Bobby Bonilla

An Examination of the Jose Reyes Signing

A woman is on the hotel bed before her husband pulls her off the bed. He proceeds to push her. When that isn’t enough, he grabs her around the throat and throws her into a sliding glass door leading out to a balcony. There’s an ensuing crash that stirs security.

The husband and wife are separated by security. The wife requests a medic to come to the hotel to treat injuries to her left leg and scratches to her throat – the same throat her attacker grabbed before throwing her into a glass door. When medics arrive to treat, it’s agreed she should get further treatment at the hospital.  During the time period she is separated from her husband, the wife cooperates with the police and gives them sufficient information to file a police report and have the District Attorney’s Office proceed with pressing charges against the husband.

The prosecution is ready to go to trial. However, the trial never happens. The victim wife refuses to cooperate.  The husband now is a free man. If you didn’t know it by know, that’s what we know happened with Jose Reyes and his wife.

Yes, there are various people saying there could have been any number of things that could have happened in the room that have gone unreported.  That is undeniably true.  You could say there was alcohol or that she was antagonizing him verbally or that she had the audacity to fight back causing Reyes to escalate the violence.  There are a number of scenarios you could conjure up to make the October 31, 2015 incident between Reyes and his wife seem better or worse depending on your point of view.  No matter what you think might have or could have transpired, we don’t know anything different from Reyes’ wife’s account as no one has presented anything contradicting her statements to the police.  Even if you have a doubt in your mind as to everything that transpired, Reyes still hit his wife, and that is inexcusable.

To say the Rockies thought so as well when they released him is not being completely honest.  The Rockies’ shortstop of the future, Trevor Story, has played well enough that they don’t need Reyes.  There is no way you’re considering Reyes at third when you have Nolan Arenado.  Same goes for second with DJ LeMahieu.  It was easy for them to take a principled stand when they had no room for a greatly diminished Reyes on the roster.  It’s a whole other matter when you actually have a need for Reyes as the Mets apparently think they do know when they signed him to presumably play third base.

WHY THE REUNION MAKES SENSE

As a pure baseball decision, a Mets-Reyes reunion makes sense.  He Reyes is flat out a better ballplayer than Eric Campbell and Ty Kelly.  Even with how well he’s played since his recent call-up, it’s hard to fathom that Matt Reynolds is a better baseball player than Reyes.  Maybe, just maybe, you could argue that he’s a better everyday option than Wilmer Flores despite having never played third base in the majors.  In that sense you can understand the signing.

Another reason for the reunion is because everyone remembers what Reyes used to be.  As a Met, he was a .292/.341/.441 hitter who averaged 11 triples and 41 stolen bases a year.  He was electric in the field and on the base paths.  He’s the Mets all-time leader in stolen bases and triples.  He’s the best shortstop in Mets history.  He was a beloved player, and many wish he never left the Mets in the first place.

However, as is apparent with that October 31, 2015 incident, Reyes is not who Mets fans think he is.

WHY REYES ISN’T A FIT FOR THE ROSTER

Since he left the Mets, Reyes has gotten progressively worse. Last year when the Blue Jays were chasing their first playoff berth since 1993, they moved Reyes, who had become a liability, for Troy Tulowitzki.  At that time, Reyes was only hitting .285/.322/.385 with no triples and only 16 stolen bases.  When he went to the Rockies, he complained about the trade and openly stated he wanted out.  He finished the year hitting .259/.291/.368 in Coors Field of all places.  He played a poor shortstop in both places.

Both Coors Field and the Rogers Centre are known as hitter’s parks, and last year Reyes didn’t hit much in either park.  Clearly, the Mets hope is that Reyes will be rejuvenated by becoming a Met again.  It’ll be interesting to see if it comes to be especially since Citi Field is decidedly less hitter friendly than either ballpark Reyes called home last year.  In the event Reyes doesn’t produce, the Mets will be left in a difficult situation as they may need to bench Reyes.  Seeing how he reacted in Colorado, it is fair to question how he would accept a benching.

