Finally, the 2017 is over. The nightmare season for the Mets is done. It’ll go down as arguably the worst season in Mets history for a litany of reasons. Two years after making it to the World Series, and one year after making it to the playoffs, the 2017 Mets went 70-92 and finished in 4th place; they finished behind the Atlanta Braves. Virtually everything that could have went wrong, went wrong. I said in early April that I know I’ll end up disappointed and my expectations were “tempered”. I said it was hard to imagine a third straight “good” season. I said the pitching will make or break this team. I said we’d never see the Dark Knight again. I said David Wright will never play another game of baseball. I said the Mets would miss the playoffs. I was dead on.
I also said the Mets would win 83 games, implying that they’d be competitive for most/all of the season. Obviously nobody could have predicted how this season ended up unfolding, not to the extent that it did. I did not expect to surrender the season on APRIL 30th! I did not anticipate calling for Terry Collins’s job in mid-May. I didn’t expect a fire sale at the trade deadline. Hollywood couldn’t script this. The baseball Gods didn’t have to do anything because they know the Mets are the Mets, and they’ll always be their own inevitable downfall due to extreme ineptness. If you’re reading this, I don’t need to break down every bump in the road. Comparing the Opening Day lineup to the end of season lineup is as explanatory and sad as it gets.
It’s ironic that Thor is the lone common denominator considering he missed almost the entire season. There was no reason to put him back out there at the end of the season even if it were only for ~25 pitches. With the way the season had gone, only bad could have come from it. But that’s the Mets. Look at that lineup! Every single position player is different and not because the Mets were out of it and were playing their younger guys. This was the lineup because it was the best lineup the Mets could put out there. They had nobody else to play unless you’re pro-Kevin Plawecki or pro-Travis Taijeron.
The 2017 Mets led Major League Baseball in HRs. They’re the second worst team ever to lead the league in homers (43.2 win percentage). The Mets infield ranked 30th in Defensive Runs Saved. No big deal right? Someone has to be last. Wrong. Big deal, very big deal. The margin between the Mets (#30) and the 29th ranked team was almost the same as the margin between #29 and #13. Matt Harvey’s ERA was 6.70. I believe the starting rotation collectively earned the worst stats in baseball. They were awful in every facet of the game, from top to bottom, from pillar to post, from owner to ball boy. For crying out loud, the fucking MASCOT even turned on the team.
So now we look forward to the offseason and the 2018 season. Radical changes have already been made. Terry Collins is OUT as Manager. Dan Warthen is OUT as Pitching Coach. Ray Ramirez aka Dr. DL aka Dr. Death aka the Grim Reaper is OUT as Head Trainer. Thank God Ray Ramirez is out. It’s probably hard for non-Mets fans to understand, but the fact that every fan knows the fucking trainer‘s name is a problem, let alone the fact that he’s universally hated. He’s made misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis for the better part of two decades. He’s rushed guys back from injury on countless occasions. Day-to-day turned into DL stints more often than not. I won’t get into the specifics because I don’t have the time, but he was worse at his job than anyone in the entire world, and the Mets are better off without his bum ass. It’s not about labeling him the scapegoat for the slew of injury problems but rather that he’s incapable of doing his job.
A quick blurb about the skipper. I’ve had my issues with Terry Collins. It’s an almost impossible job to work underneath the Wilpon’s because you’re almost always dealt a shitty hand and have to make the best of it. So while it’s not necessarily TC’s fault that the talent sucked, he often didn’t do much to help; in fact he was a detriment too many times with his awful bullpen usage, questionable lineups, etc. With that said, he’s the winningest manager in Mets history, took the team to a World Series, and did not deserve to be thrown under the bus the way he did in his last week as manager. I’m not sure what purpose he’ll serve in his new role with the team, but I thank TC for the 2015 run and hope he can help push this organization in the right direction. Anonymous names came forward from the front office and from inside the clubhouse criticizing Collins. He allegedly ignored directives that came straight from the front office. Apparently Fred Wilpon has intervened to protect Alderson from firing Collins on multiple occasions. It was his time to go, I’m happy he’s out as Manager, but he did not deserve to go out the way he did. The Mets made a mockery of him as the Mets so often do. That’s on the Wilpon’s (shocker).
