Tom Seaver

Revisiting 2022 Bold Mets Predictions

Before the season, there were 60 bold predictions made heading into the New York Mets 60th season. Here is a look back at how those bold predictions worked out:

1. The New York Mets will win the 2022 World Series.

While they won 101 games, they collapsed late in the season, and they would lose in three games to the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card round.

2.  Howie Rose will retire after the season. The Mets have already tabbed their replacement in Jake Eisenberg, and Rose could not pass up the opportunity to go out calling a Mets World Series victory.

Fortunately, Howie has not announced his retirement.

3.  Rose will return in some limited fashion to SNY and will be a fill-in replacement in 2023 and beyond.

See above.

4. Francisco Lindor will be the NL MVP. Like Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran, he’s going to have a huge second year. Unlike them, he wont’ be denied the award.

Lindor did have a huge second year, but a broken finger cost him any chance of winning the award.

5.  Dominic Smith will force his way into the lineup. Yes, he’s battling with J.D. Davis and Robinson Cano for the DH spot, but like he did in 2019 and 2020, he’s going to force his way into the everyday lineup and not relinquish his spot.

As it turned out, Smith was not given a real shot to be the DH. Not only did he not force his way into the lineup, but he was demoted to Triple-A, and he was not called up even with the expanded rosters. He was non-tendered after the season.

6.  Edwin Diaz will be an All-Star. Diaz has been an every other year pitcher in his career, and following that pattern, this is his year.

Diaz was an All-Star.

7.  The Mets All-Stars this season will be Diaz, Lindor, and Max Scherzer.

Diaz was the only All-Star from this group. The other Mets All-Stars were Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, and Jeff McNeil.

8.  Jacob deGrom will receive some Cy Young votes. Whenever he comes back, he’s going to be deGrom, and he’s going to be so great, he’s going to appear on ballots.

It started that way, but deGrom wasn’t quite as sharp when he returned. He did not receive any votes.

9.  Jeff McNeil will finish the season as the left fielder. That is an injury prone outfield, and McNeil will eventually be forced to move out there.

As it turned out, he finished the season as the right fielder, but he moved back to second when Marte returned from injury for the postseason.

10.  Robinson Cano will reclaim a starting job. We forget that when Cano played he was actually good in the field. If the outfield is as injury prone as we think, we will eventually play almost every day at second or DH.

Wow, this one was way off the mark and couldn’t have been more wrong.

11.  Chris Bassitt will have a slow first month frustrating fans, but he will have a terrific stretch starting in the middle of May as he adjusts to working with the new catchers and Jeremy Hefner.

It was the opposite for Bassitt. He was strong all season until the very end.

12.  Starling Marte is going to have a fast start and quickly become a fan favorite. When he’s snubbed at All-Star time, fans are going to be livid.

Marte was a fan favortite, and Mets fans would not let him be snubbed with their voting him in as a starter.

13. Mark Vientos will have a thrilling MLB debut. Vientos’ bat is arguably Major League ready, and he’s going to get some run during some point of the season as a third baseman or DH. He may not relinquish a spot.

For whatever which reason, the Mets were reluctant all year to give him a shot. After the Darin Ruf trade disaster, he finally got a shot in a pennant race and was less then thrilling.

14. Brett Baty will be moved at the trade deadline. With the emergence of Vientos and the ground ball problems, the Mets feel comfortable moving him for that big piece at the trade deadline.

Baty was not moved, and he would be called up to be the team’s everyday third baseman until his own season ending injury.

15. The Mets everyday catcher is not on the Opening Day roster. At some point, the Mets will swing a deal or call up Francisco Alvarez to take over as the everyday catcher.

With his ankle injury, Álvarez was only called up to DH late in the season. Tomas Nido did supplant James McCann as the starter.

16. The Philadelphia Phillies will be the Mets main contenders. Last year, the Atlanta Braves were dead in the water until the Mets were too injured. The Mets won’t do that again this year, and the Phillies pitching and hitters will give people more of a run than we think.

Well, the Phillies won the pennant, so this was only true to that extent. However, the Mets missed their every chance to bury the Braves and would eventually collapse.

17. The Atlanta Braves will not challenge the Mets at all for the division. They’ll really miss Freddie Freeman, the bullpen will falter, and they will not get Ronald Acuna Jr. back in time.

This was very true in June. It was not true at all after that.

18. Tylor Megill will last the entire season in the rotation. Now that he’s here, it is going to be difficult to remove him from the rotation. If need be, the Mets will go to a six man rotation to keep him in the majors.

Megill had a good run as a starter until he was injured. He returned late in the season and moved to the bullpen. He is likely in the mix for the rotation next season.

19. Carlos Carrasco will rebound and will pitch like he did with Cleveland, but he will not make more than 20 starts.

Shockingly, not only did Carrasco rebound, but he also made 29 starts.

20. Trevor Williams will become a huge part of the Mets bullpen as he becomes more of a fastball/slider pitcher.

Williams was a vital part of this team all season.

21. Steve Cohen will purchase SNY during the course as the 2022 season as the Wilpons are scared off by the increasing rights deals with streamers.

This did not happen.

22. The Mets will have multiple Gold Glove winners with Lindor and Marte.

The Mets did not have any winners with only Nido being a finalist. In terms of the voting, there were multiple Mets who were snubbed despite excellent defensive numbers.

