Opinion: It’s tough, but I’m finding reasons for optimism in 2014

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

It’s been a difficult week. I actually needed to take yesterday afternoon off, away from the blog, after being verbally attacked and emotionally ripped apart on Twitter and this site’s comment section the previous 24 hours. I’m not complaining, it’s part of leading this website and I’m mostly used to it. However, there are times it can be too much to deal with. At the same time, I totally understand the frustration, because I’m frustrated too.

It’s been really, really difficult to be a fan of this team the last five years or so. Choosing to write about it every day, minute by minute, repeatedly trying to rationalize it, over and over, with no escape, can be draining and demoralizing. So, in an effort to pick myself up, mostly because I genuinely enjoy watching baseball and don’t want to totally ruin that experience this summer, I’m searching for reasons to be optimistic…


For instance, in the National League, the Mets have the second-best winning percentage on the road this season at 11-11.

They’re fourth in runs scored, fourth in batting average, sixth in OPS and third in OBP when playing away from Citi Field. In contrast, when at home, they’re fourth-to-last in runs scored and dead last in batting average, OBP and OPS.

In other words, they’re far more likely to hit, score and win on the road; far less likely to hit, score and win at home.

That said, the Mets play their next 11 (and 25 of their next 33) games on the road…

Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 9.28.41 AM


The other silver lining is that the National League is fairly aimless right now, with teams jockeying up and down the Wild Card and division standings. It’s been pretty interesting to watch. The fact is, despite a sea of negativity drowning some fans and media, the Mets are just four games out of first place, as well as four games back of the final Wild Card slot…


Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 9.37.38 AM


I’m not totally confident they can make up the difference, and keep pace, given their offense at home. However, if by some small miracle they can — and also make a summer trade with a young catcher and one (or two) pitching prospects to acquire a proven bat, in the wake of promoting Noah Syndergaard and with a rebuilt bullpen — it may mean a more entertaining summer than I expected from these guys earlier in the week. So, “Let’s Go Mets,” and “Ya Gotta Believe,” right?




184 comments
John Ericson
John Ericson

You'll be writing the same stuff next yr.  this team is not going to win anything, you know, we all know it.  What fans want from this blog is honesty and forthrightness.  Not, defend the team and front office at all costs.  If you want less verbal push back, write more about your frustrations and what you'd like to see rather than the "pie in the sky" we're only 4 games back bunk.  This team is below .500 and will be come the end of the yr.  If you can't see that, then you are blind.  

Chris Biehl
Chris Biehl

Watch the young pitching, there's your optimism.....They have as much in the pipeline as any team in MLB

hojostraw
hojostraw

Matt, I read this blog every day, always enjoy reading what you write, while sometimes agreeing and sometimes disagreeing. After reading this post, I felt the need to create an account to post a comment. DON'T LISTEN TO THE TROLLS!!!! I'm sure I'm not the only one who enjoys your work but does it quietly. The trolls are merely the vocal minority. 

Keep up the great work!!!

sickntired
sickntired

Matt,


Most of us do appreciate what you and your team do or else we wouldn't be visiting the site as often throughout the day.  All we want is honesty from the front office, ownership and coaches but most of all, from you.  Just like the boys in the TV booth who speak their mind and are loved by all of us, you too are our voice so you need to keep clear of all of the FO BS and stay true to who really needs you, THE FANS!!!!!!!


No one wants to deviate from the "plan".  2014 was supposed to be the year.  Now the plan has changed.  Why?  Rest of NL is weak and with this young pitching, we can definitely compete without breaking the bank. 


Change is in the air and, starting with you and Metsblog, we can push these guys to do the right thing.

xplr
xplr

Playoffs? Playoffs?



