2020 NY Mets Preview

2020 NY Mets Preview

Earlier today, I took a look at the 2020 season preview for the New York Yankees. If you go across the WhiteStone or Throgs Neck Bridge, in the bureau called Queens, you will find New York’s “other” team.

2019: 86-76, 3rd place in NL East (11 GB)

Five questions for the 2020 New York Mets

Will the real Edwin Diaz please stand up…and carry the bullpen with him?

If one were to predict the worst possible scenario for Edwin Diaz in 2019, I don’t know if Stephen King could write a more fiendish outcome. Despite his awful 2019 season, Diaz still possesses nasty stuff, and the Mets are counting an immense rebound season.

Edwin Diaz – MLB Career in Save Situations     
 ERAK per 9WHIPHRSave Pct.
*2016-182.1414.90.8211.900 (109/121)
*20196.5913.51.748.788 (26/33)

The Mets bullpen singlehandedly cost them the postseason in 2019. They lost 37 games in which they either led or tied after seven innings. Their save percentage of 58 was the eighth-worst in MLB, while their 4.95 ERA was the sixth-worst.

The Mets are counting on bounce-back seasons for Diaz, Jeurys Familia (5.70 ERA, 1.73 WHIP), and free-agent signee Dellin Betances (pitched in 2/3 inning in 2019).

End of mishaps with marquis players

Following consecutive postseason appearances in 2015-16, the Mets fortunes concerning their elite players have been less than fortunate.

-David Wright’s retirement

-Yoenis Cespedes playing in just 119 games since signing his 4-year, $110M contract.

– Former ace Matt Harvey wins five of his final 22 starts before being traded

Fans of the Mets usually expect “the other shoe” to drop at some point during the season. Will this be the year they will avoid any unfortunate disaster to a team leader.

David Wright – Season Averages      
 GmsBAHRRBIRunsOPS
2005-131450.3072393900.89
2014-16700.266731320.735

Can they replace Noah Syndergaard in the rotation?

When Thor made his debut in 2015, he loomed large over opponents, and Mets brass expected a dominant starter to preside besides Jacob deGrom, Stephen Matz, and Zack Wheeler (now with Phillies).

While the X-Men’s career number of 47–30, 3.31 ERA and 1.16 WHIP are certainly nothing to sneeze at, they lack the punch of someone with his stuff.

A major complaint is the big right-hander’s inability to go deep into ball games, as only 20 of his 118 starts have seen him take the mound in the eighth inning. However, Syndergaard’s career OPS (.616) & WHIP (1.07) are lower from innings 7–9 than the first six.

While many were anticipating a strong season from Thor, on March 24, the Mets announced he would miss the 2020 season to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite underachieving the last few seasons, Thor’s replacement needs to succeed.

Will Pete Alonso suffer a sophomore slump?

The Tampa, Florida native set an MLB rookie record with 53 HR in 2019. Alonso joined Jacob deGrom Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, and Jon Matlack to win Rookie of the Year.

Along with setting team records for HR, total bases, and XBH, Alonso joined Ted Williams and Albert Pujols as the only rookies in MLB history to reach 100 runs, RBI, and 30 HR in a single-season.

Rookies with 30 HR, 100 Runs & 100 RBI     
Single-Seaon, MLB History     
 SeasonAgeHRRunsRBI
Pete Alonso20192453103120
Albert Pujols20012137112130
Ted Williams19392031131145

Will Jacob deGrom continue his dominance?

In 2019 deGrom became 4th NL pitcher to repeat despite posting just 21 combined wins over the last two seasons. Can he become the first pitcher since Randy Johnson from 1999-2002 to win three straight? (or he could become the first-ever to win fewer than ten games!)

Synopsis: 2nd place (90-72) – Will reach the postseason as Wild-Card.

While the Nationals are the defending champs, the Mets defeated then 12 times in 2019, which included blowing a six-run, ninth-inning lead.

The Mets’ chief nemesis is the Braves, who should still have enough talent and pitching to rule the NL East. The Mets are just 14-24 against Atlanta over the last two seasons.

