Feb. 28.10: Play to win now?

The exhibition schedule begins this week and with it the questions of the importance of winning these games. Pennants aren’t won in March, but sometimes the mentality needed to win can be developed.

While going 20-10 during spring training guarantees nothing, I can’t help but think going 10-20 isn’t a good thing. The Mets need to develop the attitude that playing well is important and they just can’t assume things will be better.

The Mets are a team with flaws, but also a team that played reckless with the fundamentals and more than a few times mailed in their effort. Playing aggressive and crisp baseball now is important because bad habits can develop by playing otherwise.

It is a long summer, but considering last season and how the two previous years ended I believe it is imperative to get off to a good start and get into good habits right away. The Mets’ psyche is delicate after the last three seasons, and despite the bold talk from David Wright and Johan Santana about the World Series and winning, this is a team that hasn’t always played with confidence.

The Mets need to develop a positive mentality and that begins with these games.

14 thoughts on “Feb. 28.10: Play to win now?

  1. (1) I think those years covering the Yankees have left permanent, Steinbrenner-like scarring on him.

  2. Your comments echo Bobby O. He said the same. I agree. With the way the team has played, playing hard and crisp, even if they do not win will help.

    All the pitchers need to pitch well and win in the innings they play. The team needs to set a tone and it needs to start now.

    I don’t want them to burn out, but they need to play right.

    The manager also needs to manage right.

  3. I think they need to play to get rhythm and teamwork. Winning will come when they use “fundies” as Keith always says.

    Manuel needs to stop screwing around with the lineup and just play the team.

    We would do much better if M&M were let go… previous managers etc were let go for doing far less and worse than this pathetic duo.

  4. Game intensity can sometimes sneak up on you and its the middle of the game before you’re really into it. I think playing to win in spring training can counter that tendency. Of course you never want to risk injury or overuse anyone in spring training but the guys who are in the game should always being playing to win the game. Just ask Herm Edwards.

  5. Herm Edwards. A pretty bad example. Total failure in NY and total failure in KC. Is he he Jerry the lesser’s hero?
    Seriopusly, there’s a difference between a guy playing hard while in the game and Delcos’ claim that winning the games is important. For a manager to actually try to win games in the Spring means playing regulars longer than you normally do in exhibition games, it means not playing your prospects and # 99 guys on the road trips, it means bringing all your starters on the bus trips instead of just the normal 2 or 3, it menas sending Santana on the bus when its his turn instead of having him pitch to AAA guys on a back field in Pt St Lucie.
    If the team feels it has to win spring training games, then that is a very bad sign. It means they are emulating losing franchises who are having a bad advance ticket sale trying to give their fan base a false sense of a great season ahead. The ’62 Mets used their .500 spring to show their fans that they were a new team ready to compete. If a team emphasizes playing the game correctly that would be a good sign. But most of that work is done before the games in good drills.

  6. on mets minor league blog they talk about how bernazard was behind the hit the other way philosophy.

    the claim is that this was a major reason why david didnt hit hr’s.

    if true, another reason why i am glad he is out of here.

  7. dave: Its bull. Even Manuel wouldn’t stoop that low. He was on Francesa yesterday and never mentioned Bernazard. He said he (speaking of himself) went too far with it last year. I gained a bit of rspect for him for not jumping on the blame the fired guy bandwagon. Now if he would learn the art of blasting his players in his private office instead of in front of the microphones it would help a lot.

  8. so ike davis is the flavor of the spring.

    for a few weeks now everyone is saying how impressed they are with him.

    i hope he starts in AAA. If he continues he most likely will get called up this year to start at 1B.

  9. Winning in Spring Training means nothing, however, fundamentals during spring training mean everything. I am more worried about the 3-4 errors in a single inning in today’s game then I am about winning or losing the game. Of course the errors were by A-Hern, Thole and others that are not likely to make the team, but we need to make sure this team plays good fundamental baseball it didn’t play for even a couple innings last year.

  10. BTW, where in the world did this site come from, been gone for a week or so and suddenly the site doesn’t even resemble itself. Thought I clicked on the wrong bookmark or something…