I’ve been writing about David Wright and how he is, and should be, the captain of the Mets for years. So clearly I’m happy it’s finally been officially proclaimed.
It doesn’t mean anything of course, and yet it’s nice to see. 99% of what I love about the Mets is simply that they’re the Mets and they play baseball. That 1% that is what the players do off the field, the uniform, the history and continuity, enjoys the celebration of one of the greatest Mets ever. We should appreciate David Wright while he’s here and in his prime, because we’re going to be talking about him for decades to come. Part of the celebration and appreciation is him being named captain. It’s part of the story, and even though it’s not ultimately anything to fixate over, it’s still fun.
Sometimes it’s just fun to make some Mets animated gifs.
It appears that you have a chance to meet David Wright, get Mets tickets, and possibly watch batting practice from the field.
All you have to do is recreate your favorite Mets moment in a YouTube video. There are couple of rounds to the selection process, but the final round is apparently decided by David himself, so might I suggest you pick a David Wright moment to reenact? Perhaps the first home run at Citi Field?
Full details here.
We’ve got some World Baseball Classic games to keep us warm for now, but Opening Day is right around the corner. It’s staying lighter at night longer now, the weather is starting to warm a little, and baseball is less than three weeks away. It’s time to prepare yourself.
Catch up on television and clean out your DVRs. Once baseball arrives you’ll find a lot less time to watch those shows.
Get your fantasy drafts ready. If you’re planning on playing in one this year, now’s the time to start getting them settled so you have some headway to make trades and adjust your bench before the season starts.
Load up your fridge with beer (If you’re the drinking type/age anyway). Even if I’m not at the game I like to have a beer to open the season, it just seems natural. Opening Day at the park is usually pretty chilly, which is one of the reasons I’ve been advocating a nice porter or stout at Citi Field, maybe this year my wish will come true.
Remember your Twitter friends’ real names. If you’re like me you’re always running into fellow fans at Citi Field that you know on the internet. I always find it slightly awkward to introduce myself as Ceetar (but if I say Michael, how will you know who I am?), so sometimes it’s worth remember what people call themselves out there in that crazy real world.
What are some of the other things you like to get squared away for the start of the baseball season?
Metspolice tweeted this, and got me thinking. (There may be mild spoilers here, I’ve read all the books and I’m not entirely sure I remember which secrets aren’t revealed in the show yet)
Are there any other Game of Thrones slash Mets fans?King Joffrey is my new favorite nickname for certain executives.
— metspolice (@metspolice) March 5, 2013
It’s easy to want to paint them as bumbling, whiny child-kings, it certainly fits some of the narrative, but I don’t think Joffrey’s the best fit. If you think about it a little, the whole Lannister clan fits the Steinbrenner family better. Joffrey is a great fit for a younger George Steinbrenner, demanding things because he is king, chopping heads because he’s angry, and throwing hissy fits when the opposition has any success.
The Wilpons are probably a better fit for Stannis Baratheon. Basically good, but completely unloved and bitter about that lack. He’s probably the rightful king, but no one really wants to see him on the throne. His actions are guided by a future-seeing witch woman, much like the Wilpons were guided by Bernie Madoff. He suffered a bad blow at the Battle of the Blackwater, but that looks to be behind him now.
Daenerys Targaryen is probably the magical next Mets owner that people are clamoring for. This ‘rightful heir’ to the throne who many aren’t even sure actually lives, commands fire-breathing dragons and it’s her birthright to rule. While she’s dreamed of owning a major league baseball team one day, she’s currently involved in other activities.
Mace Tyrell is Jim Dolan. A scheming manipulator with an interest in power. He controls an important asset in the area (Cablevision/ Margaery) and is willing to leverage that to gain more power. The threat of the Tyrells taking power is always there, just off the horizon, but there is a good chance it won’t go well for the kingdom if they do.
Who else do you think fits into this Game of Thrones comparison? Follow @Ceetar on Twitter and let me hear your suggestions.
You can read a full recap at Amazin’ Avenue.
Sandy had spoken earlier about not having been tempted yet to trade some pitching depth for a really good outfielder, or for anything else, but he then rattled off a dozen or so names and talked about the minor league roster crunch and that perhaps he’d be tempted soon. My question was meant to be a followup to that, where I asked, or tried to ask, what would push that temptation to the point that a trade is made?
He responded with a lot of talk about how close they came to making some moves with Bourn or Upton, and talked confidentially about the club, but it did dance around the question a bit. I was trying to figure out what the factor would be that changed his mindset from tempting to need and if part of the temptation might stem from the current plan getting derailed a little bit?
Perhaps if I could’ve asked a followup question I would’ve asked “If the Mets had won 83 games last year instead of what they did, is it more likely you would’ve traded for Upton?” What I was really looking for is if the temptation to trade these players is going to be the result of the team’s success, or is going to drive the team’s success. When does focus shift from making shrewd transactions to needing to acquire the player you want, even if it’s an overpay. Is it only when adding a player like Justin Upton makes the Mets a favorite to make the playoffs, or can it be done simply to make the team better and let other factors, such as long-term success from Zack Wheeler, be what puts them over the top?
If you’re like me, you’ve adopted the Toronto Blue Jays as your American League team since it has former Mets favorites R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, and a few others. In an effort to get to know the entire team, and not just those guys, I’ve decided to take a closer look at the rest of the team, starting with the rotation.
We’re familiar with Josh Johnson, as he was acquired from the Miami Marlins. After barely pitching in 2011, Johnson’s 2012 wasn’t great. He was still a good pitcher, he just walked a few more and gave up a few more hits than his career line suggests. It’s not unreasonable to expect him to bounce back a little, even in the American League, and be a terrific starter for the Blue Jays.
