Mets Blogger Round Table
As frustrated as Mets fans have been this season, imagine being Jacob deGrom. Short of his pitching a complete game shut out and hitting a homer, he’s not getting the win.
In fact, deGrom has made four straight seven inning starts, and in each start, he has allowed one earned or less. He has gone just 1-0 with three no decisions. That makes eight no decisions on the season.
With the way the Mets offense has been, it begs the question over just how many wins will deGrom have with the Mets this season. The Mets Blogger Roundtable attempts to answer:
Zero. The Mets are aware of this and have stopped using the word “wins” entirely to keep morale up, so that’s good. Jacob will be traded to, I dunno, the Barves at the deadline for five relief pitching prospects and $10 million, after the Yankees offer Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres knowing full well Fred Wilpon will agree to it before saying “psyche” and hanging up his rotary phone. deGrom will go 8-0 with a 6.00 ERA in Atlanta and then completely dominate in all of his postseason appearances. I will remark “neat” to nobody in particular as he accepts his World Series MVP trophy while my cat continues to clean himself.
Fear not, Mets fans, for deGrom will actually do something to knock Oliver Perez out of the Mets’ record books.
In 2008, Perez went 10-7 in 34 starts to set a franchise record with 17 no-decisions. DeGrom will shatter that mark by going 9-3 with 20 no-decisions. Jacob already has eight NDs in his first 12 starts. Ollie didn’t pick up his eighth no decision in his record-setting campaign until his 19th start on July 11.
deGrom will probably get his next win at the end of July, in another uniform. Getting traded in itself will be a win for him.
DeGrom will win 9 games, matching Craig Swan‘s total from 40 years ago when he won the NL ERA title. Who says the Mets don’t honor their history?
Right now, Felix Hernandez and Fernando Valenzuela share the MLB record for fewest wins by a starter in the season they won the Cy Young Award. Valenzuela’s came in the strike shortened 1981 season whereas King Felix accomplished his feat over the course of a full 162 game schedule.
Through King Felix’s first 12 starts, he had three wins, which is one fewer than where deGrom is now, so being optimistic, let’s say deGrom gets to that 13 number with far fewer losses.
When deGrom finally gets to win number five, please make sure to see what each one of these writers say about it. It’s sure to be better than watching the Mets offense.
The Mets once vaunted rotation seemingly has three holes in it. Steven Matz has failed to pitch at least five innings in half of his starts. Against teams that are not the Miami Marlins, Zack Wheeler is 1-3 with a 6.97 ERA. Jason Vargas finally lasted five innings in his last start, and those five scoreless innings lowered his ERA from 13.86 to 9.87.
With each poor start, there is a renewed call for Seth Lugo to join the Mets rotation. To a certain extent, those fans will get their wish when Lugo gets a spot start next week. However, the question still remains about whether he should be in the bullpen or the rotation. In this edition of the Mets Blogger Roundtable, we tackle that exact question:
Michael Baron (MLB)
It’s not that simple, especially without having Anthony Swarzak at their disposal. Right now, they don’t have an effective reliever – other than Lugo – against left-handed hitters. AJ Ramos has struggled as well. Lugo is one of three relievers they can count on to get the ball to Jeurys Familia, and because the rotation is so thin, he continues to come up aces in extended relief outings. Also, Lugo seems to have found a niche in relief, knows how to get outs in short stints utilizing a heavier fastball and that curve, proving to be a huge asset for them in this role. But, there is a need in the rotation – starters not named Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard have an ERA over 6 (as of 5/20) and are struggling to throw even 4 innings consistently. So, they might have to rob Peter to pay Paul at some point in Lugo’s situation.
If Anthony Swarzak can be as effective as Lugo has been when he returns from the disabled list, then and only then should Lugo be considered for a role in the starting rotation. Otherwise, why mess with a good thing? There’s no guarantee Lugo will be able to pitch as effectively when he has to pitch five-plus innings as a starter. It’s up to Wheeler, Matz and Vargas to step up their game so Lugo can continue to be at the top of his in the bullpen.
