Friday, April 9, 2021

Armored For Success?

The Mets won a game yesterday in a somewhat ugly fashion. As home plate umpire Ron Kulpa admitted after the game, Michael Conforto should have been called out on strikes when he was hit on the arm by a ball in the strike zone. Those are the hard facts of the matter. When folks start speculating on other things, such as Conforto's intent or whether that play definitively cost Miami the game, that's where they lose me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Borne Back Ceaselessly

There's no point in trying to sugarcoat it; last night's game really sucked. Losing on Opening Day is always tough. You wait months for baseball to come back, then you get to wait again a few days longer because the Washington Nationals waited until the end of training camp to have a covid outbreak. Then the Mets blow a lead showing some of the weaknesses that we all worried about before the season started. The bullpen, check. Manager, check. Defense, check. I felt really miserable by the end of the game.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Wait is Almost Over

I'm trying hard to keep my focus on positive things while waiting for the Mets 2021 season to finally get underway. However, if I'm honest, I'm a bit ticked off that the Nats will be playing an afternoon game against the Braves tomorrow. Given that the teams won't be carrying the inflated 28-man active rosters from last year, any game that is postponed that will have to be fitted into the schedule at a future date puts more of a burden on clubs to handle the extra workload. Of course, both teams will have to deal with that, but only one benefits from not having to play any of these games, and that's Washington. I don't see why they couldn't have been prepared to play today if they can be ready tomorrow. MLB canceling today's game, too, is only of benefit to Washington. They play one less game with a depleted roster.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Microbes, Gizmos, and Being a Bit Greedy

As I expected, the rest of the weekend series against the Nationals was postponed, and now we have to wait until Monday for the Mets' Opening Day. As much as that sucks, it seemed inevitable once the first game was called off. The only thing that's going to put an end to all of these "out of an abundance of caution" covid stoppages will be when most MLB players and coaches are vaccinated. It will be a relief not to have the ever-present threat of having baseball taken away with no warning hanging over our heads any longer. In the meantime, this is proof-positive that, while normal may be in sight, it's not here yet.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Lindor Good, COVID-19 Bad

There are 341 million reasons
why this man is smiling
I was up a bit late last night, so I was still awake when we received the great news that Francisco Lindor and the Mets had reached an agreement on a 10-year deal. I got to enjoy that feeling of euphoria for about 12 hours, then the news came down that Opening Day for the Mets won't take place until at least Saturday. It's a shame that such a great piece of news had to be followed so quickly by such a crappy one. That's how it always seemed to be when the Wilpons ran the show. Of course, if we needed any proof that was no longer the case, we could look at the terms of Lindor's contract and have a good laugh at the idea that Fred and Jeff would have ever considered forking over that kind of cash — at least to anything other than a blatant pyramid scheme.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Building Better Pitching

Tim Britton had an outstanding piece in The Athletic today about the Mets organization's efforts to create a state-of-the-art pitching development program. Under the Wilpons, the team had been notoriously reluctant to buy into the latest trends in player development. This likely reflected some skepticism towards new technologies on their part and a certain cheapness towards investing in something that didn't pay obvious and immediate benefits. That's probably a good reason why the Mets have historically lagged behind the top organizations in developing talent. Fortunately, new Mets owner Steve Cohen sees the benefits of investing in the future. That should pay dividends for the club and its fans going forward.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Play Ball!

The Mets finished their spring training schedule today in a rather fitting manner for games that don't count, their game against the Cardinals ending in a 3-3 tie. The next time they play will be Thursday night in Washington to open the season. That game will be telecast only on ESPN, which is a real shame. I know that quite a few Mets games are likely to wind up on national tv. I'm not going to whine about each and every one of them. However, it really is regretful that the ESPN circus is taking Opening Day away from Mets fans. I guess I should be grateful that Alex Rodriguez will be in the broadcast booth and not the owner's box.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Some *Fearless* Predictions for the Season

Hey, this prediction
business is tough!
When I began writing yesterday's post, my intent was that it would be my season preview piece. After all, this is the time of year, with Opening Day approaching this week, when these pieces are supposed to be written. While you can never predict what injuries might crop up, you usually have a pretty good idea of how most of the players on your team are going to perform. This year really is different, however. There are a lot of variables in play, including some limited data for key performers. It led me to write a season preview that was relatively light in actual prediction. It also makes this New York Mets club a little more fascinating as we approach Thursday's season opener.

Friday, March 26, 2021

What Needs to Happen

I was doing the dishes and some laundry this morning, two fairly necessary but quite boring tasks. We have a Google Hub Max in the kitchen so, to divert my attention a bit, I put on last night's Baseball Night in New York from my YouTube TV DVR. I know, I know, a lot of it is mindless sports talk radio-caliber stuff, but some of it can be pretty good. Former Met Anthony Recker, in particular, can be funny and say really smart things sometimes. SNY's Andy Martino can be irritating at times, but he could be interesting, too. It depends on the day. At least with the DVR, I can skip the really dumb stuff along with the commercials.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Cracking Down on Sticky Stuff, Hefner's Positive Impact

Last year before the start of spring training, there was talk that MLB would be cracking down on the use of substances by pitchers to enhance their grip on the baseball and increase the amount of spin on their pitches. This, in turn, is one of the contributors to ever-increasing strikeout numbers in baseball. The topic took a back seat to worries about surviving a baseball season during a pandemic, but it's back now this spring as the country slowly moves towards a post-COVID world.

Microbes, Gizmos, and Being a Bit Greedy

As I expected, the rest of the weekend series against the Nationals was postponed , and now we have to wait until Monday for the Mets' O...