I collect lapel pins. Lapel pins always strike me as this interesting mix of a consumption culture obsessed with the sports spectacle looking to make collectible memories tangible in a simultaneously authentic and inauthentic way.
But that’s a conversation for another day. One pin I picked up in 2004 has silhouette of both Jose Reyes and David Wright with the script, “The Future”.
Back in 2003 Jose Reyes broke into the majors. The following year David Wright broke in. Things were looking up for the Mets. 2006 Wright and Reyes help carried the Mets to the playoffs. Reyes became the spark plug of the lineup that the National TV announcers made sure to state that about 4.52 times per Reyes AB. Reyes went on to become a major story line in the 2011 season ending it with a batting title…then a trip down to South Beach and now Toronto.
Wright on that pin became the future of the franchise. He’s now the present. He’s the de facto captain of the team. David is the source of hope, a strong player at his position and a now a generational figure.
The new future of the Mets is starting to bring some deja vu in terms of prospect hope coming up to the majors. After Wright and Reyes, the Mets farm system hype machine went into full gear with players like Milledge, Fernando Martinez, etc. There’s something different this time around. Harvey, Wheeler and d’Arnaud all feel like they’re real deal. The hype is different. I think it’s because the hype about these players are coming from outside sources, not just people inside the organization.
Harvey broke in first. Wheeler and d’Arnaud are coming in this year. Harvey was a source of hope for 2012. The only positive prospect for 2013 are these three players growing in a meaningful way.
I expect 2013 to feel a lot like 2004, not 2003. In 2003 it wasn’t obvious if the Mets have a direction. Although the Mets have done some contradictory moves over the last couple of seasons, they have a direction in 2013, making it feel like 2004. Remember in 2005 was when the Mets finally made some splashes in the market and those splashes combined with the young talent led to 2006. I sincerely hope that is where 2013 is going.
It’s the new future with the New York Mets.