MLB PLAYERS VS. OWNERS: WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

MLB PLAYERS VS. OWNERS: WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Millionaires fighting billionaires. Most of us just roll our eyes as we’d all love to have those problems. When the haggling of money occurs in the arena of sports, we usually side with the billionaire owners and want the player to sign a deal quickly in order to get back on the field. The stakes, though, are very different in this feud. Players want a reasonable salary for 2020 while the owners are desperate to stop hemorrhaging cash. Baseball’s long-term future is very much in peril if a deal isn’t reached. While we normally side with ownership when contract disputes arise, there are a few reasons why it’s time we flip our allegiance to the players side and root for them to get properly compensated for the risk they are taking in resuming play.

In this pandemic, it’s not unreasonable and almost mandatory that sacrifices be made by everyone. Baseball is no different. The players have already done their share of sacrificing as back in March, the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to prorate their salary commensurate to the number of games played. Owners are now asking the players to take a second pay cut because of the fact that most likely, no fans will be allowed stadiums at all during this shortened season. It’s tough to criticize and fault the players for not wanting another salary reduction because the owners misjudged the climate in which games would be played and now are frantically trying to hold onto every dollar they have. Why should the players have to pay for a miscalculation by the owners?

The form of the pay cut is also very controversial because it would come in the form of a 50/50 split of the 2020 revenue between the owners and players, a practice never before enforced. The players association, as they should, strongly disagrees with this proposal because it would serve as a de facto salary cap, as baseball is the only of the four major sports without one. MLBPA executive director Tony Clark had some strong words when speaking to The Athletic last Monday about the idea of a 50/50 split.

“A system that restricts player pay based on revenues is a salary cap, period,” Clark said. “That the league is trying to take advantage of a global health crisis to get what they’ve failed to achieve in the past – and to anonymously negotiate through the media for the last several days – suggests they know exactly how this will be received.”

Ryan Hickey breaks down why you should be favoring the players over the owners as negotiations about compensation for a shortened season without fans plays out publicly. Catch “The Morning Boys w/ Ryan Hickey” every Monday/Thursday from 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET.

From the players perspective, it’s tough to trust the owners to act in good faith. They’ve accused them in the past of colluding together to suppress wages and destroy the free agent market. Now with the CBA set to expire after the 2021 season, the players worry that their leverage could be lost if they cave and agree to a second pay reduction. This agreement could have devastating impacts that last a lot longer than just this season.

The risk the players are taking by stepping onto the field in the midst of a pandemic is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Without a vaccine available, there’s still a chance of infection despite the numerous precautions the league office is taking. Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell’s viral rant brought to light how divisive this proposal is to the players. Snell was speaking on his personal Twitch stream last week when he let loose on why taking another pay cut was not an option.

“The risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I’m making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that?” Snell said. “If I’m gonna play, I should be getting the money I signed to be getting paid. I should not be getting half of what I’m getting paid because the season’s cut in half, on top of a 33% cut of the half that’s already there — so I’m really getting, like, 25%.”

He’s right. After all, the owners aren’t the ones out on the field risking their health to play the game. It’s a matter of when a player will contract the virus, not if, so why should the players be exposed as well as have their pay significantly slashed? The risk versus reward debate right now is an easy one because the players are facing a health risk while getting compensated very poorly. The scales have to be tipped in favor of the reward far outweighing the risks involved, a balance that at the moment favors the risk being too high. There needs to be some sort of incentive because right now, all of the signs point to it not making a whole lot of sense for players to return to the field this season.

Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association Tony Clark says a 50/50 revenue split in 2020 is “a non-starter” (Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday via Getty Images)

Snell isn’t alone in this thinking, as some of baseball’s superstars came out to defends the Rays pitcher. Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper is glad those comments were put out in the open.

“He ain’t lying, he’s speaking the truth bro,” Harper told NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Somebody’s gotta say it, at least he manned up and said it.”

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado also chimed in and backed up Snell when talking with The Athletic.

