By Michael Mandelkern
The New York Mets season ended over one month ago, and now baseball is done. While the Mets won’t start the next season until March 31, 2014, offseason trade and free agent acquisition rumors are just starting to bubble.
The Mets have not made the postseason since 2006. Next year is expected to be brighter than recent years, but just finishing the season with a winning record would be an accomplishment in itself.
Despite how far the team is from relevant, Mets fans still miss their team throughout the fall and winter. Making fun of the team and ranting about how bad they are helps ease the pain, but once the players are not out on the field anymore there is less to complain about. The loneliness increases exponentially throughout the winter. Here are a few tips on how to get through the offseason if you are true to the orange and blue:
1) Watch other sports
There are several other New York teams to follow from November to April. The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets play basketball; the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and New York Jets play football; and the New York Islanders and New York Rangers play hockey.
Some Mets fans are fortunate enough to root for successful teams in different sports, but for others the fall and winter is just more frustration and heartache. If your main passion is baseball these other sports only fill part of the void.
2) Watch old highlights
The Mets lost 88 of their 162 games this past season, but there were sporadic moments of triumph. It is hard to imagine that Ike Davis hit any home runs in 2013, but the ones that he hit were towering shots and are worth watching again.
Any Mets walk-off victory is an astonishing feat. The Mets came back from a considerable ninth inning deficit to walk off against the San Francisco Giants in mid-September against a closer who led the Giants to a World Series title in 2012.
Oh, and the Mets swept the New York Yankees in Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. That is more rare than a meteor striking Earth.
3) Stir Up the Hot Stove
The Mets need a first baseman, outfielder (or two), relief pitchers and a couple of starting pitchers. Fans have their own opinions of the team’s most pressing needs and best way to improve. Since there are no current Mets games to discuss in the offseason there is plenty of room for debate.
Is Daniel Murphy worth a one-year, $5.8 million contract through arbitration? Will anyone from the minor leagues establish themselves? Will they shock the baseball world with a groundbreaking trade or free-agent acquisition?
Twitter is a great place to discuss these topics. Mets fans are awake at all hours of the day to defend their favorite players and use Mets humor to joke about their daily lives. You are not alone in your unhealthy obsession with the Mets.
4) Take a Tour of Citi Field
If you literally cannot wait until Opening Day to return to Citi Field, you can take a tour. Instead of just sitting in the seats, fans are able to go onto the field, into the dugout, the clubhouse, press box and check out the Mets Hall of Fame.
The walking tours begin on November 9 and last one hour. And the best part is that the Mets cannot lose!
Tickets cost $13 for adults and $9 for seniors and children 12 years old and under.