Noah Syndergaard

Mets Pitchers Are The Opposite of Stephen Strasburg

Yesterday, it was announced that with the Nationals season on the line, Stephen Strasburg was not going to take the ball in Game 4.  There were a number of reasons cited for him missing the start on normal rest from his being off his routine, his being sick, and his not feeling prepared to pitch.

It is astonishing that Strasburg isn’t taking the ball in this spot.  It was his opportunity to exercise the demons of 2012 when he was shut down on the eve of the postseason because he hit his innings limit.  It was his opportunity to help save his team’s season when arguably he was the best pitcher suited to it.

The optics of the moment certainly aren’t good.  That goes double when you consider an injured Max Scherzer is chomping at the bit to get into the game to help his team get to the NLCS.   On top of that, Scherzer will only be on just one day of rest.

Again, Strasburg looks bad here.

Now, there is the caveat that Strasburg could really be that sick, or the team could be concealing some type of injury.  Time and again, we have all been given lessons why we shouldn’t question an athlete when they say they can’t go.  The most tragic of those circumstances was J.R. Richard.  People questioned Richard and derided him, and so Richard pitched.  That is until Richard suffered a stroke.

Still, even with the lessons we have learned with Richard, we all question Strasburg because there is a history here.  Seeing what is happening with Strasburg, Mets fans should appreciate their pitchers all the more.

Back in 2015, with the same agent and predicament as Strasburg, Matt Harvey took the ball.  He won a pivotal Game 3 in the NLDS.  He set the tone in the NLCS with a dominating Game 1.  He came so close to forcing a Game 6 with a brilliant Game 5 performance.  Ironically, one of the lasting images of that postseason was Harvey demanding the ball.

It’s something we have seen with this entire Mets staff.  Noah Syndergaard refused an MRI and instead insisting on pitching against the Nationals.  Jacob deGrom ignored the pain as long as he could until he had to have season ending surgery.  Steven Matz has done nothing but pitch through pain and injury in his Mets career.

Each one of these Mets pitchers demand the ball even when they should have taken a step back and done what was best for their careers.   Who is to say the Mets pitchers are right and Strasburg is wrong.  Players only have a limited time to play professional baseball and by extension to earn money.  With each injury, their earning power goes down.  Strasburg, who took the time off, received a seven year $175 million contract extension.  There were at least discussions whether Harvey would be non-tendered.

So, maybe Strasburg is in the right here for doing what is best for him physically.  However, while that may be true, it could go a long way in explaining why he’s never been out of the NLDS.  It’s why he may never experience the glory we have seen Harvey experience in the postseason.

Reason For Mets Fans To Root For A Yankees – Nationals World Series

You’d be hard pressed to find a Mets fan who’d even contemplate a Yankees-Nationals World Series. After a horrible season, certainly one of the five most disappointing in Mets history, a Yankees-Nationals World Series is about the last thing Mets fans need.

Or is it?

The Mets entered the 2017 season with a $155 million payroll, which was ranked twelfth in the majors. That number was a bit deceptive as it included David Wright‘ insured contract. After the 75% reimbursement for Wright’s contract, the Mets Opening Day payroll was $140 million. That would’ve bumped them down to 15th.

Really, a Mets team who had designs on winning a World Series had a middle tier payroll. A Mets team located in the largest media market in the world was middle of the pack in spending.

That’s fine if the Mets were well constructed, but as we knew at the time, they weren’t.

Now, with the Mets facing even bigger holes this offseason, the Mets are planning to . . . wait for it . . . cut payroll. Instead of the $155 (or $140) million mark, the Mets plan to cut payroll by $135 million. They’re doing this despite having even more holes to address this offseason.

The Mets need a second baseman, third baseman, and a rebuilt bullpen. They should also consider adding a fifth starter, center fielder, backup catcher, and a capable bench. How the Mets can do all of this with less money is anyone’s guess.

Based on how the Mets have been run during the Sandy Alderson era, it seems as if the bullpen and bench will be the two poorest constructed areas. The Mets have been able to address both in the past by making in-season trades. Those trades have helped deplete the farm system.