Ultimately, you could understand the Mets rolling the dice on Reyes if the other options didn’t work.  However, the Mets haven’t tried everything.

Earlier in the year, the Mets passed on Ruben Tejada even though he was better than Reyes last year, has actually played third base, and did a good job as a utility player for the Mets last year.  The Mets still haven’t tried Dilson Herrera at second base this year like they had done in years past.  The Mets made this move before finding out if Yusilesky Gourriel could be a viable option for the team this year.  There are other options on the trade market as well.

However, the Mets decided to sign Reyes despite the fact that he may be a distraction (aside from any perceived clubhouse issues that arose in Colorado).  The Mets will have to address the domestic violence issues upon officially signing Reyes.  They may have to do it more frequently than that.  There may be various advocacy groups who seek to have protests or other efforts to denounce the Mets and Reyes.  It’s the type of situation the Mets tried to separate themselves from back in 2010.

THE K-ROD INCIDENT

In 2010, it was alleged Francisco Rodriguez unleashed a verbal tirade against his girlfriend.  When her father sought to intervene, K-Rod proceeded to punch him.  He continued to punch him and bang the man’s head against a wall.  The Mets initially put K-Rod on the restricted list for two days.  When it was discovered K-Rod injured his thumb in the altercation, the Mets put K-Rod on the disqualified list and withheld the remaining $3.1 million from his 2010 salary.  They further sought to make his contract non-guaranteed, but ultimately backed off that stance once K-Rod filed a grievance.

Unlike Reyes, the charges were not dropped against K-Rod.  In the offseason, he would plead guilty to the misdemeanor.  Part of his sentence was to undergo therapy.  Presumably, this therapy is similar in nature to the therapy Reyes is currently undergoing as part of his MLB suspension.

It is worth mentioning that in 2012 K-Rod was arrested again for domestic violence.  In this incident, it was alleged that he struck his girlfriend in their home (different girlfriend than the one he had in 2010).  K-Rod would not stand trial for this incident as the alleged victim recanted her story that K-Rod caused her injuries, and the two key witnesses were flown back to Venezuela.

In that offseason, K-Rod would re-sign with the Milwaukee Brewers who cheered him after each and every strikeout and each and every scoreless appearance.  It was not too dissimilar to how the Mets fans cheered K-Rod in 2011 when he recorded 23 saves before being traded to the Brewers.

FAN RECEPTION

When Reyes ultimately steps back on the field, he is going to be cheered again by Mets fans.  He will be greeted with JOSE! chants.  This really shouldn’t come as any surprise.

Ultimately, fans want to cheer for players no matter how despicable they are.  Anyone who read the book, The Year the Bad Guys Won, knows about the various and sundry issues with the 1986 Mets.  There was Darryl Strawberry and his having fist fights with his wife.  There was Dwight Gooden‘s problem with drugs that go so bad he missed the championship parade because he was high at his dealer’s apartment in the projects.  Ron Darling, Tim Teufel, Bob Ojeda, and Rick Aguilera got into a bar fight in Houston where they assaulted bouncers who turned out to be off-duty police officers.  This is just a snippet of the problems with this team.  Still, these players are forever revered and will be cheered wherever they go now matter what happens.

They are cheered because they produce.  It’s the same way with this team.  Terry Collins is beloved by many.  However, many overlook his past drunk driving conviction.  Bartolo Colon can seemingly do no wrong except when it comes to using steroids and failing to pay child support.  There are Mets who have done far worse than either of these guys.  Some of these acts are know.  Others aren’t.  Still, fans cheer them for their performance on the field.  In that way, Mets fans are no different than other fans.  We have to look no further than the Yankee fans cheering Aroldis Chapman in his first game back from his own suspension.

WHAT FANS ARE ACTUALLY CHEERING

Still, when Mets fans are cheeering Reyes, they are cheering for a player that beat his wife to the point where she needed to go to the hospital.

