November 20, 2006

The Mets get the Raw deal in 2007

Marty Noble at, writes about the Mets 2007 schedule and how they are not going to have an easy time:

Why did the Mets get a raw deal in Interleague Play again this year? They have to play the American League champion Tigers, the division-winning Twins, A's and Yankees, while the Phillies, on the other hand, get to play the Royals.-- Jim M., Webster, N.Y.

I can't argue. The Mets do have a challenging schedule for 2007. They play every 2006 postseason entry, they are the only National League team to play the Yankees six times and the only NL East team to make two trips to Dodger Stadium -- one of them between series in Detroit and the Bronx.

Why? I can't say. I personally prefer symmetrical scheduling, but that's impossible with Interleague Play. But this change -- with teams playing opponents for all three divisions in the other league certainly appears to challenge some teams more than others.
No one said it would be easy.

In your opinion, how far will the Mets will make it next year? Will they be able to put together another good season? Or was 2006 the end of the line?-- Kenny S., Vernon, N.J.

It's a tad early be making predictions, but it's fair to say that the 2007 season looks to be a greater challenge than 2006, if only because of the schedule -- see the previous question -- and the likelihood the Phillies will be more competitive. The league should be, too.

Even with all the injuries to their pitchers, a lot went right for the Mets in '06. Building a significant lead in April helped them withstand all the injuries and allowed them to play with house money for a good portion of the season.

Martinez won his five April starts, and Delgado was an April force. Duplicating last April's success is unlikely, but a successful early season will make the heavy lifting easier in the summer. And, no, 2006 is not the end of the line.

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