Should the Mets retire David Wright’s number whenever his career ends?

Via Getty Images

Something that does not seem like it’s discussed often amongst the Mets fanbase is the question of whether the Mets will retire David Wright’s number 5 whenever he does call it a career. The Mets have not exactly had a rich history full of cornerstone players, and as a result there have only been a few numbers the team has retired. Gill Hodges (14), Casey Stengel (37), Mike Piazza (31), Jackie Robinson (42), the name Shea for William Shea is next to these retired numbers, and of course the franchise’s best all-time player, Tom Seaver (41). But, will David Wright’s number be added amongst the retired numbers seen at Citi Field?

When someone talks about the Mets best players in franchise history, of course their best pitcher and player of all-time is Tom Seaver. But, who’s been their best hitter? One can make the argument for Darryl Strawberry, who leads the Mets franchise in home runs, but he only played with the team for 8 seasons. But, what about David Wright? Wright has not played a bulk of games with the Mets since 2014, but his numbers make you wonder if he will have his number 5 retired at some point. The Mets all-time leader in hits, doubles, RBI’s, and just 10 home runs behind Darryl Strawberry’s club record, David Wright has been one the best to ever wear a Met uniform.

David Wright has been the Mets captain for quite some time now, and has wore the orange and blue since 2004. With a great attitude and great leadership qualities, he was a key player in 2006 when the Mets made it to the NLCS, racking up a .311 batting average with 26 home runs and 116 RBI’s during that season. His best statistical season was in 2008, where he hit 33 home runs, drove in 124 runs, and had a .302 batting average. But, as the team started to fall and struggle for much of the late 2000s and early 2010s, Wright was still here through it all, leading the team. Unfortunately, now the team has been much more competitive, but Wright has not played in more than 40 games in a season since 2014. He did make it back in time for the Mets run to the World Series in 2015, and even hit a home run in game 3 of the World Series, one of the prouder moments Mets fans had seen in quite some time.

As we sit in 2017, there is a question of if David Wright will ever play another game, as he is currently on the DL, trying to recover from neck surgery that has caused trouble in his throwing shoulder. Some wonder if he will retire at the end of this season. Some Mets fans are frustrated, but since 2004, no one has meant more to the organization than David Wright. The franchise’s all-time leader in plate appearances, how could they not retire his number with these career stats: 242 home runs, 970 RBI’s, and a .296 career batting average. And of course, he’s a 7 time all-star, a 2 time silver slugger, and a 2 time gold glove winner.

So, the conversation on if the Mets will retire David Wright’s number will probably heat up whenever it is he retires. Is David Wright a hall of famer? No, but he did have the potential to end up in Cooperstown early on in his career, but injuries have slowed down what he could have accomplished. But, should the Mets retire his number 5 and have it  next to Met icons at Citi Field including Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza? Yes, absolutely, because when you ask who Met icons are next to Seaver and Piazza, you have to talk about David Wright, and what he meant to an organization that has not had a great amount of success throughout it’s history. David Wright has been the Mets best all around hitter, and one can only imagine what his numbers would be if he could have remained healthy. But, for now he still is rehabbing with the hopes of wearing a Mets uniform again. That is who David Wright has been his whole career, a competitor, and he still is. David Wright should, and will be forever engraved in Mets history.

All Stats via Baseball-Reference.

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.

 

 

Expectations are high for the New York Mets in 2017

Via Getty Images

In 2016, the Mets made it to the playoffs for the 2nd consecutive season for only the 2nd time in franchise history. However, the team fell up short in the Wild Card game against the San Francisco Giants against one of the best postseason pitchers in Madison Bumgarner. The team made it to the World Series in 2015, and expectations were pretty high going into the 2016 season. But, for those that followed the team were aware that many of the Mets’ key players were injured throughout the year. There were still some positives to take away from the season, especially since the team found their way into the playoffs. But, fans want a championship.

It’s now 2017, and the expectations for the New York Mets are as high as I’ve ever seen them. The team retained some key offensive players including Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker, two very important pieces on this team. To start, the team has so much depth, especially in the outfield. With Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Grandson, Jay Bruce, and Michael Conforto, the team is pretty stacked in the outfield. The Mets finally have Cespedes locked up for 5 years, and expectations are for him to be an MVP candidate. We can’t forget Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo as well, who also have the potential to be solid bench players. Their infield also has some nice depth with Jose Reyes, Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores and David Wright if healthy. Even if there’s injuries, this team should have plenty of help from their bench, and as we know, the baseball season is very long. The Mets have a good problem with all the depth they have right now.

