Since being hired as General Manager in late 2010, Sandy Alderson’s outlook and optimism on the Mets has varied from year to year. However, after recently telling reporters that, “We’re all in here,” his message for this season is undoubtedly clear: New York is ready to win a championship.
With full team workouts underway in Port St. Lucie, it’s already very evident how different this year’s team is from years prior. Whether it’s the young guys looking for a spot on the roster, or the veterans aiming to lead the team, everyone at camp seems to have a “win now” mentality.
This first became clear with Noah Syndergaard’s offseason transformation. After losing a Wild Card thriller to the Giants in October, Syndergaard became dedicated to protecting his nickname and actually transforming into Thor, adding 17 pounds of pure muscle this offseason in an effort to throw even harder and make himself an even more dominant presence on the mound.
Then came the reports of Dominic Smith, the organization’s aspiring first baseman, taking an opposite approach and shedding weight during the winter. Citing that he felt sluggish after games last season, Smith became determined to being more fit, and pushed himself to drop 24 pounds. Now, Smith says that he feels healthier and more energetic, and is primed for a big year in what is a critical season for him.
The veterans are also visibly eager for the 2017 season. On Instagram, Curtis Granderson recently posted a photo of his Mets cap with the caption, “…this year of all years, I couldn’t be more excited to play hard and have fun with some of the greatest teammates in the game! #UnfinishedBusiness.”
There is also fan favorite Jose Reyes, who will bring an overwhelmingly positive clubhouse presence to the team that hasn’t been felt for a full season since 2011. Along with him is his longtime friend at third base David Wright. Despite being plagued by injuries, the Captain has repeatedly expressed his overwhelming desire to get back onto the field and give everything he has left in the tank to finally bring the Commissioner’s Trophy back to Queens.
Finally, Yoenis Cespedes has arrived back at camp, but this time with an entirely different attitude. Since agreeing to a 4-year deal this offseason and finally finding a home in New York, Cespedes has an entirely new mindset. The 31-year-old slugger feels more at peace and secure with his situation, and has become significantly more focused and dedicated to baseball and to the Mets.
There is an entirely different feeling surrounding this Mets team. The culture is undoubtedly upbeat, encouraging, and dedicated. Players young and old seem committed to playing as a team, having fun, and most of all, winning. This Mets team is unlike any that we’ve seen in recent years, and it’s exciting!
So get ready Mets fans, because this year, we’re all in.