Musings

Revisiting the Impact of the 2000 Offseason 

With Mike Piazza finally getting elected to the Hall of Fame and this current Mets offseason, I’ve been thinking a lot about missed opportunities in Mets history. For me, the 2000 offseason and 2001 season might’ve been the biggest missed opportunity in Mets history (or at least my lifetime).

Coming off a disappointing loss in the World Series, the Mets had a ton of important decisions to make. The most intriguing one was Alex Rodriguez. The Mets passed calling him a 24 and 1 type of player. The biggest free agent in baseball history, a 25 year old shortstop with 40/40 capability, and the Mets weren’t interested. They weren’t interested despite A-Rod wanting to be a Met. The Mets wouldn’t sign a big bat in lieu of him.

The next big decision was NLCS MVP Mike Hampton. The Mets have up a lot to get him, namely Roger Cedeno and Octavio Dotel. However, Hampton delivered. He was 15-10 with a 3.14 ERA. He won a Silver Slugger. He was an ace. He and Al Leiter were terrific that year during the regular season, and they helped pitch the Mets to the World Series. The Mets wouldn’t outbid the Rockies, who offered him the biggest contract in baseball history (until A-Rod signed with the Rangers) and the benefits of the Denver school system.

With the Mets missing out with these two players (and Mike Mussina), the Mets decided to build a deep, cost effective starting rotation. By the way, where have we heard of a World Series losing team choosing depth over high-end expensive players? In any event, the Mets re-signed Rick Reed and added Kevin Appier and Steve Trachsel. The last two moves were about as popular now as they were then.

The end result? The Mets got a compensatory pick for Mike Hampton (more on that in a minute) and an 82-80 record. It would be the last year the Mrts finished above .500 until 2005, which was Piazza’s last year with the Mets. The end of Piazza’s prime was wasted by the Mets. He would never return to the postseason with them. He would never play in another World Series. Was it worth it? Well, it depends on your point-of-view.

For me, the pivotal figure in this inquiry is Hampton. For startees, I say Hampton because I believe the Mets were never truly enamored with A-Rod. The Wilpons and Nelson Doubleday were fighting over the valuation of the Mets. The Wilpons were buying out Doubleday, and they didn’t want the value of the franchise to increase any further. A-Rod would’ve done that. Furthermore, it’s likely they would’ve had a hard time signing A-Rod, building a pitching staff, and buying out Mr. Doubleday. Hence, it was Hampton and not A-Rod as the pivotal figure.

We know Hampton was terrible in Colorado, but then again most pitchers are. It’s fair to assume, he would’ve continued pitching as well as he did in 2000 for the next year or two with the Mets. That’s about a pitcher with a 4.7 – 6.6 WAR. Would that have been sufficient to keep the Mets afloat in 2001? Would he have been enough to rescue an offense with the least runs scored in all of baseball that year?

We don’t the the corresponding moves. We also don’t know if the lack of moves created a negative vibe over a Mets team that sputtered out of the gate in 2001. This was a team that was Jekyll and Hyde. It was 38-51 in the first half and 44-29 in the second half. In reality, their second half push came too late leaving them no margin of error, as we know all too well with yet another huge Armando Benitez blown save.

Maybe with Hampton the season starts off different. It’s possible the Mets don’t make the flurry of moves they did in 2002 that proved disasterous. Maybe with Hampton the Mets make the postseason in 2001 and/or 2002. Maybe Piazza gets his ring. Maybe Mets fans are not waiting 30 years for a World Series. We don’t know. All we know is two things: (1) the Mets missed Hampton; and (2) Hampton leaving might’ve been the best case scenario.

The second reason Hampton is the pivotal figure is the player the Mets got in his stead. When Hampton left, the Mets received a compensatory pick. With that pick the Mets selected one of the best high school bats. The Mets got a third base prospect by the name of David Wright. Wright has been a big part of Mets history. He’s the Mets All-Time leader in games played, runs, hits, doubles, RBI, and walks. He’s second in homers. He’s hit the first a Mets homerun at Citi Field and the first World Series homerun at Citi Field. He was a big part of two postseason teams, which is no small feat in Mets history.