Overall, if the Mets are going to return to being World Series contenders, they’ll have to spend. That’s hard to do unless Sandy is given more money this offseason.

That brings us back to the original Yankees-Nationals World Series point.

As much as Mets fans do not want to see it, the Wilpons want to see it even less. Remember Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports noted the Mets were “not eager” to trade Jay BruceLucas Duda, or really anyone to the Yankees.  They didn’t want to have those players being the Mets.  More than that, they don’t want to see the Yankees in the spotlight.

Likely, they don’t want to see Daniel Murphy leading the Nationals to the World Series.  With everything Murphy has done since leaving the Mets, he makes the Mets look worse and worse.  Seeing Murphy having a third straight terrific postseason may be too much for this franchise to bear.  That goes double when you consider the Mets have a gaping hole at second base – one that could have been filled by Murphy if the Mets weren’t so eager to get rid of him.

If the Yankees and Nationals make the World Series, it would just rub salt in the Mets wounds.  On the American League side, you have a team the Mets cannot bear to see successful.  On the National League side, you have the Mets biggest competition in the division going to the World Series led by a former fan favorite.  That’s a lot for an image conscious ownership group to bear.

Who knows?  If that happens, maybe it will spurn the Mets to action.  We could actually see the Mets open up their pocketbooks to address the needs of this team.  Adding some players to a solid foundation of Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Yoenis Cespedes, and Michael Conforto could very well propel this team back to where they were in 2015.

Then again, maybe the Mets don’t spend the money they need to fix this team.  If they’re not going to spend the money, then they deserve the indignity of seeing the Nationals and Yankees in the World Series.  They deserve to get their own personal worst case scenario.  The hope for Mets fans is it will be too much for them to bear that they will finally do something about it.

Former Mets In The Postseason

When determining which team to root for this postseason, the general rule of thumb is to root against the Mets rivals.  With the Mets making a number of trades this season, you could also root for teams according to their Mets connections:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

East – Boston Red Sox

Assistant Pitching Coach – Brian Bannister (2006)

Bannister made the Mets out if Spring Training in 2006. His tenure was short lived as he injured his hamstring, and Omar Minaya rebuilt the rotation in-season pushing a healthy Bannister out. He’d be moved that offseason in an ill-fated trade for Ambiorix Burgos.

RHP Blaine Boyer (2011)

Boyer pitched just five games for the Mets before leaving via free agency. He would not pitch in the majors again until 2014.

RHP Addison Reed (2015 – 2017)

Acquired on the eve of September, Reed quickly became an important seventh inning reliever on the Mets pennant winning team. He was even better the next season helping pitch the Mets back to the postseason. With Jeurys Familia‘s suspension and injury, Reed became an effective closer before being traded for a trio of Red Sox relief prospects at the trade deadline.

OF Chris Young (2014)

After a few down years, the Mets took a one year gamble on Young. He struggled all year, and he was released with the Mets eight games under .500 and 10.5 games back in the division. Since that time, Young has been a much more effective player.

Central – Cleveland Indians

First Base Coach Sandy Alomar, Jr. (2007 – 2009)

Alomar ended his playing career playing eight games with the Mets in 2007.  He would then begin his coaching career with the Mets serving two years as a special catching instructor.

RF Jay Bruce (2016-2017)

Bruce went from bust who struggled mightily after being acquired at the trade deadline last year to fan favorite this year. Fortunately for the Indians, Bruce wouldn’t repeat his struggles helping propel the Indians to 102 wins.

RHP Joe Smith (2007 – 2008)

Smith went straight from being a third round draft pick in 2006 to being a very good reliever for the Mets in two seasons.  Ironically, he moved as part the three team J.J. Putz trade intended to improve the Mets bullpen.

West – Houston Astros

DH Carlos Beltran (2005 – 2011)

Seeing him in the postseason again will certainly evoke memories of Adam Wainwright, but he was so much more than that in a Mets uniform.  Beltran was the best center fielder in Mets history and perhaps their best outfielder ever.

