1.82 ERA in Triple-A, is set to step on the mound for the Mets against the Chicago Cubs tonight. Could he be the final piece in what the Mets needed to solidify a dominant pitching rotation? The one who many have come to call “Thor” will take his “hook from hell” to the big leagues.
Pitching coach Dan Warthen and manager Terry Collins are very high on the kid. Each expressed their views on him to the New York Post. Warthen described the young pitcher as:
Two years ago he was a thrower. I think he’s becoming a pitcher. He’s locating his fastball, throwing his breaking ball and his changeup for strikes in any count, anywhere. He can throw a two-seamer or a four-seamer — any of his pitches.
Collins acknowledged the moves Syndergaard made after last year.
He made huge strides from last year. I saw the way he went about things in spring training this year, so I think he’s ready. I told him: ‘This isn’t just a gift to see if you can pitch here. You earned your right to be here and to me that means a lot.'”
Tonight is where the future meets the present. Tonight is where fans continue to see that patience is rewarded. Tonight, not tomorrow, not next year, but tonight, you get a glimpse into what could one day be considered one of the most dominant pitching rotations in the history of the New York Mets franchise.