It won’t take long to figure out the 2012 Mets.
The team entering spring training without expectations – at least positive ones – face a difficult schedule despite 13 games at Citi Field and ten on the road. That includes everybody in their division, so we’ll have an idea of how they’ll stack up against the NL East.
I looked at their schedule this afternoon and if things play out as expected, they could be done before the weather gets warm. It isn’t hard to imagine interest in the baseball season being done in Flushing before the kids are done with school.
They open with a pair of three-game series at home against the Braves, who always give them a hard time, and the new-and-improved Washington Nationals (80-81 last year), who are talking with Prince Fielder.
Then they have consecutive three-game series at Philly and Atlanta before coming home for four games against San Francisco and three with Miami.
The Nationals and Marlins were sub-.500 last season, but both played the Mets tough and are expected to be better this year, perhaps to the point of wild-card contention.
They close out the month with three at Colorado and one in Houston, places where they have struggled.
Following two more at Houston, the Mets play Arizona, at Philadelphia and Miami, and home to Milwaukee and Cincinnati before May 18.
Think there’s a chance they could be ten games under or more by then? You bet.
It is not productive for a team to look too far ahead, but with all that’s going on with the Mets, it isn’t hard.