OK, that’s not a rhetorical question and it’s not one I’m fully prepared to answer yet. Allow a braindump of sorts — I’m trying to figure it out.
Klapisch strongly suggests that Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya will be canned after the season. I thought that should have and would have happened last year, so I’ll believe it when I see it. And obviously a lot of the Mets’ future hinges on whether it does.
The fanbase is angry right now, pitchforks and torches. The Mets are no fun to watch, and for some crazy reason we don’t even get to see the kids play every day. We watch Luis Castillo hobble and Jeff Francoeur hack instead, and we get mad. I’m with you.
But thinking about the future, are you more or less optimistic about 2011 and 2012 than you were last year at this time?
Last year we weren’t sure Jose Reyes would ever be decent or healthy again. He hasn’t had a great year, sure, and now his contract status is up in the air, but he has been pretty damn good since mid-May, once he (presumably) got up to speed.
David Wright, though, has had another weird year. Still a good year, but, like 2009, not as good as his years from 2005 through 2008. That’s an investigation for another post.
Johan Santana has been healthy and effective. It appeared he may have been getting exceptionally lucky — or something — at the beginning of the season, but he now appears to be striking out batters like he used to.
Oh, I could go on and on. You know the rest. The Mets are a year closer to getting out from under some big, bad contracts. Angel Pagan is awesome. Jon Niese looks pretty good. Josh Thole might be a serviceable Major League regular. Ike Davis has been pretty bad stats-wise as far as first basemen go, but he hasn’t entirely embarrassed himself — a decent sign for a 23-year-old rushed through the Minors.
They added the Jason Bay contract, which looks pretty terrible right about now. Bay looks like a pretty safe bet to bounce back a bit next year, but obviously that deal, with the vesting option and everything, looks like something of an albatross after the season Bay put up in Flushing.
And then there are the guys in the system. Fernando Martinez has yet to demonstrate he’s a hitting machine and shouldn’t be in the Majors, though he’s still quite young. Kirk Nieuwenhuis appears to have taken big steps forward, as has Wilmer Flores. But Reese Havens has struggled with injury and the crop of pitchers in High A ball has struggled.
I’m recapping lots of stuff you already know. So what do you think? Do the Mets, as a franchise, appear better or worse prepared to compete in the future than they did a year ago?