Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just Work With What You Have

For a few hours today there was a rumor that the Mets were considering signing Ivan Rodriguez.  I'm all for the Mets signing the best players available but this signing would have rubbed me the wrong way.

The first thing I thought of was that the Mets already have Mike Nickeas, Rob Johnson, and Lucas May competing for the backup catcher job.  Three people competing for one role is enough chaos as it is, bring in a fourth possibility would create a major logjam.  Then, there is the fact that the Mets have gone with veteran catchers for the past few seasons with Ronny Paulino, Henry Blanco, and Rod Barajas and were not pleased with any of them.  Going with the same plan that didn't work three times in the past just wouldn't make sense.

And the last reason I would be confused by this signing is because of the timing of it.  The rumor was that the Mets would wait to see how Johan Santana progressed and then decide to either spend money on pitching or catching.  If the money was to be spent on catching they would go for Pudge.  It just doesn't seem fair and/or respectful to the catchers the Mets brought into camp to make a decision like that.  It made me think of the scene in Miracle when a few of the players tell Herb Brooks that they don't like bringing in Timmy Harrer so late because he hasn't spent the last six months training with the team.  He isn't part of the family.  Obviously these aren't teams in the same situation but bringing in another catcher when the others have been fighting for the job just wouldn't sit well with me.

It takes time for catchers to connect with their pitchers and vice versa.  Three catchers are working to create relationships with an entire pitching staff right now.  You cannot simply throw a catcher onto a roster and expect things to work.  That's pretty much what they would be doing with Pudge.

Luckily, it looks like I won't have to worry about Ivan Rodriguez appearing at Mets camp.

Let's Go Mets!

I Love Everything About This

Saturday, February 25, 2012

No Reason For Negativity

My favorite quote so far is from Ike Davis, "Why does everyone think we're going to suck?  It's February."

I am with Ike on this.  Spring Training has barely started yet fans have already begun to jump ship.  The Mets certainly have a lot of question marks but that doesn't mean they are going to be terrible.

Let's take a look at the offense.  Full seasons from David Wright, Daniel Murphy, and Ike Davis are nothing to complain about.  Lucas Duda has adds a lot of power to the lineup and he'll be in the lineup all season.  Hitting isn't the issue for Josh Thole.  And there is nothing stopping Jason Bay from producing again.  Those players will fill six of the eight offensive positions this year and they can all be expected to benefit from the shorter fences at Citi Field.

What about pitching and defense?  Well, their defense might not be spectacular but it shouldn't be anything to laugh at.  David Wright and Ike Davis have provided strong defense at the corners in the past.  Ruben Tejada has shown he's no slouch at shortstop and if there's one thing Jason Bay has provided during his Mets tenure it has been a steady glove in left field.  New center fielder Andres Torres has a strong defensive reputation as well.  The Mets are putting in a lot of work with Josh Thole on defense and I feel pretty safe saying Daniel Murphy is working at second base.  Lucas Duda may end up being the only defensive concern when the season starts.

The pitching staff is the biggest question mark for this team.  R.A. Dickey was the best pitcher last year and it'd be awesome to believe he'll produce similar numbers this year, but with a knuckleball pitcher there really is no way to know.  After Dickey, the Mets have Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, and Dillon Gee as definite starters.  Pelfrey is what he is, if he finds his 2008 self then he'll be awesome.  If he doesn't, he could be the weak link.  Jon Niese and Dillon Gee should benefit from having guaranteed rotation spots and they have both been more than capable major leaguers recently.  The big "if" is Johan Santana.  He has been throwing for a while now and recently got back on the mound.  He hasn't pitched in a game since he was in some minor league games last summer.  But if he can make it through 120 innings that would give the entire organization a boost.

The bullpen is full of new faces.  Jon Rauch, Frank Francisco, and Ramon Ramirez were all brought in.  One of them will probably end up being the closer.  Coming back the Mets have Tim Byrdak, Manny Acosta, and D.J. Carrasco.  Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato could end up in the bullpen too but they have minor league options so they aren't locks.  It's only February and the bullpen roles haven't been assigned and nobody's seen any game action.  The pitching staff is a huge question mark and the bullpen is a big part of that.  It'll be much easier to judge even once Spring Training games start.

