I don’t think any one acquisition this offseason can compare to having a healthy, productive Jose Reyes in the lineup. Kevin Kernan wrote two days ago in the New York Post:
It’s easy to forget what you don’t see. After averaging 158 games each of the previous four seasons, Reyes played only 36 last season, and admitted he never really felt right after suffering what was first diagnosed as a calf injury in May. He scored 18 runs. The three previous seasons he averaged 118.
Jose has been speaking openly to the media about his desire to return strong and how he can’t wait to “hit a triple” in Citi Field. There was a lot of complaining done this offseason (including by yours truly) about the Mets building a new ballpark that plays to speed and defense, and yet not acquiring players that fit that mold. Jose IS that guy. Duh. The closer we get to Opening Day, the more people are starting to see what the Mets offseason plan was all along. There is some nice talent in AAA Buffalo (Ike Davis and Josh Thole to name a few position players) that should be major league ready by next season. Just more homegrown talent to add to “the core.” Also, despite the Mets best efforts to look like morons in the media, they may have reasoned correctly that after Bay and Lackey… no big move is a good move.
Say what you want about Forbes’ recently dubbed worst run franchise. The core players on this team are young and healthy and ready to prove the doubters wrong. From what I’ve read and heard in interviews with players like Reyes, Wright, Francoeur, and Murphy, the clubhouse attitude is going to be intense this year. Add known clubhouse presence Jason Bay to this hungry lineup and you have a team that might just win and have a little more fun than the Met bashing media thinks.
I don’t follow the Mets because I enjoy dissecting the business model of this franchise. I follow the Mets because seeing the players have fun and occasionally win is a fun way to spend my summer. Project all you want. Tell me the team sucks once the win-loss column can prove you right. But just know I’ll be in your face chanting “Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose” as loud as I can to drown out your rational argument. I’m a Mets fan after all.