What would success be to the 2012 Mets?

On this, the 50th anniversary of the Mets, I am sure they’ll have a better record than their founding fathers, but not have much better odds of success.

The ultimate success is defined by winning the World Series, followed by reaching the playoffs, winning your division, then finishing over .500. Realistically, a lot of things have to break right for the Mets to have a winning season.

But, with all that seemingly out of their reach, what would define a successful season?

I’m narrowing it down to a handful of things:

1) Some resolution, either way, to the Mets’ financial struggles. There’s such a negative feeling permeating this franchise because of the unknown ramifications of the Ponzi scandal. Even a court decision will go through the appeals process, so it won’t happen this summer. But, a little movement one way or another could tell us what direction the franchise is heading. Even if the news is bad, that’s better than not knowing and speculating.

2) A healthy and productive David Wright is important because he’s the face of the franchise and has been a shell of his All-Star self. If the Mets are to rebuild, they’ll need plenty of young pieces and Wright is the only player capable of bringing in that kind of talent.

3) A strain on the Mets are the contracts of Johan Santana and Jason Bay. If they can be healthy and perform even remotely to their potential, perhaps Sandy Alderson can find a taker. He did so with Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez and their impossible contracts. Maybe he can do it again. Yes, I know we’re talking a long shot here.

4) The Mets have some young talent that offers hope of better days. Jon Niese, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Josh Thole and Daniel Murphy aren’t without ability. You can throw Bobby Parnell in with that group, too. Maybe these guys can show us a glimpse of something promising in the future.

5) The Mets desperately need a fast start against the brutal schedule in April and early May to avoid a double-digit deficit before the weather gets warm. If the Mets can play alert, aggressive baseball out of the gate they might draw some people to Citi Field and perhaps curb some of the flood of red ink.

If all of these things happen it won’t guarantee a winning season, much less the playoffs. But, should they happen it might ease the negativity swarming around this franchise and that would be a start.



23 thoughts on “What would success be to the 2012 Mets?

  1. A successful season for this team is to be a 500 team, just like last year.

    Of course that probably won’t happen.

    In lieu of that I think your list is a good one. #1 would be new owners. It sounds like that won’t happen, but we can hope.

  2. John, the only quibble I have is with calling Beltran’s contract “impossible” to move. He was in the last yr of his deal, with not a lot left on it.
    Frankie’s on the other hand, was hard, considering the option. Bet Frankie wishes he hadn’t negotiated it away, given the salary cut and set up man role he now has.

    Oh, and they better not even THINK of trading Wright. I don’t care what pieces they get back, there is no replacing him, and it would set beck the rebuild more losing him if he is able to rebound.

    I think if Bay starts to hit again, he can be dealt. Johan on the other hand is most likely not going anywhere. His contract is too high given his injury history. And it is not like the Mets would be willing/able to pay part of his contract.

  3. Ed,

    Objectively why are you against trading Wright? Although he is still young and has a good glove his arm has always been wild. His bat does not have the consistency and power it once had. Hopefully this is cured by bringing in the fences, but this team is in bad shape and for the team it would be better to get younger talented pieces than wait for the team to get better around him.

  4. Well said Ed, Wright has never been the same since he got hit on the head, so I’m not expecting too much from him this year.

  5. A successful season would be if the entire Wilpon family perished in a plane crash and MLB had to take over the team and sold it to owners who actually cared about this team and they’re fans.

  6. If your not gonna get to the playoffs you might as well go for the draft pick…As far as Wright the way he carries himself, if he gets traded shame on the Wilpons and I will bring the family to ducks games untill we have new owners…

  7. Dr. Boom Boom:

    You are a classless piece of s##t.

    Have a nice day, and don’t forget to kick the dog and slap your wife or girlfriend around, that sounds like your type.

  8. It’s pretty pathetic out successful season would be not to finish in last place… So for me a successful season would be if the Coupons get forced to sell the mets

  9. New ownership would be a start. Wright has not been the same since getting hit in the head though last year he started standing closer to the plate. Mets have a good core of players but pitching is the name of the game and that is still a couple years away.

  10. With the lousy Mets starting pitching and the great improvement in every other NL East team, anything above 70 wins will be a success.

  11. ed (2): In retrospect, you’re right, it wasn’t impossible to deal. … I don’t want them to trade Wright. I would like for him to play his whole career with the Mets, but I’m not optimistic of that happening. … Of the two, Bay would be the easiest to trade if he’d snap out of it. Santana, I’m afraid, isn’t going anywhere.-JD

  12. Mike (4): Wright will never admit it, but I agree with you. The beaning took more of a toll than he’s willing to admit. Part of Wright’s success was driving the ball to right field. He seems apprehensive about leaning over the plate.-JD

  13. Tim (10): The Mets have several pitching prospects that are several years away. Would be sweet if they turned out to be like San Francisco and they all blossom at once. What are the odds?-JD

  14. I can guarantee that David Wright will have at least 5 more seasons with a 900 plus OPS, that’s why I won’t trade him.

