May the 4th: New York Mets edition

Michael Conforto
Via the Mets Twitter Page

We’re a little over a month into the MLB season, and the Mets, who had high expectations going into the season, currently sit towards the bottom of the NL East. With plenty of baseball still to be played, and as we celebrate “May the 4th,” or Star Wars day, the Mets will need to pull off something the Rebels accomplished in defeating the Empire in Star Wars to get ahead of the Nationals. At this point, the Mets are underdogs, just like the Rebels. Here’s a few Mets who fit the roles of Star Wars characters.

Terry Collins- Yoda

Yoda is the wisest of the Jedi, and saw so much in his life. Much like that, Terry Collins, now age 67, has been around baseball much longer than many people amongst the Mets organization. Love him or hate him, it is Collins’ job to lead the Mets as manager, with wise teachings if this team is going to make a push for the division title. If he makes the right moves when the galaxy is falling like Yoda, this team will have a chance.

David Wright- Obi-Wan Kenobi (Old Ben)

David Wright may never play another baseball game, and right now he is on the DL. But, like Obi- Wan Kenobi, David Wright is the leader of this team. Kenobi teaches young Luke Skywalker, and Wright needs to teach the younger players on this team to be more disciplined. If he can get back healthy on the field, it would be a huge edition to the Mets clubhouse, because he is the leader. Like Kenobi, Wright has also been through and seen a lot, so his experience is very important to this team. Both very honorable men, they share a lot of similar characteristics. Kenobi saw the Clone Wars, while Wright was with the Mets in the mid 2000s when they were not very good. But, he knows what it takes to win, much like when the team found success in 2006.

Michael Conforto- Luke Skywalker

Like when the Jedi were wiped out, the same is happening with the Mets as some of their core players continue to land on the DL with injuries. With the Mets best hitter Yoenis Cespedes on the DL, of late Michael Conforto has been the Mets best hitter. Much like Luke Skywalker, to Mets fans Conforto is their last hope. If he can achieve what Luke Skywalker did in defeating the Empire, the Mets will at least have a shot to make a playoff run as their roster regains health. Then, Conforto can show others the way of winning baseball, like Skywalker does with the force.

Asdrubal Cabrera- Han Solo 

Han Solo is the best pilot in the galaxy, and at times Asdrubal Cabrera is one of the Mets best hitters. He tends to be clutch, and even when the odds are against him, he has succeeded much like Han Solo. With a smooth ability and looking like a natural at what he does, Cabrera and Solo have a lot in common. Solo played a huge part for the Rebels in defeating the Empire, and that’s what Asdrubal Cabrera has do if the Mets are going to make a run at the Nationals.

Jose Reyes- Chewbacca

While Chewbacca is the best co-pilot in the galaxy, Jose Reyes is very important to the Mets as he brings a lot of energy to the team with his speed. Jose Reyes has been with the team for some time, and made his return to the Mets after taking a hiatus with the Marlins, Blue Jays, and Rockies for a few seasons. But his best days will be remembered with the Mets. Reyes knows what winning a World Series would mean to this fanbase, much like what Chewbacca fought for against the Empire.

Jacob deGrom- Princess Leia 

Princess Leia is someone who just wants peace in the galaxy, and will do anything for her Rebel colleagues. Like Princess Leia, deGrom is very under the radar, and some forget just how talented he is. If the Mets are going to make a playoff run, deGrom will have to be the leader of the Mets pitching staff, just like Princess Leia led the Rebels. Both are team players, and both are very good at what they do. deGrom to some has always been the Mets best pitcher.

The team standing in the way of what the Mets want to accomplish is the Washington Nationals, who to the Mets are the Empire. While the Mets are now underdogs in the fight, they will need to somehow get past the Nationals, just like when the Rebels took down the Empire. 

Bryce Harper- The Sith Lord

Bryce Harper is the Nationals best player, and the Mets worst nightmare. Much like the Sith Lord with all his powers, he is standing right in the way of the Rebels. The Mets have to find ways to pitch around him, but it’s so hard as the Nationals have a lot of good players. Like the Sith Lord, it’s almost impossible for the Mets to avoid Harper. But, can the Rebel Mets take down the Nationals Empire?

