Monday, December 20, 2010

This Is My Mets Fan Christmas List

The expectation for ’11 is frightful

Fans are getting spiteful

Ownership just doesn’t know

They need to go, need to go, need to go

This time of year allows us to reflect: Reflect on this past year, the upcoming year, and ways we can improve ourselves as people. The same can be said for fans of sports teams, and while looking back on the 2010 Mets, and the new look 2011 Mets, one can only dream.

We can dream about sunnier days of long ago, most notably 1969 & 1986, with a sprinkle of 1973, 1988, 2000, and 2006.

The Mets made a big splash in signing Sandy Alderson after the much maligned Omar Minaya was dismissed. They hired a “fiery” manager in Terry Collins, but since then have done very little.

To be fair, signing Catcher Ronny Paulino, Relief Pitcher CJ Carasco and Boof Bonser, and Rule V middle infielder Brad Emaus and Pitcher Pedro Beato – weren’t terrible moves. The Mets need help behind the dish as well as in the bullpen since Feliciano and Takahashi signed elsewhere. Fans are upset because there haven’t been, nor going to be, big name signings this off-season. I think I can live with that, but it is difficult.

I can accept that the Mets, for the first time since Joe McIlvaine was GM, have a plan, a direction in which to head. My concern for the new GM and his highly paid minions (JP Ricciardi, Paul DePodesta, etc) is that they don’t construct the team in a “Money Ball” fashion. A lot has been reported about how Alderson built the A’s of the late 1980’s, and although they won three AL West division titles in a row, they only won one World Series while being the heavy favorite in all three series (1988, 1989, and 1990). Granted, those Oakland teams weren’t what we know as a Sabermetric team, but the A’s teams that followed, led by former Met prospect Billy Beane, have under-achieved.

I don’t have a problem with stats. I have a problem when stats are the only tool used for evaluating talent. I think there can be a happy medium between the two, and hope this new regime uses talent evaluators as well as pouring over statistics. Sometimes a players’ stats don’t show the whole picture.

This leads me to my prayers and wishes for the future of the Mets.

1. That being hamstrung with poor long-term contracts from his predecessor, that Alderson while remaining stagnant in not pursuing free agents, does not do this after the 2011 season, when the bad contracts of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo come off the books, as well as Carlos Beltran’s $18.5M contract.

2. That he realizes what he has in Jose Reyes, and inks him to a contract extension. Smart money believes (as do I) that this will be Reyes’ last year in a Mets uniform, and that is sad.

3. That the pitching staff is fortified with a stronger starting core. Johan’s best days might be very well behind him, and although Pelfrey can be stellar, he isn’t a true #1. The ChiSox Mark Buehrle will be a free agent after the 2011 season

4. That Elvis Alderson strengthens his scouting department (Omar Minaya?) so they draft quality players that will be main-stays on the pro club for years to come.

These are just a few wishes I have. I realize it won’t be resolved this year, or possibly next, but Elvis appears to have a plan, and will stick to it. It might take time, but we must be patient. We should start to see results by the end of 2012.

What can we expect this year? I figure around .500. I can live with that if I see improvement as the season wears on. I want to see fire in bellies of the starting position players, and aggressive play that makes things happen. If I see that, even if they only win 50% of their games, I will feel better heading in 2012. This is not a lot to ask for.

Yes fellow fans and bloggers, the expectation in frightful, let’s just hope the future is delightful.

Source: Cots Baseball Contracts

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