Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that during an appearance at the Rangers’ Fan Fest today, team president Nolan Ryan predicted that the club will win between 90 to 95 games this season.
“I think we’re a better ballclub now than we were this time last year,” Ryan told ESPNDallas.com after talking with fans in a Q&A session. “We have more experience and a better overall club with the additions we’ve made this offseason and the young pitchers we have coming back.”
Don’t scoff at Ryan’s optimism. He predicted 92 wins for the Rangers last March and was on record saying that he expected an AL West championship. While they fell two wins short of his prediction, the club did win their first division title since 1999 and made the World Series for the first time in franchise history.
Besides, we can always count on Ryan for endless entertainment, win or lose.
Marc Carig of Newsday took Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon to the woodshed over the weekend. He, quite justifiably, lambasted them for their inexplicable frugality, their seeming indifference to wanting to put a winning team on the field and, above all else, their unwillingness to level with the fans or the press about the team’s plans or priorities.
Mets ownership is unaccountable, Carig argues, asking everything of fans and giving nothing in the way of a plan or even hope in return:
Mets fans ought to know where their money is going, because it’s clear that much of it isn’t ending up on the field . . . They never talk about money. Whether it’s arrogance or simply negligence, they have no problem asking fans to pony up the cash and never show the willingness to reciprocate.
And they’re not just failing to be forthcoming with the fans. Even the front office is in the dark about the direction of the team at any given time:
According to sources, the front office has only a fuzzy idea of what they actually have to spend in any given offseason. They’re often flying blind, forced to navigate the winter under the weight of an invisible salary cap. This is not the behavior of a franchise that wants to win.
Carig is not a hot take artist and is not usually one to rip a team or its ownership like this. As such, it should not be read as a columnist just looking to bash the Wilpons on a slow news day. To the contrary, this reads like something well-considered and a long time in the works. It has the added benefit of being 100% true and justified. The Mets have been run like a third rate operation for years. Even when the product on the field is good, fans have no confidence that ownership will do what it takes to maintain that success.
All that seems to matter to the Wilpons is the bottom line and everything flows from there. They may as well be making sewing machines or selling furniture.