Daniel Murphy- Darth Vader

Seduced to the dark side like Anakin Skywalker who turns into Darth Vader, Murphy once went on tear and led the Mets to the 2015 National League Pennant. But, he’s now playing for the other guys, and gives the Mets a hard time every time they play the Nationals. Many Mets fans would agree it’d be nice if the Mets could bring Murphy back to the light side like when Darth Vader was redeemed by his son, but right now it does not seem likely. Someone who did so much for the Mets like Anakin Skywalker and the Jedi Order, is now the team’s enemy, thriving every time he plays them.

Whether the Mets could make a run for the NL East Division crown remains to be seen, but it is clear they will have to get through the Nationals, who are playing phenomenal baseball. If the Mets players fit the roles of their Star Wars comparisons, they will have a shot. Like the Rebels, the Mets need to be built on belief and hope. If that happens, this team could make some noise come September and October.

Noah Syndergaard is down, but the Mets still have their best pitcher

Mets staff
Via the New York Daily News

Yesterday was not kind to the New York Mets, as they not only lost a historic game to the Washington Nationals 23-5, but also lost what some call the ace of their pitching staff, Noah Syndergaard. Syndergaard partially tore his right lat, this coming in the wake of a crazy week for him in which he was scratched from his start due to discomfort in his bicep. Later, he refused an MRI, and gave attitude to the media. After all that, Syndergaard has landed on the 10 day DL, but who knows when he will be back.

Injuries continue for the Mets, as they are also without their best player, Yoenis Cespedes who is also on the 10 day DL with a hamstring injury, with no timetable for his return. April was an awful month for the Mets, who had high expectations going into the season. They currently sit last in the NL East, with a lot of baseball still to be played.

Injuries continue for this team, but they still have a very important piece who can lead the Mets until they start to get healthy. That player is Jacob deGrom. Many call Noah Syndergaard the ace of the Mets’ pitching staff, but no pitcher on the Mets staff has come through in a bigger way than Jacob deGrom. Let’s rewind to Syndergaard’s rookie season. It was that year (2015), the Mets made a miraculous run to win the NL pennant. The leader for them in the postseason was Jacob deGrom. In the NLDS, deGrom won 2 road games for the Mets against 2 of the best pitchers in baseball, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He finished the series with a 2-0 record and an ERA of 1.38. That series showed the guts of deGrom, yet he does not get the respect he deserves. deGrom finished the 2015 postseason with a 3-1 record, a 2.88 ERA, and 29 strikeouts in 4 games started.

deGrom thus far has accomplished more at the big league level than Syndergaard, or any pitcher on the Mets staff. Who could forget deGrom’s all star game appearance in 2015, when he struck out the side on 10 pitches. Or, the fact that he won rookie of the year in 2014 finishing that season 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA, a season that surprised many. Arguably the most dominant deGrom has ever looked was a start in 2014, when he struck out the first 8 batters of the game against the Miami Marlins, which was in his rookie year. With all these accomplishments, deGrom is still not looked at as the team’s ace. Is it because he had an off year in 2016, his worst year statistically led by a 3.04 ERA (which is well above average), that was cut short to injury?

It’s hard to understand why Jacob deGrom is not known as the ace of the Mets pitching staff. There are games where he looks really bad on the mound, yet still finishes the game allowing 2 runs over 7 innings. That’s the sign of a great pitcher. This is not a knock on Noah Syndergaard, who is still a very young, talented pitcher, who has the potential to be the best. A lot of pressure is being put on him in New York, and the guy wants nothing more than to win. He had the roughest week of his MLB career, and now people are starting to question him, and calling for the Mets to make changes. The Mets are struggling, and the rails continue to fall every week with injuries. But, right now they still have their ace pitcher healthy, and that’s Jacob deGrom. deGrom will need to lead this team in May and June, and hope the team will start to become healthy by the summer. Jacob deGrom could show the baseball universe that he is the most underrated pitcher in baseball, and take a lot of pressure of Noah Syndergaard. Then, this Mets rotation could be a force.

