Today the Mets played their last game of the season and it ended with a 3-0 victory thanks to a complete game shutout effort by Miguel Batista. The game had two notable hits. The first was a bunt single by Jose Reyes to give him a batting average of .337. He left the game after that hit and now awaits for Ryan Braun to play tonight to see if he will hold on the NL batting title lead. (More to come on Reyes in a separate opinion post later). The second notable hit was Mike Baxter's first Major League home run. Baxter grew up in Queens and one can imagine how much hitting a home run in front of the hometown crowd must have felt. The other run was driven in by Nick Evans.
All in all the season has been a difficult one for the Mets as they miss the playoffs and finish under .500. However, despite their overall record there were many high points to the season. They had a great stretch were they played division champions Detroit and Texas extremely well. They took both games from the Phillies in a doubleheader with come from behind wins. They played an extraordinary game against the Yankees where the struggling Jason Bay got the walk off RBI. Young players came up to the big leagues and played well, in place injured players. Jose Reyes had an amazing year. Jason Isringhausen got his 300th career save. And RA Dickey had a stretch of 12 consecutive quality starts. These are just some of the great moments that occurred this season.
With that said the Mets will need to do some things to improve the team this offseason. The first order of business is whether Reyes comes back. There is also the question of whether the Mets will re-sign Chris Capuano. Capuano wants to be a starter and with Niese, Gee, Dickey, and Pelfrey back the question really is how Johan Santana comes back from injury. The Mets are hoping Santana, who missed the whole year, will be ready to go for the team in spring training, but no one can predict whether he will suffer any setbacks. Capuano would be a great person to have just in case, but as mentioned earlier he wants to start and if he feels like he won't be able to here he might pack his bags and go somewhere else - two big name teams in the area in the need of some pitching: Red Sox and Yankees. Besides issues with re-signing Reyes and Capuano, there are a couple of other positions the Mets will need to look at. First there is the chance that Angel Pagan will not be back with the Mets next year. A lot of people have been saying that the Mets are not happy with mistakes he has made and may look to fill that need with a free agent. One of the most talked about outfielders in the minors, Fernando Martinez, isn't a likely replacement because he has suffered many injuries in the past couple of years. Also it appears that even though Jason Pridie has done a good job filling in for Pagan, he probably isn't an everyday player. Another position that will get some attention in the offseason is catcher and off course the bullpen could use some improvement - a closer will definitely be needed. Bobby Parnell is talented, but he isn't a closer and putting that kind of pressure on him probably isn't good. Manny Acosta's play of late though has been promising which definitely helps out the bullpen.
Given all of these considerations, the offseason will be interesting for the Mets and anything is possible. Obviously what happens with Reyes will be a big part of the decision making for the front office. It will be interesting to see what the 2012 Mets will look like. Also, it will be interesting to see how Santana performs when he hopefully returns next year and how the young pitchers in the minors may impact the team. Will Wheeler, Harvey, Familia, and Meija make any appearances in the big leagues next year? All four are said to be tremendous talents. Only time will tell what who the 2012 Mets are and where that team goes.
Thanks Mets for the memories. See you in Port St. Lucie.