23. Hefner will get interviews for managerial positions with other teams after this season.

His name has not surfaced as a managerial candidate.

24. So will Eric Chavez.

Neither has him.

25. The Mets will not have any player at DH for more than 40 games this season.

This was very close to being true. J.D. Davis was a DH in 41 games before the team mercifully got rid of him. After the trade deadline, Daniel Vogelbach was the DH in 46 games.

26. J.D. Davis will make multiple relief appearances for the Mets this season.

He did not.

27. The Joely Rodriguez trade will work out as well as the Alex Torres trade did for the Mets.

While Rodriguez had his moments, he had an 87 ERA+ making his largely true.

28. None of the Mets outfielders will play over 135 games this season.

To our collective surprise, Brandon Nimmo played a career high 151 games. Mark Canha would play 140.

29. Fans will fall in love with Nick Plummer and get more frustrated by Khalil Lee.

For a one week stretch, when Plummer hit that ninth inning homer against the Phillies, Mets fans did fall in love with him before he stopped hitting as a part time DH. No Mets fan paid any attention to Lee.

30. Mark Canha will play more games than any other Mets outfielder, but he will have the lowest WAR out of all the regular outfielders.

Canha played fewer games than Nimmo, but he did have the lowest WAR among outfielders.

31. There will be an issue over Marcus Stroman not receiving a video tribute when the Chicago Cubs visit the Mets in September.

There wasn’t any issues with Stroman during the season, and he did not pitch against the Mets this year.

32. Old Timers’ Day will have one team wearing the 1986 Mets jerseys and the other team wearing the black jerseys.

That did not happen.

33. Carlos Beltran will not return to Citi Field for Old Timers’ Day. We also will not see Carlos Delgado.

Sadly, this was true.

34. The loudest ovation on Old Timers’ Day will go to Piazza. The second loudest will go to Nolan Ryan, who will be a surprise attendee.

It was difficult to ascertain who got the loudest ovation which was a great thing.

35. The defensive highlight of the season will come from Luis Guillorme.

This award probably goes to McNeil for robbing the Oneil Cruz homer, but Guillorme had more than his fair share of highlights.

36. Pete Alonso will take a step back defensively, and he will see more time at DH than initially expected.

Alonso took a big step back defensively, but the Mets hesitated to give him more time at DH even to give him rest late in the season.

37. A week or two into the season, we will hear some rumblings about Michael Conforto looking to return to the Mets. He won’t return, and likely, he will not sign with anyone until after the Major League draft.

There were some rumblings about Conforto, but he wasn’t tied with the Mets. He also did not sign with any team.

38. Some team will crack the frequency on the pitch calling device, and we will eventually know it is them because they will be the surprise team of the 2022 season. It won’t be the Mets.

We heard nothing on that front, but we should give this one time.

39. Mets fans will actually enjoy the Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts this season.

Nope, we didn’t, and it didn’t help that David Cone was saying Mets fans would complain about them not being GKR.

40. Showalter will be the 2022 NL Manager of the Year, and it might be unanimous.

Whether or not it was the right call, Showalter won, and it was close to being unanimous.

41. Seth Lugo will return to his dominant form, but he will only be a one inning reliever. The multiple inning role will be assumed by Williams.

This one was actually true.

42. The Tom Seaver statue will be perfect.

This one should’ve been true. However, Paul Lukas of Uniwatch found the flaw.

43. Drew Smith will take over the eighth inning and will be groomed as the next closer. He will not take over the eighth due to any fault of Trevor May who will have another good year.

Smith was well on his way until injury. May did not have a great year, but that was mostly due to injury. It should be noted he stepped up late in the season and in the postseason.

44. People will talk about how Scherzer isn’t what they thought he’d be and the contract was a mistake. Those people will be idiots.

With Scherzer dealing with an oblique injury and faltering against the Braves and Padres, this ultimately proved true.

45. The Mets are going to have a monster second half with them running away with the division.

The Mets did have a monster second half until they faltered against the weakest September schedule. Truth is they should have run away with the division.

46. With the Toronto Blue Jays winning the division, the Mets are going to make a push to get their unvaccinated players vaccinated to ensure their availability for the World Series.

The Blue Jays made the postseason. With them and the Mets losing in the Wild Card round, this was not remotely an issue.

47. Jeurys Familia will receive a tribute video when he returns to Citi Field, and there will be a mix of cheers and boos with probably more boos.

It was a chilly reception.

48. The Wild Card round will be a complete dud and fans will be clamoring for the return of the winner-take-all Wild Card Game.

So far, fans seems to be unhappy with the postseason changes.

49. We will see David Peterson bounced around between starting and relieving due to the injury issues with the Mets starting staff. He will struggle for it.

Peterson did quite well even if he had some struggles, and he stayed in the rotation for the most part.

50. The Mets will not need to add bullpen pieces at the deadline because we will see pitchers like Colin Holderman and Thomas Szapucki emerge as quality relief options at the Major League level.

Holderman emerged as a quality relief option, but he would be traded for Vogelbach. Szapucki was moved to the bullpen with Syracuse with an eye towards using him in that role. He too would be traded for a platoon DH option (Ruf). The Mets only added Mychael Givens at the deadline while espousing they liked what they had.

