Another Mets season is behind us, and another offseason is here in which us faithful fans of the orange and blue sit and wonder what it’ll take to finally get it right next year. As for the main needs to get back to the postseason in 2018, here is my wish list.
- A young analytical-minded manager (accomplished): Terry Collins has without a doubt served the game honorably for decades, and his seven-year tenure as Mets skipper in which New York won a pennant will always be appreciated. But the time is here for NYM to bring on a leader who can think in the mindset of the modern manager, and bring a change of ideology to a clubhouse in dire need of a shakeup. Former Indians pitching coach and newly hired manager Mickey Callaway seems like a good fit to do that on paper, so hopefully Sandy Alderson hit a home run with this one.
- Strengthen the middle of the bullpen: If I had to pick one key moment in which things really began to crumble for the Mets in 2017, it would have to be the injury of closer Jeurys Familia. Addison Reed held down the closer role solidly until being traded to Boston, but the rest of the pen seemed unable to handle being shifted into new roles. The Mets must bolster their pen and lockdown the innings leading up to Familia time.
- Bring on a legitimate offensive threat: Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes definitely are some pretty solid cornerstones in building a strong lineup, but outside of this outfield pair New York has a ton of question marks. Youngsters Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario can’t quite be expected to carry the lineup just yet. Neither Juan Lagares or Travis d’Arnaud have shown any sign that they can stay healthy and hit consistently. If his option is picked up, Asdrubal Cabrera is nothing beyond a quality utility player. The Mets must bring on another veteran bat who can hit for average and power if they intend to be serious contenders next season.
- A reliable veteran starting pitcher: As all of the young arms fell like flies and the Mets struggled to fill the holes in their rotation, New York learned the importance of having a veteran starter like Bartolo Colon to make 30 quality starts over the course of a season. The Mets need to find a way to pickup a piece of Colon’s ilk so we aren’t forced to suffer through another 18 starts of Rafael Montero, who went 5-11 and walked 67 in 119 innings. Could we possibly see the return of R.A. Dickey? A man can dream…
Finally. Finally. FINALLY! We are less than a week away from baseball and I cannot wait. Spring training is usually the hardest part of the off-season to get through because of the meaningless baseball on TV that just taunts and teases, reminding you how much you missed the game.
Luckily for me, I will be attending my first ever Opening Day as the Mets take on the Braves at Citi Field and I am pumped up. Noah Syndergaard takes the mound, most of the lineup is healthy (minus poor David Wright) and it’s going to be a great day-off from work.
As for the 2017 season for the Mets, I really don’t know what to expect. Last year was an injury plagued season and I’m having trouble believing this year will be any different. We’ve already seen Steven Matz go through his usual elbow issues. On top of that, who knows how Matt Harvey, Jack deGrom and Zack Wheeler will bounce back, and how much of a workload they each can take on.
When it comes to the offense, I feel we have a pretty solid squad 1-8, provided everybody stays healthy. I don’t really feel there is any major plus in the lineup outside of Yoenis Cespedes, but I also don’t think there’s a major weak link in the chain. Cespedes had a fantastic spring and I think he’s ready to show he deserved that big contract extension.
I’m definitely not one to make predictions, so I’m just going to hope for the best and enjoy the ride. Let’s go Mets and thank God baseball is almost back!
Oh, baseball how I missed thee. I know it’s only an exhibition game in February, but it was quite refreshing to spend my Sunday afternoon watching Mets baseball.
When it comes to sports, baseball and football are by far my two favorites. But the thing is, when it’s baseball season I don’t miss football, and when it’s football season I long for baseball.
There’s something about he game that just captures my heart in a way no other game possibly could. The sounds, the smells, the feeling of summer glory. Just stepping on a baseball field or watching a game instantly rushes me back to my childhood and reminds me of when I first learned to love the greatest sport ever played.
There was a time in my life that I watched baseball with too much emotion. Seeing the Mets lose a game could ruin my day. But as you mature as a fan, you learn that you don’t need to see your team win it all to enjoy the game (though I imagine it would be amazing, still waiting for a Mets’ World Series win in my lifetime.)
You learn to respect the beauty of baseball, win or lose. You learn to savor those hot nights in the stands, or on your couch taking in the sound of fastballs blasting off of bats. You learn to relish just listening to the commentary and finding out something new every night about the thing you thought you already knew every possible thing about, or seeing something that has never been done before.
Yes, it’s only a game. But it’s the best game, and I can’t wait for the season to start. Let’s go Mets, and thank God for baseball.