FIRST PITCH: That’s all folks!
The Mets completed their season with a 79-83 record, tied with the Atlanta Braves for second place in the NL East.
Heck, the Mets won the season series from Atlanta, 10-9, if you want to crow about actually topping the Braves.
Now, the work belongs to Sandy Alderson and the front office, trying to upgrade the offense.
Alderson suggested the Mets were not that far off, though. According to the GM, the Amazin’s merely need to move from a middle-of-the-pack offense to top five in order to pick up 10-12 wins.
The Mets finished exactly in the middle in the NL in runs scored -- eighth -- and averaged 3.9 runs a game. They tied for 13th in batting average (.238), ranked ninth in on-base percentage (.308) and tied for ninth in home runs (125).
“I think it seems that a lot of individual guys, and us as a team, have finished on such a strong note that we have some momentum going into the offseason,” captain David Wright said. “Hopefully that carries over into spring training. Lucas Duda hitting his 30th home run, the way Wilmer Flores has swung the bat as of late, our pitching staff, a lot of good things happened. Although we didn’t accomplish what we set out to accomplish, there’s a lot of solid and some great individual performances by some of the guys in this clubhouse.
“We’re close. We’re close. And that’s a good feeling going into an offseason.”
The Mets will announce “limited” coaching changes in the next couple of days, with the turnover expected to center on the hitting-coach positions and no room for Wally Backman on the major league staff.
Jonathon Niese is due to be examined on Monday after a recurrence of a rapid heartbeat this weekend.
Monday’s news reports:
Retiring Bobby Abreu singled in the fifth inning and received a resounding sendoff as he was pulled from the game. Abreu plans to play a couple of games in winter ball with Caracas to have a farewell in his native Venezuela, too. He aspires to serve as a hitting coach, although he’s not sure he will begin that phase of his career in 2015.
• Alderson confirmed the dimensions in center and right-center at Citi Field are “likely” to be trimmed to assist Curtis Granderson and Wright. Read more from Alderson, including his thoughts on what the team needs to upgrade, in the Post and Star-Ledger.
• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post offers a suggestion for how the Mets can stop “being such a laughingstock.” Writes Davidoff:
If the Mets can just climb into the $100-$110 million range, then they can trade their assets only for baseball reasons and not for financial ones. They can build on this year’s step forward with confidence. There’s little indication from Alderson this will actually happen.
• Mike Puma in the Post reported the Mets asked Daniel Murphy about playing some left field next season, but Murphy balked and the club won’t “press the issue.” Frankly, Murphy may not even be a Met in 2015.
• Puma in the Post asks five questions for 2015.
• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger lists four ways the Mets’ offense can improve.
• Long Islander Nick Tropeano allowed four runs in five innings at Citi Field on Sunday before a large contingent of family and friends. "Warming up, you could hear them screaming, 'Trope!' and that kind of stuff," Tropeano said postgame, according to Colin Stephenson in Newsday. "You know, good, bad, win, lose, it's kind of a celebration for me just being here, and making it up here, playing the New York Mets -- it's surreal. It's good."
BIRTHDAYS: Heath Bell turns 37. ... Minor-league outfielder Enmanuel Zabala is 20.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
@BobKellyAbreu Orgullo de Venezuela y Orgullo de los @Leones_del_Ccs pic.twitter.com/qAW9diWzG5
— Leones del Caracas (@Leones_del_Ccs) September 29, 2014
YOU’RE UP: What should Sandy Alderson do to improve the offense?
Note: This is the final “Morning Briefing” for 2014. Thanks for reading!