Teams of equal or lesser talent than the 2012 New York Mets (a roster still undefined at the time of this post) have backed their way into the post-season. Usually, it’s a combination of one team getting hot and another going stone cold in September. In the case of Mets, a pair of non-roster moves may prove to be the most beneficial to the team’s success in 2012: revised Citi Field dimensions and another Wild Card slot.
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has proposed expanding the Wild Card to include one additional American and National League team. The two Wild Card winners in each league would then meet for a one game playoff and a bid to the divisional series. If MLB is able to incorporate the new Wild Card system in 2012, don’t dismiss the Mets post-season chances.
Remember, the difference between the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets was 13 wins. You laugh? Remember the regular season is 162 games. The Cardinals were 18-8 in September and squeezed into the post-season on the final Sunday of the regular season. The Mets won 21 of 49 one-run games; the Cardinals 26-23 in the same category. It took all 162 games (and a few lucky breaks) for St. Louis to advance and the result … you know the rest of the magnificant story.
“Unbelievable story,” said Mets third baseman David Wright. “It just shows that you can get hot at the right time.”
The Mets won 77 games last season. Not good, right? Consider the circumstances: a season without Johan Santana, months without Ike Davis, David Wright and Daniel Murphy’s bats and a pair of trade deadline deals including Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran. Now, consider this: all of the above talented and healthy, more power with Citi Field dimensions adjustments, a season of experience for Lucas Duda, Jon Niese, Josh Thole and Dillon Gee and one additional post-season bid swinging in the breeze. Could the Mets win 85 games? 87? 88?
Suddenly, the glass begins looking half-full instead of half-empty for 2012.
Start the conversation. Post a comment. Are you optimistic about the New York Mets in 2012? Do you think the additional Wild Card will create more of an opportunity for the Mets?