Why can’t the Mets Bunt…or Steal…or Throw Out a Baserunner…or Win?

Really…Why Can’t They BUNT?

What scenarios or occurrences bring a baseball team to its knees before July 4 for two years in a row? Every team endures injuries and in-game mismanagement. What makes the situation so unusual for the Mets? Much has been addressed In the many, recent, blistering, writings by the Mets beat reporters. An issue that continues to slow the Mets progress is fundamental preparedness in the pipeline from the minors league cities to New York. Primarily speaking of position players. The Mets are poor at bunting, stealing, running the bases, hitting the other way, hitting the cut off man, backing up each other, and other fundamentals. I acknowledge the game has changed but there are core principals that still matter and the men in Flushing exhibit none of them during play. Mental toughness, grit, and confidence are also part of championship baseball. We, as fans, witness very little.

Game used

Keith Hernandez preaches fundies.

Catching

The Mets cannot seem to promote a major league ready catcher. The catchers, until recently, have been sub par, at best. We have had a glimpse of Devin Mesoraco and we have enjoyed it. We have seen him bring the beleaguered starting pitching staff to respectability. Why? Because Devin is a professional catcher who knows how to handle a pitching staff and contribute from time to time at the plate. He has the confidence in himself to know that he can contribute in all facets of his job. (Devin was brought from the Reds for Matt Harvey. The Matt Harvey saga underlies many, many other issues with the Mets.)

Rarely seen is minimum competency with Mets prospects and young players. It seems to take two or three MLB  years for the prospects to make a splash of any kind. If they do at all. The decision-makers during the draft and international free-agent signing’s have shown an ineptness that is criminal.

Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto

I feel certain the Brandon Nimmo will be a star for a long time and I’m very optimistic about Michael Conforto. But what about all the others. Fundamentals are missing. Mental toughness seems to be lacking as well as plate discipline. So many of our players come up through the minor-league ranks unprepared to play major-league baseball. We see it day after day. The fundamentals just are not there. Mental mistakes are common occurrence with our younger players, and our veterans for that matter. Amed Rosario and Dom Smith can be  huge stars…but the Mets do NOT teach, coach and manage them properly.

Do the Mets have a “Way”?

Last week, SNY interviewed Bud Black (Mgr of the Rockies) as part of a feature on Nolan Arenado. Nolan is prepared for every situation that could present itself. His work ethic is inspiring.  Nolan went on to blister the Mets in that series. There has always been a difference between the great and the average in baseball. Some of those things you can control and it starts with desire and coaching. Seems right now the Mets do not have either, at any level. It would be interesting to know what the Mets philosophy or system consists of. What is the “Mets Way” if they have one? Strong pitching, likely, would be at the core. But what is the philosophy taught in the minor leagues? And if there IS one…Why is there a massive breakdown between Las Vegas and New York? Let’s not forget that the New York Mets, a MLB team, batted out-of-order last month.

Below are just a couple of links to articles in the media today, June 25, 2018, concerning the Mets. Just a snapshot of what Met fans woke up to this Monday morning.

https://nypost.com/2018/06/24/sandy-alderson-is-destroying-the-mets-and-must-be-stopped/  DEPRESSING

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/ny-sports-nimmo-injury-mets-20180624-story.html  SAD AND DEPRESSING

https://nypost.com/2018/06/24/mets-are-now-benching-amed-rosario-for-jose-reyes/  PATHETIC

 

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Bargain Bin Finds—Vintage Football Card Gallery

Who does not enjoy rifling through a bargain bin of sporting collectibles? As you stroll through sports collectibles shows and conventions, you will stumble across many boxes and containers brimming with inexpensive and desirable bargain collectibles. Make the journey to Cleveland in early August to the National Sports Collectors Convention and you will find hundreds of such bins.

The Citifield based soap opera I usually follow is on hiatus today, so I thought I would share some of my favorite bargain bin football card pickups of the past year. These cards were three dollars (many $1) or less except for the Marion Motley card. I paid a bit more for that. For a dollar or two you can grasp and gaze into the past. You can certainly feel the chasm of time between long ago eras and the present age when you ogle one of these time-worn and beaten up beauties. The equipment, poses, and styles of the cards show the passage of generations. Find the card with the white football used during the 40’s and 50’s for night games.

(You can see I lean toward Rams and Placekickers….strange.)

