From The Desk – World’s Largest Baseball Convention, The Rays’ Closing the Upper Deck, Next Year’s Free Agent Class, Mets Ticket Sales, Jeff Banister


Good morning.

World's Largest Baseball Convention    Comes to Grapevine –

The world's largest baseball convention is taking place at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. More than 6,000 coaches are expected at the 75th Annual American Baseball Coaches Association Convention Thursday through Sunday. The convention includes the ABCA Trade Show and Expo Theater as well as committee and divisional meetings as well as workshops for new coaches. The ABCA Trade Show will feature more than 300 companies showing off the latest baseball equipment and products as well as coaching and training gear, machines, technology and apparel.

            Mack – Boy, I do sometimes wish I still lived in Dallas.
            (wonder if Ernest will have a booth there…)

The Rays’ closing the upper deck   makes sense, unless it was your baseball home –

The Rays are closing the upper deck at Tropicana Field, ostensibly to consolidate expenses while creating a more energetic atmosphere in the stadium. Season-ticket holders in the 300 Level are being told they can choose more expensive seats in the 200 Level and the outfield for no additional charge.

            Mets – Tampa is bleeding baseball in a bad way.

Florida baseball seems to be a good thing for spring training.  Miami is a mess. Orlando and Jacksonville are not going down this road.
Move this team.

Wait til you see next year's free-agent class   -

    Among the players with options or opt-outs are Anthony Rizzo, Matt Carpenter, J.D. Martinez, Chris Archer, Jake Arrieta, Corey Kluber, Stephen Strasburg, Elvis Andrus, Starling Marte and Nelson Cruz, so the actual free-agent class could look very different by the time we get to next November. Some of the players listed below could also sign extensions, which would take them off the market.

                       Mack – Click on the link. The list is quite impressive.

Mets salesperson has no idea why a fan would drop their season ticket plan    -

           Apparently, one Mets fan wasn’t as excited for the 2019 season as the team, which led to the cancellation of his ticket plan. The Mets ticket representative responded with a somewhat aggressive tone:

            Well done, Mets ticket rep, your logic has made it impossible to say no to the 2019 Mets.

In all seriousness, there are plenty of reasons to say no to the Mets. So many reasons, both historically and currently. The team won 77 games last year and, as good as Cano, Diaz and Ramos are, it’s hard to see the newcomers being enough of a difference by themselves to vault the Mets into the 90+ wins range usually needed to make the playoffs.

There are also definitely some warts to all of the moves mentioned in the email, like Cano’s age and salary, Familia’s off-field incidents, the volatility of relievers in general and Ramos’ health.

Or maybe, just maybe, some ticket holders simply don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on Mets tickets this year.

Pittsburgh Pirates News: Jeff Banister   Is Back –

Banister spent 29 years in the Pirates organization before becoming the manager for the Texas Rangers, where he saw his club go 325-313 including two AL West championships in four seasons.


Tom Brennan said...

Nice future free agent list, Brodie certainly is looking ahead...while also looking at what to do today. I sent him my letter about the need to look into home field Mets impotence on Friday. Maybe someone will read it.

Hope the Dove Man is doing well.

Lots of folks in Tampa area...they should run a contest...but 10 tickets, you will get a big discount, but the computer determines how much. Do it like a slot machine...people love to gamble,

Tom Brennan said...

That is BUY 10 tickets, not BUT.

Mack Ade said...

I know a LOT of people in Florida and, trust me, live regular season baseball just doesn't work there.

Tom Brennan said...

Mack, I am sure U R right about Florida and Baseball attendance.

Mack Ade said...

I would move both Miami and Tampa Bay to more crazy towns in crazy baseball states... like Charlotte and Austin

Tom Brennan said...

How about opening the upper deck once a month in the summer for free day games for supervised grammar school students...bus them in, fill it up...fans of tomorrow being introduced to the game.

Mack Ade said...

Good idea

Reese Kaplan said...

I didn't find anything aggressive in the Mets' ticket rep's response. He made logical sense and despite the team still be burdened by the Wilpon family, they have indeed at least made more concrete steps towards contention.

Mike Freire said...

I live smack dab in the middle of the Tampa Bay area and it is true that most folks here simply don't support baseball. Even when the Joe Madden led Rays teams were competitive (playoffs, WS appearance), their attendance was middling at best.

The biggest crowds in The Trop are when the Yankees and Red Sox come to town and you can imagine that they are not all rooting for the Rays.

Pretty sad, actually.......they are in the middle of a new stadium battle and it is not looking good. Moving them to a different area may be the best course of action, honestly.

Anonymous said...

Tony's Article Comments on Jeff McNeil

You take the opinion on Jeff McNeil that I think several Mets key people inside take as well, that Jeff McNeil is not "an automatic" at the level he played at the end of the 2018 season. I disagree and here's why below actually.

Jeff McNeil hit for homeruns and batting average at AAA in 2018 before being called up to the parent NY Mets. He is older (26) than most rookies, but good players tend to gel when they themselves are fully ready to, on their watch. i.e. Outfielder Brandon Nimmo and to some extent outside of his injury zone Zach Wheeler. It's just the way it is. It is the individual's own human maturation process and we are all inherently different in this way. Look at Steven Matz, we are still waiting on him to figure it all out. He still might.

Going into the off season, I didn't see second base as a problem position really. I assumed that Jeff McNeil's batting average in 2018 (as a NY Met and a minor leaguer) would be sufficient enough to carry him into 2019 at second base. It's not just his numbers that impressed me and most NY Mets fans with Jeff McNeil, it was his overall hustle, his baseball acumen, and his uncanny ability to hit to all fields for basehits that energized the Mets second half and their fan base. It was obvious that Jeff knew how to play this game at a very high level. He had arrived.

I had the catcher position as the first need here with this team, followed by outfield, starting and relief pitching, maybe third base too.

Getting who we did, namely Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz and losing the contracts of players like Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak, was a monumental big deal to make I felt. The Mets got their stellar closer they needed so badly and a solid second baseman as well. Then they went out and got Wilson Ramos to catch. Well done!

I wasn't sure, but was hoping that Jeff McNeil would still fit in somewhere in a starting position role, either in left field or third base after the Cano acquisition. Then, the Mets got Jed Lowrie, someone whose career I had been familiar with all along and liked. But what about Jeff McNeil, I did wonder.

I guess only time will tell. But Jeff McNeil is precisely the type of Mets player that should be starting somewhere. If the Mets go too deeply with outside the organization veteran players, it will become the Tampa Bay Rays and is that a good thing we must all ponder.

To me (in an idealistic viewpoint) the key is to build a dynasty type of parent club and organization. That means from top to bottom. The main ingredient then becomes one of keeping your three to four best veteran positional players intact season to season on the roster, and scouting and drafting new kid players to compliment them. At this point, it becomes all about taking risks and chances that come along with the scouting, drafting, and development of kid players.

Without the risk taking, so many of the MLB stars over the years would never have even happened. Their positions would have been filled with quality veteran players from other teams to win as many games as possible right now.

But to me anyway, it is the mix of both the key few veterans and addition of developmental kid players that gets that Championship team for now, and who knows too, maybe even a most desirable dynasty run.

Mack's Mets © 2012