So I think if there is one thing Mets fans can agree upon about 2007...
It sucked ass.
But it wasn't always so bad. We seem to forget the Mets were two wins away from taking the division and going to the playoffs. There were some other highlights as well -- buddy Joe Janish over at Mets Today does a fine job illustrating that.
So those of us in the real world, waiting for pitchers and catchers to report (44 days as of today), we are making New Years Resolutions. Based on how the Mets turned out in 2007, after raising our expectations from 2006, they need to come through on a few resolutions themselves.
Most of us say we will lose weight, become better people, eat right, save money. The Mets need to do the following to get back in their fans good graces.
1.) Carlos Delgado needs to find his bat. I have a milk carton....with a picture of Carlos Delgado's bat. Where did it go? I would go so far to say one of the major reasons the Mets didn't come through in the clutch or at all was the missing bat of Delgado. Delgado's bats need to become less afraid, offer some rum and a cigar to Jobu...and maybe, just maybe, he can start paying attention to his notes in his black composition notebook.
2.) Jose Reyes needs to get his head out of his ass. We have the point/counterpoint argument about who is infintely more valuable to the team: David Wright (.325/.416/.546) or Jose Reyes (.280/.354/.421)? On paper, Wright is the overall better player - he hi 30 HRs, drove in 107 runs, and was a Gold Glove winner (though that is up for debate, but I'll take it). Jose Jose Jose, though...he is the catalyst. There is a saying -- as Jose goes, so goes the Mets. When Jose slumped at the end of the season, he took the team's initiative and success with him. There's a reason -- Jose is that good. And that's power. We need him to get better and play like he did pre-All Star Break. And to run out all ground balls. I think Willie should invoke the Willie "Mays" Hayes action on his ass.
3.) Ollie and Maine need to anchor the staff. Back in the days of Seaver and Koosman, the Mets had a formidable 1-2 punch. Bruce Hurst and Roider Clemens were the 1-2 punch of the 86 Red Sox. The Mets had four of those that year. Lookin at now -- many pitching staffs in MLB lack an ace, let alone two. Pea and Johnny had 15 wins each, and one of them I feel can easily replace Glavine's missing production. We need to coddle them and expect more. They can do it.
4.) Mo' bullpen help, please. The difference between the Mets of 2006 and 2007 was the BP. Losing Darren Oliver, Chad Bradford and Heath Bell managed to bite the team in the ass all season as Oliver and Bradford performed formidably and Bell found a second chance in his hometown of San Diego. The Mets also goofed by keeping Guillermo Mota and offering Scott "Just Forfeit" Schoeneweis the contract Bradford should have gotten, furthermore, misusing Pedro Feliciano and Aaron Sele more than once. So this offseason, Schoeneweis aint going anywhere, but getting rid of Mota was addition by subtraction. Minaya, once again, is getting reclamation projects with the likes of Andy Cavazos and Matt Wise. The best news yet: we still don't have Mota. Do I need to bring this up again?
5.) Health. Jose Reyes had a piece in the New York Times about his conditioning in his hometown in Dominican Republic. Pedro Martinez was injured 5/6 of the season last year and seems to be hungry for revenge. The most powerful man on the Mets, Duaner Sanchez, needs to get back and get dirty. Carlos Beltran needs to keep his quads healthy. Luis Castillo, Moises Alou...guys who need to eat their Wheaties early and often. We have a healthy year, we have a healthy year in more ways than one. The End.
6.) Omar needs to get his full autonomy back. Trading Lastings Milledge was not a move Omar Minaya would have made without some kind of "encouragement." If Omar has any balls, he needs to tell the Wilpons to shove it. Sign the checks, Fred. Sign the checks. Stay out of the transaction end.
This seems to be a formidable and actionable list for the Mets to follow through on. And I am not one of those fans who thinks Omar Minaya needs to make a big splash but by regaining his full autonomy, I think we will see a good team out there this year. I have hope. I am a Mets fan. I believe.
Fuck 2007. Bring on 2008.