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Sunday, January 27
Glen Allen Mets

2001 record:
78-84 (.481); 1st place in NL East
Lost NL Divisional Series to Ocala in 7 games

Major additions:
1B David Segui, OF Dante Bichette, C Ben Molina, RHP Bryan Rekar, RHP Mike Timlin, INF Mike Lansing

Major loses:
OF Matt Lawton, OF Ryan Klesko, SS Omar Vizquel, 1B Mike Stanley, C John Flaherty, RHP Mark Gardner, LHP Lance Painter, RHP Wayne Gomes

2001 Review:
It was a strange year of dichotomies for Glen Allen…

Good news: The Mets entered the season as defending champions of the National League, following its 92-win season and impressive playoff run from the year before.

Bad news: In 2001, the team slumped to only 78 wins despite scoring more runs than it allowed.

Good news: Even though Glen Allen won only 78 games, the rest of the NL East was even weaker and Glen Allen once again repeated as division champs.

Bad news: Entering the playoffs as the NL team with the worst record, Glen Allen was forced to play its initial series against the Ocala Ocelots. Sporting the NL's best record at 113-49, Ocala appeared set to overpower the underdog Mets.

Good news: Relying on the post-season experience it gained just one year before, Glen Allen played an amazing series against Ocala. Heading back to Ocala leading the series three games to two, the Mets needed just one more win in either Games Six or Seven to pull off the amazing upset.

Bad news: The win did not come. Ocala won both games and Glen Allen's season was over. While the Mets went home, Ocala would eventually win the BRASSball Championship.

Glen Allen's top players in 2001 were OF Matt Lawton (.312, 54 2B, 103 R) and OF Ryan Klesko (.297, 23 HR, 83 RBI). Both players also drew over 100 walks apiece (104 and 110 respectively). The team's best pitchers were LHP Eric Milton (16-10, 4.91 ERA), RHP Todd Richie (11-11, 4.93 ERA) and RHP Bob Wickman (64 IP, 3.39 ERA, 41 SV).

2002 Outlook:
Faced with these schizophrenic results, it is a potentially confusing time for Glen Allen's front office. Does the team need to rebuild due to its poor 78-84 record? Or does the team's positive run differential (842 scored versus 824 allowed) and post-season success demand another full-fledged post-season run?

First of all, Glen Allen does indeed seem a victim of bad luck in 2001. According to our good friend Pythagoras, the Mets should have finished with an 83-79 win record last season.

Unfortunately, however, the team managed only a 21-32 record (a .396 winning percentage) in one-run games in 2001. Had the team finished closer to an expected record of .500 in these contents, the Mets would have earned roughly five more wins and hit their expected record exactly. Therefore, Glen Allen was indeed a stronger team than its record indicated and its post-season competitiveness that much more explainable.

That said, the current version of the Glen Allen team does seem to be on its last legs. The veteran team is aging and many of its players are on the downward slope of their career (Cal Ripken, Marquis Grissom and Steve Traschsel for example).

Realizing this, Glen Allen's management saved much of its free agency budget for the future. Specifically, the team allowed its two best players, OF Matt Lawton and OF Ryan Klesko, to walk away in free agency. Instead, the team invested this money by inking its young phenoms LHP Barry Zito (23 years old) and 3B Albert Pujols (21 years old) to long-term contracts. This decision proves that the Mets are looking to the future, not the present.

Another troubling strike against near-term success are reports out of Glen Allen that 3B Fernando Tatis (.256, 15 HR, 56 RBI), limited to only 99 games last season due to a severe groin pull, may also miss most of the 2002 season with a shoulder injury. This will force either creaky 3B Cal Ripken (.191, 13 HR, 42 RBI) or the unproven Pujols into the team's starting line-up.

While this veteran team may indeed win another division title this year in the weak NL East, Glen Allen knows that its best chance at real success is a few years away. By continuing to invest in this future, Glen Allen may soon add a second NL pennant to its trophy case.

Projected lineup
RF Marquis Grissom
2B Randy Velarde
CF Trot Nixon
DH Eric Karros
LF Dante Bichette
1B David Segui
3B Cal Ripken/Albert Pujols
SS Mike Lansing/Damian Jackson
C Ben Molina

Eric Milton
Todd Richie
Barry Zito
Steve Trachsel
Bryan Rekar

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