Moving a pitcher whose primary flaw was the inability to get batters out a third time through the order from a role where he’s more effective because he doesn’t have to do that would not seem to strengthen either the rotation or the bullpen.
He’s a vital part of the bullpen, but if the rotation continues to struggle I would want him in the rotation. But only when Swarzak comes back, so they aren’t short handed in the bullpen.
Ultimately, the Mets are going to need to try something. Ideally, you would give a llook to Corey Oswalt or Chris Flexen in the rotation, especially with a doubleheader scheduled for Monday. It should be noted Oswalt had a terrific start yesterday in Las Vegas, and Flexen’s last start in Vegas was great as well before he was called up to languish in the Mets bullpen.
Really, the Mets need to try something here because unless the Mets are facing the Marlins, neither Wheeler nor Vargas has been cutting it. Who knows what will get Matz going again? In the end, Lugo may just be the best available starting pitching option, and the Mets are going to have to replace him with one of the aforementioned pitchers in the bullpen. While that may sound risky, it should be noted Lugo has been a much different pitcher in the bullpen than he has in the rotation. Maybe the same will hold true for Wheeler, Matz, etc.
While what the Mets should do with Lugo remains uncertain, one thing that remains certain is the Mets have a great fanbase and group of bloggers who regularly write about the team. I encourage you to read their work in the attached links.
The New York Mets organization has been quite reticent to retire their best player’s jersey numbers. From a player perspective, hat is an honor which has been bestowed upon just Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza, two players who just so happen to be Hall of Famers who have worn a Mets cap on their Hall of Fame plaque.
With respect to Piazza, once he departed via free agency, the team did not reissue his No. 31. Instead, like what we now see with Gary Carter‘s No. 8 and Keith Hernandez‘s No. 17, the number was taken out of circulation. Unlike Carter and Hernandez, the Mets retired Piazza’s number.
What is interesting is Carlos Beltran is seen by most as a sure fire Hall of Famer, and it is eminently possible he enters the Hall wearing a Mets cap. Given precedent, you would think the number would be reserved for future retirement. Instead, it has been reissued to Val Pascucci, Fred Lewis, Travis d’Arnaud, Bob Geren, Matt Reynolds, and finally Luis Guillorme.
In this latest edition of the Mets Blogger Roundtable, we ask the question about whether the Mets should have treated Beltran’s number like the Mets greats before him, or whether there is no issue with 15 being given to other players:
No uniform number discussion is important to me until 8 goes on the wall.
I could go either way about retiring Beltran’s number but have to agree with Metstradamus’ excellent point. Let’s wait for 8.
Michael Baron (MLB)
I’m wishy washy on this subject regarding Beltran. He is the best center fielder they ever had, and easily among the top 10 players they’ve ever had. But he doesn’t identify with the base that way – people connect Beltran with that Adam Wainwright curveball in 2006. So if the Mets were to unofficially retire Beltran’s number by no longer issuing it, that could generate a negative discussion which, to be honest is avoidable and unnecessary. The team knows that and is obviously very sensitive to negative press and discussions, so it might actually be best to remain at a status quo on this. But ask me tomorrow and I might feel a bit different.
As much as I loved watching Beltran with the Mets and the countless times I’ve defended him for looking at strike one, two, and three in Game 7 (three of the nastiest pitches I’ve ever seen to this day), I personally do not retire his 15 or even take it out of circulation. When he gets into Cooperstown, which he will, if they stick a Mets hat on his head, I think at that point they have to retire it. Until then, if it were up to me, I say no.. He was successful everywhere else he went. That’s hallowed ground for this organization. Until David Wright‘s #5 gets a spot up there, no one else from that era should.
Dilip Srindhar (MMO & MMN)
Yes. Carlos Beltran is very deserving of this honor. Beltran from 2005-2011 hit .282/.369/.508 with a 130 OPS+. To put this into perspective, Mike Piazza hit .289/.367/.534 with a 133 OPS+ from 1999-2005. Also add on that Beltran was an elite defensive CF during most of his Mets career. Beltran seems quite likely to enter the Hall-of-Fame as a Met. Beltran is an all-time Met and deserves the respect that the others before him have received. The Mets retire very few numbers and there is no reason Carlos Beltran shouldn’t be next along with David Wright. There has been some tension with the Mets and their fans against Carlos Beltran the few years. But fans have started to realize how great and impactful of a player he was and hopefully the Mets do too.
