Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Ground-Level Work

Can David Stearns build the deep, competitive 40-man roster that has eluded the Mets for so long?

Since the World Series ended, things have begun to heat up for the Mets. It kicked off with the news that Carlos Mendoza had been hired as the new manager, which became official at the news conference on November 14. On Friday of that week, we learned that the Mets had elected not to tender contracts to several of their eligible players: DH Daniel Vogelbach, Utitly Infielder Luis Guillorme, and relievers Trevor Gott, Jeff Brigham, and Sam Coonrod. Along with some of the moves made earlier in the month, the Mets 40-man roster is sitting at 28 players. We knew there would be massive changes to the team in David Stearns's first offseason calling the shots, and there certainly is plenty of roster room for those changes.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Some Thoughts on Our New Manager

The new Mets manager had an impressive introduction to the fan base. Now the hard stuff begins.

I wasn't planning to watch Carlos Mendoza's introductory press conference but was home at noon, so I decided to tune in. He came across as knowledgeable and enthusiastic and has received good reviews in most things I've read. He clearly knows what he's getting into by taking a manager's job in New York. According to SNY, he'll make about $1.5 million per year for three years, with a club option for a fourth. So, even if Carlos lasts out his entire contract, he'll make less total money than Craig Counsell will make next year alone. Carlos Mendoza will need to enjoy some success as a manager if he hopes to get closer to Counsell's income level.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

I Asked for Craig Consell, But All I Got Was Carlos Mendoza

A few quick thoughts on our new manager.

I read this weekend how impressed David Stearns and his front office mates were with Carlos Mendoza, and I was pretty sure that Mendoza would be the next Mets manager. It's not that I'm clairvoyant or particularly smart. It's just that everything I read about Craig Counsell made me skeptical of his taking the Mets job. He seemed most interested in the Mets' interest as a device to push his value up, which is certainly his right. I didn't foresee the Cubs jumping into the fray while jettisoning their manager, but it made a lot of sense once the dust settled.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

The Next Mets Era Begins

With a managerial choice forthcoming and a roster badly in need of upgrades, David Stearns's first Mets offseason is ready to kick off.

The World Series is now over. The 84-win Arizona Diamondbacks managed to get to the Fall Classic by beating three teams that were much better than they were: the Brewers, Dodgers, and Phillies. Then, Arizona was lucky enough to draw the Texas Rangers in the World Series. While Texas had done well in the Playoffs — sweeping the Rays and the Orioles before eking out an ALCS win in 7 over the Astros — they were a flawed team with some injury issues. But the Snakes went down with barely a whimper, still claiming that they had "shocked the world" by getting to the Series.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Waiting for the Hot Stove to Ignite

As the World Series plays out, I find myself eagerly looking forward to what I hope will be a transformative Hot Stove season for the New York Mets.

I haven't written much for the blog this month. I lost interest years ago in any MLB playoffs that don't include the Mets. Unfortunately, that is an all too common occurrence in my lifetime. Since the Mets fell to the Dodgers in the 1988 NLCS, they've completed 35 seasons, including this one, and made the playoffs only six times. There was a time when I would have some interest in the playoffs, rooting against teams like the Braves and Phillies, but I no longer feel strongly enough about any other team to waste the energy it takes to hate-watch their playoff series.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023


I've been aware of the time going by. They say in the end it's the wink of an eye. - Jackson Browne, 
"The Pretender"

I turned 65 a few days ago. It's hard to believe that I'm officially a senior citizen, but I only have to look in a mirror to confirm the information on my birth certificate. I didn't do much to "celebrate" hitting my latest yearly milestone. Tacking another year onto my age lost its allure many, many decades ago when I became old enough to legally drink. Even that wasn't a huge deal, as things were much more lax in those days. The drinking age back then was 18. I was a tall, muscular kid who could easily pass as a few years older. I also knew all the local watering holes that weren't diligent about requesting ID and had been frequenting those places from about age 15.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Another One Bites the Dust

Billy Eppler, we hardly knew ye.

I wrote a piece last month titled "The Mets Are Still Searching for Stability." The Mets had just decided to hand pink slips to some director-level employees. At the time, it was speculated that the firings could be a sign that a new President of Baseball Operations was coming in, which proved accurate when David Stearns's hiring was announced a couple of weeks later. While the thought of Stearns coming on was exciting, one of the big hopes was that the constant comings and goings of key personnel would slow down a bit as the Mets transitioned to a more mature, steady operation. This made the news of GM Billy Eppler seemingly out-of-the-blue resigning an unpleasant reminder that we just aren't there yet.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Welcome to the David Stearns Era

The new President of Baseball Operations is officially on the job. Here are some quick thoughts on Day 1 of the David Stearns era.

We've been talking about David Stearns for a while in this space, particularly since the Mets announced on September 12 that Stearns would, indeed, be taking the PBO job. What was especially gratifying was that, after almost three years of constantly reading why potential targets were afraid of taking on the job, Stearns confirmed today that he was eager to accept the position. This is even though Stearns  a native New Yorker who grew up a Mets fan — understands all too well the pressures of the top job in this market.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Finding Value

If the Mets are to take a step forward under David Stearns, it will be because the organization finally figures out how to unearth value in building a deeper roster.

With the regular season all but over, we await the official beginning of the David Stearns era with the Mets. Although there has been plenty of speculation regarding what that might mean for the club, we won't really know what sort of changes Stearns might bring to this organization until the new PBO officially takes over. That should happen sometime on Monday. The time will depend on whether the suspended Mets-Marlins game from Friday needs to be completed to determine a Wild Card spot or seeding.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Tuning Out the Noise

Don't listen when someone tries to sell you the "everything short of a championship is a failure" philosophy. It sucks the fun out of being a fan.

In May, back before the New York Mets' season turned to fecal material, I started writing a piece that ended up sitting on a back burner for most of the season. I always knew that I would get back to it. I just didn't think the entirety of spring and summer would pass before I did. I never conceived of the year going quite this badly for the Metropolitans, even as I began to suspect quite early on that this team wouldn't live up to all of the preseason hype. Even that didn't prepare me for the reality of a sub-.500 team, so clearly playing out the string as we head into the final week of this disastrous campaign. But, in a way, this reality check of a season reinforced the truth I hoped to convey when I began this piece.

Tuning Out the Noise

Don't listen when someone tries to sell you the "everything short of a championship is a failure" philosophy. It sucks the fun...