Bargain Bin Finds

Football Cards

Art Donovan-1957 Topps-No. 65

Tobin Rote-1953 Bowman-No. 28

Football Cards

Eddie LeBaron-1955 Bowman-No. 26

Jim Otto-1970 Topps-No. 116

John Morrow-1959 Topps-No. 164

Ray Berry-1964 Phila-No.1

Fred Naumetz-1950 Bowman-No. 85

Marion Motley-1953 Bowman No.9

Bruce Gossett-1966 Phila-No. 95

Bob Boyd- 1958 Topps-No. 21

Lamar Lundy-1968 Topps-No. 80

Dick Bass-1969 Topps-No. 81

Lindon Crow-1963 Topps-No. 45

Roman Gabriel-1969 Topps-No. 125

Paul Younger-1955 Bowman-No. 38

Lou Groza-1959 Topps-No. 60

Frank Gifford-1960 Topps-No. 74

Joseph Sulaitis-1948 Bowman-No. 64

L.A. Rams Team Card-1956 Topps-No. 114. Original “Color Rush”

Bob Waterfield-1952 Bowman-No. 137

Jim Martin-1964 Phila-No. 5

Football Highlights-1961 Topps-No. 77

Y.A. Tittle-1960 Topps-No. 113

Alan Ameche-1960 Topps-No. 2

Lenny Moore-1963 Topps-No. 2

Bargain Bin

Ollie Matson-1960 Topps-No. 63

Del Shofner-1960 Topps-No. 65

Fran Rogel-1960 Fleer-No. 43

Hope to see you at The National Sports Collectors Convention August 1-5 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Here is a prior post to a Gallery of Vintage Football Helmets. Photos take at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

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Twilight Zone and Tim Tebow? Found in Binghampton NY

You’re traveling through another dimension

Why would you not find Tim Tebow and the Twilight Zone in the same city? If you travel to Binghamton, NY, you will find both. The Binghamton Rumble Ponies are a minor-league affiliate of the New York Mets. Tim Tebow, among others, are assigned to this team. Binghampton, NY is the birthplace of Twilight Zone creator, Rod Serling. It seems appropriate that the Mets have a Minor League team in the cradle of the Twilight Zone.

Carousel and Bandstand (in the distance) in Recreation Park, Binghampton. Rod Serling’s inspiration for “Walking Distance

Twilight Zone

Rod Serling’s dictaphone.

Carousel in Recreation Park in Binghampton NY. Rod Serling’s inspiration for “Walking Distance”

I’m Talking Tina

Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone props

You can spend the morning and afternoon wandering the neighborhood and park where Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone, spent his summers as a youth. There is a museum on Main St. that offers Twilight Zone/Rod Serling exhibits. Binghampton has many TZ attractions worth tracking down. If you wish to continue the Twilight Zone theme in a Metsian way, travel west a couple of miles to NYSEG Stadium. Home of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Mrs. V was very engaged in all aspects of the day. The Twilight Zone/Rod Serling attractions and the ball game seemed to, genuinely, give her enjoyment. (Proof of the existence of the Twilight Zone).

Peter Alonso and Tim Tebow

The player that drew me to the game was Peter Alonso. He is a very promising, highly regarded, first base prospect. They also have a hard throwing right handed pitcher named Gerson Bautista.

Peter Alonso—Binghampton RumblePonies—Just a matter of time before he is in Queens with the Big Club

Gerson Bautista—Seen time already this year with the Mets

Frank Viola—Pitching Coach—Binghampton RumblePonies

Peter Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Both are strong prospects.

But, assuredly, you can’t help but notice Tim Tebow is there as well. Tim Tebow is an athlete I admire. I harbor no thoughts that he will one day be at CitiField. Just glad I had the opportunity to see him play. Tim had a great day with two hits including a opposite field homerun off of a left handed pitcher… (cue the Twilight Zone music). His strength was impressive. Peter Alonso just missed a grand slam with a laser beam that was just foul. He will be in New York in the near future. He can certainly hit and he has a pro demeanor.

“The Road to Queens Runs Through Rumbletown”
Binghampton Rumble Ponies Indoor Training Facility

The Mets minor-league team gave up the lead in the last inning and lost. Their bullpen let them down. In a touch of Twilight Zone cosmic irony….the Mets are very familiar with this method of corporate disappointment. Regardless of the loss, the MVP’s of the day were Tim Tebow and Rod Serling.

Banished to the Twilight Zone of the stadium. “There’s time now….Time enough at last”.

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