Stay Bruce? Fine By Me

According to the New York Post the Mets have informed Jay Bruce they plan to start the season with him as their everyday right fielder. And thus concludes BruceGate 2017 (Maybe? Is it really over?).

The prospect of Bruce being with the Mets on Opening Day doesn’t really bother me. Why? Generally, I refuse to get worked up over a Mets roster “dilemma” if the end result is the Mets have more roster depth. You may not like Jay Bruce’s skill set and you may wish the Mets could freely spend his 13 million dollar salary on other upgrades, but that’s seemingly impossible to achieve at the moment. So the doomsday scenario is the Mets have five outfielders, and in the long run additional depth is a positive not a negative.

Here are my thoughts on some of the fears Mets fans have cited due to Jay Bruce’s presence on the roster.

If Bruce Is here Michael Conforto will be ruined!

I’m skeptical of the claim that 23 year old Michael Conforto’s career will be derailed as a result of limited playing time in 2017. If you feel the Mets are a better team with Conforto starting everyday or that we shouldn’t “waste” a year of his pre-arbitration service time then fine. Those are valid points worth discussing. But after his time in Vegas in 2016 and his experience with a veteran filled roster towards the end of last season, I’m confident Conforto will be ready to battle Curtis Granderson and one-dimensional Bruce for at-bats in 2017. In an ideal world he’d outplay them and force his way into the starting lineup. T.J. Rivera and Rene Rivera certainly accomplished that at their respective positions in 2016.

There are not enough ABs to go around for all these outfielders.

Have the people saying this ever watched the Mets? An injury is likely to occur and a full time job will open up for Conforto before you can say “Spring Training.”

The position players on the Mets roster, as it’s currently constructed, are old and injury prone. Duda, Yoenis Cespedes, and Juan Lagares dealt with injuries in 2016. Grandy will be 36 years old by Opening Day and Bruce had knee surgery in 2014. If he doesn’t have a starting job outright due to injury, I can see Conforto being double switched into games regularly for defense and starting a few days a week to keep these veteran guys fresh.

In addition to filling in at all three outfield spots, Conforto can work at first base in Spring Training. Conforto increasing his versatility is a positive thing for next season and beyond. If Dominic Smith isn’t ready to take over the job in 2018 then we’ll need someone to fill in for Lucas Duda if the Mets let him walk after the 2017 season.

The Mets Outfield Defense Will Be Terrible With Bruce

Unfortunately there’s not much I can say to refute that claim. The Mets outfield defense will likely be below average in 2017. But the outfield defense is going to be poor regardless of the alignment. This squad won’t specialize in run prevention as long as Granderson, Bruce, and Conforto are drawing the majority of starts in center field and right field.

If you wanted the Mets to acquire a true starting caliber center fielder this winter and shake up the roster to emphasize defense then you’re probably disappointed. But clearly the overwhelming supply of power hitters in the free agent market limited the Mets ability to move their expensive corner outfielders. If Sandy wants to prioritize upgrading the defense it will be easier for him to achieve that next offseason when many of our current position players become free agents.

The Mets don’t have any payroll flexibility to upgrade the bullpen

This may be true, but it’s hardly Jay Bruce’s fault if ownership has capped the team’s payroll at the current amount. If the Mets fail to upgrade the bullpen and that hurts the team down the road, the only people to blame are Sandy Alderson for misallocating financial resources and ownership for not providing additional funds to improve the pen.

