Hartnett: The Sky Is Not Falling On The Mets, Instead New Belief Has Emerged
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By Sean Hartnett
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We’re living in a world today where a quack preacher like Harold Camping can influence people to spend their entire life savings warning people of the apocalypse. A retired MTA employee, Robert Fitzpatrick of Staten Island, plunged his nest egg of $140,000 on subway and bus advertising to alert New Yorkers of what he believed to be an imminent rapture.
Well, we’re all fine and standing here today. Camping admitted he made a ‘mistake’ but is again spewing his theory about October 21st being the new date that our world is coming to an end. It’s just part of modern society; someone will come up with a loosely-based theory and the gullible segment of our population will believe in it. A decade ago, thousands of people panicked during the ‘Y2K scare’ and built underground bunkers when they believed that a potential computer glitch would bankrupt the world’s economy.
When Mets’ majority owner Fred Wilpon made comments about the direction of the franchise, fans began to jump to conclusions that their team would be entirely ripped apart. Like the well-known fable character Chicken Little, some Met fans began to hysterically shout that ‘the sky is falling’ and speak of doomsday scenarios. One of which that was thrown about was that the two cornerstones of their roster, David Wright and Jose Reyes both would be traded away and the 2012 payroll would be slashed dramatically.
Mr. Wilpon did not deserve the backlash he received from the media and fans for his slip of tongue nor should his words been taken as the gospel. It isn’t like he is the only key decision maker inside the Mets’ organization. General manager Sandy Alderson holds many of the important cards within the franchise deck and has the power to make significant input on important team issues.
When the news broke Thursday that David Einhorn invested a $200M stake in the Mets, fans again jumped to conclusions that this would be the prelude to a full takeover by the Greenlight Capital president. That case appears to be unlikely at the present moment and fans shouldn’t be getting too carried away. Einhorn isn’t a white knight riding into Flushing carrying bags full of money on his trusty steed. What he is in fact is a stabilizing investor who can stop the bleeding created in the aftermath of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme on the Mets’ finances.
I urge fans neither to get too high or too low and heed the famous words that ring true again in these days of societal plight to ‘keep calm and carry on.’ I’ve always admired the reputation of Met fans in that they tend to stick with their team through thick and thin. They’ve suffered through years and years of false hope signings and late-season collapses but now is a time for clarity and patience.
Any suggestion of Wright being dealt away seems extremely unrealistic especially with the emergence of Einhorn into the picture. Even if their sparkplug Reyes is traded before the July 31st trade deadline it is only a temporary setback. Wright and Ike Davis are two sluggers at power positions in which the club can build around. Dillon Gee and Jon Niese have proven themselves as dependable starters who can compliment an eventually healthy Johan Santana.
The overall health of the Mets’ franchise has been restored. If the talents of Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez are traded away, there will be useful prospects arriving that will infuse their farm system. It isn’t like the minor league cupboard is bare as there are some exciting farmhands making their way closer to Citi Field. Prized prospect Wilmer Flores is highly thought of by manager Terry Collins and could rekindle the good feelings that Reyes injected into the team as a rookie in 2003. Right-handed starter Matthew Harvey is making strong progress at Single-A St. Lucie and Kirk Nieuwenhuis appears ready to step into the majors right away.
There no doubt that the Mets are headed in positive direction with an eye toward a promising future. The sky is certainly not falling and a disaster is not imminent. It’s time for Met fans to sit back and enjoy things. They’ve always taken heart in the motto set forth by Tug McGraw, “You Gotta Believe.” Well fans, keep the faith and belief because brighter days at Citi Field are eventually coming.
Is there reason for new-found belief in the Amazin’s? Have your say below or send Sean a tweet @HartyLFC.