Mark Buehrle was also acquired from the Marlins, and is one of the more consistent pitchers in baseball. He spent most of his career with the White Sox, so he’s not unfamiliar with the American League. Last year he had a pretty good year, with a 3.74 ERA and nearly a career low 1.171 WHIP. He actually struck out more and walked less than his career norms during his stint in Miami. Going into his age 34 season I’d expect much of the same from him, and that will be very valuable to the Blue Jays.
Ricky Romero is the youngest pitcher of the five at 28, although only a couple months younger than Brandon Morrow who’s only a couple of months younger than Josh Johnson. Ricky Romero had a bad season last year, struggling with his control and leading the league in walks. Romero’s always been a bit wild, but prior to 2012 he walked two less guys per nine innings and that led to a lot of success in his first three years in the majors. I don’t know what to expect from Romero next year off of reading his stat lines and a couple of posts from writers that also seem unsure of what the reason was for Romero’s drastic decline. It would seem reasonable to expect him to be better than he was last year certainly, although probably not as good as he was in 2011 when he enjoyed a very high batting average on balls in play and corresponding low hits per nine innings. Romero will probably take the ball, pitch a lot of innings, and generally keep his team in the game. On a team that just imported three good starting pitchers, that’s probably perfectly fine.
Brandon Morrow is the last but not least member of the rotation. He suffered some oblique problems last year limiting his innings and also presumably lowering his strikeout rate which was much lower than his normal rate. He made eight starts to end the season so perhaps that is behind him, but he’s never pitched more than 180 innings in the majors so it is something to worry about. He throws hard and even though he had a career low strikeout rate last year, he also cut out some of the walks and ended up with a career low ERA. If his oblique is fine and his strikeouts return, he’s a guy you can expect a good year from and certainly a big contributor to what looks like a very nice rotation up in Toronto.
Those are the four guys projected to join R.A. Dickey in the Blue Jays rotation, and it looks like a tough year for AL East batters. As is the case in most years there will be injuries that cause other players to get some starts, but these are the five who will start the year for Toronto.
Shannon Shark of Metspolice.com has released an eBook entitled Send The Beer Guy.(Hey wait, aren’t I the beer guy?) I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet, got a library book under the gun, but it’s on deck. I’ve heard it’s good, and Shannon was teasing some of the stories at the Mets Police awards in January.
I’ve joined Jeff Paternostro and Rob Castellano on the Amazin’ Avenue Audio the past two weeks. This week we talked about a whole bunch of stuff, from Sandy’s culpability for the current roster, the catchers, Stub Hub, some Mets prospects, and a bunch of other things. Check it out. If you haven’t been paying attention, I’ve been writing for Amazin’ Avenue a bunch too, so check that out as well.
Opening Day tickets will go on sale next Friday at 10am. There will be various pre-sales earlier in the week as well, and while most games won’t be that high in demand it’s still nice to get your tickets in hand sooner rather than later, especially if you know you want to get to one of the promotion dates such as Banner Day or David Wright Bobblehead Day. Of course, Opening Day tickets will be expensive as well given that it’s one of three premium games. Expect the cheapest seats to be at least $50. Dynamic pricing may make the price spike as tickets go on sale, and certain sections may drop in a couple of days after the initial rush dies down. Last year’s Opening Day was a record crowd though, so if you’re set on Opening Day or the Subway Series, don’t hesitate.
I’ve been kind of quiet this offseason, but baseball season is so close I can smell the Shake Shack so expect more posts, both here and at Amazin’ Avenue, which you can find a link to my posts on the right sidebar. Follow me on Twitter (Follow @Ceetar), and you can find Optimistic Mets Fan on Facebook and Google+ as well. I’ve also been known to post a lot of Mets pictures to Instagram.
Greg Prince pointed out that the Mr. Met on the new Mets batting practice cap isn’t wearing his own cap. As i’m a programmer fond of infinite recursion, I took to Photoshop to take care of that.
Welcome to the inaugural #spinit post, where I try to be cloyingly positive about reader-submitted topics. To submit a topic for me to ‘spin’, tweet (And follow) me @Ceetar with the hashtag #spinit or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— MK (@attgig) January 14, 2013
It’d be easy to simply reference the blind nut principle with bullpens; sooner or later these relievers are going to have good years, but I don’t think that’s necessary. The Mets bullpen has the potential to be pretty good in 2013, and certainly ‘decent’ is a low bar.
Bobby Parnell is a good reliever. He was their best reliever last year, and he throws hard. That’s a start. The Mets have a handful of fringe type prospects and young pitchers that can throw some that they can mix and match in the bullpen. Guys like Josh Edgin, Robert Carson, Elvin Ramirez and even Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia.
The Mets did fill their bullpen with some signings as well. Brandon Lyon is usually pretty good. He can certainly help.
LaTroy Hawkins is 40 years old, but he’s been pretty reliable as a pitcher over the years. He put up a decent year last year after an awesome one for the Brewers in 2011. If he has anything less in the tank, he should be good for some innings.
Pedro Feliciano re-signed with the Mets. He’s always been an excellent lefty reliever, and if he’s sufficiently recovered from the woes associated with being a Yankee, he could definitely be an asset.
Another pickup to keep an eye on is Greg Burke. Burke made some mechanic adjustments that led to a really terrific year for the Orioles AAA team. He throws side-arm now, and can hopefully use his newfound delivery to get some big outs for the Mets in 2013.
Bullpens are so often a crap shoot, but with the young arms and the potential of some of the other guys, there’s a good chance it can be a strength for the Mets in 2013. This is without mentioning Frank Francisco as a bounce back candidate. He really under-performed his peripherals last season, so perhaps this year he has a less volatile year and locks down his innings.