LOL

L.a. Henry
L.a. Henry

Matt, I'm a 57 year old lifetime Mets fan. I have endured bad players, bad owners and everything in between. If the Wilpon's are SERIOUS about competing than SPEND THE MONEY! We have a brand new stadium that glorifies a Dodger. IT SHOULD HAVE BEE THE TOM SEAVER ROTUNDA!~!! Jackie Robinson was a great ballplayer and an inspiration to humanity, but he was a DODGER!!! It's like the Wilpon's don't care about the Mets legacy, A Jackie Robinson statue?? Why??HE WAS A DODGER!!~Let's have a Gil Hodges statue or a Tom Seaver statue or ANY MET!!! All the Dodger fan's from the 50's are dead or in their 80's...

nymetsrule
nymetsrule

"Ya Gotta Believe" is a BS phrase only simpletons with no ability to think for themselves say. It is a phrase from 40,000 years ago that was only relevant for like one season. It isn't fun to say and it isn't a fun ideology to follow.

ctsteve
ctsteve

Keep up the good work Matt, but please don't drink the company  Kool-Aid.  The shellshocked Mets ownership and management this year is acting like a 3rd world dictator...looking to stave off dissent wherever it crops up in the media...whether it's newspaper writers, broadcast reporters, or journos attached to SNY.  Integrity is worth more than any one gig.  Keep MetBlog honest and observant.

David Love
David Love

Hang in there Matt. I think you're very fair.  Been a Metsblog fan since the beginning, and I don't think you've changed at all.  You do excellent work and are the most level headed commentator out there.  I've recently joined a Mets FB group, and I hadn't realized what a truly disturbed bunch of people Mets fans are. 

The Mets are frustrating, yes, but it's a rebuild.  It's not always going to be smooth.  We're still figuring out who belongs where.  And we're all inpatient.  But guys, down off the ledge a little.  Cerrone is a wonderful source for Mets fans, as is this website. I've seen him be plenty critical.


Can I also just say that Fantasy baseball has had a terrible effect on baseball Fans? We forget that these players are real people.  There's way too much of "Well, trade these two guys for this guy, then move this guy to this position (even though he's only played it once in little league) and Boom! We win the world series!"  


That's not how this works.


Stay strong Matt. Real fans appreciate the work you do.  The rest are just trolls sitting in their parents basement with nothing to do.

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

I just want Julliane Assange to run this blog, I think I'm a reasonable fan.

rf04
rf04

This many people complaining should be encouraging to Mr. Alderson and the Wilpons.

GIVE US A GOOD PRODUCT and we'll be there in a heartbeat! And instead of complaining about the team, we'll be complaining about the price of playoff tickets and world series t-shirts (that we will be purchasing anyway because we love this frigging team).

bigdirty
bigdirty

I, like every fan, would love to see the Mets have a championship calibur team every year. I would love to watch fun, exciting, winning baseball every game for every year.  Reality is that teams have down times. The Mets are in the midst of one now. But in reality this is not the Mets being bad because they dont have a plan. This is a true rebuilding year. Thats my honest opinion. I was too young to remeber 1983-1984 but that is what 2013-2014 will probably be thought of. 


The idea that the mets were going to compete this year is silly. The organization has a glut of pitching that needs to be developed and sorted and 2014 is the year that it was slated to  happen. Even is this team had Matt Harvey, ith still needed time to develop Wheeler and the rest as well as tim to develop travis and lagaress. yes they have made some mistakes at, ss and with chris young (only 1 year though). First base is not resolved but the picture will get much clearer at all those spots by the end of the year. This is the year the mets really decided to bite the bullet and see what talent they really have. 


its frustrating on the fans part that the development hasnt gone faster and that mistakes have been made and that comunication between the ownership and fanbase is so poor but being rational, this is the way i would develop this roster at this time. Even if its unbalanced and there are not a lot of position players ready to make an impact, I think its necessary to let this team got through all of the growing pains it has to get to where it needs to go. 


