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Yoenis Cespedes’s Big Strike Zone Problem

In Sports on November 11, 2015 at 11:59 am

By: Brian P. Mangan

If you were watching the Mets play in the postseason and you thought Yoenis Cespedes was swinging at everything: you were right. And it might cost him tens of millions of dollars in free agency.

Cespedes was an anchor in the postseason for the Mets this year. Aside from his costly error in Game 1 of the World Series, or getting picked off in Game 4, Cespedes slashed only .286/.333/.357 in the Championship Series and only .150/.143/.150 in the World Series. In the playoffs overall, Cespedes struck out 17 times and only walked once.

Many observers want to lay blame for this poor performance on his shoulder, but there another obvious culprit as well. Pitchers simply stopped throwing Cespedes strikes — and he couldn’t lay off. Whether it was the pressure of the playoffs or a general problem with discipline, Cespedes’s control of the strike zone was nonexistent for a month.

“This Is Going to Hurt So Much”: A Mets 2015 Season Memoir

In Everything Else, Sports on November 4, 2015 at 12:33 pm

By: Brian P. Mangan

There is always a little tension between generations of fandom. This is especially true with the New York Mets.

Older generations of fans feel like they’ve seen it all; they carry with them the experiences, and feelings, and joys, and burdens of seasons long gone by. Because of that, they “know better” than younger fans, who simply haven’t lived through it yet. Younger generations have the same kind of bias, blessed with an optimism and objectivity that older fans no longer have. Unburdened by memory, younger fans are believe it is they who see clearer.

When it comes to the Mets, older fans have some serious mileage on them. They saw the Mets blitz through the National League and win the World Series in 1986 (“The Bad Guys Won”). And if they are just a little bit older… they saw a Miracle. But between those rare high points, they’ve seen an awful lot of failure; and not just normal failure, the Mets special brand of it. They saw the team bottom out in the early 90’s (“Worst Team Money Can Buy”). They saw the 2007 Collapse and the Madoff Scandal. And if they are just a little bit older… they saw epic futility (“Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?”).

With that in mind, it’s hard to blame the older generation for being a little pessimistic about things. But for the rest of us, the remaining die-hards, we are still here. As someone who considers himself part of the younger crowd — if only perhaps for a little while longer — we could still squeeze out some optimism for the 2015 Mets. Some of us, like myself, thought the Mets had a shot of having a great year this year.

And bless our hearts, we were right.

And wrong.

Enjoy Being in the World Series- It’s More Than Anyone Expected This Year

In Sports on October 29, 2015 at 2:43 pm

By: Brian P. Mangan

The Mets are in the World Series.

They’re down 0-2, and things look bleak, but hey — it’s still the World Series. In fact, when the Mets play tomorrow, October 30th, 2015, it will be the latest that the Mets have ever played a game of baseball (yesterday was already the latest game). Should they win a game, they will be guaranteed to play in November for the first time ever.

I’ve already written this year about how 2015 could be the Season of a Lifetime for Mets fans. I’ve also already written about how this team, as presently constructed, might be better than a 100-win juggernaut


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