LIKE

1. R.A. DICKEY'S KNUCKLEBALL.

What's not to like? It floats. It dips. It's unpredictable. Every pitch is an adventure, and fortunately for the Mets, they don't have to hit it.

2. JOSE REYES ON THE BASEPATHS

Whether he's stealing second or hustling for third on a ball hit into the rightfield gap, Reyes - when healthy - remains the most electric player on the roster.

3. CASTILLO AND PEREZ ARE GONE

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Neither player was the main reason for the Mets' poor performance of the past few years, but they had come to symbolize those failures. Truly addition by substraction.

 

DON'T LIKE

1. INSTABILITY AT SECOND BASE

Say what you want about Luis Castillo: at least he had significant major-league experience. The Mets could use as many as four players at the position this season, and none may be any good.

2. NO RELIEF IN SIGHT

Aside from Francisco Rodriguez, and maybe Bobby Parnell, who else is there to rely on in the Mets' makeshift bullpen? Terry Collins may push his starters to get past this shaky group.

3. THE MADOFF MESS

The $1 billion lawsuit against the Wilpons hovers over the Mets like a dark cloud and there's no telling how long it will linger.