Mack’s Morning Report – 7-19-15 – Random Thoughts


Good morning.

Not too much this morning.

I first want to comment on the progress of the Mack’s Mets blog.

As all of you know, I have taken a step back and basically only post on Friday thought Sunday. Chris Soto has stepped up to handle the other four days of ‘The Morning Report’, Tom Brennan turns out the time consuming Minor League report, and Reese Kaplan, Ernest Dove, and Stephen Guilbert punch out consistent posts throughout the week.

Lastly, ‘D-Whit’ stops by occasionally with a timely post, Craig Mitchell recaps every Met game after the final pitch, and ‘The Brooklyn Cowbell Guy’ is supplying exclusive coverage on the Brooklyn Cyclones.

The quality of both the writers, and the readers that comment are, what I feel, the most baseball intelligent of any Mets online blog. It’s a daily pleasure to follow where each post goes via the comments left. Heck, the comments sometimes make more sense than the posts!

The future of Mack’s Mets is bright!

I’d like to spend a little time on ‘the reality’ of being a Mets fan right now, rather than being ‘a dreamer’ hoping that the Mets will add some stud superstar to help this team reach its 2015 goals.

Folks, we can spend all day discussing phantom trades, but the reality is this team is committed to their current long term contracts (David Wright, Jon Niese, Juan Lagares, Curtis Granderson, Michael Cuddyer).

The Mets are not going to go out and spend big bucks on a third baseman until the  Wright situation is resolved.

Regarding the outfield, Lagares is a Golden Glove centerfielder who has proven he can hit .280 when he’s healthy. .280 is a pretty damn good average in baseball these days and this guy doesn’t deserve to lose his job to Carlos Gomez, or anyone else.
As for Cuddyer and Granderson, they’re going to play folks… both through 2016… and Michael Conforto should replace one in 2007.

So, yes, Sandy Alderson may bring in a secondary player to add to the mix this season, but the fact is the Mets are going to have to make their way to the playoffs via the pitching mound, not the batting box.

Well, the team isn't off to the best post-All Star start.

Let me ask all of you a question.

If the Mets lose today, and then tank against Washington in their upcoming three game series, should the Mets just realize that that don't have the tools this year to make it to the playoffs and just shut down the walking wounded and become sellers?

I'm just saying... the plan for this team was for some things to transpire in 2015. Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz are supposed to be pitching in the rotation... David Wright is supposed to be playing third base. Travis d'Arnaud  is supposed to be behind the plate... and Juan Lagares is supposed to be a healthy center fielder.

This shit didn't work out but it doesn't mean it can't at some point next year. There is enough here to be a winner... hell, you may have the best rotation in baseball for the next three consecutive years starting in 2016.

Come on... put a more realistic plan together before you sell off a key chip for some two month loan drone.

First, call up d'Arnaud and tell him to pace himself for a full recovery with a target date of August.

Next, call up Wright and tell he you're going the route of the insurance relief and he's down for the count for the remainder of the year.

Next, take the glove away from Lagares and send him to the Mets doctors immediately to clean out what's floating around in his arm/shoulder.

Next, call Matz and make sure he isn't pushing it either and shut him down if it is necessary to better help the team next year.

Then, get on the phone with Wheeler people and keep monitoring him through his progress back.

From here, it's clean out time.

All bets are off for guys like Daniel Murphy, Bartolo Colon John Mayberry Jr., Jerry Blevens, and even possibly Bobby Parnell.

Lastly Jon Niese and the last year of the Michael Cuddyer contract would be in play with an offer for the Mets to eat a huge chuck of Cuddy's deal in return for on your infield or outfield prospect.

I have no idea at this point who I'd be playing but they couldn't be doing it less exciting that these guys are doing this week.

Just some discussion thoughts to ponder...


Thomas Brennan said...

Wright, I read a day or two ago, still not cleared for BB activities. Seems like it is getting close to time to retire and give the Mets spending clarity.

Ernest Dove said...

Im not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I hope my weekly posts educate, inform or at least humor everyone reading them ;)
I hope to once again hit the highway to port st lucie on the 30th and then enjoy/write about some beautiful minor league ball.

Mack part of me almost compares the season to what Nats did by shutting down Strasburg early that year.
Im in no way comparing the teams but hear me out.
Sports teams are never truly the same each year. In 2015 the Mets have something special on the mound.
Im worried about now punting the season and 'assuming' the aces will all be healthy and amazin next year.
Id prefer Mets SNEEK into playoffs with at least 3 of Harvey deGrom Thor and Matz and see what happens.

Although in reality these 10 games post beak are make or break.

bob gregory said...

If the Mets tank through today and the Nationals series then the next move should be obvious.
Before getting rid of any players, send Alderson packing.
Time to move on and let someone else develop a plan.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Ernest, you and Steve Guilbert are rocking the house. Check out Luis Mateo and report back if you see him in action.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

As I've said, you don't heal from stenosis and you sure as hell can't play competitive major league baseball.

