In a few short days, baseball will return to Port St. Lucie and, in less than two months, baseball will be back. I will be in Port St. Lucie for a day this week and then again towards the end of February when pitchers and catchers arrive - and I can't wait to bring you the story both in writing and in photographs as it happens. My hope is we, as fans, can celebrate the birth of the new season at that time, and start talking about this baseball team and the game. Why? Because as a Mets fan who has suffered through thick and thin with this franchise since 1985, I am sick of not talking about baseball and my favorite sports team. I am sick of the legalese, the mocking, the fear over the future of this franchise, and a theoretical inevitability that the Mets will lose. Everyday I hope the negativity will end, that the dramatics will end, and there can be a return to normalcy and winning.
The reality is, I know that's not happening anytime soon, especially with ownership's trial in the Madoff case set to begin right in the middle of Spring Training - there's no telling how long this will last, either. I have faith that both Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins can center the focus on the diamond rather than the courtroom, but the distractions will undoubtedly be visible each and everyday for the duration of the trial and in the days following it. That's sad and upsetting to deal with as a fan - that's not what it's supposed to be about.
I read the jokes, see the cartoons, read the comments on this site, on Twitter, and on Facebook about this team and the ongoing situation with ownership, and it seems as though I'm not alone in my thinking. It seems we all want this era to come to an end, one way or another, so the attention and focus can be on winning games on the field, and not in the courtroom.