While I like to think of the offseason as a chance for players and bloggers to work on their respective games, the return of actual games is always welcome. I enjoy researching and writing about win-loss records in close games, Mets team salary breakdowns, and salary increases by position over the years, but watching real games with rosters vaguely resembling the finished product is the bee’s knees.
Welcome back baseball!
Personally, this week is hopefully the last time this winter that I’ll need to use the snow blower1, so thank you dad for the gift that keeps on giving and hello spring, which means sunshine, colorful baseball uniforms, lots of announcers showing split screens of snow covered New York City and the verdant Tradition Field grass.
Oh. And Matt Harvey’s return.
Maybe it’s because of spring and a winter of Justified marathons and steel gray winter skies, but I’m fairly convinced after Harvey’s two perfect, meaningless innings on Friday that he’s running away with the Cy Young. Forget every other starter in the Major Leagues. Forget my winter of comparing Max Scherzer to David Cone and believing that Jordan Zimmermann might just be the most unexciting but invaluable ace in the NL because I’m all in on the most dominating year for a Mets starter since Dwight Gooden won the NL Triple Crown in 1985 and made hitters his personal punka walas. It’s that time of year. I’m a believer. After touching 99 easily with an impressive curve, Harvey retired six batters on 25 pitches, making it an impressive and efficient three strikeout performance.
Of course, it’s only spring.
A lineup consisting of Jordan Lennerton and Bryan Holaday isn’t exactly staring down Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna in September, but it was enough for me. We spent 2014 hearing how the Mets would be a contender in 2015. Just wait until Harvey returns and the kids take shape. The Mets are a real sleeper.
We saw part of that on Friday as Harvey and Noah Syndergaard pitched back-to-back with Jacob deGrom throwing today. Zack Wheeler. Steven Matz. Rafael Montero. This team is loaded with young pitching we were told, and if we could sit through another rebuilding year, once Harvey returns and settles in . . . watch out. So forgive me if two meaningless spring training innings made me pray for Sandy Alderson to call up Harvey’s agent Scott Boras and offer him a lifetime supply of Wonka chocolate for a decade or more of Harvey’s services. In spring, after 560 days and counting of waiting for some optimism, two innings against the Detroit Tigers might as well have been a perfect game against the 1927 Yankees.
Is David Wright‘s shoulder okay? Will Michael Cuddyer play the entire season? I’ll worry about that stuff as the season progresses. For right now, it’s sunshine and perfect innings. I’m convinced more than ever I’m making it to Nationals Park April 6.
- Technically, I didn’t need to use it this week either, but it would have been a shame to waste the opportunity. This morning it was 3 degrees and now it’s 45. This is old man speak for WTH. ↩