This offseason has been filled with a negative feel, whether it be the fact that the Mets have no money to spend, the signing of "mediocre" free agents, Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo's presence on the team, and now the hoopla surrounding the Wilpons' money scheme.
I have tried to overlook the negative and focus on the positive. Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins seem to have a plan moving forward. The team agreed to contracts with Pagan, Pelfrey and Dickey. I like the moves that roll the dice a little such as the signings of Chris Young and Chris Capuano. There's just two weeks until pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie.
I don't mind enduring the reports of the Wilpon scandal for two more weeks. But once the first player arrives at the Tradition Field complex, I hope the focus turns to the upcoming season rather than off the field problems.
Unfortunately, the last few seasons have been a mish-mosh of poor play on the field coupled with ugly off the field incidents.
From the collapse of 2007 to the Beltran surgery fiasco to K-Rod's actions to Charlie Samuels' betting and now back to the Madoff scandal, it has overshadowed what the Mets are trying to do. The team is trying to put a championship caliber ball club on the field for the loyal fans that support the team.
Naturally, this is much easier said than done and has taken longer than most fans would have hoped for. But a fast start to this season could quell much of the negative attention surrounding the team. And that starts when pitchers and catchers report.
The leadership is there, the talent is there, but now the results must be there.
Everyone seems to be looking ahead to next year when the team will have $60 million coming off the books. The expectations are that Alderson will bring in a few big time free agents to change the atmosphere.
But until this team is out of contention (and that sure as heck isn't in spring training), we loyal fans should rally behind our team, regardless of their off field issues.
It's amazing how quickly fans forget about problematic issues when their team performs well, and hopefully that winds up being the case for the 2011 Mets.