I’d say their only position with some major holes is Catcher. 2017 is a huge year for Travis d’Arnaud, who was supposed to be a big time hitter. He has shown signs, but has never peaked, and also struggles behind the dish. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mets are in the market for a catcher at the trading deadline, unless d’Arnaud turns it around. Rene Rivera is a solid backup catcher and plays some great defense, but the team does not really have a proven starting catcher. That’s one position the team failed to address in the offseason, but we will see what D’Arnaud has.

Of course, the position that has people opening their eyes at the Mets is their solid, young pitching staff. Noah Syndergaard looks to be the team’s number 1, and will be backed up by Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey, 2 guys who at times looked like they were the Mets’ number 1 pitcher. These 3 guys could be Cy Young Candidates. It will also be great to see Zack Wheeler back in action, as he has a lot to prove coming off of an injury. And of course, one of the key pitchers for the team in 2016 down the stretch is Robert Gsellman, who will be a great number 5 starter to start off the season. The team will miss Steven Matz, who’s not on the opening day roster due to injury. Of course, the team will go as far as this pitching staff brings them. In 2015, the staff was pretty healthy, and that’s why they made a World Series run. 2016, the staff was constantly injured, and they still found a way into the playoffs. We all know it, this staff has to stay healthy. They no longer have Bartolo Colon to cover for all these young guys, but they still have depth and talent. If the staff stays healthy, I don’t see why this team can’t win it all. But they have to stay healthy, it’s that simple.

The only area that scares me is the bullpen. Closer Jeurys Familia will start the season suspended 15 games, so Addison Reed will have to step up. He’s been a closer before, but he looked great as one of the best setup men in baseball last season. When Familia comes back, I really like their 8/9, but as we know with these young pitchers, many times they only go 5 or 6 innings. That means they will need a major contribution from their bullpen. Fernando Salas also could be under the radar, and end up being very important for this bullpen, especially during Familia’s suspension. The bullpen has some potential, but look at a guy like Hansel Robles. At times, he looks like the best pitcher in the league, but then there’s times when he can’t find the strike zone. Seth Lugo will also be a nice player, who also can start some games. He was another pitcher who came up big down the stretch during the 2016 playoff run. Maybe come trade deadline, the team will pick up a reliever, but they could end up being the surprise of this Mets team.

I’m sure I speak on behalf of many Mets fans in saying I expect a deep postseason run this year. I know it’s a long season and I know injuries happen, but this team has the makeup to challenge the Chicago Cubs for the National League Pennant. Their depth could help them get through some injuries. They have great offensive potential, and their pitching staff could end up being the best in baseball. The key phrase to the season is stay healthy. If this team stays healthy, I think they could win the World Series. Only Mets fans see this, but this team has the potential to be one of the best Mets teams we’ve ever seen. But, baseball can be very unpredictable, and it’s great to have it back. I think 2017’s going to be a special season for the Mets.

Mike’s Final Record Prediction for the New York Mets: 94-68

Mike’s Current Ranking of All 8 New York Sports Teams

New York sports have some pretty solid teams, but also some pretty bad teams. Here, Mike ranks each of the 8 New York teams from worst to best.

8. Brooklyn Nets

A Brooklyn Nets fan does not have much hope. As they currently sit last in the NBA, they’d almost be guaranteed a top 5 pick in a very strong NBA draft. However, that draft pick will be going to the Boston Celtics, involved in a trade the two teams made several years ago. The team can’t rebuild with a top 5 draft pick, and I don’t see them attracting many free agents. The Nets could very well be a bad team for sometime, which is why I rank them the worst team in New York.

