Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Well, Looks Like July and August Will Be Open

Every year, around this time in early April, I summon the baseball gods and offer them a deal:

"Today kids across the country will look longingly down at their birthday cakes, close their eyes, smile, and make a wish: That this year their favorite baseball team wins the World Series. It's very sweet, but it puts you in quite a bind, doesn't it? After all, only one out of 30 teams can actually win, right? It's not fair to you. It's not fair to them. That's why this imaginary conversation is different. I'm not here to ask for the Mets to make the World Series. I'm not even here to ask for the playoffs. All I want is for us to be IN PLAYOFF CONTENTION through the barren sports months of July and August. After that, they're free to blow it. Trust me, they won't need your help doing that anyway."

Seems reasonable, right? Almost half the teams in the league fulfill this requirement every year. I'm basically asking to be on the right side of a coin flip. Yet, even with a team loaded with talent (well, sort of), and a top-5 payroll, year after year the gods deem my request too greedy.

So this year, I didn't even ask.

This year's Mets are looking a lot like two years ago's Knicks: A new, seemingly competent management team brought in to clean house, shed fat, rebuild with youth, and help us forget the past few years ever happened. Eventually, I believe they will. I trust these new guys. I have to.

But short-term, it really doesn't look good. Santana's out until July. Beltran's an injury waiting to happen. Reyes is 28 and we're still talking about his "potential". The Braves are good. The Marlins aren't bad. The Phillies have the best rotation EVER. Hanging around through August this year seems less like a reasonable request and more like a best-case scenario. Lindsey's Aunt Pepette invited us to her family's cottage in France next summer. Can we go this one?

Beautiful, isn't it?
But maybe this year's Mets aren't two years ago's Knicks. Maybe they're this year's UConn, who I didn't think would still be playing in March, let alone April.

And look at them now.

Maybe this year's Mets have a surprise for us. Maybe this year they don't just contend into July and August, but September and October! Maybe this year, the Mets make us all eat our words....

See how stupid we are, ladies? Just like that, you can make us believe anything.