I’m trying to look at the bright side of having Bruce on the team and here’s where I’ve landed:

  1. If Jay Bruce hits in line with his career numbers, then the Mets will benefit from the additional offense. The team’s struggle to generate runs is the reason they traded for him in the first place. If we dump him before the season we’ll probably wind up trading another prospect for someone like him by the trade deadline.
  2. If Bruce performs and the team is inexplicably blessed with health then he becomes a expendable trade chip to flip for a piece the team actually needs. And hopefully by then the market isn’t as flooded with comparable players.
  3. If Bruce struggles and Conforto stands out in his limited playing time then Michael starts and Bruce becomes an expensive pinch hitter. Will Terry Collins play Jay Bruce for three straight months even if he’s hitting .200? Maybe but that’s a problem with Terry’s managerial style not a Bruce issue.
  4. The stats show us that Jay Bruce’s contribution (at least from 2014-16) in the power department is essentially negated due to his below average defense. He’s basically a “net negative.” Just like our old friend Daniel Murphy. I’m hoping that Jay Bruce becomes the new Kevin Long reclamation project and somehow takes his power to the next level in a contract year.

In the end, the team defense may wind up stinking with Bruce in the fold and maybe Conforto won’t handle a reserve role well, but at least the 2017 Mets will hit a lot of dingers again. Duda, Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Granderson, Cespedes could all supply 20+ homers. If our starting pitching is healthy and returns to its 2015 form and the lineup has the Citi Field Home Run Apple popping on a nightly basis, good things will be in store in 2017 whether Bruce is in the lineup or not.

Editor’s Note: This was first published on Mets Merized Online.

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Jay Bruce Headlines Are Just A Distraction

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Almost every Mets’ headline after the Cespedes signing has been about Jay Bruce. Jay Bruce doesn’t fit on the roster! Bruce must be traded! Mets need to dump Bruce salary! Bruce suitors dwindling! Mets overplayed the market on Bruce! Two teams still interested in Bruce! Mets want two prospects for Bruce! Mets hope to land reliever for Bruce!

Whoooooooooooo cares?!? Don’t you see what’s happening here? These BS headlines are simply a distraction from the reality that the Mets haven’t done a damn thing to improve the roster this offseason. The Bruce headlines have fans in a frenzy. I see some people defending Jay Bruce as a player. I see the majority of people saying perennial 30 home run hitter Jay Bruce stinks and unproven Michael Conforto deserves all the playing time. The debate rages on every single day.

If you believe that dumping Jay Bruce should be the team’s top priority then you’ve been totally brainwashed by the Wilpon media.

If you read these headlines about Jay’s untradeable salary and let BruceGate dominate the winter conversation then you are allowing ownership to scapegoat Sandy and Bruce for the lack of activity.

This team let Bartolo Colon walk and didn’t replace him. This team is going to let Kelly Johnson walk for the second straight year and not replace him. This team already needed two set up relievers before the prospect of a Jeurys Familia suspension. What have we done to fix the pen? Nothing other than watch every viable reliever fly off the free agent board. And I’m not just talking about the high-priced relievers. Almost all of the middle tier arms have signed for 1 or 2 year deals. As of now it still looks like the Mets intend to let Jerry Blevins walk without replacing him. The Wilpons threw the fans a bone with the Cespedes signing, and then they told us to get back in our cage and shut the hell up.

I’m so damn tired of hearing the brainwashed fans cry about having Jay Bruce on the roster. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with keeping Bruce if we can’t work out a mutually beneficial trade with some team. There’s plenty of playing time to divide up between Jay Bruce the defensively challenged slugger, Juan Lagares the defensive wiz who can’t hit right-handed pitching, young buck and unproven talent Michael Conforto, old man and new everyday center fielder Curtis Granderson, and Yoenis Cespedes who battled injuries for the entire 2016 season. And keeping Jay Bruce should have nothing to do with improving the bullpen. Nothing.

I called this from day one of the offseason. I wrote a post that said trading Jay Bruce is fine but a salary dump is unacceptable. I knew that if the Mets tried to work out a deal involving Bruce it would be primarily motivated by their desire to rid themselves of his 13 million dollar salary. I knew there was no way they’d take that 13 million and re-invest it in the roster. There was never a chance they’d eat some salary to make a better deal. 0% chance from day one.