The biggest issue with the Mets not taking out of circulation is like many things with the Wilpon family, it has the stench of being personal. It’s why we saw the team have a patch for Rusty Staub but not former owner Nelson Doubleday, a man who owned the team during the franchise’s greatest run.
The decision reeks of pettiness related to Beltran striking out in the 2006 NLCS and for his going against team advice to have career saving knee surgery.
Honestly, I’m not sure the team ever considered taking his number out of circulation, and if the topic was raised, it was quickly dismissed.
When Beltran does get inducted ino the Hall of Fame, I seriously doubt we see the Mets replicate the Yankees efforts to heal old wounds like we saw when Dave Winfield was inducted, and in the event Beltran does opt to wear a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, part of me doubts the Mets take the next step in deciding to retire his number.
One thing I don’t doubt is the terrific writing from the people who participate in this Roundtable. I encourage you to take the time to read what they’ve written about Beltran, Carter, and a host of all other Mets topics.
The Mets started 12-2, and it seemed like they could do no wrong. That was until a complete bullpen eighth inning meltdown against the Nationals. Since that point, the Mets have gone 5-9, and they have fallen to second place in the division. With that as the backdrop, we turned to the Mets Blogger Roundtable to ask if Mickey Callaway‘s Mets team is for real:
We’re already seeing the Mets falling back to earth, and there was never any question that they would lose more than 15 games this year. The positive is that they have a core that’s skilled, and a new manager who will hopefully find ways to adapt and keep the room positive throughout the highs and lows of a season.
What *is* reality anyway? We are all one big consciousness agreeing upon a never ending list of rules and quibbling over interpretations of shared perceptions, right? That’s what I learned in third grade from the bus driver who smelled weird. If the reality of the situation is I am being asked if the Mets are as good as they were when they started 11-1, then no, they are not “for real.” They have been the fourth-luckiest team in all of baseball while the Nationals have been the most unlucky. We aren’t going to cry over Bryce Harper‘s misfortune (the Vegas native should be aware of streaks of bad luck at the very least anecdotally). We will cry over the Mets though. Yet we shouldn’t; they just have to play .500 ball from their 13th to 162nd game to hit lucky number 86 wins. They uh, haven’t played over .500 ball since that time but I guessed they would make the wild card game five weeks ago, so I might as well keep my chips on 86.
Right now I want to jump off of my seat in section 509.
Editor’s Note: this response was sent during the game after we learned about deGrom’s elbow.
Yes, but they have holes to fix and this passive approach to every situation is part of the problem.
Are the Mets for real in the sense that they have a genuine chance to end the season where they ended April, in first place? Based on what we’ve seen…sure, why not? I’d hate to think they’re pulling the cap down over our eyes.
Are the Mets for real in the sense that I’m supremely confident they won’t fall out of the race altogether after a while? That’s what the rest of the schedule is for: to find out.
But overall I feel pretty good about this team. The next 130+ games are always the hardest.
Caveat: All of the above is up for grabs in light of the uncertainty surrounding Jacob deGrom.
I think the Mets’ start is most-definitely indicative of the potential of this team moving forward through the season.
The inevitably-oncoming adage of “Jake and Thor, then pray for it to pour” that was true for most of the first month of the season seems to be slowly fading away.
After the inconsistencies of Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler over their first few starts, as well as the banishing of Matt Harvey to the bullpen and the alarming start to Jason Vargas’ second stint with the Mets, things have started to look up lately.
If Wheeler can be effective (read: keep his pitches low), his stuff alone places him among the upper-crust of middle-of-the-rotation starting pitchers in the NL, and the same goes for Matz.
If Vargas has shown anything over his career, he’s proven to be the model of mediocre-but-efficient consistency, and that’s all the team really needs out of him.
