By: Will Johnson

Captain America and the Dark Knight Strike Again


For the first time in a couple of seasons I’m looking to the start of spring training with more then the usual excitement.

Usually I see the date that pitchers and catchers report as the sign that my favorite sport is coming back. Baseball is around the corner. 162 games of intrigue and excitement. This season I can actually add to that excitement that maybe just maybe the Mets will be playing meaningful baseball in October.

I don’t think they’ll be contending for the division title. It looks like the Gnats (no I didn’t misspell that. I’m calling them the Gnats because they annoy me) have that tied up. They’ve become the new Braves in my eyes. I despise them like I used to hate the Braves during my high school years. I want to smack Bryce Harper in the face for the same reason I used to want to smack Lawrence Jones in the face. He’s a good player with a dumb face. But there is a possibility of being a Wild Card team. I wouldn’t mind that at all. The two wild card titles from 1999 and 2000 are two of the pennants I love the most in our stadium.

I look to the beginning of the season and I see the return two key parts of Mets success. The Dark Knight and Captain America. No not Bruce Wayne and Steve Rogers. Oh Captain My Captain David Wright and Debonair Man About Town Matt Harvey

Captain America himself David Wright returns to the hot corner. I know 2014 was the worst year he had in his entire career but I chalk that up to the injured shoulder and not something along the lines of him getting older. I feel like he should have been shut down earlier in the season then he was. I don’t expect him to take himself out of the lineup. I’d have a big problem with that. He’s the captain and I want him fighting to stay in the lineup. And I don’t blame Terry or Sandy for not shutting him down either. It’s a tough thing when the guy is the face of your team. (and according to the MLB Network he’s the face of MLB) You want him out there. But this season I feel will be a bounce back year.

I also feel like he can relax now. He doesn’t have to be the Mets offense all on his own anymore. I have nothing to back this up but just a gut feeling, he was trying to carry the team on his back and that’s part of what hurt his shoulder. He didn’t want to come out because he’s the captain and felt he needed to be there to be the offense. Which this season isn’t the case anymore.

Lucas Duda figured it out seemingly last year. He’s turned himself into the prototypical first baseman/slugger. Travis d’Arnaud was sent down and seemed to also figure it out. I don’t know what he did but I have good feelings about him. Granderson should have a bounce back year with the hiring of Kevin Long. Michael Cuddyer knows his way around a bat. And Wilmer Flores is a solid hitter. (Not so much of a fielder but that’s what spring training’s all about. I want him doing drills 23 hours of a day with Rey Ordonez and Rafael Santana.)

And Juan Lagares is becoming a pretty good hitter. But in my view he doesn’t have to swing a bat at all. His glove keeps him in the lineup. He won his first gold glove in 2014. He keeps it up, they’ll just put his name on the award at the beginning of the season and give it to him. He’ll have the same type of run Keith Hernandez had fro 1978-1988 or Greg Maddux had for 18 seasons. There’s no one in either league who can touch him. The closest I can think of is Lorenzo Cain.

So David doesn’t have to worry about being the Mets offense. He can just relax and take care of his business of being a great player and looking dreamy. C’mon you know he’s dreamy, I know he’s dreamy let’s just admit it.

The other return that has me excited is Matt Harvey, the Dark Knight. Coming off a lost season due to Tommy John surgery, we’re all looking forward to him returning to 2013 form. Where there was a palatable excitement every time he pitched. Between him, Wheeler, deGrom and probably Syndergaard I’m going to be confident of almost all the starters. I just don’t know who the number five starter would be. Niese most likely just based on the fact that he’s the only lefty in the rotation. I’m looking at Colon and Gee as trade bait right now.

So with the return of Harvey and Wright I’m filled with excitement. Start the dang season already. And as an added bonus, the home opener is April 13th. Which is my wife and my wedding anniversary. So I think that’s a good sign.

So long for now all. And remember as a wise southpaw once said “Ya Gotta Believe” And now all together now, LETS! GO! METS!

About Will Johnson

Mets fan since birth. Mookie Wilson is my hero. Chase Utley is my mortal enemy.

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