All stats via Baseball-Reference.

Q&A with Mike

This is the first Q&A Mike has conducted, in which people from Twitter and Instagram submitted questions regarding the Mets, Jets, and Islanders. Here are the questions, followed by Mike’s answer to the best of his ability.

Twitter Questions:

@drewbykov39: If you were the Mets, what would you trade for and what position would enhance the team? Same question for the Isles.

Mike: While the Mets season is very young and there is still a lot of baseball to be played, to me it’s clear this Met team is missing a player who hits for average, and also has speed. I think the hope for Jose Reyes would fill this role, as he played very well in 2016, but has struggled thus far in 2017. The team has a bunch of big time home run hitters including Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, and Lucas Duda. They need some guys who can get on base, to set up these home run hitters. Two guys I like are Dee Gordon at 2nd base and Joey Votto at 1st base. While both are unlikely to ever be traded to the Mets whether it’s an expensive contract from Votto or playing on an inner division team in Gordon, these two players could make an immediate impact in their own ways, and most importantly, they both get on base. But, it’s hard to tell through just a few weeks who are buyers and who sellers in the MLB. As for the Islanders, I don’t expect any blockbuster trades, but the Islanders in my opinion could still use a goalie, maybe Ben Bishop, who is an unrestricted free agent, or a veteran forward who can score goals alongside John Tavares in Buffalo Sabres left winger Evander Kane.

@GingerCMP: Is it definite that the Isles are moving from Barclays after next season?

Mike: There’s been so many different reports about where the Islanders will end up playing whether it’s near Citi Field, by Belmont, in Hartford, or a return to the New Coliseum, but I think it still seems logical to return to the Coliseum. The Islanders fan base is generally located in Long Island, and they just renovated the venue. Reports say seating is a problem, but it seems the Islanders are the ones that don’t want to return, not the county. So, I do expect the Islanders to be out of Barclays after next season, but it’s very hard to tell. I also think it makes the most sense for them to return to the Coliseum, but it sounds like a new stadium in Belmont is not an exaggeration. For now, all we can do is watch… and for me, commute to Brooklyn to watch a hockey game instead of a 20 minute drive.

Instagram Questions:

@mmconner333: Do you think the Mets will win the World Series?

Mike: To be honest, I do think the Mets have a legitimate shot at winning the World Series this year, and that is because I think they’re built for the postseason. With a dominant, young pitching staff that looks as good as they ever have, the sky is the limit for this team. But, they need to manufacture runs in other ways than just home runs. Maybe that means acquiring another contact bat, but I’m not going to write off the offense yet. The season is young, and let’s see where we are in May and June. A positive with the Mets’ home run hitting is that they are never out of any game because they can march right back in a game quick. But, when the home runs go cold, the offense is in trouble, and we’re seeing that during their current four game losing streak. While people are down on the Mets right now, yes I do think they are going to win the World Series. In a playoff series with their starting pitching depth, they can beat anyone.

@bhenriksen17: Is Johnny T (John Tavares) wasting his career as an Islander or is next year the year they finally decide to put some pieces around him?

Mike: You make a valid point with this question, as John Tavares has been with the Islanders for quite sometime now, and they have not shown any consistency and have only made it to the playoffs 3 times in his 8 seasons with the team. I think this team needs to show John Tavares they are committed to winning, and quickly because he’s obviously a free agent at the end of the season. But, put yourself in John Tavares’ shoes. Why stay with this franchise and maybe make it to the playoffs once every three years? Especially when the team located near his hometown is surprising the NHL universe and giving the top seeded Washington Capitals a series in the Toronto Maple Leafs. If I’m Tavares, that’s a very appealing landing spot with their young talent, and the possibility of more playoff success than the Islanders when it’s time for his decision. But, loyalty may be something I could see Tavares considering. This team drafted him, and it’s where he made his name. So, they need to get a veteran goal scorer to play alongside Tavares this year, and make a DEEP playoff run during the 2017-18 season, or Tavares may walk out. It’s on the Islanders, but I also don’t know what Tavares is thinking. So, yes, this should be the year the Islanders make a push to get some skilled players alongside Tavares, if not, everyone should be fired. The Islanders need to show Tavares they want to win. I think it’s in the best interest of the Islanders to get a deal done before he even hits free agency, but Tavares may want to test his options. It’s on the Islanders to make it happen.

