Monthly Archives: September 2014

Thoughts on the Mets 2014 Season

The New York Mets finished their season today with an 8-3 win over the Houston Astros. It was a good team win, with solid pitching and timely hitting, something that the Mets had a difficult time with throughout the year.

The team finished 79-83, and while finishing under .500 again was a disappointment, there are numerous positives that may be taken from this season as the team looks toward 2015. The Mets finished over .500 after the All-Star break, and had a positive run differential. They finished in second place in the National League East, tying with Atlanta and winning the head-to-head series. While this finish is in a sense meaningless because it was not enough to earn a playoff berth, it is significant that the Mets were able to keep pace with most of their division as they think about their path to the playoffs next year.

There were also a number of individual bright spots for the Mets this year. Jacob deGrom had a fantastic rookie season and should become the first Met since Dwight Gooden to win Rookie of the Year. Lucas Duda had an excellent breakout season once the club gave him the first base job on a full-time basis, hitting 30 home runs and driving in 92. Zack Wheeler built on his solid rookie campaign to become a dependable number two starter with ace potential. Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia had excellent seasons in the bullpen, and the bullpen as a whole was quite good after the first month or so of the season. Travis d’Arnaud had an excellent second half, and proved that he can be an everyday catcher in the majors. Likewise, Juan Lagares, who should win a Gold Glove, showed that he can also hit enough to be a valuable part of the offense.

Obviously there were also some negatives that will need to be remedied next year. David Wright had one of the worst seasons of his career. He is at a stage where he needs to make the mental adjustment away from being a power hitter to strictly being a high on-base percentage guy. If he can do this, he will be fine. Curtis Granderson was similarly a bust for much of the season, though he finished strong, which offers hope for 2015.

The biggest negative of the year was Terry Collins’s managing. Collins has done a good job shepherding all of the Mets’ young players into the big leagues, but he is a terrible on-field manager. He constantly makes questionable decisions with the lineup and with pitching changes, and if the Mets want to contend next season they will not have the margin of error to cover for the games he costs them with these decisions. The team has said Collins will be the manager next year, but I hope that they have him on a short leash.

However, overall I am left with a positive outlook on the Mets as I turn toward the offseason. I am excited to see what moves the front office makes to improve the team before spring training, and look forward to watching all of the Mets’ young studs continue to blossom.

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Book Acquired Recently: Women in Clothes

Heti, Sheila, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Sharpton, eds. Women in Clothes. New York: Blue Rider, 2014.

I read a review of this book in BookForum and thought it sounded amazing, so I bought it from one of amazon.com’s independent sellers. It is the results of a survey the editors did of women about clothing. The goal was to document some of the everyday discourse around women’s clothing as opposed to that in the fashion world and media. The book includes text, drawings, and photographs. Aesthetically it is a very pleasing object, and the subject sounds super fascinating and important. I can’t wait to read it!

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Book Acquired Recently: Motion: American Sports Poems

Blaustein, Noah, ed. Motion: American Sports Poems. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 2001.

One of my colleagues is teaching a course on sports and literature this semester, and was telling me about this anthology, which is one of the course texts. It sounded interesting enough that I decided to buy a copy from the campus bookstore. The book covers a wide range of sports, not just the big five, which is refreshing. It includes a nice range of poets from the canonical (e.g., Sherman Alexie, Elizabeth Bishop, and Donald Hall) to the obscure.

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Filed under Literature, Sports