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Mel & Ed Preview The 2024 Season

With Opening Day this Thursday, I have asked Mel and Ed to share their thoughts on the upcoming season. In case you’ve forgotten or you’re unfamiliar with them, these two Mets fans can best be summarized as the consistently cynical, “sky is always falling” fan (Mel) and the unendingly optimistic, “they’re just one good player away” fan (Ed). Here’s what they had to say…

Mel: Should I even bother?

Ed: Bother with what?

Mel: Watching this team, following this team, offering up a season preview…

Ed: Why wouldn’t you?

Mel: Because they’re punting this season and looking forward to 2025. Wait, 2025? Aren’t we supposed to have flying cars by now.

Ed: They’re not actually punting this season. Didn’t you see? They just signed J.D. Martinez.

Mel: I’d rather have a flying car.

Ed: Oh, come on.

Mel: Fine, he’s a good complementary player. Great. He’s also one of the oldest players on this team and has had his share of injuries. Would you be surprised if he missed 60 games, or even more?

Ed: Would you be surprised if he hit over 30 home runs like he did last year?

Mel: Somewhat. I guess we’ll get to see on Opening Day.

Ed: Well, not exactly. He’s starting out the season in the minors.

Mel: So the Mets best offseason pick up is a minor leaguer?

Ed: No, no, he just signed at the end of spring training, and he needs to get some work in before he’s ready? It’s just the first 7 games or so.

Mel: Great, 53 more to go. At least we’ll get to see what Mark Vientos can do in the meantime.

Ed: Well, not exactly. He’s also starting out the season in the minors.

Mel: So let me get this straight. Beginning last July, they told us that they’d be using this year to evaluate the youngsters. They said that this plan was going to be the driving force behind their decision-making process and other than trying to sign the Japanese pitcher-

Ed: -Yamamoto-

Mel: -sure, they weren’t going to go after any big-name free agents.

Ed: That sounds accurate.

Mel: So they didn’t, until the end of spring training when they picked up a big-ish-name designated hitter who is taking away the spot of one of the youngsters at the heart of why they didn’t sign other dependable free agents. Only, joke’s us on, neither of them will be with the team.

Ed: I mean, that’s one way to look at it.

Mel: It’s the only way.

Ed: They’re still using this year to evaluate the young players they have, and they also know that all they have to do is make the postseason to have a shot. So, they put together a team that may not look like a 100-win team, and still should have a shot at playing in October, at which point anything can happen.

Mel: And this helps you sleep at night?

Ed: Alright, what do you think the Mets should have done this offseason?

Mel: Look, I agree that there wasn’t much out there that was any more of a guarantee than last year’s mistakes were. I don’t think they ever had a shot at Shohei, I think they did their best with the other guy-

Ed: -Yamamoto-

Mel: -sure, and I’m fine with not committing multiple years to players who don’t need to be on the team beyond 2024.

Ed: I must admit, I’m surprised. I thought you’d sound more disgruntled.

Mel: I wasn’t done. The issue I have is that it feels like 2009 through 2014, and also, 2017 through 2019, all over again, and I thought we’d never have to go back to this feeling. We were supposed to be done with this. And now, here we are, we could be good enough to make the postseason, and we could also be terrible enough to lose 90 games or more. And the path they end up going will depend so much on players who are often injured or who haven’t been consistently good for a long time.

Ed: I get that, really I do, and let me tell you the difference. This team is built this way for one season, and after this year we should have an idea of what this team needs in the near future while also maintaining one of the better farm systems in the majors.

Mel: One of the better farm systems.

Ed: Yes sir.

Mel: And that’s because of Martinez and Vientos?

Ed: There are players to be excited about this year, and players that are a couple years away who can really make an impact.

Mel: Unless we trade them away for Javy Baez.

Ed: We’re not trading them away for Javy Baez. That was a very different regime.

Mel: Right, now we have David “Small-Market” Stearns to balance out Steve “Uncle Moneybags” Cohen. Together they’ll take us towards mediocrity.

Ed: Well, let’s clarify. Stearns was small market because he worked for the Brewers, not vice versa. Just because he knows how to get the most out of money doesn’t mean he’s afraid to spend it.

Mel: I hope you’re right. I mean, you’re not. And still, I hope you are.

Ed: I think it’s safe to say that even though this roster may not project to a first-place finish, there is enough talent on this team to make it worth watching. Can we at least agree on that?

Mel: You can.

Ed: Oh, bother.