How do you follow-up a season in which you reached the World Series for the first time in 15 years?
Why, you win the World Series, of course.
Hold on there, Mets fan.
Well, the old saw Hope Springs Eternal was coined for baseball fans, was it not?
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The long season starts in Kansas City on April 3, against the Royals, the American League toughie that beat my Mets last fall for the big prize. For now, though, I can turn my wide-screen to SNY and see the green fields of Florida as my favorite players work out the kinks of winter.
The pieces are in place.
Yoenis Cespedes signed an interesting and alluring contract drawn up general manager Sandy Alderson, a multi-year pact matching that of others offered the big-hitting free agent, but front-loaded and allowing the player to opt out after this season if he again over-achieves, so he can check his worth in the off-season again.
Bartolo Colon signed up again, in his 40s and ready to start on the mound until young arm Zach Wheeler is ready in July to return from his Tommy John surgery. In the postseason, Colon showed how ornery and effective he is coming out of the bullpen. He came back, he said, because he enjoys New York and the Mets organization, much the same as Cespedes’ sentiments.
Alderson also added second baseman Neil Walker from Pittsburgh in a trade and free agent shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, reshaping the middle infield.
As for player losses, sturdy lefty pitcher Jonathon Niese went to the Pirates for Walker, and career Met and National League Championship hero Daniel Murphy left as a free agent for the NL East rival Washington Nationals. May he continue to be a Cub killer for them.
It’s a long season, indeed. And I’m already ready for it to begin.
What are you warming up for this spring, and why? If you ever considered yourself a free agent in anything in life, what decision did you make? If you feel like you ever “traded” without your knowledge or consent, what were the circumstances?