Mets Memo: 2/28

Woohoo! Spring training is underway! The Amazins have four games under their belt, and we've got plenty to talk about. Lets dive into this week's Mets Memo...

1.     The Death of the Intentional Walk: This may not be strictly Mets-related, but I need to get my two cents in on this. Commissioner Rob Manfred fired a shot across the bow at the MLBPA last week, chastising them for not working with him on pace-of-play improvements. He even mentioned unilaterally changing the rules so that pitchers no longer have to throw four soft-toss pitches every intentional walk. I don't have a problem with this rule change specifically, although I do think it's a little petty and ultimately will not end up impacting length of games, but where I really get angry about this is the slippery slope that it's starting. I see this as a trojan horse of sorts - getting the ball rolling on the conversation about pace-of-play. And inside that trojan horse are things like putting time clocks on pitchers, limiting the number of pitching changes an inning, and limiting the number of visits to the mound. And THOSE things are what I call "Alamo issues." Therefore, if I'm the MLBPA, I would start going to the mattresses now and not later. Don't wait for Rob Manfred to control the narrative on this issue. Players don't want this, and more importantly, fans don't want thisSo get ready to start cooking for twenty guys someday.

2.     Duda Doubts: Lucas Duda received a cortisone injection in both of his hips over the weekend, reigniting the conversation about whether or not he should be the Mets' guy at first base. I already had doubts about Duda who not only has a tendency to get hurt, but also has a tendency to be streaky when he isn't hurt. Although Duda's said it's not serious, a red flag this early in spring training means more red flags throughout the season. You can say I'm jumping ship too soon, but with a possible solution in the form of Jay Bruce (which would allow a promising Michael Conforto to play in right), I already think it's time to cut Duda loose.

3.     Tebow Time: This is the story that just won't go away that desperately needs to go away. I get that this is a win-win for both Tebow and the Mets organization, but it's an embarrassment. Now, don't misunderstand me: I don't hate Tim Tebow. He seems like a really nice guy. But here's the thing: the media circus that follows him impacts his teammates. The constant TV cameras and microphones impairs the development of the guys in the minors who play alongside him - and that's why it is shameful for the Mets to continue on with this charade.

4.     Last Data Field: the Mets changed the name of their spring training park in Port St. Lucie from "Tradition Field" to "First Data FIeld" last week. Now, at first, I was a little peeved about this. Just another clueless corporate move shoving another product in our faces. Baseball is the American tradition. But then I found out that it was already an ad anyways! Tradition is the name of a planned, gated community in Florida. I guess I'll put my pitchfork back in the closet...

5.     The Toughest Part of My Job: Three of the Mets starters (Noah, Harvey, and deGrom) debuted some serious mustaches the other day - only to then shave 'em off the next day! Still, it makes for a serious debate: who rocks it the best? Noah's definitely bringing up the rear, it's just too thin and reminds me too much of the uncle from Napoleon Dynamite. He may have the best flow, but he's got the worst stache. Runner-up I'm going to give to deGrom, and Harvey takes home the gold for best mustache. Harvey's has depth, breadth and some serious Tom Selleck action going on.


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