51. James McCann will have very similar production to what he had in 2021, and in short order, he will find himself in a catching rotation with Tomas Nido.

This proved true with Nido finally taking over full duties at the very end of the season.

52. No New York baseball player will sign an in-season extension. That includes deGrom and Nimmo, and it also includes Aaron Judge.

True, but Diaz was signed before the start of free agency.

53. There will be no negative articles written about Showalter this season even during a time in the season where the Mets slump (as even the best teams in baseball always do).

True even as his team collapsed.

54. Taijuan Walker will make the fewest starts of anyone in the Mets pitching rotation.

Walker tied for the second most starts. deGrom would actually make the fewest starts.

55. The Mets will have a no-hitter this season, but it will not be from a starting pitcher going all nine innings.

On April 29, the Co-No happened.

56. This will be the last Major League season with nine inning double headers. We will see the return of seven inning double headers in 2023.

This likely will not happen.

57. The Mets will announce their next Hall of Fame class, and it will include Al Leiter and Johan Santana.

There was no such announcment, but there was the announcement of Willie Mays and Keith Hernandez having their numbers retired.

58. Mets fans will not care about the Apple TV game, but they will be absolutely livid about the game on Peacock. Of course, MLB will not care one iota about the blowback.

MLB did not care about the lack of quality with the games, and honestly, while there were complaints, Mets fans didn’t complain nearly as much about the streaming games as you’d anticipate.

59. Showalter is going to get Guillorme in a lot of games for late inning defense.

It actually proved to be more than just that. Showalter got Guillorme into the lineup due to his glove.

60. To reiterate, the Mets will win the World Series, and they will not have to wait another three decades for their next World Series.

To reiterate, I’m an idiot, and I’ll probably make the same prediction next year.

Jacob deGrom Should Be Lock To Return To Mets

The minute Jacob deGrom exercised his opt out was the exact minute anything could happen. At some point, a team could unexpectedly swoop in and offer him a deal to steal him right out from under the New York Mets.

Case-in-point: no one expected the Los Angeles Angels to sign Noah Syndergaard after the Mets offered him a qualifying offer. However, it happened, and Syndergaard is gone. There are some who expect the same will happen with deGrom.

There are some who expect him to go to the Texas Rangers. There are some believing the San Diego Padres may be suitors. You can never count out the Los Angeles Dodgers or Boston Red Sox. There are reports the Atlanta Braves want to make a run (this doesn’t pass the smell test after they let Freddie Freeman go for less than deGrom will cost).

When you look around, there aren’t many people who expect deGrom to return to the Mets. Well, that is except for the people who know deGrom best. We have heard Chris Bassitt, Syndergaard, and Zack Wheeler say they expect deGrom to say. They say he’s happy with the Mets and only wants a fair market deal.

When deGrom signed his initial extension, he spoke about how he wanted to be a Met for life like his friend David Wright. We have heard exactly nothing that would have us believe deGrom has changed his mind on that. Really, all we have is conjecture from people that they believe deGrom might go.

If it comes down to money, well, the Mets have Steve Cohen.

Cohen was the same man who gave Francisco Lindor $1 million more than Fernando Tatis Jr. to get him to sign a contract extension. He have Edwin Diaz the largest ever deal for a reliever to get him to stay. He handed out the largest average annual value to Max Scherzer to get him to come to the Mets. Now, all of a sudden, he’s going to let deGrom walk over money?

If Cohen has shown us anything, he’s not going to necessarily let money stand in the way. He knows great players need to get paid, and that great players deserve more than their “value.” Mostly, Cohen understands deGrom is Mets royalty, and Cohen respects Mets history.

Cohen brought back Old Timers’ Day. Keith Hernandez and Willie Mays had their numbers retired. Former players like Ray Knight talk about how they loved the Mets, hated, the Wilpons, and now, feel more welcomed to return to the ballpark.

Cohen was also a Mets fan when Tom Seaver was traded. While not on the same level, deGrom is this generation’s Seaver. Arguably, deGrom is the second greatest Met of all-time. He could be their next Hall of Famer (depending on what happens with Carlos Beltran), and he could have his number retired by the Mets one day.

Does Cohen want to be the owner who let deGrom leave over money? Does he want to see deGrom leave on his watch? The answers should likely be no.

Another thing here is Cohen has cited the Los Angeles Dodgers as the model he wants to follow. Well, time and again, even with the injuries, the Dodgers have found a way to keep Clayton Kershaw, even with all of his injuries.

The Dodgers have understood for true franchise greats and Hall of Famers the typical rules don’t apply. You take care of those players because they’re a part of the fabric of your organization. Another important factor is when the Dodgers deal with Kershaw the entire baseball world is watching.

It’s the same with the Mets. Everyone wants to see how the Mets handle their first homegrown future Hall of Famer to hit free agency.

How he’s treated impacts whether other players want to play for the Mets or stay with the team. It’ll impact agents handling extensions. Again, there is a real impact.

Through all of it, we’re left with the simple fact Jacob deGrom wants to be a Met for life, and Steve Cohen has the ability to make it happen. If this is all truly the case, there are no excuses for not getting a deal done.

Jacob deGrom Catching Up To Tom Seaver

With certain franchises, the top player will always be the top player. Their legend and accolades just reaches that level.

