Yankees, Mets open their seasons, but too many obstacles
The Yankees and Mets kick off their seasons Monday, but fans of either team could be in for a rough year.
Heading into Monday's opener, the Yankees are weakened by injuries, with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Phil Hughes, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira all benched because of an array of maladies.
Tanya Bondurant, co-manager of Yankees blog PinstripedBible.com, said that the length of those injuries may determine how successful the team is this season.
"This is going to be a tougher year because they're starting the season with so many people on the disabled list," Bondurant said. "They have lost a lot of their home-run production, which is kind of how they were best at scoring last year."
Still, Bondurant said that "if they can tread water at least until Granderson, Teixeira and Jeter get back, they'll ultimately be OK."
The clubhouse remains optimistic.
"People can predict all they want," Teixeira said. "But it's a long season, and who knows what's going to happen? Nobody knows."
The Mets, perpetually beset with mediocre expectations, are still under the ominous cloud of the Wilpons, which experts said will stifle hopes for the team until the ownership family is gone.
"Excitement is a lot lower than the last few seasons. I think everyone just wants the Wilpons out of there," said Matt Musico, senior editor of Mets blog RisingApple.com.
"A lot of fans feel like nothing good is going to happen until the Wilpons are gone, so there are many bleak years ahead. There really aren't any expectations going forward."
Still, Musico said the pessimism might not be completely warranted.
"The future is bright, especially now. It was tough seeing [R.A.] Dickey get traded away, but it gave the fan base a clear look at what the team's plan is moving forward," he said.
"Even though there's not much expectation for this year for a lot of pessimistic fans it's nice to see that light at the end of the runnel, because this has been a long process.