Saturday, May 29, 2021

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again

With the prospect of the New York Mets' entire 3-game series against the Atlanta Braves being rained out, I am reminded again that the original plan for Citi Field included a retractable domed roof, which the Wilpons ultimately decided against as a cost-saving move. While it's easy for me to cheerfully spend Steve Cohen's money for him, I hope at least he would look into the prospect of adding a roof to the stadium. It would seem logical that at least some of the money could be offset by the opportunity to host year-round events at the facility.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Major League Ballplayers Wanted, Enquire Within

While it was gratifying watching the New York Mets win last night, it felt more like a temporary reprieve than the start of something big. Bad news about Noah Syndergaard and J.D. Davis offset some of the thrill of victory. Also, for a very well-pitched game by Jacob deGromMiguel Castro, Trevor May, and Edwin Díaz, it didn't feel as if it was safely in the books until about five minutes after the last out was recorded. And this was against a Colorado Rockies team that had only managed two measly road victories coming into the series. The Rockies are in the discussion for the "worst team in baseball" honors, but they're still hard to beat when you're fielding a team of Triple-A ballplayers.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Making the Future Brighter, Part 2

Although I am not someone with the skills to evaluate prospects, I've been interested in scouting and development for quite a while. Years ago, as I began to question the lack of sustained success by the New York Mets, I began to look around at the clubs that were much more successful — particularly in smaller markets than New York. The biggest common denominator was an ability to find and develop Major League ballplayers. There are a lot of moving parts in scouting and development. All of them have to be working properly for a club to attain and sustain success at the Major League level. As important as developing a good number of contributing Major League ballplayers, it's even more important that some players become impact Major Leaguers.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Making the Future Brighter

The main storyline for the New York Mets is about treading water while all of their players on the Injured List work their way back. It's been a bit frustrating to watch them try to win Major League games while playing mostly their Triple-A lineup, but I do admire that they've been able to compete in most of their games during this stretch. Still, their listless loss to the Marlins today capped a disheartening 3-6 road trip. It might be a bit more interesting if their roster at Syracuse included more true prospects. Then there would at least be the sense that we were previewing the future of the big league club these last few games. Sadly, this is not the case.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Everyone Gets a No-Hitter

George Bradley
(seated in center)
If you follow baseball closely, you know there has been much discussion this year about "fixing the game." Even low-scoring 9-inning games are long and dull. Strikeout numbers are higher than ever, and batting average and slugging percentage numbers are trending downward. There have been 6 no-hitters just 6 weeks into the 2021 season. To put this in perspective, Corey Kluber's no-no from two days ago was the 311th in MLB history, going back to July 15, 1876, when George Bradley of the St. Louis Brown Stockings no-hit the Hartford Dark Blues 2-0.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Mailing It In

The title of this post has nothing to do with the way the New York Mets are playing. Sure, they've been up and down this past week. Their offense is unwatchable at times, which predates many of their better players going on the IL. The team's chances of ever fulfilling their offensive potential now seem to hang on whether they can get their best players healthy and keep them that way. All things considered, the Mets are doing okay right now, keeping things going despite the ever-growing Injured List. Even a tough loss tonight from a tired bullpen doesn't change that.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

My Nightmare Ended Last November

The New York Post
headline writer
I dislike it when some self-appointed expert tries to make a blanket characterization about what a New York Mets fan thinks. I'm a Mets fan, of course, and I know plenty of others. If there is one great truth about us that I've learned over the years, every Mets fan is different. Sure, we all start with our shared love of New York's "other" baseball team, but I'd rather try to herd cats than find a consensus among a large number of Mets fans on all but the banalest of topics. I even met a Mets fan once who didn't like David Wright — seriously. That's equivalent to a kid disliking dessert.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Turning Things Around

If I was to pick a low point of the young baseball season for the New York Mets, it would probably be April 30. The Mets had just lost the opener of a series in Philadelphia, despite Marcus Stroman only allowing the Phillies a pair of unearned runs that scored on a passed ball. That dropped the Mets to 2 games under .500 and honestly made me question if I had overrated the team's chances of contending this season. It wasn't just that awful game that disheartened me. It was also losing two games against the Boston Red Sox earlier that week where they only managed a single run and the way the Mets had their butts handed to them in a disheartening sweep by the mediocre Chicago Cubs the week before.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

This Ain't Dysfunction Junction

The New York Mets 2021 season has been anything but a smooth ride so far, and the events of the last week or so haven't changed that. After dropping the first game of a doubleheader to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, the Mets were sitting at 11-13 on the season. They were looking little like the potential playoff team we all hoped for after a solid offseason. The idea of that club going on a 5-game winning streak seemed quite remote.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

The Rat Made Him Do It

Francisco Lindor finally came through with a huge hit for the Mets to get them back even in a game that seemed all but lost in the second inning. Then the Mets managed to win the damn thing in extras, bringing their record back over .500 for the first time since April 25. Patrick Mazeika, a 27-year-old rookie who was the last position player on the bench, got the game-winner by staying alive long enough to tap a fair ball slowly enough for Pete Alonso to score from third. (Alonso got a terrific jump on the play for which he deserves credit. You don't have to be fast to be a good baserunner.) All of this, along with some good relief pitching and heads-up defense, should be the story of the Mets stirring 10-inning win over the Arizona Diamondbacks last night, but instead, all of the post-game oxygen seems to have been taken up by a phantom rodent.

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Return of Some Old Friends

Things are looking slightly better for the New York Mets today after they managed to pull out a split of the series against the St. Louis Cardinals. It's not as if there aren't still obvious problems, of course. The Mets actually set an all-time team record for men left on base in a 9-inning game in yesterday's finale. But they had a winning road trip and are managing to keep their heads above water while trying to get everything clicking and make a real run. The 13-13 record isn't ideal, but it could be a lot worse. Thank goodness for the solid starting pitching and surprisingly effective bullpen while the club attempts to warm up those ice-cold bats.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

I'm Okay With Replacing the Hitting Coaches

Not the new hitting coach
Although I was somewhat of a late convert to the value of analytics in baseball, FanGraphs has become one of my go-to sites just about every day. It's an incredible resource for fans such as myself who enjoy digging deeper into the game. Respectfully, though, I really have to take issue with a piece Jay Jaffe wrote today on the firing of the Mets hitting coaches. I thought it was an unwarranted cheap shot, and I promise this isn't just a fanboy take.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Time to Start Winning

A reasonable goal for the New York Mets this season is to win 90+ games and make the playoffs. It certainly seems achievable with the current roster, even if it's not something the Mets have done all that often. They've managed 90 or more wins only 11 times in 59 seasons leading up to this year. The first time was the Miracle Mets 1969 season. They didn't do it again until 1984, which was the beginning of the most successful era in Mets history. They were over 90 wins for the next 5 years, missed it in 1989, then did it again in 1990, the final year of Frank Cashen's tenure as GM. Manager Davey Johnson also departed 42 games into that fateful season.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

98 Pound Weaklings

I mentioned in yesterday's post that a really hectic week kept me away from watching the two games our New York Mets played against the Red Sox this week. I guess someone on the Mets noticed. Last night they "treated" me with a game that was essentially a replay of their anemic 2-game set against Boston. Apparently, they didn't read the second sentence of that paragraph where I mentioned that I had no regrets about missing those games. Not that it would really matter, anyway, as the Mets have been losing a version of that same game since the season got underway.

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...