I think this offense is truly one of the more-dangerous groups we’ve seen here since the days of Carlos Beltran/David Wright/Carlos Delgado, and I mean that. The recent upticks in production for Jay Bruce and Adrian Gonzalez are promising.
The Mets’ bullpen has, for the most part, been the strength of this team and will continue to be, in my opinion. AJ Ramos looks to have found his groove and Robert Gsellman is absolutely thriving in his new role. Even Seth Lugo, who may not be adapting as easily as Gsellman has, has had some success and only figures to get more comfortable as time goes on. And, to be honest, Harvey could come to be a key cog in the relief corps once he gets a feel for things.
Are the Mets for real? It’s hard to say, but what’s becoming clear is that this season certainly won’t be easy. We got off to a hot start with Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, and Bruce all slumping, and you have to think we’ll get more from all of them going forward — but we’ll also presumably see regression from Todd Frazier and Asdrubal Cabrera, and the pitching has gone downhill fast since the first few turns through the rotation. Now deGrom is hurt too…if our starters besides Thor are a failed Harvey, a failed Matz, an inconsistent Wheeler, and an unimpressive Jason Vargas, there’s only so much room to get wins with that kind of rotation. Sure, things could turn out well — anything can happen. But as I said, the only thing that’s clear is that it certainly won’t be easy.
Initially, I had a long piece detailing how much the lineup and the pitching staff could benefit from Kevin Plawecki‘s return. How even with the inability to hit for power right now, Conforto is playing a good outfield and getting on base. How when you look deeper into the farm, you see Gavin Cecchini and Peter Alonso getting off to terrific starts making you wonder “What if . . . .”
None of that matters if deGrom is injured like he was in 2016 or Syndergaard was in 2017.
This is not to say his having a serious injury ends the Mets season. Rather, it means the season needs a miracle. In 2016, the Mets got that out of Lugo and Gsellman. Maybe the Mets get that this year out of some group that includes Harvey, Matz, Corey Oswalt, or Chris Flexen.
Maybe . . . .
Personally, I’d like to thank everyone for being able to respond to this roundtable. It was all the more impressive when you consider how panic striken we were collectively as a fanbase when deGrom left the game last night. We do know when that news finally breaks, there will be some terrific things written about deGrom and the Mets. Some of the best things will be written by the people in this roundtable, and I hope you will visit their sites.
That is except for Becky. She is currently a free agent and needs a home to write about the Mets. Hopefully, someone will soon jump in and find a home for her terrific work.
After yet another poor start and a still somehow indignant from Matt Harvey was finally demoted to the bullpen by Mickey Callaway, Dave Eiland, and the entire Mets organization. Harvey’s performance and subsequent behavior has elicited much reaction from Mets fans everywhere, and so, in the latest edition of the Mets Blogger Roundtable, we present our reactions to the Mets decision:
They are complicated. Matt’s bravado made it difficult to feel sorry for him when he was essentially wasting his one incredible season and the first half of another great season being supported by a rather poor offense. As he’s been gradually humbled, and sounding grateful at just the slightest whiff of human decency towards his general direction, I’ve liked him more, which in turn makes me feel like an ass. He’s now in the bullpen, which might work since the bullpen is where the cool kids hang out now, so hooray? I don’t know. I want him to succeed and to be content with his success since he is wearing a New York Mets uniform and has not specifically harmed me in any personal way.
Oh also if he doesn’t curse out the media that would be super.
In a piece for Gotham Baseball, Mark likened Harvey to Frank Sinatra in calling the move to the bullpen Harvey’s “Maggio Moment.”
Harvey shouldn’t look at being moved to the bullpen as a demotion. He should embrace it. That being said I do not know if a bullpen role will fix the issue of his fastball speed being so close to his changeup. Harvey is still pitching with ego and needs to adjust. As for the recent encounter with the reporter, what kind of response do people expect? His off the field attitude has been the same as his on the field play.
A starting pitcher who hasn’t been altogether healthy nor very good for the past two years is sent to the bullpen. By any other name, this would be a non-event.
I hope Harvey makes the most of the opportunity to regain his confidence, his rhythm, his stuff, whatever it is he still has within him. He was a great starting pitcher. I hope he’s a good reliever or, should circumstances conspire, starter again.
