By Joyce Mandelkern
I am a sports pessimist by nature. As Wellington Mara once said, "Hope for the best and expect the worst," and that is pretty much how I live my sports life. My glass isn't just half empty, it is shattered into a million little bits. My pessimism is self-preservation at this point in my life. After all, one can only have one's heart broken so many times by the teams one roots for with such passion. So it really is a self-defense mechanism. They say losing builds character and I say I have enough character - I WANT TO WIN!!!
Which brings me to Mets 2007 and my fears. I am afraid to let myself be too optimistic a la Mike. Mainly because I know how hard it is to get back to where we were last season. The Mets did things last season that they hadn't done in what seemed like forever. They won series. They swept series. They won series against Atlanta. They swept series against Atlanta. They won series IN Atlanta. They came from behind to win games. They won extra inning games. They won extra inning games that they had to come from behind to win. They won at home. They won on the road. They won despite injuries. They could hit. They got the big hit. They could run. They could steal. They could pitch (mostly). They could field. Who were these guys? Certainly not the Mets I have come to know and love over the last, well, lets just say the last few years and leave it at that.
So now I have expectations. I got a taste of what a good team is and I like it. The problem is that the best team doesn't always win (i.e. - St. Louis Cardinals - World Series Champions). On paper I think we have the team to do it. However, the game is played on the field and not on paper. I believe you need a lot of luck as well as talent and desire to get to the World Series. Things must fall the right way.
So maybe I will start this season being cautiously optimistic instead of pessimistic. Maybe I will leave the worrying to Omar and Willie and try to relax and enjoy. In a strange way wasn't it easier when we terrible and the only way to go was up? We didn't have any hopes and expectations so we couldn't be disappointed. That being said, we've been bad and we've been good, and I'll take good any season.