Juan Ceteno (2013 – 2014)

Ceteno is a strong defensive catcher who played just 14 games over two years before he was claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Bench Coach Alex Cora (2009 – 2010)

Cora joined the Mets in the hopes of being an important utility player on a playoff caliber team.  Unfortunately, injuries and a ballpark ill-suited for the talents of the players on the roster brought that run to an end.

Hitting Coach Dave Hudgens (2011 – 2014)

Hudgens was the Mets hitting coach who was entrusted with helping the Mets adapt to a new ballpark.  While he was much embattled in the position, Mets offensive highlights during his tenure included Ike Davis hitting 30 homers and the last great season from David Wright.

Pitching Coach Brent Strom (1972)

Strom was the Mets 1970 first round draft pick.  He appeared in just one season with the team going 0-3 with a 6.82 ERA and a 1.615 WHIP.

Third Base Coach Gary Pettis (2003 – 2004)

Pettis served as the first base and outfield coach during the Art Howe Era.

Wild Card – New York Yankees

RHP Luis Cessa

Cessa was the other pitching prospect the Mets sent to the Tigers in the Yoenis Cespedes trade.

Wild Card – Minnesota Twins

Pitching Coach Neil Allen (1979 – 1983)

While Allen had a noteworthy Mets career of his own, he will forever be known as one of the two players traded by the Mets in exchange for Keith Hernandez.

RHP Bartolo Colon (2014 – 2016)

“Big Sexy” became a fan favorite and a mentor to the young pitchers in the clubhouse.  There are a number of highlights you can choose from his Mets career, but the one that keeps coming to mind was the unbelievable home run he hit in San Diego last year.

RHP Dillon Gee (2010 – 2015)

Gee is an example of a pitcher who has gotten everything out of his ability.  He has been resilient overcoming a number of injuries in his career with his career highlight possibly being his named the Mets 2014 Opening Day starter.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

East – Washington Nationals

OF Alejandro De Aza (2016)

De Aza had an interesting year with the Mets.  He was terrible to begin the year, and he then had a great July helping propel the Mets second half run to the Wild Card.

Pitching Coach Mike Maddux (1993 – 1994)

Maddux pitched two years for the Mets pitching to a 4.16 ERA as a reliever before departing via free agency.

2B Daniel Murphy (2008 – 2015)

Somehow Murphy has become one of the most divisive players among the Mets fanbase.  Many still fondly remember his for his time witht he Mets, especially his incredible NLDS and NLCS propelling the Mets to the pennant.  Others see a player who annihilates the Mets since leaving the team.

LHP Oliver Perez (2006 – 2010)

Believe it or not, there was a time where Perez was beloved for his Game 7 performance and his start the final game of the 2008 season.  He then fell off a cliff upon receiving a huge contract.  Things got so bad, he refused a minor league assignment, and his last appearance as a Met would be the team throwing him into the 14th inning on the last game of the season just to get the game over with.

Central – Cubs

Quality Control Coach Henry Blanco (2010)

“Hank White” was brought on as a defensive back-up, and he excelled in the role throwing out 50% of base stealers.

C Rene Rivera (2016 – 2017)

Rivera was a defensive specialist who helped Noah Syndergaard overcome his issues holding on base runners.  It was more than Syndergaard, Rivera served as a mentor for young starters Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman who helped pitch the Mets to the Wild Card.

West – Dodgers

Bench Coach Bob Geren (2012 – 2015)

Geren served as the bench coach for the Mets serving as a mentor for the Mets catchers.  Since his departure, we have seen Mets catchers regress in their pitch framing, and we have certainly seen Travis d’Arnaud regress in nearly every aspect of his game.

OF Curtis Granderson (2014 – 2017)

Granderson is one of the finest men to ever put on a Mets uniform.  He also came up biggest when the Mets needed him most.  Granderson kept the Mets afloat in 2015, and if not for some blown leads, he was in line to be the MVP of that series.  His big outburst to end the 2016 season helped lead the Mets back to the postseason.

3B Justin Turner (2010 – 2013)

Turner was an effective utility player in his years with the Mets who was really non-tendered because he was arbitration eligible.  Turner would find himself a home in Los Angeles where he has become a terrific player.