I guess the Mets are waiting for Wright to come to this realization.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

I've been happy so far with the results of the season from a battered team, and I love watching the new kids on the mound, but we may have to start being more realistic if this team falls behind the Nats by 7 to 8 games.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

Your suggestion is also a viable option but I can't see the Wilpons doing that right after giving SA a new contract.

Ernest Dove said...

Hey Mack what are your thoughts on the SNY guys continuing to randomly comment during games, like last night, as if David Wright is coming back, be it this season or next?

Also, l believe its common knowledge that the 3B free agent class for 2016 is pretty much non existent in regards to talent, so now what?
Hope to resign Murph or be cheap and hope that Wilmer finally hits and takes over the position next year?

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

I don't have SNY anymore in South Carolina (my cable company dropped them) so I have no idea what they are saying about the Mets, in general, or Wright specifically.

I do know that you either get fired or you don't get your contract renewed if you don't tow the team line.

Were they saying that Wright was going to come back this or next year?

Ernest Dove said...

For example, last night they had brief discussion on what to do with Wilmer next year once Dilson is possibly given second base "and david wright returns".

They also kept saying in past month that Wright was ready to start working out and return by all star break or after up until that idea was finally killed publically this past week.

Rob Sargent said...

Come on Mack this team is not close to competing and your idea of kicking the can down the road instead of making moves to get better is typical Wilpon/Alderson reasoning. The Mets are Weak at 1st, SS, 3rd (Wright is done put a fork in him) LF and RF maybe they have a catcher (if he can play 20 games with out going on DL) 2nd baseman and CF that are passable. I would guess our great young pitching is already dreaming of the day they can go to a real major league team while they watch the Mets roll out the same old trash cans year after year.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

Well, the first part sounds like positive speculation by them on their own.

The second part is pure Met hype that is fed down from the front office. SA stopped being positive about Wright's return this year awhile back. TC keeps yapping about it which could come from other players that have talked to Wright and were told by him that was still the plan.

Wright has to get realistic about this and he will when and if he starts the rehab program playing competitive minor league games.

Can he play?

Well, let me put it this way... he will NEVER be painless again without an operation, which would eliminate any chance of playing again.

Play with pain or live painless without baseball.

His choice.

Mack Ade said...

Rob -

Do you have any 'positive' suggestions?

MetsMusings Mack said...

I agree, Mack. Do a little housecleaning , shut the guys down to get them healthy and push on to 2016

Jack said...

Ernest Dove,

They're getting their information from the Mets. It's the same information we all get. What do you expect them to do? Call bullshit without any hard evidence? That'd be irresponsbile and, frankly, dumb.

bob gregory said...

You know, the Mets have become like many of those bureaucratic, ted-tape, automated nightmare companies or got agencies.
The people that are out front to the public and press are never the ones responsible.
People can have a legitimate complaint or issue but the representatives that are reachable are not the ones that have power to change anything.
It's not Collins fault, he is like one of the customer service reps that have to follow a script and can only pass along your message.
Alderson fills the role of the customer service supervisor when there are issues. First difficult to get ahold of and then never really addresses the issue but recites corporate policy without really listening to the customer. In the end though you as the customer are left even more frustrated as he assures you the issue is being documented and the company will pass it on to higher ups. You as the customer are told though that you are unable to speak with any of those higher ups. He will however give you an address you can write to.

In the end the responsibility is always avoided and pushed upward toward what seems like a mythical corporate head that if in existence didn't really give a rat's rear end about you as a customer.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

You know I have said this for years...

The fans have one choice here.

Stop going to the games, buying the t-shirts, etc.

Don't fall for the trappings of a three game winning streak.

If you want true change out of this team... STAY AWAY

bob gregory said...

It's a shame that a life long fan like yourself would even come to the point of thinking such a thing would be necessary.

That in itself says so much about how terrible the Mets have been run.

Joshua said...

All we end up doing there is hurting ourselves. Hard reality is the Wilpons will be the owners of the Mets for the forseeable future. As long as that's the case, I find it hard to hold anyone below them accountable for their actions. It's impossible to nail every trade, promotion & free agent signing, but that's what Sandy has to do. Terry has to work w/ the AAAA roster he's been provided. The pitchers have to deal w/ the AAA lineup they've been supplied. The good hitters have to deal w/ the fact that there's no earthly reason to pitch to them. It just trickles down.

The way the Wilpons have decided to run the team, is to put the onus on the fans to show. If we want the payroll increase, we have to support the team, in spite of the Wilpons. It's downright wrong, but it's reality. Stop going to games, stop buying Shake Shack and T-shits, and we just end up punishing ourselves w/ a lower payroll. It's twisted, but it's reality. It's like some form of sports battered-wife syndrome.

That said, it makes no sense for the Mets to trade any valuable, under-contract players/prospects for a big-time rental. There is zero chance we are going to extend them, and we'll have to sign a less expensive, aging vet (Cuddy/Grandy) to replace them next year. It'll set us back going forward.

