Greetings Zilla readers. I’m pretty tickled to be teaming up with Vinny, Jason, and the gang. From time to time I’ll be sharing some unsolicited opinions from the corn fields of Indiana.
A little introductory information before I start. Not so different than many of you, I have been a lifelong Mets fan. However, when I was five my folks moved us over 700 miles away to the good ole’ Midwest, or as I occasionally refer to it, The Middle. This creates some challenges in terms of being able to see the team live, but thanks to this ********** thing called the internet, I get to consume every inning I can. The bonus to living this far away is I am removed from the constant presence of the New York Media and its tendency to create news, rather than report it.
Enough jibber-jabber, it is time to kick things off. I figured I would begin with a brief rundown of where I stand on a few Met related issues that have us all scratching our heads from time to time.
The 2013 Mets
I’m not one for making predictions, as I view upcoming seasons in terms of what can be realistically expected. Success or the lack there of, always begins with starting pitching. Much is said about the depth of the Mets starting pitching organizationally. At times people confuse this with the strength of the guys at the big league level. The Mets’ starting five will be solid, not great. Everything hinges on Johan Santana’s ability to be the ace, Matt Harvey to take the next step developmentally, Jon Niese to cement himself as a consistent two or three, and Zach Wheeler to provide a Harveyesque impact at some point in 2013.
Combine this with the fact that there have not been any significant offensive improvements, and I think it’s reasonable to expect a third or fourth place finish while we keep our eyes on 2014 for the next playoff push.
I’ll keep this brief as to avoid throwing up in my mouth a handful of times while I type this. I truly believe the Wilpons want desperately to win. They just can’t get out of their own way. A few examples would be, the Madoff mess, a bizarre obsession with the Brooklyn Dodgers that Fred doesn’t seem to realize alienates Mets fans, and the many boneheaded comments that publically undermine players .
Spend Spend Spend
The “you have to spend to win” mentality that many of our brethren believe in is one of the more frustrating viewpoints I come across when perusing the ********** internet. If you truly look at things rationally, throwing money at problems is never a successful long term solution. I’m not saying the Mets shouldn’t spend money in free agency. It just needs to be done with a great deal of thought, rather than throwing money at the Bobby Bonillas, Jason Bays, and Olver Perezes of the world.
The Best Pizza In Muncie, Indiana
This is probably the most controversial opinion in this piece. If you ask 100 Muncieites who has the best pizza in town, 90 of them will tell you Pizza King. Don’t fall for it. It is glaringly obvious that Greek’s Pizza is a whole league above the king. Just because a pizzeria has 723 locations in a five square mile radius, doesn’t mean the quality of the food is superior.
Sandy Alderson Is a Genius.
Ever since the creation of the catchy term, Moneyball, anyone associated with the Oakland Athletics in the last 13 years has been considered a genius, Mr. Alderson included. Genius is a bit farfetched in my humble opinion. Mr. Alderson possesses great skill in long term organizational planning. More importantly, he has proven that he does not let the media or an impatient fan base dictate his decisions. This is a quality I highly respect and feel is a requirement for a big league GM. I also respect the fact that he has great patience with regard to what he wants to gain in a trade. The result seems to be other general managers meeting the Mets’ asking price.
Sandy Alderson Is an Idiot
Read the preceding paragraph.
Playing The Game The Right Way
One thing I learned while suffering through the 90’s was it is impossible to win when you beat yourself. The Braves of the 90’s and early 2000’s won with great starting pitching, solid defense, and never making critical mistakes. And I mean NEVER. When you step back and look at those teams, their lineup didn’t exactly make you piddle in your pants.
When Terry Collins came on board talking incessantly about playing the game the right way, I was on board in a big way. He bamboozled me into believing that the Mets may get out hit or out pitched, but he would field a team that would never beat themselves.
Apparently, the players didn’t understand that meant avoiding critical errors and playing lethargic baseball for entire months at a time. At this point, I’d rather not here this talk, until I see it consistently backed up on the field.
Don’t get me wrong, I like TC. He has clearly had to deal with a lack of talent during his tenure and has never publically cried about it. It will be interesting to see what happens with him in the next couple of years as the Mets appear to be on the right track regarding improving their roster.
The New York Media
Last, and certainly least, let me share my opinion about the New York Media. I grow weary of them easily and have realized that there are times when it is simply better to avoid their silliness. I get it, their job is to cover the Mets and they have to produce. The problem is, coverage is clearly in the over kill stage and there are many times when it is easy to see that they are creating news rather than reporting it. The next “controversial” column you read concerning something a player said or did, try to focus on the context and the exact question they were prompted with. The last example that comes to mind is the R.A. Dickey Christmas Party fiasco. Here’s a guy that is lauded for his openness and then is attacked when he simply answers a question asked of him. He probably should have seen it coming I guess.
That’s it for now. Don’t worry; my posts will not typically be this long. I normally tend to keep things simple and focus on one thing at a time.