  15. I don’t get it. I understand the Mets are a team with serious issues and I have no asperations of a Division title or a playoff spot this year, but setting the bar at 70 wins? I think that’s insane. I know the Mets will feel the loss of Reyes and it’s a rough blow… but getting back Davis, a full year of Duda’s bat, a healthy Wright who will likely bounce back enough to be close to his expected production, a (hopefully) full year of Murphy’s bat (and defense that can’t be any worse than Dan Uggla)… it’s not like the Mets won’t be able to score some runs. The bullpen is much deeper than it was last year which is an improvement and the starting rotation, while it might be the weakest in the Division (something that is not a definite by the way. If Josh Johnson cannot return from his injury and stays on the shelf I think it’s better than the Marlins’) it’s not a WEAKNESS.

    You don’t know what you will get from Santana, but you might be looking at the type of pitcher David Cone became after he was unable to blow fastballs past hitters in the latter part of his career. Many have said that 70% of Johan Santana is still going to be be better than a large chunk of other pitchers.

    R. A. Dickey has had two straight solid seasons. His breakout 2010 was followed up with a nice 2011 where he had career bests in starts, ininngs and strike outs. His 3.28 ERA was 12th best in the NL. He keeps the Mets in games he pitches and his ERA over the last two seasons is 3.08.

    Jonathan Niese has been solid the last two years when healthy and has a lot of upside that could see him in this rotation for a long time, even when the young promising arms of Harvey and Wheeler get to town. He’s a craft lefty who throws in the 90s, strikes out hitters and doesn’t walk many, while getting a nice amount of groundballs. With a good defense behind him it’s not out of the question for Niese to have a breakout 2012.

    Dillon Gee had a solid start to his rookie season, but faded in the last third of the season. He went 13-6 with a 4.43 ERA but at the end of June was 8-1 with a 3.32 ERA and at the end of July was 10-3 with a 3.69 ERA. He had a rough Sept but showed a lot of promise and poise. He had 114 strike-outs in 160.2 innings but did walk 71. If he can cut those walks down his upside can be high.

    Mike Pelfry is an enigma. His last four seasons he has teetered back and forth between strong and infurating. In 2008 he went 13-11 with a 3.72 ERA. He had a great second half that year and 2009 looked promising, however he stumbled with a 10-12 record and a rough 5.03 ERA. Then in 2010 he bounced right back and had a great season in which he went 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA and at one point in June and July was without doubt the Mets best pitcher. Then in 2011 he dropped back again going 7-13 with a 4.74 ERA. At times he’s dominating and other times he’s maddening. This really is the “now or never” year for him I think. Which Pelfrey will the Mets get? If it’s the 2008 or 2010 model He’s a potenial #2. If it’s the 2009 or 2011 model he’s at best a #4 and likely more a #5.

    The entire NL East has a lot of quality pitching in it. The Mets may not be near top or even the mmiddle, but this notion their rotation is terrible makes no sense.

  16. Pat,

    You have a lot of HOPE in your analysis.

    1) Ike. I agree that he will be good. But we still need to see him healthy.
    2) Duda. One month. Perhaps the pitchers have had time to analyze and he won’t be that good.
    3) Murphy. I like Dan the Man, but he needs to stay on the field and be able to turn the double play.
    4) Santana. I assume we get nothing from him. Anything is a plus, but I am thinking zero till I see him pitch.
    5) Niese. Nice young player who needs to be healthy.
    6) Gee. Same as Niese.
    7) Dickey. Knuckleballer.
    8) Pelfrey. We do not have a catcher that can make him better.

  17. You aren’t wrong Dave… there is a definite amount of hope in there… but there is also some facts. I am putting a lot of faith into the youngsters like Davis, Duda, Gee and Niese, and yes you are totally correct that they HAVE to be healthy and on the field. I do think they can (and will) produce.

    I think I might be a little too optimistic on Santana and I think you might be a little too pessimistic. Maybe somewhere in between? If he’s able to pitch, and signs seem to point that he will likely be able to, I’m going to figure he can be a better than average arm. He won’t be what he was… but I think he’ll be better than a Ricky Nolasco or an Edwin Jackson.

    I’m not ready to throw in the towel on Pelfrey. In July of 2010 he was pitching incredible and strong. His overall year was solid despite the late season fade. I see something there. Like I said, this really is his make or break season… but I think he could be quite valuable when all is said and done. Hopeful for sure… but he’s had some real success in the past… I can’t give in to the idea he’s worthless yet.

  18. Whoops… forgot Dickey. I know… knucleballer… but two years in a row his ERA has been under 3.30. That has to mean something. The drop off between 2010 and 2011 was very slight. The record doesn’t show what an assest he’s been. If he can continue like this, he’s a very soild higher end of the rotation guy.