Did you wake up this morning and feel this eery sense that there was something wrong with today? Well, if you did there's good reason for it. Today is officially the day where there are 17 games left to play.
As I'm sure you remember this is the day last year that officially marked the Mets demise. As neurotic and anxious a Mets Lifer as I am, I'm feeling ok about today. You see I honestly believe this team is different than last year. There's a different attitude, a different vibe, and a different sense of confidence in this team.
The lineup is made up of mostly the same players, but one addition and one subtraction has made the difference. The addition is obvious. It's Johan Santana. Every 5th day we have a starting pitcher who will go out there and give us 7+ innings of competitive baseball. He's the guy we were missing last year when Tom Glavine hung us out to dry on the last game of the season. Santana is giving us a Cy Young worthy performance every time he steps on the mound, and is a man able to stop a losing skid in just 9 innings.
The subtraction is also obvious. It's Willie Randolph. No more "my guys" and "we'll laugh about this" type of attitude. Instead we have a straight shooter in Jerry Manuel who appears to have been the steady, calming hand this Mets team needed. He's manager of the year. Lock it up.
So with 17 games to play, I'm feeling much better about a dismal 3 game lead than I did last year with a 7 game lead. Is it crazy to think that? Probably, but that's life as a Mets Lifer.