We won the Hot Stove League championship, or at least went to the Hot League playoffs — again. Of course it’s hardly the first time, and what has it gotten us, besides the opportunity to boo Roberto Alomar? But — and maybe it’s just the spring training talking — this year feels different.
Yes, one wonders about Pedro’s arm, mouth and psyche come, say, 2007. (Or perhaps 2006. Or perhaps July.) One wonders about Mike Piazza’s bat, arm and everything else. Some part of Cliff Floyd’s body is no doubt flying off some other part of Cliff Floyd’s body as I type. Sure, that was a lot of money to pay Anna Benson’s husband. Yup, it sure would be nice to still have Scott Kazmir, even at the risk of our veterans being traumatized by some song they don’t know on the clubhouse stereo. No, we don’t have a stadium, or a bullpen. Yes, we’re still writing checks to Bobby Bonilla and stuck with Jeff Wilpon for the foreseeable part of forever.
But we’ve got a full year of David Wright. (And then some, since the kid is already famous for showing up in St. Lucie on Oct. 4 and living in a refrigerator box until mini-camp. Maybe he can help Cliff find a place to build his house.) We’ve got seven of Carlos Beltran, clearly worth overpaying for. (Says the fan who didn’t put up a thin dime of that money so far.) Jose Reyes is back, minus his fast-forward limp. Kaz will be better. By June I’ll be able to spell Mientkiewicz without cheating. Right now Victor Diaz is full of possibilities. I believe Willie Randolph when he says he was a Met fan growing up, and I know he’ll never say that he’s proud of the way we battled.
And somehow, we managed to do it without the usual colossal Roto-stupidities or kowtowing to the Friends of Jeff who’d started running the team from their underground bunker. (Al Leiter and Johnny Franco did an enormous amount for this franchise, and one day soon they’ll be missed and mourned properly, but right now it’s just nice to be rid of at least two of this franchise’s freelance GMs.) The kids didn’t all get traded, Slammin’ Sammy didn’t come, and Magglio’s knee is Detroit’s problem. Amen to all that, at least from the blank slate of February.
Pitchers and catchers reporting, baby. At least for today, all’s right with the world.