200 Miles From the Citi

March 31, 2010 6:21 AM

Just Maybe...

Santana_v_Brewers.JPGWe're on the cusp of a new baseball season, which means all that I've ever wanted could happen this year.

Of course, at the top of the list would be a 2010 Mets World Series championship.

And while I'm not exactly giving up hope...I'm not holding my breath on that one.

But it's a long season, and there are plenty of other possibilities that merit watching.

Perhaps this is the year that the Mets throw a no-hitter.

You know when they do, it's going to be special.  Probably a perfect game.  You'd better believe that every time Johan Santana toes the rubber that's what's going through my mind.  (Do other people do this?  Am I extra-sensitive to it because the Mets have never done it?  Do other fans watch every game and the minute the other team gets a hit think, 'Well, not tonight'?  Because that's how I go through a season.)

So I'm hoping it'll be Johan Santana, and every fifth day I'll be geared up for one.  My fear is that it will be Nelson Figueroa on a night I'm not really expecting it and I might miss it.  If that ever were to happen, I'd be really ticked off.  I have invested so much time and effort into this friggin' team...if I miss their first ever no-hitter because it's thrown by Fernando Nieve on a Saturday afternoon on a game I don't get on would take me a while to recover from that disappointment.

Perhaps this is the year that David Wright hits 45 doubles.

I don't know when this changed from 'cute idea' to 'sick obsession'.  But I watch David Wright's doubles like it's my job.  (Well, I guess this is kind of like a job.  If by job you mean 'toil in obscurity for your own entertainment and no pay'.  Anyway, I keep track of his doubles.)  Though he fell short of 40 doubles last year for the first time in his career, Wright had a strong finish to the year to get to 39 doubles.  Maybe this is the year he gets past Bernard Gilkey's 44 in 1996.  Career-wise, Wright is sitting at 222 doubles.  I feel like as long as he keeps pounding out 40+ doubles a season he'll make a nice little run at Tris Speaker's 792.

Perhaps this is the year a new star emerges.

There are plenty of candidates - Jenrry Mejia being the one who's getting the most press.  But sometimes it's the guy you don't see coming that makes it the most fun to see burst onto the scene.  And this doesn't even have to apply to the Mets - maybe it'll be some phenom elsewhere who just electrifies the baseball world.  Maybe it's someone who has even had all of the press - for a couple of years now.  I know I'll be watching when Stephen Strasburg takes his turn as "the next big thing".

Perhaps this is the year a new Cinderella takes the stage.

How fun was it when Tampa Bay was really good in 2008?  Maybe not for Yankees or Red Sox fans, but for the rest of us, that was fun to watch.  Partly because it just doesn't happen that often.  There are a couple of potential candidates in 2010 - Cincinnati, maybe a surprise team like Florida...but it would really be tremendous if a team like Washington or Pittsburgh starts beating all comers and makes a magical run.

Why not?  It's that time before the season when anything can happen.

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