The Mets have been difficult for fans to swallow so far this season. But there’s still the second half to play. Here’s what I’m hoping to see…
Mets fans, this is not hoping beyond hope. Everything that follows can happen, and in some cases, it should happen. No, these are not the Miracle Mets of 1969, and Las Vegas odds are still at 400/1 for the Mets to win the World Series. See what you think, though. Here’s my wish list…
**** I’d like to see Pete Alonso light it up at the Home Run Derby next Monday in Cleveland. Alonso’s excited and we should be excited for him. On hearing of his selection to the All-Star team, Alonso put it this way:
Alonso probably never dreamed he’d have a shot at the $1 Million Prize offered to the Derby winner. A good kid with a helluva future in front of him, it’d be refreshing to see.
More than likely, it’s Brodie “The Czar” Van Wagenen demanding Cano bat third where he’s been killing the Mets. Van Wagenen, you’ll recall, was Cano’s agent and the one who sold the Mariners that insane contract after the Yankees said, “Thanks, but no thanks”.
It’s often been said that Robinson Cano can do anything he wants to do. Cano has a tendency to sit out the first half mentally and physically, as he’s done for the 2019 Mets when they needed him most.
True to form, Cano will put together a streak of eight weeks and his “numbers” will read like a typical Cano season. And none of it will matter to the team. He’s cancer on the team and he should be treated as such.
**** With Edwin Diaz, less has to be more for this season. Only 25 and with four seasons in the majors, the Seattle Mariners did him no favors by having him pitch in 188 games over the course of the three years Diaz spent there.
Therefore, I’m wishing that the Mets will refrain from using him in back to back games, and only when three outs are needed to wrap up a close game (defined as a one or two run lead).
This will help Diaz not only physically but mentally as well, giving him a full season to adjust to the bright lights of New York, a stark contrast to nowheresville in the Pacific Northwest.
**** Whether called for or not, I wish to see Callaway’s lineup with Jeff McNeil leading off every game from here on in. The young man has a shot at the National League Batting Title, and the surest way to get McNeil there is to get him as many at-bats as possible.
McNeil is a throwback. He’s the type of player who leads by example, and others follow. After this season, McNeil is under team control for the next five years, not reaching free agency until 2025.
Together with Alonso and Michael Conforto, McNeil forms the nucleus of the Mets team well into the next decade. As such, the Mets need to treat him well at all times.
**** I wish the Mets refrain from trading Noah Syndergaard. Only 26, something is missing. And as happens so often, it has nothing to do with talent.
Therefore, I wish Syndergaard to follow Phil Regan around like a sick puppy, begging for his time and expertise, And I wish for Mickey Callaway to step in, offering the strength of his years with Cleveland as their pitching coach.
We can only assume Syndergaard wants to be all of the pitcher he can be. Jacob deGrom is there to assist in the locker room as a mentor as well.
I know, I know. Noah Syndergaard was at or near the top of my list in last week’s story, “Five Trades Van Wagenen Needs To Execute”. But I can’t help thinking of Nolan Ryan, another fireballer most would say the Mets gave up on too soon…
**** Lastly, I wish us all to recall how highly regarded Mickey Callaway was as a people person and communicator when he first came to the Mets. Moreover, I wish Callaway to recall the same thing himself.
Some will say Callaway has Peter-Principled in baseball, meaning he was best suited as a pitching coach and nothing more. Others will claim Callaway is counting the days until he is fired and released from the dysfunctional Mets hierarchy.
Both may be true. But the Mets went outside the box when they hired Callaway and they did so for a reason. Before the advent of Van Wagenen, Callaway was his own person. Results were mixed. But at least he had his stamp on the team.
I wish only for Callaway to reclaim that demeanor, even if it means clashing with The Czar. After all, what does he have to lose?
Let’s hear what you think Mets fans. Leave a comment…