7. New York Jets

After finishing the 2015 season in second place in the AFC East, the hope was the team would make the playoffs in 2016. Well, that didn’t happen, as they finished the season in last place in the AFC East, and now sit with the 6th overall pick in the NFL draft. The team is full of question marks. A major one is who the team’s quarterback will be for 2017. Is it a rookie they will find in the draft, a current free agent, or someone on their roster? The team is old, and they are looking to get young. In 2016, not only was the offense abysmal, the defense struggled as well. The team has a lot of holes, and this is a huge offseason for the Jets. In the NFL, teams generally don’t accept a total rebuild, but the Jets might have to consider that. They are full of older players who want to win now, but winning does not appear to be in the horizon, which is why I put the Jets at 7 on this list.

6. New York Knicks 

Some looked at the Knicks going into the 2016-17 season and thought they would be a playoff team. Well, that looks unlikely as they sit towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference. The Knicks have been a mess for quite sometime now, but I thought they were turning the corner when they found success when they acquired Carmelo Anthony. They need to rebuild, but instead they continue to bring in players, paying them for what they did in the past, not what they will do with the Knicks. Knicks fans are losing patience, and this team looked like they would be better this year. They have a young star in Kristaps Porzingis, so they need to build around him by making the right decisions in the draft. Then they will be able to attract some big name free agents. Fans can only hope they start to improve, but right now they are a bad team, which is why they sit at number 6 on this list.

5. New York Yankees

The best run franchise in New York is at a stage where they are rebuilding. They have numerous talented, young prospects, and a potential star in Gary Sanchez. But, at this point the Yankees are looking toward the future. At the same time, they could be pretty competitive in 2017, as they were in 2016. But, I think this team is going to have some losing season’s ahead of them. They have some holes, especially in their pitching staff. But, at anytime they could make a big splash in free agency. For now, I look at them as the middle of the pack team in the MLB, which is why I have them at number 5 out of all the New York teams.

4. New York Islanders

About a month ago, the Islanders were in last place. However, they have climbed their way back into the playoff mix, and are currently sitting with the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Over the past few seasons, the Islanders have had decent success. They also have arguably the best current athlete in New York in John Tavares. With a team that is still pretty young, as long as they have John Tavares they could have a bright future. Fans are still waiting for the team to make a deep playoff run. They have proven they are able to make the playoffs, but they have not proven to be a dominant team in the NHL. For now, they sit at number 4 on this list, with potential to be the best in New York. That is, if John Tavares stays with the Islanders if he hits free agency.

3. New York Giants

The Giants made it to the playoffs in 2016, and had one of the best defenses in the NFL. They also have one of the best football players on the planet in Odell Beckham Jr. Even though Eli Manning had a mediocre campaign in 2016, fans still know what he is capable of. With Super Bowl aspirations, the 2017 season will be a big one for this team to make a run in the playoffs. Eli Manning is not getting any younger, but he has a great defense and some solid playmakers on offense. With very little holes on this team, the Giants stand at number 3, and they are in a situation where the hopes are for sustained success for the future. Only time will tell.

2. New York Rangers

The Rangers have made it to the playoffs in 10 of the last 11 seasons. Every year, they are relevant and if you are a fan, you can’t complain about that. While they haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1994, they continue to have good chances at winning another. This year, they are a very fast team with a solid offense. Henrik Lundqvist is not getting any younger, and you bet they want to win a Stanley Cup with him. They currently sit in 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division, and have been playing well of late. Just when you think this team is starting to decline, they prove everyone wrong. I give the franchise credit for making it to the playoffs so consistently. They’ve chocked in the playoffs a few times being a pretty high seed, but maybe they need a year like this where they are not the top dog. With the consistency this team has shown, and how they appear to be headed to the playoffs again, they are very worthy of number 2 on this list.

1. New York Mets

In 2015, the Mets hit the MLB by storm, winning the National League Pennant. With a dominant, young pitching staff, they had World Series hopes in 2016. However, injuries held them back, but they still managed to make it to the Wild Card game, with many key players going down that season including  Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey. Going into 2017, the team has so much depth all across the board. If their pitching stays healthy, this team could make a deep run in the playoffs. They also have a lot of depth in their offense. With a long baseball season ahead, players get hurt, so it’s good to have a team with so much depth. While the team does have some question marks, they still are favored to battle right with the Washington Nationals for the NL East title. The sky is the limit for this team, and they have the potential to be the best Mets dynasty of all time. For now, they are looking like they could be a force in 2017, which is why I rank them the best team currently in New York.

 

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.