Mets fans are frustrated, beaten, exhausted, disillusioned, and mostly, pessimistic about 2014. And I get it. In the past seven years the organization has mostly gone backwards. 2007 ended poorly, and we’ve just gotten worse from there.
But I’m here today with a plea for optimism as we get ready for the 2014 season. I’m not here to predict a championship, or even solvency. I know we wish the payroll was double what it is, and that we had more all-stars around the diamond. Do I wish we had tried to sign Tanaka or Cano or Peralta? Absolutely. But if you feel like you’ve suffered through 2012 and 2013, I think you may actually be able to enjoy 2014.
Look at it this way: Unlike the past few years, when the Mets dumped then-presently-good players (Reyes, Beltran, Dickey) in favor of lesser-skilled players while waiting for potentially-future-better players, this offseason the Mets front office actually tried to get better. You can’t look at the signings of Granderson and Colon and not conclude they weren’t trying to get better.
So, here is why I am optimistic that the Mets will be better in 2014:
- Pitching. Yes, we won’t have Matt Harvey in 2014. However, Matt Harvey only won 9 games in 2013, so from a win-loss perspective, he is replaceable. Bartolo Colon helps, as does a full season of Wheeler and a midseason call up of Thor and his hook from hell. Niese, Gee and either Lannan or Dice-K round out a rotation that is decidedly not embarrassing.
- Infield. We truly cannot get worse production at Shortstop and First Base than we did in 2013. Ike or Tejada will get better or they will be replaced.
- Outfield. There are better outfields in baseball than Granderson, Chris Young, Lagares and Eric Young Jr., however this outfield is inarguably better than the 2013 Opening Day outfield of Cowgill, Byrd and Duda.
- The Mets tried to get better this offseason. The fact that the Mets added better players in the winter gives me optimism that they will continue to do so going forward. So, unlike the past few years when we were sellers at the deadline or stood pat, I believe we are trying. And that, to me, is meaningful.
Follow me on twitter @verceman and let me know what you think.