He was there to take it but they failed to grab it
Mets building blocks strategy
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The 2021 Mets were defeated by such mediocre teams, and it wasn’t luck or the schedule that beat them – they were built to fail.
The 2021 Mets have a lot to explain as a 28-man squad who went from 18 to 29 in August and September while effectively dropping out of the Wild Card race.
Surrounded by teams that fail alike, the Mets have managed to fail even more.
- The Atlanta Braves, as a team, have seven games over 0.500 and have lost six of their last ten.
- Their home record is 37-36.
- Their record against +.500 teams is 29-38, the same mark as the St. Louis Cardinals, who now hold a 3-game lead for the final Wild Card spot.
- Over the past ten games, the Mets are 3-7 while three teams ahead of them have limped at 3-7 (Cincinnati), 5-5 (Philadelphia) and San Diego (2-8).
The Mets had it all in front of them, and it was close at hand – but instead of seizing the moment like the Cardinals did, reeling out eight in a row, the Mets retreated before our eyes.
Put: the engine that couldn’t – or wouldn’t?
The Mets were not routed; they were stifled, going 2-15 in games decided by a run down the home stretch.
Overall, the Mets were 28-32 in point games this season, which, to say the least, speaks to the strength of the team’s pitchers.
Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo best summed it up when he said: “It comes down to one or two running plays, and it comes down to the little things.”
Bingo! But here’s the catch.
Beyond the facts that show that the Mets did not perform in those situations, as shown by their league low-batting standings, lies this question.
Is it a question that the Mets are a poorly constructed team, made up of an inept front office – or has the players themselves refused to make an effort to do the “smaller things” that Nimmo was referring to?
Or, as some have suggested, and I agree, did this group of Mets players never learn to play win baseball as they came through the Mets system?
Some, like Brandon Nimmo, have these intangible skills instinctively, but most need to learn fundamental skills like how to kick a ball to second base with a runner on second and no one outside or lift a ball to score a goal. third base runner with less than two starts.
That might be a cliché, but it’s true – you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and that’s not just the state of the current Mets squad. Instead, it’s been so since the 1986 squad which included players like Tim Teufel, Keith Hernandez, Dave Magadan, Wally Backman and Howard Johnson – who could all bat bat and knew how to settle in or lead in. a race.
In a study by ESPN and Elias Sports Bureau, the Mets rank 24th out of 30 MLB teams in productive outings (defined here), scoring only three out of ten chances.
This is not a formula for playing winning baseball – consistently.
Mets: a two-pronged strategy for 2022 and beyond
If we say the Mets have the desire to do it, but they just don’t know how to win, that means the squad needs to be reshuffled in two ways.
First, and only as a palliative, the Mets front office must bring in players who already have these intangible skills by 2022, with the corollary of eliminating those who do not have these skills.
These players are out there, and some can be found in The Class Of 2022 MLB Free Agents.
Others can be discovered and introduced through exchanges, but a long-term plan is also required, and this one goes against Steve Cohen’s 3-year plan to bring a championship to Mets fans.
From the lowest levels of the Mets minor league system, the basics of baseball must be taught to hit and win – and learned.
The emphasis on learning these skills means that when the Mets have a player who insists on doing it his way because he dreams of winning the Home Run Derby someday, he’s gone!
It’s about creating a culture that emphasizes a team with common skills and goals – and no matter what a batting coach tries to do at the major league level – they can’t do it.
Put: the playbook is already here
To accomplish the culture shift, the Mets don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
The plan is there with teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and San Francisco Giants, which it seems like every time you look at one of their scores a new name contributes to a win.
Players like Ji-man Choi, Austin Meadows, Kevin Kiermaier (Tampa Bay), Darin Ruf, Mike Yastrzemski and (remember him) Wilmer Flores (Giants) have not fallen from the sky. They were all brought in or bred by their respective teams to do what they do today.
The Mets can be extremely lucky bringing in two or three players during the offseason, which, along with the remaining Mets, can turn the team into a single season. But more likely, Mets fans will have to give Cohen an extra year or two to keep his promise.
Stick to the plan
Equally important is that Steve Cohen refuses to come under the pressure of winning (now!) In New York City and focuses primarily on rebuilding the Mets farming system.
We saw the remnants of what Cohen inherited from Wilpon and Brodie Van Wagenen when the Mets turned to their Double-A and Triple-A teams for help when key players got injured.
The Bench Mob did their best, splashing in the water that was holding the Mets atop the NL East, but they weren’t built to last, and today the closet is empty with nothing on it. draw.
The question for Mets fans then is, do they want a unique World Series title like the Chicago Cubs went out of their way to win in 2015 – or do they want a team like the Dodgers and Rays that regularly put a winning team on the field every year?
Hopefully there’s a lesson to jump in before watching how the Mets did by signing Francisco Lindor to a ten-year, $ 341 million deal when they didn’t have to, waiting. rather to see how things went in 2021.
If the Mets buy anything in the next offseason, it should be a set of Lego building blocks – players who add a small but not insignificant room to the team.
That, along with a firm commitment to rebuild their minor league system to the point where, like Tampa Bay, they can promote fundamentally healthy players from the inside while only occasionally bringing in a player or two (Nelson Cruz) to fill in. a hole here and there.
It’s either that or the same with the Mets …
Here’s what readers are saying …
Jim kulhawy You can replace the Yankees with the Mets and write the same article. Funny, I was thinking the same myself.
Steven John Penza Sr. My thoughts EXACTLY! I agree this team was not built to win.
Isaac carrington Or, as some have suggested, and I agree, did this group of Mets players never learn to play winning baseball as they progressed through the Mets system? ? agree with the point that the author makes
Larry brown It was a season where the NL East was up for grabs. Neither team seemed to want to lead the division and the Mets seemed ready to run. Until they don’t. Once they gave up on first place, I thought they were done. And unfortunately, I was right.
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