Always make the difference between optimism and hope. I’m not an optimist at all — I’m a prisoner of hope. I don’t believe in optimism. That’s too thin.
—Dr. Cornel West, Real Time With Bill Maher, February 11, 2011
I hope Carlos Beltran is feeling 29 again. That Jose Reyes is all revved up to go at 27 and then doesn’t go anywhere. That David Wright swings free and easy, his shoulders and his mind less burdened than they’ve been in recent seasons.
I hope Daniel Murphy stitches together his several partial skills and creates a versatile monster. That Brad Emaus is the steal of the century at second. That the inevitable “Hu?” jokes give way to back page headlines along the lines of THAT’S HU!
I hope Angel Pagan and R.A. Dickey are not at all surprising in 2011, just more of what they were in 2010. That Mike Pelfrey’s bad outings are aberrations rather than indicators. That Jon Niese extends his June form into September.
I hope Francisco Rodriguez earns his way back to everyone’s trust off and on the field. That Johan Santana proves a medical marvel. That the National League Comeback Player of the Year is named Chris and that the award is split two ways.
I hope Nick Evans’s lack of options is balanced by a bounty of base hits. That Josh Thole and Ike Davis are the youngest old pros imaginable. That Oliver Perez inspires a round or two of stories about how “maybe Omar Minaya knew something after all.”
I hope Luis Castillo catches on with Oakland or Seattle. That Bobby Parnell is both a year older and wiser. That Jenrry Mejia’s next appearance, whenever it may be, is universally described as “polished”.
I hope Terry Collins is as ready as he says he is. That Luis Hernandez’s next home run is pain-free. That somebody can come in and get a lefty out as needed.
I hope Jason Bay hits this year like he hustled last year. That Sandy Alderson has cause to buy in July. That somebody to whom I’ve given no thought in mid-February is one of my favorite Mets come mid-season.
I don’t know that I’m all that optimistic about the 2011 Mets. But by god, on this day  of all days, I am brimming with hope.