Matt gave us hope when we had little. I’d like to show a little faith in him now. Good luck, No. 33.
We can point to Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, and a myriad of other pitchers and go, they figured it out, why can’t he? Hell, Bartolo Colon is still somehow effective throwing fastballs slower than Harvey used to throw change-ups.
The difference between Harvey and these pitchers is they had a gradual dip in stuff. They were able to process things and come out the other side. Now, that process wasn’t always pretty. CC dealt with alcohol problems, which may or may not be related. Colon went to Germany for a procedure, and he had a steroids suspension. Really, we forget there is an ugly process to seeing a once great pitcher try to figure out how to be great again without him no longer having that great stuff.
We’re seeing that with Harvey now, and maybe that process is accelerated because unlike everyone else, he almost literally lost his stuff completely overnight. Really, he walked off the mound in Game 5 of the World Series, and he was never able to truly pitch again after that.
As a fan, I’ve come to accept the guy who was THE REASON why you believed the Mets could turn things around and become winners again is done. In a sense, he’s like David Wright. He left it all on the field in that World Series, and he’s now looked at as the guy holding everything back.
Typically, you feel sympathy for those guys, but with Harvey cursing out reporters and acting above everyone, it’s understandable why people are experiencing some schadenfreude with his downfall. Personally, I hope it’s part of the process we’ve seen with other great pitchers and not an ugly side of his personality.
In addition to hoping Harvey figure things out and becomes that great pitcher again, I really do hope you visit the sites of the people who take the time to participate in these Roundtables. Fortunately, Mark and Metstradmus provided links to their work. You can click on those links or the links provided next to each contributor’s name.
After the Mets lost a brutal game to the Washington Nationals with an epic eighth inning meltdown, you’d be hard pressed to think of anything good about the 2018 Mets even with the team having a 12-3 record. Of course, last night, the Mets had their own eighth inning rally to remind everyone just how good this Mets team can be.
With there being so many different surprises this season, our Mets bloggers answered the question about what they believe to be the most pleasant surprise of the 2018 season:
I would have to say it’s all of the winning. Now don’t get me wrong – I didn’t expect a 1-161 season (the Mets always win Opening Day), but boy, all of the winning at the jump? It was an embarrassment of riches. I would *never* ask for 11 wins after 12 games. Yet the other shoe kept refusing to drop. My shoes just stayed on my beach blanket as I danced in the sands of glory. I have pneumonia now of course thanks to this weather, but boy was it fun. They say you never know when you’re living in a golden age, and I wanted to prove this ‘they’ wrong. Back to reality though. *Nyquil chug* Sorry, what was I saying? Oh right, the winning. Yes, the surprise was all of the winning.
I was going to say the bullpen… but maybe not.
Besides the bullpen, I’d say the DL. I do not want to say this too loudly and jinx things, but Mickey Callaway‘s handling of his players (especially pitching) has been great. Both catchers being out hurts, but it’s not too bad this early in the season. Unpleasant surprise: Jose Reyes not getting a hit. Did not see this coming.
Adrian Gonzalez. Everything else is a distant second.
The most pleasant surprise of the early season was that the ugly 8-6 loss to the Nationals fifteen games in was considered a total shock as opposed to business as usual. Wouldn’t have seen the status quo reshaping itself so definitively prior to Opening Day.
The Todd Frazier effect on everything Mets. He’s brought a winning attitude to the team. He’s become the upbeat clubhouse guy, and he’s started this fun friendship with Yoenis Cespedes. He also helped start that goofy grinder thing that has someone become not just a team bonding thing, but a thing Mets fans have come to actually like.
Speaking of Mets fans, Frazier is one of the good ones, like Wilmer Flores, who takes time to interact with the fans. He’s already making himself a fan favorite, and he seems like one of those players we will irrationally love for the next 40 years.
While the Mets have been a surprise this season, the excellent work from the participating bloggers isn’t. As always, I encourage you to visit their sites to get their unique, thoughtful, and interesting takes on the Mets.
