There’s something about trust and hope and faith and optimism, or maybe there’s something about me, that makes it so hard to find and so easy to lose. Yet for some reason, I keep believing the Mets. I believe them when they tell me they’re going for it, when they’re going to bring in power hitters and aces and an unstoppable bullpen. They keep telling me they’re going to compete, to make a run of it, to play baseball in November.
Eventually, I have to stop believing them.
The offseason began with promises of Bryan Shaw and Addison Reed. Then all of a sudden, they didn’t have plans to leave the Winter Meetings with a reliever. Yusmeiro Petit was off the board. Luke Gregerson was off the board. Brandon Morrow was off the board. But the Mets are playing the long game, right? Surely someone will still be left in January, right? Right? Right?
They’re not getting a starting pitcher. “A fourth priority out of a list of three,” or something like that. But that’s fine, because they have plenty of starters! Too many starters! They are all either injured or bad, sure, but they exist. Wait, you mean relying on Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler for 180 innings each is a bad decision? Nonsense. Rafael Montero is going to be a star.
The Mets won’t get a second baseman or a center fielder or a corner infielder. I’m not sure why. I’m not sure if it’s financial (it’s definitely financial) or because Sandy Alderson thinks he has a competitive team (he doesn’t). The Mets have built a high-variance team, like they always do. But this is also a team reliant on health, which, if it goes their way, would be the first time ever that a team reliant on health stays healthy. Maybe Montero really does become a star. Maybe Harvey has the second comeback of the century. Maybe Michael Conforto’s fluke injury will have absolutely no impact on his development. But how do you rely on everything coming together like that?
I keep seeing people suggesting a boycott, suggesting that if fans don’t show up, the Wilpons will have to do something. It’s a nice theory, but it won’t work. There will never be enough fans who stop showing up to make that work. Because the Mets keep spewing the same lines, just enough that you believe them. They promise you the world. And you’ll keep coming back.
Photo credit: Brad Penner – USA Today Sports