Monday, April 02, 2007

This Year's Model - 2007 Mets off to a good start: If you missed the now traditional Sunday night opening game, the Mets outplayed the Cardinals and came away with a 6-1 win. If this one game is any indication, you can throw away the spring training stats, because they are meaningless.

In the 1990s, the Mets were famous for their spring training sensations that never seemed to make it on the big stage. This year's spring training seems to have proved the axiom that it really doesn't matter what the veterans do in the spring. The young guys are trying to prove something. The vets are just trying to make sure they're healthy, and tuned up when the season starts. It sounds silly to say they can just turn it one when the season starts, but it proves to be true, year after year.

In spring training, the old guys on the Mets, especially Moises Alou and Shawn Green, looked almost feeble. Carlos Delgado struggled early, as well, and Paul LoDuca joined the others in hitting below .200. The season started, against the Cy Young award winner, Chris Carpenter, and the old guys seemed pretty sharp. Green, Alou, LoDuca and Delgado all had clutch hits, along with Carlos Beltran. Alou even made a sizzling running, diving catch.

In fact, the Mets played flawless, spectacular defense. You'll hardly see a better game played by any team. The Mets added good pitching to the mix, and showed why they are the favorites to win the National League -- not the defending champion Cardinals. With Alou in left field, I'd say this year's model promises to be better than last year.

The Mets do have some young stars with Reyes and Wright, and two young pitchers, in Maine and Pelfrey. Their marquee player, Carlos Beltran, is in his prime. Basically, though, this team is built to win this year. In forty-five years, the Mets have appeared in only four World Series. A fifth World Series appearance for the Mets this year seems to be in the cards, so to speak...

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