New York Mets: 5 Things They Must Do in 2011
The Mets now have to contend with the quartet of pitching that is the Phillies. Not to mention a young Atlanta team that seeks revenge. Florida? We'll see. And then, there are the up and coming Nationals, with a hot new pitcher, albeit hurt, a catcher quickly gaining attention, and a multi million dollar Jason Werth deal. Not to mention Nyger Morgan, who brings his quirky optimism, but also isn't afraid to charge the mound. Count on them in the not-so-near future. So what do the Mets need to do to contend? Well...
#5 Reduce Ticket Prices
Cliff Lee says that Philly fans "don’t need a teleprompter to tell them to cheer." Well, Citi Field needs more than a teleprompter. They need fans. Inside. During a game. Standing alone in the upper deck, waving my rally towel and screaming will unfortunately not be enough to intimidate the opposing team.
Conundrum: Fans won't come until there is a good team. Recently, the Mets organization has done nothing to lure fans in the past two years. They've "dealt" with unsuccessful "talent," and RAISED ticket prices to pay for a pricey stadium that has an outfield where fly balls go to die. Rumors are ticket prices will be lowered for next season, but I'm talking Shea pricing
Free on Wednesdays with a Pepsi Can
$2 dollar tickets against the Nationals
$5 dollar rivalry tickets in the upper deck.
Now those are prices that will lure fans. Or at least people to fill in the seats.
#4 Different Approach to Hitting
It's pretty difficult to knock one out of the park at Citi Field. The outfield is expansive, making it a haven for players like Reyes who are quick around the bases. The Mets need to accept this fact and consider hitting on the ground, rather than in the air. Bat smart, and bat around. Take the walks, get on base, drive in the runs. Forget the out-of-the-park, crowd goes wild, here comes the apple Shea feeling. This is a new stadium, new rules.
#3 Goodbye Perez, Castillo, and Beltran
Nobody likes a downer. The Mets have three. At least. Negativity is contagious. Think back to the Mets of 2006. Reyes was all smiles and handshakes. Now, Reyes is serious and on the "shopping" block. David Wright feels like he has the weight of the team on his shoulders, and has reduced himself to Vitamin Water ads featuring "The Situation." What? Why?
Castillo dropping a pop fly during the subway series? Never going to be a fan favorite. He's slow, and lacks spunk. He's just a boring player to watch. Nobody wants to drop a precious dime on a Castillo jersey.
Perez is only decent when he's under pressure. However, he is rarely under pressure as the Mets have not been competitive, and his mind games are just too much for the team to deal with. He's a dead weight in the clubhouse, taking up a precious roster spot last year instead of going down to the minors to work out his issues. Not exactly a team player.
Plus, will any Met fan forgive the Beltran backwards K game 7 incident? And, Angel Pagan had Beltran's poster hanging in his room as a child. Doesn't that mean it's time for him to move along? The man is always hurt. Now, I'm not necessarily saying he's having pity parties, but the Mets have invested a lot of money and the return has been mediocre. Talent-wise, he could be the best player on the Mets, but alas, he's hurt too much to rack up the stats the Mets need. At this point, I'd prefer to have Angels in my outfield.
Beltran will go at the trade deadline after he proves some worth. Fingers crossed.
#2 Sign a Pitcher
Starting pitching has been a dilemma for the Mets. While Philly stacks up a ridiculous amount of talent, the Mets are relying on Santana, who's out 'til mid-season, Pelfrey, Dickey, who could very much end up a one-hit-wonder, and Niese. Yikes.
Perhaps Jeff Francis? What about Jeremy Bonderman? Kevin Millwood? Carl Pavano? Chris Young? There are options...
#1 A Fresh Face
David Wright. Face of the team. Homegrown Met (sort of: growing up in Norfolk, VA, an avid Mets fan via Norfolk Tides as a youth). Supposed to be the Jeter pretty-boy of the Mets. But...
He double clutches, crumbles under pressure, and is just another third basemen in a slew of third basemen that the Mets organization have tried to talk up.
Check out the Mets' history. They are constantly trading amazing talent (i.e. Nolan Ryan to go way back) in order to obtain a "decent" third basemen.
I say trade him. He'll get his home runs in a stadium that's not so deep. Win-win.