At the end of spring training, hope springs eternal for a whole lot of baseball fans itching to see their favorite team in action.
It’s terrific knowing that the expectations for both NY Baseball teams should be pretty darn high going into this year.
The Mets did a fabulous job of winning the backpages this winter.
They acquired the best pitcher on the market, Max Scherzer. They acquired one of the most exciting outfielders in the game, Starling Marte. Oh and they hired one of baseball’s best managers, Buck Showalter.
On paper, the Mets could not have drawn up their offseason any better.
However, you don’t win division titles on paper.
The Mets already have a major headache on their hands with their ace Jacob deGrom.
The same ace that missed the entire second half of last season is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. So much for Jake being in the best shape of his life!
The Mets can survive deGrom’s absence for the first two months of the season, but if they want to win a championship, they need him.
It would be nice to see the 300 million dollar man Francisco Lindor step up in a big way in his second full season in Queens.
Lindor is a star player, but last year for a good majority of the season, he didn’t play like one.
If the Mets are going to win the NL East, they will need a bounceback season out of Mr Smile.
For the Yankees, they didn’t win the back pages of this offseason the way the Mets did.
It by no means was a sexy offseason for a team that is coming off back to back disappointing seasons.
However, the Yankees are a better team going into 2022 than they were going into last season.
For starters, defensively they should look much better behind the plate and at shortstop.
Offensively, a full season of Anthony Rizzo and the addition of Josh Donaldson should provide an element of toughness that was lacking for most of last year.
GM Brian Cashman mentioned after the Donaldson trade that the Yankees were lacking an edge, I hope Donaldson helps provide one.
The Yankees will be better offensively, because in addition to Donaldson and Rizzo, Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu can’t be any worse than what they were last season.
In a loaded American League East, the Yankees can’t have lackluster campaigns from Torres and LeMahieu.
They also need to answer a pretty simple question. Who will be the #2 starter behind Gerrit Cole?
Luis Severino has the stuff to do it. He’s been an All-Star before. However, he has not started a full season of games in 4 years.
If the Yankees win the AL East, we will be talking about a Baby Bomber resurgence for both Torres and Severino.
It’s an exciting time to be a NY Baseball fan. Both teams are interesting and expect to win.
If we are not talking about two playoff teams at the end of September, something went horribly, horribly wrong across the board.
For now, let the games begin…
You can listen to my podcast New York, New York every Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday on The Ringer Podcast Network on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.
You can also watch me nightly at 11 PM on Geico Sportsnight on SNY.