Are We Having Fun Yet?
Early adversity has led to brighter days. Funny how that works...
|Tim Ryder||May 13||2||1|
It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.
There have been more than a few speedbumps along the way so far for these New York Metropolitans. For a while, you’d have thought driving in baserunners was against the rules of the game.
Even with the ever-present element of injuries either lurking or taking their toll on the upper-rung depth of this organization — as we’re seeing now, but hopefully not for too much longer —, this team hasn’t backed down from the challenge.
So far, at least. But, in a sense, that’s what this is all about, is it not?
Overcoming adversity leads to growth. What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger. I don’t have another cliche handy, but you get the gist.
Watching practically your entire offense break down simultaneously then seeing two of the only fully operational bats in your lineup in Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis fall by the wayside, this group could have easily gotten discouraged.
It didn’t happen though. The message from Mets skipper Luis Rojas never changed. The players’ eyes never strayed from the prize. Noses were put to the grindstone and work was put in. Look at them now…
Guys are hitting. The pitching staff — the entire pitching staff — is performing. The bench mob is mobbing. All good things.
Closing out a five-game homestand unbeaten — to go along with two wins in St. Louis before coming home — have the Mets heading south with not just momentum, but a clearer picture of that ultimate goal.
As things were falling apart in April, visions of this team celebrating in October became tougher to conjure. Heading into the season with sky-high expectations only to falter at the starting gun can have that effect.
The fan base was likely the most affected by the slow start. That’s understandable. We are a tortured bunch and, sometimes, it shows.
It’s been some time since these loyal-to-a-fault fans have been able to grasp tangible success. For as long as most of us can remember, we had been fed a steady diet of best-case scenarios if everything works out *just right*.
No more. The Mets, now under new ownership and already stocked with a borderline elite core, made every attempt to enter 2021 prepared for the long haul.
Francisco Lindor was acquired and extended through my youngest daughter’s college graduation. Carlos Carrasco — who I still can’t believe was pretty much tossed into the deal by Cleveland — will prove his worth very soon.
And not a moment too soon, as the Mets’ starting rotation is currently without Jacob deGrom (no harm no foul, as Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker have essentially been aces in their own respective regards) and could certainly use the added reinforcement of another front-line arm in the mix.
We all realize that come August, Walker could, in theory, be the Mets’ fifth starter, right? DeGrom, Stroman, Carrasco, Noah Syndergaard, and Walker. That’s what we’re working with. Pinch me…
And the depth. Oh, the depth.
The moving of deck chairs on the Titanic that was the Mets’ former front office resulted in more of the same middling for years. Under new direction, tangible progress has already been made.
The proof of that is in the pudding of the Mets’ current' seven-game win streak and ever-expanding lead in the National League East.
You’d imagine the energy being pent up in that clubhouse should continue to propel this team through the inevitable downtimes that will come along.
And, of course, there will be downtimes (it happens over 162 games). But the key to keeping that train moving is limiting those instances, and this team appears more than capable of handling those situations.
Back in the morning with a new episode of Simply Amazin’. Keep it locked.
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