The New York Yankees have Babe Ruth. The Boston Red Sox have Ted Williams. The Braves have Hank Aaron. The San Diego Padres have Tony Gwynn.

Then again, there’s the St. Louis Cardinals. They had Stan Musial, but then Albert Pujols comes along. The answer is still Musial, but with what Pujols accomplished, it’s now more of a conversation. It seems Jacob deGrom is becoming the Pujols to Tom Seaver’s Musial.

In his second start off the IL, deGrom flirted with a perfect game. Over the first 5 2/3 innings, he was absolutely perfect striking out 12 of the 17 batters he faced. The Braves had no chance against him, and really, the only thing that stopped him was stamina as he’s working his way back to full strength.

This would be the 200th start of deGrom’s career. He recorded his 1,523rd strikeout of his career. That is the most strikeouts any pitcher has had over their first 200 career starts. Yes, that includes Nolan Ryan, the all-time leader.

This is emblematic of how deGrom has dominated like none before him. In 146 starts, he’s allowed two or fewer runs. In 106 starts, over half of his career starts, he’s allowed one or fewer. Each and every time he takes the mound, he absolutely dominates the opposition.

His 157 career ERA+ is the best in Major League history for all starters. In baseball history, he trails only Negro League Hall of Famers Bullet Rogan and Bill Foster. This arguably makes him the best and most dominant pitcher in Major League history.

Looking to the Mets, deGrom currently holds a number of records. He holds the record in ERA (2.50), WHIP (1.007),. K/9 (10.8), K/BB (5.1), FIP (2.63), and ERA+. Looking at that, by some measures, deGrom has actually been better than Seaver. That’s remarkable in and of itself.

That said, there are records Seaver has that deGrom will never touch. That includes wins, innings, complete games, and shutouts. Seaver has some other attainable records like the three Cy Youngs.

That’s the thing. Seaver is the greatest Mets who has ever worn the uniform. There’s a reason he was the first player to have his number retired and there is a statute of him as you enter Citi Field. No one can and will ever be better.

That said, by some measures deGrom has actually been better, and his career isn’t over. There are things he can do that Seaver never did. Maybe deGrom wins multiple World Series. Maybe he has another Cy Young or two in him. Who knows?

All we do know is deGrom has done things Seaver never did, and he actually holds some Mets pitching records over Seaver. He’ll never quite catch Seaver, but he has increasingly put himself in the conversation. Just how much more he puts himself in the conversation remains to be seen.

 

Mets Neon Moment Of The Week: The Co-No

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It took the New York Mets 50 years to throw their first no-hitter. When Johan Santana did it, no one ever expected the Mets would ever do it. After all, Tom Seaver had come too close, and the franchise seemed cursed after trading away Nolan Ryan.

In many ways, we never quite expected the Mets doing it again. After all, Jacob deGrom has never really come all that close to it, and he has just about the most unhittable stuff there is. in some ways, there is irony that the no-hitter came from deGrom’s spot in the rotation.

Tylor Megill was dominant over five innings, but with his pitch count already at 88 pitches, he left Buck Showalter with no choice but to lift his young starter. Part of the reason there were no hits was a great diving play made by Brandon Nimmo. Little did we know at the time that it would be THE PLAY like we see with all no-hitters.

Showalter then went to his second best (or even best) reliever in Drew Smith. Smith went 1.1 innings before getting relieved by Joely Rodriguez. After Rodriguez got Alec Bohm to hit into an inning ending double play, the moment became all the more real despite their only being one Mets pitcher on the day who would have a clue the Mets actually had a no-hitter going.

That includes Seth Lugo who relieved Rodriguez after he issued a walk. Lugo would prove to pitch the least of the group with his 0.2 innings serving as a bridge to Edwin Diaz for this most important appearance of his career.

This was easily the best Diaz and his slider ever looked. He would face three terrific hitters in Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, and J.T. Realmuto, and they would have absolutely no chance against him. With all three striking out, the Mets would have the second no-hitter in team history. It was a moment none of us saw coming (well, almost none of us), and it is a moment that will forever last in Mets history.

As an aside, it happened in the black jerseys. Many of the absolute best moments in Mets history have happened in those jerseys. The most famous was Robin Ventura‘s Grand Slam Single, but we have many more with this being one of the top moments in franchise history.

With this Mets franchise pitching a no-hitter for just the second time in team history, this is obviously the Mets Neon Moment of the Week!

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Mets No-Hitter Mattered

Baseball is different today than it was 20 or even five years ago. There was a time barring real injury risk a pitcher was never pulled with a no-hitter.

Now, there’s a premium put on pitcher health and the longevity of their career. Teams are looking to protect their investments.

That’s why Tylor Megill gets pulled after 88 pitches even though he held the Philadelphia Phillies to no hits over five innings. To some, it tarnishes the no-hitter saying it’s not the same, or it doesn’t count.

Honestly, if Johan Santana didn’t happen, there would’ve been some disappointment in it not being one pitcher. If it was another franchise, the excitement would not be at the same level. There, Jerry Blevins is right.

However, this is the New York Mets, and because of that, it just means so much more.

For me, it was memories of growing up. My dad would always allow me to stay up until the Mets gave up a hit because he didn’t want me (or him) to miss the first ever no-hitter.

