This past off season was mired in small moves. The Mets didn’t make the large splash everyone had hoped. Even GM Sandy Alderson admitted he had his eyes set on bigger fish but had to eventually resign himself to the fact that the current roster would have to suffice. Names like Justin Upton and Michael Bourn were the hot topics for the last few months. Fans and media, alike, were a bit dismayed at the failure of the Mets to pull the trigger.
It is with that backdrop that the team took to the field over the weekend to begin the Spring Training schedule. The largest buzz was centered around phenom prospect Zack Wheeler, but lesser buzz was given to what the outfield would look like. Kirk Nieuwenhuis started the preseason with a single and Ruben Tejada drove him in with a rare home run.
New free agent acquisition Marlon Byrd doubled off of Stephen Strasburg in his very first at bat. The Mets would score two runs against their ace in that first frame. They eventually took the first game beating the defending NL East winners 5-3. Wheeler went two impressive innings. The initial moment clearly got the better of him as he threw a wild pitch, but he would strike out batters back-to-back to get out of the jam.
All in all, the team looked stronger than most had anticipated. Granted, it was merely the very first game of Spring Training and there is another six months or so to go before we can all deem this season a success or a failure, but it showed promise. The Mets gave us a glimpse, albeit a small one, but a glimpse nonetheless. When thinking about the Mets in 2013, I am reminded of an old country song by Johnny Cash called “One Piece at a Time“.
In it, Cash sings about a automobile factory worker who longs on having the car of his dreams. The worker spends the next several years smuggling out parts for it and reassembling them at home. While the final result is not exactly what he had in mind, it was purely custom made. He used parts from all different makes and model years, thus, making his car the most unique even known.
Let’s not be in a hurry to see the car entered into the next Daytona 500. Instead, let’s realize that good things, things that are worth showing off, take time. They have to be meticulously assembled. One piece at a time.