Is there nothing better than Mets Baseball?
Okay… there may be a few things better than Mets Baseball, but this week they are trumped by the return of the Orange and Blue to my television screen. The Mets have begun their 2018 Spring Training by going 2-3, losing to the Cardinals and Astros, but defeating the Braves and the Marlins. Does that mean anything? No, absolutely not. However, there are a few things we’ve seen so far that are very, very exciting!
Mickey Calloway is My New Dad
I am in love with a man. That man is Mickey Calloway. I told my girlfriend that I was in love with him and she said it was okay because she’s in love with him too.
Why do I love Mickey Calloway? Really simple. He looks like he’s having fun. Imagine a moment when Terry Collins looked excited to play a game or work with a player or celebrated a dinger. Did that ever happen? If it did, I’m hard-pressed to remember it. Terry seemed to subscribe to the act neutral until something goes wrong school of managing. However, Calloway seems to be present in the games, not worrying about the outcome.
Watch his reaction to Cespedes’ Moonshot on Sunday:
On the top step, talking shop with the boys, celebrating a dinger.
Terry Collins, on the other hand, just gives you a fist bump and back to work he goes.
A small thing, for sure, but this notes a change in how business is being done in that dugout and I am here for it.
Mickey Calloway will be the catalyst for change in this franchise, mark my words. Seeing the way he talks to players, works with them, and even how he has dealt with the fans so far, warms my cold heart. Mickey Calloway is my new dad and I am ready to fall in love again.
Dom Smith Missteps
I have been rooting for Dom Smith since he came up last summer, and I don’t think we have seen the player the Mets thought they had. I highly doubt the Mets thought Lucas Duda’s replacement would hit below the Mendoza line and only slug 9 home runs in his first 49 games. HIGHLY DOUBT THAT.
However, I was still optimistic for Dom after he lost all that weight this offseason, and was even more optimistic when the Mets signed Adrian Gonzalez for peanuts. Bringing in a veteran first baseman to help shape Dom’s game was a brilliant move, and Adrian Gonzalez is one of the best.
That being said, I’m beginning to sour on Dom’s chances at making the team out of the gate.
First, there was the disciplinary scratch in the first game of the year for showing up late, then there was the quad injury, and now we have the gradual return to baseball activities. How does Dom feel about all of this? Here he is talking about his set back:
“I felt good today, took some swings in the cage. Tomorrow work a little bit more. Just continue every day to get better, and feel better, and make sure it’s a continuing thing. The main part in spring training is to make sure we leave here healthy. It’s only the first week and a half of spring training. We still got some time and it’s something shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”
Dom is very right.
There’s a lot of time left in Spring Training. A month left to be exact. And while there’s plenty of time for Dom to get back into the swing of things, what he is losing is credibility and facetime.
What do I mean by credibility? Can we trust Dom Smith to be the everyday first baseman? Can we trust him over someone like Adrian Gonzalez? AGon wasn’t supposed to be the guy at first all year, but now he’s looking like the most viable option. Also nipping at the heels of Smith is Peter Alonso, the #4 Prospect in the Mets system and the #7 First Base Prospect, according to MLB.com. Is Peter Alonso going to get the starting job at first? No, but he will most definitely make the jump to Triple-A Las Vegas this year. All of this leaves Dom Smith with very little room for error. Especially with Wilmer Flores and Jay Bruce as first base options.
Noah Doing Noah Things
Hello Florida pic.twitter.com/PdjlOnmAlw
— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) February 7, 2018
Noah Syndergaard threw 22 pitches in his first appearance of the spring. 11 of those pitches hit 100 MPH. Thor even struck out José Altuve on a changeup that, according to the MVP, “would strike him out 100 times out of 100.” I’m hesitant to say that Noah Syndergaard is back, mainly because I don’t want to jinx it, but when the guy who made Corey Kluber a star does a double take at the radar gun and smiles, you know it’s a good thing.
Hansel Doing Hansel Things
I don’t like Hansel Robles. I really want to like him, and I blame Terry Collins for my dislike of Robles, but at the end of the day… what’s the point? Hansel had a great first appearance tossing 8 pitches, all for strikes and getting two punchouts. His next appearance he threw 16 pitches, 11 for strikes and got two punch outs… but he also gave up four hits and four earned runs.
Yes, it’s Spring Training and who cares? I do. I care when Robles is pitching like he should one day and then getting rocked the next. This has been a problem with the Mets bullpen for the past two years and I’m really hoping my dad can fix it. There’s no reason Hansel Robles shouldn’t be a solid bullpen option.
The Injury Reports Blues
The number one thing I have seen these past few days are all of the gripes about the number of Mets on the Injury Report.
Cespedes is fine. He always has a sore shoulder after he starts playing again. Jacob deGrom has lower back stiffness, it’s not like he has no spine. The guy just had his second kid, give him some slack. Anthony Swarzak is on the report due to his embarrassment after dropping an underhand toss from Adrian Gonzalez. Juan Lagares has another leg injury, but like when did he get over the first one? And Jay Bruce has plantar fasciitis, but still managed to play. All of these injuries are nothing new and nothing to worry about.
The real injury to worry about is Tim Tebow.
Here me out. I think that Tim Tebow is going to come in handy down the road. This is a sneak peek into a much longer conversation, but I think that Tim Tebow makes it to the MLB in the American League. I’ve always said that and I will stand by it until it happens. So we need him to be healthy in order to trade him.
The biggest problem with Tebow’s injury is that not only was it a freak accident, but it happened to the one person that is on God’s list of people he’d like to have dinner with. Seriously, without the chosen one healthy, I’m worried about the Mets. My dad is going to need all the help he can get both on the field and off, and having the second coming on the Disabled List isn’t a good sign.
Final Note: Gary and Keith are in Midseason Form
The other day I listened to Gary and Keith discuss the 1967 Boston Red Sox and Tony Conigliaro’s sensational season. For those of you unfamiliar with the story of how his “Impossible Dream” season ended, Conigliaro got hit in the face by a pitch from Jack Hamilton. Conigliaro was stretchered off the field and his career was never really the same after that. In 1975 he was forced to retire due to the damage to his eye he sustained from that pitch. To this day, a lot of Red Sox fans believe that the Sox could have ended the curse in 1967 if Conigliaro were still on the team.
Anyway, Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez told the entire story and in true GKR style added so much colorful analysis and insider info to the story that this Red Sox fan right here learned a thing or two. I learned that Jack Hamilton went through a depression after the pitch and would constantly say “why didn’t he duck?” I also learned that Conigliaro, although it looked like he didn’t move away from the ball, said he tried to, but the ball seemed to follow him. All of this fed into Keith talking about his decision to wear a helmet at first, Gary’s interest in who else wore helmets and culminated in the fact that Conigliaro went down the day after Ron Darling’s 7th birthday. Ron Darling we learned was a huge Conigliaro fan and considers that his worst birthday. Al of this took place in the 6th inning. MIDSEASON FORM.
HOW ARE YOU NOT IN LOVE WITH BASEBALL AGAIN?!?