To this day, I remember my mom urging my dad to send me to bed while David Cone had a no-hitter going. The fact the St. Louis Cardinals spoiled his bids twice makes me hate them all the more, and I’ll never forgive Felix Jose.

With Cone, we always rooted for him. We stopped everything to watch his perfect game. We did the same for Dwight Gooden‘s no-hitter. While they weren’t Mets at the time, they are forever Mets, and their heroics were worth celebrating.

The same goes for Tom Seaver‘s no-hitter. That glorious one came against the Cardinals.

For the Mets, they were defined by not getting the no-hitter. At times, you wondered if it was a curse emanating from them trading away Nolan Ryan.

But, then it finally happened. To some degree, because we’re Mets fans, we’re almost conditioned to believe it would never happen again. After all, how is it Jacob deGrom hasn’t come close to one?

For me, I got to experience this no-hitter in a completely different way. This time, I was the dad letting my kid stay up late. I was the one regaling him of stories of Mets greats and misses.

Of course, I was on the phone with my dad. First, calling him to make sure he had the game on. Next, to just share that moment only for it to be hijacked by his also wanting to share it with his overexcited grandson.

In a word, the moment was perfect.

That’s why I don’t care if Megill had to share the feat with Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz. All that mattered was the moment happened.

It brought back fond memories of my youth and why I became a Mets fan in the first place. I got to share it with my son who will forever have this memory. In the end, it was three generations of Mets fans celebrating a moment no one expected.

In the end, not only did that no-hitter count as a no-hitter, but it also mattered to Mets fans. It mattered more than anyone will ever know.

Mets Home Opener Was Terrific

It was an emotional day at Citi Field. It was Opening Day, and it was the official unveiling of the Tom Seaver statue. Seeing Seaver with the drop-and-drive, the statue couldn’t have been more perfect.

Also perfect was the Jackie Robinson Tribute. This was the 75th anniversary, and all MLB teams wore the solid blue numbers like appeared on the Brooklyn Dodgers jerseys.

Emotions were high, and the crowd was ready. Nothing was going to damper this day.

Not the Wilpons’ or Brodie Van Wagenen’s presence. Not Mark Canha or Brandon Nimmo testing positive for COVID. Not even the unnecessary presence of J.D. Davis in the lineup.

Nothing.

Part of the reason is Chris Bassitt ensures that would be the case. After all, if you’re honoring Seaver, a great pitching performance is a prerequisite.

The Mets offense continued to score. Zach Davies and the Arizona Diamondbacks pitching staff never really had a chance.

The Mets got four homers. Robinson Cano got the first. Starling Marte hit his first homer with the Mets. Francisco Lindor homered from both sides of the plate.

Through eight, it was 10-1, and the final would be 10-3 after Sean Reid-Foley struggled again.

The Mets are the first team to six wins. They’re 10-4 in home openers at Citi Field. Lindor looks like a true MVP candidate. The starting pitching has been even better than advertised.

All told, right now, everything is (Tom) Terrific.

Game Notes: Nick Plummer made his MLB debut playing RF in the ninth. Travis Jankowski was 3-for-4 with a run scored. James McCann has started the year 1-for-16. Oliver Perez received a surprise ovation during player introductions.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Roll Over Phillies

The New York Mets traveled to Philadelphia for their first “test” of the 2022 season. While it started rocky, the team passed with flying colors.

1.  The Mets built this team on starting pitching, and it is working. They league the league in innings, ERA, and WHIP while being second in strikeouts. That could be the biggest reason they started the season 5-2.

2. Tylor Megill is doing everything we expected from Jacob deGrom did. Just imagine how good things will look when they are both in the rotation.

3.  Taijuan Walker looked great until he had to leave with injury. Fortunately, it appears he will be fine.

4.  David Peterson stepped up in long relief, and it appears he will rejoin the rotation. On that front, he started out jittery, and the K/BB wasn’t great. Still, there is talent there.

5. James McCann isn’t hitting now, but at least his framing seems much improved. So long as he and Tomas Nido continue to frame, they are more than doing their job.

6. As good as the starting rotation is, the bullpen has been that bad. Much of the blame there goes to how Buck Showalter chooses to utilize them.

7. Showalter knew Trevor May was dealing with bicep and tricep issues, and he still tried to push him another inning. This is all the more egregious considering it was cold and Showalter just came from a lecture about not pushing relievers early in the season. Fortunately, May is alright.

8. Joely Rodriguez is terrible when pitching to right-handed batters, which is exactly why trading away Miguel Castro for him made zero sense.

9.  Brandon Nimmo has been phenomenal atop the lineup. He has been everything we could expect and more.

10. The lineup in the finale of this series was perfect. Switching Francisco Lindor and Starling Marte makes so much sense analytically. Also, getting Robinson Cano out of the lineup right now makes even more sense.

11. Cano looks just about done. He has no bat speed. He has no speed. He isn’t hitting the ball with authority. This is already a huge problem.

12. Pete Alonso looks very comfortable as the DH. You still want to use the position to cycle through players on a modified rest, and you want to keep him engaged defensively, but it would be ideal for him to be the primary DH.

