Prepare For The Yo-pocalypse

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Have you seen the latest Hot Stove rumor? The Yankees are interested in Yoenis Cespedes.

If the Yankees sign Cespedes I will cry. Tears will actually roll down my cheeks.

If Yo signs with the Yankees we’ll be forced to listen to delusional Yankee fans raving about how players are drawn to the pinstripes. It would be the biggest setback for the Mets since…well since we lost the 2015 World Series and then saw all of our young aces undergo surgery on their arms. But it could destroy the progress the Mets have made in shifting the overall balance of baseball power in New York City.

Sandy Alderson did an interview this week, and he sounded optimistic about the Mets’ chances of re-signing Yo. He said that Yo texted the club saying he’d like to return, but added “we’re going to have to wait a while to see how this turns out”. Doesn’t this sound familiar? Yo wants to stay, but the Mets haven’t made him an offer yet.

Instead the Mets will continue to play with free agent fire. They’re essentially calling out every team in the league and daring them to make a substantial bid for Yo. And now the Yankees are making phone calls to his agent? I don’t like it. If the Red Sox sign Carlos Beltran the Yankees could easily pivot and go for Yo. This whole thing stinks.

So for now I’m sitting on my couch with my tinfoil hat, preparing for the worst, and urging everyone to take action:

Don’t Stop Complaining: I think every Mets fan has a daily obligation to tweet or post on Facebook “Sign Yo”. If you are driving and stop at a red light, you should roll down your window, honk your horn, and scream “Sign Cespedes” at people walking nearby. Last year, the World Series appearance really energized the fan base and sparked the #SignYo movement. I’m genuinely worried that the movement has lost some momentum. So this is a reminder to keep it going.

Contact Your Local General Manager: When American citizens are angry about the political process, we are supposed to “contact our representative” in Congress. Well in baseball, the best we can do is contact our GM. And it just so happens that Sandy Alderson has a Twitter account.

Considering his most recent tweet was a 2014 plea to make David Wright the #FaceofMLB, it would seem he’s not exactly an active Twitter user. But it’s better to tweet at his idle account than to do nothing. It’s about as useful as calling your congressional representative and leaving a voicemail.

Don’t Donate To The Wilpons: The Mets have been releasing schedules and sending out ticket promos. Ummm let’s hold off on all those purchases people. Obviously Noah Syndergaard is amazing every fifth day. But Yo is the number one daily attraction at Citi Field. The Mets already let Bartolo Colon, the sexiest man in all of sports, take his talents elsewhere. Hold off on sending the Wilpons any money until we know where they stand with Yo.

Secretly Hope The Yo Propaganda Scares Teams: I’ve spent so much time disputing the anti-Yo press. But it’s possible that the golf playing, non-hustling, smoking, horse riding, flashy car driving, distracting superstar narratives will scare off other teams. I want Yo to get paid big money and stay with the Mets. Whatever makes that possible works for me.

Pray For A Wilpon Cabinet Post: Maybe Donald Trump will appoint Fred and Jeff Wilpon as co-Secretaries of the Treasury? The Madoff stuff didn’t stop Major League Baseball from appointing Fred as head of the league’s Finance Committee. Maybe they’ll join Trump’s cabinet and be forced to put all their holdings (including the Mets) in a blind trust. If my choices for ownership are the Wilpons or a non-Wilpon human being controlling a blind trust, I’m going with the non-Wilpon every day and twice on Sundays.

Remember Where We Play: The important thing for Mets fans to remember is we deserve Yoenis Cespedes. Our team plays in New York City, and we deserve all the luxuries other big market clubs enjoy. Yeah we made the playoffs two years in a row. That’s amazing and in large part due to the fact that Sandy Alderson is an incredible executive. But this team has a legitimate chance to win the World Series with the pitching we have and we have to take advantage of the opportunity.

My Demands: What do I want? I want the Mets to head to the Winter Meetings in December and make some damn noise. The Braves signed R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon and they reportedly want Chris Sale. The Marlins are supposedly targeting Kenley Jansen. You know the Nationals are going to make big moves.

Well I want Yo, another stud closer, a new catcher, a bat off the bench, and a starting pitcher to replace the innings we gave to the Braves in the form of Big Sexy. I want a roster stacked with talent and the fans deserve that. I’m saying that the Mets should spend money to try and win during our window. I refuse to settle for less. As long as the Mets continue to have a payroll in the middle of the pack, I’m going to complain about it. And if that means I’m labeled a broken record by brainwashed Mets fans that have accepted the Wilpon way of operating then so be it.

Sources: Mr. Met To Opt Out

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With the New York Mets already bracing themselves for the potential opt out of Yoenis Cespedes, sources are now indicating that team mascot Mr. Met will also opt out of his current contract with the club. Mr. Met has been with the organization for over 50 years, but when asked about the prospect of a long-term contract extension Sandy Alderson said, “That’s not something we like to do. Those contracts often don’t work out. I’ve said that before. We’ll make those decisions as they’re presented.”

