A Belated Metsian Thanksgiving
Though a day late, and while the store crowds rush, we here at Rising Apple have a lot to be thankful for. First and foremost, we are thankful for the Mets, who are the reason we gather here day in and day out. We are especially thankful for our readers as well, who challenge us each and every day to stay accurate, informed, articulate and up-to-date, ask questions other may not ask, and most of all, have fun with the freakin’ thing. We thank each and every one of you for your readership, and look forward to continuing into this exciting new Metsian year, and beyond.
Now, here are some of the things our writers are thankful for this year.
Site Editor Danny Abriano:
I’m most thankful for not having to make up a wild scenario that would need to materialize in order for the Mets to contend this coming season. Instead, regardless of what the team does at shortstop, I can simply point at a talented roster as my reason. Beyond that, I can point to a minor league system that is viewed as one of the best in baseball – a system that has churned out impact pieces over the past few seasons and that should continue to do so in 2015.
Senior Staff Writer Mike Lecolant:
I’m THANKFUL that of the nine local teams (Mets, Yanks, Giants, Jets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Devils, and Islanders) the Mets arguably have the brightest future of all. Although, the Isles may have something to say about that.
I’m thankful for the work Omar Minaya put in as GM. He was fired for the right reasons, however, his talent evaluation abilities were not one. I additionally feel Alderson has done a remarkable job rebuilding the entire minor league system after Minaya’s departure. On that note, I’m thankful for a Rookie of the Year, two minor league championships and several other division flags won over the last two seasons.
Lastly, I’m thankful for the continuing opportunity to write about the Mets, and for people I’ve come to know through Rising Apple.
Staff Writer Rich Sparago:
I’m most thankful for…
1. A pitching staff that has the potential to be dominant. When the Mets have won, they’ve done so on the strength of pitching. Whether it was Seaver, Koosman, and Gentry, or Gooden, Darling, and Ojeda, when the Mets have won, they have pitched. The same can be true in 2015. With Harvey, deGrom, and Wheeler, the Mets are primed for a run at October baseball. Further on the pitching point, the Mets are carrying a solid bullpen. With Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, and Josh Edgin, the team can be confident that late leads will hold up. We have reason to hope that history can repeat itself.
2. The Mets finally appear to be serious about contending. One just gets the feeling that the organization, from ownership, to the General Manager, to the Manager and players, there seems to be an “enough is enough” attitude, and a determination to turn things around. The early signing of Michael Cuddyer (though he was not nearly my first choice) sends a message that the team wants to win now. There is still work to do, and this clearly will be the most important off-season in Sandy Alderson’s tenure as General Manager. The shortstop position must be addressed (despite the bravado, Wilmer Flores is not the answer), and it must be addressed with a difference maker, not someone like Asdrubal Cabrera. Then, a left reliever is a must. Craig Breslow will be very good in blue and orange. The Mets are a very few pieces away from contention. However, they can’t let up now. Those pieces have to be added, and decisively so.
Staff Writer Will DeBoer:
I’m thankful for an offseason of true optimism. The last few winters had some splashy moments but in general the feeling was rather glum. Scandal off the field and mediocre play made it seem like our Mets would take years and years to get back into contention. But last season the team made real progress on the field. Lucas Duda hit 30 home runs, Travis d’Arnaud became a viable option behind the plate, the starting rotation came into shape even without Matt Harvey, and the bullpen Mejia-stomped its way into our confidence. Now with Harvey set to join Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler (and maybe Noah Syndergaard), with Michael Cuddyer on his way to the outfield, and with a shortstop to be named later ready to fill the last major hole in the lineup, happy days are returning to Flushing. I’m thankful for those happy days and can’t wait for them to start producing wins in 2015.
Staff Writer Andrew Battifarano:
I’m thankful that this team looks to be finally turning the corner. The end of last season gives me so much optimism going into next year. With the addition of Michael Cuddyer to the lineup and the return of Matt Harvey to an already great rotation, I’m confident next season will be a good one. With Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler, the Mets could potentially have best top of the rotation in the entire National League. How could I not be grateful for that? It took longer than expected, but I’m happy Sandy Alderson is really pushing for next year and trying his best to put a good product on the field. It will take a bit more to get back to a division title, but it’s nice to see the pieces are starting to come together.
Staff Writer Mollie Galchus:
I am thankful for the great time I had this past February at Spring Training. On his way to the field, Josh Satin stopped to take photos with my mom in her Satin jersey, my dad, and me, and couldn’t have been nicer. I hope he makes it to the majors again, with the Reds. I’m thankful for a rotation with Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler, and Syndergaard. I’m thankful that David Wright seems to be recovering and I hope we can see him have a much better year. But mostly I’m thankful for Lucas Duda’s post-game interviews.
Staff Writer Rob Curry:
From a Mets perspective, I am most thankful for Matt Harvey and Sandy Alderson for turning this franchise around in a few short years and putting the Mets in position for perennial success starting in 2015.
Staff Writer Ryan Punzalan:
This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for two things: Michael Cuddyer and the return of Matt Harvey. Why Cuddyer? Let’s face it folks: The Mets outfield was a barren wasteland at the plate. Over the past two seasons, the Mets outfielders had a batting slash of .238/.311/.373. In comes Cuddyer with a hefty line of .331/.385/.543 since 2013. Yes, he was injured for the majority of 2014, but if Cuddyer can hit anything remotely close to his numbers in Colorado, say .270/.350/.490, the Mets outfield will no longer be the laughingstock of baseball. And for that, I am thankful.
Matt Harvey returning also makes me thankful because 1) He will strengthen the strongest aspect of the Mets and 2) His antics will forever be heralded in my heart. Prior to his injury, Harvey would’ve been a candidate for the NL Cy Young. Now, I’m not expecting him to pitch that well since he’s coming off Tommy John surgery, but the Mets don’t need him to be that dominant…. yet. Harvey will be babied and that’s fine, because all Mets fan will be thankful once they see The Dark Knight taking the mound for a meaningful baseball game in October.
And myself, Staff Writer Sam Maxwell:
I am thankful to have converted to full Metsian allegiance almost 10 years ago, in February of 2005, having been a Yankees fan prior. The Mets have given me an angle on baseball, fandom and life I did not have prior to, and it has been a breath of fresh air. I am thankful for the people I have met along the way, especially the folks here at Rising Apple. I, and many Mets fans, have been waiting for 2015, and let’s be honest, not just for a breakthrough Mets performance; for hover boards and flying cars by October 21.
If I wake up on October 21 and there are no hover boards or flying cars, but the Mets are in the World Series, I certainly won’t care as much.
Thanks everyone. Happy holidays, and Let’s Go Mets!