Maybe it was because I was traveling for much of April and September when the Mets had a combined record of 22-30. Maybe it was because of all of the games I attended at Citi Field this season, they won all but one game. Or maybe it was the excessive amount of Shake Shack I had at every game, which quite frankly made me not really care about the result. Whatever the reason was, I truly had a blast watching the 2011 New York Mets. For nearly every game I watched this season, the Mets showed up to play. They didn't always win, but manager Terry Collins was able to successfully instill the mentality of determination and fearlessness in whichever 25 players arrived at the ballpark on a daily basis.
While you can look at the last three seasons and very logically conclude that 2011 was just more of the same, anyone who has closely followed this organization over the past ten years knows that this season was a step in the right direction. Despite everyone writing them off before Opening Day, the Mets were able to stay extremely competitive through the beginning of August. It was only when Sandy Alderson felt compelled, and understandably so, to trade closer Francisco Rodriguez and outfielder Carlos Beltran that the Mets started to fade. Because of a long list of injuries, we had a chance to see the development of a farm system in the Major Leagues, one we heard for years was one of the worst in baseball. And at least until hamstring became a problem, shortstop Jose Reyes gave us one of the most remarkable seasons any Met has ever had. No matter how many runs, games or players they were down, the Mets fought mercilessly. They were hit hard with an absurdly difficult schedule through the middle part of the season and they had to survive being in a division with two of the best teams in the National League with the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves.
Having said all of that, the Mets are still going to finish the year under .500, which means we need to make some adjustments. The goal for this upcoming winter is simple: sign Jose Reyes. This is the man that the Mets have revolved their entire organization around over the past ten years. While I understand Sandy Alderson's need to essentially eradicate everything that was a part of the Omar Minaya regime, Jose Reyes has to remain a Met. Of course, I am not going to sit here and pretend like I understand the financial situation of the Mets and the Wilpon family, and anyone who says they do is lying. But if ownership does not give a serious run at resigning the now four-time all star, the Wilpons might as well stand in front of a podium where they announce that they have stopped caring about the success of the Mets and that they are simply holding onto them until it is no longer financially possible.
Regardless, I think it is clear Sandy Alderson knows what he is doing and I have complete faith in him. The Mets might have a losing record at the end of 2011, but with the squad that was on the field for the majority of the year, they should be incredibly proud of themselves. They had an incredible number of obstacles that they had to overcome, and Terry Collins did a phenomenal job of leading them from day one. 2011 might be just ending, but I am already thinking about 2012.