Posted in Baseball, New York Mets

Hoping the Mets emerge from hibernation

We’re about six weeks away from the start of MLB spring training, and most of the best free agents are still looking for jobs. So there’s still time and opportunity for the Mets to make some moves to improve their club for the 2018 season.

And that’s a good thing, because so far all they’ve done is lock up reliever Anthony Swarzak for the next two years. It could just be a negotiating position, but so far GM Sandy Alderson looks like he’s planning to go into 2018 with substantially the same roster that he had at the end of last season – a year where the Mets lost 92 games and scored just 735 runs while allowing 863.

If the Mets can avoid key injuries — no guarantee for any organization, especially this one — they will be better than they were last year. But still, it’s hard to believe that the current team is likely to have a record much better than the .500 mark.

John Harper is the latest columnist to call on the Mets to loosen the purse strings to compete before the window that opened with the 2015 playoff run closes completely. There’s a fan movement to boycott until Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz sell the team.

I understand where that fan anger is coming from, but I don’t think this is a battle I want to fight.

I’ll savor the experience of being at the ballpark on the one or two occasions I go to Citi Field this summer. I’ll put games on as background noise when I’m home. I’ll enjoy the great performances we get from players like Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes and Amed Rosario.

And if the Mets stop being fun at all, I will stop paying attention to them.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that.

Posted in Baseball, New York Mets

Last Mets standing

I thought I was numb.

It’s been an awful year for the New York Mets – yesterday afternoon’s lost dropped their record to 55-71, including a miserable 28-39 at home. (I feel blessed that they actually won one of the handful of games I went to this season.)

There have been so many injuries that the team is actually issuing press releases to help the media keep track of who’s hurt, who might be coming back soon and who’s done for the season.

Thanks to a series of summer trades, the Mets have become the second youngest team in baseball. And many of the veterans who are left — I’m looking at you, Yoenis Cespedes — have underperformed. A lot. (Cespedes, earning the highest salary among the 2017 Mets, has a 1.6 Fangraphs WAR — just 0.2 points higher than what Noah Syndergaard accomplished in 27.1 innings.)

I still put the Mets on as background noise if I’m home, but I haven’t actively paid attention to every minute of the tv broadcasts since early June.

Yesterday, I got to see the ugly footage of Michael Conforto dislocating his shoulder during his likely final plate appearance of 2017. And surprise, surprise… the Mets can still deliver that sucker punch even when you thought it couldn’t get worse.

My heart goes out to Conforto, who was on his way to becoming the Mets’ best player and one of baseball’s stars this year with an amazing season. Hopefully the Mets’ leadership will handle his injury properly and Conforto will be able to pick up where he left off next year.

Conforto, and more recently rookies Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith, were the reasons I was still watching Mets baseball this year.

Let’s hope Rosario and Smith can both make it to October 1st.

Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Uncategorized

Ugly baseball in Staten Island

facepalm-captain-picardI watched the Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees play one of the worst games of professional baseball that I have ever seen last night.

The two teams combined for 10 errors, and the Cyclones gave up 14 runs (though only three were counted as earned runs.)

As unlikely as it seemed last night, the two teams are battling for a playoff spot in the New York-Penn League. Here’s hoping the ugly game was an aberration for Brooklyn.

On the bright side, I got five players to sign their cards in my Brooklyn Cyclones team set including prospects Amed Rosario and Jhoan Urena.

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Brooklyn Cyclones autographs #Mets

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The Cyclones will be giving out a sheet of retro baseball cards featuring the team’s All-Stars on Sunday, sponsored by the Daily News. I’m thinking about going to get them and try to get more of my team set signed.

For a full rundown of what’s going on at MCU Park this weekend, check out Brooklyn Baseball Banter.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

A pair of New York – Penn League games

Parachute Jump 100_5176

Last week, I got to check out the Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees. (I like to go to at least one Cyclones game every year, and I’ve added the Staten Island Yankees to the list because I really enjoy their ballpark.)

For Thursday’s hockey night jersey giveaway in Brooklyn, I arrived almost two hours before the gates opened, and there were already a dozen or so folks lined up. By the time my friend joined me, the line stretched back to the ticket windows and it looped around into a giant snake by the time the ballpark opened for all fans at 5:30 p.m.

I was impressed with the organization of the crowd, but most appeared to be Cyclones’ regulars who come to all of the team’s weekly jersey giveaways. Fans had the option of paying $3 to trade the size XL jersey they were handed at the gate for a size XXL one at a table inside if they chose. (I’m not sure if folks who would have preferred a smaller jersey were also accommodated.)

Unfortunately, I timed my trip badly in another respect – I missed seeing 2014 New York Mets first round draft pick Michael Conforto make his professional debut by two days. ( He was still in California for an awards show when I went.)

Continue reading “A pair of New York – Penn League games”