This is not going to be a team with big names.  It is a bunch of young players looking to find their way.  R.A. Dickey talked about a lot of people looking to take the next step and if they do all take that step then this team can be pretty good.  It's very true.  There are not going to be a lot of rookies on this team.  There are a lot of players that should finally have a feel for the big leagues and be able to find their way.

I'm not saying anybody should have high expectations for this team.  I just don't think they should be written off in February.  It's baseball.  There are 162 games and anything could happen.

Let's Go Mets!

What He Said

There is a piece in the New York Times about Mike Nickeas and how his offense will determine whether he will be on the Mets this year.  It goes into detail about some of the stuff I mentioned the other day, including his familiarity with the organization being a reason the Mets would choose him as the backup catcher.

There is also a nice quote from Dillon Gee about Mike as a team player:
“He’s really determined to do well, but he wants everyone else to do well, too,” said Gee, who is renting a house with Nickeas during camp.
If you haven't already, I highly recommend reading the piece.  

Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Eh, At Least It's Fun To Look Back At

I clearly didn't have twitter when Joe Smith was traded.  I am actually loving that.  The three posts I had that night are kind of hysterical now.

Enjoy them here!

And two weeks later I was just worried about how Mike Pelfrey would take the news.

So if any more players I really really like are traded I just have to wait three years and I'll be able to look back and laugh about it.  Good to know.

Would It Have Been Better To Know?

The NHL trade deadline is insane.  This year the rumors about one player being traded from the Rangers won't stop.  He is a player I really like so I don't really know how I'll react if he is traded.  But it has me thinking about two baseball trades that I wish never happened.

The first is the trade that sent Xavier Nady to the Pirates at the MLB trade deadline in 2006.  Nobody saw this trade coming.  Duaner Sanchez got the munchies, was in an unfortunate accident, and then Nady was gone.  The trade gave Oliver Perez and Roberto Hernandez to the Mets and wasn't really helpful after 2006.  In reality, Nady was expendable because the Mets had this exciting prospect named Lastings Milledge to take over in right field.

In my head, trading Xavier was the biggest mistake that could be made.  I cried when I saw the news scroll across the bottom of SNY.  It was the first time I had lost a favorite player.  I didn't know how I would keep rooting for him in Pittsburgh.  Was I supposed to become a Pirates fan too?  Could I really just root for one person on a team?  The answers didn't really matter to me because I didn't even want to believe he wasn't a Met.  But he wasn't a Met and I just knew I never wanted any more favorites to be traded.

Of course, I wasn't so lucky.  In December of 2008 Joe Smith was sent to the Indians as part of a three team trade that brought J.J. Putz to the Mets.  The Mets bullpen was a disaster in 2007 and 2008 and everybody knew changes were coming.  It turned out that those changes meant trading one of the younger guys.  Smitty was off to Cleveland.

The first reports of the trade didn't include Joe Smith.  And then the trade was finalized and yet again I had to part with my favorite Met.  It all unfolded overnight and I'm not really sure how I followed.  I guess school and sleep weren't really high on my priorities list because I stayed up until everything was complete.  This trade didn't seem to hit me as hard as the Nady trade.  I was attached to Smitty but I also knew what it was like to root for one player on a team in a different city.  And I already rooted for Grady Sizemore and Cliff Lee so the Indians weren't such a mystery to me.  But I still hated it.  Smitty filled the hole left by Nady and now that hole was empty again.  Looking back at old posts, I was actually just pretty mad at Omar Minaya.

The thing about both of these trades is that I didn't see either of them coming.  I didn't know either of them were leaving until the trade happened.  I have never known one of my favorites was on the market before they were traded.  It probably would have been easier if I knew the Mets were willing to part with Nady or Smith.  It probably would've just made me hate Omar Minaya more than I already did.  The good thing about knowing a favorite might be traded is that if they are, the news isn't really news.  On the other hand, it means your team doesn't really find them necessary.

