Mets makeover begins

Only the beginning

Good morning, all! It’s Friiiiiddddaayyyyyy!!!!!

New York Mets fans have been hoping for this day, ever since baseball’s richest owner, Steve Cohen, purchased the ballclub late last year. While trades and free agent moves (albeit few) by other clubs were taking place, Cohen was on the sideline tweeting about the club’s thin farm system. That led some Mets’ fans to lament when Cohen was going to open his wallet. Well, that day has arrived.

Highly touted Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco have been traded to the Mets for shortstops Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario and prospects Josh Wolf (P) and Isaiah Greene (OF). Look for Cohen to try to secure a long term contract with Lindor, who is entering his free agent season. Carrasco was the comeback player of the year, after missing the 2019 season while fighting leukemia.

This is just the beginning of the Mets makeover. With Cohen’s deep pockets, look for the Amazins’ to make more moves. That said, although they will be much improved in 2021, they still will have a way to go to top the defending champion Dodgers, ever-improving San Diego Padres and the defending division champion Atlanta Braves. But the Mets are already a better club than they were yesterday, thanks to the new regime and Cohen’s bank account.

Minor League season could be delayed

The minor league baseball season could be delayed in 2021. Canceled in 2020 because of Covid-19, the 2021 season at the AA and A level could be placed on hold, according to numerous reports. As it is, minor league baseball is undergoing a dramatic change, now that it is under the full control of MLB. In the announcement on Wednesday, MLB even hinted the season - at least in some parts - could be impacted even more, if areas where some professional teams reside, maintain stringent Covid-19 restrictions. Read that to mean refusal to permit crowds or severely limit ballpark capacity. Even more than major league ball clubs - which receive big revenue from TV, radio and digital contracts - minor league clubs need fannies in the seats to generate most of their revenue.

In the final analysis, it is all going to come down to how quickly players get vaccinated, before the seasons can proceed. MLB is very aware of the optics of players receiving the vaccine before the population’s more vulnerable demographics. Toss in any new national restrictions that may be imposed by the new administration and at the least, the scenario is very fluid.

Sympathies to Vin Scully and family

Thoughts and prayers go out to legendary broadcaster Vin Scully, whose wife of 47 years, Sandra, died this week after a long battle with ALS. Scully, 93, retired after 62 years as “Voice of the Dodgers,” in 2016. He was also on the national stage for NBC and CBS, calling baseball, football and golf.

Scully became so popular in LA, after the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn, fans would bring transistor radios (Remember them?) to listen to him broadcast the games they were watching in person. Here is a link to a feature story Sports Illustrated wrote about Scully in May of 1964.

Dan’s Friday links…

That is it for this week. Be safe, enjoy your weekend and, as always, thank you for your support.

SPORTSCASTER DAN