I understand that the question mark is not necesarrily with the talent but with the owners ability to step up and really push the team forward with adding to the payroll with the right guys. Maybe this time of development and low payroll will afford the owners a chance to fix thier finances and add the additional $25 - 35 million to put the team over the top like it did with kieth and carter or with Piazza and ventura or with beltran/delgado/santana/wagner/krod.  Mets history does support the fact that when their teams have been ready to compete ownership has opened up the checkbook pretty big. As a fan until that doesnt happen, I cant unnecessarily kill ownership. They just got out of loads of terrible contracts and signing guys like choo,/ellsbury/drew to luxuriously long term deals might not have been smart. The team is still 1-2 years away from competing and waisting 2 high saliried years for a player and not winnign much more would not be sound managing. 


There is a lot of hope for the future. lets be less cynical and let it play out. Not all of the pitcher will turn into aces and maybe none. But even if we get a few #3-4 starters and some good bullpen arms, those are important pieces to a championship team. 


I believe this is the hard part before a new great era. Be patient and enjoy the ride. Developing talent can be bumpy

Glenn Blasius
Glenn Blasius

I think the bullpen will be much better going forwards....Velverde?  Farnsworth?  Puleeze.  Give Familia more of the limelight.  He reminds me of a (much better) Armando Benetiz (yikes, did I say that?). 


Now for a bat.   If we stick with Duda, we def need to shoot Chris Young out of a cannon.  Say the ones they use to throw those T Shirts with.     Cmon Terry, bite the bullet.


And PUULEEEZZZZEEE - Terry:  leave J-Lag in CF.    He has the chance to become a monster.   You can let EY play regularly in your fantasy league. 


Better yet - trade Murph to a team who could really put him at his ideal position - 1b or 3b along with Dillon Gee for a MONSTER bat.   Then we could (suffer) with EY.

Zach Goeringer
Zach Goeringer

I can almost feel these days when a right/wrong direction poll is coming.

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

Now Matt, I know many of us disagree with you, but I'm sure that no one intended for you to be personally insulted by a comment.  However, you are in an unusual position, you write and moderate a blog that is primarily linked to the SNY website.  It has SNY logos all over it, and it is set up in the same layout as the other team blogs linked to SNY.  You can say you're independent, but the appearances indicate otherwise.  Your posts have expressed opinions all over the place.  Sometimes you're angry and critical, then a while later, your optimistic like in this post.

I'm sure that you're a great guy, and I would love to have a Smithwicks as McFadden's with you and talk Mets trivia.  However, you need to understand that this fan base has become disheartened.  I've followed the Mets for over forty years, I pay for extra innings to see them from my home in Tampa, I have a lousy brick outside the stadium for heaven's sake.  Consider all of that when I tell you this, Alderson's comments yesterday made me very close to packing up every last piece of memorabilia that I own (the Seaver autograph ball, the 1970 yearbook, the vinyl record "The Amazing Mets", my Tommy Agee replica bat I got from a Getty promotion, etc), pack them up, and send to to Alderson with a letter telling him I was through being a Mets fan.

Now that's pretty freakin disheartened.

rben
rben

Now our teams hitting and blogging has been affected by the booing!!

KatieDaza
KatieDaza

@matthewcerrone Another reason to be optimistic: Metsblog is by far one of the best places to get Mets news. the work you put in is amazing!

likeike
likeike

thanks for talking us off the ledge cerrone

rf04
rf04

It's a long season, we've had a bad stretch. But we also have less talent than 2 teams in our division and maybe the same amount as the other 2. So - it WILL take some over-achieving for this team to have a shot at a wild card. And that IS the fault of management. They are performing about as well as Chris Young is.

That said - I'm watching every game! LET'S GO METS!

robby
robby

Matt I appreciate your optimistic view of the Mets.  At times we all get wrapped up with whats happening now and don't look at the whole picture as some of these note.  That's not to say they can't fail, but with the insight you provided it gives me hope that maybe this team can do something special especially with there young pitching and only being 4 games out and the N.L. East which this year is weak.  We do have a chance because in baseball anything can happen.  So thanks for restoring my faith in the Mets once again and I'll be watching them.  Very good analysis of the upcoming schedule.  Once again Thank You for your blog it makes a difference to the loyal Mets fans.