“He made a lot of good points,” Arenado said. “A lot of it gets misperceived. Trying to get the public to understand us, it’s not going to work very well in our favor…”

Arenado brings up a very important point that can’t be lost in this entire battle. With the owners floating out the 50/50 revenue split idea, this public frustration from the labor is exactly what they wanted. Social media was buzzing with tons of “Just get out there and play” takes after Snell’s rant went viral. Let’s also not forget what the players are actually asking for. They aren’t demanding a pay raise, but instead just asking to keep their already halved salary. It’s easy for the public to get frustrated about millionaires complaining about salary, but you can’t overlook the billionaires selfishly trying to keep their pockets filled.

Looking at the landscape of the country right now, there’s a serious void that we are so used to sports filling. If the NBA and NHL can’t or choose not to return, baseball will be at the forefront of the nation. This is a unique opportunity that could allow baseball to jump back into national relevancy and with that increased attention, allow owners to make up for lost revenue in this pandemic stricken season. MLB has the chance to be the first and quite possibly the only league to return for a long time.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has focused a lot of his efforts on changing the game to make it more appealing to the younger audience. There’s no better way to bring new fans in than being the main sport played during an otherwise bleak time in history. The short-term losses could be made up down the line by tapping into a fanbase that baseball has never had access to before. The growth of the sport will increase stadium and television revenues, creating a new stable stream of money coming in. Considering the potential loss of four-billion-dollars if baseball isn’t played in 2020, it’s advantageous for the owners to cater to the needs of the players.

If anything, the coronavirus has put us all on the same playing field. No matter the job we have or the industry we work in, we’re all inconvenienced and more importantly, we’re all in this together. We’ve sacrificed and now hope springs eternal that the summer can bring about some semblance of normalcy. Part of that return to normalcy is watching baseball on the television every night. In a time when we’re all sacrificing for the greater good, baseball needs to do the same. The players have made their sacrifice. It’s time for the owners to make theirs.

HOW SHOULD MLB SCHEDULE THEIR SEASON?

HOW SHOULD MLB SCHEDULE THEIR SEASON?

Ryan Hickey gives his thoughts on how MLB should schedule their season. Listen to The Morning Boys w/ Ryan Hickey every Monday/Thursday from 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- The sun shone bright on a gorgeous Thursday afternoon, the perfect setting for what was supposed to be a celebration of the start of the Major League Baseball season. Instead, the perfect day for baseball was more of a tease. A “what could have been” if the world wasn’t ravaged by the Coronavirus pandemic. There is hope, though, that a baseball season will be played in 2020, either as normal or as close to normal as possible given the circumstances. The big question from a baseball perspective is how will the season play out if and when play resumes?

There have already been some intriguing suggestions, including holding the World Series during Christmas and seven-inning doubleheaders. Those suggestions can’t be implemented before the most basic question is answered: how many games will be played? 162? 125? 81? All of these suggestions and questions circle around the sport, as a solution can only be thought about once the world can return to some sort of normality. With that said though, let’s have some fun and discuss the best way MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred can go about scheduling their season that would be beneficial for everyone.

Major League Baseball is still hoping for the season to kick off in early June, as Manfred spoke with Scott Van Pelt earlier this week and hoped that spring training can resume again in early May, setting the stage for a June start. So, the start date I am going to use here is June 1st. The season would start as scheduled for that day, as every team’s current opponent for the first day of June would be their Opening Day opposition. By picking up the schedule from that point, many exciting matchups are still preserved, including: Red Sox-Cubs, Astros-Nationals, Yankees-White Sox at the Field of Dreams and Red Sox-Orioles in Williamsport.

Image courtesy of Citi Field

I would institute doubleheaders every other Sunday, so extra games are fit in while not draining the players. Many teams and players have expressed the want to play as many games as possible, as Rockies manager Bud Black supported the idea of doubleheaders every week and Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins is in favor of seven-inning doubleheaders to ease the toll on the players while still squeezing in as many games as possible. Let’s not forget, the baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. Despite the shortened season days wise, trying to fit a grueling schedule into a shorter time period will only wear down players and cause more injuries and sloppy play. The extra game every other week helps to give players, and more importantly pitchers, a chance to recover while still making up for lost time.

I would also extend the end of the season two extra weeks, moving the end of the regular season from September 27th to October 11th. This will allow for the addition of roughly 13 games, so teams can get as close to the 162-game schedule as possible. All-Star week would also be pushed back from July to August, so Los Angeles will still get to host the event and players will have enough time to prove their worthiness of an All-Star nod.