13. Dominic Smith needs to be better. Assuredly, some of the slow start is being sat to see if the Mets could get Cano or J.D. Davis going, but he needs to earn his way back into the linup. Hopefully, that sacrifice fly will get him going.

14. It is a pleasure watching Eduardo Escobar play. He gives his all on every play, and it was his hustle that allowed the umpires to award him a triple on that fan interference.

15. Sending Escobar was just plain dumb. Even a semi-competent throw gets him easily, and Escobar has real speed. The Mets have a very real Joey Cora issue, and it was an unforced error.

16. That Phillies lineup is frightening. As we saw on Monday, you give them an inch, and they can make you pay. More than that Joe Girardi alternates L/R so effectively you can never bring in a true LOOGY.

17. It’s a testament to this Mets offense they knocked both Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola out of the game early. It wasn’t that they put up a lot of runs, but rather, they just continued to grind and force up the pitch counts for both pitchers.

18. It should bother everyone Clayton Kershaw left a perfect game after seven innings with just 80 pitches. That is inexcusable, and there is simply no defending it. It really was everything wrong with baseball right now.

19. It is long past time we have a Tom Seaver statue, and it is going to be great seeing one on Opening Day.

20. The Mets still need to face some of the better teams in baseball to get a true feel for them, but so far, they look like a real contender this year.

Game Recaps:

Phillies Five Run Eighth Bucks Mets

Tylor Megill Outpitches Zack Wheeler

Mets Outlast Phillies

Bold 2022 Mets Predictions

The New York Mets will be led by Buck Showalter as the team sets to try to win their first World Series since 1986. Since this is their 60th season, here are 60 bold predictions for the season.

1. The New York Mets will win the 2022 World Series.

2.  Howie Rose will retire after the season. The Mets have already tabbed their replacement in Jake Eisenberg, and Rose could not pass up the opportunity to go out calling a Mets World Series victory.

3.  Rose will return in some limited fashion to SNY and will be a fill-in replacement in 2023 and beyond.

4. Francisco Lindor will be the NL MVP. Like Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran, he’s going to have a huge second year. Unlike them, he wont’ be denied the award.

5.  Dominic Smith will force his way into the lineup. Yes, he’s battling with J.D. Davis and Robinson Cano for the DH spot, but like he did in 2019 and 2020, he’s going to force his way into the everyday lineup and not relinquish his spot.

6.  Edwin Diaz will be an All-Star. Diaz has been an every other year pitcher in his career, and following that pattern, this is his year.

7.  The Mets All-Stars this season will be Diaz, Lindor, and Max Scherzer.

8.  Jacob deGrom will receive some Cy Young votes. Whenever he comes back, he’s going to be deGrom, and he’s going to be so great, he’s going to appear on ballots.

9.  Jeff McNeil will finish the season as the left fielder. That is an injury prone outfield, and McNeil will eventually be forced to move out there.

10.  Robinson Cano will reclaim a starting job. We forget that when Cano played he was actually good in the field. If the outfield is as injury prone as we think, we will eventually play almost every day at second or DH.

11.  Chris Bassitt will have a slow first month frustrating fans, but he will have a terrific stretch starting in the middle of May as he adjusts to working with the new catchers and Jeremy Hefner.

12.  Starling Marte is going to have a fast start and quickly become a fan favorite. When he’s snubbed at All-Star time, fans are going to be livid.

13. Mark Vientos will have a thrilling MLB debut. Vientos’ bat is arguably Major League ready, and he’s going to get some run during some point of the season as a third baseman or DH. He may not relinquish a spot.

14. Brett Baty will be moved at the trade deadline. With the emergence of Vientos and the ground ball problems, the Mets feel comfortable moving him for that big piece at the trade deadline.

15. The Mets everyday catcher is not on the Opening Day roster. At some point, the Mets will swing a deal or call up Francisco Alvarez to take over as the everyday catcher.

16. The Philadelphia Phillies will be the Mets main contenders. Last year, the Atlanta Braves were dead in the water until the Mets were too injured. The Mets won’t do that again this year, and the Phillies pitching and hitters will give people more of a run than we think.

17. The Atlanta Braves will not challenge the Mets at all for the division. They’ll really miss Freddie Freeman, the bullpen will falter, and they will not get Ronald Acuna Jr. back in time.

18. Tylor Megill will last the entire season in the rotation. Now that he’s here, it is going to be difficult to remove him from the rotation. If need be, the Mets will go to a six man rotation to keep him in the majors.

19. Carlos Carrasco will rebound and will pitch like he did with Cleveland, but he will not make more than 20 starts.

20. Trevor Williams will become a huge part of the Mets bullpen as he becomes more of a fastball/slider pitcher.

21. Steve Cohen will purchase SNY during the course as the 2022 season as the Wilpons are scared off by the increasing rights deals with streamers.

22. The Mets will have multiple Gold Glove winners with Lindor and Marte.

23. Hefner will get interviews for managerial positions with other teams after this season.

24. So will Eric Chavez.

25. The Mets will not have any player at DH for more than 40 games this season.

26. J.D. Davis will make multiple relief appearances for the Mets this season.

27. The Joely Rodriguez trade will work out as well as the Alex Torres trade did for the Mets.

28. None of the Mets outfielders will play over 135 games this season.

29. Fans will fall in love with Nick Plummer and get more frustrated by Khalil Lee.

30. Mark Canha will play more games than any other Mets outfielder, but he will have the lowest WAR out of all the regular outfielders.

