In December, these were the words of Mets general manager Omar Minaya in the New York Post: "Across the board, people thought we had a team (in 2009) that was going to contend not only for the division and the league championship, but also for the World Series. When we get our guys back on the field playing every day, with a couple of moves here or there, we’re going to be similar to where we were starting last year."
Here we are, halfway through spring training, and the Mets are indeed back where they were in 2009 … but not the part of 2009 that Minaya wanted.
Nope. This feels an awful lot like July, doesn’t it? That was the month when things really went haywire for the ’09 Mets.
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There is no Carlos Beltran. And now there is no Jose Reyes, either.
The Mets said Thursday that Reyes, their former All-Star shortstop, has a case of hyperthyroidism. He must refrain from physical activity for the next two to eight weeks. Minaya told reporters that "it doesn’t look good right now" for Reyes to be ready for Opening Day.
Reyes played only 36 games last year because of a serious hamstring injury. Now this.
It’s to the point now where, regardless of allegiances, you feel badly for the Mets. They simply can’t get their team on the field.
Beltran was on the disabled list last year. He will open this year on the DL, too. Reyes was on the disabled list last year. He will probably open this year on the DL, too.
Instead of Reyes and Beltran, who is recovering from knee surgery, the Mets will probably have Alex Cora and Angel Pagan in their Opening Day lineup.
The team’s "Prevention & Recovery" campaign, complete with the snazzy, badge-like logo, is going the way of David Paterson’s bid to remain governor of New York.
One theme of the Mets’ off-season was that a dramatic overhaul wouldn’t be necessary, so long as stars like Beltran and Reyes played like their old selves in 2010. But that’s not going to happen – at least at the start of the season.
And April could go a long way toward determining the future employment status (or lack thereof) for Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel.
On the flip side, Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey have looked healthy this spring.
Oh, wait: Perez has a 15.00 ERA. Pelfrey is checking in at 9.00.
Right now, the New Mets look a lot like the Old Mets.