Do the New York Mets Have Another Miracle In Them?

New York Mets, Rick Porcello

Few players have become synonymous with the New York Mets. Of course, there are the obvious ones like Mike Piazza, Tom Seaver, David Wright, Jacob deGrom, and Doc Gooden. But one of the most charismatic players to play for the Mets in the last decade has been none other than the Big Sexy himself, Bartolo Colon. His first home run went viral, hit a stand up double, lost his helmet on a swing, the behind the backflip to first, a World Series run, the man had quite a run with the Mets.

Not having pitched since 2018, Colon turned heads with a proclamation that, in every reality, could happen.

He Wants To Come Back As a Met

Turning 47 later this week, Bartolo Colon wants to come back for one more season. And he wants to come back to the New York Mets.

“I’ve played with 10 [11] teams, but with the Mets, the way all those players treated me, how that entire franchise treated me, from the front office to the kitchen staff, it was amazing. And Mets fans are the best. In the beginning, when they laughed at me every time my helmet fell off, at first I felt uncomfortable. But when I saw how much the fans enjoyed it, I asked for a bigger batting helmet so that it would fall more because it was so much fun for them!

“If it was up to me, I would retire with the Mets. I would like my career to end in New York.”

It theoretically can happen. Rick Porcello is on a one year deal, as is Michael Wacha. Should the season get canceled (hopefully it won’t), there will be 2 spots in the Mets rotation that’ll need to be addressed next season. And if Jamie Moyer could pitch till he was 49 years old, what’s stopping Colon from coming back for one more season at 48?

How Much Money do the Yankees and Mets Stand to Lose in 2020?

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge

Tomorrow would have been the first two games of the season at Yankee Stadium as the New York Yankees would have taken on the Orioles. Tonight would have been the New York Mets starting a 2 games series in Houston against the Astros. But, of course, none of that is happening as the coronavirus pandemic continues to make Sportsbot 5,000’s proclamation in Futurama’s 2008 mini film “The Beast with a Billion Backs” a reality.

Teams, like the rest of us, are struggling with the reality that we currently live in, where the primary goal is “flatten the curve” of the spread of the disease. Large gatherings, such as sporting events, become a harrowing ordeal, as you have to be just super cautious about who you let into the arena over fear that they may (or may not) have the disease.

So, with the baseball season still on hold, how much money would the Yankees and Mets lose should the season carry on outside of the Bronx or Queens?

Play All Games, for the Time Being, in Arizona?

New York is still, though some states are catching up, the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. As a result, I’m resigning myself to the reality that the Yankees/Cubs game I have a ticket for would force me to travel elsewhere if I want to have it honored.

Now, some are asking “Why Arizona, where the Yankees and Mets have facilities in Florida?” Florida, in the infinite wisdom of the state’s governor, waited until April 4th to issue the same “shelter at home” orders Governor Cuomo ordered for his state. The state now has more than 10,000 confirmed cases of the virus, seeing as many as 1,000 confirmed cases per day. Arizona, meanwhile, has less than 3,000 confirmed cases of the disease, as well as being one of the key states where Spring Training is held. In fact, when you factor in Chase Field, Arizona has 11 stadiums where we can have games.

Now, it seems disingenuous to be talking about how much money these teams stand to lose as they deal with the coronavirus pandemic, especially since the groups that own these teams are worth billions of dollars. But, unless this whole pandemic changes what we prioritize in this world, we’re going to have to realize that guys like Aaron Judge and Noah Syndergaard won’t be able to get even half the contract value guys like them got just this past offseason.

So let’s say that the Yankees play 50 home games of a 130 game season at Salt River Fields. The facility holds 11,000 seat capacity. The Yankees have fans everywhere, so sellouts are likely. But, it’s likely they won’t receive 100% of the total ticket sales, concession sales, or merchandise sales, as the host site will take (let’s argue) 20% of the gross for all this revenue coming in. So let’s look at the averages for all three categories:

The average price of a Yankee ticket in 2019 was $52. At an 11,000 seat venue, that’s $572 thousand. Minus 20% and they get $457,600 per game, vs. the $2.8 million in ticket sales they receive for one sellout at Yankee Stadium. So the Yankees would stand to lose, potentially, $117.2 million in ticket sales alone.

Need I go on in calculating how much money would be lost in concession and merch sales?

