Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Change of Pace


After Monday's loss, I decided to pull up some years that came to mind when it comes to Opening Day. There will be lots of recent years just to have the comparison.

1968
1Wednesday, Apr 10boxscoreNYM@SFGL450-161.0LinzyFrisella2:15D35,774
1969
1Tuesday, Apr 8boxscoreNYMMONL10110-141.0ShawKoonceSembera3:35D44,541
1973
1Friday, Apr 6boxscoreNYMPHIW301-01TiedSeaverCarltonMcGraw1:56D27,326
1980
1Thursday, Apr 10boxscoreNYMCHCW521-01TiedSwanReuschelAllen2:23D12,219
1984
1Monday, Apr 2boxscoreNYM@CINL180-160.5SotoTorrez2:12D46,000
1986
1Tuesday, Apr 8boxscoreNYM@PITW421-01TiedGoodenReuschel2:24N48,962
1997
1Tuesday, Apr 1boxscoreNYM@SDPL5120-141.0HamiltonPerez3:03D43,005
1999
1Monday, Apr 5boxscoreNYM@FLAL260-141.0FernandezLeiter3:12D38,983
2000
1Monday, Apr 4boxscoreNYM@CINL670-141.0GravesLooper2:44D42,794
2006
1Monday, Apr 3boxscoreNYMWSNW321-01TiedGlavineHernandezWagner2:49D54,371
2007
1Sunday, Apr 1boxscoreNYM@STLW611-01up 0.5GlavineCarpenter2:38N45,429
2008
1Monday, Mar 31boxscoreNYM@FLAW721-020.5SantanaHendrickson2:53D38,308
2009
1Monday, Apr 6boxscoreNYM@CINW211-01TiedSantanaHarangRodriguez3:17D42,177
2010
1Monday, Apr 5boxscoreNYMFLAW711-01TiedSantanaJohnson3:10D41,245
2011
1Friday, Apr 1boxscoreNYM@FLAL260-141.0JohnsonPelfrey2:42N41,237
2012
1Thursday, Apr 5boxscoreNYMATLW101-01TiedRamirezHansonFrancisco2:39D42,080
2013
1Monday, Apr 1boxscoreNYMSDPW1121-01TiedNieseVolquez3:01D41,053
Now, first of all, (besides the fact I DON'T know why 2012 is the only one baseball reference doesn't have with a yellow background...) do you know what the difference is between 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014?

I, myself, was at 2012 and 2013....I WASN'T at 2011 and 2014. Just sayin'.

Now, secondly, before I dissect unsuccessfully ('cause the comparison is all hypothetical) the above numbers, I started writing the above (ending with Just Sayin') before Bobby Parnell went down with an incomplete tear of the MCL in his right elbow, I wanted to make the point that Jose Valverde would probably become the Mets closer at some point in the near future. It's not just his performance yesterday, which was clearly a small sample size and was easily the best thing about the Mets bullpen. He just gives off the vibe of a winning closer on a team that DESPERATELY needs players to give off a winning vibe. Whatever you think about his antics, he looked ready for primetime yesterday, and no offense to Bobby Parnell, but no matter how much talent he has and no matter how good he was last year, has never looked ready. It is unfortunate that it is an injury that was keeping him underperforming, as it would be unfortunate if Bobby Parnell got replaced because of ineffectiveness, 'cause you always root for your players to do well. Still, though, you wish everyone the best, but you WANT the best for your team, and right now, let's face it, Jose Valverde is probably the best thing in the back frame that you can get from this bullpen. Vic Black will eventually get up and be the set up, though I kinda get why the team would want him to get his control under control elsewhere before jeopardizing the team. 'Cause we ALL KNOW how detrimental loss of control can be in the Big Leagues (cough cough, Carlos Torres, cough cough, Scott Rice, cough.)

So, let's first get rid of 2014 before we compare it to past opening days. We have some good things and we have some bad things, and unfortunately in this one, the bad things outweigh the good. STILL, let's take what we can get and look forward to 161.

Aside from that fact Sandy Alderson's bullpen has yet to come together in his tenure, the power seems to be...as does the strikeouts.