One of the things that has made the GKR era of Mets broadcasts truly enjoyable is what Keith Hernandez has brought to the table. His sheer honesty, and his ability to make the occasional gauche comment makes even blowout Mets losses worth watching. Really, Mets fans cannot get enough of Keith Hernandez.
And in many ways, we want to see and hear what he is like when the cameras aren’t on. We did get a small glimpse of that the day SNY came back on the air earlier than the booth expected, and we all reveled in Keith’s comment that National’s starter Tanner Roark had been “getting his tits lit.” That and other Keith Hernandez moments made him the Mets personality most fans wanted to get a twitter account.
Well, it has finally happened to the great joy of Mets fans everywhere. In this week’s version of the Mets Blogger Roundtable, we react to Keith’s Twitter account:
Michael Baron (MLB)
Obviously, for us its very entertaining and its a great way for us to engage with someone we all admire. But for him, its an excellent opportunity for him to enhance his own personal and professional brand, which is both colorful and eccentric and allows us to see a different angle of Keith many don’t know and don’t get to see.
I have yet to feel “excitement.” Keith even tagged me in a response to someone else, yet all I feel is impending doom (more so than usual). My podcast partner perfectly described this situation as all too similar to the once beloved Milkshake Duck’s. Keith has already mistakenly tweeted out his phone number, before somewhat adorably thanking the first person to point this out and asking how to delete the picture. He has also yet to change the lowercase ‘k’ to an uppercase ‘k’ for his first name in his twitter bio. Even with 280 characters, nuanced thoughts can be expressed very poorly and problematically by the savviest of internet folk, so Keith tweeting something considered to be of poor taste is pretty much inevitable. But for now, yes, he’s showing *clears throat* good twitter fundamentals.
Having Keith officially join Twitter is akin to walking down the steps and seeing the presents on Christmas morning. You can see from his brief experience, his account oozes with his personality, and I for one, have set mobile alerts for when he Tweets. Why is he simply the most entertaining guy on Twitter? Simple. He’s Keith Hernandez.
I don’t get too excited about celebrity Twitter accounts, but he seems to be actively using it himself, so that’s pretty cool.
It feels as if a Rubicon has been crossed. All those fleeting thoughts of “what would Keith Hernandez be like on Twitter?” have come to “oh, so that’s how it is.” He’s Keith Hernandez.
A part of me was hoping he’d stay Tweetless, as if to maintain the mystique. I felt that way about R.A. Dickey, too, but R.A. was engaging and complex in any medium. Same for Keith.
I wonder if early in a previous century there was this much speculation over how so-and-so would come across over the phone. One more device by which to communicate is what it boils down to.
By far the best part of having Keith on twitter will be getting more of Keith, plain and simple. Keith already doesn’t work every game, and it’s noticeable when he’s not there. Gary and Ron are just a bit too grounded and serious when there’s no Mex between them. Even when Keith isn’t working games now, we’ll be able to get inside his head, and, of course, it’s rightfully easy to read his tweets in your head in a perfect Keith tone. Just because he’s not actually saying the words out loud doesn’t mean you can’t hear Keith’s implicit superiority to the guys on the field today, or the strangely emphasized words (Brou-HA-haa). Having Keith on twitter is our chance to hear from Keith far more often. And I don’t think there’s any need to be more specific: Keith on twitter means more Keith, and that’s something that all Mets fans should cherish.
What fascinates me with Keith’s Twitter account, and maybe it shouldn’t, is how right from jump street, he has already mastered how a celebrity should use a Twitter account. He provides the voyeurism aspect like his tweeting out pictures of him having dinner with his daughter and her friend.
He gives us a sense that he’s just like us in how he tweets out silly picture of himself (his profile picture is him wearing a mustachioed poop emoji), he uses the occasional toon response in a tweet, or how he adores his now famous cat Hadji.
And like with his Zack Wheeler comments, we get to see Keith not just as contemplative and not reactionary (as comes with the job) when something happens during a Mets game. More to the point, it shows just how closely Keith does pay attention to the team even when he is not actually working the game.
