Spring training is underway for the Mets, as pitchers and catchers took the field for the first time in Port St. Lucie Wednesday. NY1's Kevin Garrity filed the following report.
PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA. - The beauty of spring training is that hope is in the air, and that's how the Mets' front office feels.
With the team coming off four straight losing seasons, the only way to go is up. At least, that's what the Mets are telling themselves.
"Recognizing we're without a Cy Young award winner who was here last year, but as a group, both pitching and catching, we're as happy with this group as any group that I've been with since I've been here," said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson.
"I mean, 80 degrees in the sun, and everything is blooming, I'm so pleased to be here, because I love this game, as you know," Wilpon said. "I'm hopeful and optimistic."
For Wilpon, it's been a stressful four years. His team ran out of gas after quick starts, and his finances were in turmoil for various reasons. But that is all behind him now, and with the economy turning around, the Mets may once again become spenders, "if" the right player comes along.
"Everything that was in the past, and you guys saw the pain that we went through, is gone," Wilpon said. "The fact that we couldn't do much during that time. Market conditions, the stock market went up. the real estate market went up. All those things happened. SNY went up. So we're fortunate that we have no hold on anything that we're doing."
Wilpon said that being involved in the Bernard Madoff situation and just watching his team lose over the last four or five years has been a painful experience. But he is hopeful that the organization is about to turn the corner and get back to winning.