The 2011 season is finally upon us. About three hours remain till the Amazin's take the field at Sun Life Stadium to face the Florida Marlins in the first of what's sure to be a 162 game roller coaster ride.
My plan was to use this post as a preview of the players and the season, but unfortunately manager Terry Collins already beat me to it. Unfortunate's probably not the best word; it's good the manager is invested enough to write a letter like that...let's say "fortunately inconvenient."
Instead, let's talk best/worst case scenarios.
The team does exactly what Collins implies they'll do in his letter. The Phillies have four aces but no offense and struggle to win consistently. Johan Santana comes back in July at his old form. Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay stay healthy and productive. Ike Davis and Josh Thole turn out to be the second coming of Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter. David Wright only strikes out 100 times as opposed to 150 and bats .300 again. The Mets win a relatively weak NL East on the final weekend of the season. The playoffs are a crap shoot so anything is possible.
Collins was forced by the Wilpons to write that letter and actually knows that this season will be a venerable hell. The Phillies don't need offense because their four aces hold teams under 2 runs every game. Johan succumbs to further injury and is lost for the whole season. Bay sneezes and breaks another rib; his production mirrors that of last year. Beltran steps in a hidden drain pipe in Citi Field and is lost for the season. Davis & Thole turn out to play like fifty-something-year-olds Hernandez and Carter would today. David Wright breaks 180 strikeouts and bats .270. K-Rod assaults a NY cop and is released from the team...we resign Ollie in order to fill the closer's spot. The Mets lose 90 games and finish last, behind even the Nationals, in a strong NL East.
Somewhere in the middle. Winning record, third in the division behind Philly & Atlanta, with a solid foundation for next season.
I leave you with a little reminder of how good it can get...
Have a great season guys.