Since I started Pepper in 2013, I have always liked to change things and correct little details, that are small, but pay major dividends towards the end. I am a Mets centered blog, I love talking about the Mets and their players and everything that surrounds them, but the season is over, for the Mets, today is Day 1 of the offseason, but to most fans, today is Day one of what we wait for 11 months of the year, and hey, they are right. We play for October, we do everything in anticipation of the Playoffs, nothing happens to teams that don’t make the playoffs in October, so besides an update or two on the Mets coaching staff and dimensions, expect for some MLB Centered posts, kind of what other blogs are doing at this time. Thank you Mets Fans for sticking with the team. Good times to follow. —
By the way, I predicted the Royals to win the World Series, and it’s worth noting they are in it!
When you think of a group of fans sitting together you probably think of the bleacher creatures in the Bronx, or maybe King’s Court in Seattle, but a new army of loyal dedicated fans descended on Citi Field in Queens, NY yesterday one last time, and they are called The 7 Line.
The 7 Line was founded by Dareen Mennan back in good old 2010. An awesome graphic designer by day, Met fan by night, this guy knows how to through a party. Finishing off its second full year, the 7 line’s Loyal Till the Last out 2014 party started at 10am with a pig roast. Yes, PIG.
While me and my mom really didn’t care about the roast, we soon found out how dedicated this bunch is. (Upon entry of Citi Field, I played the MLB Network Speed Pitch challenge, I threw a strike, and won a T-Shirt!) we entered the stadium at 11:15am, and to our amazement, actual Mets players were signing autographs, we waited in a long line, and were treated to Travis d’Arnaud signing!
Alright, I won a t-shirt, won the lottery with the d’Arnaud signature, things can’t get better right? Wrong. 860 dedicated Met fans all gathered in the Big Apple Reserved section wearing the same Loyal till the Last out shirts, probably provided the best atmosphere Citi Field has had, this was PLAYOFF atmosphere. Not to mention Keith Hernandez , Kevin Burkhardt and Bartolo Colon mega heads. We did roll call TWICE, and all but Juan Centeno (who rightfully cared more about the game) waved back. We chanted “30 HOMERS” for Duda, and sure enough on the next pitch, the ball left the yard. Even Ruben got in on the action with a bomb himself.
The event T-shirt (pictured above) was also very cool, everyone in the Big apple reserved wore there very own. Friends were made at yesterday’s outing for sure, heck even I met 30 new people. But the spotlight was on Bobby Abreu yesterday, who singled in the 5th, which turned out to be his last AB, and boy did we cheer. Go to The7line.com for more info.
We’ve made it Mets fans, yes we didn’t make the playoffs, but next year we will be more than “contenders”, we will be expected to win 87-89 games, we will be expected to have a strong pitching staff, we will be expected to go use some dough to get a high-end bat, and then, I think we will have our playoff caliber team. After today, we may or may not end in second place, we may or may not get a shut-out, a walk-off or a rout, but we do know that at day’s end, our record reset’s to 0-0. All the way back to Hope Springs Eternal’s Opening Day. I’ll be out with The7Line’s Loyal Till the Last Out 2014 celebration, and will post a recap of all this malarkey tomorrow.
When Abreu debuted in 1996, the MLB world new the new power turned utility outfielder had arrived, Bobby Abreu had one heck of a career, and it’s all set to end on Sunday.
Even though Abreu didn’t play on Friday, he had a big impact pre-game, during which he formally announced his retirement with a bit of emotion. Ironically, the person he was sitting next to Terry Collins, was his first manager with the Astros in 1996. Abreu has done his job and then some this year, he has always come off the bench and delivered a nice strong AB.
Eric Campbell showed us he could be a quality first baseman in spring training. It’s fair to say “Soup’s on”.
When the Mets broke camp in March, journeymen Omar Q and Josh Satin came withe Mets. Then, as the veterans left the bullpen, so did the bench. Newbies like Eric Campbell and Wilmer Flores started to get more playing time. Campbell is so adept to coming off the bench its shocking. One of Collins stigmas is that he has a big problem sticking to his own word and making AAA callups cold by not playing them, Eric Campbell has been an exception. We need you to play Second, is that fine? Sure. Third? Sure. Left? Sure. Anywhere but catcher? Sure. He is like the Carlos Torres of pitching, and he will be a big piece of the 2015 Mets.
One of my favorite things about baseball are doubleheaders. Honestly, there is nothing more exciting then knowing that you can make up two games in one day. Even though the Mets split the only other doubleheader this year (May 25th vs D-Backs), almost every doubleheader seems to go this way: dramatic finish in game 1, a very entertaining match all around, down to the wire esc game, then in game 2, the team that won the day session jumps out to an early lead and the game is a bunch of goose eggs from that point. The team that wins the first game has a HUGE advantage over the opponent in game 2, momentum and psychology are very important in a game like baseball, and it “doubles” during “double”-headers.
Regardless, the Mets play two in Washington tomorrow at 1pm and 7pm respectively, Gee during the day, Wheeler at night.
Today, the Mets extended the contract of Mets GM Sandy Alderson, who since being brought on in 2011, has watched the Mets complete 3 losing seasons, and may (but hopefully not) witness a fourth this year. Regardless, Sandy is given credit for rejuvenating the farm system and producing home grown talent that will be ready to compete for next year.
Also, the oldest manager in Baseball will be back for another go-around. That’s right, the unassertive coach that is Terry Collins will be back.
I’m still debating if this is good news or down right horrible news. Not that I hate him, it’s just that he’s never coached a team that has finished above 500 let alone 2nd place, and he seems like he never pulls the trigger on going for the small opportunities when presented. That’s why I have to go for the latter today, but hey Collins, I wouldn’t mind if you proved me wrong….
If you watched late September baseball last year, you might remember young Wilfredo Tovar. Tovar appeared in 7 games last year for the Mets, and will be playing a maximum of 6 games this year. Tovar has a short stroke, no power and very little line drive power. Tovar earns his two cents from his arm and glove. Tovar plays middle infield, but especially shortstop.
Who would have thought that a MLB team has a very limited bench in late September? Seems un-heard of right? Well, not for the New York Mets, who actually have had a remarkably good year. I mean considering we never won a game versus the Nats, we didn’t have the real David Wright, a sub-par year from Granderson, being Harvey-less, not having a closer till June, d’Arnaud “mental” problems that lasted throughout the first half, no shortstop production till Flores hot streak in September, and a manager that seemed not sure what the next move is, we had a pretty good year. I mean now with all these injuries Murphy is at third, Flores is at second,Tejada is at short, and the outfield (while good) changes on a daily basis.
Now, I need to give credit where credit is earned. Jacob deGrom, Daniel Murphy, Juan Lagares and Lucas Duda were SAVERS for the 2014 Mets, and they should never be overlooked.