One of the worst things the Mets ever did — and believe me, there’s a long list to choose from — was to go wacky with their uniforms in the past few years. Those blue things from the 80s were bad enough, but the black caps and alternate jerseys they introduced a few years ago are more or less an abomination. Less offensive are the solid home whites, but they’re still sub-optimal. Their original uniforms — a mix of Yankee pinstripe, Dodger blue and Giants orange in honor of their New York Baseball forerunners — was always elegant and never in need of an upgrade.
Thankfully the Mets are bringing back the Seaver-era classics next season, at least as an alternate, retro thing. Here’s hoping that they go 10-0 or whatever in the new duds and make the change permanent.
If you look like a winner you’ll play like a winner, right? I mean, the Astros and Rockies have never won a World Series, have they?
Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.
Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.
What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.