Tomorrow is my favorite day of the year. Opening day. Hope springs eternal. Everyone starts out 0-0. Your positive affirmation here, etc. etc.
Being a Mets fan, the last few years have been an adventure. And by adventure, I mean like being kidnapped and tortured is an adventure. But on opening day, everyone has the right to be optimistic. Every player will hit .300; every pitcher will win 20 games.
My favorite player on the current team is David Wright. He replaces The Shortstop That Must Not Be Named as the apple of my eye. Wright has always been my second favorite Met for as long as he's been on the team. He now has earned the right to be my favorite strictly by sticking around. For how long, though, no one knows. I hope with the settlement of all the legal unpleasantness, we can actually try and keep the players who are, you know, good.
Starting on opening day will be Johan Santana. I became a big time Santana collector when we traded for (stole) him from the Twins. He is one of the few players who's very presence on the roster is important. He is affable and a leader. Seeing #57 back on the mound is a big reason to be positive about the upcoming season.
I have a lot of hope for Ike Davis. In typical Mets fashion, he was injured in the most freakish of ways last year. After getting off to a scalding start, he missed the rest of the season with what was suppose to be a little ankle tweak that would keep him off the field for a week or two. On any other team, this would be tragic...on the Mets, it is par for the course. I am pretty sure Dr. Mengele is our team trainer. I have Davis as a fantasy sleeper and penciled in for .320-35-120. Yeah, I like my rose colored glasses, why do you ask?
On opening day, we can even have hope for Jason Bay. Going by the Einstein definition of insanity, it would be completely crazy of us to expect anything from him. But I refuse to give up on him. That great hitter from Pittsburgh and Boston has to be in there somewhere.
The pitching equivalent of Jason Bay is Mike Pelfrey. We were sold a bill of goods on Big Pelf and we have never collected. He is the sad case of the Million Dollar Arm and the $3 head (think about it). He has all the skills, but is too emotionally unstable to put any of it into motion. What's that great line from Bull Durham - "don't think, it can only hurt the ballclub." - someone needs to show that scene to Mike.
Replacing Pelfrey as the great future #2 starter is Jonathon Niese. His great claim to fame is that he was born on October 27, 1986 (if you aren't a Mets fan, look it up). It would fit into the great cosmic plan if he pitches well this season and becomes a great pitcher. It is also a pretty nasty knock on the great cosmic plan that someone his age is part of that plan. Dammit, being a Mets fan is difficult.
Also on that page is Daniel Murphy. Not only does he look great in those green St. Patrick's Day uniforms, he can hit. I mean, really hit. Unfortunately, he can't field. And he seems to be made of paper maché. My biggest fear is we never find a position for him, release him, and he goes to an AL team and rakes as a DH for a decade or so.
My current Mets collection is surprisingly skint. This is a two fold issue, the Mets turnover lately has been unbelievable and my purchase of new product has been practically nil. Most of the cards you see from 2011 and 2012 have come from kind donations/trades with fellow bloggers. What will become of Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada, and Josh Thole? Well, on opening day, they are all fresh young faces with bright futures. Duda can mash, Tejada can field, and Thole will bring this pitching staff together. I say the Mets win 88 games and steal a Wild Card. Yeah, I said it.
And if everything goes horribly horribly wrong (like it no doubt will) we always have Mr. Met and a lot of great memories (good and bad) to keep us entertained. Also lucky for Mets fans, we hold the all time best winning percentage on opening day. Let's Go Mets!