The 2020 Mets are already taking a giant leap forward by putting their 2019 season in perspective. Leading the way is their veteran right fielder…
The team the 2020 Met field will almost be devoid of veterans. Although it’s a stretch to tag him as a veteran at only 27 when the new season begins, Michael Conforto has the perspective needed to frame the 2019 season. More significantly, he’s dialed in on what the team needs to improve on next season.
Any team can look back at a season to recall games they gave away or at least a few they should have won.
The Mets, for instance, have no trouble locating the game against the Dodgers on May 29 when Edwin Diaz began his backward spiral, surrendering four late runs in only one-third of an innings. Or the wild 11-10 loss to the Washington Nationals later in the season.
But Conforto has a broader perspective than just a game here or a game there. Conforto views the season as a whole and concludes the Mets lost out for one reason – they didn’t play good baseball for six months – the marathon which is a baseball season.
As a former history teacher, I always preached to my students, “Those who refuse to remember the past are condemned to re-live it.”
Mets Players: Who Is Spent – And Who Is Not
And so it is with the New York Mets. Every Met should look as tired and plainly exhausted as Pete Alonso did yesterday after going all out for an entire season – AND – expending the energy it takes to win the Home Run Derby?
I’ll bet a year’s pay (don’t get excited, it ain’t much) that Robinson Cano can play another 75 games before taking off on vacation to wherever he’s going.
The baseball season is a grind, and you have to be ready for it coming out of the gate, into May and June, and through the dog days of August before you claim the prize to play meaningful games in September.
Michael Conforto, a veteran of five campaigns with the Mets, including their last hurrah year in 2015, knows what it takes.
It’s Not About Finger-Pointing
Finger-pointing is not where we’re going with this. Instead, there’s a value in what Michael Conforto has realized – which if not corrected in 2020 will doom the Mets to the same fate they had in 2019.
The way the Mets season ended is a two-edged sword, one positive and the other negative.
The sweep against the NL East Champions felt good, catapulting the Mets to ten games over .500 for the season – the first time they reached that level all year. Dominic Smith‘s first swing of the bat in more than three months was exhilarating, as was the seven-inning effort by Noah Syndergaard.
But here’s the kickback, and it’s not rocket science.
The Mets cannot afford to wait for the second half to come around as a team again. They are not the Oakland A’s, who continue to defy the odds season after season.
Step Up Michael – It’s Your Time
For Michael Conforto, it’s one thing to say the things he’s said to a newspaper. What’s needed, though, is more. The same Gospel needs to be preached from the first day of Spring Training – with a refrain throughout the season. Conforto emerged with his bat this season (video) – now it’s just another step…
Pete Alonso needs help, not only on the field but in the clubhouse as well.
I can’t think of anyone better for the job than Michael Conforto.