Hit up Mets opening day, and it was uninspiring. But I’m not mad. Dickey is still my candidate for president, and, as I’ve mentioned before, hovering around last year’s 79-83 mark in 2011 would indicate success in my book. Play .500 ball and show some life. Those are my not-so-lofty goals. So at 3-4, I’ve got no major issues. Because…here’s the thing…the Mets simply don’t have many very good players. In fact, by not many, I mean two?
Reality. It’s my new fan mantra. No reason to be overly pessimistic. But, on the same token, ridiculous expectations are equally, well, ridiculous. Now, whether it’s the spring fever of new hope that’s taken some by storm, or some other happy drug, I’ve heard a bit about how this team has “the talent to play with anybody” (granted, a lot of this is coming from the players and clubhouse, too).
This is the phrase that was ringing in my head at a cold Citi Field on Friday. And this is what I thought might benefit from some clarification. No, we don’t. We don’t have a lot of talent. At all. We have two very good players. Two. That is it. You could argue for three. MAYBE. My point? You need a lot more than two very good players to be anywhere approaching an above average team (notice how I didn’t even use the word good to modify team).
Wright and Reyes. That’s it, fans. For those harboring other illusions, banish them. Maybe K-Rod is on the borderline. Nobody else active on this Mets roster enters the discussion (I’m pretending Johan doesn’t exist, because until I see him on the mound in a regular season game he doesn’t). Do we have a few promising players who could blossom into borderline All-Stars down the line? Sure. A few other solid professionals? Absolutely. The rest fall somewhere along the OK, has-beens and likely never-will-be’s continuum.
This is important only in the context of expectations. For comparisons sake, let’s just look at the division. This is unscientific and surely can be debated. The purpose of this exercise is more to remind Mets fans (some) of exactly what we’re working with (and against). Each team’s VGP (very good player) number in parens:
- Phils (6, conservatively): Oswalt, Lee, Halladay, Howard, Rollins and Utley. I think we can easily start there. You could then make cases for folks like Polanco (.303 career hitter), Ibanez and Hamels, but you can also make strong arguments against them.
- Bravos (5): While the Braves entire lineup terrifies me, I’ll put five of their guys and a pitcher firmly in the VGP range: Chipper (until he proves otherwise), Hudson, McCann, Heyward and Uggla. Again, this is a pretty conservative number. Depending on where you draw the “very good” line in the sand, you could throw Prado and maybe even Lowe (158-130, 3.83 ERA career) into the mix.
- Marlins (2): Johnson and Hanley. The rest of the cast of characters you could probably split hairs between who’s got more talent – the Metros or the Fish.
- Nats (1.5?): I’m not ready to put Jayson Werth in the VGP category. Maybe he deserves to be. Zimmerman’s my lone Nats soldier.
So, what does this all mean? Nothing. Maybe. To me, it means .500 is a perfectly reasonable thing to aspire to. Until the Mets add some more upper-tier players (or any of the current roster develops into such), it’s going to be awhile – which is OK.
This year, it’s about seeing young guys get better and playing hard. Mets fans need to remind themselves of this. It’s not to say we can’t hope to flirt with a Wild Card come second half of the year. It just means we shouldn’t expect or be a bit surprised if it doesn’t happen.
Filed Under: Uncategorized
About the Author: Cecilio's Scribe is the founder of The Legend of Cecilio Guante and a generally pessimistic fan of the Mets, Jets, Knicks and Rangers. A fine NYC-based gentlemen who hones his marketing skills as his primary trade by day. Husband, chef, father of a newborn and after-hours blogger by night. Proud alum of the mighty Big Red of Cornell. University. Hot sauce devotee. Staunch protester of the continued wussifcation of American sports. Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick.