Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Road to Sustainability

The Mets are making the final tweaks to their roster. Also, will the club finally figure out how to successfully integrate their prospects into the lineup?

With the excitement (and disappointment) of the Carlos Correa chase abated, the Mets are moving into the home stretch of the hot stove season. They're still making moves to strengthen their club three weeks before the official report date. By signing Tommy Pham as their fourth outfielder, the club thrilled approximately 0% of their fanbase, but it was a significant signing nonetheless. It was important to have a better option than Khalil Lee and Abraham Almonte for that spot. Pham may not be the dream choice of Mets fans, but he was a solid pickup for the club.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Some Roster Thoughts as Spring Training Nears

With Carlos Correa out of the picture, the Mets still have issues to address before spring training starts in just 4 weeks.

When I finished my last post, I was hoping that by the time I wrote my next one, there would be a positive resolution to the Carlos Correa sage. While there was a resolution, it differed from the one most New York Mets fans, including me, hoped to see. Carlos is back with the Twins, and the Mets will take the field this season with a lineup a bit weaker than what it could have been with Correa.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Here Comes the Sun

Spring training is mere weeks away now, with longer, warmer days and exciting New York Mets baseball soon to follow.

While we all await the final resolution of the Carlos Correa saga, we're rapidly approaching the start of spring training. I've always enjoyed the return of baseball, even in years when I knew the Mets would stink. Of course, that's hardly the case for 2023. Although there are indeed questions about a Mets roster full of new faces, including many older ballplayers, it will be a great team to watch — no matter who is manning third base. Although it will undoubtedly be more fun if the Mets and Correa can come to terms.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Auld Lang Syne

As 2022 gives way to 2023, I raise my glass to a future filled with promise and excitement for Mets fans.

On New Year's Eve, it's traditional to look backward. For many years, it was difficult for a Mets fan like me to reflect on a completed baseball season and feel very good about it. This time around, it's easy to do. Even though it didn't end as I had hoped, the 2022 New York Mets season was a huge step forward. The Mets returned to the playoffs for the first time since their 1-game cameo in 2016 after winning over 100 games for only the fourth time in their history. They took the first important step in changing the perception of the Mets as laughable losers.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Steve Cohen Keeps Daring Us to Dream Bigger

You think I'm done?
Hand me my checkbook
Steve Cohen is giving Mets fans a lesson in what is truly possible with the right owner.

I wrote a piece earlier this week that I liked a lot. I thought I did a good job capturing the euphoria of a lifelong Mets fan (me) responding to Steve Cohen's relentless drive to field a great team. And this was based on all of the signings and what, at the time, was an unsuccessful pursuit of Carlos Correa. As I was finishing up the piece, I saw the information come across that the San Francisco Giants had postponed their press conference to welcome their new star. For a moment, I let myself consider the possibility of Correa becoming available again for Steve Cohen to sign, and then chuckled. This offseason has been a fine antidote to all of us who long suffered under the Wilpons' stewardship of the club, but there had to be a limit — didn't there?

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Beyond the Power of Reason

Being a Mets fan often required a good deal of faith, but believing in the franchise is a hell of a lot easier these days.

Things have been progressing slower for Mets fans after the frenetic week of baseball's winter meetings. There have been some press conferences and a surprise near-miss on another huge free agent. The Mets also signed a catcher, ratcheting up the speculation that James McCann won't be back next year. There is still a definite need to procure a productive fourth outfielder. They re-signed Adam Ottavino, but the Mets may also seek to add one more experienced late-inning reliever to the bullpen mix. Beyond that, as the pursuit of Carlos Correa proved, it's unwise to make any assumptions about what the Mets still might do to make a successful offseason even better.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Cohen-Vision

While a former New York Met waxes poetic on the vision of the Rangers' organization, things are looking just fine here with the old club. 

In the olden days, hearing the Mets associated with the name of a premium free agent was almost inevitably a precursor of eventual disappointment, even before the Madoff fiasco crippled the team's finances. One of the factors that made Omar Minaya so popular with the fanbase initially was his signings of Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran during his first winter at the helm. I remember feeling electrified by the news of Beltran's signing, fully expecting Carlos to end up elsewhere that winter.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Abbondanza!

No Mets fan needs to leave Steve Cohen's table hungry just because their ace pitcher shuffled off to Arlington.

Back in the 90s, the Olive Garden restaurant chain ran commercials featuring the Italian word "abbondanza." Translated to English, the word means plenty. For Olive Garden, the philosophy seemed to be, "sure, the food is inauthentic and mediocre at best, but we serve you a lot of it!" They even had a dish dubbed "Chicken Pasta Abbondanza." I ate at an Olive Garden once in my life, and that was only because it was the favorite restaurant of the family of a young lady who I was quite smitten with. I'm sure my beloved Italian grandmother rolled over in her grave over my blasphemous transgression, but that young lady more than made it up to me later that night. Priorities, you know?

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Then Came the Last Days of Jake

This one undeniably hurts, even though I'm sure the Mets can successfully move on from Jacob deGrom.

I was going through my email last night when I saw one from the New York Post about Jacob deGrom signing with the Rangers. That's how I first heard the news. I've always understood that deGrom returning to the Mets wasn't a given, even though the chances have been looking better over the past couple of months. I also clearly understand why it might be better for the Mets to have their ace pitcher move on. But still, it hit me like a hard slap to the face. Logic is important, but it's straight emotion that underpins being a fan of a baseball club. That's only more valid for being a Mets fan. If logic ruled, I never would have lasted 5 years, much less more than 50.

Monday, November 28, 2022

There Are Reasons Beyond Money to Be a New York Met

For years, the Mets had to overpay or settle for lesser free agents. Those days are mercifully over.

As I noted in my previous post, baseball media pundits have shifted from a speculative consensus that Jacob deGrom would sign with another team this winter to a much more optimistic narrative (outside of ESPN) that the New York Mets could actually retain their ace. My personal preference has always been for the Mets to retain one of their all-time great pitchers. Not at all costs, however, but rather after making a proper assessment of Jake's future value. After all, no other team in baseball should have a better idea of where deGrom stands medically and how much it is reasonable to expect from him going forward. As long as another team doesn't go way out on a limb with their offer, I hope the Mets re-sign him.

Small Things

Hiring Eric Jagers is a smart move that could pay big dividends in the future. Shortly after extending closer Edwin Díaz  to a record-breaki...