New York Mets don’t need to get younger, they need to get better
By Tim Boyle
Is a lack of youth really a problem for the New York Mets? Instead of focusing on the age of the roster, the front office needs to put their attention on the talent.
During my time at Rising Apple, I’ve had a lot of fun interacting with New York Mets fans on Twitter. One constant experience I get to partake in is debating sports with various followers.
Among all of the debates, the one with the greatest divide is what the Mets must do to get better.
Everyone has a different plan. Some want to sign every free agent available. Others are ready to put on their patient pants and let Peter Alonso carry the offense.
A regular plan I have seen is that the team needs to get younger. Do they, though? Is age really this team’s problem?
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The Mets don’t have any relics on the roster. A good chunk of their starting lineup is below 30 by several years. Those who have already had their “oh dear god I’m turning 30” breakdown aren’t so far removed that they’re already receiving AARP deals in the mail. The issue with many of those guys is their bodies just didn’t hold up well in 2018.
There’s a lack of logic in what many people want from the Mets. Fans want them to get younger, which is fine. But younger does not mean better. In fact, it would probably make this team a whole lot worse.
It’s a romantic idea to build a team through the farm system. Unfortunately, the Mets are way too far removed from putting together a roster like the 2017 Houston Astros. They’re quite possibly the best example of what some fans want to see, however, even they relied heavily on veterans like Justin Verlander to take them to the promised land. Although many members of their core were young last season, several older players came up huge.
To say the team needs to get younger is too simple of a solution. Every team could use a superstar in his mid-20s. Players like that are rare, though, and hard to get a hold of.
This winter, we will see a rare sight. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are both free agents well before their 30th birthday. They are exactly what the Mets could use.
From their age to their talent and everything else except the paycheck, they are the solution for many fans. They’re right there for the taking. For some reason, many who are begging the Mets to get younger still don’t want them. To them, I asked, who do you want?
Every sports fan knows best. We create inventive ways to make our favorite teams better. Even if it means throwing away logic or creating fictional players, our ideas are the way to go.
The Mets don’t need to get younger. They can, but the more important thing is to get better.
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Talent is not measured by age or even experience. It’s about having the right mix of players, not the ones who get carded the most frequently at the liquor store.