All of these conditions add up to the playing of 126 games from June 1st through early October. That equates to about 77% of the season being played, which is just behind the NBA’s rough estimate of 80% of their schedule being completed for some teams. With both the NBA and NHL considering going right to the playoffs if play resumes, my schedule proposal would put MLB in the same spot in terms of the percent of their regular season completed.

The playoffs are where it gets a little interesting. Pushing the season back an extra two weeks should still allow teams in bad weather cities to host playoff games in their home ballparks. There have been proposals and discussions of neutral site playoff games, with agent Scott Boras wanting the entire playoffs and World Series to be played at neutral sites. With so much baseball already taken away from fans, my scheduling goal is to allow teams that play in cold weather cities to still be able to host playoff games to reward their fans. After all, playoff baseball’s allure is due in part to the raucous environments that the fans provide, as anticipation is palpable on every single pitch.

I would still keep the World Series format the same, as the team with the better record will get home field advantage. I would try my hardest to keep the World Series in the cities that are playing in them because air travel might not return to normal by November and with so many companies laying off employees, fans might not be able to afford to fly to a neutral site to watch their team. A contingency plan would be put in place to have a few different stadiums on call to host the World Series if the weather doesn’t allow for playing in a certain city, but that would be the last resort. Currently, there are options being floated around like expanding the postseason and moving the World Series to a neutral site, options that make sense from a financial perspective to make up for lost revenue but ideas that I would stay away from because they take even more baseball away from the fans and dampen the playoff atmosphere.

This is obviously an unprecedented situation not just in sports, but in the world. MLB has done a good job so far in recognizing this and have entertained many different ways for how baseball could get their season on track. Trying to play 162 games is unrealistic at this point, which is why 126 games is Major League Baseball’s best way to get the most out of a shortened season while also keeping the schedule as normal as possible. That last phrase is critical, because in these times of uncertainty, a sense of normality is the biggest thing that fans need right now.

The Mets success in 2020 rides on Edwin Diaz

The Mets success in 2020 rides on Edwin Diaz

The New York Mets can be an odd franchise to figure out. Heading into 2019, the team had high hopes after having an offseason filled with new faces led by general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. Signing free agents such as catcher Wilson Ramos, relief pitchers Justin Wilson and Jeurys Familia, as well as bringing in J.D. Davis. Brodie’s most notable move was trading away Anthony Swarzak, Jay Bruce, Gerson Bautista, and highly touted prospects Justin Dunn and Jared Kelenic to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. Diaz was the prized acquisition of the two after he saved 109 games for Seattle in three years there, but things went to disaster in a hurry.

Diaz started off fine with the Mets through the first month of the season, showing why the Mets acquired him and displaying his talents to the Citi Field faithful by getting eight saves through his first twelve appearances. On April 29th however against the Cincinnati Reds, things went to a downward spiral for the former AL All-Star as he gave up a go-ahead home run in a tie game to Jesse Winker as the Reds won 5-4 at Citi Field. From there, Diaz could never replicate his early April success.

Diaz ended up going 2-7 out of the pen, with a 5.59 ERA in 66 games, blowing seven saves in the process. Diaz was a main factor in the Mets bullpen being one of the worst in baseball in 2019. New York’s bullpen had a team ERA of 4.95 for a Mets team that started off poorly and was certainly on pace for a massive rebuild after the season but finished strong and almost made the playoffs with 86 wins last year. Setting things up for high expectations in 2020.

Seth Lugo, coming off a couple of stellar years in the bullpen is back, Justin Wilson had a nice year, and the Mets were able to sign free agent Dellin Betances to help the bullpen. New York is also betting on Familia to have a bounce back year after he had a terrible 2019 of his own. All eyes though will be on the much-maligned Diaz as he looks to return to his 2017 and 2018 form from Seattle. Diaz is the key to the Mets this year.