Essentially, you cannot tell the story of the Mets without David Wright. It’s unfathomable to imagine Wright in another uniform. However, I ask you has he been worth it? Was he worth wasting away the last years of Piazza’s prime? Was he worth losing all momentum from the 1999 and 2000 seasons? Would you rather have had a shot for another World Series run back then in exchange for Wright’s entire career?

Before answering, I ask that you keep some thoughts in mind. The first is if Hampton returns, you don’t hate him the way you do now. In fact, you may not hate him at all. Next, I’m not asking you to assume the Mets win the World Series Hampton re-signs. I’m only requesting you think about how he would’ve impacted the 2001 Mets and/or his impact in subsequent years. With that in mind, what do you do?

Now, if you asked me this question in 2000, I’m taking Hampton. No doubt about it. Hampton was a much better option than Appier. If the Mets got Hampton and Appier without signing Trachsel, even better. However, I’ll be honest, while I can separate myself from my hatred of Hampton, I can’t separate myself from my love of David Wright.

Sure, Piazza is my favorite player, but Wright has also been a terrific Met. He’s a homegrown Met. He has a contract that may make him a lifetime Met. Generally speaking, Wright has been everything good about the sport of baseball since he was called up. He’s created some great memories for Mets fans. His name is all over the record books. I’m not sure I could part with that, perhaps not even at a chance at a World Series.

So begrudgingly, I believe I’d pick the entire career of David Wright over the possibility of another World Series title. Sure, World Series titles are rare, but so are the David Wrights of the world. I’m hoping in 2016 Mets fans can celebrate both Wright and a World Series title. It’s a lot more fun than playing the what if game.

Grayson Needs Your Help

When my son was born, it was not pure exhilaration. It was panic. It was screaming and yelling. When he was born, he didn’t breathe right away. My wife passed out. He was taken from us immediately. The Apgar score was initially a three. Luckily, the NICU team was able to get him to breathe and everything else fell in line by the time they revived my wife. 

They allowed us some brief time before taking him to the NICU. I followed him to the unit. We were lucky. He was out of the unit the same day. I never really got a full explanation what happened. I’m not sure I cared either. He was alright. Sure, there were a number of follow-up appointments with the doctors. They were weekly. Eventually, the appointments stopped, and we started living a normal life. 

There is not one day that goes by that I don’t think about that fear. The helplessness of standing there with my wife and son in trouble. However, I’m lucky. They were and are both okay. However, there are parents that this is their everyday. If you haven’t lived through it, it’s unexplainable. It really is. 

You need help from everyone, whether it’s a friendly phone call, a hot meal, or sometimes money. That’s why I’m writing this. While my hell ended, a good friend of mine is living it now, and he needs help. He needs more help than you can imagine. He needs help with the medicals bills.

With that said, I ask if you read this blog, please contribute. Here’s the link. I promise this is the only time I’ll ask anything like this. I can assure you this is legitimate. I don’t care the amount. Any little bit you can contribute will help. I thank you in advance, and promise to return to Mets baseball tomorrow. 

One last thing. No matter what you contribute, if you contribute anything at all, please say a prayer for Grayson. 

Chief Wahoo Needs to Go Away

The Washington Redskins were in the playoffs thereby forcing announcers to determine if they’re going to say a team name or not. The reason for the debate is whether or not people deem the term racist. Have that debate as you wish. What I’m more curious about is how MLB gets a pass:

  
I honestly take it at face value the team name Indians does not have racist origins. However, there is no way the logo isn’t racist. Even if we accept the person who created the logo didn’t think it was racist, it’s fair also fair to say similar images at the time were used to promote negative stereotypes, i.e. its a racist depiction. A racist depiction that is on the field nine months out of the year. However, it’s alright because it’s not on the field during the All Star Game:

  
or Memorial Day:

  
Essentially, whenever MLB creates hats they want everyone to wear they go with the Cleveland “C” as opposed to the official team logo. It’s MLB having it both ways. They don’t want you to see the Chief Wahoo, but they’re not taking it away. It’s pretending there’s no problem. They’re pretending that if you don’t see it, there’s no issue. 

