10/31/19

Mets Announce Start Times for Spring Training Home Games

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Mets announce start times for spring training home games
Two night games vs. AL champion Astros at First Data Field

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The New York Mets have announced the start times for their 16 home Grapefruit League games in 2020 at First Data Field.

The Mets will host two night games against the American League champion Houston Astros. Contests against Houston on Monday, March 16 and Saturday, March 21 are scheduled to begin at 6:10 p.m.

The 14 remaining home games will start at 1:10 p.m.

Group tickets and season tickets for spring training are already on sale. Five-game plans go on sale Tuesday, November 5 at 10 a.m. Single game tickets will be available on Saturday, December 14 at 10 a.m.
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Exclusive End-of-Season Awards Announcements Coming to MLB Network in November

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Washington Nationals’ World Series Championship Parade to Air on MLB Network
This Saturday, November 2 at 2:00 p.m. ET

October 31, 2019 – Following the Washington Nationals’ first-ever World Series championship, MLB Network’s offseason programming begins next week, featuring several exclusive end-of-season awards announcements. The finalists for the 2019 BBWAA Awards will be revealed on Monday, November 4 at 6:00 p.m. ET, followed by the exclusive live announcements of the winners of the American League and National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the YearManager of the YearCy Young and Most Valuable Player awards during BBWAA Awards Week from November 11-14.
MLB Network will also exclusively televise the announcements of the winners of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards on Wednesday, November 6 at 6:00 p.m. ET and the Silver Slugger Awards presented by Louisville Slugger on Thursday, November 7 at 6:00 p.m. ET. Following is the complete schedule of MLB Network’s awards coverage:

2019 End-of-Season Awards Announcements on MLB Network
BBWAA Awards Finalists
Monday, November 4
6:00 p.m. ET
Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards
Wednesday, November 6
6:00 p.m. ET
Silver Slugger Awards pres. by Louisville Slugger
Thursday, November 7
6:00 p.m. ET
BBWAA Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year
Monday, November 11
6:00 p.m. ET
BBWAA Manager of the Year
Tuesday, November 12
6:00 p.m. ET
BBWAA Cy Young
Wednesday, November 13
6:00 p.m. ET
BBWAA Most Valuable Player
Thursday, November 14
6:00 p.m. ET

This Saturday, November 2, MLB Network will televise the Washington Nationals’ World Series championship parade at 2:00 p.m. ET. MLB Network’s offseason programming lineup returns on Monday, November 4 with the return of the weekday morning show Hot Stove at 9:00 a.m. ET, hosted by Matt Vasgersian, Harold Reynolds, Lauren Shehadi and Ken Rosenthal. MLB Network’s weekday programming will also include offseason editions of High Heat with Christopher Russo presented by Liberty Mutual, MLB Now presented by Fisher Investments, Intentional Talk and the Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight. MLB Network’s complete programming schedule is available at MLBNetwork.com.
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John From Albany - Winter League Update

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PC - Ed Delany

Harol Gonzalez pitched last night for Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter league.  Making his third start this Fall, Harol went 3.2 innings giving up 3 hits, 2 runs, with one walk and 3 K’s.  You can see the full box score here.   Leaving the game with his team down 2-1, Harol ended up taking the loss as Gigantes lost the game 8-2.

Harol started out pitching real well giving up one hit in the first and pitching a one-two-three second throwing just 20 pitches in the first two innings. He then got into some trouble in the third and gave up the 2 runs in the fourth.  With men on first and third, Harol wild pitched in one run and then gave up a single for the other run to score.  

Overall, Harol is 0-2 with a 4.00 ERA in three starts, 9 innings.  He has allowed 10 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, with 2 walks and 8 K’s.    

In that same game for Tigres del Licey, 2019 Syracuse IF/OF Arismendy Alcantara went 1 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI’s.  Alcantara is hitting .237 for the Tigers in 12 games, 9 hits in 38 at-bats with 5 doubles, 3 triples, and 2 stolen bases. 