My current frustration has nothing to do with Jay Bruce. I understand that we gave up a nice prospect for him, and he’s not a great fit on our roster. I get that he’s a one-dimensional slugger. Yes he can’t play the field. Sure he’s blocking Conforto and Terry Collins will always play him over Conforto even if Jay is batting .150 for three straight months. Does that frustrate me? Nope. All of my frustration is directed at the Wilpons for cutting off contact with the media after the Yo signing and closing up their wallet.

At this point I want the Wilpons to be stuck paying Bruce out of spite. Screw them. And who are we kidding? Spring injuries are an unequivocal lock for the Mets. Bruce will be playing everyday and batting fourth once God is finished smiting our regulars and destroying our depth. At least if we keep Bruce we have a viable option for when the inevitable injuries strike. I certainly can’t say the same for the bullpen.

P.S. With each passing day it’s looking more and more like Jay Bruce The Fish will be joining my family. Just like the real Jay, he’ll never walk and he’ll probably stink.

2017 IBWAA Hall Of Fame Vote: The Strong Character Crew

This is my second post identifying the players I voted for on my Internet Baseball Writers Association of America Hall of Fame ballot.

The IBWAA votes every December for its Baseball Hall of Fame and the rules are very similar to those of the BBWAA. A player requires 75% of the vote to be elected into the Hall of Fame by the IBWAA, and the main difference is IBWAA voters can select up to 15 candidates on their ballot.

I voted for 12 players in total on my 2017 ballot. The first post focused on the players I voted for that were linked to steroid allegations or other character issues (i.e. the juiceheads and jerks). This post focuses on the remaining players that I included on my 2017 ballot. The five players below competed during the steroid era but managed to avoid any links to steroid use. They all compiled incredibly impressive baseball resumes over their respective careers, and I feel in the end their numbers are worthy of Cooperstown.

Vlad The Impaler

Vladimir Guerrero hit 449 homers, 2,590 hits, 1,496 RBIs, and a ridiculous career slash line of .318/.379/.553. He even stole 181 bases. He never struck out more than 95 times. He had a cannon for an arm in right field, but the advanced metrics don’t love his defense which explains why he’s ranked 125th all time in position player WAR (59.3). But Vlad is 85th all time in hits and his .931 OPS ranks 34th. He was a perennial All-Star, Silver Slugger, and he also won an MVP award. I’ll never forget his incredible ability to hit absurd “bad balls” pitched way out of the strike zone. His top 10 player comp list has four Hall of Famers and at least three possible future Hall of Famers in Jeff Bagwell, Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Beltran. Larry Walker is also considered a direct comp. Vlad may wind up being one of those Hall-worthy players that doesn’t get in on the first ballot, but if that happens it’ll be a result of the BBWAA 10 player ballot limit. His numbers are certainly worthy of a spot in the Hall.

vlad-g-sim-score

The Coors Effect

Larry Walker hit 383 homers, 2,160 hits, 1,311 RBIs, and a career slash line of .313/.400/.565. His MVP season in 1997 was bananas: .366/.452/.720 with 46 doubles, 49 home runs, 130 RBI, 33 steals. Walker was also a defensive stud in right field, winning 7 Gold Gloves over his career. The elite combo of bat and defense explains why he ranks 56th all time in position player WAR (72.6). His Hall of Fame case is hurt by his injury-filled career. He played over 150 games in a single season only once. His HOF case is also hurt by the Coors Field effect. He hit .380 at Coors in his career and .280 on the road. His top 10 player comp list has four Hall of Famers and Miguel Cabrera (his HOF chances look great). His career numbers are also comparable to those of Vlad Guerrero. I personally had a hard time making a case for one player and not the other. Ultimately, I think Walker did enough with the glove and the bat during his playing days to warrant entry into the Hall. Clearly the BBWAA doesn’t feel the same way since they’ve failed to vote him in for six years now.

larry-w-sim-score

The Moose Is Loose

Mike Mussina had 270 career wins (ranked 33rd), a 3.68 ERA, and 2,813 Ks (ranked 19th). His 3.58 K/BB ratio ranks 22nd all time. During his career he was pretty much a lock for 15 wins and 200+ innings pitched every year. He never won a Cy Young award but he won 7 Gold Gloves and his pitcher WAR of 82.7 ranks 24th all time. Everyone ahead of him in the WAR rankings is a Hall of Famer (other than Clemens). He pitched his entire career in the American League East during the height of the steroid era. The guy belongs in the Hall.