Lastly, Keith has mastered the job of advertising the Keith Hernandez Shop and his upcoming book, which may have been impetus for firing up the Twitter account all along.
On the other hand, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised by this. During the telecasts, Keith has shown himself to be far more than comic relief. He’s an intelligent and pensive man, who in many ways, is a modern Renaissance man. Keith was a great baseball player, has had great cameos (everyone overlooks his Mr. Baseball cameo), and he has been great in both the booth and the studio. Personally, I’m looking to see what a man with varied interests like Keith Hernandez has tweets during the offseason.
While Keith has only recently been on twitter this group of Mets bloggers have long had twitter accounts which we all use to promote our own writings and thoughts about the Mets. While you are checking in on Keith’s tweets and the things he is selling, I encourage you to check in on the excellent things this group of writers is writing about this amazingly 10-1 Mets team.
On Sunday, I published a tongue-in-cheek recommendation as to what promotions the Mets should have during the 2018 season. The original concept of the post was the Mets promotional schedule feels like it is lacking this year, and the team should be looking for better ways to honor their players.
With that in mind, I asked the Mets Blogger Roundtable what promotions they would like to see the Mets institute during the 2018 season:
The Mets should re-introduce Old Timers Day. Promotions are nice, but they generally consist of things which either break, get lost, forgotten, or all three. Old Timers Day can be traditional and memorable as fans connect emotionally with the players. Sure, there’s no sponsored bobble head doll, hat, or a fidget spinner that goes with it – sometimes the greatest souvenir can be reconnecting with the past, which is why what such a day would be so great for everyone involved.
There was a character on “Rick and Morty” called “Mr. Meeseeks.” He lived only to fix one problem of yours before ceasing to exist. He wanted to cease to be, is the thing – his catch phrase is “Existence is pain!” Naturally, some unknown hero on the internet created a “Mr. Metseeks.” My interpretation of Mr. Metseeks is Mr. Metseeks cannot die until the Mets win the World Series. We all started kind, then have only grown more bitter, and increasing irritated over the years, when the Mets did not fulfill their destiny. We are all Mr. Metseeks. Let’s have an action figure of ourselves some Saturday in 2018. Why? Because a “Jay Brews” shirt sends the wrong message to the youths.
Ernest Dove (MMO & MMN)
As a South Florida resident and fan of the High-A St. Lucie Mets, I can’t help but suggest the MLB Mets model the St. Lucie Mets with $1 beer $1 hot dog night. With ticket prices continuing to skyrocket, I think it would be a great idea for Mets to win over their fans with a night of cheap food and drinks. I’m not suggesting bottles of beer. I’m talking $1 plastic cups here. It might pack the place. And along with the obvious on the alcohol, this would also allow for parents to ensure all their kids are fed. Do it!
Old Timer’s Day; as a kid I always loved Mets Old Timer’s Day, and frankly, I miss it dearly.
In 2009, the New York Times quoted then-Mets executive Dave Howard: “It was particularly unpopular as a promotion. We didn’t see an increase in ticket sales or interest from sponsors or even from people who already had tickets. It died of its own unpopularity in the early ’90s. We felt we were better served by bringing our alumni back over several days instead of one day.”
Now, I liked Dave Howard, nice guy, but that statement was crap. a) outside of a rare 1986 tribute when the hell do the Mets ever “bring their alumni back?”
Maybe be creative? Maybe call it “Amazin Day,” and combine the old Photo Day with an autograph day, have the former Mets like Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry, Art Shamsky, Mookie Wilson, Rusty Staub, Edgardo Alfonzo, Mike Piazza, Felix Millan, etc. gather at Citi Field and have a Mets fan’s dream of a day? Yeah, it would cost money, but it’d be sold out and there are a thousand marketing ideas that would make it a must-have ticket (and memorabilia money maker) every year!
The idea that Mets fans wouldn’t embrace a day to celebrate their team’s history is ridiculous.
I wish it was only a cost-effectiveness issue. But it’s not. Frankly, the Mets can’t even send out a promo video without doing something dumb like trying to avoid the existence of a 20-game winner who just won the organizations first Cy Young Award in almost 30 years. It is the fear of ridicule, of blowback, and of honest feedback from a fanbase that’s tired of the losing and the stupidity. In 1989, Davey Johnson was omitted from the list of some two dozen people invited to Old-Timers’ Day.
