As soon as the Mets jumped out to a ridiculous record to start the season, I knew it was going to be a special year of baseball. There's nothing better than watching the roller coaster ride that is Mets fandom. Coming into the season all Mets fans seemed to be buying into the consensus theory that the Mets would be the Mets again, so why bother getting our hopes up. We all knew that attitude wouldn't last, it never has. Usually it immediately changes to rage or disappointment, instead something much more enjoyable happened, a false reality was dangled in front of their faces like low hanging fruit, so naturally the Mets fans grabbed it, and gobbled it all up.
The Mets were 12-2 coming into this series against the Nationals. They were off to the best start in franchise history, fans were starting to finally believe that this Mets team was different, and I swear to God I even heard someone say it feels like '86 all over again. First off, it's fucking April, let's not compare this team to any team ever just yet, let alone one of the better baseball teams of all time. Secondly, I hope every baseball fan does know that maintaining the winning percentage the Mets were at, is essentially impossible in the MLB, so coming back to Earth was inevitable. I honestly don't believe Mets fans understand that still, but I digress. I didn't come here to bash Mets fans, in fact I have no beef with them whatsoever and enjoy seeing the Mets do well. That doesn't change the fact that these fans are completely out of touch with reality and have been traumatized so badly by this Mets organization that not even thousands of dollars spent in therapy will help them recover at this point. The outrage, the pure hysteria after the Mets bullpen had an epic collapse on Monday blowing a 6-1 lead with two outs in the 8th inning, was jaw dropping. I thought I was dramatic as a fan, boy was that a reality check. Every Mets fan in existence immediately annouced the season was dead. They all figured because they had one bad loss that the season would burn to ashes. If your having those type of losses in April, mine usually don't start until late May, all I have to say is good luck getting through the mental grind that is the 162 game MLB regular season.
The Mets followed that brutal loss in which they had a collapse of...(I don't want to say epic proportions but since it just sounds better that's what I'll say) of epic proportions with another ugly loss. Wheeler had a quality start, but the bullpen stunk, and the Mets just didn't respond the way you'd hope as a fan. Anyways, the waterworks were in full effect, here we go again, God forbid a team loses two games against one of the best teams in the NL in April no less, but you can't reason with these people. It was the end of the world in Flushing. That was until tonight.
It was just the night the Mets and Mets fans needed to get back on the yellow brick road's one way track to fantasy island. The Mets were continuing to look bad, Steven Matz didn't pitch particularly well, the bats were staying cold, and the sweep from the Nationals looked inevitable. This is a different Mets team, though, at least that's what we'll here tomorrow. Instead of rolling over and letting daddy Harper and the Nats spank the Mets behinds like they've done all too often in recent years, the Mets fought back. They exploded for 9 runs in the 8th inning. They basically did to the Nationals what the Nationals did to them Monday. Todd Frazier had a clutch base hit up the middle to tie the game, that was then followed up by a Juan Lagares double down the first base line to take the lead. There's nothing more encouraging than seeing guys like that come up with the big hits. It was topped off by a Yoenis Cespedes Grand Slam and now all the panic and heartbreak in Queens will simmer down for at least a good 24 hours or so. I'm looking very much forward to playing with the volatile emotions of Mets fans all season long. Let's have some fun, baseball is back, and I have a feeling this season is going to be something special.
The reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve just got motherfucking PAID. Altuve signed a 5 year $150 million extension with the Houston Astros. That's definitley the most money a player under 5'10" has ever made in MLB history. Haven't fact checked that with Elias sports bureau, although I can basically guarantee that to be true. Altuve deserves every penny of the payday he got. What more could he possibly have to prove, he's clearly the best second baseman in baseball, so he got paid like it. Now he surpasses Robinson Cano for highest yearly salary by a second baseman. Who could've seen this coming, when Altuve was trying to break into the show he couldn't even get a tryout, now he gets paid $30 million a year, what a world.
This deal makes me very happy, not only because Altuve is a good guy and earned this payday, but the Astros are finally going to have to spend big money to keep their young players. This means the window is beginning to slowly close on them since at some point down the road they're going to run out of money in the payroll. Won't happen for years, still it's a step in that direction. See a team like the Yankees or Dodgers don't have that problem since they'll just dig into their wallets and overspend like they always have. The Astros haven't shown us that they'll do that, so this is the first contract to really start weighing on them. A lot of their players are very young still, which means they have dirt cheap contracts, however soon enough they're going to want to be paid just like Altuve.
