One of the curses of being a New York Mets fan is this constant state of tension and skepticism we’ve been accustomed to. We’ve been trained over the years to not get excited when something too good to be true happens.
Yes, right now the culture feels different. The tides have shifted into the Mets’ favor, BUT the Steve Cohen-led Mets have yet to play a single game. Trust me, the excitement is there, but I’m still holding my breath until the final out of the season.
The Mets are almost always good in April. They flounder in May/June and then give just a bit short of a push in September. So excuse the pessimism.
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Now let’s talk about the title of this article. Too many times the Mets have brought in huge free agents or made big trades where the players with immense talent don’t work out. My mind races to Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn, Jason Bay, and more recently Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, and even Yoenis Cespedes in the long run.
Francisco Lindor is coming in with a whirlwind of expectation. Everyone loves him. Mets fans and Puerto Ricans (like myself) feel like we have a special player that will deliver the goods.
Here’s the thing, there’s no guarantee that he’ll re-sign with the Mets. There’s also the New York City big lights factor that seems to get in many players’ heads.
We may be unfairly counting on Lindor to be the face of a franchise that he has yet to play a game for and may not even stay with. Then of course if he starts off slow or doesn’t live up to this immense hype we threw on him, he’ll be a bust.
The Mets traded away Amed Rosario who seemingly is what he is as a player. A change of scenery may do him well. But then the skeptical Mets fan creeps up and says, what if he becomes the next Melvin Mora? What if he becomes the next Travis D’Arnaud?
Then I look at Andres Gimenez and I wonder, what if we gave them a familiar face – the next Omar Vizquel? If he’s this good defensively now, how good will he get, and could he become a serviceable hitter too?
If even half of this comes true, and we only got Lindor for one year and no championship, then did we give up too much? I’m not a fortune teller, so time will tell.
That is why I’m putting my excitement stock into Cookie Carrasco. He’s coming here as a second fiddle to Lindor. He’s a fighter, someone who has defied the odds of pitching again and beat Leukemia. There isn’t a lot riding on his shoulders and he’s an established pros pro.
You would have to figure his numbers may fair better in the National League regardless of the DH because he’s a new face in the division. He’ll be competing with Jacob deGrom and dealing with the brash fierceness of Marcus Stroman and Noah Syndergaard. He’ll also no doubt be seen as a leader with his playoff experience and service time.
The other thing about Carrasco is that he’ll be here for a bit. We know he can’t jump ship. He also desperately filled a need the Mets had for another starter. The Mets didn’t necessarily need to add Lindor with there being holes in centerfield and third base.
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All in all, I hope these are finally the New York Mets that exceed expectations. I can feel the excitement among the fans and players. This is definitely different, but I’m wondering how long it’ll take to flush the Wilpon virus out of our systems.