C Nerrie
C Nerrie

Glad to see someone with the cojones to state publicly that verbal bullying hurts. Maybe it will help.

I don't always agree with your assessments, and would like to see more rigor on the site, but attacks and insults are inexcusable and are also a drag for readers to wade through.

Ed William
Ed William

What ever happened to the significant player to be named later, in return for Ike? If he's that significant, I wish he would get here fast.

boo5270
boo5270

Matt, I've been a metsblog reader since the very very very beginning.  Like others state here, this team is so deserving of criticism and you rarely dish it out.  If you are afraid of losing your media credentials or access to players and coaches, etc, then its understandable. I get it. But you know what?  Metsblog was great BEFORE you got your media credentials.  It was a few years before you got those right?  But I was very frustrated last week when JMan and I pointed out to you the absurdity of Sandy saying in the Post just last week that he has only personally seen Flores play shortstop ONCE before his recent call-up. Think about it...that's absurd!  When you pooh-pooed what Sandy said, it said a lot.  

Brian Descovich
Brian Descovich

Matt, do you want to stop the personal attacks?    


Give a regular column to Howard Megdal or another writer critical of mets's management.

A voice that is independent from SNY, a guest blogger or columnist, would make the site seem much more balanced.


metstones
metstones

Matt sorry you are hurt but with all due respect you are part of the problem. You tow the party line 90% of the time. If you would call these fools out that are running the Mets than you would be in a much better place as far as this site is concerned.

rico
rico

Ya gotta take it easy on Matt, Mets fans. First of all "fansmanship" is part of "sportsmanship" be a good fan is being a good sport. We watch sports for entertainment to get away from the harshness of the real world of the polarized congress, the disparity of the rich vs the poor. This is supposed to be fun.  If the team isn't doing it for you or are you using your fansmanship to be an outlet for your rage you have to check yourselves.


As for Matt's opinion, well I say we all have to let ourselves "believe" once in a while, simply because it feels better.  It seems like many of the disgruntled here are happier when they can be snarky and super-dark.  There is a time for that too, but to constantly browbeat Matt is just not cool.  All opinions are subjective so nobody here "absolutely knows" anything. People who profess to "absolutely know" as in "fact fact fact" are usually the most lost of all.


Please be sporting, if you're happy with the team or not, keep the personal attacks to yourselves, not fellow fans





openmind6
openmind6

Matt, I'm sorry you are hurt from the attacks, but you sound totally brainwashed by the Mets.

metsie
metsie

It's entirely possible that Matt's view is slanted towards supporting Sandy Alderson's strategy because Matt agrees with it on principle, and not because he's some kind of "shill" working for the Mets. His opinion is his, he defends it well. It would be a LOT easier to run a blog that just rants and blasts the team. But it's this blog that I check first thing in the morning, and I bet that's true for a lot of people here....this is a one-of-kind place and I'm glad for it. 

TheJMan
TheJMan

the softening of America folks ... 

and we're seeing a microcosm of that with our Mets ... they are soft. 
from ownership to management to the fragile psyche of the players (you can't put some batting cleanup or can't handle some boos) to its lead blogger 

we put in our time to watch this team win--we're desperate for the dysfunction to correct itself but it never comes...

this whole franchise needs a big kick in the ass and some honesty -- the media gives them the honesty and the Wilpons are so afraid it (read about the PR stuff in Capital NY last month)

Think about this .. this franchise is only relevant for its dysfunction... how flippin backwards and sad is that ..  ?

http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2014-05-28/mets-sandy-alderson-terry-collins-wilpon-closers-2007-collapse