I hope they make a few minor additions...maybe a LOOGY, a 4th OF, a lefty bat off the bench. Hope that d'Arnaud and whatever you get out of Wright helps. Hope that the guys we have that can hit (Cuddy/Duda/Murph/Grandy/Wilmer) do so and roll the dice. Cause another other hard reality in 2015, is that if we do manage to sneak into the post season, after shut-downs, we might be doing it w/ a rotation of Niese, Colon, Gee, Montero & Verrett.

Joshua said...

That all sounds very depressing when I look at it now. But, just for the record, I'm enjoying this Mets season more than any in a while. It's a nice chance to be complaining about an team over .500 after the break. And I do have faith that we will be in the middle of the race all season. Our pitching is stellar, we legitimately only need like 3 runs a game to win 3 out of 5, and I think we can do that...I think. Oh yeah, and the biggest factor...the NL, and NL East specifically, are f'n terrible.

Mack Ade said...

Joshua -

Then let's go back to the original question in today's post.

Take the Mets first half W-L record and add (at the beginning of the year) a healthy d'Arnaud, Wright, Lagares, Wheeler, and Matz.

Did SA build a good team?

Joshua said...


I believe he did build a good team. Maybe better than good, in the context of the budget constraints he's been given. I also believe deep down he felt this was the year we get over .500, lengthen out the young SPs, and get a final read on what positions need upgrading from outside the organization. 2016 being the year we compete for real. Maybe the 11 game win streak and the raised expectations were the worst thing that could have happened?

But maybe that's just the Stockholm Syndrome talking.

Joshua said...

My reasonable expectations for Mets going into 2015:

C - d'Arnaud (Same as now, w/ 1 DL stint instead of 2)
1B - Duda (Same as now)
2B - Murph (Same as now)
3B - Wright (misses a couple weeks w/ random injury, slight decline w/ bat)
SS - Wilmer (Same as now)
LF - Cuddy (25% decline from COL, misses a couple weeks w/ random injury)
CF - Lagares (Same as last year)
RF - Grandy (Same as now)
Tejada - (career average year)
Mayberry - (career average year)

SP - (Same as now) (-Colon/-Gee/Niese/Harvey/+deGrom/+Thor/+Matz)
RP - (Same as now) (-Mejia/+Familia, average performace otherwise)

I think that alternate-universe Mets team is 2-3 games up on The Nationals right now. So based on my expectations going into the season and how things have played out in the division and league, I'd say he built a good team. But certainly he could have built a deeper one.

Mack Ade said...

Joshua -

I agree with you and that's why I think the Mets should consider shutting it down... IF (the original premise of this post)... they tank today and against Washington's 3 game series.

Joshua said...

I think we agree, I just wouldn't deal off pieces like Niese, Murph, Gee or Grandy unless they're somehow bringing back really valuable pieces for 2016, and I don't see that happening. I wouldn't so much go into Shut-It-Down Mode, as Seth-Smith-And-A-LOOGY-Is-All-You're-Getting-So-Good-With-Luck-That Mode.

Stubby said...

We're in second, three games back, in July...and you're ready to call it a day and give up until next year. That's just silly.

In 1969, the Mets were 9 games back in mid-August. Mid-season, they looked awful, getting swept twice by the Astros. And they were no offensive juggernaut. In 1973, they were 5 and a half out and in fifth heading into September. Mid-September, they were still in fourth, though within 3 of first. And any fair look at that '73 club would tell you that, beyond pitching, they were pretty much a collection of spare parts. To quote Bluto from "Animal House," "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!"

I don't see any reason why we can't do both...protect our long term assets and compete in the present. I watched Washington today. They're not running away with anything. The Mets have had good stretches and bad stretches and we're still right there.

You want to shut Lagares down for the rest of the season? I'm OK with that. We can be cautious with Matz and d'Arnaud without shutting them down for the season. And what David chooses to do, I leave to him. But I certainly believe he can come back this year and be, if nothing else, that reliable bat off the bench that we've always needed. If I were him, I'd want to--pain and all. Because, for David, this may well be his last best chance to get to the Series.

We've got the pitching. We've even got the pitching depth to withstand the injuries there. And pitching is what wins championships. Always has, always will.

Were I in the front office, I would look to make a trade or two, though. And I think we have enough chips on the farm, now, that I'm not overly concerned about over paying. Doesn't have to be Matz or Thor and you're not getting back Todd Frazier or Addison Russell either (but you weren't getting them regardless). You do a Wheeler for Beltran in reverse is all...yes, even for a two month rental. Lacking that, there are useful plug-and-play guys who can help you out, if you have a feel for the whole picture and stop looking at just sections of it.

What you do not do is give up until next year when you're three games out in July. The dominant wire-to-wire team (see 1986) is the aberration. Most pennants are won by a combination of fighting through adversity and sheer luck. We're nowhere near out of this thing. And we have no way of knowing what will happen next year. If you tell me that you foresaw all these injuries and still being just three games out after the break this year, I'd have to call you a liar. So next year isn't a given; its a complete mystery. We're right in it right now. You go for it. With apologies to Geico, that's what you do.

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