In celebration of the glory of Mets Opening Day, I’d like to open with a couple of short thoughts about the Mets 2011 season-opening game today.
#1 – I really, truly, hate that Willie Harris is starting in left field and BATTING SECOND today. Yes, he’s had some success against Josh Johnson. But, that’s a very small sample size. In a larger sample size, Willie’s not a very good hitter. Oh, also, according to Tom Tango, you’re supposed to put your three best hitters in the 1-2-4 spots in the lineup. In this lineup, Harris is probably the eighth best hitter in the lineup. This is the first Terry Collins fail of the year. I am legitimately worried that it will not be the last one.
#2 – The Mets have the potential to be an 85-90 win team. Unfortunately, they also have the potential to be a 70-75 win team. I have to assume this variation is going to be on the pitching staff. Pitching is maybe only 38% of a baseball game (1/2 is run prevention, 1/2 is run scoring…pitching is 75% of run prevention), but the Mets offense can be predicted with reasonable accuracy. There’s a lot of known factors in our hitters. The pitchers, on the other hand, are VERY variable. I’m hoping for the best.
#3 – There are some young players that I’m really looking forward to watching this year. Brad Emaus and Josh Thole on Opening Day. Fernando Martinez, Lucas Duda, Dan Murphy, Ike Davis, Chin-lung Hu. Pedro Beato, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell, Jenrry Mejia.
But, there’s one young player that I’m interested in watching more than any of these other guys this year:
Jose is, in fact, still young. And the horrible truth is that, either by trade or free agency, there’s a decent chance he’ll suit up in 2012 for a different team. He’s been a Met institution for the last six or seven years, and one of the most fun players in baseball to watch. I truly hope that he’ll be back on the team next year – but just in case he isn’t, I’m going to take particular joy in his at-bats, his defensive plays, and his upbeat personality in the clubhouse.
Whew. With all that said, there’s infinite possibility this season. Looking forward to seeing what happens next this yer. And, as always, go Mets!