Furthermore, most Mets fans, even those who didn’t want Reyes in the first place, still want the team to succeed.  Most will cheer him if he makes a big defensive play or gets a big base hit.  Mets fans cheered Bobby Bonilla when he got hits, and there may be no more reviled Met than him (NOTE: only comparing fan reception as Bonilla has never been charged with a crime).  You may not want Reyes on the team, but you want the Mets to succeed.  No matter where you fall on the spectrum of Reyes, that means you too want Reyes to succeed.

If all goes according to plan, Reyes will be an important part of the Mets, and he will help the Mets win the World Series.  If that is the case then in some sick, twisted way, you could say the best thing that happened to the 2016 Mets was the October 31, 2015 incident.

WHERE I STAND

Being completely honest, I’m going to root for the Mets whether or not Reyes actually plays for them this year.  Even if I won’t purchase any tickets directly from the Mets, I will still use the tickets in my possession.  When Reyes comes up to bat or makes an error, I’ll boo.  I’m not going to participate in any JOSE! chants.  When he gets a hit or makes a good defensive play, I’ll cheer.  It’s the same way I reacted to Bobby Bonilla, even if that is an unfair comparison.

For Reyes, I want him to be worth it.  I want him to do more than show he’s atoned. I want him to speak out on the matter (even if it’s complicated as the statute of limitations has not expired). I want him to show he’s a better person for having gone through this incident. Whether or not October 31, 2015 was an isolated incident, I want the physical altercations between him and his wife to cease. I want his family to be safe. 

On the field, I want the Mets to win the World Series this year no matter who is on the roster.  With that said, it will be a bit unsettling having Reyes be an important part of the equation.  I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that the Mets might be able to win a World Series because Reyes beat his wife.  Having Reyes contribute will take some of the joy out of winning – whether it be a game or a World Series.

 

 

 

 

 

Fixing the MLB All Star Voting

On Sunday April 24th, Major League Baseball opened the voting to select the All Star Game starters. It’s another sign that the system is broken. 

The concept of voting for your All Star Game starters is becoming antiquated, if it’s not antiquated already. The concept is that the fans get to vote for the players they want to see play in the game, but that’s not what it is, or what’s is become. Rather, the All Star Game voting has become an opportunity for a fanbase to stuff the ballot box to vote for their favorites. For example, in 2012, the San Francisco Giants fans stuffed the ballot box to make Pablo Sandoval the starting third baseman over the much more deserving David Wright

Giants fans enthusiasm was much higher than Mets fans at the time with the Giants having recently won a World Series and the Mets being nowhere near contention. It also helped that the Giants’ organization led a huge push to get Sandoval elected. If we’re being honest, it’s not supposed to work this way. We’re not supposed to see fan bases making huge pushes to get their players elected. Rather, the fans as a whole are supposed to select the players that are the most deserving and who they want to see. 

And yet, the Giants fans voting enmass for Sandoval fits into the spirit of the All Star Game. 

The reason it fits into the spirit is even in the “This One Counts” Era of the All Star Game, each team no matter how bad gets a representative. The classic example is Dmitri Young representing a horrendous Tigers team that went 43-119. If 2003 didn’t force a change, nothing will. 

The reason why it hasn’t changed is because the theory is your team having an All Star would generate your interest in watching the All Star Game. The belief is that you’ll tune-in to watch your guy play. Baseball wants to generate interest in the All Star Game, and whether it’s true or not, they believe this will generate fan interest in every city. In essence, Major Leagur Baseball loves when there is a concerted effort in a city to get the fans to vote for someone. It shows that fans care about their team and the All Star Game. The hope is that this translates to more viewers. 

Now, if you want to generate as much fan interest as possible, you would want to try to ensure the fans actually get to see the players from their team they would actually want to see play. 

For example, in two of his first four seasons with the Mets, Bobby Bonilla was the lone Mets All Star. This is the same player who was wearing earplugs so he couldn’t hear the fans booing him. There were no Mets fans in 1993 or 1995 watching just so they could see Bonilla enter the game. It wasn’t happening. As a result, in these circumstances, you defeat the purpose of the every team represented premise. 

No, if your goal is to get the fans from a particular team to watch, you should pick out an All Star that they would actually want to watch play in the game. Better yet, why not let each team’s fans pick their All Star?  