Let’s say the Mets play the same number of home games at Surprise Stadium, a field that holds 10,714. According to Statista.com, the average price for a Mets ticket is $27.60. While you can fit 41,922 at sellout capacity in Citi Field, the Mets averaged 30,531, which was about 73% capacity. Since the Mets are an east coast team, and most of the teams they play are east coast teams, let’s argue that the Mets would see 75% capacity at their home games in Surprise Stadium, again, losing 20% of gross ticket revenue. That means the Mets would generate $11.8 million, as opposed to the $42.1 million for the same number of home games at Citi Field.

Now, lost in all of this, is the salaries of the seasonal workers who ensure that we can buy the peanuts, crackerjacks, hot dogs, drinks, cotton candy, ice cream, and everything else in between at the home games. Undoubtedly, the loss of their positions is inevitable, as the ownership groups will be desperate to recoup the millions, if not billions, of dollars in revenue they generate over the course of their 81 home games per season. Also lost in this are all the minor league players who are depending on things like Shin-soo Chu’s generosity as they wait for the season to start.

I’m hoping that we see a shift in focus on what’s important. Baseball players have a luxury compared to most other sports. NFL players deal with their teams being tethered down by the salary cap. Baseball players don’t. Does Mike Trout really need to be making $35.8 million per year under his 12 year contract extension? Does Giancarlo Stanton need to be making $26 million this year, and $29 million next year? Especially when so many more people who work at Yankee Stadium rely more on our butts being in those seats than Stanton does?

We’re all struggling right now. We want baseball back just as much as the players, owners, and seasonal employees want baseball back. And while it’s great to see us all banding together as we are, the importance of how much money is being lost right now can’t be stated enough. So many people who aren’t the Stanton’s, Gerrit Cole’s, and Mike Trout’s of baseball depend on these games to be played. It’s imperative that not only we get the season started soon, but we do it in a safe way to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved. The Nippon League is seeing a rough start to its delayed start to the season as there are players testing positive for the coronavirus. And while some states are being spared the same ravages the disease has inflicted on states like New York, California, and Louisiana, there’s no certainty that Arizona won’t become the new hotbed for the virus if all 30 teams are playing baseball in the state. That’s 780 players (under the new 26 man roster), plus all their coaches, training staff, scouts, and medical staff.

Here’s hoping something is figured out soon. Because I’m dying to go up to the ticket booth at a ball field and proclaim “Shut up and take my money!”

New York Mets Still Want to Sell Team… But Who Will Buy?

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

I reported earlier in the week, when talks of salvaging the sale of the New York Mets to Steve Cohen were at its highest, that the deal was dead. It was confirmed in the past 24 hours that, yes, the sale to minority owner, Steve Cohen, was no more. The Wilpon’s are still set on trying to sell the team. But based on what’s coming out about the deal, who will honestly bite?

Ceremonial Roles Aren’t So Ceremonial

The two Wilpon’s, after surrendering majority control to Cohen in 2025, would still keep the roles they currently have with the team (Fred as managing general partner, and Jeff the COO). Everyone, including Cohen, thought that the Wilpon’s would serve as the Royal Family to the Mets. You know how Queen Elizabeth is queen, but the monarchy hasn’t had legitimate legislative power in real long time? Every New York Mets fan assumed that would be the case here, and were fine with that. But the language the Wilpon’s worked in, late in finalizing the deal, stated clearly that Cohen would still be ceding the authority to make decisions as to the managing general partner, and as the COO to both Wilpon’s till at least 2030.

So why would anyone want to buy a team, to only have the owners stick around making key baseball decisions till 2030, and not surrendering control of the team till 2025?

Could you imagine if CBS still were making decisions with George Steinbrenner as the owner of the Yankees for 10 years after George became the owner? That’s basically what the Wilpon’s are trying to do. If you’re going to sell the team, SELL THE TEAM! Cut ties, rip the band-aid off, end all communications with the people who took over your job.

The desire for the Wilpon’s to establish this precedent will surely dampen any prospective buyers from taking ownership of the Mets. And at an asking price of $2.5 billion (half the value of the Yankees, but more than double the cost Derek Jeter bought the Marlins for), it seems unrealistic that the Wilpon’s will find a buyer, willing to settle for their terms much before the end of the 2020 season.