Astros have now locked up Altuve for the foreseeable future. Altuve will start the season as a 28 year old, usually ball players don't see a drop off in their game until after 33, so the Astros should have him in peak form the next 5 seasons. With that being said a huge part of Altuve's game is his ability to run the base paths using his speed as a deadly weapon. I'm sure that'll fade a tad over the course of this contract, but when a guy is going to hit .330 every year, you get over that quickly. It should be a very happy day in Houston as a cornerstone piece of the franchise is locked in to stick around for at least another 5 years.
Baltimore Orioles season is off to hot start with the news that Mark Trumbo will potentially miss the first two weeks of the season. Trumbo suffered a grade 2 quad strain that will have him sidelined 3-4 weeks. If you have the ability to do basic math you'll be able to come to the conclusion that with the season starting in 14 days that Trumbo will ultimately miss the first couple series of the season. The Orioles, who solely rely on their offense to produce more runs than their pitchers let up to win games, need all the fire power they can get. Starting the season without one of their biggest bats could potentially dig them into a small hole that they'll never recover from. When you're in a division with the Yankees and the Red Sox you don't have room for setbacks, everything has to go perfect to even have a sliver of hope.
Trumbo is coming off a pretty lackluster season. He hit 23 homers, drove in 65 runs, and recorded a career low batting average of .234. This was after coming off the best year of his career when he led the league in homeruns and drove in over 100 RBI's. The Orioles need Trumbo to return to 2016 form if they want to compete for a wildcard spot. Let's just be honest, there's no fucking way this team wins the AL East, and in no way am I being biased. The fact Trumbo is starting the season with a quad injury is not a good sign of things to come for him this season. This is one of those injuries that seems to linger and come back throughout the season. Hopefully for the Orioles and Trumbo that's not the case, however I've seen this movie time and time again, usually ends up with a miserable season from the player.
The Yankees have signed second basemen Neil Walker to a one year deal. Walker has had a stint in New York before, just with the team across town. With the Mets, Walker was a solid second basemen when healthy, he hit for power, and he's a .270 hitter with a solid glove. The Yankees had the likes of Gleyber Torres, Tyler Wade, and Ronald Torreyes competing for the second base job in spring training, which ultimately will be handed over to Neil Walker now. That means the second base and third base position have now been filled and the Yankees won't be using their young prospects. That's why I hate this deal.
I know the Yankees are putting together the best team possible to win as many games possible, I totally commend them for that. As a fan I want to see some of our young guys flourish in a lineup that has some of the best hitters in the game. Miguel Andujar was crushing it in spring training proving to the world that he's a big league hitter. Gleyber Torres is one of the best prospects in baseball and has the potential to be one of the best players on the Yankees one day. Not getting to see those guys play this year is going to really blow. I'm sure Walker will get injured like he does every year and then Torres will see some playing time, but it's not the same. I know the Yankees are doing this for business reasons, by not playing Torres or Andujar at the start of the season they get to keep them on their dirt cheap deals longer. It's a business, Cashman knows the business very well, and that's why he's making these moves. I'd be an idiot to not trust Cashman and what he's doing so I'm just going to shut up and enjoy the 110 win team he has put together for us while keeping a stacked farm system. Thank the good lord for making me a Yankees fan where I get to complain about signing a former silver slugger.
The Philadelphia Phillies have signed Jake Arrieta to a 3 year $75 million contract. Arrieta is coming off his worst season with the Cubs as he finished the year with 14 wins, 10 losses, and a 3.57 ERA. Arrieta had won a Cy Young award and made an all star team in his 4 years with the Cubs, something no one expected from him when he was brought in. Arrieta surpassed expectations by a mile and helped lead the Cubs back to glory for the first time in 108 years. The Cubs made the right move in letting Arrieta walk away and using that money to reinvest into a new pitcher. Arrieta seems to be on the decline and $25 million per year is a lot for a pitcher that isn't in his prime. Phillies are getting a once Cy Young caliber pitcher at a Cy Young caliber pitcher price. The thing is Arrieta is no longer the pitcher he once was for that two year stretch where he was almost untouchable. Arrieta will bring Philadelphia some solid outings and will be their most consistent starter, but I hope they aren't expecting to get 2015 Jake Arrieta.
