As February nears, so too does the start of spring training. In a normal year, that would likely bring with it, the thoughts of what might happen. Could this be the first time in 26 seasons that the Mets return a World Series title to Flushing? The first home run title since HoJo? The first batting title since that guy who now plays in Miami? What does the 2012 season have in store for the New York Mets and their faithful fans?!?
The large majority of you would say that this season will be the most recent episode of desperation and despair. The Mets are team now struggling to find itself in the midst of an organization trying to repair both its image and its bottom line. Yes, as ESPN dually pointed out when the Sunday Night Baseball schedule was released devoid of our favorite franchise, the New York Mets are no longer a prime time ball club! Providing more story lines than sports related headlines, why should Mets fans tune in this season?
First off, fans should tune in early on to watch the remainder of the David Wright experience. A Mets fan turned Mets player, Wright has been with the organization since 2001, appearing in five All-Star games and one Home Run Derby in that time. With the reduction in the Citi Field dimensions, Wright should be able to overcome his offensive struggles, as he will no longer be required to take a Paul Bunyunesque swing in an attempt to collect his 30 homers per year. Yes Mets fans, tune in to see the once ever popular boy wonder before he is exchanged for a set of prospects who likely won't sniff the major league level for years go come. David's days are numbered and there is no better time than the present to show him how much he means to the blue and orange faithful.
Furthermore, fans should be excited to see the latest crop of potential reach for the stars. Ike Davis, fresh off a catastrophic ankle injury that cost him the majority of last season, and Lucas Duda, who will hope to provide enough defense to justify keeping his bat around, are both seemingly here to stay (at least for the time being). While they're here, its reasonable to assume they will be littering the Shea Bridge with plenty of free baseballs this season. The Bash Brothers? Maybe not..but there could be a power battle this summer in Flushing. One most Mets fans shouldn't dare miss.
Finally, fans should tune in to watch the Mets turn the corner towards will be their immediate future. Gone are the days of $140 million dollar payrolls. The players who once comprised that roster will be replaced with younger, cheaper talent. That talent should not be so easily dismissed either. While some, maybe most, of the organization's prime minor league talent won't experience a successful transition to the major league level..the next set of home grown all-stars should be upon us at some point this season. Who would want to miss that?
Yes, you see while the 2012 season won't be one littered with awards, trophies and parades, it will be another chapter in what is the every complex evolution of the New York Mets. This chapter, like those that preceded it, will go a long way to shape the future of the franchise. That future, which many view as being not so bright, is the future nonetheless and its for that reason that you should look forward to the 2012 season. The future may not be here yet, but its well on its way. Players will come..players will go..but its the team that remains. Mets fans should look forward to supporting their team..regardless of what dark cloud might hang overhead.
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