Hope Springs…. Maybe

Not my thing…

Those three words summarize my feelings about spring training.

Now there have been years, when I have legitimately been excited, March of 2007 comes to mind.

I sat at Shea about five months earlier, watched Jose Reyes lead off game 6 of the NLCS with a shot out of the park. An amazing game, I walked down the stopped escalators afterwards under the Doc Gooden and Gary Carter banners cheering, chanting, with the Mets faithful, just elated…. ELATED!

I was thrilled at being 9 innings away from a third Mets World Series appearance in my lifetime. However after Carlos Beltran’s unfortunate AB ending the Metsies’ 2006 odyssey, I was not entirely destroyed as I anticipated, because I had hope.

Now I have had this conversation many times, but i firmly believe hope is our most powerful emotion. Nothing gives one as much excitement, motivation and the unbounded dreams of an idyllic future, as hope. Not desire, not fear, not even love can compete with the tentacles of hope, tickling your sports imagination.

Compare the Spring 2007 roster to the one the Mets are forcing upon you in the Spring 2013, and you will see why this fan of over 30 years is not filled with much of this magical yet fragile emotion.

So while I wish the best to my current favorites like David Wright of course, the glorious Ike Davis, and the exuberantly youthful Jordany Valdespin; call me when the wins & losses actually matter.  Until then, my hope thermometer remains low, like the local temperature in Flushing.

 

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The Non-Captain..

David Wright is on fire, literally someone should walk behind him with a bucket of water just in case.

The long time “face of the franchise”, whom Fred Wilpon called “not a superstar”, the de-facto Captain of the New York Mets is the BEST player in baseball right now. Even Josh Hamilton should agree. David has had his moments in his years with the Mets, but his start is unprecedented in his career.

David is batting .411. The last player to belay over .400 this late into the season was Chipper Jones in 2008, and he ended up batting .364 that year. He has become the spark, the clutch hitter we have been waiting for, its been just a joy to watch. More stats? David leads the league in IBB, he became the Mets all-time RBI leader last month, and his OPS is presently at 1.134 (!!!).

Don’t know what these mean? No worries, just know it makes David awesome! What loomed in March like an unbearably bad season on the horizon, has turned into a shockingly fun 21-17 team of mostly homegrown kids. This could be the most fun season in ages.

David’s amazing start, along with the surprisingly good play from almost everyone else at this year, have given the scrappy Mets a legit superstar again, and have made them a “good” team… And it feels Amazin’!

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Jordany!!!!!!!

This was a moment in last night’s great Mets 5-2 win over the Phillies, that I won’t forget for a long time. Not since Ike Davis’ first hit up the middle to a standing ovation a few years ago at Citi Field, has a player’s first hit seemed so memorable.

What could it be? Just your average pinch hit 3 run homer on the road to beat the hated Phillies. Then, as if that wasn’t enough to endear him to a million eager-filled Met fans, he tells Kevin Burkhardt in the post-game he dedicates it all to his Mom.

Well done and congratulations Jordany.

An amazing moment for the young man who at age 24 seems to have paid his dues in the minors and is ready for prime time. Ruben Tejada’s injury has opened the door to some playing time for Valdy. (Yes, his name also lends to a good nickname!)

My dream scenario has Ruben getting better and returning to SS, a position he has started to own this young season; and Jordany playing his way into 2nd base. Extend David Wright and we have our infield for the next decade.

You might be wondering what about this Daniel Murphy fella. You know, the guy who pollutes Flushing with his fake fielding skills, and that golden bat he hits those glorious singles with, that everyone loves. I have one word for him….. TRAID!!!!

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Don’t Stop Believin’ in Gee

Great to see the Mets bounce back, scanning the box score, 2, 3 and 4 hitters combined for 9 hits, that’s the heart of our order supporting our starter Dillon Gee. This is what a team with mediocre pitching needs to have to be successful. These Mets will go as far as the heart of the order takes us. Also, Lucas Duda blasts another homer. I’m starting to think he may have a permanent job here, we shall see.

Great win on the road, meaningful win in a tough spot for Gee. Definitey one of those “character building” wins for the team. Maybe Gee’s first half of ’11 wasn’t such a fluke after all.

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So…. Anyone catch that Mets game tonight?

Well this was a game to forget… and quickly. The Mets did a lot of great things behind the plate, scoring 9 runs, Chris Schwinden was okay through his first 3 innings and Scott Hairston hit for the cycle. Bad news is, we still lost by 9 runs, and Schwinny and Manny Acostalypse gave up like a combined 13 runs in 1.1 innings!

The good thing though is in the grand scheme of things this game is meaningless. Except for Schwinny, whose confidence might’ve been shaken a bit. But he’s going to get one more start according to Terry Collins. We’ll see……

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Struggling Slugger

Ike Davis came into the big leagues to a standing ovation. The son of a major leaguer, Ike Davis was destined to play in the bigs from birth.

He blew through the lineup his first year, monster home runs, spectacular catches and defense. In 2010 he made a bumbling Daniel Murphy basically disappear, and locked down 1B for what seemed to be the next decade.

After a disappointing sophomore season, marred by injury, a healthy Ike returned with big hopes and expectations this season.

But sadly Ike has yet to find his way back. After a three game sweep of the rival Braves, even scrubs like Josh Thole contributed to the Mets’ success.

But Ike has this far gone 0 for the season. Frustrating for sure, but I have faith in Ike. He will break out sooner than later, and when it happens I hope his haters are watching closely!!

The Stimulus lives!!

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The Dude Abides in Game 2

It was a sight to see, the young man with the name that brings an avalanche of Big Lebowski puns, slams two home runs to power the Mets over the Braves for a second straight game. Lucas Duda benifited from the wall changes in Citi Field, impressing fans and players alike. Ike Davis marveled at how shots that were double last year could now go out.

Way back when, I remember thinking Duda and Chris Carter would make a sold power hitting duo in the outfield with a speedy Angel Pagan in Center. However with those two guys gone, Duda will likely battle Ike for HR supremacy on the Mets.

Also starting in this Saturday afternoon matinee, David Wright hit a homer and played excellently in the field, it’s what we expect from Wright every day, glad to see him fulfilling that.

Also, the rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis made a splash with a few hits replacing Andres Torres in CF. Let’s hope the youngster can keep it up, I would prefer a homegrown nobody, to an incoming Free Agent nobody playing on my team.

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