Monday, February 1, 2021

Spring Feels a Long Way Off

I'm still working through some health issues, but I thought I'd check back in on some of the Mets- and baseball-related topics. I'll stay away from Trevor Bauer for now, as I've already said my piece on the guy. If the Mets sign him, I'll root for it all to turn out well. If they don't — well, if you read my other piece, you can probably guess that I won't be heartbroken. Either way, I've learned a long time ago not to live or die based on decisions that the team you root for makes. You only hope that they operate in a way that makes sense, and only time will tell on this current Mets brain trust. The one thing that I do feel strongly about is that hope this Bauer pursuit comes to an end one way or the other very soon, because a) it's been going on for too freaking long and b) I think it's holding up the other personnel moves the Mets need to make before the season starts.

As for when the season starts, that still seems to be up in the air. As you've probably heard by now, MLB has made a proposal to the Players Association for a 154-game season that will start a month late. The players will be paid their full pay, and they would agree to expanded playoffs, which is a huge moneymaker for the teams. This is a significant step forward from the spring, when MLB essentially made a series of offers that had virtually no chance of being accepted. Unfortunately, one holdover from the spring was MLB leaking their offer to the press at the same time that it was presented to the union. In any case, the players don't feel there are the right economic guarantees in place to ensure that Rob Manfred won't at some point unilaterally make changes to the schedule.

One thing that I believe warrants being paid some attention to here is the concerns of major league pitchers for their health. They're gearing up right now to come into camp at the usual time. Waiting another month and then ramping up again is a concern. At least under this proposal the length of spring training would be relatively normal, with camps opening March 22 and the season starting April 28. The one difference would be the pitchers and catchers not starting a week before the position players as they do normally. It wouldn't be quite the accelerated ramp-up that the short summer training camps proved to be this past season, but it does take the pitchers out of their routine for a second season in a row.

As it stands right now, there doesn't seem to be too much likelihood of the players accepting this offer, and the most probable scenario continues to be training camps opening on time later this month. It remains to be seen if the two sides will even enter into real negotiations with each other or just continue to take jabs at each other in the press.

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I know that SNY likes to portray itself as quite irreverent. But everything about the weird tweet they wound up apologizing for was just so damn wrong. It boggles my mind that anyone would actually think it was a good idea to put it out. It was crass, stupid and not even darkly funny. Honestly, it was the kind of social media judgment error you'd expect from a kid. These days it seems like media outlets are so hungry for something to go viral and bring in some clicks that they've lost the ability to look at what they're doing and apply some basic common sense and common decency to their actions.

This isn't some college radio station screwing up. This is a successful, well-established media company in the biggest city in the country that decided to make light of a situation where the man's family were being threatened by the usual anonymous internet heroes. What annoyed me as much as anything was the references to "we" in the offending tweet. Seriously, SNY, f*** you. When you decide to engineer your own face-plant, please leave the rest of us out of your gross behavior.

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I liked the minor trade for Jordan Yamamoto today. It's not going to be the most impactful move of the offseason, but the Mets continue to put together pitching depth in a way that they previously ignored. At some point we might actually see an emergency starter get pressed into use who doesn't immediately put the team in a hopelessly fathomless hole.

It was impossible to make an informed judgement on Jeremy Hefner last season. The quality with which he had to work in both the rotation and the bullpen was just not there. That won't be the case this season, with much more solid starters and back end relievers and some quality depth. One thing I'd personally like to see is for one or more of the unheralded bullpen possibilities to make a contribution this season. Hopefully Hefner can contribute to that.

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This will do it for me today. I'm still a bit woozy, but I'm feeling a little better every day. I'm hoping to be back to 100% soon. When the Trevor Bauer situation does resolve I do believe that other dominoes will begin to fall, and I'm looking forward to writing about all of it.

Please stay safe, be well and take care.


 Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos

3 comments:

  1. Best wishes Mike and hope that daily progress continues.

    Yea, can we please just get all the damn signings behind us, have a full team and get on the field? At least all the Arenado chatter will now end.

    I may have said this before, but to your last point there, my out on a limb projection for 2021 is that both Drew Smith and Daniel Zamora will provide a lift to the bullpen at some point, establishing the relief corps as a non-issue for the 2021-2022 off-season.

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  2. Feel better Mike! I like the little moves the Mets are making as well. Depth, depth, depth!

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