I guess it would always be nice to know something.  To not totally be in the dark about the organization's feelings about your favorite player.

I just hope I won't have to deal with any of it any time soon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Okay Then

Terry Collins isn't set on giving the backup catcher position to Mike Nickeas yet.  He will have to prove he can hit well enough because Terry doesn't want to have to pinch hit for him in the fifth inning.

Giving him the roster spot right away would never be the right thing to do.  The Mets brought in Rob Johnson and Lucas May to fight for the backup catcher role.  Johnson is similar to Nickeas in that he his strength has always been defense.  Lucas May is a better hitter than either Nickeas or Johnson.

I think it will come down to Nickeas and Johnson battling for the position and Nickeas ultimately getting it.  The Mets already have an offensive catcher in Josh Thole so having another as backup wouldn't make much sense.  Nickeas or Johnson would give the Mets the defensive side of the game.

As for why Mike Nickeas should get the spot over Rob Johnson, it's simply because Nickeas is more familiar with the pitchers and organization.  The rotation will certainly include R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball and Mike Pelfrey and his . . . everything.  Nickeas has experience with the knuckleball and actually has some success catching it.  Nickeas has also been able to work with Pelfrey, who has a history of only being comfortable with certain catchers.  Mike has also had the assignment of catching prospects and some of the young guys throughout his time in the minor leagues.  I'd like to believe that working with some of the future means he knows where the organization wants to go and can work with the same mindset as the pitchers.

The word out of camp is that Nickeas spent the offseason shortening his swing.  Hopefully that will provide more consistent results than whatever he had going on last season.

The good news is that it means he will have to be playing more to show what he's got.

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Catcher Calendar

The Mets 2012 Calendar is less than spectacular.  Angel Pagan, Terry Collins, Jason Bay, and Dillon Gee shouldn't be who the Mets are showcasing for this year.

So instead of using that calendar I thought that maybe I should make my own.  It would still be baseball related, it would just be a lot more relevant to me.  Thus, I came up with my Calendar of Catchers.

January - J.P. Arencibia
February - Mike Nickeas
March - Buster Posey
April - Joe Mauer
May - Matt Wieters
June - Lou Marson
July - Brian McCann
August - Drew Butera
September - Jarrod Saltalamacchia
October - Josh Thole
November - Kai Gronauer
December - Chris Iannetta

That works for me!

Good News And Better News

Well, I like it.

That means backup catcher isn't one of the positions that anyone is battling for . . .

And that means it is basically Mike Nickeas's spot on the roster.

I know he still has to work but this bit of hope still makes me happy.

Let's Go Mets! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

RIP Gary Carter

Gary Carter passed away yesterday.  The entire baseball was shook by his passing, even those that never met him or saw him play.  

As a fan of the Mets I feel this loss.  The Mets are celebrating their 50th anniversary this season and it will be different without the Kid.  He has been at every celebration of the franchise and 1986 team and now what will be perhaps the biggest celebration of them all won't have him.  Gary Carter seemed to love everything about playing baseball and being a role model for teammates and fans.  Just listening to what other members of the Mets organization said about him shows you that.  And hearing from fans that had a chance to meet him really shows that he tried to make each moment special.

And that is where it gets personal for someone in my family.  I never met him but my mom did.  She would go with her friends to see the Mets in various road cities.  She saw the Mets in Montreal and met Carter.  He just sat down with her and her friends and talked to them.  At the bar in the hotel.  And she always mentions that he didn't drink at all (while she witnessed some other players get quite drunk).  It's still hard for me to believe the story because I just cannot imagine a player having such a connection to the fans.  But that was Gary Carter.

Carter spent most of his career with Expos and was inducted into the Hall of Fame with an Expos cap on his plaque.  However, he loved the Mets and the fans loved him back.  He was easy to like immediately.  That's what happens when you hit a walk-off home run in your first game with a team.  And he started that rally in game 6.  Both Mets and Expos fans connected with him.  Both fanbases claimed him as their own.  And he loved both organizations.  I really liked when he had Mets and Expos caps before the 2008 All Star Game.  He didn't have to choose which organization to embrace.  There was enough passion for everyone.