Even with a great starting rotation and a good lineup, if Diaz struggles yet again, the Mets could be in trouble. Lugo has stepped up as a closer before, but Betances is just coming off missing an entire year due to injury, and as mentioned before Familia and guys like Robert Gsellman are looking for bounce back years to. The Mets bullpen derailed any chance the team had at a 2019 playoff appearance in the end. Many are worried the bullpen will cost them yet again, but Diaz can change any worry about the entire season if he returns to his old self. The Mets need it, but most importantly, Edwin Diaz needs it.

Blue and Orange is the New Eh?

Blue and Orange is the New Eh?

By Dan Radzicki

If you are a Mets fan, you got an early Christmas present this week. As I wrote merely a week ago:

“The Mets presently have enough parts to just need a few more pieces to be short term solid. What pieces? A competent front office, an experienced manager, experienced coaches with winning records, a few key free agents, a few solid drafts, and an owner willing to spend.”

The most important part of my prediction as to how to reinvigorate this team became a treat for New York Mets fans. This week the Mets made an agreement to be purchased by local resident, Mets fan and current Mets part owner Andrew Cohen. Cohen is a filthy rich multibillionaire. Rumor is, he is willing to spend.

The announcement caused dizziness to Mets fans. Visions of free agents danced in their heads. Experienced managers and general managers suddenly seemed possible, instead of having a rookie GM and two rookie managers hired at the lowest total cost within the last 24 months.

To me, it seemed all too recently familiar. In the last 20 years, one New York team that wears orange and blue were sold two times to billionaires, and once in agreement to maybe the next John Spano, and saw changes immediately in each purchase.

No, I’m not talking about the Knicks who have sucked for 20 years and just fired an NBA coach with a 20% winning percentage. I’m talking about Long Island’s only team, the New York Islanders.

The Islanders ownership changes came in three waves. Charles Wang, Andrew Barroway, and the team of Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky.

Each time the Islanders announced a new owner, the roster made significant short term improvements. For instance, the Charles Wang era brought in Roman Hamirlik, Alexi Yashin, Adrian Aucoin, and Michael Peca.

The Andrew Barroway era got the Islanders Jaroslav Halak, Mikhail Grabovski, and Nikolai Kulemin. And as an aside, it looks like the Barroway era would have ended with the Islanders similarly to the John Spano era like it is in Arizona. The Maldecky team got Nick Leddy with his alleged huge penis that he doesn’t know how to use as per Beth Brock and Johnny Boychuk.

He looks stressed. Wonder why?

But most importantly, the Maldecky era had the new owners replacing a pile of shit.

Maldecky saw how Wang ran the team and realized just as Wang did upon their taking over the team that the only way to make money with a small market team was with an arena tied to mass transit and with multiple entertainment options and lodging. Oh, and spend money and win. Wang missed that part. And so in trying to get an arena built- and seeing how the last owner screwed up in trying to get an arena built- they brought in hall of fame GM that’s past his prime but still knows how to build an org chart, and cozied up to politicians instead of taking their ball and going home. To Brooklyn.

Like Garth, another Wang fuck up

All of the Islanders prospective owners made immediate impacts to the roster when they acquired the team. All stars were added. Depth players were added. Stanley Cup Champions were added. For each new Islanders owner there was significant roster movement.

The most significant move of any of those acquisitions? Hiring Barry Trotz. Which came from hiring a Hall of Fame and old ass GM, Lou Lamoreillo. Not to be mistaken with GM Garth Snow, where GM stands for grotesque manatee.

Why bring that up? Because now we get to the Mets.

The Wilpon Mets announced this week that they have a deal done in premise with minority owner Andrew Cohen to sell his majority ownership of the team. Combined with what Cohen already owns, he stands to own 80% of the organization.

With a net value of $13 billion, Cohen would by far be the wealthiest owner in baseball.

And there are similarities between the last few sets of owners of the Islanders with Mr. Cohen.

To start with, Charles Wang was a billionaire that was also an alleged felon that avoided prosecution. Mr. Cohen is a billionaire that was an alleged felon that avoided prosecution.

Felons of a feather flock together…

The current Islander owners took over an 80% stake in the team. Mr. Cohen will ultimately have an 80% stake in the team.

But then there are differences.

