Thank you Eric for joining our list of Mets pundits who we're asking five key New York Mets questions.
So, let's get started...
1. Judging that there is a new television deal in place and the fact that the New York real estate market has rebounded, can we assume that the Mets can’t deal up the ‘we are broke’ card again in future drafts and off-seasons?
I honestly have no idea what the Mets' finances are like. It's worthwhile to distinguish between "the Mets" and "the Wilpons," however. Weak attendance and mediocre teams have rendered the Mets a losing proposition, financially, of late. Should the Wilpons spend more money in an effort to make the team more competitive and, they'd hope, more profitable? Perhaps, but that assumes they have the money to do so, and, to bring this point back around, I simply don't know if they do.
2. No one has been more perplexed at the under-slotting and lack of drafting power names early on in the drafts. Do you see any chance in this come June by Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta?
The Mets were notorious for hewing to the recommended slot bonuses under Omar Minaya, but they've drafted a bit more aggressively under DePodesta. They're not likely to overpay for anyone, but I think they'll spend more liberally, particularly for later-round draftees with signability concerns
3. I was lucky to spend a couple of years in the clubhouse during spring training. The team has lost a handful of real nice guys this past off-season. In your opinion, how important is team chemistry off the field and what happens when some wild card (like Kelly Shoppach or Jordany Valdespin) shows up?
All other things being equal, most organizations, baseball or otherwise, will naturally prefer good people to lousy ones. The problem is that all other things are rarely equal, so teams are left to choose between superior players with inferior attitudes and inferior players with superior attitudes. Now, you might reasonably give up a small bit of on-field talent in exchange for superlative character traits, but smart teams will rarely go much beyond that. In general, successful teams have good chemistry and struggling teams have bad chemistry, and it's not too difficult to distinguish cause from effect.
4. The 2015 rotation looks like Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, Noah Syndergaard, and ??? Care to make a guess who the SP5 will be?
Smart money is on Livan Hernandez.
5. Queens wise, in your opinion, when do we see our next Mets playoff game?
Probably no sooner than 2015, though I think the Mets should nevertheless be an enjoyable team to watch between now and then.