Mets and Yankees Fans Should Be Pleased with MLB The Show

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

It’s peculiar to realize that it’s been 20 years since the Mets and Yankees met in the World Series. The Yankees are trending as one of the top teams to beat in the American League, and the Mets are posed to make it back to the playoffs with much more believable prospects at a Wild Card berth. And as we saw from the Mets in 2015, ANYTHING can happen when you get in.

But, now, similar to the way Madden projects who’s going to win the Super Bowl, MLB The Show thinks a new Subway Series is well within the cards.

MLB The Show Predicts Mets and Yankees as World Series Favorites

Both teams are projected as winning 91 or more games. The game picked one champion for each division. The sole exception being the NL East, as the game predicted the Mets AND Braves will both win 91 or more games. The other teams the Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians, LA Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs. There is no Wild Card contender predicted in the American League.

Now, basing anything on the projections of a video game is… well, silly. But, thinking back to Madden, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they are right about something. Madden predicted 10 out of 16 Super Bowl results since 2004. And as predicting division winners isn’t the same as predicting the World Series winner, 4 of the 7 teams predicted as playoff contenders for 2020, did make it to the Championship Series for each respective league last season.

Why The New York Mets Made The Right Call

The New York Mets announced they found Carlos Beltran’s replacement. His name is Luis Rojas. Rojas was actually considered for the job before they hired Beltran in the first place. But, in the wake of Beltran being implicated in the Astros sign-stealing debacle, it would have been the prudent move to make bringing Rojas on in the first place. Especially when you look at his resume.

May Be Young, But an Experienced Coach

Luis Rojas is going to be the second-youngest coach in baseball this season but has been a part of the Mets minor league system as a coach since 2007 at age 26. Coaching in the Dominican Republic for the Mets summer league team, Rojas moved up to the Gulf Coast League Mets one year later. By 2010, he became the manager of the GCL Mets, moving up to Savanah Sand Giants by 2011. In 2012, he won the playoffs in the South Atlantic League. By 2017, he became the manager of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, being brought up to the big club as the Quality Control Coach last season.

He Can Connect With Mets Big Name Players Better Than Outside Coach

He was a manager for the Sand Giants the year Jacob deGrom posted a 6-3, 2.51 era, 78 k’s over 89.2 innings pitched, 1.015 WHIP 2012 season. He managed Steven Matz on two separate levels of the minors, on two separate teams. He was Pete Alonso’s manager, Brandon Nimmo’s manager, Michael Conforto’s manager, and he also managed Jeff McNeil. He has a rapport with many of the farm-grown Mets who have become fixtures on the big club. This is the guy who knows these players better than most and will be able to get the best out of the team earlier than a vet who’s getting brought in from the outside.

It’s also a plus that he was on the coaching staff last season as well.

How Lucky Did the Mets Get With Commissioner Manfred’s Report

The NY Mets organization must be breathing a sigh of relief after commissioner Rob Manfred released his findings on the Houston Astros. Considering what was discovered in the report, and what’s coming down the pipe… Carlos Beltran is about as lucky as a leprechaun.

What Happened

We’ve all heard about the Astros sign-stealing scandal. The commissioner’s office concluded their investigation and found the evidence was OVERWHELMINGLY against the Astros. So, what ended up happening was this:

  • Astros, as an organization, were fined $5 million.
  • Astros, as an organization, forfeit their first and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts.
  • Astros manager, AJ Hinch, and GM, Jeff Luhnow, are suspended for the 2020 season.
  • An hour after all this is delivered by Rob Manfred, Astros owner, Jim Crane, fire them both.

 

Why The Mets Should Be Relieved

Alex Cora, then bench coach when the Astros developed this sign-stealing scheme, was named in Manfred’s report as being one of the key players in all of this. As was Carlos Beltran, who was cited as being one of the chief organizers of the whole thing. Alex Cora is expected to face a punishment similar to Hinch and Luhnow for his involvement in the Astros cheating scandal, as well as facing serious punishment for his Red Sox stealing signs watching the feed in the replay room.

If Cora isn’t fired, which would be the hardest of hardest sales by Red Sox brass, he’s likely to face a minimum 2-year suspension. One year for the Astros, one year for his Red Sox. Beltran, in all likelihood, cooperated fully and completely with MLB’s investigation into the Astros, saving his bacon (probably). How do you come back from that as a manager? Being suspended from baseball in your first year as a manager?