Dillon Gee was solid for a while, but Terry decided he was losing it and did what he does and what many do these days: Overmanage.

The bullpen didn't do him any solid, and since he's mediocre at best, Terry lost.

Andrew Brown wasn't supposed to play today. And Andrew Brown made his case for staying on the team with a 3-run shot in the 1st. I wonder if anybody else already said this...but can HE play first?

Ike got a walk, but didn't get much else. First game, but what a MAGNIFYING GLASS on that entire situation right now. Almost too much. And I'm buying into it.

David Wright does what he does best: Carry this team. Sooner or later, since Curtis Granderson did not play much last year, he too will round into form. Not so much yesterday. A couple called 3rd strikes. Slightly timid with his plate appearances.

Here's the kicker: what was Terry Collins doing bringing John Lannan in then (the 10th inning)? 'Cause he's a lefty? It would have made much more sense for John Lannan earlier, and Gonzalez Germen in those later innings. I don't know, it just seems like the wrong time for a local kid to be making his debut, down 6-5 with runners on base in the 10th inning. If you're gonna use his as LOOGY, why not when the pressure's on, give him his first real taste of New York. Was he even facing a lefty? Or at least the at bat before? Let me check...Ah, ok, so John Lannan was brought in to face Adam LaRoche, whom he walked. And clearly that is the time to bring him in after Jeurys didn't look good at all. Yeah, maybe I'm piling on Terry, but the whole thing didn't feel right for someone transitioning from starting to bullpen.

Ruben Tejada got a couple hits. Though he looked awful later, EVERYBODY STRUCK OUT BADLY, so give the kid credit for putting a multi-hit day together when he HAS to. He probably won't be the shortstop all season, but he might as well collect some freakin' hits.

Anything else? Let's see....I'll watch condensed game again in the morning and get back to you before attempting to put everything in perspective of the games above.

Now that I'm awake (after too many snoozes) I guess the only other thing I wanted to say was how much I love that we keep owning Stephen Strasburg. And Juan Lagares. Awesome day from that kid.

There isn't too much overanalyzing I should do when it comes to comparing or contrasting the past years to this opening day. From 2006-2010, they won every opening day. Though we would kill for another 2006 right about now, we wouldn't kill for the devastation and its franchise-altering moment. Clearly, the Mets aren't at that point and are on an uphill climb, hopefully with more long-term success than they've ever put together in their history. Looking at the transitional corner-turning years, which is most likely what this is and what we hope it at least is, they lost in 1968, 1984, 1997, 2005 and 2011. Though 2011 was a worse record than the year before, it is still considered a transitional type in my eyes. 2005 could have gone better, but is still transitional. 1968 record-wise would mean we are regressing and Terry Collins gets fired, but in terms of type, we are looking for the type of impact 1968 had on the franchise in the moment. Ideally, other than having a 1969, 1973, 1986, 1999 or 2000, we are looking for a 1984 or 1997.

Lastly, I just wanted to say some quick things about those attendances. 12,000 in 1980 appears high for that era, so good job, and I don't believe that the Marlins got at least 38,000 in 1999, 2008, and 2011. But hey, it's Opening Day, right? Even Florida wants to celebrate.

Now, we march on towards the remaining 161. Yeah, there's pressure on a lot of folks regarding this organization,  but you have to think that the success and failure, no matter what your thoughts are of the job Sandy Alderson has done, rests on the shoulders of Terry Collins on a 2-year deal. It's put up or shut up time for Terry. He was given the chance to show he truly belongs, and though he's clearly not the long-term solution at manager being the oldest in the Majors now to man the helm, he needs a solid showing just to move on to 2015, I believe.

Game 1 is over. We got that out of the way. There's a myriad of ways this season could go. And maybe, just maybe, the fact they lost this Opening Day, a day they normally win before the season ends as a dud thereafter, could be a good omen if you believe in that type of stuff.

Onward and Upward.
LET'S. GO. METS.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @convertedmetfan. And for the latest on a Brooklyn Baseball TV Series I am developing, Like the Bedford & Sullivan Facebook page, follow on Twitter hereand listen to the research process here.

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