Spring Training comes with its own measure of swagger. Optimism is the size of a grapefruit. Predictions of an October pennant race sound as sweet as a sun-kissed Florida orange. From Florida to Arizona, managers and coaches spew sweet accolades on the crop of prospects while players gush giddy gibberish sweeter than the citrus of a pomelo.
The Winter Meetings are underway in San Diego. The New York Mets are actively … talking to teams. On Monday, manager Terry Collins addressed the media. Below is a condensed version of the media Q&A with the Mets manager.
Joe Maddon opted out of the final year of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays Friday and fans and media in New York are furious. Bizarre? Not really. Six consecutive losing seasons — and counting — in Flushing has a way of changing culture. In this case, frustration and, yes, desperation.
While current managers John Farrell and Mike Matheny are busy preparing their teams for Game 1 of the 2013 World Series tomorrow night, general managers of 28 other Major League Baseball clubs are trying to get a jumpstart on 2014.
When the day arrives, and it’s clear Zack Wheeler has “figured it out,” this will be the day he will appreciate most. New York Mets fans will prefer to reflect on Wheeler’s first MLB start, six shutout innings vs. Atlanta, but Sunday will be one of those starts that will educate the Mets rookie most as he moves forward.
Good baseball teams in a slump have hope. If a team has talented players there is every reason to be optimistic. It’s a 162-game season and, rest assure, tomorrow could be the day things turn around and a good team gets hot. Pitchers start pitching. Hitters start hitting. Closers close. The club wins six, seven, eight in a row, 15 of their next 20 games. Confidence is restored. See St. Louis Cardinals.