I love baseball. I love the Mets. And every year as players are reporting to camp and intra-squad games are beginning, I’m excited to have baseball back as part of my daily existence.
But this year just feels a little…different.
Not a bad different. Just different.
See when I say I love the Mets, I mean that. Good or bad. But usually bad. Usually non-competitive. It doesn’t affect the amount of games I watch or attend, but as the season is beginning, I’m already hoping for the next prospect to develop or checking who will be available in next year’s free agent crop and could provide value to the team next season.
Sure, every season will have its moments of triumph. You’ll have some exciting games and moments. Maybe even seem fun storylines to follow throughout a full season (think RA Dickey in 2012. That was hella fun.), but, for basically a decade, I’ve come into this season already thinking about next season.
And that’s what’s different this year. This isn’t about next season. This season is actually about THIS season. That sounds and feels insane. I’m a Mets fan. Who am I to be excited about anything? But I am. And I have every right to be.
Coming off a surprise World Series appearance (and don’t kid yourself…you didn’t fucking see that coming either, dick) and an offseason in which ownership put up mucho US greenback (a reference that only Meatball will get) to the shock and surprise of anybody with two ears and a heart, the Mets have a deeper, better team and look to be primed to compete into the postseason once again.
Spring training has begun and we’ve had our eyes filled with the bedazzled exploits of Yoenis Cespedes’ fleet of high-end automobiles, the first BSOHL (best shape of his life) story in Juan Lagares and, most recently, Yo and his sidekick, Noah Syndergaard riding horses to camp the other day.
The players are seem to be having fun. I’m certainly having fun watching and reading about them having fun. The spring, thus far, seems to be – dare I say it – drama free. There aren’t many spots on the roster open for competition. There’s no harping on the Wilpons being a couple of cheap fuckbois. Carlos Beltran isn’t already criticizing the medical staff.
What the fuck is happening to my Mets?
Sure, the Cespedes stuff may be a little (or a lot for the “Get off my lawn” crowd) much for some, but I love it. The dude is a millionaire, young and enjoying his life. As long as he works when he’s supposed to work, I don’t give a fuck how many cars he owns or how many award-winning hogs he buys at auction.
The Mets are the complete opposite now of what they were for so long. They have character. They have personality. They have swag. And they have expectations to repeat as division champions and make another run in the postseason. Whereas the team was bland and apathetic for so long, the mood has changed (copyright Tazz c.2000) and this team seems aware and ready to embrace its no position as favorites.
It’s different, but it’s a nice different. The team (and fans) gained great experience during last year’s run and now we’re all back to recreate some magic. Sure, divisions and postseason games aren’t won on paper, but with expected improvements from some of the younger guys, consistency from the veterans and the added improvements made this offseason, you can’t help not just getting hyped, but staying hyped (second horrible wrestling reference in this post) as we get closer to opening day.
If all goes right, March will fly by and we’ll be in Kansas City for Opening Day in no time to – hopefully – get off to a good start where last season got off to a bad end. There is truly nothing I enjoy more than a fresh baseball season and with a new energy and attitude, it’s probably safe to say I’ve never been as excited for any season to start as I am for this one. Sometimes change can be good. This is one of those times.