Monday, July 31, 2023

Some Thoughts as the Trade Deadline Nears

I don't enjoy watching my high-priced team sell at the deadline, even if I agree with the decision. I hope the players that remain and are unhappy with this sell-off find motivation to avoid another next season.

I was surprised to learn that the Mets had traded Max Scherzer to the Rangers on Saturday. I really wasn't expecting Steve Cohen to fork over the amount of money it would take to trade Scherzer for any worthwhile prospect return. The Mets ponied up over $35 million of Max's salary this year and next, while the Rangers are paying him $22.5 million. In return, New York received Luisangel Acuña from Texas, a 21-year-old currently in Double-A. From what I read, Acuña has a chance to be a really good player, if not quite a superstar like his older brother Ronald.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Turn the Page

The Mets turning their focus to the future was the only logical move left. But the future depends on getting better at developing some kids into major league ballplayers.

As someone who has endured his share of ups and downs over the years, I've had experience with what comes next after a big disappointment. The hardest part is understanding that you've put a lot of effort into something that won't reward that hard work. Trying harder won't repair what has proven to be unfixable. It's time to coldly assess what went wrong and then decide what's next. It's all too easy, if ultimately completely useless, to fall into the "what if" trap, or simply wallow in self-pity until you get disgusted enough with yourself to get back out into the world and chart a new direction. It can be a bit liberating to finally admit that something that has been going south for a while is finally a lost cause, but it's also quite a blow to be around at the death of an enterprise into which you placed your hard work and greatest hopes. Therefore, I can't help but feel some empathy for Billy Eppler and his front office as midnight has fallen on the 2023 season that began with great hopes and massive outlays of the owner's cash.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

The Long and Winding Road to Somewhere Better

2023 took a disastrous turn for the New York Mets. 2024 represents a new start. But the road ahead is not without potholes.

As the trade deadline rapidly approaches, the question of which direction the New York Mets might choose to take lingers as their hopes for making a real playoff push barely clings to life support. The most likely scenario continues to be the Mets mostly standing pat and riding out the second half with ever-dwindling hopes of a Wild Card slot. I agree with that approach, with the caveat that the club should certainly listen to offers on any asset they control that a contender covets. Perhaps a team out there might think so highly of David Robertson or Brooks Raley that they would be willing to trade at least one valuable prospect for one or both of them. I wouldn't want to see the Mets make any deal for dubious prospects that don't have a realistic hope of becoming contributors. But you can occasionally pry an interesting prospect from another team that might make a deal worthwhile.

Monday, July 10, 2023

In Search of the Winning Attitude

With their poor play in May and June, the Mets showed just how far they still have to go to build a consistent winner for this franchise.

When the Mets completed a sub-par month of May with a losing 14-15 record, I worried about how that would carry over into June, where they were scheduled to face more formidable opposition. Even in my darkest nightmares, I didn't foresee a dismal 7-19 record that made a playoff spot a long shot for a team I once hoped would contend for the NL East title. If the Mets can't parlay the 6-game winning streak that fizzled out Saturday night and Sunday in San Diego into a sustained period of solid play, they will undoubtedly find themselves going home at the conclusion of the regular season.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Creating the Next Generation of Mets' Pitchers

The free agent pitching market is expensive and unpredictable. The solution is for the Mets to get back to producing more of their own pitching talent. What will that take?

I've been rooting for the New York Mets for over 50 years. Although the Mets have developed some excellent position players over the years, this is an organization that, by far, is known for developing some great starting pitchers. However, the current edition of the Mets had to stock up their rotation on the free agent market. It was quite expensive and, at least up to now, a huge fail. As the dreadful 2023 season has shifted our focus to the future, we ponder how the Mets can develop some of their in-house arms into effective Major League hurlers and reduce dependence on the pricey free agent marketplace.

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...