Both the Mets and the Jets have been going through tough times over the last few years. The Mets have hit financial woes and in turn have produced a below average baseball team every year from 2008, while the Jets have become the laughing stock of the NFL just two years removed from their second consecutive AFC Championship Game.
It has gotten ugly for the two “second-class” teams in New York City. The city is dominated by the Yankees and Giants and both the Mets and the Jets are constantly trying to emerge from their shadows.
But there is one glaring difference between the Mets and the Jets as they both look to rebuild their teams. Right now, the Mets have a realistic expectation of where their team is while Rex Ryan and the Jets have been talking Super Bowls for the last four years with nothing to show for it.
While both teams have been disappointing, the outlook that the Mets have of their current team has to give fans a better feeling going into 2013 than how Jets fans currently feel about their team.
As the Mets continue to pursue free agent outfielder Michael Bourn, Mets third baseman David Wright reached out to Bourn in an effort to recruit the 30 year old outfielder to Queens.
“I just feel he’s a hard-nosed player,” Wright said of Bourn according to the NY Post. “I wanted to be there to answer any question he might have and let him know that with some of the young arms that we have and the young talent we have, we are not far off.’’
Understandably, most fans and people around baseball believe that the Mets are actually still far off. They still need to add an outfielder just to field a decent starting three and after Wright, there is not a great depth of talent in their batting order.
David Wright believes the Mets “are not far off.” His realistic output should give fans comfort of where the team stands and what direction they are heading. PHOTO COURTESY: MARK HUMPHREY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
However, as Wright said, the Mets “are not far off.” No player ever wants to count their team out, but that answer signifies that the Mets realize they are still a work in process. Any player or member of the organization is going to believe deep down that they can win “right now,” but the expectation for this team can’t be high for next year with unanswered questions still around their diamond.
Wright however is all in with the Mets and they now have that franchise face to build around. Position players will want to play with Wright as the young pitching prospects continue to develop. When the Mets decide they can start spending money again they will be able to land a key contributor through free agency.
The time for the Mets to start spending money is not that far off and fans shouldn’t count Bourn out just yet. He’s a long shot but if no other team is willing to give Bourn that fifth year that he really wants, maybe Wright’s recruitment will pay off.
The Jets however are on another stratosphere of trouble. After failing to land an experienced GM, they hired another capologist in John Idzik as their general manager and retained head coach Rex Ryan, whose popularity has dropped faster than Manti Teo’s draft stock.
The team has fourteen free agents along with a number of players under contract that they will decide to part ways with in an effort to fix their salary cap issues. Ryan will be desperate to fill a number of holes on both sides of the ball in one year to save his job because with another bad year, the Jets will be looking for their sixth head coach since 2000.
Not to mention, they still have Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow on their roster. Decisions, decisions.
Despite the various holes on the Jets, Ryan will most likely not back down from his confident bravado that was once a breath of fresh air, but is now pointless and repetitive. He may not predict a Super Bowl championship but who knows, maybe after one win he’ll dub his 2013 team “the most talented team he’s ever coached.”
That does not mean that they cannot vastly improve their team this offseason through free-agency, trades and the draft. However, as a life-long fan of the Jets, I have to say that I am not confident that they will get it fixed in one year.
Because of the realistic output that the Mets have shown so far this off-season, that gives me more confidence in the direction that the Mets are going opposed to the Jets. As a fan of both teams, it is shocking that I would have ever thought the Mets would be in a better situation than any team. I would have never thought that in 2013 I would be more excited about what the Mets were doing compared to the Jets who were “flying high” after Ryan took over.
It’s sad how fast the tables have turned for the Jets, but with baseball season just around the corner, Mets fans can be content where they sit today. Just think of it this way; they could be Jets fans.
The sad part is, most of them are.
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