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Spring Ball nearly upon us... Mets season warm-up


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#1 Allstarjim

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:43 PM

So many have the Mets losing a lot of games this year. Citing the loss of Jose Reyes, the thought of the Mets losing their best player must mean the Mets will finish in the basement of the NL East this year, coming off a season where they finished 4th in the division, and 8 games under .500, WITH Reyes.

However, it should also be noted that last year the Mets were without Johan Santana, and Ike Davis for most of the season. The Mets 2012 season is not over before it begins. I know that every season I have optimism for this team, and in recent years, that optimism has turned to bitter disappointment. But it can't be discounted that a big part of the reason why the Mets have finished so poorly is because of the lack of health.

So this season, the health of the core of this team is paramount. The Mets absolutely need a healthy, productive year from Santana and Davis. Ike Davis has all the ability to be a big time slugger. He can hit for average and power, something the Mets missed badly in the heart of their order last year. And there was no anchor of the pitching staff that could be a stopper in that rotation, either. So there is still reason for optimism, if this team can get 28 or more starts out of Santana, and at least 500 at bats from Davis.

Here's 5 more reasons to be excited about the 2012 Mets:

1. The Bullpen - You see it every year, the teams that get into the playoffs and have success have the arms that can get their team through the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings with success. The Mets appear to be strong in this area, and Sandy Alderson deserves a lot of credit for rebuilding this 'pen, that was not a strong suit of the team in recent years. Ramon Ramirez is a dominant arm that will probably be a terrific set up man for the Mets' new closer, Frank Francisco, another quality acquisition. Jon Rausch struggled with the long ball in 2011 but has a history of success and is a quality veteran right hander. They still have the promise and scintillating fastball of Bobby Parnell, along with the reliable lefty Tim Byrdak. And Pedro Beato has great stuff as well. Every guy in that pen is going to be a tough nut to crack for opposing hitters.

2. Year 2 of Dillon Gee - Basically a rookie last year, gave the Mets 27 starts, and won 13 games, while throwing 160 innings in a season in which he wasn't in the rotation on opening day. Gee isn't going to win the Cy Young, but he stabilizes the back end of that starting rotation with a guy that can give the Mets a chance to win every time he takes the mound.

3. Lucas Duda - Wasn't very heralded coming up to the big club, but proved to be a productive bat in the show anyway. Has good power, and hit 10 homers with 50 RBI's while producing a .292 average in only 300 AB's last year. As the full time starter going into 2012, he has a chance to produce a 20+ homer season and close to 100 RBI's if he stays on the field and keeps that average up. He has an excellent chance to exceed what Carlos Beltran was doing for the Mets offensively last year.

4. There's quality help in the Minors (finally) - There are big time quality arms waiting for their shot, that could force their way into the Mets' pitching mix in 2012. Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, and Zach Wheeler are studs that getting very close to cracking the big club. Jenrry Mejia is coming off Tommy John, but is expected to make an impact sometime around late July or early August. And there are hitters, too... Kirk Nieuwenhuis could be the team's starting center fielder if Andres Torres flops, and Jordany Valdespin is a middle infielder with an electric bat that is knocking on the door. Even second baseman Reese Havens could push his way up to the big club late in the year with a productive, injury-free season in the minors.

5. Citi moves in its fences - Before the Mets moved into Citi Field, Shea Stadium was a tough but fair venue for hitters. When Citi opened its doors, the hope was that it would play just as fair, and just as tough. Instead, it was a place where even if you hit it on the button, you might just have a long fly-out. I think Citi damaged the psyche of some of the Mets' power hitters, most notably David Wright. In Shea's last year as the Mets' home in 2008, Wright had an MVP like season. He hit .302, with 33 homers and 124 RBI's. He had 42 doubles, 94 walks, and a .924 OPS, his 4th season in a row with an OPS over .900. In his first year at Citi, his OPS fell to .837, followed by .857 in 2010. While he still had a high average, his power output fell precipitously, to 10 homeruns Citi's first year, and his strikeouts increased from 118 in 2008 to 140 in 2009, despite about 90 fewer AB's. In 2010, Wright's strike outs ballooned to 161. I think Wright tried to over compensate at the plate due to Citi's dimensions, even on the road. Ditto for Jason Bay, who enjoyed 30 homer plus seasons in Boston, only to hit 18 combined in his last 2 seasons with the Mets. The new dimensions of Citi will hopefully give Bay and Wright renewed confidence at the plate, and a spike in their power output. As a hitter, confidence is everything, and hopefully this season, they won't feel like the defense has an extra defender in their home field robbing them of some long balls.

