NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bovada, the popular sports betting website, has set the New York Mets’ line at 73.5 wins in 2014.
General manager Sandy Alderson is taking the over. Way, way over.
Alderson told team brass — including co-owner Fred Wilpon — during an organizational meeting earlier this week that he thinks the Mets could win 90 games, the New York Daily News reported.
Mets execs were moved to discuss “how to best maximize” the team’s assets after Alderson’s bar-raising comment, the paper reported.
According to the Daily News, citing a source, Wilpon later said during the meeting, “We better win 90.”
The Mets have some exciting young arms in the pipeline, guys like Rafael Montero and Noah “Hook From Hell” Syndergaard. Starting pitcher Zack Wheeler is looking to build on his impressive rookie year, and there’s hope that catcher Travis d’Arnaud will grow into the hype that surrounded him in the R.A. Dickey trade.
“All I’ll say is we have higher expectations than we’ve had in the past,” Alderson told the Daily News when asked if he actually made the remark about 90 wins.
But there are question marks — and some of them are big. The Mets were unable to find a taker for embattled first baseman Ike Davis, and many frustrated fans have been calling for free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew to replace Ruben Tejada.
Matt Harvey is done for the year after reconstructive surgery on his pitching elbow. Closer Bobby Parnell is coming off neck surgery and presumptive Opening Day starter Jon Niese was sent back to New York for an MRI on his shoulder after complaining of a “dead” arm Wednesday.
“I think it has to be a mind-set,” Alderson said of raising expectations. “Part of creating a winning environment is setting ambitious goals and working toward them. But it has to be systematic and it can’t be totally unrealistic. I don’t think it is in this case.”
Co-owner Jeff Wilpon said in an MLB.com Q&A earlier this month that the Mets, out from under the Bernie Madoff financial mess, are “primed to take advantage” of Alderson’s plan, now entering its fourth year.
New York went 74-88 in 2013, matching its mark from the previous season.
“We’ve all hoped to do better, but as I think I’ve explained in the past, hope isn’t a good business plan,” Jeff Wilpon said. “Hope hasn’t gone as far as we’ve liked, but I think we have more certainties this year than we’ve had in the past, so there are fewer things to hope on. But any team that goes out there hopes for a good season, hopes to stay healthy and hopes some of the young kids can contribute. We’re in the same position.”
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