Various thoughts on current events with an emphasis on politics, legal issues, books, movies and whatever is on my mind. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org; please put "blog comments" in the subject line.
Mets Today, after wringing all dark possibilities (e.g., what if he blocks trade?), still finding things wrong (note comment how the Mets won't have a credible team -- mind you not even a playoff team -- until 2016). I respect the guy's baseball knowledge and his commenting after each game -- especially after clearly his heart wasn't in it -- but am tired of the whining and dark cloud stuff. After a no-hitter, Cy Young and batting championship in a span of merely two years, what will it take?!
Fans have a reason to be glad, even though it is quite true that it is a hedged sort of thing. The team and ownership -- one reason why a conservative approach is to my mind honestly prudent -- is still messed up. But, so it goes. Money don't bring good management. And, I hope he is not totally serious about this, neither does the fact the team is in NY. The Yanks had some down years in my lifetime too. It will take more than a year or two to fix a screwed up team that year after year was just good enough to tease. And, I think some hope is warranted.
Again, the Mets weren’t contenders in 2013 with Dickey, and they’re likely not contenders this year without him. In 2014, though, with a potential franchise catcher in place, Zack Wheeler likely in the rotation, Noah Syndergaard on the horizon, and other moves that should be made after the Johan Santana and Jason Bay deals come off the books, the team very well may be contenders. With the aforementioned starting rotation, along with Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Josh Edgin, Bobby Parnell, Jeurys Familia, and others, the Mets have the start of something solid. Trading R.A Dickey doesn’t doom the Mets, it simply changes the dynamic. Hopefully, the change is for the better.
I agree with this analysis of the Dickey trade to Toronto, who also took a lot of stuff off the hands of the Marlins, including old friend J. Reyes. Contra what Joe Janish noted in a comment, I don't think 2013 is "in the toilet." It isn't going to playoff baseball, if that is what you mean, but 2012 gave you a no-hitter, Cy Young and a perfectly reasonable 1/2 ... and then, yes, an ugly second half that even if it was a bit better would have helped. I doubt we will get the first two in '13, but who is to know what will come next? Still, yes, the season is likely to be another low to mid '70s win season. Lower expectations.
Back to the trade. The trade includes not only a catching prospect that very well can be up sooner rather than later (the team really needed a good catcher, particularly one who could hit), but a promising pitching prospect (due a bit later). I really like Dickey, but the old chestnut is true: you can lose a lot of games with or without your star player. Dickey is likely not to be a 20 game winner again. In '11, he pitched very good, but his record didn't show it. I wish him well in Toronto and the AL East should be quite interesting now that the Orioles and maybe BJ are lot just also rans. The Mets had him for three years and thanks for them!
The Mets did not only get some value for Dickey instead of retaining him as the team grows into contention. It disposed of Bay -- a good sign of the problem with trusting them with expensive signings -- and received some salary flexibility for '13 in the process. They signed David Wright & received the same. This provides some money for a few spare parts and/or maybe to re-sign Scott Hairston, who showed some pop off the bench and could play each outfield position as needed. The team still doesn't really have a good outfielder -- more a bunch of fourth outfielders and question marks -- but it is December. Just one decent move there is quite possible.
The team has some real pitching talent, if a lot of it raw, and hopefully we will see some of it (like Josh Edgin) thrive in '13. From the mix, including trading extras, they should be able to get some relief corps. The closer is Frank Francisco though Parnell can fill in as needed. Parnell has yet, over a few years now, shown the wherewithal to be trusted as a closer. So, the team has two iffy people there. We know the team is incomplete. Infield, now with a catcher, is pretty decent. Starting pitching is promising. Relief is getting there. More money is coming. I'm realistically optimistic. After 2006, the norm was repeated hopes that were crushed in the end. Sandy Alderson was supposed to be a sign of hope for the future. Realize this is NY and all, but this was due to take some time. It's happening. Could it have been done better, including finding a reasonable priced position player or two other than Cedeno? Putting aside that the off-season is not over, sure. So be it. The team is going in the right direction and fans are starting to accept milestones like a Cy Young as "eh, that's nice, but ..." Getting a bit greedy there. Anyway, Giants screwed up and are not gimmees for the playoffs, but a Super Bowl ring gives you something of a pass. Redskins my back-up in the NFC East. I'm looking forward to the SF/Seattle game -- looks great. Jets not quite eliminated. Oh well. After a horrible string, even 8-8 will look good, kinda ... not really. That Pat OT loss was the jump the shark moment.