Instead of voting for the starters, let everyone vote for the one player from each team they would like to see play in the All Star Game.  For the Dodgers, is there any question that player should be Clayton Kershaw?  It’s possible Red Sox fans would like the opportunity to have David Ortiz go out as an All Star. If you’re a fan of a team like the Phillies, wouldn’t you want to see how your young hurler Vincent Velasquez pitches against the big boys?  

This is also an opportunity the players themselves to market the biggest and brightest stars. Players can ask for people to vote for them and create their own hashtags. Jose Bautista could promise to do another epic bat flip if he’s selected as the Blue Jay’s representative. Maybe a slugger or two can make a reciprocal promise that if chosen they will participle in the Homerun Derby. This could be a chance for players to interact with the fans, let their personalities shine, and make themselves more marketable. Isn’t this exactly what baseball wants?  

Also, you can eliminate something inane that has taken place in baseball. You could vote for a starter at every position, but you can’t vote for a pitcher. Doesn’t make sense. Kershaw could be the best pitcher in the game. He’s the pitcher most fans would pay to see pitch, but no, you as a fan cannot voice how much you want to see him pitch. Selecting one player from every roster ends that. 

Another bonus is fans get to select more players to the game. Instead of electing 17, they get to pick 30. That’s 30 instead of 17 races to keep an eye on. Fans can get more involved. Throughout social media different factions of fanbase a can argue for their player and try to organize voting for that player. 

Now, there are some inherent dangers in allowing fans to pick more players. The selection of say Freddie Freeman for the Braves could block a more deserving first baseman from getting selected. However, that is also a risk inherent in having each team have a representative. 

The next hazard is there being too many players at each position. In some strange years, you may get three DH for the American League, which would create some potential roster issues. However, would that be any worse than Joe Torre going with five shortstops and one second baseman to the 2002 All Star Game?  Furthermore, having a surplus at one position may force the best players to stay in the game longer, which would also be beneficial for the fans. 

Overall, if you want to avoid the issue of having too many players at one position hampering the ability to field a team, expand the All Star Game rosters.  It also wouldn’t hurt having an extra player or two to avoid another Milwaukee situation. 

Now, there may be some people that would want to select the game’s starting lineups. There is no reason why that has to go away.  You can replace voting for the last player to make the team with voting for which All Star gets to be in the starting lineup. 

This would give an opportunity for fans to make a push to have their player start the game. Teams can launch their social media campaigns to have their players start the All Star Game. Then in an effort to increase ratings, baseball shouldn’t release the results of the fan vote until the players are introduced at the All Star Game. While we can debate the merits of whether or not more people would watch to see if Daniel Murphy or Neil Walker is the starting second baseman, we should be able to agree more would tune in to watch that than seeing the last All Star on each roster take the field. 

One logistical note. This is a time when voting for a pitcher to start the game doesn’t make sense. Pitchers who pitched recently are unavailable to pitch in the game. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to permit fans to vote for Kershaw only to have him miss the game.  Hopefully, this issue is alleviated by the fact that baseball and Dodger fans had the opportunity to vote for him to play in the game during the initial vote. 

Overall, implementing these two ideas would create more fan involvement and interest. It would actually let the fans of each team get to see the player they would want to see play in the game. Hopefully, at the end of the day, this will lead to bigger ratings. 

Be Concerned about Cespedes, but Don’t Boo Him

Well, that happened quickly. I think Mets fans took longer to boo Bobby Bonilla and Jason Bay than they have Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes has gone from a conquering hero to getting booed within just four regular season games. 

Part of this is created by the fans’ unrealistic expectations. Cespedes came to the Mets last year, and he hit .287/.337/.604 with 17 homeruns and 44 RBI in just 57 games. Everytime he stepped to the plate last year, you expected magic. Whether Mets fans admit it or not, they’re expecting [or desperately hoping] for more of the same this year. It’s just not going to happen. Cespedes is a career .270/.319/.484 hitter. Prior to 2015, he averaged 24 homeruns and 81 RBI. He’s a career .234/.298/.477 hitter at Citi Field. 

