Two weeks ago, the New York Mets arrived back in Queens in a world of hurt. They had lost six of seven on the road, including a series sweep against Atlanta. The Mets were 10 games under .500, 37-47, and free-falling into last place, 11 games behind in the National League Eastern division.
You can learn a lot about a baseball team from its locker room. The clubhouse is where relationships form, character is revealed and leaders speak out (or not). For the major league rookie, clubhouse real estate is valuable — sometimes priceless. Imagine being the rookie who spent eight months out of the year next to Sandy Koufax? Roberto Clemente? Lou Gehrig? Tom Seaver? These were model athletes, wise and humble men, who used their talent to teach.
An injury to a starting pitcher, depth, a team’s unexpected first-half success begs the question, “Are we buyers or sellers?” as the trade deadline looms. They’re questions and challenges every playoff contending team will face to some degree. They are part of the natural progression of a baseball season for all 30 Major league baseball teams and one that will soon result with Sandy Alderson revealing his true appraisal of the 2012 New York Mets.