Well, Jimmy, at 8:00 P.M. tonight we are going to have to break down and talk to each other. We are both going to be on the Shouts from Shea podcast hosted by Steve Keane of the Kranepool Society and Ed Marcus of Metsmerized.
If anyone is interested in joining us this link will get you to the Podcast.
Podcast? I thought you said this was television? I just bought a new blazer from the Lindsay Nelson collection. Plus, I got a haircut for this. That’s $8 down the crapper!
There is a piece of good news in the Arizona Fall League. Jeurys Familia is back from elbow surgery and pitching. Familia went down early last year and has been mostly forgotten about since then, but he could be another live arm for the 2014 bullpen.
I wrote about his awful delivery back in late March, saying: “I’m not a pitching coach, but that stiff-legged landing looks all wrong — and all-arm. Don’t like this guy’s windup.”
But yes, this is the kind of guy the Braves system seems to produce every year to fortify a deep and varied bullpen. I’m hoping he stays healthy, but my dreams for him do not extend much farther than that.
According to Nielsens rating services, the average age of a World Series viewer in 2013 was 54.4. Children between the ages of 6 – 17 made up only 4.3 percent of the overall audience. The article listed the following percentages for that demographic in baseball’s competitor sports.
- NBA, 9.4 percent
- NHL, 9 percent
- English Premier League Soccer, 11 percent
Frankly, those demographics are brutal. Advertisers for most products have pure disdain for anyone over 55 as you have all of your stuff already and people need to hoard any money they have saved to last until they die. There are, of course, some things that still need to be bought. Expect to see a lot of “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials during baseball games.
Don’t worry, baseball is addressing this problem, as they intend to institute a replay system. If there is one thing we all know about young people it is that they like sports that move very slowly. The pace of baseball games is going way too fast for kids, it’s time to hit the brakes.
It’s a business driven by quarterly earnings with no eye on the long-term. I guess that means baseball is still a lot like America. But I do suspect that today’s young fan expects and demands more technology within the game, the beauty of an umpire’s human frailty pales in comparison to “getting it right.” The speed of the game will have to be addressed on the mound and in the batter’s box.
That is true about the lack of long-term thinking, but those numbers are not future projections, they are current. The next National TV negotiation will be interesting. Because you are correct, until those numbers go down baseball will ignore this trend.
I noticed this headline from our friends at Mets360 last week. It’s Time to Give Up On Reese Havens. No argument here.
Ha, it’s a long winter, you gotta write something. I thought Dan Stack wrote a good piece for them on Monday, “Six Ideas to Make the Mets More Competitive.” They are, to paraphrase:
- Spend money,
- Dump Davis & Duda,
- Avoid multi-year deals on pitchers,
- Stick with Lagares in CF;
- Flip Murphy;
- Upgrade at SS.
Not crazy about number five. We have very few solid major league players, teams that win have players like Daniel Murphy.
And while we’re floating in the blogosphere like George Clooney in “Gravity,” Joe D. at Metsmerized came out with both guns blazing on Monday, “Three Years In and Things May Be Worse.” The worm is turning.
I gotta be honest, I’m running out of patience…
Running out of patience with an ownership who continues to be less than forthcoming and has made my fandom disjointed… Patience with a front office that has fallen far short of their top billing and were never up to the task of contending on a shoestring which was supposed to be their forte…
I gave them their three years and outside of all the hollow words and empty promises, I see a team that is broken and still in a state of chaos and utter disrepair.
So how can I go into this offseason believing that we’re really going to spend when everything inside me believes it’s a lie?
That said, much will be revealed over the course of this winter, so I’m not ready to go “full dark” just yet. But this is the general malaise I was talking about over the weekend and posted yesterday. The crisis of confidence. He’s lost the fanbase.
It’s early November, there is still plenty of time to despair. This seems too early to me.
Baseball America posted their version of the Mets Top 10 Prospects a few days back. In general, I was surprised by the reaction from bloggers and fans, which seemed favorable and optimistic. I looked at those names and thought: “So where’s all this great pitching that we’re supposed to have?” Jacob DeGrom is our third-best pitching prospect?
Here’s their list:
- Noah Syndergaard
- Travis d’Arnaud
- Rafael Montero
- Dominic Smith
- Kevin Plawecki
- Wilmer Flores
- Ahmed Rosario
- Brandon Nimmo
- Gavin Cecchini
- Jake deGrom
I mean, last year Jacob deGrom went 2-5 in Binghamton with a 1.48 WHIP, allowing 10.4 H/9, while earning only 6.6 SO/9. Then he went to Las Vegas and essentially put up the same numbers. He’s 25 years old. This is the 3rd best pitching prospect in the Mets system? Yet every single day I read a reference to our stocked, pitching-rich system. I’m not convinced. Dominate at St. Lucie and I’ll start to get excited.
On the flip side, I’m hopeful about Smith and Rosario, but those guys are very young and a long ways away. I still think Nimmo has a shot to be a good player, he had a wrist injury and has played in tough leagues for hitters. Our top three are nice, though I wish the organization showed a little more enthusiasm about Montero. I can’t fathom why he’s not being given the inside track this Spring as the club’s #5 starter — except for “Super 2″ reasons or, worse, they just don’t think he can do it.
Maybe he is getting traded.
A few months ago, I went back and looked at the progress of the starting rotation from the Brooklyn Cyclones amazing 2012 season, “The Brooklyn Cyclones Elite Pitching Class of 2012 Falls Short of High Hopes in 2013.” At the time, it looked like the Mets had three aces and a pair of Jacks. But climbing the ladder is not so easy. My conclusion is that at the lower levels the Mets farm teams are situated in pitching-friendly environments. The annual tendency will be for the “prospect mavens” to overrate these young guns year after year after year. It’s Las Vegas in reverse. After three full years, the Reign of Sandy has not drafted and developed a single pitcher in the Mets top 10. Thankfully he inherited two great players that he could trade in R.A. Dickey and Carlos Beltran.
After three years of rebuilding and trading for prospects a team should have excess prospects and be in a position to trade some away for major league talent. If we have a good system we can make those trades this offseason. If we do not have the depth to accomplish this we have failed.
Bloggers and rating services opinions are fun to read but the only opinions that will matter belong to the other MLB GMs. Those opinions should become clearer in the next month or so.