The only time I saw him in person was at the 1986 celebration in 2006.  That entire team was beloved.  At that point I only knew of a few players from that team.  Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling from being on the Mets broadcasts and Mookie Wilson because no one could forget someone with that name.  But I also knew about Gary Carter.  I had decided that if I had been around in 1986 he would have been my favorite.  Something about catchers, I guess.

He really made an impact on so many people.  Everyone he played with and managed.  Fans of all ages and generations.  It is nothing short of amazing.

Gary Carter will live on in baseball forever.  He found a way to do what so many wish they could.  He stayed a kid forever. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Want To Be There

I had the chance to go to Spring Training this year.  I could have gotten the trip as an awesome 18th birthday present.  But because my birthday was in the middle of January and the Rangers just didn't lose ever during that month I decided I wanted a Rangers jersey instead.

I would give anything to make that moment disappear.  I miss baseball and I miss Spring Training and I want to be there and I just want to spend next week in Florida watching the Mets.  Last year was such an amazing experience and I want it all to happen again.  I want to see Mike Nickeas and Josh Thole and Bobby Parnell and Zach Lutz and Kai Gronauer.  I want to relive that moment when my favorite players turned into the nicest people ever.  I want to recognize the drills I do at softball practice happening during a Major League Baseball Spring Training.  I want to see the new players and have a reason to be excited about them.  I want to be close to the game again.

The crack of the bat.  The pop of the mitt.  The fresh grass.  The new uniforms.  The hope that comes with a clean slate.  Port St. Lucie is as close as one can be to that.  I want to be as close as possible to those sights and sounds.  I need to be as close as possible.

I don't just want to see the videos.  I don't just want to see the pictures, I want to be there taking the pictures.  I want that taste of summer during the winter.  I want the escape to my favorite thing in the world.  I want baseball.

Writing this is almost painful because I know I won't be there this year.  I won't be able to see my favorite players.  I won't hear the crack of the bat and the pop of the leather.  I won't enjoy the fresh grass.  I won't escape from the dark, dull winter.  I'll have to wait to experience baseball this year.  To get as close to the game as possible, even though this year I won't be nearly as close as I was last year.

It's Valentine's Day.  The made-up holiday about love.  Yet, the only people I want to be with are the Mets.

Maybe my parents will read this.  Maybe they will see just how much I miss the Mets and baseball.  Maybe they will understand that this has been the most stressful year of my life and I need this brief escape to summer.

It's unlikely so instead I'll go cry over what I won't be seeing this year.

Well . . .
Let's Go Mets!

Now That's Reporting

I am not sure anybody really knows what's going on with the Binghamton Mets right now.  At the Press & Sun-Bulletin one person spoke to just about everybody involved in the rumors.  The article clears up the facts but also makes it quite clear that absolutely nothing is clear.

So if you want to know what's going on then go check it out.

A New Voice To Hear

This season the Mets will have a new voice on the radio with Howie Rose.  Josh Lewin will take the place of Wayne Hagin in 2012.  Lewin has called games on the radio for the Orioles and on TV for the Cubs, Tigers, and Rangers.  He also calls games on the radio for the San Diego Chargers.

I know it's weird to be excited about a new broadcaster but I'm excited about this move.  Josh Lewin is just fun to listen to.  He will be more interesting than Hagin and if the Mets win a few games the excitement level of him and Howie should be through the roof.

There isn't much going on in Mets-land during this last week before Spring Training.  Luckily, we'll all have some actual baseball to talk about soon.

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Mike Nickeas!

My favorite player turns 29 today so here are some happy pictures:

(If any of these pictures are your's and you want credit then just let me know.)

Happy birthday, Mike!

What The Binghamton Mets Taught Me

Towards the end of last week reports began to surface about Binghamton losing their AA baseball team and therefore losing their Mets affiliate.  Nothing is final yet, including any selling and official moving of teams, but it does seem certain that the Mets will have a different AA team beginning in 2013.