5 Reasons to prepare for more of the DisappointMets:

1. The rotation is just not that good - While it's not dismal, the middle of the rotation just doesn't impress. Here's 2-4: Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, and Jon Niese. While Niese still has some promise, we've probably seen the best out of Pelfrey and Dickey. Pelfrey was burdened with the role of ace last season, and he flopped. On a good major league staff, he's probably a number 4 or 5 starter. He will give you innings. But he has one good pitch, and that simply doesn't get it done. Dickey will give you some quality starts, but if the knuckler isn't good that night, the bullpen will be asked to throw a lot of innings. Jon Niese has good stuff but still has a lot to prove. Not to mention nobody knows, really, if Johan will be the old Johan, and if he is, how long will he last? Will that surgically repaired left arm hold up over the course of the season? This rotation is certainly not what the Phillies can boast, with 3 aces in Hallady, Lee, and Hamels, and it falls well short of what Atlanta has as well. The best the Mets can hope for is that Niese and Gee takes big leaps forward, Santana has a Cy Young winning type of year, and the combination of Pelfrey and Dickey can be good enough to win the Mets 26 or more games. And if anything goes wrong, the Mets will be counting on those young, heralded pitchers to bail them out.

2. Andres Torres - The Mets swapped Pagan for Torres, and while there were a couple holes in Pagan's game, he's a player that did pretty good, and was a consistent bat in the Mets' lineup. He stole 32 bases and was a steady performer. Now, the Mets have Torres, a guy that is expected to be the new leadoff man, who hit .221 with a .318 OBP last season. Those aren't ideal leadoff hitter numbers. He can run and is a good glove in Center, but this could end up being a disaster. If it is, I hope the Nieuwenhuis gets his shot swiftly, before the Mets are too far out of contention for it to matter.

3. Ruben Tejada - Nobody was going to replace what Reyes brings to the table. But Tejada will need to build off last year offensively. He outperformed expectations with a .284 average and a .360 OBP. He'll likely hit in the 8 hole, but he needs to be a productive player and replace Reyes' glove at short. I'm not sold on Tejada as an every day major leaguer. But that is what he'll be asked to do.

4. Injuries - Jason Bay, Ike Davis, David Wright, Johan Santana... players who missed all or significant portions of 2012. Terry Collins simply didn't enjoy the team he thought he was going to have when the season started last year, because the Mets could never dig themselves out of the injury hole. The production of Ike Davis just can't be replaced, he is one of the players that will have to prove that he can be a durable, every day player. As the Mets' health goes in 2012, so goes their season... and based on recent history, there is plenty of reason to think that the injury bug could hit guys like Santana, Davis, and Bay once again.

5. The Wilpons - Lying morons still own this team. These are the owners that said that baseball operations would not be affected by the Madoff scandal. These guys have to be the dumbest rich guys ever. And the Mets are taking on major financial losses, and these guys don't want to sell a majority stake in the team. The Mets won't have the money to take on payroll mid-season. This team is financially strapped due to the ineptitude of Fred and Jeff. You guys suck, please sell the team without further delay.

I'll leave you guys with the Mets' opening day projected lineup and starting rotation.

1. Andres Torres, CF
2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Ike Davis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Lucas Duda, RF
7. Josh Thole, C
8. Ruben Tejada, SS

1. Johan Santana, LHP
2. Mike Pelfrey, RHP
3. R.A. Dickey, RHP
4. Jon Niese, LHP
5. Dillon Gee, RHP

Closer: Frank Francisco

#2 DefilerEmeritus

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:22 PM

I think number five in the DisappointMets section is what counts most Bro. Too bad they are tight with the lousy commissioner...Selig...otherwise another commissioner would have attempted to force them to sell with a gang of four/five top owners to help back him up. Use the good of baseball argument. Those thieving bastards literally suck...I wish it was Doubleday who had bought them out not the other way around. :TD:

#3 NYKAllDay1

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:33 PM

Random but I read somewhere that the Mets are paying Bobby Bonilla $1.20 million per year for the next 25 years, is that true?

#4 NYKAllDay1

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:34 PM

While I'm at it, if Bay, Wright, Davis, Johan, all have good years and if Tejada matures then you guys can win 81-83 games.

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:23 PM

Yeah too many ifs in there for me Bro...if we win 60-75 games that will be an accomplishment.

