Baseball is back for 2021 and they are going to play the standard 162 games (unlike the 60 games they played last season due to covid-19). Things are getting betted as more and more people are getting vaccinated, and most places are respecting lock down rules to try and stop the virus from spreading as we get closer and closer to heard immunity. Bu despite all the protocols that MLB put in place, the Mets opening series against the Washington Nationals was cancelled due to positive covid-19 tests within the Washington Organization. The Mets had to wait until last night to start their season against the Philadelphia Phillies, and in true Mets fashion, the waisted another start from Jacob DeGrom and found a way to lose the game. I know its just one game, and there are still 161 games left to play, but the Mets have followed the same pattern the past 5 years, and then you look and its September, The Mets are 20 game out of 1st place and the Mets fans are talking about what could have been. Hopefully they can get things changed this year and having a new owner who has money and wants to win helps.
But for the Mets to be successful, they 1st need to come up with a identity. Are they going to scare teams with their pitching, or are they going to rely on their offense. If they want to be known for their pitching, then they need to change their approach, especially with Jacob DeGrom. He needs to be a true ace that scares other teams. He has the talent to do this, so its up to management and the Manger to use him the best way they can. You can’t be taking him out after 6 inning regardless how its pitching and then saying he’s an all time great. Talk is cheap. DeGrom needs to pitch as much as possible and make the other teams believe they have no chance to win the game before it even starts.
Instead Bryce Harper of the Phillies came out and said they were thrilled when DeGrom left the game. The Phillies basically figured they could hang around for 6 innings and then win against the Mets bullpen. They didn’t fear facing DeGrom like they should and this is something that needs to change. The good team and great players intimidate their opponents. Make them feel that the game is over before it even starts. But if they know DeGrom will be out after 6 innings no matter what, they can just sit back and wait.
Not that last nights loss was all on DeGrom. The Mets had several opportunities to put the game away, but seem to be relying to much on stats and pre-determined moves then getting a feel for the actual game. If you are just going to go by a script and have everything mapped out before the game, then just go play MLB 21 on the computer, and sit back and watch.
This is an issue with lots of teams, and it seems crazy to me that they keep on doing the same things, making the same moves based on there so called experts, and keep on losing. Then they blame it on the talent they have. Its like a corporation that has a manager or department with extremely high turnover, but keeps blaming things on the employees that keep leaving, and do not look inward and think what they can do better.
The Chicago White Sox have been saying they have one of the best statistical departments. See its really done them well – Taking away last season, here are there recent win totals – 2016 (78), 2017 (67), 2018 (67), 2019 (72). Or the Los Angeles Angels, with the consensuses best player in baseball Mike Trout, and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujoles – 2016 (74), 2017 (80), 2018 (80), 2019 (72). These teams, as well as several others (and I will include the Mets) really need to sit back and think of what they are doing is really the best, or do they need to change some of their philosophies if they want to be a winning organization. Maybe forget about some of the stats, don’t talk so much about moral victories, and instead get their players to believe in themselves and their talent and intermediate their opponents.
I asked a friend of mine the other day if Francisco Lindor (who just signed a 10 year 341 Million Dollar contract with the Mets) would rather hit over .300, make 5+ All-Star Games, and win 2 MVPs over the next 10 years, but only make the play-offs 1 or 2 times and lose early, or hit .260, make 1 All Star Game, finish 3rd or 4th in the MVP, but win 2 or 3 World Series. I’m sure he would want to win the World Series more than have the Hall of Fame stats, but sometimes it feels that team would rather tout a players stats then actually win games.
Personally I would rather have my team be good and make the play-offs this season, then to say Jacob DeGrom won his 3rd Cy Young Award, Francisco Lindor won the MVP, and Pete Alonso hit 50 HR, but the Mets finished 3rd in the division and missed the play-offs.
All this came to my mind after the Mets played 1 Game. That is what makes baseball the best of the major sports