Low Expectations

17 Mar

By Jim Walters

Last season, Sports Illustrated picked the Mets to win the World Series. With the addition of Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz, SI believed the Mets finally had all the missing pieces to pop the cork and let the champagne flow.

SI couldn’t predict the injuries, who could? Other analysts questioned if the Mets rotation and offense, even if healthy, could win in 2009.

This year, it is a safe bet that no one will pick the Mets to win the World Series. In fact, few expect the Mets to win 85 games.

Most of the early predictions declare New York a third or fourth place team in the division, especially with the question mark surrounding the health of Jose Reyes.

It’s been a while since the Mets entered a season with such low expectations. Since 2005, the Mets were picked to at least finish in the top two of their division. In 2006 and 2007, they were favorites to win the division, if not the championship.

New York has a lot going against them. They are in a division with the Phillies, the defending 2-time NL Champions. It is also arguable that every team in the division has a better pitching staff than the Mets.

Throw in the shell-shocked fan base from last year’s catastrophe, enhanced by early injuries to Beltran, Escobar and the issues surrounding Reyes. Few will bet on the Mets in 2010.

For the first time in years, few expect anything from the Mets.

Maybe this is what they need to finally live up to the promises of years past.

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