Ricciardi, Pagan Help Mets Meet Trash Talk Quota

Carlos Beltran, 2008:

So this year, to Jimmy Rollins, we are the team to beat. (New York Daily News)

Francisco Rodriguez, going into 2009:

Of course, we’re going to try to win the division. Of course, we’re going to be the front-runner. Of course, we’re going to be the team to beat. (ESPN)

J.P. Ricciardi, special assistant to Mets GM Sandy Alderson, going into the 2011 season:

So now that Mr. Ricciardi is a special assistant to Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, the prospect of having to wrench supremacy in the National League East away from the Philadelphia Phillies doesn’t fill him with much apprehension.

“The AL East always had two or three teams coming at you,” he said by phone recently. “After having done it so many years against the Yankees and the Red Sox and Tampa being good through that cycle, I’ll take my chances. Even though the Phillies are really good, I’ll take my chances over here.” (Wall Street Journal)

Angel Pagan on Wednesday:

Angel Pagan knows that much of the baseball world is “talking about Philadelphia” since the Phillies added Cliff Lee to an already-imposing rotation. But Pagan wants to make sure no one forgets about the Mets, either, even if they’ve had a much lower-profile winter. “If we have health, we can give them a fight,” Pagan said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “Everyone is counting on Philadelphia, but they have to do it. I got my money on my team, bro. I love challenges and that’s why I’m looking forward to it. I believe in surprises.” (New York Daily News)

You’d think that, after four seasons of the Phillies dominating the NL East, the Mets would learn to keep their mouths shut. Everybody and their mother has already concluded that the Mets will be golfing in October. That is, everyone except Ricciardi and Pagan, it seems.