Friday, April 30, 2021

We Didn't Sign up for This

I had a hectic week with some personal stuff, so I decided to take a step back from the blog for a few days rather than half-assing it. Not that the New York Mets have been particularly scintillating at any point this season, but those two games against the Red Sox left me with absolutely no regrets about missing them. Two games against the underbelly of the Sox rotation that resulted in a single run for the New Yorkers? That's the very definition of must-not-see tv to me. Seriously, it would have like I got sucked into a time warp and was enduring the offense of those Mets teams from the 70s all over again.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Grading On a Curve

It's been a bit of a slow start for the 2021 New York Mets, but the same could be said for the entire National League East. Expected to be one of the strongest divisions in baseball, the Mets are in the only Eastern Division team with a record above the .500 mark. The Mets are indeed rather fortunate that they have the opportunity to right their ship without worrying about a division rival getting off to a hot start and putting them into a deep early hole.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

That Winning Feeling

The New York Mets won a rubber game against a Division opponent today. They accomplished this by getting enough offense, more than adequate pitching, and surprisingly good defense. It also didn't hurt that the Washington Nationals are currently playing without their best player, Juan Soto, and the Mets missed Nats ace Max Scherzer in the series. Still, a series win is a series win, especially sweet when you're a fan waiting for your club to play at their full potential.

Friday, April 23, 2021

The Pyramid Kings

As we continue to wait for the New York Mets to start looking like a playoff contender, I found myself facing a choice: spend more words opining on how much it deeply sucks to watch your baseball team continue to underperform or find something else to write about. I gladly made the second choice.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Doldrums

When I was young, I used to dream about having adventures. It wasn't something that we actually did in my family — an occasional half-hour drive to a small amusement park felt like a big deal. Doing something really adventurous was something that only other people did.

Likely because of that, I never tired of reading about adventures, both fictional and historical. I only lived a few miles from the ocean and rode my bike out there quite often. The ocean seemed big and mysterious and full of potential adventures. I dreamed of going on great voyages to uncharted places like the great explorers of history. Reading about them was one of my favorite escapes from a life that seemed boring and unchallenging.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

I'm a James McCann Fan Already

I remember over the winter when the New York Mets elected to sign James McCann to a surprisingly large 4-year deal rather than wait out J.T. Realmuto. As the offseason got underway, McCann was basically seen as the consolation prize for a team that didn't sign Realmuto. While Realmuto was arguably the top free-agent position player and a lock for a 9-figure contract, the speculation was that a team could get McCann on a 2-, maybe 3-year deal. In actuality, it took a 4-year deal to lock down the catcher who will celebrate his 31st birthday in June. The Mets will be paying McCann $12 million for the final year of the deal — his age 34 season when presumably he won't be the Mets starting catcher.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Mets off to a Promising Start Despite the Interruptions

The New York Mets won another game yesterday behind a strong performance from Marcus Stroman. A storyline that has taken a backseat given all of the postponements so far in April is the spring training injury to Carlos Carrasco and the worries of how the New Yorkers would hold their rotation together until he returned. Thanks to Stroman, Taijuan Walker, and David Peterson, the Mets are surviving Carrasco's absence quite well. Unlike 2020, Jacob deGrom doesn't find himself a one-man show in the rotation. Seriously, if I told you before the series in Colorado that the Mets would score 4, 2, and 2 runs in the three games, how many would you have expected them to win?

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Whatever Happened to Spring?

Well, you win some, you lose some. The New York Mets did both yesterday. They finally won a game for Jacob deGrom in the opener, then lost a real snoozer of a contest in the second game. The Mets offense still seems quite out of synch, despite the late-game heroics in deGrom's start. The second game was a reversion back to the early season struggles. The two runs they scored exactly matched the number of hits they accrued. The only thing likely to get this offense humming is playing regularly and maybe a bit less wintry weather.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Solutions in Search of a Problem

No, not that
Double Hook
As I await the start of the New York Mets scheduled doubleheader vs. the Colorado Rockies, I feel a strong urge to write about something besides the horrible weather and the pathetic boy's club the Mets organization was in dying years of the Wilpon regime. I'm confident the weather will do whatever it wants regardless of my feelings on the matter, and The Athletic will surely have more follow-ups on their story while they continue to ignore the culture of 29 other MLB franchises.

Early in the week, while I was preoccupied with Lisa being in the hospital again, there was reporting on a pair of gimmicks that MLB would try out in the independent Atlantic League this summer. Both of them are pitching-related.

