Next weekend's road trip to South Florida was first conceived way back in April, when hope sprang eternal and the Mets were hovering near first place. The Southern Bureau staff of Mike's Mets (me and MetsFanSZ) had it all planned out. We'd watch the Mets pound the Marlins on Saturday night, find a place to hoist an adult beverage or three, spend a night in a cheap, easy motel room, and watch another Mets victory Sunday afternoon. A three-hour drive? To see what might be a pennant-clinching Mets win? Well worth the time, effort, and gasoline.
Unfortunately, life was what happened while we were busy making other plans. Injuries, meltdowns, and loss after mind-numbing loss has us both at the point where we're pleasantly surprised when the Mets actually earn a win. We've both determined that nothing which happens on the field at Pro Player/Joe Robbie/Dolphins/Land Shark/Turkish Taffy Stadium next Saturday and Sunday will curb our enthusiasm. The beer will be cold, the weather will be sunny, and with any luck, the tickets may be free. Can't beat that.
Back in Spring Training, MetsFanSZ was able to secure some theme park tickets for Met Cory Sullivan, his oh-so-attractive wife, and their kids. That would seem to be worth a couple of tickets to two September games in a ballpark that hasn't sold out in years, regardless of the standings. (I wonder if the Mets' public relations director is a regular Mike's Mets reader.) If comp tickets don't materialize, no big deal. We'll buy some cheapo tickets at the box office, sit in left field, and track down home runs or foul balls all weekend, I'm confident the only competition we'll have out there will be fellow Mets fans making similar pilgrimages. Sure won't be too many Fish fans.
So what do the Mets need to do this winter to get back on track? Who honestly knows? If every Met who spent time on the DL this year, and is under contract and healthy throughout next year, the team will win more games than they lose. The bright spots for me in 2010 would be seeing Reyes, Wright and Santana stay intact, watching Josh Thole develop, and crossing my fingers that Jeff Francoeur's time in New York will be long and productive. They still need another starter. It seems every team that misses the playoffs needs another starter. Those worries are middle of the winter worries. This road trip will contain none of that fretting.