Well, there is an issue. There’s a logo that offends people. I’m not sure the logo was ever okay. I’m sure it’s not okay now. Its not political correctness. It’s an issue of not purposefully offending people. 

Chief Wahoo needs to go away. 

The Mets Will Retire Piazza’s Number

Seeing how there were weird and unnecessary discussion regarding the hat which Mike Piazza will select for his Hall of Fame plaque, let’s just end the next discussion before it starts. The Mets will retire Piazza’s # 31. 

The Mets had him close out Shea with Tom Seaver. He opened Citi Field again with Seaver recreating the moment at Shea Stadium. He was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. He threw out the first pitch in the first World Series game at Citi Field. He’s obviously respected by the entire Mets organization. Once Piazza is elected to the Hall of Fame, he should get his number retired by the Mets. It’s the next step in a logical process. 

I don’t understand why anyone would question if Piazza’s number will be retired after he’s elected to the Hall of Fame. You can ask why it wasn’t retired sooner, but to question if it’ll be retired at all makes no sense. If you want to have a debate at all, question how that number will appear on that wall. 

Will they go with the black uniforms most synonymous with those Mets teams?  Will they go with the non-pinstriped jersey?  If they go with the pinstriped jersey to keep it homogenous, will they include the drop shadow on the jersey number?  This is the real question; not whether or not Piazza’s number will be retired. 

Piazza’s number will be retired. 

DePodesta Challenging the NFL Status Quo

There’s been a big going around my house of late, so I thought my fever was causing me to have hallucinations when I read Paul DePodesta was leaving the Mets for the Cleveland Browns. Before I started heading to the ER, I looked to verify it, and luckily, I found this:

It was true, and it was an inspired hire by the Cleveland Browns. Within the baseball industry, DePodesta is a well regarded within the baseball industry.  He went to Harvard, where he played both baseball and football. Despite his reputation, he cut his teeth being a scout. He would later incorporate analytical and statistical information into his scouting reports. Across the board, he’s seen as intelligent and as a hard worker. I don’t care what industry you’re in; these skills will always translate.  

First, let’s address what he’s leaving behind. DePodesta was the Mets viewed by some as the successor to Sandy Alderson as the next Mets GM. While we don’t know what specifically he did during his tenure, we do know the Mets credit him with reorganizing the entire scouting department:

https://mobile.twitter.com/adamrubinespn/status/684423205981925377

As for which moves he had a direct impact on, we only have speculation. He was rumored to be a voice in support of the Mets hiring Terry Collins back in 2011.  It is believed he was a proponent of keeping Lucas Duda and trading Ike Davis. He was supposedly heavily involved in the R.A. Dickey trade. As the Mets VP of Player Development and Amateur Scouting, he oversaw the draft that brought in Michael Conforto. Overall, he’s depicted as Sandy Alderson’s right hand man. As such, his fingerprints are all over the Mets. 

Now, DePodesta is leaving all that to become the Browns Chief Strategy Officer. What most know about DePodesta is he worked with Billy Beane to help revolutionize baseball.  I don’t think that is overstating the case when you see all teams heavily investing in analytics.  Most people know this story from a little book and movie Paul DePodesta was featured. 

One important note here is I implore you to read the book Moneyball for yourself. Despite what you’ve heard or seen in the movies, the book and/or the concept of Moneyball is not about OBP or advanced statistics like WAR. No, it’s about being able to locate market inefficiencies to maximize the proverbial bang for your buck. 

Essentially, the concept is we can’t afford the best of the best, so what do we do to outsmart the other teams. Moneyball isn’t about saying a player like Mike Trout is the best player in the game because he does xyz. No, it’s about saying look, where our budget is, we can’t afford Mike Trout, so we need to exploit market inefficiencies to build the best team possible for the least amount of money possible. It just so happens that in the late 90’s that it was OBP. Such a fundamental misunderstanding has already lead to opinions like this:

I’d chalk this up to a football person making a mistake about a baseball person, but really, I see enough of the misunderstanding from supposed baseball people to know it’s a universal problem. 