Friday, April 16, 2021

We've Been Here Before

Turns out that the Mets won't be playing baseball in the snow tonight in Denver. Tonight's game has been canceled. They'll be playing a doubleheader tomorrow instead. The forecast for tomorrow isn't calling for snow, but the high temperature will only be around 40°, with the low dropping into the 20s. But that's okay, right? They'll do the smart thing and schedule the doubleheader for the afternoon and miss the worst of the weather... no, what am I thinking? A 3 PM start local time will ensure that the temperature will be below freezing before both games complete. I honestly don't get it. At this point, the best that we can hope for is that all three games are played this weekend, the Mets won't be forced to go back out to Colorado again later in the season, and no one gets hurt.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Baseball Weather

When I last wrote in this space, I reacted to some things I was reading in the local and national media about the Mets and Phillies. Hot takes abounded that Philadelphia "fixed" its bullpen problems from last year, while the Mets were still struggling to plate baserunners. Could the Phillies indeed be a more successful team than the Mets in 2021? 

Three games and another rainout later, those hot takes have cooled down considerably. At 5-3, the Mets have looked a bit stronger in the three games they were able to play, while the Phillies bullpen hasn't been quite as invincible as they were at the start of the season.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

I've Got Those Small Sample Size Blues

We waited months for baseball to come back. Now that it has, we've been rewarded with 5 whole games in the first 12 days of the season. I've done the third-grade math. If things were to continue at the current pace, it would take just under 389 days to complete the full 162-game season. That seems somehow untenable to me, but what do I know?

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Old Habits Die Hard

I started smoking cigarettes when I was 16 years old. I thought smoking made me look cool. When I turned 21, I decided to quit. I figured that it wouldn't be too hard; I was stronger than a stupid habit. And I was, I guess, but it took me a quarter of a century to finally do it. If those 30 years of smoking taught me one thing, it was not to underestimate the power of bad habits to stick around, long, long after they're no longer welcome.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Armored For Success?

The Mets won a game yesterday in a somewhat ugly fashion. As home plate umpire Ron Kulpa admitted after the game, Michael Conforto should have been called out on strikes when he was hit on the arm by a ball in the strike zone. Those are the hard facts of the matter. When folks start speculating on other things, such as Conforto's intent or whether that play definitively cost Miami the game, that's where they lose me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Borne Back Ceaselessly

There's no point in trying to sugarcoat it; last night's game really sucked. Losing on Opening Day is always tough. You wait months for baseball to come back, then you get to wait again a few days longer because the Washington Nationals waited until the end of training camp to have a covid outbreak. Then the Mets blow a lead showing some of the weaknesses that we all worried about before the season started. The bullpen, check. Manager, check. Defense, check. I felt really miserable by the end of the game.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Wait is Almost Over

I'm trying hard to keep my focus on positive things while waiting for the Mets 2021 season to finally get underway. However, if I'm honest, I'm a bit ticked off that the Nats will be playing an afternoon game against the Braves tomorrow. Given that the teams won't be carrying the inflated 28-man active rosters from last year, any game that is postponed that will have to be fitted into the schedule at a future date puts more of a burden on clubs to handle the extra workload. Of course, both teams will have to deal with that, but only one benefits from not having to play any of these games, and that's Washington. I don't see why they couldn't have been prepared to play today if they can be ready tomorrow. MLB canceling today's game, too, is only of benefit to Washington. They play one less game with a depleted roster.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Microbes, Gizmos, and Being a Bit Greedy

As I expected, the rest of the weekend series against the Nationals was postponed, and now we have to wait until Monday for the Mets' Opening Day. As much as that sucks, it seemed inevitable once the first game was called off. The only thing that's going to put an end to all of these "out of an abundance of caution" covid stoppages will be when most MLB players and coaches are vaccinated. It will be a relief not to have the ever-present threat of having baseball taken away with no warning hanging over our heads any longer. In the meantime, this is proof-positive that, while normal may be in sight, it's not here yet.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Lindor Good, COVID-19 Bad

There are 341 million reasons
why this man is smiling
I was up a bit late last night, so I was still awake when we received the great news that Francisco Lindor and the Mets had reached an agreement on a 10-year deal. I got to enjoy that feeling of euphoria for about 12 hours, then the news came down that Opening Day for the Mets won't take place until at least Saturday. It's a shame that such a great piece of news had to be followed so quickly by such a crappy one. That's how it always seemed to be when the Wilpons ran the show. Of course, if we needed any proof that was no longer the case, we could look at the terms of Lindor's contract and have a good laugh at the idea that Fred and Jeff would have ever considered forking over that kind of cash — at least to anything other than a blatant pyramid scheme.

The Defense Doesn't Rest

A renewed emphasis on defense would be a good thing for the New York Mets. Mike Vaccaro had an interesting column in the New York Post  abou...