I know Binghamton is not an ideal location for any baseball team of any level, but there will still be a part of me that will be disappointed when this affiliation is over.  I gained interest in minor league baseball from following Mike Nickeas and Josh Thole on the B-Mets.  I continued following even though they had moved forward in the organization and I found other minor leaguers to focus on, such as Kai Gronauer.  The B-Mets were the first minor league team I saw in person.  They were my first experience of minor league baseball.

The B-Mets brought me closer to baseball than I ever thought possible.  They showed me a side of the game I had never seen before.  They showed me the gritty, hardworking, grueling side of the game.  They were the first team that really showed me where all these major leaguers come from.  They have to spend years in the minor leagues before they really get their shot.  And just because those years are spent playing a game, it doesn't mean it's all fun.

The 2009 Binghamton Mets was the first minor league team I really knew anything about.  Since then I have only wanted to know more about minor league.  I want to look at the game in even more ways than I already am able to.  I just wouldn't have the same interest if it weren't for the B-Mets.

The Mets will have a AA team in 2013 and beyond.  Where the team is won't change which players are assigned to the team.  I just know I'll be a little bit sad if the team isn't the B-Mets.

Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

He Can't Really Do Much More

There is a piece in Newsday about Josh Thole and how he has spent his offseason working on defense.  Josh traveled to Dallas multiple times to work with catching coordinator Bob Natal.  Two worked to find a consistent catching stance for Thole through hours of video-sessions of not only Thole himself, but also of Yadier Molina.  Josh seems more than ready to work this season and the perpetual presence of new bench coach Bob Geren, a former catcher, should keep him grounded throughout the season.

I understand the frustration surrounding Thole's development.  The way his offense was hyped made it sound like his defense wouldn't matter.  But with any catcher, defense is going to matter. The struggles have been magnified by his initial success and ultimate failure catching R.A. Dickey's knuckleball.  The truth is, every catcher dealing with a knuckleball is going to struggle.  I almost wish people would separate those statistics from the rest because it is simply a different skill.

Back to the point, Josh Thole knows he has to get better.  He isn't satisfied with any part of last season so there is no reason for anybody else to be satisfied.  But he has also been doing absolutely everything he can to improve.  This season will obviously be a big one for Thole.  The good news is that everything is set up perfectly for his success.  The Mets have multiple people around to teach Thole.  The Mets also finally decided what they want in their catchers and that seems to be strong defense.  At last the Mets have done their job.  Now it's time for Josh Thole to do his.

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Real Story

I put out a bunch of theories yesterday about Mike Nickeas's number switch from 13 to 4.  And today I have the real explanation.

It turns out that Ronny Cedeno did request to have 13 so the Mets asked Nickeas if he would switch numbers.  Of course, Mike was okay with switching so he went to 4.  The story behind choosing 4 is that his father Mark, a former profession soccer player, wore the number when he played for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the NASL.

I think it's really cool that he is wearing his dad's number now.  Maybe it will bring him luck.  The Mets have had some very popular players wear 4.  Robin Ventura, Rusty Staub, Ron Swoboda, and Lenny Dykstra have worn the number.  And that other New York team had a pretty good player wear 4, Lou Gehrig.

4 could turn out to be pretty cool.  No Met has done too well with it recently but hopefully Mike will change that.

Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This Is Real?

CBS Sports has introduced the world to their Baseball Boyfriend fantasy baseball game.  It is described as "a single draftee fantasy sports mini game designed for girls."

Where do I start?  Was this a necessary creation?  No, of course it wasn't.  I have been playing fantasy baseball and hockey for years and clearly coming in 2nd place in my hockey league just screams that I don't know what I'm doing.  My poor girlie brain just can't handle the statistics of more than one player at a time so I definitely need to have a baseball boyfriend so I'll only have to follow one player.

