If you put a gun to my head, I'd say it. "The off-season can be even more exciting than the regular season." There I said it.
Let's face it. The 162 game grind can get long and boring. Day in and day out we have the potential of seeing regular and unexciting baseball. (Especially if it's September and you root for the Mets. There I said it).
But in the offseason, we have rumors, trades, and contract signings that would make even Latrell Sprewell drop a jaw or two. I'd take "a guy walking away from a big time signing" over "a guy hitting a walk off homer." Think about it. Gossip over Gossages. Rumors over Ramirezes. Trades over Round Trippers. The off-season has become the in-season.
Go back to the 2007 World Series between the Red Sox and the Rockies (lol, The Rockies. Talk about a fluke). In middle of one of the oh-so-very exciting games, the most thrilling moment was when A-Rod decided to opt out of his contract. Granted the Red Sox were up by 6 runs at the time but something tells me that even if Matt Holliday was up in the bottom half of the tenth inning in a 2-2 tie, A-Rod would've still stole the show. That's just the way it is. If we can SEE one thing or TALK about another thing, we're going to almost always head in the verbal direction.
We can get really into the off-season when we discuss what could be done to fix our team in the upcoming season. We get so into it that come season time we could've sworn that it was supposed to feel more exciting than it actually is. But year after year we do the same thing to ourselves. We wait. We anticipate. And then we wait some more.
Check out this clip where the announcer gets into it in February...
Don't think that it's only the announcers. Even the Umps and Managers can get into it...(Hide the kids for this one).
Curent Off-Season Water Cooler Talk:
Did you hear the news? Livan is getting the 5th Spot!
Did you read the papers? Jerry is going with Murphy in the 2 hole!!
Did you see my blog? Each new post is better than the one before!!!
Okay, so the last line was a plug for my blog. Sue me. Come to think of it, it seems a bit odd as to why I need to plug my blog IN my blog. But moving on...
Now that we have established that the REAL season is coming to a quick close, let's take a closer look at what the Mets have in store for us in the 2009 season.
* = Name in 5th hole due to change (often).
It's good to see that Big Pelf has leap frogged the idle two, Maine and Oli, and has become a solid number 2 starter. Manuel has told the media that he "expects Pelfrey to be the ace of a staff at some point in his long career" but for now, number two smells fine to me.
Johan will be Johan. I'm not worried about him (barring any injury).
John Maine has some demons to work out and I don't see him having a great season. Start warming up, Niese.
Hmm, Oliver Perez. I'm going to say that some days he will look like Johan and other days he will look like Heilman. You just never know with this guy. The Phillies can't hit a lick off him (which I love) but the Reds can take him to town. Oh, and Oli, please button your shirt for heaven's sake.
Enter Livan Hernandez. Having a pretty good second half of the spring and I like what I see. Win us 12 games and I'll cook you supper, Livan.
25 Pedro Feliciano - I see him continuing in his slump. He's got to pick it up.
48 Sean Green - The Not Jewish Sean Green. J.J. Putz says he has upside. We'll see.
32 Carlos Muniz - Pitch well, Carlos. We already have one too many on the team.
-- Fernando Nieve - The Astros gave him up for a reason. Send him off.
36 Darren O'Day - Nice sidearm delivery. He stays. For now.
39 Bobby Parnell - Young talent. Hope. Start him in AAA and bring him up mid season.
22 J.J. Putz - Let's hope we see more JJ than we do Putz.
44 Tim Redding - Great signing, Omar. We could've got Hudson for 2 more mill.
75 Francisco Rodriguez - Easy with the celebrations. Save 80 games. We're good.
43 Brian Stokes - His fire has been stoked. Exile him like Aaron.
23 Brian Schneider - We got him for defense and we didn't see much of it last year. He's got to swing a hotter bat and throw runners out more consistently. I find him the weakest link on our team. If only we could say goodbye...
11 Ramon Castro - He would be an amazing everyday catcher. Too bad he's not.
4 Robinson Cancel - He was recently sent to AAA. And I care why exactly?
1 Luis Castillo - Looks like he'll be hitting 8th. He's gotta keep the weight down and the hits up. Otherwise, I will hit down on him and I won't wait.
3 Alex Cora - Not a huge fan of this guy other than the fact that he can play all the positions.
21 Carlos Delgado - Second half of 2008? I don't think so but come close to it, k?
7 Jose Reyes - Expect big things from him this season. Maturity included.
5 David Wright - Let's see some more clutch hits. No, not off your toe.
9 Marlon Anderson - Has a guaranteed contract but not a guaranteed spot. Won't be here for long.
15 Carlos Beltran - My call is that he has the best year on the team. You watch.
19 Ryan Church - No more concussions and we'll be okay.
6 Nick Evans - Torrid batting in Spring Season. Might get a bench spot. I'm ok with that.
28 Daniel Murphy - Love the rising star. Good eye at the plate and needs work on the fielding. I'm very patient with this one.
16 Angel Pagan - Type of guy never to catch a break (if it's not his shoulder at least). Needs an angel of his own.
18 Jeremy Reed - Went 4/5 with 4 rbi's yesterday. He's supposed to be the new Endy. Defensive replacement and pinch runner. Let's hope this Endy can hit.
12 Cory Sullivan - $600,000 contract. Has a nice glove. We'll see if he makes it.
17 Fernando Tatis - He says he won't have as good of a year. I'm ok with that. Have half as good a year, k?
Do you guys agree? Disagree? Half agree? Misremember? I would love to hear your take on the matter. After all, isn't this what the season is all about?
P.S. - I almost forgot. The Mets win the NL EAST. By 5 games. There I said it.
That's my baseball pick.