Glee. Elation. Surprise. Shock. Thrill.
All emotions we didn’t expect to feel as the night of the blizzard dragged on.
And then it happened. From somewhere came the news, and within seconds, it was everywhere: Cespedes was back.
And then all those emotions kicked into overdrive.
Sitting there with a phone slow to react and a computer screen dominated by what seemed like dozens of different documents, I got the news the old fashioned way: my dad entered the room in slow motion, fist raised in triumph.
And I understood immediately. Because in a conversation between two Mets fans, few things could inspire that kind of gesture.
The knowledge that the Mets have significantly bolstered their lineup going into 2016.
The understanding that a major piece of the 2015 playoff run will indeed be back.
The fact that we’ve added a legitimate power hitter in his prime who has proven he can hit at Citi Field – all this for the first time since, well, the last time we added Yoenis Cespedes.
The fact that the Mets payroll is suddenly near $140 million, which means that maybe, just maybe, they’re getting ready to spend again.
How about all the above?
Cespedes is back. We’re not losing a centerpiece to a division rival. We’re legitimate once again, and having sent that message to the rest of major league baseball, we’ll now commence beating up on them, helped out by our newest re-addition.
I saw a tweet tonight that summed up the importance of the signing perfectly.
“A: Mets are going to win the division,” it said. “B: even if they don’t, you can’t say they didn’t try. All you can ask for.”
In the immediate aftermath of the World Series, I was angry. I thought with my emotions. I thought I didn’t want Cespedes back. I was wrong.
All I’ve ever asked the Mets to do is compete, and now they’ve done all that I’ve asked. They’ve put a team on the field that can compete for a playoff spot, and then watch where it goes. They’ve proven that the days of competition may once again lie ahead of us.
So that’s it. Cespedes is back, and all of a sudden, we’ve got a season to look forward to. Nothing to gripe about, but everything to discuss excitedly. In a few minutes, over the course of an hour, the Mets regained all the goodwill they earned when they raised a League Championship banner over Citi Field.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Mets are back in business. And now, those 25 days until pitchers and catchers aren’t just a meaningless number. They’re how long we’ll wait until the Mets start winning again.