In the dawn of the Cohen era? As the Braves acquired star pitching, the Phillies picked the Mets pocket, and the World Series champs prepare an offer for their star pitcher that anyone can exceed. And the Mets traded assets for a guy that hits .233 and is a bench player. Because you can’t sign those for just cash.

Oh, and the management? A rookie manager and a second year GM. In an offseason where there were two World Series Managers available as free agents, and at least 30 assistant GM’s were looking for a promotion.

If you’re buying a team? Here’s an idea- make a splash.

Look at Steve Balmer when he bought the shitty Los Angeles Clippers after a golddigger mistress claimed that the guy she milked for tons of money was racist. They now have Paul George and NBA finals MVP Kawai Leonard on the team. Thomas Dundon made the Carolina Hurricanes acquire Dougie Hamilton and swat away an offer sheet for Sebastian Aho- the good Aho. Terry Pegula in Buffalo overpaid for Kyle Okposo, but also acquired Ryan O’Reilly and Jeff Skinner and tried multiple AFC finalist coach Rex Ryan for the Bills. Mark Cuban turned a second rate NBA team into champions in Dallas. Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz looked at the way his dad ran a team, realized how bad an idea it was, and promptly replaced the GM and head coach and won 3 championships. Hal Steinbrenner won a championship in his second year of team ownership.

Three Cups in six years. One less than the Rangers have in their existence.

Immediate splashes. And the Mets? Christmas shopping at WalMart. Picking up players who are still being paid by their last team, and given options to not pay them. Trading prospects for .200 hitters. Mets gotta Met.

Here’s what Cohen doesn’t have to worry about- a new arena. Citi Field is beautiful. And is subsidized by taxpayers, so he won’t have to pay for it. And that lacking sports network channel, SNY? Since the Islanders and Mets have ties, maybe the Islanders becomes their winter tenants like the Yankees have with the Nets? Who have become a ratings draw for a moribund winter network? And make even more money for Cohen, as they would be the only winners on the network?

Looks like Pac Man ate its death

Cohen allegedly paid the Wilpons $2.6 billion for their stake in the Mets. That is a sweet payout for a team that hasn’t won a title since 1986. But the bigger question is this – Did the Belmont deal provide enough cash flow for the Wilpons that they were willing to take a buyout on the Mets to pursue their own interests? If so, every Mets fans should thank Islander fans for getting Maldecky to remove the shitbag owners that were willing and allegedly successful participants of a Ponzi scheme at the cost of a decade of austerity at the expense of the fans.

It’s time for the Mets to amp up the payroll by $60 million dollars. Amp up the front office. Prepare to get rid of a GM that has tried to acquire the worst of his prior clients. Add 400 scouts. If that doesn’t happen over 14 months, get ready for the next shit show.

Things will not change overnight for the Mets. But to win some public opinion, they do need to make some significant moves this present winter. As in today. Two all stars would suffice as an introduction. They added a manager that looking back may have been a premature move if the team was in discussion to be sold. But there is time to fix everything. Money lets you do that. So spend the fucking money, or else Mets fans can piss away 2020 as more of the same.   

The author is a motherfucker. Follow him a@JoshBailey on Twitter

Lets GO, Mets

Lets GO, Mets

By Dan Radzicki

We have a saying in this house- Knicks gonna Knick. It means that the Knicks will always find a way to lose. They’re losing is so powerful that they turned ten time champion Phil Jackson into a pathetic unemployed loser in a matter of weeks.

Good calls.

You can easily make the connection with the New York Mets. It’s totally fair to say that the Mets are gonna Met. Because the Mets find a way to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.

Look at the last three times the Mets were worth a shit.

In 2000 the Mets were handily defeated by a New York Yankees team full of future Hall of Famers, all stars, and a steroid fueled fuckface. The best player in the game at that time, Alex Rodriguez, expressed his desire to come play for the Mets. That move would have given the Mets two Hall of Fame monster hitters in the heart of their lineup. So what did they do?

Mets gonna Met. They did nothing.

A few years later the Mets retooled under General Manager Omar Minaya and added a distinct Latin flavor to their roster. Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, and Pedro Martinez made Queens a well paid home. They also added 100 year old Orlando Hernandez and 117 year old Julio Franco to the team, along with any player with a Spanish surname (Looking at you, American born Xavier Nady). And that team’s major highlight? A caught looking strike three to end their season.