The ‘Reliever Bias’ Guys

Only five former relievers have been elected into the Hall of Fame, and we haven’t seen a reliever voted into the Hall that spent almost his entire career pitching in the 9th inning. The HOF reliever bias will dissipate as more relievers become eligible. Mariano Rivera will certainly be a first ballot Hall of Famer once he is eligible, but for some reason I constantly hear people comparing other relievers to Mo as if he’s some sort of Hall of Fame baseline. Comparing Hoffman and Wagner to Mo, is like comparing a hitter to Babe Ruth. It’s an insane comparison and unfair to these other dominant bullpen arms.

I think the numbers reflect that Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner are two of the most dominant relievers in the history of the sport and are deserving of a place in Cooperstown. Hoffman had 601 saves and is second to Mariano Rivera. He had a 2.87 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and an extremely impressive 9.4 K/9. He received MVP votes in five different seasons and Cy Young votes in four seasons (including two second place finishes). He failed to get in last year, but he had over 60% of the vote in 2016 so it’s very likely he’ll be elected this year.

Billy Wagner had 422 saves (6th all time), a 2.31 ERA, and 1,196 strikeouts in 903 innings. His 11.9 K/9 is higher than any reliever currently in the Hall of Fame. He was a seven time All-Star, he received MVP votes in two seasons, and he was 4th in the Cy Young voting in 1999. In his prime I would argue Wagner was more dominant than Hoffman, but he obviously didn’t rack up the innings/saves totals of Mo/Hoffman. His brief playoff resume was terrible (10.03 ERA in 11.2 innings). I’ll never forget when he got crushed in the 2006 NLCS for the Mets, but his brief lousy playoff performance is not a valid reason to deny him entry into the Hall. I think it’s time for Cooperstown to open its doors to more relievers as they become eligible and that requires Hall of Fame voters like me to open our hearts to the men of the pen.

2017 IBWAA Hall Of Fame Vote: Juiceheads And Jerks

It’s Hall of Fame voting season for Major League Baseball, and I’ve officially cast my ballot. Are you surprised to hear that I have a say in who enters the Baseball Hall of Fame? Well technically I don’t. I cast my vote as a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America.

The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is the actual group that votes and determines who enters Cooperstown. The BBWAA is made up of writers that cover baseball for “traditional” mainstream media publications that meet the qualifications of the BBWAA constitution and thus have been granted credentials by Major League Baseball.

The Metssiah falls short of the necessary qualifications to join the BBWAA. However, the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America is an awesome alternative for bloggers like me, and it is made up of some of the most talented internet writers in the game.

The IBWAA votes every December for its Baseball Hall of Fame and the rules are very similar to those of the BBWAA. A player requires 75% of the vote to be elected into the Hall of Fame by the IBWAA and the main difference is IBWAA voters can select up to 15 candidates on their ballot. The 10 player voting limit imposed by the BBWAA doesn’t make much sense to me and in a year like this where the ballot is stacked, it leads to some Hall-worthy former players missing out on needed votes.

I voted for 12 players on the 2017 ballot, and I will outline my voting rationale in two separate posts. This post will focus on the players I voted for that were linked to steroid allegations or other character issues. The next post will focus on the remaining players that I included on my ballot.

