Okay. Look at it this way.
The Mets’ mediocre record is as good or better than the records of the 2007 AL Wild Card Yankees, the 2007 AL Central Division Champion Indians, the 2007 Wild Card runners-up Tigers and Mariners, 2007 NL Pennant Winning Rockies, and the Padres, teams that last year won 94, 96, 88, 88, 90, and 89 games respectively. I don’t know what this means precisely, but I’d be pretty surprised if any of these teams ends the season below .500.
The Mets are fifth from the bottom in slugging percentage and are tied with the Phillies in E.R.A. Do you expect either of these things to be true when the season ends?
Wright, Beltran, and Reyes can pretty much be counted upon to play better in the last two thirds of the season than they have played thus far.
Church and Alou are coming back. So is Pedro Martinez. This may mean nothing and it may mean something.
Here’s the clincher, as far as I can see. None of the teams in our division has established that they are better than the Mets. None of them looks to me as if they are likely to win more than 90 games.
It’s probably not going to be a season of brilliant baseball. It will be a season of streaks. It could be very exciting.
Remember that we were 27-28 in 1999 and ended up 97-63. I’m not saying that that is going to happen again, but I don’t think anyone has reason yet to believe that it is unlikely that we can will the 89 games it would have taken last year and will probably take this year to get into the playoffs.
That’s what I have to say. I won’t rip into them yet and I’m running out of nostalgic themes. They are not playing well. But no one has the right to write them off yet. This is a very weird season that, for several good ballclubs, is taking a bizarrely long time to begin.