Rymer Liriano is also playing for Tigres del Licey.  In 6 games Rymer has 11 at-bats with one hit for a .091 average.

Only other Mets player in the Dominican league so far is pitcher Adonis Uceta.  In Binghamton last year, Adonis went 5-3, 1.44 ERA, 56.1 innings, 36 games, 55Ks, 1.03 WHIP.  So far in the Dominican league he has pitched well.  In 6 games he is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 4.2 innings with 4 K’s, 2 walks and 2 hits for a 0.86 WHIP.  Rule 5 draft eligible.  He could be one to watch. 

No signs of Edwin Diaz or Jeurys Familia yet.  There are rumors they will make an appearance this winter.

Pretty light showing for Mets players so far.  With other leagues in Puerto Rico and Venezuela scheduled to start in the next two weeks, we should see some more Mets players soon.

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Tom Brennan - Mets 2020 Offense Could be Murderous

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The Mets' offense could be murderous!

Some reports indicate that Cespedes' agent says the long-injured Yoenis Cespedes is in good shape and very much looking forward to playing in 2020.

Good news, if true, but why not - it will, after all, be his final contract year, so he would surely want to put his - ahem - best foot forward.

With him back and presumably a healthy Jed Lowrie showing up too, the Mets have 10 high potency offensive players, giving the Mets the potential makings of a pretty murderous line up:

1B - Pete Alonso

2B - Robbie Cano

SS - Amed Rosario

3B - Jeff McNeil

CF - Brandon Nimmo

RF - Michael Conforto

LF - Yoenis Cespedes

C - Wilson Ramos

Ut. - JD Davis

Ut. - Jed Lowrie

Round them out with a solid defensive outfielder whose bat is not inert, and a useful defensive IF guy like Luis Guillorme (or Joe Panik), and a new back up catcher who you would not blanch at if he had to step in for a stretch due to an injury to Ramos, and you have what I'd call:

A murderous offense.

Without Lowrie and Cespedes for all of 2019, and without Cano and Nimmo for significant chunks of 2019, they still scored 791 runs (4.9 runs per game).  Why not 850 runs from these guys in 2020?

Anthony Rendon, of course, would be a nice offensive add.  

But:

1) his arrival would require one or two of the above listed 10 to go elsewhere, and 

2) the real priority in 2020 is to make a pitching staff that could well lose Zack Wheeler even better than it was in 2019  (4.24 ERA) despite that loss.

I think an 850 run offense and a 3.75 ERA staff could win the Mets the Division.

So I would focus on keeping the top 10 offensive guys intact, unless someone knows that Yoenis and/or Jed will remain impaired....and getting a back up catcher upgrade and upgrading the pitching.

The starting rotation needs to be at least as good, Zack or no Zack, and...the pen HAS to get fortified.

That's how I see it.  How about youse?  Remember I am friends with Jack Bauer and what Jack did to the last guy who disagreed with me:




P.S.

Rumor has it that Gerritt Cole might want to go to a California team (read: Dodgers) this off-season.  

My suggestion to Cole? First, consider your commute to the California ballpark:




P.S.  

Hats off to the World Champ Nats, whom the Mets beat, stomped, and obliterated 12 of 19 times (would have been 14 of 19 had it not been for some Mets pen meltdowns).  The Astros?  They failed on re-entry.  
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John From Albany – Looking back at the pre-season predictions

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Congratulations to the Washington Nationals and their first World Series victory in franchise history.  

Once the World Series is over, I like to go back to the MLB season previews that come out in March and see how all the different predictions panned out.

For the purpose of this article, I looked at the NY Post and Sports Illustrated. 