Before I dive into the juiceheads and jerks, I should note two things. The first thing is that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Edgar Martinez have already been elected into the IBWAA Hall of Fame, and therefore they have been omitted from the IBWAA HOF ballot. That being said, if they were on the ballot I’d be voting for all three of them. Bagwell has the sixth ranked all-time WAR (79.6) for first baseman. Tim Raines ended his career with 2605 hits (80th ranked), 808 stolen bases (5th ranked), 1,330 walks (38th ranked), and a .294/.385/.425 slash line. Edgar Martinez faces the DH bias, but he slashed .312/.418/.515 with 2,247 hits. His .933 OPS ranks 33rd all-time.

The second thing I need to preface this post with is my position on the steroid era. Ultimately, I did not feel that the steroid allegations against the players I voted for below warranted disqualifying them from the Hall of Fame. I didn’t hold alleged steroid use against this crop of players because Major League Baseball has failed to take an actual stance on the steroid era or provide any useful guidance on the subject.

If MLB had hypothetically engaged an independent party to 1) identify a set time period that qualified as the steroid era (i.e. before formal testing protocols), 2) conduct separate “character investigations” for each HOF eligible individual and then 3) based on those investigations classify individuals as eligible or ineligible, then perhaps we wouldn’t be in this situation where every writer has a different view and there’s absolutely no consistency in the character determination whatsoever.

This group of players primarily competed before the modern steroid testing protocols were put in place, and other than Manny Ramirez, these players never tested positive under the league’s formal program implemented in 2005. I also feel that the current penalties under the league’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program represent the only real stance MLB has taken on the subject of steroids. Right now the league has a three strikes and you’re out policy. I think if the league is willing to forgive and welcome back players that have been suspended for using performance enhancing drugs, then I am willing to take a similar stance in my Hall of Fame voting approach.

Here are the seven juiceheads and jerks that I voted for and my rationale:

The No Doubt HOF Juiceheads

Barry Bonds is number 4 all time in WAR (162.4) and number 2 for position players. Bonds won 7 MVP awards. He was 4th in OPS (1.051), 3rd in runs scored (2,227), number 1 in homers (762) and walks (2,558). A debate about whether or not he’s the best player of all time could be fun and interesting. But there is no Hall of Fame debate. He’s the GOAT.

Roger Clemens is in the same boat as Barry. He won 7 Cy Young awards and 1 MVP. He’s number 8 all time in WAR (140.3) and 3rd for pitchers. His 354 wins rank 9th all time and his 4,672 Ks rank 3rd. He’s undoubtedly had a HOF career.

Ivan Rodriguez won 13 Gold Gloves and is considered one of the best defensive backstops in the history of baseball. He also won an MVP award. He hit .296/.334/.464 with 2,844 hits, 572 doubles, 311 home runs, and 1,332 RBI. He ranks 1st for a catcher in both hits (2,749) and games caught (2,377). His 304 home runs as a catcher rank third behind Mike Piazza and Carlton Fisk who are both in the Hall of Fame. Pudge is an unequivocal first ballot Hall of Famer.

The No Doubt HOF Juicehead That Just Couldn’t Stop Juicing

Manny Ramirez was the lone player on my ballot that tested positive for banned substances (2009 and 2011) after MLB rolled out its testing protocol in 2005. Almost all of his production came before his positive test at 37 years old, and I’m not willing to disqualify him based on the positive tests at the end of his career. Manny Ramirez hit 555 home runs (15th ranked), had 2,574 hits, 1,831 RBIs (18th ranked) and a career slash line of .312/.411/.585. His .996 OPS is 8th all time. He ranks 72nd in WAR for position players (69.2) and 32nd for offensive WAR (81.2). His list of top 10 player comps on Baseball Reference includes five hall of famers and five players who will likely be in the Hall someday. Manny’s numbers are Hall-worthy.

