Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day Part Two: The Mets

I'm a huge Yankee fan, but as a New Yorker, I'm also a New York fan. I will stand behind my Yankees during any Subway Series, but if any New York team can make me proud and bring home the glory, I'm all for it.

So, last year the Mets had an historic collapse. After being in first place pretty much since Opening Day, they were on the brink of the playoffs and I'd say heavy favorites to take it all when they suffered the meltdown of all meltdowns, Chernobyl-esque in its scope. I'm sure you could look up old articles that will give you the theories and numbers behind that meltdown, where the Mets failed to even make it to the playoffs, but that doesn't matter now. It's a new season. A clean slate. Except for the ugly spector of last season hanging in the air, haunting Mets fans and players alike. Shake it off. There's lots to be excited about.

For starters, Jose Reyes and David Wright, one of the youngest, cutest, and most talented shortstop-thirdbase combos in the game. During the offseason, the Mets acquired Johan Santana from Minnesota, almost unanimously agreed to be the best pitcher in the entire game right now. He'll be making his Mets debut within the next hour or so. Strong pitching is the key. You can have power hitters up the wazoo but it won't matter if your pitching can't keep you in the game. So it'll be interesting to see how he fits in. Sometimes it seems new players need a season or two to adjust to their new team.

Other teams and players I'm excited about this year: the Yankees of course, and their young pitching staff - Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, and Joba Chamberlain; the Red Sox, of course, who I always keep a close eye on (yeah, the close *evil* eye) and Jacoby Ellsbury, who made an impressive debut last year; the Twins, for various reasons - one of my best friends lives outside Minneapolis, Joe Mauer is one of my current top baseball crushes, and I kinda keep hoping that they'll get the best of the Tigers and take the Central Division instead of constantly coming in second there and just short of the wild card spot. The fun thing about baseball too is there's a game on pretty much every day, unlike football's once-a-week b.s. It's doesn't make every game quite as life-or-death, but it means there's always something to watch, even in the summer when most tv programming goes into repeats.

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