Wow. I can?t believe all of the comments and questions my blog is generating. When I went back online to see if anyone had noticed it yet, I was floored with the huge response. I was surprised that it?s become this popular so fast, but I guess it shows the Mets have a pretty big following online.
I?ve printed out all of the names for the blog that people have suggested and I plan to sort through them on our West Coast trip. We have a long flight to San Diego, so that will give me a good opportunity to read through them. Next time I post, I?ll try to have my mind made up on a name. I like a bunch of them that have already been submitted, but go ahead and keep sending in your ideas. This is going to be a lot of fun.
Overall, we?ve started the season just about as well as we could possibly expect. Everything has come together for us in the first couple weeks. We?ve had great starting pitching, our bullpen?s been phenomenal and we?ve had timely hitting. That?s a good formula for success in this game.
The strong start has helped us develop a little swagger as a team. We have the expectation that we?re going to win every game we play. Obviously you don?t win every game in a Major League season — we just lost two of three to Atlanta — but there?s no reason we can?t be prepared to win every day.
That confidence is an attitude that?s filtered down from the veterans to the younger guys. But we need to keep taking care of our business and preparing to win. There?s a long, long way to go in this season and we need to keep jelling as a team and doing the small things that help win games.
But the good start has undoubtedly given our club a big boost. It shows we have a good team on the field, not just on paper. All spring, we knew we had good personnel in the clubhouse -? the kind of guys we need in order to win. But you?re never certain until you go out on the field and prove it, and that?s what we?ve been able to do so far.
We?ve gotten beaten a few times. That?s going to happen over the course of the season. But, more importantly, we?ve proved to ourselves that we have the ability to win close games -? the kind where we have to find a way to win. They?re the games that stick with you. You remember them the next time you?re in a tough battle and trying to scratch out a win.
We lost two games to the Braves, on great pitching performances by Kyle Davies and Tim Hudson, the last couple days before heading off on our road trip. But that?s only the beginning of our battles with Atlanta this season. To be the best, you have to beat the best. And the best in the NL East the last 14 years has been Atlanta. We have to find a way to dethrone them. They?ve been a phenomenal franchise for a lot of years, so it?s no accident that they made it to the top.
But it?s not like I?m trying to play the underdog card here, either. We have a ballclub that?s capable of winning our division. There?s no doubt in my mind about that. It?s just a fact that the NL East championship has to go through Atlanta until somebody finally beats them.
Now we have our first West Coast swing of the season. I think the important thing about a road trip like this is making sure you do everything in your power to get your body physically and mentally prepared to meet the challenge of playing, despite the changes in climate, surroundings and time zone.
We?re only out there about a week, so we can?t get caught up with the idea of jet lag and how it might affect us. We just have to make whatever adjustments are necessary to get on a good sleep schedule so we?re well rested.
You need to know yourself — how many hours of sleep you need and what kinds of food you need in your body to perform at the peak of your ability. Personally, I like to have about nine hours of sleep and I?m pretty conscious of what foods I eat, so I?ll just build in the right amount of rest and be ready to go.
Those are just off-the-field concerns, though. You do your best with them during the day and they?re usually off your mind by the time the game rolls around. Once those lights go on at the stadium, you become energized no matter what city you?re in. It?s time to play.
I’ll stop by again soon.