There is a new vibe in Flushing.
Instead of unrest and dismay, there is excitement and hope, instead of talk of next year, there is talk of this year. It is refreshing and great to see. For a fan base that has been asked to be far too patient for far too long, they finally get a shot at relevancy.
The Mets fan is emboldened because the tone has been set is the organization is all-in. They have decided to go for it after seeing their young and dominant starting pitching mature right before their very eyes. Instead of patience and talk of next year, there is talk of playoffs and meaningful second half baseball.
And it is a credit to their GM Sandy Alderson and their Owners, led by Fred and Jeff Wilpon. You have to give credit to Alderson for having the vision to make deals to acquire Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe, Tyler Clippard and Yoenis Cespedes.
He also gets credit for giving up young pieces in the farm system and Alderson also gave credit to ownership for getting the financial freedom to make the trades. It is no longer about next season for the first time in years. Times are a changing in Flushing and that is a good thing.
I have been critical. The Mets have not had a winning season at CitiField since the place opened for business in March of 2009. Much of the talk has been about money and spending and why the Mets don’t spend like a major market team.
They have been great about selling the individual story like R.A. Dickey and Jose Reyes when he won a batting crown. There were too many examples like the one we had Wednesday night when you had Wilmer Flores playing and crying because he thought he had been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers.
In one move on Friday, the Mets sent shockwaves across this city and Major League Baseball by acquiring Cespedes from the Tigers.
Cespedes is a legitimate middle of the order right-handed power stick. The message was simple, we are in it to win it. You have not been able to say that about the Mets in a long time. There has not been a lot of focus on team success.
They talked a good game, but action speaks louder than words and their actions were never as strong as they were this past Friday.
That led to the excitement this past weekend in Flushing with the Nationals in town, leading to the biggest weekend series in the history of the building. Playing off of that, we had the unreal moment with Flores hitting the walk-off homer in the bottom of the 12th Friday night and the general buzz in this city about this team.
Young starting pitching led the Mets to an opportunity to seize in 2015. The finally decided to reach for it instead of turning away. They have now regained some trust with their fans and also strengthened a team that deserved it. Instead of focusing on drama and what if’s, we now focus on a playoff chase and meaningful baseball.
Times have certainly changed in Flushing. On behalf of Mets fans everywhere I want to say Thank you to Sandy, Fred and Jeff. Thank you for strengthening a team that deserved it and giving us all a team that has a real chance to do something special this season. Thank you. Times really have changed.