Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Thoughts on the Mets Opening Day Roster - Pitchers

It's getting down to crunch time for roster decisions. We're looking at which 26 players will break camp with the New York Mets, beginning with the pitching staff.

It seems like spring training just started, but we're only a week and a half away from Opening Day in  Miami. The Mets must decide which players begin the year on the 26-man active roster. They have some really tough decisions to make.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Brett Baty Should Be the Opening Day Third Baseman

Brett Baty has displayed a Major League-ready bat and a mature attitude this spring. He looks ready for the next step. Will the Mets let him take it?

Syracuse is an underrated city, at least when the lake-effect snow machine is turned off. There's a lot to do there. You'll find the famous university and the Erie Canal Museum in town. They have a zoo that currently is featuring twin baby elephants. There are a ton of nearby outdoor recreation spots if you're so inclined. And, best of all, there is baseball to be watched. The Triple-A Syracuse Mets will open their season in a mere couple of weeks.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Please Move the WBC to the Fall

Feel free to care or not care about the World Baseball Classic. Just move the damn thing to after the baseball season, please.

I remember writing about the World Baseball Classic during my original blogging run. The first tournament was played in 2006, when the Mets looked like a real competitor for a title for the first time in half a decade. The idea of players ramping it up to play a tournament in March seemed absolutely insane to me then, and my attitude hasn't changed over the years since.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Prospecting for Gold

The Mets' top prospects are having a productive spring training. The toughest challenges still lie ahead.

God help me. Did the Post's Joel Sherman really grab for the clickbait gusto, dipping his ladle into the tired waters of the Jarred Kelenic well yet again? Tragically, yes. Although Kelenic's struggles — and the terrific season Edwin Díaz enjoyed in 2023 — have combined to dim the usefulness of this story recently, Sherman assures us that the deal can still turn out to be a big winner for Seattle. After all, back in 2020, Sherman actually compared Brodie Van Wagenen's folly with the Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi deal, as if young Kelenic was Cooperstown-bound before he even took a major league AB. Joel's most recent piece didn't go quite that far, but I can't believe he's still trying to get some mileage from this stale saga.

Friday, March 3, 2023

The Pitch Clock Is Working

I was skeptical of the pitch clock when it was first proposed, but it's undoubtedly improving MLB games.

I'm 64 years old and have been a Major League Baseball fan my whole life. Like most folks my age, I'm already quite set in my ways. The only thing keeping me from going full-on miserable curmudgeon is that I've also learned not to take myself too seriously. When I heard about all the rule changes coming to MLB this season, I wasn't entirely on board with what they were proposing. In particular, the idea of a clock on a baseball field seemed antithetical to a sport that has operated without one for over 150 years.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Local Rules in Baseball Broadcasting

Baseball is at its best when brought to you by local broadcasters — a fact that always seems to elude MLB's "brain trust."

My parents separated when I was very young. I had few memories of my father until I went and found him in my early twenties. I was not close to my grandfather, either. In fact, I had no male role model in my life at all. It was left to me to decide which sports teams I would root for, although the limitations of broadcast television played a significant role. In those days, entertainment still came into houses over an antenna.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

It All Begins Again

I'm excited by the return of baseball this week, with the opportunity that 2023 represents for the Mets to continue to turn the page on their past struggles and build something special.

Spring training officially begins for the New York Mets this Wednesday. I've always looked forward to the day pitchers and catchers officially report, even in years when I knew the Mets wouldn't be very good. These days it feels more special, knowing that the Mets are heading into action with a powerful ballclub that will likely repeat as a playoff team this year. Think about that for a minute because that hasn't at all been common for this franchise. The Tom Seaver-led Mets of the 60s and 70s never did it. The powerful Keith Hernandez/Gary Carter mid-to-late-1980s juggernaut never appeared back-to-back in those pre-Wildcard days. Indeed, they only made two playoff appearances during that entire run. A late-season collapse in 2007 doomed the David Wright/Carlos Beltrán edition from accomplishing that rare feat.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Remember When Darren O'Day Was a Met?

The Mets have had problems developing relievers — even when they already had one on their roster.

Veteran sidearming reliever Darren O'Day announced his retirement from baseball last week after 15 MLB campaigns. Age and injuries had slowed O'Day down quite a bit over the last few seasons, but he enjoyed an excellent major league career. He started with the Angels' organization as an undrafted free agent in 2006 after pitching for the University of Florida in college. This was back when the amateur draft was 50 rounds long. Hundreds of players were drafted who never even sniffed the major leagues. Meanwhile, O'Day went on to appear in 644 major league games, all in relief.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Jeff McNeil's Incredible Journey

The Jeff McNeil contract extension was a good business decision that benefits the New York Mets, the fans, and McNeil himself.

Jeff McNeil began his career with the New York Mets when he was drafted in the 12th round of the 2013 draft after three seasons with Long Beach State. Jeff put up a .296/.356/.358 combined slash line with the 49ers with 0 HR over his college career. That makes it easy to understand why a future batting champion was drafted so low. Interestingly enough, another light-hitting infielder taken 2 rounds before McNeil in that amateur draft named Luis Guillorme also made it to the big leagues as a New York Met.

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.

The Pitch Clock Is Working

I was skeptical of the pitch clock when it was first proposed, but it's undoubtedly improving MLB games. I'm 64 years old and have b...