@angelooneill: Would love to know what your first moves would be for the Islanders now that the season’s over and they missed the playoffs.

Mike: The Islanders top priority should be assuring they will have John Tavares for longer than the 2017-18 season. It’s on upper management to bring in a goal scorer, as I said earlier, maybe trade for someone like Evander Kane. I also think it would be worth it to bring in goalie Ben Bishop, and then trade either Thomas Greiss or Jaroslav Halak. Making these moves should give this team a chance to win games. I think they’re close to being capable of making a deep run in the playoffs, as some guys stepped up at the end of the 2016-17 season. We can’t be too negative, as the team missed the playoffs by just 1 point. The Islanders need to show John Tavares they want to win. The Islanders would win the offseason if Tavares has a contract extension before the regular season even starts. If that happens, I’m sure many Islander fans would be happy and feel they won the offseason.

@anthonypiparo: Do you think Mikhail Grabovski’s career is over?

Mike: Grabovski is still under contract with the Islanders next season, but he has still had issues with his concussions, as he did not appear in any games during the 2016-17 season. At age 33, he needs to consider the dangers of returning as concussions are very serious as we all know. I think it’d be nice to have him back, but it seems like there’s not much news about him. Did any Islanders reporters or the broadcasts even mention him? Maybe he needed a year off, but I can’t really determine whether his career is over. It might be the smartest decision, but that’s up to Grabovski, who could really help the Islanders with his speed and his ability to work well with former Toronto Maple Leafs teammate Nikolay Kulemin.

@coviefitness_88: Who was the best Mets killer on the Phillies?

Mike: Boy, there’s so many Mets killers, particularly one’s from the Phillies. From what I’ve seen, Pat Burrell always had the Mets’ number, as well as Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley. It always seemed like those guys would come up in the big spots late in games, and deliver. All that mattered was that they were playing the Mets. If you want, check out a piece I wrote last year titled The All Time Mets Killers Team. There’s 4 Phillies on that lineup.

Anonymous Questions:

Why is Todd Bowles still (the Jets) head coach?

Mike: Todd Bowles is still the Jets head coach for various reasons, but 1 major reason is that it’s only his 2nd year. Yes, the team took huge steps backward during the 2016 season after a 10 win season in 2015, but he deserves at least another year. It’s not like he had a team full of superstars. His team was full a veterans whose best years were behind them, and didn’t seem to care once the team fell to 1-5. One thing to look at and question is if Todd Bowles has lost the locker room. We had guys showing up late to meetings, missed tackles, and missed blocks last year, which made many question if it was time for Bowles to go. While it wouldn’t have been outrageous to fire him or shocking, I still think he deserves more time. For the Todd Bowles haters, he has a team now that quite frankly does not look like they’re going to be very good, so if he wins 5 games this year, it could very well be a success. Given their roster, how can you fairly fire him after the upcoming season? I predict they will let him play out the final 2 years of his contract, but if this team plays lazy and careless during the season, he could very well be fired. I think the Jets have more roster issues than coaching issues. They see Todd Bowles won 10 games with Ryan Fitzpatrick as quarterback, so my guess is that’s why he’s still here. But, it’s clear he might be on the hot seat.

What do you think the Isles have to do to convince (John) Tavares to sign long term?

