An MMO Fan Shot by @firstpitchmitch
It’s been about four years since I have written about the Mets. For those of you that don’t recognize my name, I was once the Executive Editor of MMO, and helped launch Metsminors.net. I was passionate about prospects because, in a time when a team isn’t doing much winning, they give you hope about the future. At the time, many of the prospect sites and “gurus” were simply regurgitating what they read in other prominent publications about prospects—but I didn’t just want to write about prospects using the copy and paste method. I wanted to give the readers and fans something different. I wanted to leverage my 30+ years of playing, coaching and living this game and combine a breakdown of player mechanics with advanced statistics in order to provide the most in-depth analysis of prospects that Mets fans could have.
Unfortunately, after suffering through losing season after losing season, I lost the passion for this hobby I had. I started to put my attention into other things, like starting a family and focusing on my career.
You may be asking yourself why am I telling you all this?
Because just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.
This offseason performance by Brodie Van Wagenen has given me hope again. My passion is back. I look at these moves that BVW has made, and I sit stunned that some Mets fans could complain about what is taking place. Aside from signing Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, there really wasn’t much else he could’ve done to strengthen the Mets roster. On paper, he’s done everything right—the moves may not be perfect, but given the market conditions and team payroll constraints, the dude is on fire!
Of course, the Mets fan in me looks at this roster and thinks about how great Harper would look in a Mets uniform. I would love to see him taking those violent swings in blue and orange and wonder how team ownership doesn’t look at what BVW has done so far this offseason, and then give the green light to sign a guy that immediately puts them in the discussion of being a legit National League contender. While they may say they want to win now, they lack urgency as proven when there are two generational players available on the market, and they fail to even have a discussion with either of them.
The problem, I think, is that 2015 happened. Remember that? It was the year that the Mets made it to the World Series on a payroll of just north of $100 million. Don’t laugh, the Mets payroll was only around $85 million in 2014, so they were big spenders that year. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not upset that the Mets made the World Series, I’m upset with the fact that I think it sent the message to the Mets ownership that it is possible for a team to make it into late October on a very, very strict budget. While it certainly is possible, it isn’t likely. It’s the exception, not the norm…And, I’m not completely sure they care.
For all the good BVW has done so far, the reality is that this was a 77-win team last year, and the moves that have been made add anywhere from 5-7 additional wins to the books. Are 84 wins enough to make it to the playoffs? Only time will tell. But one thing is for certain, the window on our great pitching staff is slowly closing. With this staff, the Mets should be in the discussion of winning the National League every single year.
It would be an absolute waste to come away with just one World Series appearance (2015) with pitchers of this caliber on the staff. And while Twitter trolls may disagree, BVW has instilled hope and brought excitement back into the fan base. He certainly has the urgency to win now, but unless the guys that write the checks shares that same urgency, I fear it will be more of the same results for years to come. Regardless, we are all patiently waiting to see what BVW does next…I know I am.
This Fan Shot was written and contributed by MMO community member and die-hard Mets fan @firstpitchmitch. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Send your article to GetMetsmerized@aol.com or use this Contact Form. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.