I think every Met fan can agree that last season, like the few preceding it, was a disappointment. The Mets haven’t made the playoffs since their disappointing 2006 run and haven’t been in contention since the 2008 season. While the Mets didn’t make the playoffs or contend last season, in the wake of R.A. Dickey’s Cy Young award here are two reasons, in addition to Dickey, why the 2012 season wasn’t all bad.
First, and most satisfying was Johan Santana’s no-hitter. Many Mets fans have waited 50 years for the elusive no-hitter. The Mets were only one of two teams coming into last season without a no-no. The team has had so many great pitchers in their history that it was sheer luck or a lack thereof, that they had never had one. It’s fitting that Santana will go down in Mets’ history as the pitcher who finally got the first Mets no-hitter. Santana is one of my favorite Mets and his success has been underplayed for a myriad of reasons, like the lack of team success and his recent injuries.
Second, and most important in the long run, was the development of three players. Yes, there was quite a bit of development within the Mets organization but the development of Matt Harvey, Ruben Tejada and Zack Wheeler was the most important of last season. Tejada will probably never be an elite player, but he most likely will be above average at shortstop, a position that has a dearth of talent around the league. The two pitchers both continued to take steps forward, Harvey proving his mettle in the majors while Wheeler dominated Double-A hitters in the Eastern League. The development of these three players was fun to watch and in Wheeler’s case to read about and it was very important for the team’s success going forward.
Third, and most impressive, is Robert Allen Dickey winning the Cy Young award, thus being named the best pitcher in the National League in 2012. This award doesn’t affect much, yet it means so much to the team and the fan base. For a fan favorite, a great guy and an absolute fabulous pitcher to be honored with the highest individual pitching award is great. Personally, Dickey has been through so much and persevered, and he deserves the accolades, fame and paycheck that will most likely come with the award. Dickey was a must-watch whenever he pitched and made the season more enjoyable. I’m extremely confident that Dickey will continue to pitch at this high level next year and going forward, whether with the Mets or another organization.
I, like every other Mets’ fan, am desperate to be invested in some October baseball. Sadly, the 2012 season provided nothing on the playoff front, but it did provide a few players and moments that gave me some solace.