Saturday, December 14, 2013

Joey's Letter To Sandy Claus (2013)

Dear Sandy Claus,

You're probably quite busy trying to figure out who's been naughty and who's been nice this past year (I've been the latter in case you hadn't gotten up to me yet), but I still hope you have time to read this letter.  I know you've been jetting back and forth recently after attending the Winter Meetings with all your elves, so maybe you can squeeze my letter in while you're in the air.

Anyway, in my letter to you last year, I didn't ask for much - just a new bullpen, a set outfield, a return engagement by Scott Hairston, a healthy Johan Santana, a dependable fifth starter, and patience with the kids in the minor leagues.

You were able to provide me with the new bullpen.  The new pitchers were definitely an improvement over what we had in 2012, but then again, Charlie Brown would also have been an improvement.  We didn't really have a set outfield at the beginning of the season, but by late June, the outfield of Eric Young, Jr., Juan Lagares and Marlon Byrd were far more productive than anyone could have expected, so you did a good job there.  You also didn't call up Zack Wheeler until mid-June, so your patience with him was appreciated.  Another fine job on that one.

But you weren't perfect. 

Scott Hairston didn't come back.  I know he had a subpar season and bounced around from team to team, but we were best buds.  You could have just used him as a power bat facing lefties off the bench.  Or you could have just signed him so he could play catch with me.  I miss him.

Johan Santana made as many starts for the Mets as I did in 2013.  Because of his inability to stay healthy, we had to endure Aaron Laffey at the start of the season.  I didn't find anything amusing about that.

And about that fifth starter, I have two words for you.  Shaun Marcum.  You should have left him with the Ghost of Christmas Past.

But this letter isn't about complaining.  After all, I don't want to be moved to the naughty list.  This letter is about what I want for Christmas this year.  So why don't I get to that letter before the milk I left for you near the tree gets warm.  There were cookies there as well, but I may have already had one or all of them.  Here goes!

Don't go chasing waterfalls.  Please stick to the smart free-agent signings you're used to.

I would like the Daniel Murphy trade rumors to stop.  He had a wonderful year in 2013, but not so great that he would bring back an elite prospect in a trade.  Murphy had one of the best offensive seasons by a Mets second baseman not named Edgardo Alfonzo this past year, and he became an adequate defensive player as well.  With continued faith in him, there's no reason to think he can't become one of the better players at the position in the league.  I'm with 28 and you should be with him, too.

I'm very happy with the new players that arrived before the holidays.  Chris Young and Curtis Granderson will provide good defense, outstanding power and some much-needed speed on the bases.  But the one player I'd like to discuss is Bartolo Colon.  Please put up a wall in the bullpen area so that when he's warming up before a start, he doesn't smell the food from Shake Shack, Blue Smoke and El Verano Taquería.  I'd like to be able to get food from these places without worrying that they'll all be sold out of food before the first inning.

Staying on the topic of Bartolo the Hutt, I think he should serve as Santa Claus at this year's holiday party.  It would save the team money by not having to add some extra cushioning to his costume since Colon already has plenty of his own.  That savings could turn into another arm in the bullpen or could contribute to the Bring a Quality Shortstop to Citi Field fund.

I would like to donate a dollar to that aforementioned fund, which I have enclosed in my envelope.  Please do not give that to Papa Smirk or Little Jeffy Wilpon.  I know they've been among the needy for the past five years since the Bernie made off with their money.  But Mets fans have been needy, too.  We need a shortstop.  And we need one now.  That dollar could be the one that brings Stephen Drew to Flushing.  Or at the very least, it could be used to buy Ruben Tejada an alarm clock so he can get to Spring Training on time in 2014.

Finally, I'd like Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero to be the real deal, just like Matt Harvey was in 2013 and Zack Wheeler appears to be.  The Mets haven't had a dominant young pitching staff since the mid-to-late '80s when Doc Gooden, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez and others were taking the ball every fifth day.  Those pitchers contributed to two division titles and a World Series championship.  For now, I'd be satisfied if the new blood contributes to a winning season.  We haven't had one of those since the team moved to Citi Field five seasons ago.  We can work on division titles and championships soon enough.  Just give me a winning season in 2014.  And give it to me with the hope of seeing many more in 2015 and beyond.

If I knew I was going to be writing this letter in a snowstorm, I would have taken it to the North Pole myself.

Well, Sandy Claus.  That's all for this year's list.  Did you get all that?  And please do not get it mixed up with Brian Cashman's letter or Ruben Amaro's missive.  I'd like what I asked for this year, not what they asked for, which is probably a couple of overpaid, 30-something, way-too-many-years-on-their-contract players.  (They're so predictable when it comes to their letters.)

Just as a reminder in case there is a mix-up with their letters, I'd like Daniel Murphy to stay and play.  I'd like Bartolo Colon to pitch well and lose his sense of smell.  I also want Bartolo to go ho-ho-ho.  I'd appreciate it if my hundred cents are well spent.  And I want our young hurlers to take this team further.

Thanks so much for reading my letter, Sandy Claus!  I was good all year, so I hope I get what I want under my tree.  Say hi to your little helpers for me.

Love and best wishes for the 2014 season,
Joey Beartran

P.S. Just in case you come across the guy holding me in the photo below, give him whatever he wants for Christmas, too.  He's a good person and deserves to get everything on his wish list as well, regardless of how much it costs.  Thanks!

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