Why? If the Old-Timers’ Day crowd cheered Johnson, would the Mets’ front office and Harrelson be embarrassed? If the crowd booed him, would he be embarrassed? Like many, many, many others have said many, many, many times, the Wilpons and by extension, their PR and Marketing departments lack a cohesive link to their smartest and most loyal fans. Maybe it’s time to listen to a few of them.
After the positive feedback we received after our first Mets Blogger Roundtable, the Mets Bloggers have decided to come back for at least a second week. This week, we tackle the question “Which Mets player are we most excited about watching this Spring Training?”
Dominic Smith is the first player that comes to my mind, although there are several interesting stories to watch this spring. Here’s a guy who has spent a number of years now battling weight issues, and therefore reputation issues, and it’s no secret the organization has concerns with him. And, obviously, signing Adrian González clearly indicates that as well. I am looking for him to step up and look like the player and prospect everyone expects him to be, similar to howMichael Conforto performed last spring. If Dom does that, he’ll make for a tough decision a month from now, which is always a good internal conversation for Mets brass to have.
Do we all remember when Bret Booneabruptly retired a few days into Mets spring training camp in 2006? He admitted Jose Reyes “just kind of stared” at him “with that smile on his face” and realized the joy of playing baseball in himself was long gone. Well, I’m hoping Adrian Gonzalez looks at Dominic Smith, smiling and loving life with his old and new svelte physique, and realizes his future as a full-time top sub sandwich enterprise ambassador should be his present. Smith did not earn the full-time first baseman gig last season, but he’s already earned it before the first ST game. He wasn’t even in this good of shape last spring, so I’m looking forward to seeing the Dom Smith everybody warned with a smile was about to enter our lives last summer.
The player I am most excited to watch at Spring Training might surprise a few people. It’s Brandon Nimmo. I am by no means trying to say he’s an all-star, but I think he is often overlook for the value he brings to a team. First of all, his defense in center field (while not as good as Juan Lagares) is good. For me, I am more impressed with his approach at the plate. He’s one of the more disciplined hitters on the team, especially when it comes to his knowledge of the strike zone. Sure, his .260 batting average last year is not too impressive, but his on-base percentage was more than 100 points higher at .379. Despite not looking like he’s going to have a starting spot out of the gate, Nimmo is going to be an important piece on this team coming off of the bench. And knowing how hard he works, if there’s an injury, he’ll be ready to go in a pinch. It’s hard not to root for the kid.
Player I am most excited about? Great question. I know if the Mets had been smart enough to sign Joe Smith, he’d have been my answer. I guess I have to let that one go, though. Steven Matz is the other. There are certain guys I love to watch pitch, and Matz is the latest version of that.
The Mets player I’m most interested in seeing this spring is Yoenis Cespedes. The slugger is coming off a season that saw injuries limit him to only 81 games. He’s trained differently this offseason including doing yoga to make sure he is more agile and not simply bulked up like in 2017. It will be interesting to see if his offseason training can help him regain his decencies prowess that helped him win a gold glove in 2015. Also have to see if he can make it through all spring without a muscle injury which seemed to be a weekly occurrence for him last season.
When healthy, Cespedes has been everything the Mets hoped for when they traded for him and signed him to a four-year deal. The Mets are not going to be contenders in 2018 if Cespedes plays only 81 games and spring will be a good time to see if anything has changed for Yo.
With the Mets signing Todd Frazier, the organization has yet again went out and brought home a local boy to play for the hometown team. It is something we have seen from the organization throughout their history starting with Ed Kranepool, and it is a new focus we have seen with this organization with them drafting Long Islanders Steven Matz, Justin Dunn, and Anthony Kay.
With the Mets illustrious, and in the case of Bobby Bonilla, infamous hometown players coming home to play for the Mets, in a new feature on Mets Daddy, Mets bloggers have come together to answer the question about who is their favorite hometown Mets players: