The confetti has gone limp & damp. What was once an exuberant symbol of all-night revelry is now simply so much more Times Square litter. As we rouse ourselves and shake whatever cobwebs exist between our respective ears, we realize it’s a day for fresh starts, clean slates, new beginnings. It’s almost like Opening Day in our beloved sport: everyone’s 0-0. It’s New Year’s Day, and those new beginnings are waiting to be writ, those clean slates look to be filled. It’s not the day for expectation, as much as the day for possibilities, for dreams and wishes.
Given the history of the team we follow, we Met fans are better at wishing than most. We are the dreamers, the fantasists, the hopers and believers. We don’t have to be pragmatists like denizens of the team across town, where the currency is hard fact, wins and losses and 27 titles. The less-than-perfect nature of “our” ballclub allows for a certain flexibility and freedom from the yoke of expectation: we know the team isn’t going to win very much, so we can allow ourselves to indulge in a best-case scenario, today, especially.
So my overarching wish for New York Mets baseball, 2013 edition, is a season full of best-case. Specifically, as follows:
For David Wright: the ability to shrug off his new-found wealth and a season of simply playing ball. Many players who sign a big contract struggle in trying to live up to it. May David keep his head about him.
For Ike Davis: the return of his attention to defense as well as a full season the looks like the second half of 2012 offensively. Barring anything unforeseen acquisition-wise between now and spring training, Ike will be Wright’s main protection in this frail lineup.
For Daniel Murphy: another 40-double season — with some homers added in this time — and a year when his defense won’t have to be put under the microscope.
For Lucas Duda: consistency at the plate and any defense at all.
For Ruben Tejada: continued development and a bit more power.
For Johan Santana: 32 starts and a bushel of strikeouts
For Matt Harvey: 17+ wins and a WHIP under 1.2
For Zack Wheeler: a Seaver-esque first season and some Rookie of the Year hardware at the end of it.
For Travis d’Arnaud: handles – handling the pitching staff, handling a first taste of the bigs, handling New York. And a runner-up to Wheeler as ROY.
For Jonathon Niese: a fine season of low walks, low hits and high strikeouts, as well as a speculation-free offseason.
For Kirk Nieuwenhuis: proof that you are a major league centerfielder along with doubles sprayed all over the spacious Citi outfield.
For Mike Baxter: a healthy season and a better-than-capable platoon partner.
For R.A. Dickey: 20 more wins with the Blue Jays, including 6 wins against the Yankees.
For Terry Collins: a relatively low-stress final season in blue & orange. I suspect there will be a different man in the dugout come 2014.
For Sandy Alderson: for all your moves to work.
For Fred & Jeff Wilpon: for you guys to assure your buddy Bud Selig that Mark Cuban is a real standup guy – a mensch, if you will – and the perfect next owner of the Mets. Hey, if we’re wishing, let’s wish big, right?
And finally, for the team as a whole: crisp play, tight defense, timely hitting and stout pitching. Do all that and the wins will take care of themselves.
Finally, let me take this opportunity to wish you – all Mets360’s constant readers and talented writers – and your respective families and friends a healthy, happy and prosperous 2013.
LET’S GO METS!
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