So when I actually get to talk about the Mets with some positive members of the Blue and Orange Brigade, it really makes my day. That’s why talking with the legend known as Papa Frank makes me smile and really expands my knowledge and perspective on the game.
Papa Frank is my girlfriend’s best friend’s father, so through that long and strange road we weave, I have gotten to know a man who believes strongly in the boys from Queens. As a fan since the very, I can go and have a ton of conversations regarding the Mets. Sometimes we talk about extremely under-appreciated guys like Hisanori Takahashi and Rick Aguilera; other times, I pick his mind about the days of Ed Kranepool, Tom Seaver, and the entire 1986 team. They are incredible conversations that enlighten me tenfold regarding the franchise. It legitimately reminds me of talks I had with my old man.
So when the incredible depth of young arms came up a few weeks ago, we discussed every option of who should stay and who should go. As I brought up how Dillon Gee was sought after by the Colorado Rockies, I mentioned to Papa Frank how I agreed with the possible move. I felt that Gee never had a true breakout season since coming up in 2010, plus some guys would perform better outside of the New York market and I always had that feeling that Gee would be that type of guy. Plus, a part of me still holds a small grudge from Gee not winning on Opening Day in 2014 and giving up two home runs to Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche on August 14, 2014. Yes, Mr. Gee made me bitter.
“Dillon Gee Would Be a Perfect Long Man.”
For a few weeks, I’ve actually pondered that in my mind. Papa Frank had piqued my interest regarding this interesting theory. I tried to think of a moment where I could try and connect the dots and attempt to prove him wrong. Suddenly, something clicked in my head.
Starting with Opening Day, Gee would noticeably get tired with his starts the longer he went. Through his first few innings, Gee would be on the top of his game. As soon as the 5th and 6th innings start to come around, you would see Gee slowly start to tire and give up some walks and runs. Combining his bad injuries over his career (torn labrum in the minors during 2009, the blood clot in his artery in his right shoulder during 2012, the strained right lat during 2014), things started to piece together. It might make more sense than it originally led onto me.
Plus, add the fact that last year’s “long man”, Daisuke Matsuzaka, went back to Japan after his solid 2014, that role is open. Combined with the IMMENSE young pitching pool the Mets have on their roster, Gee would honestly THRIVE in that role. Plus, preparing to make $5.3 million next season, the Mets need a reason to maximize Gee’s utility. Papa Frank was right.
The Mets have a plethora of opportunities to make involving their starting pitching. Matt Harvey, Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, Mr. 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom, and Gee are all on the active big-league roster. Plus, you have Rafael Montero, Steven Matz, AND the “Hook from Hell” of Noah Syndergaard all chomping at the bit to pitch MLB Ball. What should be done?
Papa Frank, thanks for a fantastic idea that led to a blog post. Thanks for all the talks thus far, and in the future. You are 100% right with your opinion: Dillon Gee would be a perfect long man. Now, to find the next great debate I could possibly win…