FLUSHING, NY – It’s been a while since I went to a New York Mets game. Yesterday’s matinee worked into what’s been a hectic and difficult-to-plan-around schedule. Indeed, the planets aligned for one glorious, sun-splashed day of baseball fun. Toss in the added naughty feeling of playing hooky, which is always great. And since it was a Thursday afternoon game and the team hasn’t exactly been killing it in the win column, tickets we’re easy to come by at a reasonable price. The ballpark had a pretty solid attendance, however, as somebody finally figured out that groups of kids getting tickets for free or for next to nothing was a good idea. The result was a robust crowd with eager-to-cheer-for-anything kids looking for anything to warrant a primal scream for their team. And that leads yours truly to today’s topic: State of the Mets Address
When you watch the team up close you get a much better perspective than you do through your TV, tablet, phone, watch, laptop, desktop or listening device. Yesterday’s game was a microcosm of everything the 2023 Mets have been doing wrong, rather than
Wright, write right (confounded A.I.). During last year’s anomaly, everything possible break went their way, other than Jacob deGreed. But as I said on this site repeatedly in the offseason, this was a group of 240 hitters. Yours humbly also said it repeatedly throughout last year – that certain players we’re getting awfully lucky compared to their career bests and level of play. The stark reality is that the 2022 New York Mets were indeed downright lucky!
Okay… that was then. What about now? Glad you asked. Here’s what has to happen:
SEND PETE ALONSO DOWN
There’s no doubting this guy’s passion or commitment. But the Metsies need to show that they are committed to this guy’s long term success. After a good start to the season and a bucket-load of home runs, he got hit on the wrist and broke a bone. Instead of being cautious and letting him get a few rehab starts under his belt in the miners, the Mets brass threw him right back into the percolating pressure pit of a tumbling team. The result has been catastrophic and he is absolutely killing the team. Send him down right now. Let him clear his head and get his swing and mojo back before you ruin him permanently. A good management team would do this for him, because there’s no way in hell he is going to say, “Hey Buck, I need to go down and work on a few things.” Make the decision for him. He’s hitting .201, for… wait for it… Pete’s sake! And heck, his offensive struggles are obviously affecting his defense, to boot (a ground ball). He will look great in a Rumble Ponies‘ uniform for two weeks, and have fans racing to see him. Everybody wins!!!
BAT FRANCISCO LINDOR 8th
The Polar Bear isn’t the only one that is ice cold and has his head frozen when it comes to getting in the batter’s box. Money/salary cannot keep this guy batting 3rd. Just about every at bat he is in a 0-2 hole. Regardless of the count, his swing and approach are exactly the same, which makes getting him out easy for any bona fide Major League pitcher. Yesterday was a perfect example of his illogical and one-dimensional approach to hitting. It was Amazin’ how quickly he would be down in the count and then walking back to the dugout – as though all was good in the world. Get him the feck out of the 3-hole, Buck.
BAT JEFF McNeil 9th
The Squirrel has become the blind squirrel that simply cannot find that nut of squirrel cliché lore. Remember, this is last year’s batting champion! Like Lindor, he needs to be moved down in the order and told to take a strike. His slapping at the baseball is great when he finds a hole – after working the count. Remember that grinding-at-bats team of last year? They vanished into thin, Canadian smoke-filled air, folks. Yet as McNeil’s average drops more and more, he’s swinging at the first pitch more and more. WTF?! Again, make the decision for the player. Take the pressure off his furry little shoulders. That’s what good management does. McNeil will find his swing at some point, and when he does he can bat second or third.
And that brings us to the crux of the issue:
ESTABLISH A FORGOTTEN MERITOCRACY
What happened to the days of having to perform to play? It can’t simply be about the money. Buck Showalter should be allowed to establish that from here on in playing time and positioning in the batting order will be directly related to success. As simple as that sounds, it is a lost mantra in professional baseball, particularly with the higher-priced players. You want to bat higher in the order? You want more playing time? Fine. Prove that you deserve it. Here’s the cure-all:
MAKE. THEM. EARN. IT.
MLB TRADE DEADLINE & METS
Unless the Mets win 7 of the 9 games before the August 1, 6PM ET deadline, they MUST be Sellers. They should be told that in the locker-room, as well. It’s big boy pants time. All but Alavarez are available.
That’s all for today. Please feel free to leave your comments below and they don’t need to be related to the new york mets. Just keep them civil and sports related.
P.S… some quick notes about the ballpark experience.
#1 Using cash is rapidly becoming next to impossible.
#2 When you buy a ticket through an app, you need the Major League Ballpark app to actually facilitate the other app. That’s a pain in the keester.
#3 Seeing the large groups of kids having fun, especially on the BIG screen, was magical. Well done, Metsies.
If you haven’t been to the ballpark get out there STAT.