Third Base Coach Chris Woodward (2005 – 2006)

Woodward was a valuable utility player for the Mets for two seasons having the second best season of his entire career in 2005.

Wild Card – Diamondbacks

RHP Matt Koch (2012 – 2015)

Koch was one of the two minor league pitchers traded by the Mets for Addison Reed.  While Koch is on the 40 man roster, it is not expected he will be on the postseason roster.

Wild Card – Rockies

None

Based on the sheer volume of Mets affiliations, it would appear Mets fans would be pulling for the Astros in the American League and either the Nationals or Dodgers in the National League.  Considering the presence of Chase Utley on the Dodgers and the recent rivalry with the Nationals, most Mets fans will understandably choose rooting interests for different reasons all together.

 

Thanks For The Memories Terry Collins

Before the last game of the season, Terry Collins told us all what we were expecting.  He will not be returning as Mets manager.  While unnecessary, he was magnanimous in announcing he was stepping aside and taking himself out of consideration for the managerial position with his contract expiring.  The Mets rewarded him with how he’s handled himself in his seven years as manager and over these trying three days with a front office position.

In essence, Collins’ tenure with the Mets ended much in the way it started.  The Mets were bad and injured.  It was a circus around the team, and he was the face in front of the media left holding the bag.  What we saw in all of those moments was Collins was human, which is something we don’t always see in managers.

Part of being human is being emotional.  We’ve seen Collins run the gamut of emotions in those postgame press conferences.  And yes, we’ve seen him cry.  Perhaps none more so than when he had that gut wrenching decision to keep Johan Santana in the game and let him chase immortality.  In his most prescient moment as a manger, Collins knew he could’ve effectively ended a great players’ career, and yet, he couldn’t just sit there and rob his player of his glory.  In the end, that would be the defining characteristic in Collins’ tenure as manager.

He let Jose Reyes bunt for a single and take himself out of a game to claim the Mets first ever batting title.  He left Santana in for that no-hitter.  He initially let David Wright try to set his own schedule for when he could play until Wright all but forced Collins to be the adult.  Through and through, he would stick by and defer to his players, including but not limited to sending Matt Harvey to pitch the ninth.

Until the very end, Collins had an undying belief in his players, especially his veteran players.  It would be the source of much consternation among fans.  This was on more highlighted than his usage of Michael Conforto.  What was truly bizarre about Collins’ handling of Conforto wasn’t his not playing one of his most talented players, it was Collins had a penchant for developing players when he was interested.

In fact, that 2015 Mets team was full of players Collins developed.  You can give credit to Dan Warthen, but Collins deserves credit for helping that staff develop.  Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Jeurys Familia all developed into dominating pitchers under Collins guidance.

But it wasn’t just the heralded pitchers.  It may have taken some time, but Collins developed some other less heralded prospects into good Major League players.  Collins helped make Jon Niese, Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, Juan Lagares, and Wilmer Flores into significant contributors to a pennant winner.  It wasn’t just those players.  Collins seemingly brought out the best in all of his players.

With the exception of Murphy, you’d be hard-pressed to find a player who performed better after leaving the Mets.  Ruben Tejada, Eric Young, Ike Davis, Josh Thole, R.A. Dickey, and Marlon Byrd regressed after leaving the Mets.  Really, you can pick you player, and the chances are those players were not the same after playing for a different manager.

Because of his managing, Mets fans saw things they never thought they’d see.  A knuckleball pitcher won 20 games and a Cy Young.  A Mets player won a batting title.  There was actually a Mets no-hitter.  Despite the Madoff scandal, the Mets got back to a World Series.

Through all of our collective hand wringing over his managing, we have all tended to lose sight of that.  Collins got the best out of his players.  It’s why we saw the rise of that team in a dream like 2015 season, and it’s why the Mets fought back so fiercely in 2016 to make consecutive postseasons.

And in those moments, Collins celebrated with his team . . . and the fans.  More than anyone who has ever been a part of the Mets, Collins treated the fans with respect.  He returned their affection.  That was no more apparent than that improbable run in 2015:

It was more than the celebrating.  Collins was there to console grieving widows and take time out for sick children who just had heart transplants.  At his core, Collins is a good and decent man.  It may be that part of his personality which allowed him to get the most out of his players. It helps you overlook some of his shortcomings.

