January 26, 2010
There are several steps to a baseball fan’s off season thinking.
What does every fan want in the off season? You know the answer. You look at the shortcomings of last year’s roster and begin to prioritize ways to upgrade the team for the better. “We need A, B, then C. If we do that and get these guys to fill those voids, we can be a contender.” Every baseball fan, regardless of allegiance, follows this line of thinking.
The next step is to throw a bit of realism into the equation. Every team has a budget to follow. If you are a Kansas City Royal fan, you know that your team’s payroll is extremely restricted. Therefore a Royal fan must keep his off season expectations in check.
This brings us to our beloved Mets. If we follow this type of equation, we arrive at a place that makes us feel as if we took a wrong turn off of the turnpike, even though we knew exactly where we were going when we embarked on our journey. Follow the Met fan 2 Step Plan to see what I mean.
Step 1 for the Met fan:
At the conclusion of the 2009 debacle, we saw more holes that needed filling then we can ever remember in any offseason. The most notable of these were in Left Field, First Base and the Starting Rotation. (I mentioned that these were the most notable, and clearly not the only holes that needed filling.) Regardless of what opinion you might have had on the matter, there was clearly a tremendous amount of work to be done in order to make the 2010 Mets a competitive team.
Step 2 for the Met fan:
As far as that reality factor I mentioned, the Mets are still a team that is perceived by most as being a “Have” team. If I may take it a step further, let me state my belief that the Mets are still one of the most profitable franchises in the major leagues. I believe this to be true regardless of whatever financial hit they took with our buddy Bernie Madoff. Even if Sterling Equities lost a considerable amount of money in this ordeal, I still look at the fact that the Mets generate tremendous annual revenues through SNY and the attraction that is Citifield. Forget about general ticket sales and merchandise. I won’t even go there.
Now that we are 23 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, let us assess how the Mets have rebuilt our team for 2010.
LF – Jason Bay
CF – Gary Matthews, Jr.
C -Henry Blanco
C -Chris Coste
SP/RP – Kelvim Escobar
RP – Ryota Igarashi
The current depth chart for the Mets is as follows (projected starter followed by backup):
C – Blanco – Omir Santos
1B – Daniel Murphy – ?
2B – Luis Castillo – Alex Cora – Anderson Hernandez
SS – Jose Reyes – Alex Cora – Anderson Hernandez
3B – David Wright – ?
LF – Bay – Angel Pagan
CF – Matthews, Jr. – Angel Pagan – Carlos Beltran
RF – Jeff Francoeur – Angel Pagan
SP – Santana, Pelfrey, Maine, Oliver Perez, Jonathon Niese, Fernando Nieve, Nelson Figueroa
Bullpen – Igarashi, Bobby Parnell, Felciano, Kelvim Escobar, Sean Greene, R. A. Dickey
Closer – K-Rod
However your off season equation read, I am sure that you are immensely disappointed in the current roster to date for the Mets. I for one felt that if the Mets were serious about winning, then they would surely increase payroll from last year in order to right what was wrong. As it stands today, it is obvious that the Mets have no intention of increasing payroll a single dollar.
Instead, we got the pat on the shoulder from management when they signed Jason Bay as their “marquee” signing. I call this the “Token Move of Appeasement” that we so often receive. In yet another way of looking at it, I see this as something for the starving fan to feed upon so that they will keep quiet and thank their benefactor for his graciousness. “You see, we gave you what you wanted, didn’t we?” If we were to answer no in anger, they would surely ignore our response. Wouldn’t they?
Perhaps the time has come where we should no longer allow Jeff Wilpon to ignore our displeasure. What are your suggestions?