By: Michael Ganci

Nine Innings with Tim Brown

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Tim Brown is a National baseball writer for Yahoo Sports and the Co-author, with Jim Abbott, of the New York Times best seller “Imperfect: An Improbable Life”.

Today, he plays the roll of Mets critic as he looks at the Amazins’ and their season ahead and gives us his take on today’s edition of #9innings.

For previous editions of #9innings, click here.

Here are his thoughts:

What do you make of this Mets’ team as currently constituted? Are they ready to contend?

The Mets are offensively light, but not fatally so. They could be pitching heavy, but that’s asking plenty from too many with short big-league resumes. The Mets are average. On the bright side, the notion of what constitutes a “contender” has changed, so that today includes the Mets.

If they’re missing something, what is that piece? Who would be the guy you’d go out and get and why?

If you were to ask Sandy Alderson to identify the player who immediately drags the Mets from mediocrity, he’d likely go with David Wright of 2007-08. Maybe that Curtis Granderson guy from 2011-12.

How do the Mets compete with the Nationals with that superstar rotation? Is the NL East title a distant pipe dream?

The good news for the Mets is the Nationals have underachieved over the past few seasons, and could again. The bad news is the Nats generally don’t underachieve until October, when it’s too late for the Mets. The Nationals are not giving up 17 games to the Mets in the East, not when they’re better at what the Mets are best at.

David Wright had a career-worst year in 2014. Do you think we should expect a marginalized player moving forward or do you have hope in a resurgence?

He’s 32. He’s reasonably healthy. He’s presumably unhappy with his production from last season. Wright rebounds in 2015, because he’s a good player who works hard and cares about winning.

Who’s the guy who needs to step up to put the Mets offense over the top?

Wright. There’s little chance of anything good happening without his bat.

What are your thoughts on the Yankees? Do you hate them? 

Hate? I love the notion of the Yankees in a league that needs a good villain. Maybe the Dodgers could be that team now, but they’ll have to win something first. The Red Sox, perhaps, when they’re not bouncing from last to first and back. The Yankees have at least as many issues to sort through as the Mets, with more at stake. They aren’t so villainous anymore, except in Flushing.

If you could have one team as currently constituted, farm system and all, would you rather have the Mets or the Yankees? Why?

Can I take the Mets’ players and the Yankees’ money? Good, I’ll do that.

What’s the best thing to eat or drink at Citi Field?

I hear good things about Mama’s. Until then, I’ll lean on Shake Shack, whatever Sandberg didn’t order.

Finish this sentence. By the end of the season, the Mets will be…

Talking about next season.

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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