What Mets fans saw last year was not the real Cespedes. To hold him to that standard is unfair and unrealistic. Similarly, Cespedes’ struggles so far this season is also not the real Cespedes. 

There is no doubt Cespedes has had a rough start to the season. On his first play of the season, he dropped an easy out giving Mets fans flashbacks to the inside-the-park homerun created by his lacksadasical play. At the plate, he has not been good, and at times, he has appeared overmatched. So far, he is 2-16 with seven strikeouts. With all that said, Mets fans have an awfully short leash if they’re starting to boo him. 

Yes, it is too soon to boo him. However, it is not too soon to be concerned. 

Last year, Cespedes removed himself from Game Four of the NLCS with an aggravated AC joint. With the shoulder injury, Cespedes would hit .150/.143/.150 with son extra base hits and six strikeouts in what was for him a forgettable World Series. 

During Spring Training, Cespedes felt a twinge in the same shoulder. Additionally, he dealt with a sore hip. These two issues caused Cespedes to only miss one game. However, Cespedes was dealing with some injuries that could affect his ability to make solid contact. In fact, he’s one of a few players in baseball who have yet to have one hard hit ball this season. 

Another issue that could be affecting Cespedes is his approach at the plate. Hitting Coach Kevin Long worked with Cespedes to focus on driving the ball up the middle and the other way rather than pulling the ball as ferociously as he did with the Mets last year. At times this year, Cespedes has looked lost or crossed up at the plate. 

So no, it is not time to boo Cespedes. It is way too soon in the season. However, with his injuries and changing approach at the plate, it’s not too soon to get nervous about Cespedes. 

Editor’s Note: this was first published on metsmerizedonline.com

Cespedes is Piazza 2.0

When Mike Piazza first came to the Mets, he was treated as the rock star he was. With him finally came the dreams of postseason berths and World Series titles. 

Then something bizarre happened. He struggled, and he was booed. I still don’t understand it, but it happened. Piazza was incredible when he came to the Mets. With the Mets floundering, Piazza took his play to another level carrying the Mets ever so close to the Wild Card. With the treatment he received, Piazza had every reason to walk, but he didn’t he stayed. He wanted to be a superstar in the biggest market. 

This is why he’s the perfect person to give advice to Yoenis Cespedes

Cespedes came to the Mets, and he was a rock star. His coming to the Mets coincided with them taking control of the NL East. Unlike Piazza, Cespedes never received the boos. To that extent, he was a bit lucky. After Cespedes was hit on the hand, his play declined. He went from Babe Ruth to Mario Mendoza. In the final 18 games of the 2015 season, he only hit .220/.288/.373 with one homerun and four RBI. However, the NL East was sown up. He wasn’t going to receive boos. 

The closest anyone would come was in the World Series. He missed player introductions before Game Three. After an uneven postseason, he fell apart in the World Series. He misplayed Alcides Escobar‘s flyball into an inside-the-park homerun. He hit .150/.143/.150 with six strikeouts in the series. Perhaps it was the shoulder injury. Maybe it was the moment. 

No one would boo. Fans don’t boo you in the postseason unless you’re Bobby Bonilla. However, his play was poor enough that fans were initially ready to let Cespedes walk. 

However, with an initially less than optimal offseason, Mets fans wanted Cespedes back. He wanted to come back too. All of what drove Mets fans crazy has been forgotten. Fans are re-embracing him. They love the cars. They love his little quirks. It’s a second honeymoon. That doesn’t mean that the fans won’t boo him this upcoming season. 

Cespedes is notoriously streaky. As far as fans are concerned, he’s the face of the team. One long cold streak coinciding with a struggling Mets team could bring out the boo birds instead of the parakeets. It’s exactly what Piazza had to deal with 18 years ago. It’s the reason why Cespedes and Piazza need to talk. 

Piazza can walk him through what it means to be a superstar in New York.  He can tell him how to deal with the booing. He can share how the fans lifted him up when he needed it. He knows the ins and outs of being the a superstar on the Mets. That’s what Cespedes is now. 

