During the offseason, the Mets made many changes, as they should have. Three losing seasons in a row and a new general manager will do that. With Omar Minyana aboard, the Mets have been busy, adding players, payroll, and a manager. All the changes led Carlos Beltran to dub the team "The New Mets" when he joined. The question is, can these "new Mets" do any better than the old Mets?
The new Mets have a new look infield that should be much better defensively, which really can't be worse than last year's. The addition of Doug Mientkiewicz, moving Mike Piazza back to catcher, and swapping Kaz Matsui and Jose Reyes around should improve the infield dramatically. Comparisons to the "best infield ever" would be foolish, right?
Offensively, the Mets made one move that looks to help significantly, they added Carlos Beltran. His bat, a healthy Reyes, a maturing David Wright, and Piazza should give the Mets some potent offense. Then again, Piazza is getting older, Wright looks like he's batting 8th, and there are some holes in the batting order - we're looking at you Mientkiewicz. But with the speed at the top of the order, Gothamist would love to see some small ball in this age of the long ball.
Baseball pundits always say that pitching wins championships, and looking back, that seems like it's the case. When one looks at the Mets' rotation, there are many rings, but we're not so sure it's championship quality. Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine are both great pitchers, but you have to wonder if they are past their time. Kris Benson is already missing starts, Victor Zambrano isn't too reassuring, and Kaz Ishii, despite pitching well in his one Spring Training game with the Mets, has those control problems. And that's just the starting rotation. Don't get us started on the bullpen.
The moves the Mets made have improved the team, but looking around the NL East, it seems like the Braves and Marlins have improved too. The new Mets have Gothamist excited at the prospect of winning, but we're not so sure that "next year is now" like Mets advertisements proclaim. But after all those losing seasons, Gothamist might just be happy for a winning record. Not the greatest way to go into a season when that other team in town looks ready to win another championship.
Obviously, there are lots of expectations for Willie Randolph, and to expect playoffs this year might be asking a bit much. Gothamist will take what we can get, but would really like a winning season. Our loser's mentality as Mets fans has caught up with us.
Image via Mets.com