Of course, after three consecutive losing seasons and the rapid improvement of the Nationals and Marlins, Mets fans might not be looking forward to this season as much as they would have had the team been, you know, good.
But the start of the baseball season is never the time to despair, no matter how the team looks on paper. Everyone is tied for first. No one is in a slump. And Jason Bay hasn't struck out yet. Things are good in Flushing!
This year, as the Mets celebrate their 50th anniversary season, everything old is new again. From the return of Banner Day to the departure of the black drop shadow on the team's jerseys, the Mets are taking pride in their past. At Studious Metsimus, we like to take pride in our past as well, so we've decided to bring back your friend and mine, the Magic 8-Ball, to make its predictions for the 2012 season. As always, I'll ask it a question and it will provide me with an answer, or prediction if you will. Let us begin!
It's good to see you again, Magic 8-Ball. Now when we've done this in the past, your predictions haven't exactly been as accurate we expected them to be. Are you confident that your predictions for the Mets will be correct this time?
I see. Actually, I have no idea what that means. Anyway, let's move on. How many starts do you see Johan Santana making this year?
Really? That's very optimistic of you, considering Santana hasn't thrown a pitch in a regular season game in 19 months.
I thought you were supposed to be confident about your answers. You can't flip-flop just because I questioned your decision. No one will be able to confide in your predictions.
Never mind. Let's move on. Let's talk about Santana's rotation mate, Mike Pelfrey.
Do you have a problem with Mike Pelfrey? He's due to have a big year, as he always does well in even-numbered years.
Good. That's a better attitude to have. I don't want to hear you badmouthing Pelfrey. We're Mets fans here and we're supposed to think positively about our favorite team. I also expect him to do well this year.
So much for the positive attitude. Okay, let's move away from the pitchers and talk about the hitters. Which hitter do you think will be a pleasant surprise in the Mets' lineup?
Really? But you've never liked Bay. Are you talking landmark as in a return to the 30 HR, 100 RBI season the Mets expected from him when they signed him?
Then what are you referring to? What will Bay do that will make this a "landmark season", as you referred to it?
Forget I asked anything about Bay. Since I get the feeling what answer I'm going to get if I ask a question about David Wright, I'll move on to the two big lefties in the batting order. What do you think the Mets will get out of Ike Davis and Lucas Duda?
You're just a barrel of laughs, aren't you?
Fine. Let's talk about the Mets' manager, Terry Collins. Last year, he took a team of unproven kids and underachieving veterans and had them around .500 for most of the season. In fact, right before the two-thirds mark of the season, the Mets were 55-51 and were still hanging on to slim hopes for the wild card. What do you think he needs to do to improve upon last season's record?
Are you saying that because you think Wright will injure Davis again, thus preventing the Mets' first baseman from having his expected breakout season?
It's not contagious, you know.
Okay, enough with the jokes and putdowns! Let me just ask you one final question and then we can go our separate ways. It's the usual question I save for last, so you should already be formulating an answer for me before I ask it. What do you think will...
Wow. How did you know it was a two-part question, that I was going to ask you what the Mets' final record would be and where they'd place in the division?
Sigh. On that note, we'd like to wish all of you a very merry baseball season. Try to keep your hopes up for the 2012 season, no matter what you hear from soon-to-be out-of-work Magic 8-Balls. (Hmm, I wonder if I kept the receipt for this one...)
Enjoy the season, and as always... LET'S GO METS!!
The Magic 8-Ball has made predictions before. To see what it said before each of the previous two seasons, please click on the links below:
2011 Magic 8-Ball Predictions
2010 Magic 8-Ball Predictions