What the Yankees Should Learn from the Mets About Josh Hader

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

The Yankees offseason is now squarely rooted in relief pitcher, Josh Hader, of the Milwaukee Brewers. Hader is going to come with a hefty price tag, and, no, it’s not the generic “Yankee tax.” It’s “The Brewers know what they have, and they know everyone wants him. Why wouldn’t they ask for a king’s ransom for a guy who’s trade value is at ITS HIGHEST?!”

The Mets Went for Hader. Here’s What The Brewers Wanted

The Mets reportedly made a play for Josh Hader. The Brewers wanted first baseman Dominic Smith (.282/.355/.525 with 11 home runs in 89 games last season), Steven Matz (who plays a crucial part in the Mets rotation moving forward), and two “highly regarded prospects.” Could have been Ronny Mauricio, could have been Brett Baty, could have been Fransisco Alvarez, it could have been anyone. But with that kind of offer on the table, the Mets (understandably) went with Dellin Betances. 

Yankees Fans Should Take Note of This

The Brewers weren’t interested in Edwin Diaz, whom the Mets would probably like to unload after his abysmal 2019. They didn’t go for mediocre players who are, at best, average or over the hill. They didn’t go for guys who could be on the big club but aren’t because there isn’t room. They went for guys who are both A) Highly regarded, and B) Major League Ready.

That merely means offering Miguel Andujar, or Gio Urshela won’t cut it. And they won’t take Clint Frazier either because, with an outfield of Yelich, Cain, and former Yankee Ben Gamel, Frazier would downgrade their outfield. JA Happ wouldn’t interest them; they’d want Devi Garcia to go with the third baseman of their choice. They’d also want Johnathan Loaisiga, or Albert Abreu, as well as Estevan Florial, or Clarke Shmidt. 

The Brewers want a haul for one relief pitcher. We’re stocked to the gils with talent, and trading for a player shouldn’t require giving it all up. The Yankees realistically don’t need Hader. His effectiveness may plummet due to the fact he’s a National League pitcher, and his capabilities won’t fool American League hitters as much. 

If the Yankees need Hader, wait until mid-March to pull this trade. Striking when the value of a player is low makes more sense than giving up the farm for a relief arm that’s not a necessity. This only portrays the desperation of oner, Hal Steinbrenner.

Do The New York Mets Benefit From Dellin Betances?

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Dellin Betances

The New York Yankees just lost Dellin Betances to the NY Mets. What does this mean for the power dynamics in the battle for New York?

The Yankees Bullpen

Dellin was a cornerstone of the Yankees bullpen for much of this rapidly ending decade. A 95+ MPH fastball, and a FILTHY curveball. But what Dellin always suffered from was a regular case of inconsistency. 2017 saw him losing immense control right up to the playoff push that season, complete with a 9.00 ERA, and a WHIP of 3.0000 in the 2017 ALCS. The Yankees were able to construct a more than capable bullpen built around Betances from 2014-2018, and we largely didn’t need Dellin last year when he was hurt. But 5 consecutive years with 66 minimum innings pitched, and 100+ strikeouts is a serious blow.

But Does it Help the Mets?

Betances provides some stability to a largely unstable Mets bullpen. Look at what Jeurys Familia is capable of. Some great things, and he’s also painfully inconsistent. Edwin Diaz had arguably one of the most horrendous 2019’s a closer could have. Lugo was easily the brightest spots in the Mets pen last year. But is that enough to hinge your bets on? Thor and deGromm both can go deep enough into a game to help keep the pen fresh. But Porcello, Wacha, and Matz having inconsistent to awful years last years, having 3 guys in your pen you can’t rely on to stay steady an entire season leaves one to suspect how bad things can get.

What Caused Betances Going to Queens?

The best rationale is two possibilities. We all know how the Yankees are trying to save the most money while putting the team from the last 2 seasons back on the field with the necessary improvements of Gerrit Cole. Betances wanted at least $10 million and got $10.5 for 2020. If the Yankees took that on, they’d be paying closer to $15 million for Betances alone after the 42.5% of the luxury tax kicks in.

The next is the Yankees looked at what Betances was able to do for the team over the years. You can’t ignore the 500+ strikeouts over 5 seasons, but if he lost it, it took him too long to get it back. And missing most of last season with problems in his shoulder, to then bust his achilles last year… why would an analytics based team like the Yankees take that kind of risk on a 31, soon to be 32 year old?

I’m sorry to see Dellin go, but unless he can turn it around in a BIG way next season, 2019 was the last time we saw Betances in pinstripes.