So Here they are:

Ken Davidoff
Kevin Kernan
George A. King III
NL East
Nationals
Nationals
Nationals
NL Central
Reds
Cardinals
Brewers
NL West
Dodgers
Dodgers
Dodgers
NL Wild Card 1
Phillies
Cubs
Braves
NL Wild Card 2
Rockies
Brewers
Cardinals
Mets Prediction
3rd
2nd
4th
NL Winner
Nationals
Cardinals
Brewers
AL East
Yankees
Red Sox
Red Sox
AL Central
Twins
Indians
Indians
AL West
Astros
Astros
Astros
AL Wild Card 1
Red Sox
Yankees
Yankees
AL Wild Card 2
Indians
Rays
Angels
AL Winner
Yankees
Astros
Astros
WS Winner
Yankees
Cardinals
Brewers

Dan Martin
Mike Puma
Joel Sherman
NL East
Phillies
Phillies
Nationals
NL Central
Brewers
Brewers
Brewers
NL West
Dodgers
Padres
Dodgers
NL Wild Card 1
Nationals
Nationals
Cubs
NL Wild Card 2
Cubs
Dodgers
Rockies
Mets Prediction
3rd
3rd
3rd
NL Winner
Brewers
Padres
Dodgers
AL East
Yankees
Yankees
Yankees
AL Central
Indians
Indians
Twins
AL West
Astros
Astros
Astros
AL Wild Card 1
Red Sox
Red Sox
Red Sox
AL Wild Card 2
Twins
A's
Indians
AL Winner
Astros
Yankees
Yankees
WS Winner
Dodgers
Padres
Yankees



Mike Vaccaro
Sports Illustrated
NL East
Nationals
Nationals
NL Central
Reds
Cubs
NL West
Dodgers
Dodgers
NL Wild Card 1
Cardinals
Phillies
NL Wild Card 2
Brewers
Mets
Mets Prediction
3rd
NL Winner
Dodgers
Nationals
AL East
Yankees
Yankees
AL Central
Twins
Indians
AL West
Astros
Astros
AL Wild Card 1
Red Sox
Red Sox
AL Wild Card 2
Indians
Rays/A's (tie)
AL Winner
Astros
Astros
WS Winner
Astros
Astros

Two, Mike Vaccaro and Sports Illustrated, had the Astros winning it all.  No one had the Nationals winning it all but Sports Illustrated had them in the World Series Vs. the Astros.  Pretty good.

Everyone listed here picked the Astros to win the AL West.  That makes sense after they had two straight years with over 100 wins coming into this year. 

Three had the Twins winning the AL Central.  I did not see that coming after they won just 78 games in 2018.

Probably the most daring prediction goes out to Mike Puma.  He had the Padres over the Yankees in the World Series.  Pares finished last in the NL West with a 70-92 record despite their big off season acquisition of Manny Machado.

One amazing thing is that after they won the NL East in 2018, not one of the writers above picked the Braves to repeat as NL East Champs and only one, George A. King III, picked them to even make the playoffs.  Most had them finishing fourth behind the Mets!  (Wish that was true.)

Only Sports Illustrated had the Mets making the playoffs as a wild card team.  

Not listed here, Bill Madden of the NY Daily News said that the NL East would be between the Mets and the Nationals with the bullpen being the difference.  Boy was he right.  However, Bill gave the nod to the Mets as they picked up Diaz and Familia. Funny how things work out.  

You can probably point to the Nationals building up their bullpen at the trade deadline as a another key reason why they won.  It sure held up in the post season.


Kevin Davidoff in the NY Post mentioned the five things that separated the Nationals from the Mets starting with the bullpen.  But he also highlighted the defensive differences.  He mentioned while the Nationals ranked 17th with a 0.9 "runs above average which means they played just a tad above replacement level collectively...17th in baseball...The Mets were ranked far worse, 26th with a -26.8 defensive runs below average."  Ouch.

At least the Mets will get a new Manager soon.  They will most likely interview Nationals coach Tim Bogar again now that the World Series is over.  

They may end up being able to hire Brodie's pal AJ Hinch if the Astros decide to make a change.  
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