I have been thinking a lot about homerism lately. I often battle with a desire to judge baseball teams objectively and by numbers only and my base nature to believe the Mets are wildly better or wildly worse than they actually are. Take for instance comparing the Mets to other teams around the league this year. If you asked me to choose a team the Mets were similar too I would probably say the Pirates. A team that is in transition but still struggled sometimes. They showed a lot of promise, had some good wins and while they likely won't make the playoffs they should be a contender soon. While that is an accurate description of Pittsburgh, it simply isn't for the Mets. Pitt is a solid 7 games ahead of us and dealing with a tougher division. The Bucs at 72 wins are much closer in performance to the Dodgers and Tigers. So who are the Mets close to.
At 65 and 72 the teams we are closer to are the Phillies (66-71) and the Padres (64-74). The Padres! Tell me when you think about the season you don't think about the Padres as a low end team that performed as poorly as we expected them to while the Mets exceeded expectations and played well for the most part. I know I would, but in reality they are both equally bad teams. The Mariners are at 67 wins now and they play in what turned out to be one of the toughest divisions in baseball. If you were to make a snap a judgement about the Mariners and the Mets and pick which team was better, I think the average Mets fan would say the Mets, even though the numbers and strength of schedule would indicate otherwise.
What is it about the 2012 Mets that make me feel better about them than previous years. Last year at this time the Mets were actually better at 68 wins and I had already written them off. Is it the fact that we got some great individual performances this year? Is it that we can start to see a light at the end of the mediocrity tunnel? I don't know but the homer effect is stronger right now than in times past. Look out Mariners, here we come.