Mike is busy. Car in getting serviced and has to get picked up. Working from home. Looking for places to live. Still has to do all his Christmas shopping. However, he still cannot shirk his duties and first true love. The Mets.
So, with a half assed post as half assed as they come, I ask, does team chemistry matter? The Mets have had a lot of new players come in the last few years and have looked a lot like a rotisserie baseball team. The Braves had a lot of turnover two years ago and got off to a very slow start before catching fire and taking the division for the ninetieth season in a row.
Opening day 2003, it was 39 degrees out and I had snot all over my face while watching Glavine get owned by the Cubs. Roger Cedeno was in center, Roberto Alomar was at second base, Cliff Floyd was in left, Mike Piazza was at catcher, Mo-licious was at first base, Ty Wigginton was at third base, Jeromy Burnitz was in right field, and Rey Sanchez was at short stop.
Opening day 2004, Kaz Mat at short, Ricky Guitierrez at second, Floyd in left, Piazza at catcher, Cameron in right, Phillips at first, Garcia/Spencer in right, and Wigginton at third. Now the lineup will have possibly four new guys in 2006 than they had in 2005 with the departures Cameron, Piazza, Mienky, and possibly Kaz from the starting lineup. That is a lot of constant turn over for only a few seasons and the Mets lost two large personalities in Mike Piazza and Mike Cameron. Cameron more for his actual personality and Piazza more for his persona and what he meant to this team and this city for so long.
Of course the Mets have no malcontents, but that does not mean everyone will gel. Mind you, I'm not suggesting I think there will be a problem, but it is a valid point to touch upon. This game has so many mental aspects that things like this can greatly affect performance. Will this be a problem or will the Mets continue a trend of improvement since their big acquisitions in 2005? I think it could be a moot point since Carlos Delgado is going to be the go to guy on this team for reporters and give Mike Piazza-like production. That is something the Mets have never head. Keith Hernandez was that guy back in the 80's in terms of the reporters go to guy, but Delgado is the equivalent of Darryl Strawberry and Keith Hernandez wrapped into one in terms of leadership and production.
Team chemistry is a big part of baseball and it will be a big part of this team. Whether or not Floyd missing his buddy Cameron will mean much, Piazza not being here for the first time in a while, Delgado's agent's mishandling of his negotiations with the Mets, or whatever else remains to be seen, but it will be an integral part of the season.