Certainly, Collins has left behind many reliever careers in his wake.  Names like Tim Byrdak and Scott Rice are just footnotes in Mets history, and that is because Collins over used his relievers.  This was just one aspect of his poor managing.  There were many times where he left you scratching your head.  It was his managing that helped cost the Mets the 2015 World Series.

However, as noted, the Mets would not have gotten there if not for Collins.  To that end, we all owe him a bit of gratitude for that magical season.  We owe him gratitude and respect for how he has treated the fans.

He did that more than anyone too because he ends his career as the longest tenured manager in Mets history.  When he was hired no one expected him to last that long.  Yet, it happened, and despite all of his faults, the Mets were better off for his tenure.  In the end, I respected him as a man, and I appreciated what he did for this franchise.

I wish him the best of luck, and I’ll miss him.  My hope is that whoever replaces him is able to capture the best of the man.  Those are certainly huge shoes that are not easily filled.  Mostly, I hope he’s at peace at what was a good run with the Mets, and I wish him the best of luck in his new role.

Mets Final Game An Allegory For The Season

Even though the Mets were well out of it, and there was literally nothing to play for in that final game of the season, there was some buzz to the final game of the season.  The reason why was Noah Syndergaard got the start.  He was great:

Syndergaard lasted just two innings striking out two while allowing no hits.  He would then leave the game.  This wasn’t his April 30th start against the Nationals.  No, this was planned.  Still, like this season once Syndergaard departed the pitchers who followed weren’t up to par, and the Mets chances of winning took a real hit.

Specifically, Chris Flexen and Rafael Montero imploded.  Flexen allowed five runs on six hits in just 1.1 innings.  Things would have been worse for him, but Kevin McGowan bailed him out striking out the final two batters of the inning.

It was then Montero’s turn to implode in the eighth with him allowing five runs on two hits and hit walks.  The low light was a Nick Williams inside-the-park homer.

In many ways, it was quite fitting the worst ERA in team history was clinched on an inside-the-park homer in a bandbox like Citizen’s Bank Park.

Those 11 Phillies runs would go unchallenged as the Mets could only muster two hits on the day.  One of them was by Gavin Cecchini, who was the only Mets player who had a decent day at the plate going 1-3 with a walk.  In many ways, that is a fitting end to the season.  Cecchini, a guy the Mets never gave much of a chance, performed well while the Mets favored players didn’t.

Like all of us, Terry Collins was ready for it all to end, and he just wanted to get out of there:

Game Notes: In what could be the last game of his career as a Met, Jose Reyes did not enter the game.

Mets Win Meaningless Long Extra Inning Game 

You just knew the Mets and Phillies would have an extra inning game in the final series of the season. This is the epitome of a meaningless series, so you knew at least one of these games would get dragged out. That was tonight’s game. 

Due to Jacob deGrom‘s gastroenteritis, Seth Lugo was pressed into duty a game earlier than anticipated. 

In what was his last appearance of the season, Lugo lasted four innings allowing two runs on six hits. While he left the game on the short side, the Mets rallied to take the lead after he departed. 

The big hit was a Brandon Nimmo two run triple in the fifth giving the Mets a 3-2 lead:

The ball Nimmo hit normally would’ve gone out. That goes double when you consider it is Citizens Bank Park. It would be one of two caught in the wind for Nimmo. The Mets certainly could’ve used those runs too even with Asdrubal Cabrera hitting an RBI double in the top of the seventh giving the Mets a 4-2 lead. 

The Mets needed the extra run because in his second inning of work, Paul Sewald imploded issuing three consecutive one out walks to load the bases. 

After an Aaron Altherr sacrifice fly and a Rhys Hoskins RBI single, that game was tied, and it would be tied into extras.

Phillies reliever Adam Morgan would play the role of Oliver Perez in this game allowing a three run homer to Cabrera. 