The Phillies can spend this type of money since they really have no where else to put it right now. They're rebuilding, which means they don't have many big contracts on the payroll. They added Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta to held show their young guys how to be winners. By the time these young guys are looking to get paid since their rookie deals will be up, Arrieta and Santana will be off the payroll, so it's not going to effect the long term much, if at all. This is a solid signing for the Phillies, nothing that's going to get them over the hump, though. This team still has a long way to go before they're competing for a playoff spot.
The Mariners are close to a deal that would bring Ichiro Suzuki back to Seattle in 2018, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman. Ichiro hasn’t played for the Mariners since 2012 after spending the first 12 seasons of his MLB career there. Now, in his 18th season at the age of 44 he will rejoin the Mariners.
Ichiro will get a major league contract and be on the 40 man roster. How much will he actually play, well that depends on a few things. He’s clearly not going to be an everyday player, but he’ll serve in the 4th outfielder role giving guys nights off and filling in for injuries. I’d assume this is basically the Ichiro retirement tour and by bringing him back they’ll be able to sell more tickets.
Ichiro posted a .255 batting average, drove in 20 runs, and had a total of 50 hits in 136 games played last season. Safe to say he won’t be the piece to push the Mariners back to the playoffs for the first time since his rookie year. What a story that would be. The first year Ichiro joins the Mariners he takes them to the playoffs and then the last year of his career he does the same. The odds are super unlikely, however it’d be a dope way to send Ichiro off into the sunset.
I don’t know if Ichiro is ready to hang them up, though. I can see him being the modern day Julio Franco. I’m pretty sure that guy is still playing baseball somewhere. So, even if Ichiro does retire from the MLB after this season, I don’t think it’ll mean he’s retiring from baseball. 5k hits isn’t that far away...
The freak is back, back again. Tim Lincecum is back in baseball once again. This time he will be playing for the Texas Rangers as he tries to reboot his long lost career. If you don’t remember, Tim Lincecum was one of the best pitchers in baseball for a 3 or 4 year stretch with the Giants. He won 2 Cy Young awards and had an iconic delivery that every kid wanted to emulate. He was so short yet used so much torque to throw cheddar. He was pure electricity every time he took the mound, easily one of the most exciting pitchers to watch. That was until it all fell apart.
What ever happened to Tim Lincecum? Well, he was a small guy that used a ton of torque to get velocity on his pitches. Tendons don’t take well to tons and tons of torque over years of time. Basically, he blew out his arm and lost his fastball velocity making him very easy to hit. For three straight years the Giants ran him out there every 5th day, but he just couldn’t manage to figure out another way to get batters out. Usually that’s what happens when you take away a guy’s bread and butter pitch. That’s what separates good pitchers from great pitchers.
Anyways, the Rangers will look to use Lincecum out of the bullpen. With the way their bullpen is constructed, if Lincecum does well he could very easily end up being their closer. I’d love to see Lincecum have a part 2 to his career as a closer. It’d make for a great comeback story and I just like seeing the guy pitch to be honest. Are the Rangers going to get Tim Lincecum to turn back the clock and be a lights out starter, absolutely not. They’re just hoping they get a solid reliever out of the bullpen and best case scenario a reliable closer. Still the freak is back, tell a friend.
The Minnesota Twins continue to make splashes in the offseason with under the radar signings. The addition of Logan Morrison continues to fit that theme. The contract is pending a physical, has $6.5 million guaranteed, and has the ability to be two years 16.5 million if he reaches all the incentives. Basically the contract is heavily dependent on if the Twins get the Logan Morrison of last year or the Logan Morrison of the rest of his career. This has the potential of being a big time addition to the Twins lineup. Anytime you add a guy that hit 38 home runs and drove in 85 RBI's it can't be overlooked. The Twins do have a field that is horrible for left handed power hitters, though. The wind is constantly blowing in from the right centerfield gap in turn knocking fly balls down that might've been homeruns elsewhere. LoMo isn't a cheap homerun hitter, so he should be able to get his fair share. Buxton, Mauer, Dozier, Rosario, Sano, and now Morrison makes up a pretty solid heart of the order. Will it be enough to make the Twins a serious contender, well no.