Dave D'Agnese
Dave D'Agnese

What bothers me is the two bats we could have had without giving up any prospects were cruz and abreu and we didn't do it. What power bat will be available this summer? The only prospects I would trade would be montero and d'arnaud. I am keeping plawecki, degrom, and thor!

hankypanky
hankypanky

Wrong. Like it or not, the Mets are the direct National League descendants of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The only other extinct National League team was the Giants, who played in Manhattan. While Queens is not Brooklyn, it is joined at the hip bt virtue of being part of Long Island, and it made more sense from a real estate point of view to build the new park in Queens rather than in downtown Brooklyn. The Rotunda is a proud symbol of the design that was seen in Ebbets Field, just as the recognition of Jackie Robinson is a proud symbol of the baseball history that preceded the Mets.

rf04
rf04

@Glenn Blasius I think the tough part is that EY is our best choice (since it's not CY). He does make things happen - when he actually gets on base. So it's either him or Brown or den Dekker, or Kirk, or Puello, or Campbell. I'll take some Campbell and some EY and ZERO CY.

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

@Ed Renner We will find out about that next week after the draft.  It seems that the pick will probably be one of their 2013 draft picks.  League rules require that a player not be traded within the first year after they are drafted.

It could be any player, but knowing Alderson, it will probably be Blake Taylor or Cody Dickson.  Dickson was a fourth round pick, a left handed pitcher out of Sam Houston State.  Taylor seems to be more of a high school prospect.  I would like one of their young shortstops or Jacoby Jones, an outfielder out of LSU

Ed William
Ed William

@Dave D'Agnese Hi Dave. I think you should leave open the fact that these players and probably many others don't want to come here because of the circus we have become..because of the stupid "hunt for strikes" BS. When you say "we could have had", my question is...How do you know?

I think that it is more likely that we just can't get guys to come here..unless of course we overpay. And you know how we just love to spend. But as I say here, I don't really know what goes on behind the closed doors. So, my statements are guesses...just like yours...right?

snarkerttack
snarkerttack

@Dave D'Agnese  What I wonder about making a trade is we trade young guns for an established hitter. Said hitter will be making more money than the young pitchers we give up. Will Alderson really do that?  I'm not so sure.

Christian Migliorese
Christian Migliorese

You act like Abreu woulda just come here. Ugh why? You realize a ton of tea wanted him right?

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

@hankypanky But I think the city did want the dodgers to move to queens instead of where O'mally wanted to put his new, dome stadium, in Brooklyn. That's why he proposed to the giants they go out west.


I think the city official named "Moses," was in league with the yankees somehow. The yankees took their insignia from the NYPD, so they were getting their way before the Dodgers were pushed out of New York.

L.a. Henry
L.a. Henry

@hankypanky THIS TEAM IS NOT THE DODGERS!!!! If you want to honor and keep the Dodger legacy alive, than build a museum!!! This is about the N.Y. Mets!! Not the Dodgers, The Giants, The Yankees, The Highlanders or whoever. We need our own identity separate from any other team. We need to be proud of US. Not Jackie, Willie, Duke, Mickey!!!METS PLAYERS!!! Seaver, Ryan, Koosman, Swan, Harrelson, Grote, Mazzilli, Gooden, Hernandez, Carter,et el...WE HAVE OUR OWN LEGACY!!! LETS CELEBRATE THAT!!! You want Dodger history, go to L.A.. I, for one, am sick about hearing about the Dodgers. THEY WERE GONE BEFORE I WAS BORN!!!

Dave D'Agnese
Dave D'Agnese

They publicly stated they didn't even attempt to sign or offer them a contract. That's my beef. No effort. Plus money will always bring ppl. You think brian mccann wanted to shave his beard? No, but 90 ridiculous million will make him bust out the razor!

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

 Yes but rememeber what Jeffy said when asked about signing  Abreu''we already have 3 1st baseman''...very lame. sounds like not even trying to sign him.No interest at all.