Prior to the Mets’ loss in the NL Wild Card playoff game, Fred Wilpon was asked how the organization could even consider letting Mr. Met, the face of the franchise, leave Flushing to which he responded, “I have made a decision — you guys don’t like, I get it — I want the face of the organization to be Sandy and Terry. I don’t want Mr. Met to be the face. I don’t want Jeff to be the face. And I don’t want to be the face. I don’t want to start because I know you’ll ask me other questions. I don’t want to do it.’’

When asked about his contract situation, Mr. Met indicated he would like to finish his career with the Mets, but noted “I get it. My head is just a giant baseball, so I can pretty much work for any team.”

Further complicating matters is the fact that the team had concerns with the mascot’s behavior during the season on a number of occasions. In April, it was reported that Mr. Met was denied a National League Championship ring because he “didn’t pay his dues”. Then in September during the closing weeks of the season, Mr. Met was seen golfing on two separate occasions with the Phillie Phanatic and Billy the Marlin. At the time, Sandy Alderson stated, “The golf is bad optics. You play golf with a rival mascot during the day and then go out and play against that team in the evening, it’s a bad visual. I think he recognizes that at this point. So we’ll go from there.”

If Mr. Met departs, the team will likely turn to internal options to replace him including Cowbell Man, Jay Bruce, or a random member of the Mets Party Patrol. When asked directly if James Loney would be considered as a replacement, a team spokesperson replied, “No. Never. He doesn’t have the range.”

Series Preview: Mr. Met Goes To Washington / Murph Reunion Bowl Take 2

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This Could Be Fun (But Usually It Isn’t): The Mets are 35-37 at Nationals Park all-time. But between 2012-2014 they were 10-17. During that stretch, it was awful facing the Nationals. It just felt like they consistently smacked us around. That’s why the success we had against them last season was so big. We went 6-3 in Washington. The success against the Nats and particularly the success in Washington was one of the big differences for the 2015 Mets. That success started with our pitching, but it really all came together with the addition of Yoenis Cespedes. Once again, we will need him to lead our offense if we are going to come away from this Washington series with Ws.

Yo Loves The Capitol: Yoenis Cespedes was 6 for 14 with 3 doubles and 2 dingers at Nationals Park last season. It may take forever for the politicians on Capitol Hill to re-establish relations with Cuba, but Yo will be leaving his Cuban mark on Washington before this series is over, that I assure you.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Bartolo Colon vs. Gio Gonzalez

Gio has been lights out this year with a 1.86 ERA. He’s 10-4 lifetime against the Mets with a 2.59 ERA in 18 games. He beat the Mets last week at Citi Field going 6.1 innings and giving up a run. The Mets have been bad against lefties this year. But this guy isn’t going anywhere. So we need to figure out a way to beat him. Paging David Wright. Notable Numbers: Juan Lagares is 11 for 29 with a home run against Gio, and David Wright is 6 for 24 with a home run.

Bart’s recent outing against the Dodgers was ugly. His outing last week against the Nats at Citi was gross (4.2 innings pitched, 3 runs, 5 hits, 5 walks). He only had one start against the Nats last year, and it came right out the gate in April. He went 6 innings, gave up 1 run and struck out 8. He needs a Big Sexy rebound start in a big way otherwise we officially have two struggling starters in our rotation.

Game 2: Matt Harvey vs. Stephen Strasburg

The Nationals have won 13 straight Strasburg starts. He smacked the Mets around last week at Citi going 6 innings, giving up 1 run and striking out 10. Notable Numbers: Yoenis Cespedes is 2 for 5, David Wright is 7 for 25 and Neil Walker is 5 for 14 against Strasburg.

I thought last week’s Harvey start against the Nats where he gave up 9 runs (6 ER) in 2.2 innings was rock bottom. I thought for sure the Mets would skip his next start. Nope. He’s going right back out there and this time in the lion’s den. The Mets watched him throw a bullpen session this weekend, and apparently he looked good. Harvey officially has the Mets stamp of approval so it looks like we can put this Harvey debate to bed right? We’re all confident that he’s figured things out right?!? On a related note, is there a word that means “lower than rock-bottom”?

Game 3: Steven Matz vs. Tanner Roark

Tanner Roark was the odd man out of the rotation for the Nats during much of last season. He made 12 starts in 2015 and was swinging back and forth between the pen and the rotation. This year he’s rejoined the rotation full time, and he’s been very good. He’s 3-3 with a 2.89 ERA. He made one start against the Mets last year in October. He went 6 scoreless innings. He made 4 relief appearances against the Mets last year and for the most part was effective. The only time he surrendered any runs came on July 21st where he got rocked in Washington and gave up 4 runs in a third of an inning. Notable Numbers: Curtis Granderson is 6 for 16, Neil Walker is 2 for 5, and Rene Rivera is 3 for 8.

