There are answers that can only be found by looking into a man’s eyes. Even then, there’s an element of doubt.
Looking into R.A. Dickey’s eyes, the Mets must know he wants to play here and believes his Cy Young was no fluke. Even so, there’s always some pause.
If there’s a reluctance with Dickey, imagine that with Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton, who, when healthy and off the wagon, is one of the sport’s top five talents, if not the best.
We know the Mets won’t, and the Yankees say they want to cut payroll to be below $189 million for the 2014 season and beyond, so they aren’t player for Hamilton.
That doesn’t mean it is an empty market for him. The Rangers are playing it wisely and letting Hamilton field offers. They believe they have sufficient talent without him, but also think Hamilton might come around and believe the team that cared for him is his best option.
You can get dizzy trying to figure out the various formulas for revenue sharing and the luxury tax, but some things are givens. There will always be some teams willing to spend because the objective is to win.
There will also be some teams not willing to spend and find comfort in using their small market status to free load off the big spenders because they are still making money. Pittsburgh and Kansas City have been notorious for using their revenue sharing income not to reinvest in players but to pay their electric bill.
I’m tired of hearing about small market – which should really read small revenue market teams – not fielding competitive teams because of the market they play in. It is inexcusable for a team such as the Pirates to have 20 straight losing seasons. How can the Orioles have 14 losing years playing in a gem of a ballpark like Camden Yards? Seems incomprehensible.
How Bud Selig can allow this is beyond reason. Also crazy is penalizing teams that go over the limit to take away draft choices. It stands to reason that a team having fewer draft picks will compensate with more spending in trying to build.
I’ve never been for revenue sharing because it promotes free loading, but the system is not likely to go away. If they are insistent on such a system, the receiving teams should be required to spend a designated percentage on player salaries. And, while we’re at it, there should be a minimum amount a team MUST spend on payroll.
All too often this season, the Mets gave up the ground, confidence and groove they’ve had at home once they hit the road.
Only this time, the Mets aren’t going to San Diego or Philadelphia, but Baltimore to face the horrible Orioles and then on to Cleveland.
The talk-shows have already given the Mets a 4-2 or 5-1 trip before heading into Yankee Stadium a week from today.
It doesn’t work that way. You have to play the games first and the Orioles have beaten the Yankees twice and beat up the Red Sox in a series.
If what Jerry Manuel said is correct, that the Mets alter their offensive approach on the road because of some of the smaller stadiums, they have to be doubly careful this weekend, beginning tonight, at cozy Camden Yards.
Shea Stadium was home to the Mets for 45 seasons. It was dumpy, but “it is our dump,” Mets’ fans would say.
Citi Field is state of the art all the way. I like the spaciousness of the concourses, the variety of food options and the quirks that comprise the outfield dimensions. No cookie cutter is this place. In designing Citi Field, the Mets borrowed liberally from both the old and the new. You can see bits of Tiger Stadium and Ebbets Field, as well as Camden Yards and Jacobs Field.
Unlike the Ballpark in Arlington, which is like a suit with checks and plaids, there is a seamless quality about Citi Field. If fits. It looks right. It feels natural.
I’m just anxious to see how it plays.
I’m a little uneasy about this season, because for the first time I’ll be doing Mets Chat Room without the benefit of covering the Mets as a beat. It kills me at times not to be doing so.
But, I still have my Baseball Writers credential, so I have access to the park and will be trying to get down there as much as possible. It’s impossible to keep up the pace as in the past, but I will do my best to keep the blog going on limited resources. I’m doing so because you’ve stood by and read me during the offseason.
For that I’m grateful and I wish you all well, and more to the point, I wish you what you all want — the Mets in the Series.