#6 GuyMeatdrapes

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:34 PM

I think T is being realistic. Fact is that Ike Davis is a nice player, but he is no MVP candidate nor will he ever be. And Santana hasnt pitched in a very long time. I wouldnt count on much from him this year.

One could say that the teams in their division are significantly better..all of them.

The Mets could lose 100 games..at the very best, theyre an 80 win club.

The Mets are probably only better than the astros and orioles.

#7 fringe

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:52 PM

Torres was a spitfire in '10 but fell apart in '11. He has pretty severe ADD and it's been an issue for him throughout his career.
He will definitely lead the ball club in "Hello, how are you's" as he's the friendliest guy in the league.

#8 DefilerEmeritus

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:54 AM

I think T is being realistic. Fact is that Ike Davis is a nice player, but he is no MVP candidate nor will he ever be. And Santana hasnt pitched in a very long time. I wouldnt count on much from him this year.

One could say that the teams in their division are significantly better..all of them.

The Mets could lose 100 games..at the very best, theyre an 80 win club.

The Mets are probably only better than the astros and orioles.


Exactly man...the Mets of this era remind me of the Football Giants of the 70's...the season was a loss even before it starts. Really the Wilpons are the fucking plague of NY Baseball right now. Just sell the controlling stake in the team assholes so someone with some money can make NY a multiple baseball team town again.

#9 Allstarjim

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:17 PM

Ike Davis has the ability to hit .300, 30+ homer, 100+ RBI seasons, while playing gold glove level defense at first base. That is who Ike Davis is. And he's 24 years old. To say he's not capable of being one of the top sluggers in the NL I think is premature at this point. For what he's shown already, the only knock on him is he hasn't been able to shake the injury bug.

I don't think that the Mets are as bad as some are saying. One of the big reasons why I think they will beat expectations this year is because the young talent they have that is close to major league ready. They have young pitching, and they have a couple of good young hitters... and Jordany Valdespin may not be ready quite yet, but he could make people forget about Jose Reyes. He's a talent, and depending on how the spring goes and the first half of the season, he could be starting there in August.

The Marlins... they are a combustible team that is going to blow up. They had a bad locker room last year, and the hired the most short-tempered, hot-head manager in the game, that already has to manage the Hanley-Reyes situation... Hanley is NOT ok about moving over to third, good luck. And to top it off they bring in basket case Carlos Zambrano. That locker room is going to implode. They did improve their pitching with the Buehrle acquisition and Heath Bell, but I am skeptical about them, particularly if Reyes gets hurt again. And speaking of Reyes, watch those numbers come down to earth now that he's been paid. I'd bet my ass that he's going to get wrapped up in the South Beach club scene, and starts to live the high roller life more interested with getting into as many of those Brazilian thongs as he can rather than worried about the 1:00pm game he has the next day. Reyes had a career year last year in a contract year, imagine that. His OPS is going to fall back to his career norms, like 100 points, and he'll be good, but he won't have the year that he had last year.

And as bad as the Mets may be, they will still be better than the Nationals.

To be honest, I do think that on paper, the Mets have the weakest projected starting pitching in the division, but I think when we see the quality of the arms coming up, like Mejia, Wheeler, and Harvey, that is going to improve as the season goes along.

And I think the lineup is going to be better that advertised. Lucas Duda is a break out player candidate, I'm telling you. And I don't think Torres' starting spot is set in stone. Nieuwenhuis is going to push him, and Torres might be the 5th outfielder or designated pinch runner before the all star break.

#10 Allstarjim

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:19 PM

The Marlins will be the Jets of baseball this year.

And I will go on record the Mets will lose less than 90 games. I will take bets on that prediction.

#11 GuyMeatdrapes

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:23 PM

love your optimism, Jim..however, youre crazy.

#12 GolfingGuy

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:09 PM

I'm seriously considering going to a bookie and going under on the Mets wins this year. It's set at 70.5 which I though was insane.

We are going to win 62 games, MAX.

#13 NYKAllDay1

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:25 PM

Mets will win 72 games

#14 Allstarjim

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:56 PM

The o/u is 70.5 games! Count me in on the over, I like that bet a lot.