One of the things that kills me about this is that the concept really is not terrible.  It's the fact that it is being marketed to girls in a way that makes them look like sports morons that stinks.  Creating a simplified fantasy baseball game really is not a bad idea.  But instead of saying it is for girls, it's easy enough to say it is for beginning fans or casual fans.  In fact, MLB.com has something simple in their Beat The Streak game where you only choose one hitter to follow each day.  It just doesn't make sense to alienate half the baseball fanbase as too dumb to play real fantasy baseball.

Another thing that kills me is that it is marketed for "girls."  Someone on twitter (I don't remember exactly who, but if it's you - or you know who - tell me so I can give credit) pointed out that it is for girls and not women.  As part of the younger fanbase, this is the last thing I want to be associated with.  I was ecstatic when I realized I was finally out of the "I Want To Marry Every Player" stage and really wish it had never happened.  This is encouraging girls to like players for their looks and not for the game they play and the work they do.  I know how confused I was about which players I actually liked and which I liked for their looks, this is just making that worse for the current girls in that situation.

I hate how much attention I have already given this when I really just want it to go away.  All I ask is that you don't play this game, even if you would be playing as a joke, the numbers would show success and that is the last thing it deserves.

But If He's Happy

The Mets tweeted a picture of Mike Nickeas and Josh Thole already working out in Port St. Lucie.  Mike doesn't look too rattled from the number switch.

Let's Go Mets!

Why am I not there?

What Happened Last Night

The Mets updated their roster with new players and uniform numbers and everything else one could possibly want.  Well, except for me.

I saw the change last night and started questioning my beliefs and it's all on my twitter feed, but I figured I would put it more coherently on here.

The changes included Mike Nickeas going from #13 to #4.  Ronny Cedeno now has #13.  This change means a few things.  One, I already strongly dislike Ronny Cedeno.  Two, my #13 Nickeas jersey (and t-shirt) are now inaccurate so I'm not only ridiculous for having the Nickeas paraphernalia in the first place, I am now even more ridiculous for having stuff with the wrong number.  And three, it just confuses everything and takes away all stability I had in my life.

My first thought (well, not my first thought) was that Mike didn't have much of a choice once the Mets signed Cedeno.  But Cedeno has only worn #13 for two years.  He has worn #5 for four seasons, but there is no way he would have asked for that from the Mets.  He has also worn #11 and #3 for one season each.  So was #13 really that important to him?  Could he not have stripped Josh Satin of his #3? (Sorry, Josh.)  #1 is available, he could have had that.  But he chose #13 for whatever reason and now Mike Nickeas has #4.

#4 is an interesting switch.  Now it is the number with the best flow in New York, as Mike Nickeas and Michael Del Zotto both have outstanding heads of hair.  But I just don't think that's why Mike chose it.  1 + 3 = 4.  That's simple and could very well be the reason.  He wore #22 with the Bisons last year, which also sums to four and was also at a time when #13 wasn't available.  It could be for any variety of reasons.  If you're really wild you could even think that Mike wanted the switch and Cedeno just took #13 because it was actually available.  However, I just don't think that's the case.

Well, for whatever reason, Mike Nickeas now has #4.  It could be worse.  He could have gone to #78.  The single digit should signal a good chance at making the roster.

Let's Go Mets!  

Monday, February 6, 2012

But I Like Rooting For Them

With yet another New York sports championship won by a team I don't have a rooting interest in I found myself wishing, hoping, praying, etc. for just one chance to experience the ultimate goal.

Some people might think I'm crazy for rooting for the Mets year after year.  They might question why I want to see them win a championship when it doesn't look like anything is going to happen anytime soon.  I understand that thinking but I also understand more than that.  I know that when the Mets do win it will be cooler than anything.  It will be more fulfilling than any championship from any other team ever could.  Because I will know that I was there for the entire ride.  I will remember when they were so close to the World Series in 2006.  I'll remember the heartbreak of 2007 that still makes me want to cry.  The injuries in 2009 that just never seemed to end.  And the rebuilding that is going on right now.

