If the baseball season ended on August 31st then the New York Mets would have won back-to-back N.L. East titles. Unfortunately for the Mets and their fans the season doesn’t end until September. That’s why the Mets have choked away a trip to the postseason each of the last two years.
While every team wants to avoid a late season swoon, the Mets have added incentive to win their division in 2009. The ballclub has a new stadium, the state-of-the-art ,and Ebbets-Field-inspired, Citi Field.
To ensure that their new stadium is a field of dreams and not a field of nightmares, general manager Omar Minaya aggressively attacked his team’s main weakness, relief pitching. Last year, the Mets lost seven games in which they had a lead going into the ninth inning.
Minaya acquired not one, but two closers. The Mets signed record-setting reliever Francisco Rodriguez and then traded for former Seattle Mariners’ closer J.J. Putz.
In 2008, Rodriguez set the major league record for saves in a season when he successfully closed 62 games in 69 chances for the Los Angeles Angels. As the Mariners’ closer, Putz saved a total of 91 games in the past three seasons.
As for their lineup, the Mets have some formidable bats with Jose Reyes leading off and Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Carlos Delgado filling out the heart of the order.
They also hope to get some production out of a he... Read more