The Mets missed a golden opportunity in 2006. They were clearly the best team in the NL, if not all of baseball. They made it as far as the 7th game of the NLCS before Adam Wainwright threw a knee buckling curve to a frozen Carlos Beltran.
In 2007, the Mets maybe still the best team in the NL, went on cruise control in September and suffered one of the worst collapses in the history by blowing a 7 game lead with 17 left to play.
In 2008, some Mets will tell you they are still the most talented team in the NL. And if they tell you that then they are delusional. The Arizona Diamondbacks have become a powerhouse and are clearly the cream of the crop in the NL, if not all of baseball. They are the young and athletic team that Omar Minaya had promised to build. They have youthful energy and a desire to win fueled by the four game sweep they suffered in last year's NLCS. The kind of desire most Mets fans hoped the 2007 Mets would bring after their heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals.
The monkeys preseason World Series pick was Arizona vs.Detroit. And while, Detroit is just starting to find its way, Arizona has been pedal to the metal since day one. They lead the league in ERA with a 3.25 ERA playing in what has traditionally been more of a hitter's park. Brandon Webb is 6-0 and the early Cy Young favorite. Their key acquisition, Dan Haren is 4-1 with a 3.13 ERA. Youngster Micah Owings is 4-0 and as a side note has the same number of pinch hit homerun as the entire Mets team.
Youngsters such as Conor Jackson (5 homers .348 BA), Justin Upton (5 homers, .327 BA) and Mark Reynolds (7 homers, 24 RBI) have started coming into their own. Hot pitching prospect Matt Scherzer was just added and threw 4.1 scoreless innings with 7 strikeouts. Chad Qualls acquired for their former closer Jose Valverde has pitched 15.1 scoreless innings to start the season.
The monkeys are not saying the Mets should give up on the season. We still believe they are the best team in the division. An injury to Brandon Webb can change the landscape pretty quickly. And just because they may not be the best team in the playoffs should they make it doesn't mean they would lose. Just ask Yadier Molina. However, no should blame Mets fans if they suddenly have developed a fear of snakes.
QUOTE THAT DROVE US BANANAS
"We're okay - but I think we can do better - and we're going to get better," Reyes said. "It's still early in the season and I know that when we get Moises and Pedro back, everything is going to be good. " -- Jose Reyes. Uh, Jose who knows how long Moises and Pedro will stay healthy when they come back. Take some personal responsibility, kid.