5 New Year’s Resolutions for New York Mets
New York Mets: New Year's Resolutions
The New York Mets enter 2014 without having done much to improve the team. Other than the signing of Curtis Granderson, not much has been done to truly excite the fans.
Now is the time of year when people try to better themselves with New Year’s resolutions. It’s a very common practice and one that certain members of the Mets should adopt if they want to show significant improvement.
This team is not a serious contender, but it’s very tough for a team to just become a serious contender. The Mets are rebuilding, and they need to show signs of improvement every year if they want players, fans and, most importantly, free agents to buy in to the process.
Mets fans have been patient the past couple of years, disproving the theory that fans in New York won’t let their team rebuild. Matt Harvey is out, but as unfortunate as that is it should be seen as nothing more than an opportunity. Since they probably won’t compete without Harvey, it’s time to start doing some serious evaluations. And now that the team has brought in Granderson, it’s time to start seeing what this team will look like when they are contenders. It’s time for the young talent to start proving their worth. It’s time to start seeing what this team has to show for all that time.
There are five members of the team in particular, both on and off the field, who need to adopt certain attitudes if this team is to succeed, both now and in the future.
5. Sandy Alderson
New Year's Resolution: Be aggressive
The strategy that Sandy Alderson has implemented in his time with the Mets is finally starting to pay off.
However, now is not the time to sit back. He brought in Granderson to add some pop, and he brought in Bartolo Colon to add some depth to the rotation. This team is still a few moves away even when Harvey comes back in 2015.
Alderson's always been aggressive when trying to get rid of players. That's how he got Zack Wheeler, but it's time to be aggressive when bringing in players. Sure, he has already done that this offseason, but now is not the time to sit back. Just because this team probably won't be in it this year doesn't mean a move made this year won't help in the future. The Mets have no outfield help in the farm system, and the help coming at first base isn't coming anytime soon. If the deal is there to bring in help at those two power positions, Alderson needs to make it.
4. Terry Collins
New Year's Resolution: Go easy on the pitch counts
Harvey isn't going to miss this year because he pitched too much; his injury was going to happen no matter what Terry Collins did.
So this one goes for the organization, but it reflects through Collins. Let these guys pitch. I'm not saying Wheeler needs to throw 220 innings this year, but let's see what he can do. If you don't and you make the playoffs next year, there's a chance he might be burnt out because he's never pitched that much in a year.
This happened to the Mets with Johan Santana and now Harvey. They coddled both those guys, and they still got hurt. Pitch counts and innings limits should be much more flexible than they usually are. Santana's injury didn't come from the no-hitter; it came from never throwing anywhere near that many pitches in a game leading up to it. It also came from the two days extra rest after it. It all contributed to his struggles and eventually his injury.
Pitch counts shouldn't be totally removed, but they shouldn't be seen as almighty as they are.
3. David Wright
New Year's Resolution: Take over as captain
David Wright spent the early months of 2013 being named captain of the Mets and then earning the nickname "Captain America" while playing in the World Baseball Classic.
The young talents who are on their way up and the ones who are already up are going to be looking to Wright every step of the way.
This is a role that Wright has been in for years, even before being named captain. This is a role that he seems to love. Now more than ever is it important as this team begins to become a contender. Wright wasn't the star of this team when they last went to the playoffs, but he would be now and that's a completely different role.
2. Curtis Granderson
New Year's Resolution: Don't try and do too much
Coming over from the New York Yankees to the Mets, or vice versa, can't be easy.
Fans of your new team know what you did on the other side of town, and they expect you to do much better with their team. Things will be no different for Granderson with Mets fans. Plus, Granderson has to deal with the bad taste Jason Bay left in the mouths of the fans.
However, the usually soft-spoken Granderson has already endeared himself to Mets fans. In his introductory press conference he claimed he always heard that Mets fans were the "true New Yorkers."
When the season starts, Granderson has to not try and do too much. In the bigger ballpark he has to settle with sacrificing home runs for extra base hits. He hit 23 triples in 2007 while he was with the Detroit Tigers. He probably can't duplicate those numbers, but if he can get back more to that style of hitting he will be fine.
If Granderson focuses less on home runs and more on just getting on base and driving in runs, he will do just fine in Queens.
1. Matt Harvey
New Year's Resolution: Have fun in New York and get life experience
Harvey is not going to pitch for the Mets in 2014, but he will be back in 2015.
He has made a lot of headlines for situations people don't make headlines for. He did an interview with a nationally-syndicated radio show and made headlines. He sat court-side at a basketball game and made headlines.
While he's got the time off, before he starts rehabbing he should just have fun. Enjoy what it feels like to be a star athlete in New York.
He can't get experience on the mound this year, but he can get life experience which could be just as valuable. Harvey was the one shining star this year which made it easy. In 2015, this team could be in the playoffs, and everybody's going to want a piece of them -- Harvey in particular.
Most importantly, he can't let the media get to him. If his career continues the way it started, the media is always going to weigh in on everything he does, and he can't let that get to him.
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