#15 RunIt

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:59 PM

I think number five in the DisappointMets section is what counts most Bro. Too bad they are tight with the lousy commissioner...Selig...otherwise another commissioner would have attempted to force them to sell with a gang of four/five top owners to help back him up. Use the good of baseball argument. Those thieving bastards literally suck...I wish it was Doubleday who had bought them out not the other way around. :TD:


Looking at the way Selig has treated Frank McCourt, it's glaringly obvious the Wilpons are getting preferential treatment. It's an absolute joke. I root for a team in a New York market in a league with no salary cap. I just had to watch arguably the greatest homegrown prospect the franchise has ever seen leave because they COULD NOT AFFORD HIM. I'm not advocating that the Wilpons had to overpay because Reyes has legitimate injury issues but the fact that they couldn't even field a competitive offer and his departure was a foregone conclusion is unacceptable. I think things are going to get much worse too. Citi wasn't selling well last year when Reyes was having an MVP first half and giving Met fans something to watch. What happens in early June when they're already in the cellar? They aren't going to sell tickets. I really hope Wright comes through with a big first half and they move him at the deadline. I love the guy and he's been a good soldier through all of this but the team looks like it's on a five year plan right now. Give David the opportunity to win somewhere and hope the Mets can get a decent package in return. Just incredible where this team is right now when you look back at '06. Even with that heartbreaker in the NLCS, I looked at a team on the rise with two of the best young players in all of baseball. I guess they aren't called the "Amazin's" for nothing.

#16 DefilerEmeritus

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:15 PM

Looking at the way Selig has treated Frank McCourt, it's glaringly obvious the Wilpons are getting preferential treatment. It's an absolute joke. I root for a team in a New York market in a league with no salary cap. I just had to watch arguably the greatest homegrown prospect the franchise has ever seen leave because they COULD NOT AFFORD HIM. I'm not advocating that the Wilpons had to overpay because Reyes has legitimate injury issues but the fact that they couldn't even field a competitive offer and his departure was a foregone conclusion is unacceptable. I think things are going to get much worse too. Citi wasn't selling well last year when Reyes was having an MVP first half and giving Met fans something to watch. What happens in early June when they're already in the cellar? They aren't going to sell tickets. I really hope Wright comes through with a big first half and they move him at the deadline. I love the guy and he's been a good soldier through all of this but the team looks like it's on a five year plan right now. Give David the opportunity to win somewhere and hope the Mets can get a decent package in return. Just incredible where this team is right now when you look back at '06. Even with that heartbreaker in the NLCS, I looked at a team on the rise with two of the best young players in all of baseball. I guess they aren't called the "Amazin's" for nothing.


You're right...its a Godforsaken disgrace...like you said in a league where you can write checks for as high as can be afforded. It made me puke that the main reason why Reyes walked was for the big bucks we could not even begin to offer him. And the Wilpon's are such selfish pricks...with the support of Selig to boot. Back when they were trying to sell a minority stake...I kept wishing that someone would step in and say...hey you motherfucker's are too broke to run a major league team in the number one market in North America. Right here right now we are going to put enormous pressure on you to become the minority owners and sell the majority to someone untouched by your financial scandals...who can spend money like a Russian billionaire. Wait a minute...maybe that Ruskie who owns the Nets could buy the Mets? One can wish. Lastly, even before the scandal broke news has leaked out from the pre-trial maneuvers that the Mets often paid salaries from their "cookie jar"...the "profits" from their portion of the Madoff Ponzi scheme. I sure hope the Trustee for the victims...Picard... is able to "claw back" hundreds of millions from the Wilpon's. What makes me sick is to see that old fuck Cuomo the Elder trying to broker an agreement. FUCK the Wilpons...let them sink.

#17 Allstarjim

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:49 AM

I love it. Duda looks to be every bit as good as I thought he'd be, and the rotation 1-3 so far, was outstanding against the Braves (Johan, Dickey, and Niese). Davis and Bay are slumping a bit, but other than that, the hitters are really hitting.

And how about Torres going down in the first game of the season, and Nieuwenhuis gets his shot! First start, goes 2-4, then in his 2nd start tonight, hits a game-tying, 2-run homerun on a hanging breaking ball with 2 strikes. If Niewenhuis continues to hit, then Torres is going to lose his starting job, and will likely be relegated to late-inning defensive replacement. I'd assume in that scenario Mike Baxter is optioned (if he has any left), traded, or waived.

Things are looking up... let's keep this train going.

#18 Allstarjim

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:27 AM

And as bad as the Mets may be, they will still be better than the Nationals.


Bad prediction.

And I don't think Torres' starting spot is set in stone. Nieuwenhuis is going to push him, and Torres might be the 5th outfielder or designated pinch runner before the all star break.


