Saturday, April 4, 2015

Milestones Within Reach For Members of the 2015 Mets

The Mets lost their first eight Opening Day games from 1962 to 1969 before getting off to their first 1-0 start in 1970.  Since then, they have lost back-to-back Opening Day games just once in the last four and a half decades, dropping their season openers in 1999 and 2000.  And of course, New York made the playoffs in both of those campaigns.

The 2015 squad is trying to avoid becoming just the second Mets team to drop consecutive Opening Day affairs since those 1960s clubs.  That's a team mark no one on the current club wants, especially with hopes being so high for this year's club.  However, several players on the current squad can reach individual milestones that are mostly positive.  And of course, since these are the Mets we're talking about, there are some milestones that can potentially be reached that players would rather not discuss.

The time for dilly-dallying is done.  By the power of Scott Atchison's stubble, I give you the list of individual Mets milestones within reach (even if some players would rather I keep some of these milestones to myself).

Attainable Individual Milestones (Position Players)

Juan Lagares doesn't need anything but his Gold Glove.  (Getty Images)

David Wright:

  • Needs 93 runs scored for 1,000 in his career.
  • Needs 61 RBI to reach 1,000 as well.
  • Needs 22 home runs to tie Darryl Strawberry for the franchise lead.
  • Needs nine stolen bases for 200 lifetime steals.
  • Needs 12 SB to be ahead of every Met not named Jose Reyes or Mookie Wilson.
  • Needs a return to his non-injured self to validate his continued use in the No. 3 hole.

Daniel Murphy:

  • Needs 173 hits for 1,000.  (Only nine Mets have reached that figure.)
  • Needs 10 doubles for 200.
  • Needs 36 doubles to become the second-most prolific Doubles Machine in team history.
  • Needs to be careful what he says when asked for his opinion on certain "lifestyles".

Lucas Duda:

  • Needs 26 home runs for 100.  (Just 11 Mets have reached triple digits in homers.)
  • Needs 55 RBI for 300.
  • Needs 136 strikeouts to enter the team's all-time top ten in whiffs.  (Boo.)
  • Needs to string together two complete sentences in a post-game interview.

Curtis Granderson:

  • Needs 13 home runs for 250.
  • Needs seven blasts to pass Jason Bay for 65th place on the Mets' all-time home run list.
  • Needs to make sure hitting coach Kevin Long never leaves his side.
  • Needs to smile more.  (He doesn't do it nearly enough.)

Michael Cuddyer:

  • Needs 13 homers for 200.
  • Needs 76 hits to be halfway to 3,000.
  • Needs to let Juan Lagares catch every fly ball hit in the left-center field gap.
  • Needs to check out of the DL Hotel.  (He's been staying there way too often.)

Ruben Tejada:

  • Needs to accept that Wilmer Flores isn't going to give him back his job at shortstop.

Attainable Individual Milestones (Pitchers)

Matt Harvey needs to pitch so he can make money to buy clothes again.  (Martin Schoeller/ESPN)

Bartolo Colon:

  • Needs to pitch 214 innings for 3,000 in his career.
  • Needs 166 strikeouts to enter baseball's all-time top 50.  (He'd pass Roy Halladay, Vida Blue, Jim Palmer and Lefty Grove along the way.)
  • Needs to allow 20 home runs to become the 27th pitcher in history to allow 350.  (On the bright side, 14 of the other 26 pitchers are in the Hall of Fame.)
  • Needs his batting helmet to continue flying off his head for a good belly laugh.

Jonathon Niese:

  • Needs two strikeouts to pass Bobby Jones for 9th place on the Mets' all-time list.
  • Needs 22 starts to enter the top ten in team history, displacing David Cone from 10th place.
  • Needs 14 wins to tie Steve Trachsel for 10th place in Mets history.
  • Needs to stay off the disabled list so the Mets can always have a lefty starter in the rotation.

Matt Harvey:

  • Needs 27 starts to establish a new single-season career high.
  • Needs 239 strikeouts to become the 22nd Mets pitcher to reach 500 career strikeouts.  (Hey, if Oliver Perez could strike out 239 batters in just 196 innings in 2004, why can't Harvey do the same?)
  • Needs to give upper management the middle finger if they try to make him change his ways.

Bobby Parnell:

  • Needs one appearance for 300 in his career.
  • Needs 63 appearances to move into 6th place in club history, behind only John Franco, Pedro Feliciano, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Jesse Orosco.
  • Needs 51 strikeouts to become 7th pitcher in team history to record 300 whiffs as a reliever.
  • Needs to give the team more than the one inning he pitched for them in 2014.

Jenrry Mejia:

  • Needs 29 saves to crack the team's all-time top ten in career saves.
  • Needs to pitch more 1-2-3 innings.  (He allowed at least one base runner in 28 of his last 40 appearances in 2014.  He allowed two or more base runners in half of those 40 outings.)
  • Needs his new haircut to not get in the way of his game-ending stomp after each time the Mets put it in the books.

Attainable Individual Milestones
(People Who Have "Manager" In Their Title)

"You think I'm not going to win more games than I lose this year?  Don't make me laugh!"  (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Terry Collins:

  • Needs 36 wins to pass Gil Hodges to become the third winningest manager in team history, behind only Davey Johnson and Bobby Valentine.  Seriously.
  • Needs 76 losses to tie Joe Torre for second-most defeats for a Mets manager.  (Collins would pass Casey Stengel and Davey Johnson along the way.)
  • Needs 39 games to pass Joe Torre for third place in games managed by a Mets skipper.
  • Needs to wear his pants a little lower.  He looks like a modern day Steve Urkel.

Sandy Alderson:

  • Needs a winning record to tie Frank Cashen by getting his team above .500 in his fifth season as the team's general manager.
  • Needs to borrow a couple million bucks to bring in a top offensive player.
  • Needs to stop posing with Mets teddy bears and start posing as a successful general manager.
  • Needs to prepare for meaningful games in September for the first time as the Mets' GM.

This bear will be very happy if the Mets play meaningful games in September.  (Ed Leyro/Studious Metsimus)

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