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Five Reasons to Still Be Excited About the New York Mets in 2012: Fan's View

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Dillon Gee, Mike Baxter and Johan Santana are all on the Disabled List. Jason Bay still isn't making good contact. The bullpen is is a mess, and the team lost seven of eight since the All-Star break.

However, there are plenty of good reasons to keep watching the New York Mets even if they aren't playoff-bound. Here's the top five reasons why Mets fans should still be excited about coming to the ballpark in 2012:

1) Watch David Wright gun for the NL MVP: Wright, a 29-year-old third baseman, is one of the classiest guys in baseball and he's clearly still right in his prime. He's having a career-best year in 2012, with superb tallies in BAA (.346), RBIs (66) and hits (115) in 90 games.

Wright is one of the bright spots on a team that is chock full of question marks right now, and he's locked in a heated race with Pittsburgh Pirates phenom Andrew McCutchen for the NL MVP award. McCutchen is hitting .371 with 22 homers and 65 RBIs, as the Pirates are in prime position to lock up at least a Wild Card berth.

2) Check out R.A. Dickey chasing the Cy Young Award:

Dickey leads the National League with 13 victories, but back-to-back shaky outings bumped his ERA up to 2.84. That's still a solid mark, but he's now ranked No. 9 in the NL, as Chicago Cubs ace Ryan Dempster leads the way with a 2.11 mark.

Dickey still ranks No. 2 in the league in strikeouts and WHIP, so a few good outings in a row should be enough to put him back in position as the odds-on favorite to notch the award.

3) Look for Matt Harvey's call-up: The Mets chose to give 41-year-old journeyman Miguel Batista the start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 21, rather than giving Triple-A phenom Matt Harvey a crack at it.

The result was not what the Mets were hoping for, as Batista was chased from the game in the third inning, forcing the bullpen to work six innings of relief for the second day in a row. Batista won't be getting many more free passes, as Harvey is coming on strong down the stretch.

Harvey allowed two runs on three hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking four and hitting a batter, at Triple-A Buffalo, which resulted in the Mets decision to start Batista over him. Looking back on it, that final line wasn't all that bad and Harvey should have been given a shot. His time is coming soon. There's no doubt we'll see him pitching at Citi Field before the end of the season.

4) Dunkin Donuts Gift Card Night: America runs on Dunkin, and that includes hard-working New York Mets fans. Everything in the Big Apple is "go, go, go," so we need to stay fueled and full of energy to keep up with the frantic pace. The first 25,000 fans in attendance for the Mets game against the Washington Nationals on July 24, will receive a Dunkin Donuts gift card.

5) Gary, Keith and Ron: Every when times are tough, the SNY broadcasting team of Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling is always enjoyable to listen to.

Cohen has been with the Mets for over two decades, and Darling won an Emmy Award for "Best Sports Analyst" in 2006. Hernandez is a bit of a wild card, but that adds a lot of spice to the broadcasts. He also won an Emmy Award in 2009 for "Best Sports Analyst."

Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.

Sources, MLB, player stats

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