The Twins have upgraded their pitching staff, however it's still abysmal and beat up. The addition of Jake Odorizzi was solid, but they don't know exactly what they're getting with him. He started last year strong then faded hard, so he's nothing more than a middle of the road pitcher. Ervin Santana is injured and will start the season on the DL. Michael Pineda, who they signed in the offseason is recovering from Tommy John, meaning he likely won't pitch at all this season. The additions of Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, and Zach Duke to the bullpen will certainly help a group that wasn't strong at all last year. Still, the Twins pitching staff in 2018 is not something you'll write home about.
All in all, the Twins made some solid moves, but nothing that's going to push them into the upper-echelon. The Red Sox, Yankees, Astros, and Indians are all far superior teams. The only way the Twins make the playoffs is if they make it as the second wildcard spot and face the same fate as last season. Twins are moving slowly in the right direction, just gonna need to be patient with this group. Seems like they're building this roster more towards the 2019 season.
Nothing like Bryce Harper sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. Don Mattingly made these comments in response to Harper making comments about how the Marlins traded away all their best players this offseason. To be frank, I think Mattingly overreacted a little, although I kinda liked it. The I don't care what you're saying about my team good or bad, just keep our names off your lips attitude, is one of a strong leader. Worry about your own dugout was such a perfect response from Donny baseball. Still, I don't think it was necessary. Harper was just saying how he thought the Marlins were a few pitchers away from contention before they blew it up and he was surprised they did. Nothing outrageous whatsoever, I don't know the context of the interview that the quote came from, but I assume someone probably asked him his thoughts on the Marlins. Now, if he just went out of his way to talk about the Marlins then I side with Donny baseball. If he was asked then Bryce Harper isn't in the wrong whatsoever.
Were the Marlins actually just a few pieces away, or were they an entire pitching staff away. The starting rotation didn't have an ace after the passing of Jose Fernandez. They had no go to starter that'd be able to get them wins consistently every 5th day. As if the starting pitching wasn't bad enough the bullpen was probably even worse. As a collective the Marlins pitching staff posted a 4.82 ERA, which was good for 26th in the MLB. The Marlins pitching staff needed an entire rebuild that would've taken ample cap space or ample amount of time to develop young starters in their system. Something that the star studded lineup wasn't going to be able to wait around for. The situation was just never going to work. Once Jose Fernandez passed away the Marlins were put back at square one. It's detrimental to a team when you lose a star player and get 0 compensation for them. It was a freak accident that derailed their plans, nothing could've been done by the front office to really prepare for such a tragedy. Then, the Marlins switched owners, and agendas changed. This new group wants to make the team profitable first, then they want to make them competitive, so it's going to be about 5 years before we see real change within the Marlins organization.
Bryce Harper was looking at from his perspective, made same pretty plain observations, and Mattingly ripped him for it. Love the alpha dog move by Mattingly, however Harper didn't step far enough out of line to take one on the chin so hard. Whatever, Harper certainly doesn't give a shit he's about to sleep walk his way to another NL East division crown, and then sign a $400 million contract in the offseason. Bryce will bounce back from this L without even knowing he took a L.
After being in a stalemate for months the Red Sox and JD Martinez have finally reached an agreement to bring the superstar outfielder to Boston. Martinez was a huge part of the Dbacks playoff push last year and he put up MVP type numbers. Boston got him at a great price, 5 years $110 million. Definitely a big salary, but nothing that’s going to cripple them financially, and if I’m not mistaken they should be able to stay under the tax threshold. Adding him to a lineup that lacked power last season will help them in that department for sure, even with the deep right field fence taking that element away somewhat. However, JD Martinez should rack up a shit ton of doubles with that wide open right centerfield gap. With Betts, Bogarts, Benintendi, Devers, and Ramirez already in the lineup, JD Martinez will help elevate them to that upper echelon, which includes the Yankees and Astros.
Do I think the Red Sox are now favorites to repeat as AL East champs? No, Yankees are still better in my biased opinion, but this definitely will make things closer in the AL East. That’s how I want it, though. I live for the Yankees Red Sox rivalry in peak form and the Red Sox adding Martinez certainly makes it way more competitive. Also, when the Yankees shit down the Red Sox throat this season they’ll realize how far away they actually are from competing with us. Sorry, I told myself I wouldn’t let the Yankee fan boy side of me come out, I just couldn’t resist. Are the Red Sox better than last year? Yes. Are they now world beaters? Absolutely not. Astros and Yankees are still my picks to be in the ALCS, although the Red Sox did close the gap with this signing.