Eventually the pieces will come together and boy will it be fun to watch.  But only the true fans will share the ultimate excitement.  Sure, there will be the fans that say they love it.  There will be the fans that claim to remember it all.  But when the 2007, 2008, 2009 seasons are mentioned they'll shrug them off like it's no big deal.  The die-hards will remember those seasons and, I don't really know how they'll look back on them.  I haven't had the chance to bask in the success of one season while reminiscing about the unfortunate past.  I haven't had a time when those tear-your-hair-out, want-to-throw-something-at-the-TV, on-the-verge-of-tears moments were a thing of the past.

One day they all will be though.  I will know that the championship could not have happened without every previous season.  I don't know when that will be.  I do know that no celebration will be sweeter than a Mets celebration.  Because it means I'll have been through everything with this team.

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Why Baseball Is Special

Being a baseball fan is different than being a fan of any other sport. There are games almost everyday for six months. There are good things and bad things that come with that. It connects the fans to their team and keeps them connected. For half the year baseball is a constant in the fan's life. It is always there as an escape. And as long as you're watching to enjoy the game, it will never let you down.

But the constant presence can also be frustrating. If your team is struggling the reminder will always be there. Sometimes it's necessary to think about other things but baseball is always there calling you. It'll envelop your night no matter what you intended to do. But I guess none of those are bad if you really love baseball.

There are just so many things to love about baseball. It requires strategy but not so much that players and coaches need binders to know what to do. And even though there's strategy there is no way to have a specific game plan. The manger can't make players hit line drives to left field or seeing-eye base hits that barely sneak through the right side of the infield. And one can only be so certain as to where to position their fielders.

Baseball is the only game where the ball is given to the defense. The defense is given control of the offense until that changes in the split-second it takes the batter to blast the ball to deep right field. Baseball is also the only game where each team has equal opportunities to score. They have 27 outs and just have to do as much as they can with them. And extra innings work exactly the same as the rest of the game, as any overtime should.

Baseball is life for multiple hours a day for six months of the year. It will take up as many hours a necessary be it only two or maybe four and a half. It doesn't care if you have something else to do and ultimately the fans don't care either. The beautiful summer game, America's pastime, will grab you and not let you go. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Banner Day!

Yesterday the Mets announced Banner Day will return before the May 27 game against the Padres.  Even though I probably won't go to the game, I can't wait for it and I am sure a lot fans, young and old, will enjoy being there and participating.

I haven't been around for most of Mets history, heck I have barely been around for any of Mets history.  But that just makes me want to embrace the history even more.  I hope Banner Day allows me to do that through other fans.  It would be really unfortunate if a few fans ruined the day through bringing inappropriate or negative signs.  I mean, I'm sure security will be extra-tight before the game and only allow the appropriate signs in, but I just don't want to deal with fans complaining about their "honest" signs not being allowed.  This game as well as the rest of the 50th anniversary events are meant to celebrate the team's history, not bash the current state of the team.

My only knowledge of Banner Day is what I have seen on the constant reruns of Mets Yearbook on SNY and my dad telling me that this year isn't real because it won't be between games of a double-header.  This will be a truly great day for the older generation of Mets fans to share their memories with the younger fans.  And perhaps it will be a highlight during a season of question marks.

I can't wait to see the banners!
Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

If The Season Started Today

It's February but let's pretend the season is about to start and Terry Collins has to fill out his lineup card.  The roster might look something like this:

C Josh Thole
C Mike Nickeas

1B Ike Davis
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
SS Ruben Tejada
OF Jason Bay
OF Andres Torres
OF Lucas Duda

SP R.A. Dickey
SP Mike Pelfrey
SP Dillon Gee
SP Jon Niese
SP Chris Schwinden/A healthy Johan Santana

INF Justin Turner
INF Ronny Cedeno
OF Scott Hairston

RP Bobby Parnell
RP Tim Byrdak
RP Frank Francisco
RP Jon Rauch
RP Pedro Beato
RP Manny Acosta
RP Ramon Ramirez

The Mets didn't make any big offseason moves so their roster is pretty similar to the one that closed out 2011.  This season will be used for players to grow at the major league level as well as the minor league levels.  This team isn't built to be a powerhouse but anything can happen and there are some promising names in the system.

Let's Go Mets!