Friday, October 20, 2006

Don't Throw Out The Baby With The Bath-Water... old saying my dad has often used, which means, for Mets' fans, don't throw away a year in which we've accomplished so much, because we didn't beat the Cardinals last night. This has been a fantastic year to be a Mets' fan, for so many reasons - let's list a few: (And what an AMAZING catch by Endy <<-- and what a fitting sign to catch it in front of !)

~When we wear our Mets hats and shirts, we no longer get sneers from fans of other teams, particularly Yankees' fans, because we're bad- now we get them because we're that good and they can't stand it!

~In a single season (well, we have to count the metamorphosis that began last year), we have restored credibility once and for all to the organization, and players want to be here and Omar has convinced the Wilpons' that he can create a winning organization if he is able to spend what is necessary to make it happen.

~The team showed tons of character, battling back all the time, creating a clubhouse environment and chemistry that seemed second -to- none.

~Willie Randolph grew in leaps and bounds as a manager, and it really, really hurt seeing him have to give his concession speech to Ken Rosenthal after the game last night. You can see how badly he wants to win, and that has, and will continue, to keep his players wanting to do well for him.

~David Wright and Jose Reyes took HUGE steps in their careers, but the best part is they haven't even showed us what they are truly capable of once they have even more seasons under their belt. Dare we hope for a season from Reyes that will includ 75 stolen bases, 22 triples, 100 RBI's, 25 homers, 100+ runs, 200+ hits, a batting average of .305+ AND a gold glove? Yes, we CAN dare to hope for it, because, with some more seasoning, he is totally capable of those numbers. And what of Wright? How about 41 homers, 130 RBIs, a .320 average and a gold glove? Well, with Zimmerman coming on behind him, the glove might be the hardest part, but the others shouldn't be!

~Beltran & Delgado are perfectly capable of repeating, and even outdoing, the offensive (and defensive) seasons they had, especially if they are healthier next season. If we resign Endy Chavez, he might be the answer in LF if we can sign another big bat for the line-up (Soriano?) Cliff Floyd, if he can get back into shape, might just have one more season in him, and emotionally, we're sure he has a lot that he'd like to still achieve. Jose Valentin is a bit long in the tooth to expect a similar season as this one, so he is probably the most vulnerable in the line-up to replacement. PLD held up for an entire season for the first time, and his enthusiasm and leadership should provide us with another such season. The offense, with another additon, will be just fine next year.

~The bullpen remains a strength, and Duaner Sanchez will be back next season to really make for a strong unit. What more can we say about the best part of our team (and can you believe we're saying that about our bullpen?)

~The management team will probably be raided, with Manny Acta and Jerry Manuel potential managers -in- waiting for other teams (Acta is interviewing with the Giants, currently). But have no fear, as Omar and Willie will certainly attract able and willing replacements.

~The Mets are no longer #2 in town- now they are #1.5! Nothing a World Series victory next season can't cure!

~Finally, this was a season of fun, of GREAT fun, that allowed us to momentarily forget some of the more horrible things that happened around us this season. Isn't that what baseball is supposed to be? An escape from the everyday happenstance of our lives? On this level, we succeeded this year, CON BRIO!

As John said in the previous column, all this means is that our offseason writing will start a little earlier then we expected and desired. But the ONE thing that WON'T change is this-


We're going to take a few days off, and then we'll publish some feature articles, including the resumption of our all-time worst team, as well as our predictions/suggestions for the offseason. Don't sulk because of what didn't happen; revel in what did and be PROUD to be a Met's fan!!! (& We will resume posting both here on MetsTrades as well as SheaNation!)

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