I still love the Mets.  And I suspect the Mets on the field are going to start being easier to love now that the multi-year phase Sandy Alderson recently dubbed the “gestation period” is coming to an end.

Even though the team is still several players away from contending for the post-season, it’s a nice feeling to be optimistic about the team’s short-term and future potential.

Like a lot of other people, I’m starting to get the feeling the Mets could become contenders with a couple of offensive additions and a few tweaks and/or minor league promotions to the pitching staff.

Too Good to be True

How ’bout the Mets?  1-11 since the All-Star break, ya gotta love the lovable losers from New York.  For them to have fallen off so precipitously, and of course for it to happen immediately following the All-Star break, I would say it’s “unbelievable” but it’s not …  An ugly, embarrassing, soul-crushing slide that wipes away all of the good vibrations they generated in the first three months of the season, is precisely what in the back of your mind you were expecting to happen the entire time.  And to think, three weeks ago there was legititmate talk of them being contenders.

Sandy Alderson should have added a player or two back when they were a winning team, in anticipation of regression.  They could have done so without trading their top prospects.  With an extra decent arm or two in the bullpen, the team may have still slid a little bit, but not as steeply.  I’m not saying they were in line to win it all or even get to the post-season, but given how miserably the Mets have played in the second halves of seasons since 2007, the fans and the players on the team deserved some recognition for their time, attention, and hard work.

Leave it to the Mets to turn what seemed like a feel-good season into another forgettable summer.

On your marks…

Even from my new home in sweltering Alexandria, Virginia, I can feel that tonight’s Mets game means a little something more than the 82 already played.

For a number of symbolic reasons the “real” baseball season – and by “real” I mean the part of it that separates the pretenders from the contenders – starts tonight.

Let’s go here, R.A.!

The Funnies #2

Me: I’m back to worrying that I’m going bald.

Me: Aging sucks.

Lady Friend: You have a lot of hair for that to happen.

Me: Yeah but maybe I should start trying to reverse it just in case the worst is about to happen.

Lady Friend: I guess it won’t hurt.

The Funnies #1

Mom:  Your cousin Andrew is having a top ten party.  You have to give him your top ten favorites and he compiles them and announces them at the party.

Me:  Top ten of what?  Movies?  Songs?

Mom:  Songs.  I got 7 so far.

Mom: I don’t know the name of a Beatles song I like that I want to include.

Me: How does it go?

Mom: It’s a crazy one.

Me: How do you mean “crazy”?

Mom:  They talk about stuff.

Me:  Well, that narrows it down.


Leasts of the East

What is it about the likes of Shane Victorino, Emilio Bonafacio, and Martin Prado that make the Mets perform like the little leaguer who’s trying so hard to impress his family that he forgets to run to first base after smacking a clean single through the infield?

Since and including the 2007 season, the Mets have played 250 games versus the Phillies, Marlins, and Braves, and in those games they have emerged victorious 107 times, roughly 43% of the time. (Against all other teams over the same period the Mets are 277-236, which is a .539 winning percentage.)

So while I’ve enjoyed the heck out of the Mets’ back-to-back come-from-behind victories against the Padres, the surprising results from those games feel like a ring of gold in a swine’s snout (or what the kids call lipstick on a pig).

I will start taking the Mets seriously as contenders when they start notching series victories against the Braves, Marlins, and Phillies with great frequency.