I think this was a terrific hire by the Browns. Football is a salary cap league. Each and every year, you’re looking at your roster. You’re crunching numbers. You’re pulling in scouting reports. You’re really just trying to figure out how you’re going to field a team within the confines of the salary cap. There is no better person for that job than Paul DePodesta. 

It’s what he did in Oakland. He’s done it in New York. He knows how to find the market inefficiencies to build a complete roster. From what we’ve seen, he likes to utilize younger cheaper players at pricier positions and move them before they have outlived their value. It’s no surprise the A’s and the Mets were built upon terrific young staffs. He saved money there, and then he looked to find the players who were under market value to fill in a roster in a shoestring budget. Ultimately, isn’t that what you need your front office to do in the NFL?  DePodesta’s track record matches up well with that skill set making him a good hire. 

With that said, I’m not so sure this was the right move for DePodesta. First, despite the fact he has some football experience, he will always be looked at as a baseball guy. More so than anyone else his moves will be scrutinized more than anyone. The success and failure of each Browns season will be attributed to him despite the fact that he’s not the GM. He’s going to be held to a different standard. 

Speaking of which, he’s going to be held to a higher standard. I don’t believe it’s hyperbole to say people are expecting a revolution. He revolutionized how front offices operate. He showed that by being ahead of the curve, any team can win. People will be expecting DePodesta to do the same with the Browns. People may not accept incremental improvements. They may not be willing to wait the five years Mets fans had to wait to see a winner. 

That’s going to be difficult.  One of the reasons the Browns are having problems is the division they play. The Steelers and Ravens have been traditionally run very well with very good football people. Since Marvin Lewis came aboard, the Bengals went from laughingstocks to perennnial playoff team.  That is it right there in a nutshell. The best thing you can do is go get the right people and let them do their thing. Give them time to build a winner. 

I’m not sure DePodesta will revolutionize the NFL. However, I believe he will do everything he can to build the Browns into a winner. He just needs to be given sufficient time to get the job done. He did it Oakland. He did it in New York. It can happen in Cleveland. 

Good luck to you Paul DePodesta. 

Thank You Tom Coughlin 

I’ve always joked that it’s the New York Giants that keep me sane. Never was this more true than on September 30, 2007. If you’re a Mets fan, you know that as the day the Mets completed a historic collapse. I was devastated even if Tom Glavine wasn’t. 

I remember leaving Shea and heading to the Meadowlands as that year I had the Sunday Plan and Giants season tickets. Note, I was unmarried with no children back then. Initially, I was less than enthused going to the Giants game. The Giants started the year a very unimpressive 0-2. Furthermore, the Giants were playing the Eagles. I knew I was going to have to hear it from Eagles fans who the Phillies beat the Mets and how the Mets choked. I was stewing on my drive from Queens to Jersey. The rage just kept building and building. 

As I entered the lot, I slipped off my David Wright jersey, which I never wore again, and I slipped on my Shaun O’Hara jersey. With some heckling from the lowlife Eagles fans, I was ready for the game. What ensued was the most cathartic three hours of my life. Not only did the Giants win, they pummeled the Eagles. Osi Umenyiora had six sacks. The Giants set an NFL single game sack record with 12 in total. It was a joy to see all those Eagles fans quiet and leaving early. It was a magical night that let me get some sleep that night. 

Actually, it was a magical season. As we know, the Giants would win Super Bowl XLII that year. They upset the undefeated Patriots in what would go down as one of the greatest Super Bowls, if not the greatest Super Bowl, ever. It was made possible by Tom Coughlin. 

Going into 2007, Coughlin was on the hot seat. In response, he became more open and accessible to his players. He formed the Leadership Council. Generally speaking, he found a way to be a coach that demands discipline while at the same time allowing his players to have a voice. You know what happened?  Everyone was able to get on the same page. It allowed him just to be a great football coach, which he was. Coughlin was once seen as an impediment to winning a Super Bowl. He now was a reason why they could and did win one. 

In 2007, things changed, and the Giants became champions. They won with the quarterback he developed. They won as a team. It’s because Coughlin changed. No, he didn’t change as a person. He was always a good person. Now, he showed that side to his team. They loved him for it. Looking at everything today, they still love him.