Jeurys Familia came on and earned the save preserving the Mets 7-4 win. The win gave the Mets their 70th of the season. The Mets have not had a season under 70 wins since 2003. 
Game Notes: On the day before the Mets were supposed to have a bullpen game with Noah Syndergaard scheduled to pitch an inning tomorrow, the Mets used eight relievers. 

One Positive Aspect Of The Mets Season

The one thing we never got to see with Generation K was Jason Isringhausen, Bill Pulsipher, and Paul Wilson in the same rotation.  In fact, we have never seen them all in the same pitching staff.  That never happened because of all the injuries they suffered.  Then we saw Isringhausen and Wilson traded in successive years to help the Mets chances of winning a World Series instead of them pitching the Mets to the World Series.

Whatever you want to call the group of Mets young starters (most seemed to like the Five Aces), they never appeared in the same rotation.  The closest we got was seeing Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz in the same rotation in 2015.  Coincidentally, that was also the year the Mets went to the World Series on the strength of their pitching.

The reason Zack Wheeler was not a part of that group that went to the postseason was because he suffered an injury in Spring Training.  In fact, Wheeler would be gone for two years rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.  For a moment, it seemed as fait accompli the group would never pitch in the same rotation because Wheeler was almost traded to the Brewers with Wilmer Flores for Carlos Gomez.  In fact, if not for Gomez’s hip, the dream would have died there.

Still to this day, we have never seen the five in the same rotation.  However, we have seen them all pitch in the same season in the rotation.  It may not seem like much, but it’s something.  It’s also a step closer to seeing them all in the same rotation.  It may finally happen next year.

Matz should be ready for Opening Day after the surgery to repair his ulnar nerve.  This was the same surgery deGrom had last season, and he was able to last the entire season injury free.  Both Harvey and Syndergaard were able to return and pitch before the season was over.  Like in 2015 and 2016, the only question is Wheeler.

In the end, the Mets are a step closer to having all five of their proverbial aces in the rotation.  At a minimum, they are a step closer to seeing them all on the same pitching staff.  If it does happen, one of the open wounds Mets fans have suffered will close a bit.  Howeve,r that wound will not fully heal until we see this group pitch the Mets to a World Series title.

Mets Can’t Get deGrom Number 16

Yesterday, the Mets sold us own Noah Syndergaard making his first start since April followed by a “relief appearance” by Matt Harvey.  T0day, the selling point was to see Jacob deGrom try to get t0 200 innings for the first time in his career and to see him get his 16th win of the year.

While the Mets largely disappointed, deGrom didn’t.  Despite experiencing flu like symptoms, not too long after Amed Rosario had to be hospitalized, deGrom took the mound and gave his team every chance to win.  However, deGrom would not get that win.

Part it was his giving up a two run homer to Trea Turner turning a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 deficit.  Another part was his teammates really let him down today.  To that end, it was not much different than most deGrom starts this year.

Things were really bad in the fifth.  Michael Taylor led off the inning with an infield single to third that Phillip Evans couldn’t quite make a play on.  Taylor then attempted a steal of second base, and he found himself on third after Travis d’Arnaud threw the ball into center field.  A Jose Lobaton RBI single later, and the Nationals had an insurmountable 3-1 lead.

It was insurmountable because the Nationals had Max Scherzer going.  As such deGrom’s final line of six innings, five hits, three runs, two earned, no walks, and 11 strikeouts wouldn’t be good enough for that win. 

Really, after a Brandon Nimmo first inning home run, the Mets offense couldn’t get anything going. More than that, this offense was inept. This was apparent in the seventh when Victor Robles caught a Rosario liner in right and picked Evans off first. 

The play helped kill what could have been a game tying rally. That play was even more magnified in the eighth. 

With three straight singles, the Mets pulled within 3-2 with one out. 

After a Nimmo strikeout and a d’Arnaud walk, the bases were loaded for Dominic Smith. It was a big moment for a big Mets prospect. The only problem is the Mets manager is still Terry Collins, a manager who has shown zero interest in developing these young Mets players. 

