Another year, another slogan for the Mets. This year's: "The Team. The Year." Indeed it seems like that's the company line so far. At yesterday's "Workout Day," Cliff Floyd and David Wright both mentioned bringing a World Series to Queens. It was a notion that proved to be very popular with the 13,000 plus fans on hand. Perhaps it was the constant reminders that 2006 is the 20th Anniversary of the World Champion '86 Mets that was getting everyone excited or maybe it was the sun. But for a Mets fan, when you look at the moves during the off-season, you can't help but think the 2006 Mets have a chance.
Offensively, the Mets are much improved. They finally added Carlos Delgado, giving the Mets offense another powerful lefty to compliment Cliff Floyd. David Wright, who is becoming a force at the plate should continue to improve, as should Jose Reyes. We just hope Reyes shows us a little more discipline at the plate and improves his on base percentage. Carlos Beltran, after a bad first year in New York, has nowhere to go but up. Hopefully, with an improved lineup around him, he will feel less pressure to live up to his hefty contract.
The biggest problem facing these Mets has to be their pitching. Their starting pitching decent, but not outstanding. Pedro Martinez had a great year in 2005, but he's another year older and seems thisclose to having his big toe fall out of his customized shoes. Tom Glavine is 40+ and could pitch well if he gets run support, but where does the rotation go from there? Victor Zambrano? Steve Trachsel? Brian Bannister? It ain't pretty. The back of the bullpen is obviously much improved with the acquisition of Billy Wagner, but they've got to make sure they get there first.
After finishing 83-79 in 2005 and not going to the playoffs for five years, anything less than 90 wins and a trip to the playoffs would be a disappointment for us, but Gothamist isn't thinking World Series just yet. Especially with the chokehold the Braves have on the NL East. But maybe Julio Franco was their lucky charm and he'll rub some of his old magic off on the Mets and the time can be now.
Photo by Tien Mao