The fans do as well. He was the coach that developed Eli Manning. He was the coach that led the Giants to two Super Bowl wins. Both runs were improbable and thrilling. I loved both titles. However, I’ll always cherish Super Bowl XLII a little more. The Mets fan in me thought I was going to see a championship season in 2007. At that time, I just didn’t realize the season was going to carry into 2008. Trust me, it was worth the wait. 

Through all these years, this Mets fan has kept sane because I was also a Giants fan, at least the Giants won championships. Tom Coughlin has a lot to do with that having earned three rings with the Giants. As a fan, I will always be grateful he coached my team. I’ll always be grateful he brought class and dignity to an organization renown for class and dignity. While I’m curious as to what’s next, I do admit some trepidation. 

Your team is always worse when it loses a Hall of Famer. It’s even worse off when it loses a human being the caliber of Tom Coughlin. Whatever he does next, I wish him the best of luck. 

Thank you for everything Tom Coughlin. 

Leave Murray Chass Alone

We all have that uncle. He’s annoying and self righteous. He’s bombastic and knows more than you. He doesn’t like new things. So what happens is when he’s confronted with new ideas, he comes an angry old man, who may not always make sense. 

That was Murray Chase again. It’s the same person who created the rumors that Mike Piazza used steroids. He did it on his blog, and not the New York Times. The reason?  Well, presumably, the Times won’t let anyone published an unfounded rumor. To him, backne means steroids regardless of his lack of citing any medical proof. 

I digress. Reading the column, I thought the only thing fair was him going after Dan Szymborski (I seriously apologize if this is misspelled). I’m not saying his criticisms are fair or even cogent. I’m just saying it was fair to attack him because in the past Murray Chass was attacked by Dan Szymborski. However, there were two things that struck me on these attacks.  First, there was a time a Spink Award Winner would’ve ignored such attacks because responding in kind is to put that person on your level. Second, Murray Chass isn’t attacking Dan Szymborski. He’s attacking everyone who disagrees with him. 

He has a problem that things are changing. Frankly, times have already left him behind (pun somewhat intended). People disagree with him, and they now have a forum to voice that opinion. In fact, the Dan Syzmborski’s of the world have a greater platform than he does. It’s not just that people disagree with Murray Chass. No, it’s that the world is changing, and it’s not consulting with people like him. He has years of experience we don’t. We have new ideas and theories we just can’t prove because he doesn’t understand them. 

Admittedly, I read his column (I’ll respect him not calling it a blog), and I was going to take issue. Specifically, I was going to address why he could vote for Jack Morris based upon one game, one incredible game that’s in the pantheon of the greatest games of all time, but not voting for Curt Schilling and his more dominant postseason career. I stopped when I saw this:

I stopped when reading that. I remembered talking to my uncle. I know deep down he wants to hoot and holler about how things are different, and how we doesn’t like it. Admittedly, it would amuse me at times. Now that I’m older, when we broach the topics that get him angry, I decide to move on to a new topic. There’s no point anymore. He has nothing new to say about those topics. He’s not going to listen to anything I have to say. What’s the point? 

My uncle just wants to be heard. He wants to feel like he’s part of the conversation. He wants to know he’s not being ignored. That’s Murray Chass, and his actions. He wants you to know what he thinks. He’s telling you how it is and/or should be. It’s why he may or may not get his Hall of Fame ballot in time. It’s tertiary to everything.  He wants to be heard. 

Honestly, I’d rather Chass talked about things he’s seen, rather than judging others based upon what he’s seen. The man is in the Baseball Hall of Fame for his fine reporting. He was one of the few, according to him, that truly covered baseball’s labor strife throughout the years. Chass has been a champion of Marvin Miller’s inclusion into the Hall of Fame. Chass is correct in his assertions about the impact Miller had on the game. 

Overall, that’s what I want to hear from Murray Chass. There are great stories he had told and can re-tell. He has genuine, singular knowledge of baseball’s labor history. Chass should be included in baseball discussions frequently as, yes, he knows a lot more than we do. It doesn’t mean he’s always right. It doesn’t mean he won’t go on an eye rolling rant. It just means the man has value. 