When Dusty Baker brought in the left-handed Sammy Solis to fave him. In terms of developing Smith, you couldn’t as for a better situation. Instead, Collins went with Kevin Plawecki

Plawecki got ahead 3-1 in the count, but Solis would get back in the count and strike him out. 

That ended the Mets last chance to beat the Nationals. Not just today, but the season. 

Game Notes: Nimmo has struck out in 14 straight games. 

When There’s No Baseball To Enjoy, Enjoy Citi Field

Since Citi Field opened, I’ve been to a countless number of games. It’s fewer than the games I’ve attended at Shea, but still I’ve attended many games at Citi. Tonight, I made the conscious decision to enjoy the park.

Honestly, I made that decision based for two different reasons. The first was the lineup was Nori AokiJose ReyesAsdrubal Cabrera. Once again, that lineup signals the Mets have completely lost focus on their primary objective, which is to develop and find out about their young players. 

The second was when I entered Citi Field with my son, and he was interviewed by SNY:


From, there it was the usual pre-game routine with him. First, it was the baseball:


Then, it was a visit with Mr. & Mrs. Met


After that, I made it to the starts because I wasn’t going to miss Noah Syndergaard‘s first “start” off the Disabled List. 

It was a glorious return with him hitting 99 MPH on the gun while facing the minimum. Once Daniel Murphy grounded into an inning ending 6-4-3 double play, Syndergaard’s night was over. 

He looked great, and he left the game without issue. It was certainly a highlight.

 From there, the Mets went to Matt Harvey. It was Harvey’s first career relief appearance even if he was really the scheduled starter. 

In Harvey’s first inning of work, he looked like the Harvey of old. The velocity was there. The slider was moving. It was great to watch, but knowing how he’s pitched this year, I knew it was fleeting, so it was time to re-embark and walk around the ballpark starting with the dunk tank 


Going across the Shea Bridge, right above the Home Run Apple’s old location, I spotted something new 

Of course, that made him want a snack, so we continued our tour around the ballpark. 

Before grabbing his snack, we settled on popcorn in a helmet. 


By the way, I’ve found the helmets with the popcorn and nachos to be the best bang for the buck. They’re full of 

After watching a few innings, we ventured back out because he wanted an Amed Rosario shirsey. Even though Yoenis Cespedes is his favorite player, he reminded me he already has a Cespedes shirt. Because I was swept up in the moment, and I had a coupon, I got swept up in the moment 

Rosario shirsey in tow, my son not only wanted to play baseball again, but he was feeling a bit cocky:


By the way, I really appreciate the giant screen in CF that lets parents run around with their kids and still watch the game. By far, this is the most underrated part of Citi Field. 

We were in our seats for the next few innings including the seventh inning stretch. With all the running around and with it being well past my son’s bedtime, he only made it through the ninth. 

He was drifting, and I thought it cruel to have him awoken by fireworks. As I entered the car, I did hear the fireworks start. Unfortunately, it was in the form of a Murphy 10 inning game winning off Jacob Rhame

Overall, I really appreciated going around the park with my son. Citi Field really is a great place to take a kid to a game. It would be even better with a better team or with an organization that cared about developing their young players in times like these. 

Mets Fans Have Been Watching An Eclipse All Season

Right around this time, the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun bringing darkness across the country . . . or as Mets fans like to call it, the perfect euphemism for the 2017 season.

We’ve seen Noah Syndergaard go down for the season, and we are not sure when Jeurys Familia can come back.  Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler were mishandled coming back from their injuries.  Steven Matz had another injury plagued year.  We never did get to see David Wright play this season, and we do not know if we will ever get to see him play again.

With the poor season the Mets are having, Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson, Rene Rivera, and Neil Walker have been moved and are now playing for teams with an actual shot at the postseason.  The moves didn’t bring back much, and there were rumors the Mets were more interested in salary relief than anything causing fans to go back to a dark place they resided at the inception of the Madoff scandal.

The thing is, the eclipse today will last just a brief time.  Sandy Alderson has an entire offseason to get to work.  If ownership lets him spend the money, and with a little help on the health front, the Mets dark period will last just for the 2017 season.  If it is business as usual, this isn’t an eclipse – we’re back to the Dark Ages.