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Monday, March 05, 2007

More Than They Appear

Mar 05, 2007 04:14 PM

Baseball is more than stats and numbers. The Mets are more then they appear. A lot of people are talking about a lot of issues the Mets have; Unknown back end of the rotation, questions at second base, iffy corner outfielders. They compare the Mets to other teams, like the Phillies, and match them up position by position. Appearances are not all they appear however; the Mets are more valuable then they would appear on paper.

Can you quantify the effect a player like Jose Reyes, who is always playing 150%, always smiling, and leaves no doubt that he absolutely loves what he's doing? How about the zany antics of Pedro? The incredibly intelligent book-keeping of Delgado on all the pitchers he faces, and his willingness to impart his knowledge in the clubhouse? What about the competition imparted by having nine competitors for the last three spots in the rotation, and the knowledge that even after they get it, there are a bunch of guys possibly pitcher well in triple-A that could take the spot? Not to mention that they're still competing within the rotation because Pedro is coming back to claim one of the spots.

What about the bench? A lot of big plays and moments come from players who are just bit players. This was probably one of the Mets problems last year, and Omar worked at fixing it for this year. There are a couple of players that are looking good this spring, and players like Endy Chavez still looks good. I'd like to see him get 40-50 starts this year.

The Mets rotation will likely continue to be good this year. Heilman, Sanchez and Wagner should still be good, and some other guys in camp, like Joe Smith, are impressing.

Overall baseball is about more than stats and formulas. The Mets may not be as impressive on paper to be a sure thing to win the division, but there are factors there that people are missing. The drive of individual players is very important. Delgado, Reyes, and Beltran are just some of the everyday players that have come out early in camp talking about their statistical goals for the season, the ways they are going to improve. Expect good things from the Mets this year, and you won't be disappointed.

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