Mike: The Islanders need to show John Tavares they want to win now, and have Stanley Cup aspirations led by him. That being said, he needs help, and the team needs some forwards that can score goals, as well as more consistent goaltending. They also need an arena to play in, because right now we don’t know where they’re playing in the near future. Why would Tavares want to play for a team that’s going to be on the move, and have possibly a third home arena during his tenure with the team. So, if this team somehow finds their way back at the Coliseum, and picks ups some pieces that leads to a deep playoff run, then it would seem logical for John Tavares to resign with the team. But, given the situation right now, can you blame him if he leaves?

If you had to pick one, replay option or computer generated strike zone and calls, which would you prefer?

Mike: The idea of a computer deciding a baseball game scares me. I don’t mind replay in baseball, but the system needs some improvements, especially enforcing time limits on how long the manager has to decide to challenge. I like the idea of getting calls right, but it needs to be sped up. If the call is too hard to determine, the call on the field should stand. This process shouldn’t take more than a minute or 2. As for computer generated strike zones, it takes away work for many umpires, and I’d worry of a malfunction in the strike zone. How long would it take for a team to rig the strike zone? Yes, technology is great, but I think we should stick to human umpires, while improving video replay. Plus, with no umpires, who would players and fans blame when they lose?

Who is your favorite Mets player? 

Mike: I’ve always liked Steven Matz of course because he’s from Long Island, but unfortunately he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. My favorite position player is Michael Conforto, as I love the way he hits, especially when he takes the ball to opposite field. I’m also a big Jacob deGrom fan, as I still stand by my opinion that he currently is the best pitcher on the Mets’ staff. So, these 3 guys are definitely my favorite Mets.

 

 

Final reactions to the 2016 New York Mets

2016 was certainly not as memorable a season for the Mets as opposed to 2015 when they made it to the World Series, but there were a lot of positives to take away from the season. On the other hand, there are also some negatives and major questions marks for the team going into 2017.

Positives

The team has added more young pitching. In the MLB, you can never have too many pitchers. We knew going into the season the Mets had the potential to have 5 young studs. Because of injury, the staff was not what it was supposed to be on paper. But, 2 guys stepped up big time: Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. It will be interesting to see what the Mets do with them in 2017, but they proved to be very good for the Mets down the stretch. It would have been interesting to see them pitch in the postseason had the Mets made a run. The Mets might have a pitching controversy with all these starting pitchers for 5 spots.

lugo
Via the Associated Press

2 infielders that contributed greatly to the team this year were Asdrubel Cabrera and Jose Reyes. Cabrera was signed in the offseason going into 2016, and he proved to be the Mets’ best pure hitter. He came through big down the stretch, and will be back in 2017. If he produces in 2017, it would be huge for the Mets. We also can’t forget the leather he flashed, proving he can still be an every day second basemen. Asdrubel Cabrera will be big for the Mets in 2017, and it will be interesting to see if he plays the way he did this year. Jose Reyes on the other hand was signed in the middle of the season, and gave the Mets some speed and energy that they desperately needed. At this point in his career, he can be a utility player, and can play shortstop, third base and second base. He came up big for them in 2016, and I’d like to see the Mets pick up his option in 2017.

jose-reyes
Via Getty Images

Addison Reed proved to be the best setup man in baseball in 2016. He had a 1.97 ERA and 40 holds. He passed it to Jeurys Familia consistently, and even with Familia’s struggles in the playoffs, I still feel comfortable with them 8/9. Their bullpen was pretty strong this year, but I’d like to see some more depth in 2017. But, with these 2 guys during the regular season, it was lights out, especially with Familia going 51/56 in save opportunities.

addison-reed
Via Getty Images

Negatives

Yoenis Cespedes’ performance in the Wild Card game against the Giants left a bad taste in Mets fans’ mouths. In 2015, he did not come up big in the playoffs either. But overall, he has been a sensational Met, and basically carried them to the postseason in back to back years. The problem is he seems to disappear in the playoffs. What I also question is did we see Cespedes’ last game as a Met? It seems like he likes it hear, but it looks like he might opt out of his deal. Rightly so, he had a great year, and can probably make more money. If the Mets don’t bring him back which could happen, their offense is going to have major problems.

