Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Finally the New York Mets Are Operating Like Winners

For us life long Mets fans losing and embarrassment have been two things that we have become accustomed to. Losing...because the Mets have done an awful lot of that over the years. Embarrassment...because in addition to losing the Mets have made bad business decisions, blown playoff chances and operated as a small market team in the country's biggest market.

Things started to change last summer when General Manager Sandy Alderson made what turned out to be some brilliant trade deadline deals. Blessed with strong pitching but a lack of offense, the Mets were in desperate need of some pop in their lineup.

Wilmer Flores was the catalyst for what will go down in Mets' lore as one of the greatest two months in Mets history. Thinking he had been traded from the only MLB organization he had ever been with, Flores was seen visibly crying at the news during a game. In the end, the trade never went through and Flores remained a Met. However, his tears earned him the respect of fans. In addition to showing a human side to the game, Flores displayed loyalty and passion that are rarely seen by professional athletes.

After that, Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, Tyler Clippard and Yoenis Cespedes were brought in and it was off to the playoffs from that moment on. It was an amazing turnaround in fortune and a lot of that was due to Cespedes and his bat. Finally the Mets had a beast in the middle of their lineup. Most Mets fans must have thought they were dreaming after watching the team struggle to score runs through the first four months of the season.

The Mets went on to win the National League Pennant and a trip to the World Series. Suddenly the Mets weren't a joke anymore. They actually became the toast of New York and took the headlines from the Evil Empire. Mets fans finally had the chance to be proud rather than embarrassed.

Then came this off season. The Mets are built to win now with their young pitching staff but they need to be supported by a solid offense. Since Cespedes joined the team last summer, fans have been making it very clear to Mets management and the Wilpons that they wanted the Mets to sign the free agent and have him become a permanent member of the team.

Reports were that the Mets were not going to offer Cespedes a contract and instead they went out and signed journeyman Alejandro DeAza to platoon with Juan Lagares in center field. The Mets did make a couple of decent signings for the infield with the addition of Neil Walker and Asdrubel Cabrera. However, with the departure of the club's most reliable hitter, Daniel Murphy, the lineup was once again looking a bit weak.
I usually don't put a lot of importance on social media, but I actually think that it had a major impact on Mets management. Twitter was awash with the hashtags #SignCespedes and #BringBackCespedes while the anti Wilpons tweets were frequent as well.

Then, when the reports that the Nationals were offering Cesdpedes a deal the fan base went NUTS!

In the end, when the news broke that the Mets had indeed signed Cespedes Mets fans rejoiced and actually sang the praises of Alderson and the much maligned Wilpons.

Of course championships aren't won on paper, but the Mets are heading in to the new season with the intention of completing unfinished business. For us fans that have been taken for granted and tortured for years, it's a great feeling to actually feel confident that Mets management is truly trying to win.

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