Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Patience or Indifference

The Mets still don't have much of an outfield and I just don't know if I care.  I don't know if I am confident Sandy Alderson will make some move, any move, before or during Spring Training.  I don't know if I've convinced myself that any success this year will be considered overachieving no matter what the outfield looks like.  I don't know if any move will matter or change my point of view.

Sandy Alderson has stuck to his plan of building the farm system and acquiring players through trades. He hasn't given out big contracts and has stuck to signing veterans to short-term deals.  His sights are set on fielding a strong team in 2014.  But it is starting to feel like that has stopped him from taking 2013 seriously.

By no means are the Mets one or two acquisitions or signings away from being a contender in 2013.  Their bullpen is still up in the air, they just traded 2012's best starting pitcher, and their outfield is as close to non-existent as it can get.  Yet they feel so close to success that not making small acquisitions seems to signify they really are punting the upcoming season.  Despite the pitching departures they have enough bullpen arms for some Spring Training competition and they have enough starters for a rotation.  That elusive outfielder is all of sudden what's holding them back.

However, this team is really more than an outfielder away from being big in 2013.  Matt Harvey has half a season of MLB experience while Zack Wheeler and Travis d'Arnaud have yet to make their big league debuts.  Three essential pieces of the future still need time to adjust and prove themselves and that's not going to happen immediately.

So maybe it isn't that I'm simply being patient or indifferent.  Maybe it's that I'm beginning to understand what Sandy Alderson is working with.

Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Craving Baseball

This past week has been unseasonably cold (even for January) across the country.  It has left many people longing for summer and all that it brings, including baseball.

This past week has also been the week in which many Major League Baseball teams held their annual winter Fan Fests.  Held at either a convention center or the home ballpark, many teams organize a fun event with player autograph sessions, Q&As, ticket giveaways, raffles, hitting lessons, etc.

I attended the Red Sox Winterfest yesterday.  It was a toned-down fan fest, geared towards kids, but was still fun and exciting to experience.  As someone older than the intended audience I found many ways to enjoy myself.  I met Will Middlebrooks, watched Daniel Nava give hitting lessons, saw the Red Sox clubhouse, and got to tour and experience Fenway Park in a way that's impossible during the season.

Even without an abundance of player appearances it was a fun event that satisfied this weekend's craving for baseball.  Would it really be so hard for the Mets to do this?

If it's really true that they don't think it would stand out in the New York market then how do the Dodgers pull it off in Los Angeles?  Dodgers fans have never been lauded for their loyalty quite like Mets fans and it's not as if the entertainment market in L.A. is exponentially smaller than that of New York.

It's not even that the Mets need to hold it with a full roster of players and make it a three day event.  One day with a few players would still be a major step up.  They too could market it towards children if they really want to avoid putting on a huge show.  Kids aren't going to care if Justin Turner is with them while taking cuts off a tee or if Kirk Nieuwenhuis is signing autographs.  Mr. Met makes everything better and quite frankly, the rest of the activities needed could be found at any number of Bat Mitzvahs in the tri-state area.  They have held open anthem tryouts before, why not hold them earlier to include them in Fan Fest?

I know you can't pull together any event like this overnight.  I also know the Mets will have the All Star FanFest this year that they can use as an excuse for this winter and maybe next winter as well.  By the end of January I am so ready for baseball and clearly others are too.

C'mon Mets. Please?

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Easing Back Into This

As you have noticed I haven't written very month in the past couple of months. Believe me, I want to write and I have plenty of things to say about the Mets and the upcoming season. However I also have been adjusting to a new semester at a new school.

This blog is like a home to me. I love writing here and I'm going to keep writing here until blogger shuts down and forces me out. For now I just wanted to let you all know that I'm still here. I haven't disappeared and hopefully you'll be reading a lot more of my words soon.

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

but the mets don't have an outfield

scott hairston is reportedly close to signing a 2-year deal with the cubs.

the mets current outfield is lucas duda, kirk nieuwenhuis, and mike baxter from left field to right field.

but kirk nieuwenhuis's season was cut short by an injury so there's no guarantee that he'll be fully healthy for the season.

and lucas duda broke his wrist moving furniture earlier this winter.

and mike baxter can't cover all of the citi field outfield.

the mets did sign collin cowgill to a minor league deal.  they also discussed trying justin turner in the ourfield.  i guess if all else actually fails they could put josh satin out there.  or they could punish any daniel murphy errors at 2nd base by making him play an inning in the outfield.

michael bourn costs too much money. justin upton costs too many players.

clearly their options are amazing and they are totally set for the season.  i mean, the one that has spring training starting in less than three weeks.  that season is going to be great.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Just A Note

The Blue Jays made roster updates today and Josh Thole has his number 30 with them.  R.A. Dickey got 43 right after the trade was finalized.  Mike Nickeas is a non-roster invitee and has 15.