31. There will be an issue over Marcus Stroman not receiving a video tribute when the Chicago Cubs visit the Mets in September.

32. Old Timers’ Day will have one team wearing the 1986 Mets jerseys and the other team wearing the black jerseys.

33. Carlos Beltran will not return to Citi Field for Old Timers’ Day. We also will not see Carlos Delgado.

34. The loudest ovation on Old Timers’ Day will go to Piazza. The second loudest will go to Nolan Ryan, who will be a surprise attendee.

35. The defensive highlight of the season will come from Luis Guillorme.

36. Pete Alonso will take a step back defensively, and he will see more time at DH than initially expected.

37. A week or two into the season, we will hear some rumblings about Michael Conforto looking to return to the Mets. He won’t return, and likely, he will not sign with anyone until after the Major League draft.

38. Some team will crack the frequency on the pitch calling device, and we will eventually know it is them because they will be the surprise team of the 2022 season. It won’t be the Mets.

39. Mets fans will actually enjoy the Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts this season.

40. Showalter will be the 2022 NL Manager of the Year, and it might be unanimous.

41. Seth Lugo will return to his dominant form, but he will only be a one inning reliever. The multiple inning role will be assumed by Williams.

42. The Tom Seaver statue will be perfect.

43. Drew Smith will take over the eighth inning and will be groomed as the next closer. He will not take over the eighth due to any fault of Trevor May who will have another good year.

44. People will talk about how Scherzer isn’t what they thought he’d be and the contract was a mistake. Those people will be idiots.

45. The Mets are going to have a monster second half with them running away with the division.

46. With the Toronto Blue Jays winning the division, the Mets are going to make a push to get their unvaccinated players vaccinated to ensure their availability for the World Series.

47. Jeurys Familia will receive a tribute video when he returns to Citi Field, and there will be a mix of cheers and boos with probably more boos.

48. The Wild Card round will be a complete dud and fans will be clamoring for the return of the winner-take-all Wild Card Game.

49. We will see David Peterson bounced around between starting and relieving due to the injury issues with the Mets starting staff. He will struggle for it.

50. The Mets will not need to add bullpen pieces at the deadline because we will see pitchers like Colin Holderman and Thomas Szapucki emerge as quality relief options at the Major League level.

51. James McCann will have very similar production to what he had in 2021, and in short order, he will find himself in a catching rotation with Tomas Nido.

52. No New York baseball player will sign an in-season extension. That includes deGrom and Nimmo, and it also includes Aaron Judge.

53. There will be no negative articles written about Showalter this season even during a time in the season where the Mets slump (as even the best teams in baseball always do).

54. Taijuan Walker will make the fewest starts of anyone in the Mets pitching rotation.

55. The Mets will have a no-hitter this season, but it will not be from a starting pitcher going all nine innings.

56. This will be the last Major League season with nine inning double headers. We will see the return of seven inning double headers in 2023.

57. The Mets will announce their next Hall of Fame class, and it will include Al Leiter and Johan Santana.

58. Mets fans will not care about the Apple TV game, but they will be absolutely livid about the game on Peacock. Of course, MLB will not care one iota about the blowback.

59. Showalter is going to get Guillorme in a lot of games for late inning defense.

60. To reiterate, the Mets will win the World Series, and they will not have to wait another three decades for their next World Series.

Mets Need Mike Piazza Statue

On April 15, 2022, the New York Mets are finally going to reveal their Tom Seaver statue. It is something which should have happened when Citi Field officially opened on March 29, 2009, but with the Wilpons being the Wilpons, we needed to wait all of this time.

When you talk about the Mets, you talk about Seaver. He is the greatest player to ever don a Mets uniform, and in all likelihood, he will forever be the greatest. He deserved not just the statue, but he also deserved to be the first player to see his number retired.

For a time, Seaver was the only Mets player with his number retired. That was until Mike Piazza was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with Piazza opting to wear a Mets cap on his plaque. At that moment, there was a clear standard set. If you want your number retired with the Mets, you need to enter the Hall of Fame wearing a Mets cap.

That was the standard until it wasn’t. As the Wilpons were on their way out, they announced Jerry Koosman was going to have his number retired. If you were going to outside the realm of Hall of Famers, Koosman more than deserved to be first in line for this honor. After all, his pitching was the biggest reason the Mets won the 1969 World Series.

After Koosman, Keith Hernandez had his number retired. Unlike Koosman, we can reasonably expect him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. What we don’t know is what cap Hernandez will opt to have on his plaque.

Gary Carter likely would have his number retired if the Hall of Fame honored his request to go in as a Met. In all likelihood, David Wright will not be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but he will have his number retired one day. After that, who knows?

The one thing that becomes clear is as more numbers are retired the less that honor is for Hall of Famers. For some time, it was something special reserved for the Hall of Famers, and now, that is no longer the case. We can debate if that is a good or bad thing, but in the end, the Mets should have one separate and special honor for their Hall of Fame players.

Seeing the Seaver statue getting erected, it would seem that can and should be the new honor for Mets players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame wearing a Mets cap. Right now, that applies only to Seaver and Piazza.

