Five Reasons Why The Mets Can Beat Everyone Else
I'm not creative enough for any April's Fools jokes, but I'm sure there will be plenty around. Here are the five reasons I think the Mets can win this division. Things obviously have to go right, but it is certainly possible. The NL East is the most competitive division and the Mets are in it.
1) Steals: Like how customer service, big hair, and Def Leppard went out with the 80's, so did the art of stealing a base. The Marlins have been trying to bring it back in style, but the Mets could possibly steal more bases than any team that did not have Ricky Henderson or Vince Coleman stealing 100 bases on it. The Mets will be turning singles into doubles all year and causing fits for the other team. The pitcher is going to be distracted with the speed on base and that is a good thing.
2) Drill Sergeant Willie: Willie has had them in shape and ready to go. Willie may be a lot of things, and some are good and some are bad, but one positive is that he gets the team prepared. From day one, the Mets were working hard. Harder than they have since I've been following them in Spring Training. His no nonsense approach to making the most out of Spring Training could prove invaluable for a Mets team that seemed to lack fundamentals and concentration all too much over the past three or four seasons. They lacked a well disciplined team and I'm not referring to grooming habits. Guys getting caught smoking pot, people drinking or partying nights before games, mental errors, etc. seem to be a thing of the past. This Met team should be sound and while some teams may need a few weeks to get going because their spring was lax, the Mets will be firing on all cylinders.
3) Hungry: They want it. They want to prove that they are a good team. Pedro and Carlos did not come here to collect a check, they want to win (well, maybe 60% win and 40% collect a check). Pedro is a competitor and Beltran is a guy in his prime who is one of the best in the game. Their desire is going to rub off much like the bad attitudes of players rubbed off during the Mets second half meltdown in 2004.
4) Coaches: This is arguably the best coaching staff the Mets have ever seen. Not necessarily in terms of the manager, but coaches. There are guys who could be managers coaching first base, coaching third base, and being the bench coach. Rick Peterson is a pitching guru and he has had a full year to start implementing his pitching program from the major league level all the way down through the minor league level. Even the bullpen coach is a highly respected individual who Pedro Martinez does not hesitate to call his white daddy and attributes a lot of his success to their work in Los Angeles.
5) The Future Cornerstones: Though Reyes has not walked much this spring, he has looked absolutely amazing. Stealing bases, scoring runs, and being a pain. If he could get on base at a .350 clip ever, he would be a lock to lead the league in steals. However, we are not at that point yet, but the kid has talent. A healthy year means a lot to the Mets. Jose has 140 hits and 18 BBs in his career and have 80 runs scored. David Wright has a five tool talent to learn from in Carlos Beltran and a hitting coach in Rick Downs who seems to be imparting as much knowledge onto the youngster as he can on how he approaches hitting. Jody Gerut had a great rookie year and a great outlook, but suffered the sophomore slump despite his outlook. Wright has a similar outlook but was more heralded than Gerut and I think he can pick up where he left off. If these two continue improving the Mets will be in the hunt.
TOP 15 BEST SELLING JERSEYS OF 2005
Carlos Beltran, Mets
Barry Bonds, Giants
Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
Roger Clemens, Astros
Eric Gagne, Dodgers
Nomar Garciaparra, Cubs
Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
Derek Jeter, Yankees
Randy Johnson, Yankees
Pedro Martinez, Mets
Mark Prior, Cubs
Albert Pujols, Cardinals
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers
Curt Schilling, Red Sox
Jason Varitek, Red Sox
"Now starting in centerfield for the Norfolk Tides, Gerald "Ice" Williams!!!"
The crowd roars and talks about this hot prospect. Ummm..not quite. In case you are curious, the Mets already have three capable and legitimate prospects that can actually bring back value in a trade or help on the Major League level at some point. The outfield should be comprised of Angel Pagan, Wayne Lydon, and Victor Diaz, but now "Ice" will be working in and usurping at-bats. Good stuff right? Those guys do not need all the at-bats they can get, "Ice" does.
Meanwhile, Felix Heredia - obtained from the Yankees for Mike Stanton and $975,000 - is in serious jeopardy of not making the club and may be released, despite a $1.85 million contract.
Though it is April Fool's day and this could be a really, really unfunny joke, I think it may actually happen. Winning should be valued over his $1.8 million contract. If the Mets have any intentions of winning, it starts with not having Heredia on the team since he is a loss waiting to happen.
Screw you Marlins.