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.

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...