By: Michael Ganci

#9Innings with Al Dukes: Fans Forced Mets Management into Action

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If you want to be entertained while driving into work, Boomer and Carton is the place for you.

Not only are Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton in rare form during their show, which runs from 6-10 a.m. from Monday-Friday, but their producer Al Dukes is in rare form as well.

We were lucky enough to get Dukes’ thoughts on Mets and the upcoming season on today’s edition of #9innings.

Have you ever seen anything like this pitching staff? Despite the lack of big thumpers, can the Mets sustain last year’s pace?

Love this Mets Pitching staff. They will keep you in virtually every single game, but you still need some bats to score runs. Nothing worse that Harvey or Johan a few years ago going seven innings, giving up 1 run, and getting a no-decision.

With all of their off season moves, do you consider the Mets to be the NL East favorite? Does Daniel Murphy put the Nationals over the top?

I consider the Mets to be the NL East favorites because of their pitching staff. Although I like Murphy, and he was huge in the playoffs for us, he’s not a difference maker during the season. So no, he will not put the Nationals over the top

Eventually the Mets will need to give these pitchers the paydays they deserve. Who’s the most likely to be a lifetime Met? Who’s the most likely to be traded one day?

Of the current Pitchers, I think Noah Syndergaard is the most likely to be a lifetime Met. Going with gut feeling here. Harvey seems a bit Hollywood and would bolt to the Yanks or Dodgers. I can’t get a real feel for deGrom. But Syndergaard showed me some Mets passion when he threw that heater at the Royals heads to open up that World Series game.

David Wright has chronic issues, but the Mets need to find ways to keep him fresh. Does that make Wilmer Flores extra valuable? Do you think David can last a full season?

I don’t think David Wright can last a full season. Guy has chronic back issues. It will only get worse. Makes every single infielder that they have on the bench more valuable.

Defense was a big issue for the Mets in the World Series, and they arguably haven’t improved a ton, other than Neil Walker replacing Daniel Murphy. What do you make of their defense?

Jerry Recco tells me Walker is the man when it comes to fielding. I also think the Mets need to choose positions for these infielders and keep them there. I hate seeing the same guy playing first, second, and third in a season. Pick one position for them and keep them there.

Mike Piazza was finally elected to the Hall of Fame? Do you agree with his inclusion? What took so long?

Personally I think there are too many people in the Hall of Fame. It should be the best of the best. The no doubters. If you don’t get in on the first ballot, you don’t get in. I don’t go for this 4th and 5th year on the ballot nonsense. Griffey Jr, Jeter…those are no doubters. That’s all I want in my Hall of Fame. I want it to be one room, not an entire building.

When I use the term “Met Killer,” who’s the first guy you think of? Why?

I’m old and was a high school senior when the 86 Mets won it all. So for me, Met killer will always be Astros Pitcher Mike Scott. And I guess Chase Utley too. Oh, and Chipper Jones. But if I had to pick one it would be Mike Scott.

What do you think of the Mets re-signing Cespedes? Did the fan base force management into action?

I think the fan base did force management into action…through social media and WFAN…talking to some of these Mets fans, it seems they’ve already forgotten that the team went to the Freaking World Series last year…at this point they should trust what Sandy Alderson is doing…and that is not to pay big money for guys that aren’t worth it…we have dominant young pitching…and we can add pieces during the season like we did last year…which, by the way, got us to the World Series…

Finish this sentence. At the end of 2016, the Mets will be…

At the end of 2016 The Mets will have won the NL East, but lose in the NLCS.

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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