Friday, April 13, 2012

Bring on the Amazins




Bring on those Mets! The Marlins have been sent packing back down to Miami, and now it's the New York Mets in for the first weekend series of the season at CBP.

The Mets have been surprising in the first week of the season, fightinphillies.com corresponded with Mets Blog.com's Vinny Cartiglia on the state of the New York Mets in 2012 and this is what he had to say about them:

 1. The Mets have jumped out to a great start in the NL East in 2012, were Met fans ready for this? Did the great start of 2012 by the team have it's beginnings in Spring Training or did it just start when the season officially started? 

  The Mets had one of the worst records this springs and the club was dealing with injuries to most of their key players. Not to mention Jon Rauch and Frank Ramirez -- the two major off-season additions -- had putrid numbers in spring training. So, to get off to a 4-0 start, in my opinion, was a shock to even the most optimistic Mets fan.

 2. There was a lot of concern by Mets fans that when Jose Reyes left to join the Marlins, to some fans it meant that the Mets wouldn't be as successful as the could be in 2012 with him. Have the Met fans accepted Jose Reyes leaving and will he be missed this year?

 I think when any team losses a fan favorite like Reyes they will be missed, especially a homegrown player. As was the case with Jose. But I think, at this point, most have accepted he's gone; especially after seeing him those hideous new Marlins uniforms.

 3. Who is the most feared Mets starting pitcher and why? 

Well, if you mean most feared for opponents. Then I think that still goes to Johan Santana. While I do not think we will ever see the Johan of four or five years ago, I do believe -- as he's shown his first two starts in 2012 -- he can still create enough speed differential between his fastball and change up to be effective. The key, however, will be health. Now, if you mean feared for us Mets fans. That is a no-brainier. Mike Pelfrey. Most Mets fans have had enough of Pelf and are counting the days til he's gone. It's really odd with pelf because he was a first round selection and has shown glimpses of dominance. But, when he was named the clubs ace last year, he responded with the worst year of his career. While I understand why most fans have grown frustrated with him, I still think he can be an asset. The one thing he can give the mets is 190+ innings pitched -- the quality of those innings not withstanding -- and while he may never live up to his full potential he can still be a good piece to the back end of the rotation. But, in the end, what he may benefit from most, is a change of scenery.

4. The Mets ownership moved in the fences at Citi Field, tell us where and by how much it was done. Does this moving of the fences at Citi signal some sort of failure of the original design of the ballpark? Are Mets fans happy with this move by the Mets ownership or are they concerned about the fact that opposing teams can also take advantage of it? 

 Well, I wouldn't necessarily call the old design a failure. I mean, the park is pretty awesome and should be a must visit for fans of any team. When Sandy Alderson was GM of the Padres he moved the fences in there as well. I don't think it's because Petco or Citi Fields original design was a failure, but more so because he wanted the park to play fairer. Most fans I talk to like the dimension change. While I'm sure there are some concerns that other teams will take advantage, it is still beneficial to the Mets. The reason I say this is because it was obvious the big park was in the head of Mets hitters, forcing them to altar their swings. Where as, an opposing team would come in for three games, worry about hitting not the parks dimensions. All in all I think the Mets did the right thing, especially returning the walls to Shea Stadium blue; like it should have been all along.

 5. The Mets ownership has apparently settled a lot of their financial woes, who actually owns the Mets team, and do they continue to ride out the storm in New York or do some fans feel that it would be better for them to sell to someone else. Finally, have ticket prices fallen from the ungodly prices that were announced when the Mets opened Citi Field? 

 The Wilpons still own the team and there is a big part of the fan base that wants to see them sell the team. Like them or not, they aren't going anywhere any time soon. I think what those fans forget is that the Wilpons were shelling out $150 million dollar payroll for many years and were kings of the offseason acquisitions from 2005-2009. The problem wasn't spending the problem was consistently hiring the wrong guys to spend that money. Now, I think they finally got it right in Sandy Alderson. I think Sandy is still working on getting out from under some of those awful contracts (cough cough Jason Bay). Once he does, you will see a payroll increase. Prices at the park have reduced dramatically and the team has been doing some excellent promotions. In fact, if you bought opening day tickets you got free tickets to one of the weekend games. And, just the other day, the Mets celebrated their 50 year anniversary of the franchises first game ever by selling tickets to Wednesday afternoons Johan Santana/Stephen Strasburg matchup for $2.50; the price of tickets in 1962.

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