Good prediction. Nieuwenhuis is turning into one of my favorite players. Catch of the year so far tonight. I don't know what else this guy has to do to prove he belongs as the every day CF'er. The guy is awesome. Jim Edmonds-esque tonight.

#19 fringe

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 10:54 PM

Feisty team- Giants made too many mistakes today. And you can say that Bochy got out-maneuvered by pulling back his last guy who could play 2nd base. Well it should've been over in the 9th on the routine popup 2 run double.

#20 Allstarjim

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:26 AM

Feisty team- Giants made too many mistakes today. And you can say that Bochy got out-maneuvered by pulling back his last guy who could play 2nd base. Well it should've been over in the 9th on the routine popup 2 run double.


Yeah it seems both games in this series have been pretty gritty. I'm sure you caught the Friday game, I was ticked when that wild pitch hit the umpire's leg stopping it from getting away from the catcher, which would've allowed the winning run to score late. But game of inches. I think what I enjoy about this team is that the only expectations are bad expectations, and so far, they are showing they are not as bad as what everyone said they would be. There are trouble spots, and I don't think I'm looking at a playoff team, but they certainly aren't playing their best ball yet, either, and hanging around. A couple of guys need to stop trying to pull everything over the right field wall (Duda, Davis) and take the double in the left-center gap. But this is a much more enjoyable team to watch then any team in recent Mets' history. And Nieuwenhuis, I can't say enough about him, even though he had an 0-fer today. It seems every night he's doing something special.

Good for you guys that Posey is back. He's one of those FSU guys, love those 'Noles. What a great hitter. And I was impressed with Vogelsong. Even Zito pitching well, kind of strange. If Lincecum gets back on track and Zito keeps this up, you guys will run away with that division. That Cabrera kid can play one hell of a shortstop.

#21 fringe

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:11 AM

Yeah it seems both games in this series have been pretty gritty. I'm sure you caught the Friday game, I was ticked when that wild pitch hit the umpire's leg stopping it from getting away from the catcher, which would've allowed the winning run to score late. But game of inches. I think what I enjoy about this team is that the only expectations are bad expectations, and so far, they are showing they are not as bad as what everyone said they would be. There are trouble spots, and I don't think I'm looking at a playoff team, but they certainly aren't playing their best ball yet, either, and hanging around. A couple of guys need to stop trying to pull everything over the right field wall (Duda, Davis) and take the double in the left-center gap. But this is a much more enjoyable team to watch then any team in recent Mets' history. And Nieuwenhuis, I can't say enough about him, even though he had an 0-fer today. It seems every night he's doing something special.

Good for you guys that Posey is back. He's one of those FSU guys, love those 'Noles. What a great hitter. And I was impressed with Vogelsong. Even Zito pitching well, kind of strange. If Lincecum gets back on track and Zito keeps this up, you guys will run away with that division. That Cabrera kid can play one hell of a shortstop.

cabrera is in center. I think you mean brandon crawford.

#22 Allstarjim

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:47 PM

Yup, that's what I meant, thanks for the correction. That guy Crawford plays a slick short.

#23 RunIt

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:29 PM

It's early in the year BUT....I like what I'm seeing. Tejada is showing a nice approach at the plate, Wright is on a tear, and they finally gave Nieuwenhuis a chance before he turned into a prune. The starting pitching minus Santana and Dickeys last start has been very good. I'm not worried about those two though they're gamers. Even Pelfrey I have to give him credit he pitched a great game yesterday. This team doesn't have all the pieces necessary to contend but they're younger and there's an attitude to them. Even though they lost Friday, I liked how they hung in and didn't pack it up. Unlike what we have seen in recent years, there will be plenty of interesting things to watch with this team late in the season in terms of player development and seeing what they have for the future.

#24 Allstarjim

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:58 PM

Cap'n Kirk does it again! :WS:

#25 DefilerEmeritus

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:55 PM

It's early in the year BUT....I like what I'm seeing. Tejada is showing a nice approach at the plate, Wright is on a tear, and they finally gave Nieuwenhuis a chance before he turned into a prune. The starting pitching minus Santana and Dickeys last start has been very good. I'm not worried about those two though they're gamers. Even Pelfrey I have to give him credit he pitched a great game yesterday. This team doesn't have all the pieces necessary to contend but they're younger and there's an attitude to them. Even though they lost Friday, I liked how they hung in and didn't pack it up. Unlike what we have seen in recent years, there will be plenty of interesting things to watch with this team late in the season in terms of player development and seeing what they have for the future.


This...they have been competitive...when they could have just rolled this year.




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