Steven Matz didn’t face the Nats last year. He missed those big series late in the season recovering from that abdominal injury. But he’s been a rookie of the year stud this year. I hope he’s in a position to help the Mets win the series or even sweep. He dominated Milwaukee this past Friday going 7 innings, and giving up 2 runs with 8 strikeouts.

Things To Look For:

Hot Nats 2.0: So nothing has really changed since last week. Daniel Murphy is still leading the league in hitting and destroying every pitcher he faces thanks to whatever remains of his Kevin Long pixie dust supply. Anthony Rendon is hitting .458 in his last 7 games. After his cold start to the season it appears he is rounding into form. Jayson Werth is hitting .333 in his last 7 games, but he did hit into a horrendous 9th inning bases loaded double play this weekend against the Marlins.

Penmanship: So the Mets have the best pen ERA in the league. But the Nationals pen has been fantastic as well. The Nats and Mets have the same strengths. Pitching, Pitching, Pitching.

Conforto Feeling The Heat: Michael Conforto has 3 dingers and is hitting .300 in his last 7 games. Some of Noah Syndergaard‘s scorching fastball heat must be warming Conforto up. Thor throws fire, loves Game of Thrones, and is clearly casting his light upon Conforto. I wouldn’t want to step foot near Harvey’s East Village apartment. That place must be colder than the ice cells at Castle Black.

Duda Dunzo 2.0: Lucas Duda spent Monday morning at the Hospital For Special Surgery being probed by Ray Ramirez. Ray is probably in the hospital men’s room right now grabbing Kleenex for the Duda “tissue sample”. Lucas going on the DL is a lock. Obviously I’m upset about Duda’s back injury considering we have no real alternative, but in truth he’s been MIA at the plate lately. If he had been on one of his burning hot streaks, I’d be devastated. That doesn’t mean his absence in the lineup won’t have a negative impact, but I suppose it makes the injury sting slightly less. Pray for Duda.

Playing Short Is Dumb: Speaking of the Duda injury, I wrote about it in my last Nationals series preview a week ago. We’ve played shorthanded now for six straight games. Playing with a short bench is the Mets favorite strategy. I still can’t believe the Mets twiddle their thumbs for as long as they do when it comes to injuries. Also, on the subject of short, how great has Asdrubal Cabrera been? Other than Cespedes and Conforto, he’s been the only real constant on offense. At some point, this guy is going to hit a rough patch and lose himself at the plate. It happens to everyone at one point or another over the course of the season. Let’s just hope by then someone else in the lineup wakes up and picks up the slack. Yeah, I’m looking at you Neil Walker. The guy has been spiraling into oblivion since he started on pace for 70 home runs. He’s .188 in his last 15 games and .167 in his last 7 games. Yuck.

Lil’ Late For New Gloves: Alejandro De Aza recently grabbed a first basemen glove to try and increase his versatility. People are calling for Neil Walker to grab a first basemen glove. I’ve even seen fans say Travis d’Arnaud should take a break from downing platelet-rich plasma smoothies in Cali to take some reps at first base. Umm I said this in February, but what the hell were the Mets thinking this spring? We never had a backup first basemen other than Eric Campbell. We claimed Wilmer Flores was the backup first basemen, but he played like two spring games at the position. How the hell did we not have d’Arnaud, Wilmer, and Kevin Plawecki out there taking grounders every single day? Duda spent time on the DL last season. This injury was a lock. This was a predictable scenario, and the Mets really blew their chance to get ahead of it.

The Blood Of The First Men: The Mets are likely to promote someone from Triple-A Vegas for the Nationals series once Lucas Duda is placed on the DL. Rumor has it Ty Kelly has arrived in Washington. Ty is a 27 year old journeyman utility infielder/outfielder and look at this guy:

Ty Kelly looks like he was out foraging for fruits and nuts when a time traveler showed up and brought him to the future to test his baseball skills. The blood of the Neanderthal flows through his veins. Considering he’s a minor league journeyman, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to find out he spends his offseason filming History Channel “Early Man” specials. But in all seriousness, he’s hitting nearly .400 in Vegas. Now we all know offensive numbers in Vegas are super inflated due to the thin air. But no matter where you are playing, if you lead the league in hitting, you deserve some praise. If he does get promoted, let’s just hope Ty doesn’t crack open a teammates skull with his bat and drag him back to his cave (which I’m assuming will be on the basement level of the Washington Marriott Hotel).

Today: Let’s ride the Brewers series victory wave and take the good vibes on the road tonight. Let’s go Big Sexy.