This is why Piazza should get his statue. He’s a Hall of Famer deserving of an honor above all the rest. Perhaps, it can be that pose after he blasted yet another big homer.

Certainly, there is more than enough room for it outside of Citi Field. More than that, there is room to further celebrate Mets history and the greatest of the greats. Ultimately, this is why we need a Piazza statue.

With Universal DH, MLB Needs Radical Realignment And Postseason

With the institution of the universal DH, MLB has officially killed off National League Baseball. As such, the only real difference between the two leagues is their names. One just happens to be the American League, and the other just happens to be the National. Why are we even bothering anymore?

It’s not like changing up divisions and leagues is unheard of in this sport. Tom Seaver led the Mets to the first ever NL East title in 1969. Prior to that, there were no divisions in either league. Fast forward to 1994, and the Montreal Expos would have won the division led by players like Moises Alou, Cliff Floyd, and Pedro Martinez. Of course, that season didn’t reach completion because of the strike.

As a result, the first World Series with a Wild Card in the postseason was won by the Atlanta Braves with Tom Glavine taking home World Series MVP honors. The Braves would win the NL East as part of their journey. An interesting fact here is the Braves won the first ever NL West title, and they actually played the Mets in the inaugural NLCS.

Baseball has moved and changed teams and divisional structures as they have seen fit. When baseball expanded in 1998 to include the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Milwaukee Brewers were moved from the AL Central to the NL Central. In 2013, the Houston Astros, who were an expansion team the same season as the Mets, were switched from the NL Central to the AL West because baseball wanted six five team divisions.

Things change according to the random whims of the commissioner. We see that has happened with the institution of the universal DH, and we are likely going to see it again with MLB trying to increase the amount of postseason teams from the current five per league to seven per league. That is again completely radical, and it cries for the need for another correlative move.

Before delving further, one of the reasons for the push for an expanded postseason is increased revenues. It should also be noted the reason for revenue sharing and compensation systems is to address the (laughable) assertions owning an MLB franchise isn’t profitable and costs need to be reduced. One major cost which can be cut is travel fees.

To do that, you can more geographically align the divisions of baseball like it is done in the NBA and NHL. After all, we see MLB trying to more align their sport like those, so why not take a look at what that would look like:

Northeast League

  1. Baltimore Orioles
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. New York Mets
  4. New York Yankees
  5. Philadelphia Phillies
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates
  7. Toronto Blue Jays
  8. Washington Nationals

Southern League

  1. Atlanta Braves
  2. Cincinnati Reds
  3. Houston Astros
  4. Miami Marlins
  5. Tampa Bay Rays
  6. Texas Rangers
  7. EXPANSION
  8. EXPANSION

Central League

  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. Chicago White Sox
  3. Cleveland Guardians
  4. Detroit Tigers
  5. Kansas City Royals
  6. Milwaukee Brewers
  7. Minnesota Twins
  8. St. Louis Cardinals

Western League

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks
  2. Colorado Rockies
  3. Los Angeles Angels
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers
  5. Oakland Athletics
  6. San Diego Padres
  7. San Francisco Giants
  8. Seattle Mariners

Yes, this does call for the inclusion of two expansion teams. Let’s face it. It is well past time for MLB to expand. If the NHL can support 32 teams, MLB certainly can. There are markets in the United States and Canada which have been relatively untapped, and to a certain extent, the minor league retraction has created a void in many communities for baseball. At least geographically, the southeast with cities like Raleigh and Nashville makes sense, but MLB can look elsewhere and align differently if it makes more financial sense.

As for the blowing up of some rivalries, well, that’s a consequence. That said, it wasn’t a concern when the Brewers and Astros changed leagues. There is also the important consideration the geographical rivalries will be off the charts, and there will certainly be the development of new rivalries.

Now, the next step is especially radical, but then again, so was the death of National League baseball. Before delving further, we first need to acknowledge baseball’s crown jewel is the World Series. Baseball needs to do all it can endeavor to create the best possible World Series matchups to generate more fan interest. The best way to do that is to actually set up the best possible match-ups in the World Series.

For that, just eliminate the AL and NL in its entirety. Instead, just have the four divisions. If you want to keep an AL and NL for nostalgia stake and create new names for the other two divisions, fine. That said, the World Series should abandon the concept of the AL against the NL. Instead, it should be the two best postseason teams.

This is where MLB can borrow a bit from the NHL. Since MLB wants an expanded postseason, they can have the top three teams in each division make the postseason. After that, the next eight non-automatic qualifying teams, regardless of division and division rank, can play a one game Wild Card Game to qualify for the Division Series. The World Series will instantly become increasingly more interesting.

The potential match-ups can radically change. For example, one year, the Mets and Cardinals could meet in the World Series, and the next, they could meet in the Championship Series. As a bit of added intrigue, under this format, MLB could get their biggest dream to come true with a Yankees-Red Sox World Series. The ratings and revenues from that may set records never before seen.

Overall, MLB has been forever changed with the death of National League baseball. As a result, instead of trying to hold onto some vestiges of the NL, it is time to just let it go away entirely and focus on what would create the most interesting and exciting baseball. Creating a four league format would be refreshing, and it would create the best possible postseasons. From there, genuine interest (and associated revenues) would grow putting baseball in the best footing it has been in a century.