Archive for February 9th, 2018

It’s All New Monday

Pitchers and catchers are making their way to Florida and Arizona as camps begin to open.  Many players have already been there working out for some time.  That’s true of the Mets as well. A new era is about to begin in Port St. Lucie.

For the first time since 2011, a new manager will be at the helm for the New York Mets.  In the past I would have been excited about such a move.  However, I’m beginning to think that no matter what the Mets do, the goal of sustaining success year after year, like a certain cross town team seems to achieve annually, will just never happen.  I’m not saying that the Mets will have another down year like the season last but I’m also not buying into the thought that the Mets are going to go back to the playoffs either.

If everyone remains healthy for a change and the players live up to the back of their baseball cards, there is no reason to think that the Mets cannot have a very good season.  But on the other hand, that’s just not the way it has gone the last couple of campaigns, even when they made the playoffs as a wild card team in 2016.  Injury upon injury, the heralded pitching staff that has never been in the five man rotation at the same time, the catching duo of Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki not able to live up to the hype, and the overworked bullpen that imploded lead after lead—doesn’t’ leave me feeling warm and fuzzy moving forward.

It’s safe to say that the negative heebie-geebies have taken control of my ability to feel confident as another Mets season is about to begin.  I’m feeling the same way a lot of Mets fans feel.  That’s really too bad because when you look at the off season, the Mets have actually done quite a bit.  And contrary to a large amount of Mets fans, the team has dumped more money into the free agent pool than most clubs.  Their latest acquisition of third baseman Todd Frasier will help to solidify the infield and add some needed protection to the lineup.  Although his batting average is not that great, his on-base-percentage is and he hits for power.  Frasier is a solid defender and also very reliable to be in the line-up on a day in and day out basis.  He’s a very good addition to this team, especially when you consider that David Wright’s career, at least as an everyday player, is very likely over.

With Mickey Callahan as the new manager, someone who everyone raves about, the voice in the clubhouse will be fresh.  In fact the entire coaching staff has been overhauled with some very good people. Gary Disarcina comes over from the Red Sox with very high marks.  He’s the new bench coach that is considered one of the best in baseball.  Dave Eiland takes over the pitching.  For most of the Mets pitchers, it will be the first new voice they’ve heard in a long time, having been under the tutelage of Dan Warthen for their entire major league careers.  Eiland did a fantastic job with the Royals who defeated the Mets in the 2015 World Series.  Then of course there are the player changes.

In addition to Frasier, Sandy Alderson signed Jay Bruce, reliever Anthony Swarzak, Adrian Gonzales (ah…), pitcher Daniel Zamora, and resigned Jose Reyes who will be a bench player (let’s hope). Also the Mets have completely revamped their medical department.  That combined with Callahan’s approach to health will hopefully keep most of the Mets on the field this season.

So with all the Mets have done over the off season, why am I not more optimistic?  Well as the saying goes, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… Hopefully I, a mean we, will be pleasantly surprised.  It all starts Monday, February 12th, in Port St. Lucie, Florida.