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NY Mets Season Preview

Ah!! Don’t you just love this time of year? Spring is finally here! As well as our favorite past-time, Major League Baseball. The New York Mets are opening there brand-new, State-of-the-Art Stadium, Citi Field, saying goodbye to many great years at Shea Stadium. After a very good first half of the 2008 season (51-44, only a half game out of first behind the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Mets finished 89-73, 3 games back of the eventual World Series Champions; Philadelphia Phillies. All of us die-hard Mets fans can’t even think about the collapse of 2008, or even 2007, without tearing up a little and wanting to smash everything in our site! ( well not literally..but you get what I mean). As of September 10th, the Mets had a 3.5 game lead on the Phillies, riding a 3 game winning streak. If you remember 2007, it seemed like they had about an 85 game lead that the Phillies miraculously turned into them winning the Division. Could 2008 be the same? Does peanut butter go with jelly? YES! On September 17th, the Phillies turned around the 3.5 game deficit to take a .5 game lead on the Mets. That right there spells C-O-L-L-A-P-S-E. A week and you lose the division lead? This cannot be happening again. But of course the rest is history. The New York Mets spend October on their couches thinking, what could have been and the Philadelphia Phillies easily bull doze through their opponents to capture the 2008 World Series Championship. The main reason the Mets lost that lead was mostly because of there awful bullpen. I cannot even begin to be able to count on my 2 hands how many times the bullpen blew a lead of 4 or more runs going into the 8th inning. Even though Billy Wagner was hurt, that is still no reason to give up that many games in that less of innings.

They needed a closer and they needed him fast! The Metropolitans acquired Francisco Rodriguez from the Anaheim Angels during the off season. Rodriguez aka K-Rod comes off a historic 2008 season, stacking up an MLB record 62 saves. They were also able to pick up a great set-up man, J.J Putz, coming off a season where he went 6-5 with a 3.88 ERA with the Seattle Mariners. That’s sounds like a picture perfect 1-2 punch to close out games. Don’t get me wrong they have the offense; Reyes, Beltran, Delgado, Wright. As well as the starting pitching; Santana, Pelfrey, Perez, Maine, Garcia. But it just always seems that they cannot close out those tight, nail-biting games. This “band-aid” of Putz and Rodriguez is sure to stop the bleeding. When those doors open to Citi Field on April 13th, there will be that feeling of ,“This is OUR year”, in the atmosphere. Will it be? Will the New York Mets finally be able to put that ghost of those terrible collapses behind them? Only time will tell. In the mean time, lets PLAY BALL!

By Justin Ellis

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