I honestly wish I could nudge Murray Chass in that direction as I do my uncle at the dinner table during holidays. I hope someone can. I’d love to read Chass again and feel informed. I don’t like reading his columns and feeling sad for him. He and his readers deserve better than that. 

Keith Coming Back Isn’t a Foregone Conclusion

Perhaps, the Mets biggest free agent remains unsigned. No, not Yoenis Cespedes. I’m of course referring to Keith Hernandez. As Adam Rubin reported, Keith remains unsigned.  Most people expect him to return. I wouldn’t be shocked if he didn’t. 

We know this isn’t the first time it was rumored that Keith was leaving SNY. There was his infamous 2009 sign-off where he hinted he may not return.  As we know, Keith returned, and he has been a part of the Gary, Keith, and Ron (GKR) booth ever since. So, why is this time any different?  

For starters, we had the Bobby Ojeda situation last year. Every Mets fan seemed to enjoy his work. I believe that was because Ojeda didn’t mince words. He called it as he saw it. Mets fans appreciated it regardless of whether we agreed with him or not. Unsurprisingly, it was reported the issue was money. Ojeda was replaced with Nelson Figueroa, who was presumably cheaper and definitively less critical. 

We don’t currently know what the reason why Keith’s deal hasn’t been completed. We also know this isn’t the first time this offseason it was rumored the GKR booth was breaking up. There were the rumors Ron Darling may be poached by NESN to call Red Sox games. It turns out there was nothing to the rumors as Ron never had any conversations with NESN. I still question how those rumors arose. 

What we do know is the Mets have been penny pinching this offseason. Instead of $12.5 million a year for Daniel Murphy, it’s around $9 million for Neil Walker. Instead of $9 million for Jon Niese, it’s $7.25 million for Bartolo Colon. Free agent Tyler Clippard earned $8.3 million last year, but the Mets did bring back Jerry Blevins for $4 million. Then there’s every Mets fans’ favorite, Cespedes was paid $10.5 million last year, and he remains unsigned (he seems to want double that). In his stead is the $5.75 million Alejandro De Aza. The total savings of those moves is $14.3 million. 

Sure, I didn’t include the $8.25 million to Asdrubal Cabrera. That would reduce savings to $6.05 million. However, I also didn’t include the retirement of Michael Cuddyer, which took $12.5 million off the books. In total, that’s $18.55 million in savings. The Mets have increased revenues and attendance, and yet, they’re still cutting corners. Put aside your feelings on the wisdom of these moves, it’s fair to say the Mets saved money in each mechanation. 

With that in mind, why should we feel the Wilpons will act differently with SNY?  They already did it with Ojeda. Is Keith really immune to cost cutting measures?  I’d argue no, and admittedly fans are partially to blame.

Be honest with yourself. If Keith is gone, will you stop watching Mets games in 2016? Of course not. You’re watching them to see if they can go back to the World Series. As we all know, there is higher attendance figures and higher ratings when a team is good. The Mets could hire Joe Buck and Bobby Bonilla to call the games, and you’d still watch. It may be on mute, but you’d still watch. 

That’s the reason I wouldn’t be surprised if Keith wasn’t re-signed. The Mets are good again. SNY doesn’t need GKR to help drive ratings. They have a good team to do that.  With all that said, I still believe Keith will be back next year. 

However, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he wasn’t. 

Would You Miss the World Series?

Happy New Year!  When I think of New Year’s now, I think of college. It’s probably because even the most responsible of adults revert back to their college behavior in celebrating the new year. 

Speaking of college, I went to school with a lot of Buffalo fans. My roommate was a huge Bills and Sabres fan. As a Giants fan, I used to set his VCR around Super Bowl time to record Super Bowl XXV highlights. He got me back in 2000. Between 2000 and the Sabres losing the Stanley Cup on a garbage no-call, we were convinced we would never see our teams win a championship. I was waiting since 1986 for the Mets, and Buffalo has never win anything. 

One night, my roommate and I had a discussion. After the way the Mets lost the 2015 World Series and the Mets less than spectacular offseason, I thought it was time to bring it up here. What would you be willing to do for the Mets to win the World Series?  We didn’t talk about absurd things like giving up our first born or losing a limb. We talked about the one thing that would give even the biggest of fans pause. 

