I know, the title sounds a bit odd. Did I misspell New Years? Have the Mets finally driven me crazy? Am I as confused as Rick Perry? Am I still drunk from this past Sunday? The answer to all of those questions is no, actually.
To echo another poster here, the Super Bowl has passed and it officially marks the beginning of baseball season, at least in my opinion. The NBA and the NHL are background noise and other than “March Madness”, college basketball is mildly interesting.
That leaves the rapidly approaching baseball season as my main focus, in the sport world. Well, that and getting ready for another season of fantasy baseball, but that is another article.
As I was driving home from work earlier today, I started thinking about the Mets and how their season might unfold. Some fans might think that another miracle is about to happen and that the Mets can win the World Series this year. Others may have already given up on 2012 and don’t really care what happens. Still others will fall somewhere in the middle, probably closer to the latter.
What is interesting is that despite all the negativity, I still get excited when I think about the start of the baseball season. Maybe it is the fact that no one really knows what will happen (see the Cardinals at this time last year) and that anything is possible.
Unfortunately, in recent times, that “feel good” atmosphere has quickly evaporated once the first few weeks of the regular season have passed. Why? Well, I think most of us have gotten too caught up in the “win or else” mentality that is mainstream nowadays. We have lost sight of the fact that there is more to the game then winning. Of course, that should be everyone’s goal, but have we forgotten that part of being a fan is enjoying the process and the different stories that develop?
Being rational for a moment, I know that we are probably not going to win a title this year, or next year, for that matter. Hell, we may not win 75 games in 2012, but does that mean I can’t enjoy the season and the rebuilding process?
I am guilty of getting caught up in the “all or nothing” mentality and I am also guilty of letting all of the negativity that has surrounded the Mets over the last five seasons taint my enjoyment of the game and the team I choose to root for.
So, my resolution for the new season is simple. I am going go back to being a FAN of the Mets and of baseball in general. I am going ignore irrational viewpoints and “Generation X” fans who do not have any patience and/or common sense. Instead, I am going to focus on the rebuilding process that is underway and learn to measure “success” for 2012 in other ways, besides just winning ballgames.
How will the young players on the roster develop? Players like Duda, Niese, Thole, Davis, Murphy, Tejada and Gee have the potential to become very good ballplayers and the future foundation of the Mets. Watching them grow is not only interesting, but vital for our future.
Veterans like Bay, Wright and Santana may or may not be part of the future. But, seeing if they can rebound in a meaningful way is worth watching, in my opinion.
How will the next wave of prospect fare? We potentially have a large group of very good ballplayers on the horizon (just read Mack and Michael’s separate posts if you don’t believe me). Doesn’t it excite you, as a fan, to see what becomes of them and which ones will make it and which ones will fall short?
Will Sandy’s plan and rebuilding style pay off? What moves will be made in the coming months? For all of the uncertainty, I feel strangely at ease with Sandy, Paul, JP and company at the helm. Most of all, the fact that there is an actual plan is a nice change and worth rooting for.
So, I think if you slightly alter your definition of “success” for 2012, it will change your outlook on the season and make the overall process much more enjoyable.
It is better than wallowing in all of the negativity and giving up before the season even starts, right?
I think we all need to go watch Field of Dreams.