Postmortem Baseball

As we approach the World Series, we inch closer to the end of another baseball season. For the hometown teams, the New York Mets and Yankees, there were many highs and lows to an otherwise eventful year. It’s time to look back at what these teams should be proud of after one year under new management and what they need to improve on as free agency and the winter meetings loom.

New York Mets

The Mets had a rough first season under manager Mickey Callaway, finishing 77-83 and fourth place in the NL East. The most successful Met all season was Jacob deGrom as he is among the Cy Young award favorites after completing the season with a 1.70 ERA. That’s the good news for this team, and the future is even more bright with Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler in their pitching rotation, as long as the team doesn’t try to trade them away.

The bad news is that the batting on this team was so horrendous this year that the pitching couldn’t hold off opponents long enough to win. They finished second-to-last in batting average and hits, and near the bottom in most other batting categories. While players like Wilmer Flores and Brandon Nimmo played well, others with higher expectations didn’t reach them. Notably, Yoenis Cespedes was supposed to be a big factor at the plate after a massive contract extension, but he dealt with injuries and barely played. Top priority this offseason is to explore the market for a hitter that can do more than just hit home runs, but extend innings by getting simple base hits.

These decisions will have to be made by a new general manager, as Sandy Alderson resigned in late June for health concerns. For the Mets organization, this decision is crucial in getting the franchise back on track and ready to contend next season.

New York Yankees

The biggest story of last offseason was the Yankees collection of high-powered hitters that were to be used to make a championship run this season. The team ended up going toe-to-toe with the Boston Red Sox only to fall just short of both the AL East division title and the divisional series to their longtime rival. Still, the team has an optimistic future ahead with a few adjustments that they should keep in mind going into the offseason.

Luis Severino had an excellent year, but the rest of the pitching staff did not perform nearly as well as he did. Adding another starting pitcher into the mix is a necessity if the team wants to go on a deep playoff run next year. And while the team had a historically great season of home runs, with big acquisition Giancarlo Stanton leading the way, the team failed to meet some batting expectations as they sat in the middle of the pack in hits.

Like their crosstown rival, they should explore getting a hitter that has a higher frequency at hitting the ball, but not just for power. Lastly, first-year manager Aaron Boone had a nice start to his tenure, but he needs to make better judgment calls when it comes to pulling pitchers sooner and general lineup decisions.

With a few additions to the personnel and more growth out of Boone, this team is sure to stay in the championship mix for years to come.

Christopher Birsner
In addition to being the editor of the Massapequa Observer and Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald, Chris Birsner is the sports editor for Long Island Weekly and often contributes gaming articles to the arts and entertainment publication.

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