Kevin Long and Robin Ventura are rumored to be favorites for the new managerial role. I’m not excited about either. Long specifically scares me because he’s already underneath the Wilpon’s tight watch, so he seems like someone they could easily control, not that they’d grant carte blanche to any manager. When that little weasel fuck Jeff Wilpon entrusts his GM and Manager to run the day-to-day, then and only then do the Mets have a real chance at being contenders. Some other names that have been circulating for Manager are Alex Cora, Frank Viola, and Dick Scott. I’m pretty indifferent to all of these guys. Cora would be my choice out of this bunch, but I’d much rather a proven vet like Mike Scioscia, Jim Leyland, or Tony LaRussa. It’ll never happen (see: Wilpon’s), but that’s the path I’d take.
Once the offseason really gets going, the Mets need to be active. There are a LOT of improvements that need to be made to get this team back to winning ways. Obviously much of the success is contingent on the health of the starting rotation, but there are other glaring holes that need filling. Firstly, the managerial selection is important. Although the GM should be making the decision on his own, we all know that fucker Jeff Wilpon will be meddling into that process. The bullpen needs major upgrading. Especially in the postseason over the past few years, bullpens are more important now than ever. Having a solid pen puts less pressure on starters. Go get a few guys to bolster that back end of Familia, Ramos, and Blevins. To name a few, Pat Neshek, Joaquin Benoit, Jesse Chavez, Bryan Shaw, Juan Nicasio, Joe Smith, and Brian Duensing are all attainable. If I see Hansel Robles on this team next year I may kill myself.
I’d like to see Juan Lagares play centerfield every single day. His bat is an issue, but his glove is too good to leave riding the pine pony. The health or lack there of of Michael Conforto is a huge factor in how the team addresses the outfield moving forward, but I’m perfectly fine with Cespedes Lagares Conforto out there. If Conforto is out, they need to go get a power bat, plain and simple. It may be Jay Bruce, it may be someone else. I’d be fine with trading for Billy Hamilton despite his poor OBP. The Mets haven’t had a legit game changer on the bases since 2007 Jose Reyes. Jon Jay is a cheap-ish free agent who can add some depth. Second base, third base, and catcher are all issues. I hate Travis d’Arnaud and don’t trust him one bit. The catcher market is thin, but I’m sick of d’Arnaud and Plawecki on a daily basis. It sounds like the Mets are gonna retain Asdrubal Cabrera and maybe Jose Reyes. I don’t love either, but I have no issue right now if they’re gonna be on the squad, so long as they’re not the starting 2B and 3B on Opening Day. Go get Brandon Phillips or Evan Longoria. Do Something. Also I think the Mets need another veteran starter, perhaps Lance Lynn or Jake Arietta.
The problem is the Mets need to spend money to improve this team, something they’ve shown a stubborn unwillingness to do over the years. They traded away all their vets to clear cap space essentially. They have money to spend but most likely won’t. I fully expect, once again, to see the Mets operate as a mid market team in the New York City market. There are rumors out there that they expect the payroll to drop. I’ll riot I think. They’ll scavenge the dumpster bin for “role players” and convince (some of) the fans that they’re “in it to win it”. This tweet below embodies everything the Wilpon’s and the Mets are. It’s a tired act of refusing to pony up to truly be pot committed on competing for a World Series. This is a pivotal offseason that will greatly impact the next decade of Mets baseball. I only hope the decision makers understand the magnitude of the precipice the Mets are at.
As of this moment, I am boycotting all home games for the Mets. This season I attended Opening Day and one other game in May which was a birthday gift. I had no interest in going back. I have no interest in going back. I’m so fed up with the way the owners run this team that refusing to give them money is the only way I know how to stick it to them. I hope I’m not alone. That stadium should remain empty until there’s a consistent winning product on the field. This offseason will be very telling, but at this juncture I’m proclaiming a boycott of Citi Field.
Playoff should be fun. Can’t wait to watch the Yankees, Daniel Murphy, Bryce Harper, Justin Turner, and Chase fucking Utley out there vying for rings. Fuck, man. Hopefully my next Mets piece will be a little more uplifting but I wouldn’t count on it.