It’s a drab, uninspiring team from the starting lineup to the rotation to the bullpen, but at least they’ll look good. The 2013 Mets have eliminated all traces of black from their uniforms and replaced it with the traditional blue and orange. For home games they’ll wear the occasional blue jerseys with an orange “Mets” across the chest, and — who says the Mets’ front office won’t spend money for essentials? — A blue road jersey with “New York” on the front? On top of this — and this is really where the Wilpons broke the budget — there will be an alternative cap, blue crown and orange brim, with white Old English “NY.”
If they sell enough of those, perhaps the Mets will be able to buy some ballplayers.
Strengths? Well, the corners look good with Ike Davis at first–32 home runs last year, good for third in the National League with one for just about every 16 times at-bat. Davis is just 26 and could get better. With David Wright at third–if his ribs are properly healed–the Mets have one of the best sets of corner infielders in the game.
I can’t make a case for optimism anywhere else on this team. Johan Santana is only 34 but begins the season on the DL. I hope everyone got such a thrill out of his no-hitter last season that it erases the memory of the overwork in that game that probably doomed him for the rest of the season, if not for the rest of his career. As I write this it still isn’t clear when he will be out of rehab.
There is one unqualified bright spot in the entire roster, and, of course it’s Matt Harvey, who was only 3-5 but had a 2.73 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 59 innings. And Jon Niese, who gets the ball on Opening Day, was pretty good last year — for a Met — 13-9, 2.93 ERA. Oh, yes, and Bobby Parnell had a 2.49 ERA in the bullpen, 1.51 at Citifield. (But, of course, that means he was mediocre on the road.)
Every player on this team knows the truth: Don’t do anything sensational or you’ll end up learning signals up in Toronto. To those of you who, like me, are still pissed over the R.A. Dickey deal, here’s a reason to stay pissed: For all the talk of the impressive prospects the Mets got in return, they didn’t get a starter. What they got was a lower payroll, which, in turn, means they’re going to pass the savings along to you with lower ticket prices . . .
Oh, wait, they’re not. Despite a fourth-place finish in the NL East, the Mets have raised single-game ticket prices for almost every seating category for the fourth consecutive season. If you want to see the Mets play the Yankees at Citifield this year–and something tells me they’re not going to be pushing down the gates to get in for those games–it will cost you a cool 63 bucks. And that’s the cheap seats.