Injuries to key players and the dimensions of Citi Field were mentioned most frequently as the culprits, and for good reason.
Let's compare 2008 and 2009:
Just looking at the "by month" totals, we see that the Mets best month of 2009 was 20 HRs in May. This was a month when the club was relatively healthy, yet the total would represent the second worst month of 2008.
Looking at the "home field" homeruns, we see another major difference. 95 homeruns at Shea in 2008 vice a paltry 49 homeruns for the team at Citi Field in 2009.
Last year around this time I wrote a piece called "Jerry Has It Wrong on Power."
In the article I described how Jerry's overall mindset was incorrect given the state of the game and how power translated to success. If you recall, Jerry's mantra in spring training 2009 was "More Lemke, less McGwire."
We all know how that worked out.
Now in 2010 we are watching the Mets hit homeruns in bunches, and the team is winning--yes it's spring training, yes the winds are blowing out in Florida, but there is also a sense that the 2010 Mets just might have an offense capable of quick strike innings with crooked numbers courtesy of the longball.
Part of me thinks the change in mindset has something to do with the freer swinging we're seeing this year. The inclusions of Jason Bay in the lineup, along with some subs with power (Carter, FMart, Ike Davis, etc), has totally changed the makeup of the team, and there lies the rub.
The guys hitting the homeruns this spring are more often than not headed for the minors here in a few weeks, leaving us back with the same core players from last year.
The Mets will get more power from catcher and leftfield, that is a given, but if David Wright struggles again, or Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes don't come back healthy in May, it looks like the same power shortage we witnessed last year will be back tormenting us all.
I know the Mets are telling everyone that FMart is headed to the minors to start the year, but if the club wants to continue powering through to wins, they should seriously re-think the makeup of the team that leaves Florida--power is still king.
Finally, remember 2006? That was a pretty good Mets team--they also hit of ton of homeruns, 200 to be exact compared to 95 last year:
Channeling your inner Kingman is the right mindset for 2010.