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The Fringe HOF Juiceheads

Sammy Sosa hit 609 career home runs, had 2,408 hits, 1,667 RBIs, and a career slash line of .273/.344/.534. He ranks 8th on the all time home run list. His poor career defense in right field really drags down his overall value as a player, but his slugging prime from 1998 to 2002 was representative of a Hall of Fame talent. He cranked 292 dingers in 5 years. His top 10 player comp list includes eight players currently in the Hall of Fame and two players that may one day wind up in the Hall as well. Sammy hasn’t even come close to election in four years on the ballot, but I truly believe that if the writers were evaluating his career based on the numbers he’d be in Cooperstown already despite his poor defense.

sosa

Gary Sheffield hit 509 home runs, had 2,689 hits, 1,676 RBIs, and a career slash line of .292/.393/.514. He ranks 117th all time for position player WAR (60.3) and his offensive WAR (79.9) ranks 35th all time. His .907 OPS ranks 58th all time. He ranks 26th in homers, 28th in RBIs, and 39th in runs scored. He walked (1,475) more than he struck out (1,171). His top 10 player comp list has eight Hall of Famers and two possible future Hall of Famers. The advanced metrics reflect that he was a poor defender, but his bat was prolific enough to put him in the Hall.

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The ‘I Don’t Think He Juiced But He’s Definitely A Jerk’ Guy

Curt Schilling had 216 career wins (ranked 85th), a 3.46 ERA, and 3,116 Ks (ranked 15th). His 4.38 K/BB ratio is 3rd all time. His 80.7 career pitcher WAR (80.7) ranks 26th all time. He won the Cy Young four times including an award in the AL on the Red Sox. He won the World Series with the D-backs and Red Sox. He formed arguably the most dynamic pitching tandem in baseball history with Randy Johnson. He was a dominant playoff performer with a 2.23 ERA in 133.1 innings pitched. His record is worthy of the Hall of Fame.

Unfortunately, Curt Schilling has demonstrated that he’s a deplorable human being in his post-playing career. He’s made jokes about lynching reporters, and he’s shared hate filled views and chalked them up to politics. All that being said, I think his numbers reflect a HOF baseball career, and I personally find it hard to deny him entry solely based on his offensive and misguided social views.

Final Thoughts On The HOF Character Clause

Obviously the Hall of Fame voting process is subjective and every writer has a different view on which stats make a player Hall-worthy. But I think the character clause is one area where Major League Baseball owes it to the IBWAA, the BBWAA, the players and all the fans to provide detailed voting guidance. If MLB wants to take a strong stance against steroid use, gambling, potentially racist “political views” or any other character issue, then the league should clearly outline their policy in these areas in the context of the Hall of Fame character clause. Staying silent is a gutless move by the league and negatively affects everyone involved in the process.

Grainy Video Of David Wright Swinging Bat Surfaces

I think that’s a video of David Wright swinging a bat. It’s either Wright or some other thin white guy between the ages of 20 and 40 with a spine more brittle than a pretzel rod and a neck fused together with rubber cement.

I was literally thinking about my man D-Wright earlier today when this grainy video surfaced. I was thinking about how everyone counted Peyton Manning out when he had his neck fused in 2011. They all said his career was over. Then he showed up everyone by winning NFL comeback player of the year in 2012, MVP in 2013, and the Super Bowl in 2015/16. Then we all found out Manning allegedly had enough HGH shipped to his house to make Bartolo Colon jealous, and the allegations totally tainted his career resurgence.

Even if our beloved Captain America followed in Peyton’s footsteps and healed his neck with banned substances, I don’t think all the juice in the world could fix his degenerative spinal condition. Every report on his spinal stenosis indicates it’ll only get worse. There’s no scenario where he magically heals and successfully plays out the last four years of his contract.

But if the baseball gods would grant David one more full productive season in 2o17 and a World Series Championship to go with it, I have to believe he’d call it a career. Then the Mets could give Wright a big fat deferred buyout spread out over the next 100 years. The Mets will need someone to take the torch from Bobby Bonilla once the team finishes paying him in 2035. The Captain could step right in and fill the void. It just wouldn’t be the same in Metsland if fans no longer had an excuse to have the same tired annual debate about contracts and the time value of money.