Fortunately, Cespedes has a Hall of Famer he can lean on to prepare for it. 

Piazza Getting Elected is Important to Mets Fans

With one bold move, the Mets completely transformed their team with the acquistion of Mike Piazza. While he was not immediately adored (he was replacing the injured fan favorite Todd Hundley), he became a beloved Met.

To understand the Piazza adoration, you first have to understand what was happening. Honestly, I think things were worse in 1998 than they were now. The Mets were in year 10 of a rebuild from the glorious 80’s teams. That involved every player Mets fans loved leaving the team. The first step in the rebuild was The Worst Team Money Could Buy. This started some depressing baseball. 

After that was the Vince Coleman firecracker incident. There was also the Bret Saberhagen bleach incident. The fans took everything out on Bobby Bonilla, who would wear earplugs to drown out the booing. It’s hard to see a team lose without trying. It’s worse to see a team try and be incompetent in doing so.This all set the Mets back years. Throw in the 1994 season ending strike, and you had the nadir of Mets baseball in my lifetime. 

Nope, it wasn’t quite the nadir yet.  The rebuild for the 90’s Mets was based on the same theory as the current Mets. It was based upon pitching. The problem is it didn’t work in the 90’s. The Mets entrusted Generation K to Dallas Green. All of the arms burned out. They were all injured under his watch. The Mets switched to Steve Phillips and Bobby Valentine, and things started getting better. It’s hard to imagine it, but 88 wins felt like the Mets had actually won something. 

Part of the reason is the Mets acquired Mike Piazza. He came to the Mets in 1998 and he hit .348/.417/.607 with 23 homers and 76 RBI in 109 games. He did what Mets fans thought Yoenis Cespedes did in 2015. He carried the team for almost a whole season. He transformed the team. The Mets had no choice but to bring him back. 

In 1999, he became the second Met to hit 40 home runs in a season. He led the team to the playoffs (even if they needed a play-in game to get there). He hit a homerun in the 1999 NLCS that I seriously thought was going to help propel the Mets to win Game 6 and complete the then impossible:

In 2000, he again led the Mets to the postseason. For much of that year, he was considered an MVP candidate. Unfortunately, the Mets lost as Piazza’s ball didn’t carry far enough. It was a shame because Piazza was the reason Mets fans had pride. He was the reason the Mets fans believed they could win it all. He was the reason the Mets could step toe to toe with the Yankees. 

They did. There were some epic games between the two teams back when the Subway Series mattered. Everyone remembers the Matt Franco single, but they forget the two Piazza bombs in that game:

Did you see where that ball went?  How epic was that bat flip?  He was a dangerous and feared hitter. It’s why Roger Clemens went after him not once but twice. But getting back to the home runs, it was one of several huge home runs he hit for the Mets. Do you remember the homerun he hit against the Braves capping off a huge comeback:

I remember being there that night. It was insane.  That homerun sums up his tenure with the Mets perfectly. Even against teams like the seemingly unbeatable Braves and Yankees, the Mets always had a chance no matter how bleak the odds were. Seeing those highlights made me a little emotional. That reminds me of this moment:

To me, that’s still the greatest homerun ever hit. If you didn’t forever love and respect Piazza before that night, you did now. It’s part of the reason why after he left Mets fans still cheered him. I know I returned in 2006 for his first game back.  It was important for me to cheer the man that meant so much to Mets fans:

I remember the constant standing ovations and cheering his name. I just wish I was there for the next night when he got a curtain call:

Seriously, how many visiting players get a curtain call?  This moment shows how much Piazza means to Mets fans. We loved him. It seems he loved us back.  He came back to close out Shea and open up Citi Field. He is now the guy who throws out the first pitch at World Series games

Whether it’s today or in the future, Mike Piazza will be a Hall of Famer. He deserves it. Mets fans deserve it. It’s important to a of us. We want to see him recognized for all he did for the Mets and all Mets fans. My favorite Mets teams were the ones with Mike Piazza. He’s my favorite Met. He’s my favorite player. 

It’s important to me and all Mets fans he gets elected to the Hall of Fame. 

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.