In case you've been living under a rock, the New York Mets' Opening Day outfield was Lucas Duda, Marlon Byrd and Colin Cowgill. They have combined for 13 home runs and 38 RBI this season, which coming from three players is dreadful.
To put it in perspective, the league leader in home runs, Justin Upton, has 13. The MLB leader in RBI, Miguel Cabrera, has 41. You read that correctly: The combined totals of the three Mets outfielders are less than one man.
Sandy Alderson has been the subject of criticism in the early going, as he was the one who set up this outfield. However, the Mets and their fans need to take a lesson from another New York sports team.
Travel 20 miles east from Citi Field, and you'll find a worn-down building that looks like a shell of an arena. Step inside that arena, and you'll see that something special is blossoming.
Seven years ago, Garth Snow took control of the New York Islanders, which hadn't been relevant in decades and was only tumbling downward. He rebuilt through the draft. Every season, he was the subject of criticism, as fans demanded trades for star players. Fans said he needed to sign more marquee names. Instead, he stood pat, building through the draft and nabbing a few pieces off waivers along the way.
In 2013, things began to click, and the Islanders found themselves in the playoffs for the first time since 2006. For the first time, there is hope in the organization.
They are an exciting team to watch, with talent on the roster and in the minors. These young players can become key members of a title contender or trade pieces for veterans who can contribute for a chance to win the Stanley Cup. The opportunities are endless with this team.
The Mets are hoping that wearing blue and orange isn't the only thing that they share with the Islanders. The Mets want to build a title contender with a young, exciting team, with a surplus of talented youngsters.
In fact, Sandy Alderson is building the core of a great young team; however, that team isn't playing in Citi Field. It is playing in Las Vegas, Birmingham and Port St. Lucie. It will take some time, but the Mets could eventually be a special team.
Sure, the Mets could have signed Michael Bourn to be legitimate center fielder in 2013. They could also ink Andre Ethier when he becomes available this offseason for a mega-contract and have a good corner outfielder for 2014.
But they would be paying an additional player millions of dollars for what? Ten more wins at best? A team with 95 losses one year will finish with 85 losses the next year—that's not much help.
It makes more sense for the Mets to save this money until their prospects develop and the team has a legitimate shot to compete.
Mets fans must preach patience. Their time will come. That time is just not right now.
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