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Ya Gotta Get Worse

Now that camp has begun, I've decided to unveil my slogan for the season. In the recent past I've gone with Ya Gotta Deceive (1991-93), Ya Gotta Make Believe (2005) and I Wanna Believe (2006) and looking back, I can come up with variations on the theme such as Ya Gotta Conceive (1962), and Ya Gotta Achieve (1969 and 1986).

This year, my philosophy is a simple one: Ya Gotta Get Worse.

The reasoning for this is easy to explain and I could probably even persuade Willie and Omar of its validity. In 2005, the Cardinals won 100 games. In 2006, they won 83. The 17-game decline from '05 to '06 was the biggest in the majors. And yet, the Cardinals emerged as champions. I'm all for copycatting what worked in previous instances, so let's take that same approach as the folks from St. Louis.

So it doesn't really bother me that the Mets don't really have any established answers in spots three through five in the pitching rotation. It doen't worry me that the leftfielder is geriatric and the rightfielder specializes in turning doubles into triples. It doesn't cause me to fret that the starting second baseman overachieved significantly. I fully expect Tom Glavine to go through a lengthy losing streak as he approaches 300 wins, similar to the home run drought Gary Carter experienced upon nearing that number of home runs. I'm fairly confident that El Duque will pull another hammy at some point.

But that's okay, because in this season of decline, it's alright to be a pessimist. Because when it's all said and done, everything will turn out okay. Mediocrity is the newest style.

Just remember: Ya Gotta Get Worse

True Metssimists know...The biggest decline in Mets walk-off wins from one season to the next is 7. The Mets had 10 walk-off wins in 1967, but only 3 in 1968. They also had 14 walk-off wins in 1971 and then dropped to 7 in 1972.

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