Jason Bay and Learning to Love the 2010 Mets

Mets unveil new left fielder at press conference

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    We'll know pretty early if the curses of the 2009 season ended when the ball dropped in Times Square. If Jason Bay gets electrocuted by a microphone during his press conference on Tuesday or if he suffers a deep paper cut while picking up his first check from the Mets, it will be a clear sign that the black cloud hasn't yet cleared from above Citi Field.

    But if Bay makes it through his first day as a Met unscathed, you can add another day to that "We've gone _____ days without a catastrophic injury" sign in the clubhouse and keep dreaming about a bright season to come. That's seemed difficult for Mets fans this offseason, but perhaps the new year will bring a general resolve to look on the bright side.

    How can you do that? Take Bay as an example. It's perfectly reasonable to look at his contract and see a boondoggle in 2013 and 2014, especially with the Associated Press reporting that Bay needs only make 600 plate appearances in 2013 or 500 in both 2012 and 2013 to guarantee a $17 million fifth year. It's a bit of damned if you do, damned if you don't for the Mets because if Bay doesn't make that many plate appearances they're essentially flushing money down the toilet.

    Leave those worries for 2013 and 2014, though. Bay should be just fine in 2010, and if you truly believe that injuries contributed to last season's disappointment then Bay's addition takes care of one major hole in last year's squad. The Mets aren't done making moves, either, so there's still good reason to hold out hope for improvements in the rotation and other offensive upgrades to accompany Bay.

    Unless you're a Nets fan, January's a good time for optimism. Something to remember while thinking about the fact that it was the Mets doctors who gave Bay the green light.   

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.