Rich Coutinho over at ESPN said the following:
May 27, 2009, 7:13 AM
Flushing, New York– It is so often the case in sports that you really do not learn anything about yourself when things are rolling but when adversity hits, you get a real good glimpse of how sturdy you really are. These days, the Mets have taken plenty of hits with the team’s medical staff working overtime but the Amazins have stood tall and that is a very good sign for Met fans.
No team in baseball has had more injuries than the Mets but yet they stand at a very respectable 25-20 and sit a mere 1/2 game behind the first place Phils. They have done this with a laundry list of players on the disabled list including Oliver Perez, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, Ryan Church, and Alex Cora. In all fairness, they have at times looked shoddy and weak defensively but there is a bounce back in this Met team that I did not see in the past two seasons and that has been great to witness.
It is hard to think where the Mets would be if Livan Hernandez and Gary Sheffield were not picked up off the scrap heap. Shef has provided a deadly righthanded power bat and all Livan has done is win 4 of 5 decisions. But there is also an inner toughness that is hard to describe that I see in this team. It is the “It Factor” that winning teams possess and the Mets have it.
The question remains can the Mets hold down the fort until the injured players return? That remains to be seen but I am certain that the 2009 Met cast of characters is very equipped to handle any adversity that comes along in a way they were not able to do a year ago. And that could make for a dramatic and fun summer in Queens.
Finally are others starting to take notice?Â This team is missing a lot of pieces right now but heart is NOT one of them.Â This team has had it’s heart ripped out for really 3 straight years and continues to come back for more.Â In fact they are a lot like us.Â As Mets fans we have been through a lot in the last 3+ years and so have the players.Â Every morning they both read about how the Mets are weak, heartless, and have no grit.Â Every after noon the talk shows go right back into the trade the core and how un-clutch their players are.Â Yet every year they keep coming back for more. Yet what the drive-bys do not see is how much heart and fight this team and fan-base DOES have.Â Last year this team came back from what seemed insurmountable injuries and a huge hole that was dug under Mr. Randolph.Â So much heart, drive and compassion that even with injuries and a AAA bullpen they took the lead in the division away from the future World Champion Phillies.Â Â Yet all that is remembered is how all of that fight took it’s toll and how the Mets could not hold on to that lead.Â Thus again they became known not for their fight but for their flight.
What will this season’s story be?Â Will it be a story of heart, strength, redemption and TRUE GRIT or will it be another story weak, gutless, heartless, lackadaisical chokers?