No matter what tickles your olfactory senses, your other senses are about to come to life on Monday when the Mets return to action, opening the curtain on the 2015 campaign. And with the return of Matt Harvey, the potential of new hitting instructor Kevin Long waking up the bats of a team that hit .239 last season and the arrival of David Wright's BFF, Michael Cuddyer, it's the first time in the Citi Field era that fans are optimistic about the return of winning baseball to Flushing.
With that in mind, I decided it was time to wake up our old friend, the Magic 8-Ball, to see what it thought about the upcoming baseball season. Would it finally acknowledge that the Mets were close to contending for a playoff spot? Or would it be its crotchety old self, threatening to call the cops on me for not getting off its lawn?
Why don't we just let the Magic 8-Ball give you all the answers to the questions you were afraid to ask? The floor's all yours, M8B!
Oh, sorry about that. But now that you're up, I'd like to ask you a few questions about the 2015 Mets. I promise it won't take up much of your time and you'll be to get back to your comfortable bed in no time.
Really? What do you sleep on then, if you don't mind me asking?
And why's that?
I should have seen that response coming from a mile away. Anyway, let's just get to the first question. Do you feel the Mets improved enough to contend for a playoff berth in 2015?
Just one trade? What would it be? Trading prospects for a more experienced shortstop? Sending Dillon Gee packing for a legitimate bat? Re-acquiring Scott Atchison so he can serve as a father figure to Bartolo Colon?
Wow! A two-for-one deal! I'm sure many long-suffering Mets fans would approve that transaction.
A steal of a deal! Let's hope Sandy Alderson is reading this so he can trade away the people who sign his paycheck. Speaking of paychecks, do you think Lucas Duda is worth a long-term contract extension after his first good season as a Met?
I never knew you were such a believer in the talent of Lucas Duda.
Moving on to the pitching side of things, what do you expect from Matt Harvey this year? Will he be able to lead the Mets to their first postseason berth since 2006?
He did? I don't remember him doing that. That would have been a major news story. Where did he make such a prediction?
Oh, wait. You're talking about when he tweeted a photo of his middle finger from his hospital bed as he was about to undergo Tommy John surgery, aren't you?
I guess he was. So let's move on to the team's closer situation. Do you think Bobby Parnell will take over as closer once he comes off the disabled list? Or will Jenrry Mejia continue to hold the position?
Even with the more experienced Parnell wanting to reclaim what was once his? Parnell had a wonderful season in 2013 (2.16 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, .211 batting average against him). Mejia was a little more shaky as a closer (2.72 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, .265 batting average against him). Can't there be a compromise between the bearded Parnell and the stomping Mejia?
That's downright frightening. Plus, I didn't know Magic 8-Balls were capable of altering photographs in such a way. I thought you were just a one-tool player.
Did you just use ball (snicker) and tools (giggle) in the same sentence?
Sorry. That was very unprofessional of me. Let's get to a true professional - David Wright. The Mets captain had a subpar season in 2014, but he appears to have fully recovered from the shoulder injury that limited him to a .269 batting average and a career-low eight home runs. Will he be able to produce better numbers in 2015?
He has to what? You'll have to be a little more specific.
And which horrible memories are you referring to?
Ouch. That is a horrible memory. Okay, so I just have one more question to ask you before I get your prediction on the team's final record. Then you can go back to your box for nap time.
This is the final year of Terry Collins's current contract. If he leads the Mets to the playoffs, will he come back to manage the team in 2016 and beyond?
How would he not keep his job if he manages the team to its first winning season since 2008 and first postseason appearance since 2006? It would seem like a slam dunk for the team to bring him back following that type of success.
Good point. So let's end this by asking you for your prediction on the team's final record and standing in the NL East.
But you said Matt Harvey predicted back in 2013 that the Mets would finish in first place this year.
And that's why Matt Harvey works his magic on the mound and you're the prognostication expert. Thanks for taking the time to be with us today, M8B. And I'm sorry for waking you up earlier.
Did I just shake the Magic 8-Ball to sleep? Well, as a Mets fan, the time for sleep is over because we're on the cusp of a new season - one that might produce meaningful games in September and beyond. And also one that could potentially cause the Wilpons to break open their piggy banks at the trade deadline for a change. Assuming they're not traded with Saul Katz for a legitimate owner and a Mex Burger, of course.
Have fun this season, Mets fans! It should be a pretty cool ride this summer. And lest I forget, please help control the restless sphere population. Have your Magic 8-Ball spayed or neutered.
LET'S GO METS!!
Hey, kids! The Magic 8-Ball has been making predictions since 2010, the year Jason Bay first soiled us with his presence. To see what the Magic 8-Ball said prior to each of the previous five seasons, please click on the links below: