Last year, a fellow Mets fan surprised me with a bunch of the Topps Now cards released during the team’s Wild Card-winning season.
For those unfamiliar with Topps Now, just about every day during the baseball season, Topps produces one or more baseball cards focusing on a highlight from the previous days’ games. Those cards are available for 24 hours, and Topps prints however many people buy.
The 2016 Mets were tied for 25th in the majors in runs scored despite ranking 5th in home runs. And since it seems like the offensive game plan is going to be the same in next year, don’t you want to have a deeper lineup where all three of your starting outfielders are legitimate 20+ home run threats?
But ok, Cespedes is a Gold Glove left fielder, while neither Bruce nor Granderson are considered strong defensive players. Maybe Alderson is trying to shore up the defense in a deal? Nope… at least not according to what Newsday’s Marc Carig is hearing. The Mets are hoping to unload one of their outfielders for “prospects or even a controllable bullpen piece.”
If Bruce is traded, Granderson would play center and presumably Michael Conforto would inherit right…perhaps in a platoon with Juan Lagares. If Granderson gets traded, Bruce plays right and Conforto and Lagares platoon in center.
So unless Conforto figures out how to hit curveballs this winter and starts living up to the promise we saw when he first came up in 2015, we’re probably looking at an offense that will be very similar to what we watched last year.
And I don’t think I have to remind anyone that wasn’t always a whole lot of fun.
But at least we don’t have to find out how much worse the Mets’ offense could look without Cespedes. So we’ve got that going for us, which is something.
This week’s featured Mets baseball card is really a sticker, a promo for Topps’ MLB Wacky Packages product that’s coming out in March. It’s part of my collection thanks to one of my blog readers, but I’m really not sure what to say about the “N.Y. Deli Meat Mitts.” (John also sent along some other, more traditional baseball cards and I’m sure I will get to featuring some of them in the days ahead. All are much appreciated.)
I have to admit that I’m not really feeling the spring training vibe this year. Sure, it was fun when camps officially opened a couple of weeks ago. But since then, all we’ve had to focus on are stories about Yoenis Cespedes‘ car collection, the new slide rule, and a whole bunch of other stuff that doesn’t seem very interesting.
Maybe Friday’s first Mets spring training game telecast will rekindle some of my enthusiasm. (It probably will for the first few innings… until the field is invaded by players wearing football numbers and identified in on-screen graphics as “minor league guy.”)
But I don’t think I’ll really be excited about baseball season until Sunday night, April 3rd, when the Mets play their first game that counts.
This week’s featured Mets baseball card is a 2015 Topps Chrome Update card of Yoenis Cespedes.
I am in the minority of baseball card collectors that has absolutely no use for Topps Chrome – why should anyone pay more for a card that’s exactly the same as one they already have, just because it’s on flashy cardstock?
This card ended up in my collection by mistake – I was hoping to find a Cespedes Mets card that I could mail to him this spring to take a chance and see if I could get his autograph. It’s really not suitable for that, but a flashy baseball card does seem suitable for a flashy guy like Cespedes.
Here’s hoping he has enough magic to bring the Mets to the playoffs again in 2016.