Thursday, December 31, 2020
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
discussed yesterday. If I was a Cubs fan, I would not be a happy camper right now. After a pair of fifth place finishes in 2010 and 2011, Theo Epstein was hired to run the Cubs, and immediately tanked the next couple of seasons to rebuild the farm. After suffering through a 101 loss season in 2012 and a 96 loss season the following year, Cub fans endured one final fifth place finish in 2014 before making the playoffs with a 97-win club in 2015. That team, of course, lost in the NLCS to the Mets, but the Cubs peaked the following season with 103 wins and a World Series championship.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
greatest Mets fans. My grandmother had the biggest heart of anyone I've ever known, but she was somewhat overmatched trying to raise a couple of kids at an age when she should have been able to kick back and relax a little — not that that was ever part of her personality. Looking back, my grandmother contributed much of what has made me a decent person. Sadly, though, I didn't realize most of this until many years later.
Sunday, December 27, 2020
I mentioned in yesterday's post, I have a "saved stories" folder in my newsreader with stuff going back to October. I didn't have time to write about this stuff then, but It's a great source for content at times like this. Or maybe I do what I did during the weird coronavirus extended offseason this spring when I came back to blogging, and write a series of posts on a particular past season that had a special meaning for me. I'm interested in a lot of facets of baseball and enjoy writing about them, so I usually don't struggle too much coming up with writing topics.
Saturday, December 26, 2020
the harm that the changes to the affiliation process will do to the towns and small cities left behind. Ultimately, I think that will backfire on MLB, severing a crucial link between the game of baseball and a significant chunk of America. There was a terrific piece on FanGraphs a couple of weeks ago showing how, by their calculations, the changes to minor league affiliations will cost 5.2 million people the chance to attend minor league games in person, as they will simply live too far away from an affiliated team.
Thursday, December 24, 2020
yesterday's post, news was breaking on the Mets making another significant front office hire. Former Red Sox assistant GM Zack Scott was named as Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager. He's reunited with new Mets GM Jared Porter, who he worked with for years with the Red Sox until Porter left to join the Cubs. Scott was also a finalist for the Mets GM job.
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
a very good piece in The Athletic yesterday about new Mets owner Steve Cohen. It was rather long, heavily researched and, as is the case with anything written about Cohen, done without any cooperation from the man himself. Despite his willingness since buying the Mets to engage with fans on Twitter and do the long interview with Steve Gelbs for Mets Hot Stove, Cohen notoriously avoids speaking with print reporters. Interestingly enough, although Britton notes that "more than a dozen" people were interviewed for the piece, twice that number of folks declined to give interviews, even anonymously. Hey, if I worked for the guy, I'd probably take a pass, too. Not worth it.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Sunday, December 20, 2020
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Thursday, December 17, 2020
MLB wants to delay the start of the season for about a month, with the likelihood that the result would be a season of less than 162 games. The thinking, apparently, would be that they would want all of the players and support personnel vaccinated to avoid the need to reimplement the strict health and safety protocols from this past season. Of course, the league also wanted the players to make salary concessions for a second straight year, with fairly predictable results. The article included a quote from an NL team owner, bravely hiding behind anonymity:
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
wasn't going very well. None of the names that Alderson and Cohen had prioritized were panning out. They couldn't get permission to speak with many of them, and the ones they did meet with cited family reasons for not wanting to uproot and come to New York City. It was amusing when a few items started popping up in the media questioning whether the struggle to get candidates to even interview represented some sort of early failure for Cohen's regime. Talk about a hot take!
Monday, December 14, 2020
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Saturday, December 12, 2020
agreeing to terms. With the other recent news that the Mets are close to naming their new GM, this hot stove season that seemed anything but hot a few days ago is finally gaining some steam. Looking at Mets Twitter, the general reaction seems to be one of happiness, although it's not universal, of course. I'm not sure there are many things in the world that you can get 100% consensus of Mets fans, we're just not built that way. I saw some tweets from fans that were very disappointed the Mets didn't seem to pursue J.T. Realmuto very hard. McCann might have been seen by most as the second best catcher on the free agent market, but he was a very distant second.
Friday, December 11, 2020
Phillies hiring of Dave Dombrowski to run things in the City of Brotherly Love as a "haymaker" delivered right in the schnoz of Steve Cohen's stated mission of winning a title with the Mets. Apparently, fans of the team like myself should now quake in fear of what this hiring means for all of our hopes. So, thanks to Ken Davidoff, Dave Dombrowski joins the long line of boogeymen that the New York media utilizes to beat Mets fans over the head. In his honor, I have included the picture of my favorite fictional Dombrowski, Louis, who I'm pretty sure anyone much short of retirement age will need to Google. You're welcome.
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Monday, December 7, 2020
listening to offers on former Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler. Needless to say, this started a veritable sh*tstorm of controversy. After all, the Phillies just signed the guy last year. Combined with earlier news that Philadelphia isn't considered a favorite to re-sign catcher J.T. Realmuto, fans of the team were not at all happy. After all, they lived through a period of tanking and rebuilding to get to this point, and it hasn't exactly paid off all that well. You would certainly expect ownership to reply in the usual formal manner, something to the effect that, while listening to all offers on any player, there were no plans to arbitrarily ship the righty out of town just for cost savings.
Saturday, December 5, 2020
reported pursuit of pitcher Jake Odorizzi. According to Sherman, the Mets seem to be viewing Odorizzi as more of a fallback, depending on how the free agent dominoes fall this winter. Which makes sense. They're probably not going to sign Trevor Bauer and Odorizzi unless they strike out completely on position players and settle for cheaper options there. It might go the other way, too. They might lose out on both Bauer and Odorizzi and look elsewhere for starting pitching. You never know how the free agents will start to fall. Remember, in 2005 the Mets were never looked at as the frontrunners for Pedro Martinez or Carlos Beltran. Sure, Omar Minaya was aggressive, but some of it was beyond the Mets' control. If the Red Sox wanted to keep Pedro and the Yankees were more interested in Beltran, neither one of them would have wound up as Mets.
Friday, December 4, 2020
piece by Sam Miller on ESPN.com about the Phillies' failure to reap the full benefits of tanking. It's a really good piece, and not behind a paywall, so I recommend you take a look at it. What interested me in particular about it was that it runs contrary to the belief of many around baseball that tanking is some sort of automatic route back into contention. I remember there was an article by Daniel Kaplan in The Athletic back a month ago that I responded to rather vigorously in a post of my own. Basically, Kaplan was taking a contrarian view to the idea that the Mets under Cohen were primed to succeed. Citing the success of the Yankees and a somewhat bizarre idea that the location of Citi Field in Queens doomed the Mets' chances of having good attendance, Kaplan went on to cite an unnamed source to suggest that tanking and rebuilding was the way to go:
Thursday, December 3, 2020
inking reliever Trevor May earlier this week represents the first significant move of the offseason. It wasn't quite the Trevor signing that everyone wanted to see, but it was a decent first step to building a better team for next season. Assuming that Jeremy Heffner remains the pitching coach, he'll be reunited with a pitcher that he previously worked with successfully as a bullpen coach in Minnesota. The one big red flag for May is that he is somewhat homer prone, but the same thing could be said about much of the Mets bullpen, including the current closer.
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I've been writing a lot about minor league baseball this year, focusing mainly on the harm that the changes to the affiliation process ...