Instead we’ll suffer through our other annual tradition where we watch Wright ramp up baseball activities, laugh as Sandy and Terry foolishly pencil him in for 130 starts at third base, and cry when the Wilpons pocket the insurance money that covers Wright’s salary.

Do people even draft Wright in fantasy leagues anymore? I can’t imagine a league where he’s anything more than waiver wire fodder. I guess I’ll send this video to the other members of my league and try to fool them. I’ll say “Hey I’m hearing Wright looks great. He’s primed for a big comeback season.”

In the end I’ll probably wind up drafting him, stashing him, and praying. Basically the same approach the Mets have taken for four years now.

Thor Should Save His Name-Calling For The Wilpons

Bryce Harper knows #saturdaysarefortheboys @bharper3407

A post shared by Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) on

On New Year’s Eve, Barstool Sports posted a video of Bryce Harper saying their famous catchphrase “Saturdays are for the boys.” In true legendary fashion, Noah Syndergaard commented “douche” on Harper’s Instagram video. 

Thor is really one of those once in a generation players that combines exceptional talent with an absolutely magnetic personality. He’s got it all. Everything he does further cements his status in New York sports lore.

That being said, we all know these guys are friends, and it’s just another fun artificial social media storyline serving to distract us from the reality that the Mets have done absolutely nothing to improve the team this offseason. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Here are The Metssiah’s updated Mets offseason highlights for those of you keeping track at home.

1) Mets sign Yoenis Cespedes. We re-signed our MVP candidate/number one ballpark draw and that was it. Thanks Fred and Jeff.

2) Mets Twitter account posts video of Yo in a Santa hat saying “Yo! Yo! Yo!” instead of “Ho! Ho! Ho!” on Christmas Day.

3) Thor calls his friend Bryce Harper a douche as a joke on social media.

That’s all we’ve got folks. Thor better save some derogatory words for Jeff Wilpon because when the time comes for his big payday, we may need him to bully ownership into opening their damn checkbook.

You want to hear the actual latest Mets’ news? Are you sure?

I put on SNY Mets Hot Stove last week and watched Nelson Figueroa and Gary Apple ramble on and on about nothing for 30 minutes.

They might as well have aired this:

If you want to read the Wilpon media spin on how recently signed minor league sidearmer Ben Rowen could transform our bullpen, I encourage you to check it out

The Mets are also apparently scouting a 32 year old pitcher named Jose Arredondo who is currently pitching in the Venezuelan League and last threw in the majors four years ago. These aren’t exactly franchise altering talents.

Frankly, this was the most interesting nugget of information I learned recently.

It certainly feels rare, but when you see something like that you are reminded that sometimes the baseball gods smile upon the Mets. But the real evidence that the baseball gods are smiling upon us right now is the fact that Thor and Yo exist and play in Flushing. We are so #Blessed to have Thor and Yo donning orange and blue.

Buster Olney released a list of the top 10 starting pitchers in MLB. Thor came in at number 6, but that’s mainly because he’s entering his second full major league season. Fangraphs had Noah with the highest WAR in 2016 for a pitcher. Syndergaard will be a sexy preseason pick for NL Cy Young. And Cespedes will also be a popular preseason NL MVP pick. Yo will have a ton of competition for MVP with Harper, Kris Bryant and many other talented players fighting for the crown. So will Syndergaard in the Cy Young race.

But the bottom line is the Mets have a potential Cy Young stud and an MVP stud on their roster. Even if the Wilpons cheap out and refuse to bring in any other protection for Yo in the lineup or sign another viable reliever for Thor to hand the ball to in the pen, at least in 2017 we get to continue watching two of the most talented players to ever wear a Mets uniform. I just wish the damn season would start already.