If you would have told me before the year began that we would be ‘considering’ the Mets as a contender entering the third month of the season, I would have asked you what you were smoking and then double-checked that your last name wasn’t Wilpon…
Daniel Murphy, David Wright and the rest of the Mets are all smiles as they begin June 5 games over .500. Photo: (US Presswire)
And yet here we are about to begin the month of June, declaring that the Mets have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. Here are several factors that we have weighed into this thought process:
The Mets, first and foremost, deserve a tremendous amount of credit for over-achieving with essentially a young & unexperienced bunch of players while dealing with the obligitory injuries that every team is faced with.
Their payroll adds new meaning to the phrase “shoe-string budget”. Example: if you take the salaries of Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy and Mike Nickeas, currently all starters, it would total just under $2 million! A-Rod makes that in a weekend! Discounting SP Johan Santana, the remaining 13 pitchers, (starters and relievers combined) make just slightly less than CC Sabathia does…
Manager Terry Collins, who I like a lot, makes this team play hard every day. When you’re making $519,550 like Jonathan Niese or $497,318 like Lucas Duda, there are no egos for Collins to contend with. Just a bunch of hungry and coachable players giving it their all every game.
If Mets manager Terry Collins can keep his team focused and playing hard as they have been, he could be in contention for Manager of the Year honors. Photo: blog.bettor.com
There are other factors to consider why we give the Mets a shot. They are starting off June 5 games over .500, just 1.5 games out of first place. They are playing in arguably one of the weakest National Leagues in memory. Yes the Marlins and the Nationals are good teams and the Dodgers are probably the best of the rest, but as of May 31st, the N.Y. Mets have the 5th best record in the N. L. and sport the best record against the N.L. East (15-9), of any team.
Throw in that that they are playing their first season with the fences brought in so that it no longer takes a SCUD Missle to launch a baseball out of Citi Field, and you finally see some offense from this group.
Lastly, I think that the Mets need to make some additions at the deadline this year in order to make a push during the last half of the season. It doesn’t, and probably won’t be high pricetag players either. Just some key backup/bench players and some help in the ‘pen is all they’ll need
This is the big “IF” I referred to-During the month of June, The Mets will face undoubetedly their toughest one month schedule of the season. They play, in order: St. Louis, Wash., Yanks, Tampa Bay, Cincy, Balt, Yanks, Cubs, L.A.D. Three of these teams are currently in 1st place in their division.
That’s a total of 27 games. If they can finish the month at least or close to 14-12, then not only am I on board but it would be more than safe to say that they would have a legitimate shot at making it to the playoffs. However you will need a scorecard at the end of the season because hardly any of the names on this team are recognizable…