So last year I did some Coop's Crystal Ball predictions, where basically I threw some shit to the wall and see if it stuck. Basically out of 10 predictions, only three were marginally close. I said the Mets would win 90 games (they won 88), I also said the NL East race would be tight (it was) and that the NL East champ would be decided in the last week of the season (it was). I was also dead-on about Maine and Pea anchoring the staff. So let's take a look at this year's prediction, and see if this shit sticks to the wall as well.
1.) Though I am expecting a HUGE year from Carlos Beltran, since he basically put his money where his pussy is, and exclaimed that the Mets are the team to beat to this year, I am going on record to say: THIS IS THE YEAR THAT DAVID WRIGHT HAPPENS. We Mets fans know he is the marquee player, the star of the team. This year, the world will know and all baseball homes will have David Wright as a household name. I'm not one for stats much, but I will say he'll hit in the neighborhood of .320, have 110 RBIs and another 30-HR year. He'll also come up huge in serieses against Philly.
2.) We all know Duque is starting the year on the DL, therefore by default Mike Pelfrey will start the season as our #5. I'll say that Duque will be a non-issue because Pelf will end up holding his own as #5. So much so that he'll win at least 10 games, lose 8, but will win some critical games like he did down the stretch in 2007.
3.) Willie will show more emotion on the field and in the clubhouse this year. As a fan base we collectively game him some slack for his first three years as manager. THIS IS THE YEAR THE SLACK ENDS. But it won't matter, see, because Willie will have control of his clubhouse again.
4.) All this talk about Johan Santana makes us forget one thing - that John Maine was the ace of the Mets staff last year. Johan will win 18 games, but I am going to go for a stretch and say that there will be one NL 20-game winner this year and that pitcher will be John Maine. Mark my words on that one. He'll also sign a 3-year extension somewhere around ASB.
5.) Scott Schoeneweis will be THE go-to guy in the 'pen. Of course I said that here, but I'm saying it again in case you forgot.
6.) The NL East rivalries will be more intense than ever. Phillies / Mets rivalries and hate-factor quotient will be at its highest levels. I predict at least two bench clearing incidents in the season, probably around All-Star Break. It will be in response to someone getting thrown at.
7.) Ruben Gotay as a Brave will bite us in the ass more than Jesus Flores being lost to the Rule V Draft will. Or Lastings Milledge as a Nat. Trust me on this one.
8.) As much as I don't want him on the team anymore, Moises Alou will come back in May and start mashing again. He'll be a BIG contributing factor in the playoff push this year.
9.) I'm not predicting much for Jose Reyes this year. He'll still be fast on the paths, I think if we can get .290 out of him with a shit load of runs scored and stolen bases, he'll still the most exciting player in baseball.
10.) Last year, I made no playoff predictions for the Mets. I didn't even predict they'd win the NL East or even a Wild Card. But I will say this...expect to see "meaningful games" in October 2008 played at Shea. Some swan song!!