Would you be willing to miss each and every game of a season, including the postseason, if it meant the Mets would win the World Series?  No watching games on tape delay. No listening to games on the radio. No following the games on the Internet or Twitter updates. None of that. You can only find out about the games after they’re over by reading what happened in a newspaper or on some website. Also, don’t be smart, you wo t get the benefit of laying a bet down in Vegas. 

Would you be willing to do it?  There are times I thought I might. However, at the end of the day, I love baseball too. I would miss the games too much.  Part of my joy is seeing it happen. Part of what makes it all great is that tension you feel followed by the rush that follows after a big hit or out.  I wouldn’t miss out on any of that even if it meant I would never see a World Series in my lifetime. I’m still not sure if that makes me a better or worse fan. I’m not sure it matters. 

However, I am curious. Who would be willing to miss it all?  

2015 Year in Review

Back in July, I began this blog at the suggestion of my wife. It was her idea to create a site not only to talk about the Mets, but also to discuss how our son is becoming a Mets fan. My wife has been and continues to be my biggest supporter. I couldn’t do this site, or really anything, without her. 

At the core of this site is my son becoming more and more of a Mets fan. It began with him screaming and cheering “Duda!” in response to Gary Cohen Spring Training call for a Lucas Duda RBI double. From that point forward, our evening ritual was my son and I watching the Mets games together until he fell asleep. 

I used that time to tell him what was happening and about all the players. I’d say he learned a thing or two:

  
  
    

Whether, it was because of his “Mets Daddy” or just his own watching the Mets games, his favorite player became Daniel Murphy. I think it is a reason why he likes hitting lefty:
  

    
 
There’s no convincing him to hit righty. He wants to hit homeruns like Murphy. We were all enamored with Murphy during October, sorry, Murphtober. My son was enamored with him long before that. He was a fan during the season. He was a Mets fan. In fact, he became a bigger Mets fan than even I knew. 

After agonizing over the decision, I left my son home during Game 3 of the World Series. It was tough, but I was thrilled to go with my Dad and brother:

 

While I was at the game, my son told my wife to turn on the game. Here was his reaction when Curtis Granderson hit a go-ahead homer:

 

My Dad shows this video to everyone. At my cousin’s wedding, he played that for each and every relative. I don’t blame him. I’m still amazed by it. Even though I was to there when it happened, it’ll be one of the things I take away from this season. It shows me, he is a big Mets fan, and he is understanding the game. I love that. 

Below are some images of some of my favorite moments with him at Citi Field:

   
    
    
    
    
 
   
    
 

As 2015 draws to a close, I have to say it was a good year.  I’m married to a woman who still hasn’t figured out she’s too good for me. I have a brilliant son, who makes me proud each and everyday.  As you can also see he’s a good looking kid (he turned two recently -it’s kid, not baby now, right). He clearly gets his looks from his mother.  I’m thankful each and everyday I’m with them. 

I’m also thankful for my parents. This includes my Dad, who made me a Mets fan, and my mother, who doesn’t get nearly as many mentions on the blog as she should. Luckily, they’re in goodish health right now. I’m thankful for my brother, who’s always been by my side whether it was a Mets game, my Best Man, or my son’s “Mets Godfather.”  I keep telling him to create that site. 

I appreciate all of my readers, especially my cousins. 

Lastly, I wanted to take time to acknowledge those who provided assistance along the way, a retweet, or a link my to site. If I omitted anyone, I’m truly sorry as my phone is acting up, and there are many to thank.  With that said, I wanted to acknowledge the following:

  1. The Oh Murph guys Harry & Keith
  2. Joe D., Michael Mayer, and the Mets Mezmerized crew
  3. Keith Law
  4. Mark Simon
  5. Greg Prince and his standard bearer Faith and Fear in Flushing
  6. Justin Weiss
  7. Danny and all involved at Rising Apple podcast
  8. Studious Mets 
  9. Sons of Sam Horn
  10. Again all of my readers including George and TP Survey

Everyone have a happy, healthy, and safe New Years, and remember . . . 

LETS GO METS!