Must have been a tough play.

And the next season? The epic September collapse where Tom Glavine showed that he was truly an Atlanta Brave with that final start. Also? That game began the era of wasting David Wright’s career.

The Mets languished from that 2007 season all the way to a miracle post season run in 2015 where some rare in season trades bolstered a lineup and a bench. A fine, young pitching staff with tons of promise and some timely hitting from playoff hero Daniel Murphy propelled the Mets to the World Series. Where they promptly lost the series in five games.

In the process they lost Murphy to a division rival and never replaced his bat, then watched as their star pitcher blew his arm out. So there’s that. They did return to the playoffs the next year…for one game.

It’s not like the Mets don’t spend money. They have a TV network and a beautiful stadium that see millions of fans arrive or watch at home annually. And it’s not like the Mets have the lowest payroll in baseball. They don’t. They were 9th in baseball last year, and were almost 10% higher than the next tier of team salaries.

No, it seems where the Mets make bad decisions stems from one place, which affects a few others. Their owners- the Wilpon’s- are fuck ups.

Fuck ups.

Not financially. There, they’ve done great. They avoided being held accountable throughout the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, where they made fantastic returns on their investments as other people went broke in the scam, then allegedly did not suffer any financial losses after. They sold a chunk of team ownership to raise personal capital, and watched the team gain value in the process. They have a TV network that is part of a cable package, so they get monthly revenues from commercials and subscribers, although Frontier Communications did end their broadcast relationship with SNY this fall due to their “excessive carriage rates.” And unlike every other New York area sports channel, they have no other New York based sports tenant to pay to air.

And with those resources? The Wipons make horrible decisions.

Mets fans can list off the failed free agents and veteran trades the team has made like it’s a Dishonor Roll. Some of those were surprises. Who saw Roberto Alomar falling apart so quickly? Who thought Mike Piazza was going to resign with the Mets? But there’s a whole lot of Mo Vaughns, Bobby Bonillas, Jason Bays, Jeremy Burnitzes and Mel Rojases going on. A Mets trade for a major contributor is rare- consider the trade of Cy Young award winner knuchleballer R.A. Dickey for a catching prospect that they expected to be a star- Travis DeArnold. If the Blue Jays didn’t throw in level A ball pitcher Noah Syndergaard, that trade would have been awful as well. 

What a chunk…er, chump.

Why are the Mets so bad at assessing talent? Here’s an idea: Look at the amount of scouts the Mets reportedly use (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Major_League_Baseball_scouts_by_team). The Mets have 78 scouts. That’s way more than a lot of teams. Teams like the Colorado Rockies or the Seattle Mariners or the famously cheap Oakland A’s.

Some teams have just about the same amount of scouts- the San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The shitty Pirates have a similar org chart. That can’t be good. But the Giants have been successful for decades, so we have to call into account the quality of Mets scouts.

But look at the teams with more scouts than the Mets. The Atlanta Braves. The Philadelphia Phillies. The St. Louis Cardinals. The Boston Red Sox. The Los Angeles Dodgers. The Houston Astros. The Cleveland Indians. The Chicago Cubs. The Chicago White Sox. The Detroit Tigers. The Baltimore Orioles. All of these teams have had greater levels of success than the Mets in the Wilpon Era. They all have had faster rebuilds, have had more sustained successes, and almost all of them have won a World Series since 2000.

You may notice a team that didn’t make the list. The New York Yankees. Why? Because their scouting staff is DOUBLE what their same market peers have. Well, not exactly double. Two scouts short of double. 154 versus 78.  

So we know the Mets are short of amateur and professional scouts as compared to more successful organizations. But surely they hire managers and coaches with winning pedigrees, right?

Wrong. The Mets seem to be a landing pad for reclamation projects and first time managers. They’ve had two decent managers over the last 30 years. Davey Johnson and Bobby Valentine. The Mets have had chances to hire managers with pedigrees, as recently as a few days ago when they’ve watched World Series winning Joe Maddon go to the Angels and World Series winning manager Joe Girardi go to the divisional rivals Phillies.