This time I'm not even going to try to figure out how he chose it.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

That Was A Nice Surprise

Mike Nickeas was interviewed on the Canadian radio station TEAM 1040 tonight (or this afternoon if you're actually in Vancouver where the station is based).  The show's hosts, B-Mac and Taylor, asked Mike various questions about topics such as his familiarity with R.A. Dickey and whether he knew any of his fellow Blue Jays.

Mike Nickeas said he was surprised when Sandy Alderson informed him that he was in the deal.  He seemed to be okay with the move, saying he it would be "neat having a fresh start" in another organization.  It should be good for him, getting experience with a new team and playing with different people.  The Mets knew what he would give to them and unfortunately they had seemingly seen enough.  He's going to help the Blue Jays whether he's in the big leagues or back with the Bisons.

Another topic discussed was Mike's possible spot on the Blue Jays.  He was asked what he thinks his role will be going into Spring Training, mentioning J.P. Arencibia as the starting catcher but not bringing up the acquisition of Josh Thole.  Mike said he would certainly do whatever he can to make the team out of Spring Training but will go wherever the Blue Jays the send him.

Of course, he was also asked about catching R.A. Dickey.  He explained that, yes, he has caught Dickey not only with the Mets but also when he was first experimenting with the knuckleball on the Rangers.  When describing R.A.'s pitch he said, "If it doesn't want to be caught, it's not going to be caught."  That really sums up the pitch perfectly.

It was just good to hear that Mike was upbeat about the situation.  When asked about whether he already knew any players on the team he quipped that "a lot of Marlins guys" are there now.

The Vancouver station obviously brought up that his dad played for the Whitecaps and that Mike wore #4 last season, which he proudly explained he chose for his dad.

Once the interview is online I'll post a link.  The hosts really liked talking to him and complimented him after the interview.  It was fun to listen to, even more so because it was totally unexpected.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Mets-olutions

As 2013 rolls through the Mets are looking towards a bright future.  That future may not come until 2014 so until then they have to stay on track.  As an organization they too can have New Year's resolutions, although these won't involve getting in shape or watching less television.

One thing the Mets have to do is stay on track with their farm system.  They already had Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, Brandon Nimmo, and Kevin Plawecki in their system last season.  They acquired Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, two players that add to the minor league potential.  However, Wheeler and d'Arnaud are likely going to reach the Mets this year and lo and behold, they won't be prospects anymore.  Yes, it is part of the cycle of any organization.  Yes, it means the Mets will be getting their contributions in the Majors.  No, it doesn't mean they can neglect the farm system until it shrivels and goes to the place Omar Minaya and co. left it before.  Just because the future is bright now it doesn't mean it can't continue to shine even when the MLB club finds success.

A bit of a tougher resolution for the Mets is to get faster.  The ranked 27th in the Majors in stolen bases with only 79.  For some perspective on that number, they only had 30 more SB than Mike Trout, who led the MLB.  In 2007, Jose Reyes stole 78 bases on his own.  The Mets don't have a clear speedster on the team right now and they're not going to lead the league in SB.  They do have the potential to improve, though.  Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ruben Tejada may never be huge base stealers but they can learn when to sneak one.  If only to move players into scoring position and create more RBI opportunities, this is an area that needs improvement.

The most obvious resolution for 2013 is to figure out the outfield.  It is the most glaring need for this team and they need to fill it just to start the season with a respectable roster.  From left to right their outfield today is Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mike Baxter.  Thank goodness the season didn't start today.  They need a righty-hitting outfielder, if not for this season, for the future.  Their closest outfield prospect is Matt den Dekker, a lefty.  Duda, Nieuwenhuis, and Baxter are also lefties.  Be it drafting a righty outfielder from college and hoping they can develop quickly, or actually signing a free agent, something has to be done.

1. Keep the farm strong
2. Get faster
3. Find an outfield

They have all year for these resolutions.  I hope some are achieved sooner rather than later though.

Let's Go Mets!