Next week the clocks spring ahead. Silly clocks — we’re already there. We’re running on Jenrry Mejia Daylight Savings Time. Mejia was so lights out in his exhibition debut Friday that the umps called the game on account of darkness.
This is a great time to be a Mets fan if you ignore thyroids, pink eyes and god knows what else is being prevented or recovered from. Veterans who are out have time to come back. Rookies who aren’t ready look pretty darn good right now. Guys who we may never hear of again — Mike Hessman is batting every time I turn around — are helping to rack up the runs.
It’s the hour of Mejia, the day of Hessman, the weeks of Ike Davis and Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Jason Pridie and Mike Cervenak and old man Fernando Martinez, 21 years old and slugging his way across the comeback trail. It would be surprising if any of them is lining up for an Opening Day apple. A few will probably see us later in the season or in their careers. Some will be “Mike Hessman…why does that name sound familiar? Was he in Spring Training with us one year?”
In one sense, that’s all the season preview I need on March 6. It’s fun to contemplate these names, bookmarking some for later, knowing we’ll forget a few when they don’t stick around. The only thing anybody is able to tell me for sure about the 2010 Mets is that they’ll be 0-0 on April 5. I don’t know how much I derive from these much enjoyed spring broadcasts is going to enhance my understanding or appreciation of a bunch of games that don’t count. But I am enjoying them.
In another sense, I am mainlining anticipation. I need to be immersed in who’s on these Mets, who will be on these Mets, who has been on these Mets. I need to keep getting stoked. That’s why I read blogs. That’s why I write blogs. That’s why I’m excited about two excellent products that I think you’ll enjoy as well.
First, there’s the Maple Street Press Mets Annual, full of great perspectives on everything Met. It’s got this year, it’s got the years to come, it’s got — because it has to — last year and it’s got the years from before that bring us our present and future. This is the third year MSP has published Mets Annual, and it keeps getting better. You can find it on New York-area newsstands, or you can order it here.
Then, there’s a new entry in the preview category, and it will knock your virtual socks off. It’s the Amazin’ Avenue Annual, which brings the concept of “labor of love” to a whole new level. Perhaps you read AA on a regular basis. If you don’t, you should. It’s written by a team of Mets fans who take nothing at face value and aren’t shy about drilling right past the superficial deep into the Metropolitan brain. They decided the world needed a publication that just wouldn’t quit. The AAA never ceases — instead, it keeps amazing, it keeps delighting and it keeps informing. It makes you think plenty, with a forecast for 2010, an autopsy on 2009, a sense of 2011 and a satisfying trip into the time before. The book — and it is a book — is available for free downloading here; a printed and bound copy for those who take their baseball library literally will be made obtainable at cost shortly.
I should point out Jason and I contributed* to both publications, and we’re each excited to have been a part of them. But that’s not the only reason I strongly recommend both previews. They were conceived and edited by Mets fans, they contain the insights of Mets fans, they were published with the best interests of Mets fans at heart and they will have you, my fellow Mets fans, roaring right past March into April.
*Jason covered the world of Mets blogging, and I offered a fan’s eye view of living with Citi Field as well as a tenth-anniversary appreciation of the 2000 National League Champion Mets for the Maple Street Press book; my partner and I collaborated on an examination of “When the Mets Got Good Again,” the four seasons in which the Mets rose from 90+ losses to a winning record, for the Amazin’ Avenue preview.