And the Mets? They replaced first time manager Mickey Calloway with first time manager Carlos Beltran. And who hired him? First time general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

Which in fairness was a turn around from the prior administration or longtime reclamation project and career loser Terry Collins, with retread GM Sandy Alderson. These two teamed up to luck into a postseason based on young pitchers who never had a lineup to supplement their work, and always, ALWAYS a sketchy bullpen.

But look at that stellar, inspiring list of recent Mets managers. You can marvel at:

Mike Cubbage

Art Howe

Dallas Green

Jeff Torborg

Jerry Manual

And you wonder why they lose?

Wally Backman came through the Mets system as a player, then became a manager in various levels before returning as manager in the Mets system. He had a winning record in A ball, AA, and AAA, even managing to win some championships. He had a winning record! But hey, Terry Collins was running a sub 500 team for years, so why change things up?

Even as recently as 2019, a player developed by the Mets and who starred for the Mets- Edgardo Alfonso-  took the A level Brooklyn Cyclones to a league championship. And was fired for it. You read that right. What the actual fuck is this organization doing? Alfonso was a Met in the last era in which the team was consistently good, and past of what some called the greatest infield ever. Fired for winning. This is the GM Mets fans get.

W
What shit.

And this is the GM Mets fans deserve. Why? Because Mets fans are stupid. They line up each year to put 2,000,000 asses (literally and figuratively) in the seats of an admittedly beautiful ballpark. And then they take off their shirts and have the Mets organization shit on their collective chests like a high octane German shizer film. They pay their monthly cable bills and don’t ask the providers to remove the stain from their drawers. They buy t-shirts and jerseys and pay $40 to park under a train track or on the side of a highway because…they’re fucking stupid. Why? Because they don’t ask for better.

You know thaty the divisional rival Atlanta Braves have already begun signing free agents? They took former Giants closer lefthanded All Star Will Smith off of the market well before the Mets made reservations for the Winter Meetings. Mets fans will say Smith isn’t good. If he was in the Mets bullpen last year? They make the playoffs.

Let me be the first person the make this point and argument. If the Islanders arena progresses at Belmont, the Mets should move there as well. Not the indoor arena. That’d be silly. No, instead of ANOTHER shopping mall, build a baseball stadium. And maybe….shhhh….a small casino in the proposed and yet unbuilt hotel. Imagine a horse track, an indoor sports arena, an outdoor sports arena, a hotel, a casino, and two train stations- one coming from Long Island and one from Queens – all within walking distance of each other? And near their fanbase? That’d sound…smart. So that’s fucked.

Instead the fans have accepted the existence of chop shops and grey mud puddles for generations.

So to Mets fans- stop it. What you’re doing is the equivalent of Magic Johnson buying billboards in support of spreading AIDS. Cancel your TV packages. You don’t need them. Just buy channels you want and stream Mets games. Stop paying for failure.

Business as usual.

Stop with season tickets. Stop with t shirts. Stop paying to watch games. I can tell you what will happen.

The team will lose money. Then they will lose value. Then someone with money will come in recognizing the bargain to own a mass market team at a bargain price and do what new owners always do- use the savings to reinvest in their product. That way if they sell it’s a quick flip. And if they stay it’s a fortune down the road. And will the present owners reinvest in this team to make it a winner?

No. The Mets presently have enough parts to just need a few more pieces to be short term solid. What pieces? A competent front office, an experienced manager, experienced coaches with winning records, a few key free agents, a few solid drafts, and an owner willing to spend. Just look at their take on analytics, which is growing in all sports.

Are you at all shocked?

This plan doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s worked for the Yankees, Dodgers, Cardinals, Cubs, Red Sox, Astros, Marlins, Giants, and Tigers. Clearly it didn’t work for the teams that never invested.

Like the Mets.

So, which side of the fence do you want to be on? Perpetual pissing your own money away to a rich guy with a losing team for more of the same? Or maybe a sense of satisfaction from not the usual “almost successful” season?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Or smash your head into the wall as you order your Mets Christmas gifts. Unlike what the team owners do at this time of year.