yooo
Via Getty Images

Arguably the biggest negative of 2015 was the disappointment of the young pitching staff. Steven Matz had season ending surgery. Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey did as well. Zach Wheeler had a setback from Tommy John surgery and never returned this season. We saw a lot out of Noah Syndergaard. He proved he can be a big time pitcher, and battled strong in the Wild Card game against Madison Bumgarner. But injuries to pitchers are very worrying to me. This pitching staff was amazing in 2015, especially in the playoffs. There were high expectations for this staff, and they simply could not stay healthy. I’m beginning to wonder if they will deal one of them. With the emergence of Lugo and Gsellman, there’s a lot of starting pitchers for 5 spots, assuming all return in April and the Mets resign Bartolo Colon. I was disappointed that the staff could not stay healthy. Look what they did without most of them down the stretch though. If they are healthy in 2017, this team could be lethal.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets
Via USA Today Sports

Michael Conforto took some major steps back this season. He had a strong April, and then slipped from there, and had a couple cups of coffee in the minor leagues. This is the guy that hit 2 home runs in 1 game in the 2015 World Series. When he first came up to the big leagues, he showed he could hit the ball to the opposite field as a lefty, but it seems he fell in love with the long ball, and is constantly pulling the ball. He’s still young and has a lot of upside, but he simply did not look good this year. He might have some pressure on him with Brandon Nimmo, also a left-handed out fielder showing the Mets some positive signs in 2016.

conforto
Via the Associated Press

Finals thoughts and words of encouragement

Mets fans, this game left us all very upset. It would have been great to see the team find their way into the NLDS, but this team still battled all through 2016. The amount of injuries they had were absurd. The Wild Card game is a wash, and they faced arguably the best active postseason pitcher in Madison Bumgarner. Stay positive. This team still has a lot of great, young pitching. If they bring back Cespedes, they could be one of the best in baseball in 2017. If the pitching staff stays healthy, they could make a deep run in 2017. I’ll be honest, 2016 was no 2015, and that’s the reality. However, this team was resilient, and I think they still have a very bright future.

The 2016 New York Mets are headed to the Postseason

Regardless of how far the Mets go in the postseason, 2016 was a positive year for the team. On August 19th, the Mets were 60-62, and were 5.5 games out of the 2nd wild card. The challenge was even tougher because they had to jump the Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the St. Louis Cardinals just to have the 2nd wild card. Today, on their 161st game of the season, the Mets clinched the 1st wild card, and will host either the San Francisco Giants or the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

playoffs
Via the Associated Press

Going into the season, the expectation was to win the division after winning it in 2015, and going on to win the National League Pennant. Those expectations dipped when key players got injured including David Wright, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes. By this point, everyone wanted Terry Collins fired. The team got Cespedes and Cabrera back from the DL in late August and took off from there. Now, Collins could be a candidate for manager of the year.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes
Via the Associated Press

2 key players to this run into the postseason are Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo. 2 pitchers who had to fill big shoes in the rotation, and to be honest, not much was expected of them. Gsellman is 4-2 with a 2.42 ERA and Lugo is 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA. These 2 guys are the reason the Mets are in the postseason. Yes Cespedes, Cabrera, and Reyes have been huge down the stretch, but this team relies on pitching. Going into next season, the Mets will have a pitching controversy, which is good to have.

gsellman
Via the Associated Press

So, on Wednesday, the Mets will host the NL Wild Card game, with one of their remaining 2015 starters Noah Syndergaard on the mound. If this team wants to make a run, we need Noah Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon to lead this staff. The question for the wild card game is who will they face? We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out, but I’d rather them play the Cardinals. You want no part of Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner in a 1 game wild card. The Cardinals are a better hitting team, but if we get the Syndergaard we have seen before in the wild card game, they can beat either team.

