It’s long been my belief that the hardest time to write about the Mets is the first week of games in the regular season. But it seems like the last week of December has been hard this year, too. Maybe it’s just my imagination. Regardless, today this column was going to be about Dominic Smith but I find myself not in the mood to discuss his 2019 role. So, instead, here is a list of New Year’s Resolutions for me and the Mets and Mets360.
5. Judge Robinson Cano strictly on what he does for the team on the field, not on how much salary he’s pulling down or what the team gave up to get him. Cano has zero control over those other two factors. Let’s judge him on what he can control. Which reminds me – Does he start the season off with one strike by asking to wear one of the few retired numbers of the team he just joined?
4. See three levels of guys from the minor league system. The past few years, I’ve gotten together with Metsense to see the Lo-A Mets play. This year in addition to seeing Columbia, my plan is to see Kingsport and Syracuse, too. Kicking myself for not seeing Kingsport the past two years when they had some really interesting guys come through. May that streak extend another year.
3. Be nicer to Gus. Right now I’m wearing a hat that Gus gave me yet it seems like I constantly mock his Wilmer Flores fandom. Really, he deserves better. Gus, I mean, certainly not Flores. But I’ll still be unbearable to Chris F and eraff.
2. Follow up on my vow not to nitpick Noah Syndergaard to death. For a guy with outstanding stuff, Syndergaard gave up a bunch of hits last year. Maybe it was bad luck, maybe it was rotten catchers/game calling or perhaps it was something else entirely. The bottom line was that he had a 3.03 ERA and a 2.80 FIP. If he had enough innings to qualify, that would have placed him 7th in the NL in ERA and fourth in FIP. Surely there are better things to complain about than that.
1. Try harder to expand the reach of Mets360. As you saw from yesterday’s early morning post, we have a call out for new writers. Usually whenever someone new joins the site, they bring some new eyeballs here and we haven’t had somebody new join since Dalton back in late 2016. Also, with the podcast now being part of a new nationwide grassroots network, there’s a chance to pick up new readers through that. They have a fairly active chatroom which I’m going to try to engage with and hopefully that will pay dividends. And I’ll try to broaden the scope of guests on the podcast, which has the potential to bring new people in, too.
Still, I can’t shake this feeling that Smith is going to play a factor into the success of the 2019 Mets. Maybe he becomes a righty masher and carves out a role playing some 1B and some LF and being the top pinch-hitter off the bench.