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies
Via USA Today Sports

So, in mid August, If I told you the Mets would make the playoffs for the 2nd straight season on October 1st, would you believe me? Well, this team is very much in the playoffs. It may be a 1 game elimination, but they will have their ace on the mound at home, and have a chance to go on and rematch the Chicago Cubs. There are so many players to recognize for their resilience, and the theme of the 2016 New York Mets is simple; next man up. On Wednesday, you never know what will happen. The season could be gone right before our eyes, but you have to respect what this team has done, and realize they should be back and better in 2017. In the baseball postseason anything can happen. This team may look like they have holes, but they are the hottest team in baseball, and are capable and winning a World Series.

Rest in Peace José Fernández

Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández passed away early Sunday morning in a boating accident according to ESPN. According to Lorenzo Veloz, spokeman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the 24 yeard old pitcher was 1 of 3 killed in the accident. The Marlins game was cancelled on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves to pay respect.

jose
Via the Associated Press

The MLB universe was left in shock today, after losing such a bright, talented, and energetic player. Anytime I watched Fernández pitch, he always had a huge smile on his face, and was thankful for the game he played and loved. It seemed as though he was going to be one of the best in baseball for years to come. He was such a fun player to watch pitch everyday, and brought smiles to many. For his Marlins teammates, this will be tough to recover from, and they will mourn the life and the privilege of knowing Fernández.

jose-fernandez
Via the Associated Press

In my experience in watching him pitch, he used to dominate the Mets, but he was so fun to watch. He played with such passion and energy, and was always into every game. Even if he wasn’t pitching, you used to see him cheering each of his teammates in the dugout. Seeing players pay tribute to him shows how loved he was around the league. With so much potential, it is so sad to see a young man pass away tragically. At the Met game today, I noticed the Mets had a jersey in their dugout with his name and number, showing how much everyone around the league respected him.

jersey
Via the New York Daily News

José Fernández only lived on this earth for 24 years, but he brought smiles to many. He perservered throughout his career coming from Cuba and overcoming Tommy John surgery, and will be greatly missed. This is a shocking story. It shows not to take life for granted, and to cherish every second of life. Once a Marlin, always a Marlin. Rest in Peace, José Fernández.

 

Why the Mets should NOT fire Terry Collins

2016 has been a disappointing season for the New York Mets. Here we are at the end of August and they have been hovering around .500. The Mets are very much still alive in the playoff race, but everyday they slowly slip away. The team has been historically bad at hitting, and their young pitching staff has not hit it’s potential for the season.

Terry Collins
Via USA Today Sports

When a team struggles in any sport, fans immediately cry for the coach to be fired. In this case, fans want Mets manager Terry Collins out. Maybe a change would have given this team a spark, but I argue that Terry Collins should not be fired, and there are many reasons why.

Terry Collins brought this team to the World Series last year. Don’t forget 2015, fans. This team was a very good baseball team with a solid offense and a young pitching staff full of studs. The difference this year is injuries have killed this team. Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Reyes, Matt Harvey, Asdrubel Cabrera, David Wright and Steven Matz are just some of the key players that faced time on the DL. Plus, key players last season like Curtis Grandson and Michael Conforto have struggled this season. For what it’s worth, one of their better hitters last season in Daniel Murphy is making a case for 2016 National League MVP in Washington.

Terry
Via Getty Images

Where we stand now, of their original 5 starting pitchers, the Mets only have Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, and Noah Syndaergaard healthy. With Matz and Harvey now injured, it’s taken a toll on the other pitchers. Last season, you felt like the Mets had a chance to win everyday thanks to their starting pitching. This season, it does not feel like that.

So, with a struggling offense and an injury plagued team I ask why does firing Terry Collins make sense? It’s fans trying to find something to blame. When a team is playing well, nothing is said of the manager. Once a team struggles, everyone wants the manager fired. I am impartial as to whether Collins should be fired, but in my opinion the team would not preform any differently with another manager. If this team does not make the playoffs which very well may happen, I could see Collins being fired. Coming off a National League pennant, expectations are high. The teams struggles are not only to blame on Collins, but also on the players themselves for underachieving so far in 2016. We will see what happens with a little over a month left in the season.