Can They Get There Again?

In 2015, the New York Mets fell just short of their first World Series title in nearly 30 years. They were defeated four games to one by the Kansas City Royals in a series that, in hindsight, should have been much closer. Many even say that the Mets should have taken the series, as they had late leads in games one, four, and five. While I do credit the Royals for their relentless comeback efforts, and their ability to capitalize on errors made by the Mets in the late innings of games four and five, I wholeheartedly believe that the Mets  ultimately acted as their own worst enemy.

Mets closer, Jeurys Familia, who had been nearly perfect all season, blew three saves in the World Series. Two of these blown saves were direct results of errors made by Mets infielders (second baseman Daniel Murphy, and first baseman Lucas Duda). Perhaps it was the pressure that took a toll on the team during those late innings. Many of the 2015 Mets players had never played in such high stakes games before. Going into 2016, I believe the experience they have gained will propel them right back to the Fall Classic, and that we are likely to see a different outcome. I could very well see the 2016 World Series featuring the Royals and the Mets once again, but I believe the Mets have what it takes this time around.

2016 holds more promise for the Mets than ever before, with a key returning bat in Yoenis Céspedes, new additions in Asdrúbal Cabrera and Neil Walker, and the resurgence of Zack Wheeler to undoubtedly the best (and newly postseason experienced) rotation in baseball. All of this under the leadership of the Captain, David Wright, leaves me with little doubt that Mets can perform to at least the standard that they set in the previous season.

With all of that being said, I do not by any means believe that the Mets will run away with the league championship, or even the division title. The Washington Nationals will yet again pose a significant challenge to the Mets in the East, but the Mets’ rotation is what should ultimately lead them passed worthy competitors.

Other teams will now be more eager than ever to knock off the reigning National League Champions in what should be a very exciting season.

Here’s to 2016.

image: http://www.wsj.com/articles/who-is-this-team-and-what-have-you-done-with-the-new-york-mets-1445523148

 

 

Success and Pay Not Correlated in U.S. Soccer

The  U.S. Women’s National Team has made the latest move in an ongoing dispute over the  unfair treatment they receive from the United States Soccer Federation. The five most renowned players have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under which  they accuse the United States Soccer Federation of gender discrimination. Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Alex Morgan and their lawyer Jeffrey Kessler- who defended Tom Brady in the infamous “Deflategate”-  have stepped forward citing the wage gap between the men’s national team and women’s national team to be unfair considering the success the women’s team has had. Even though the five women are the ones who filed the complaint Sauerbrunn states, “the decision to file was wholeheartedly supported by the entire team.”

The United States Soccer Federation has argued that the reason behind the women’s pay is that they negotiated for a salary based system over the bonus system that the men negotiated to have. Even so, according to Kessler the team has “a very strong case of blatant gender discrimination.” The statistics support Kessler’s claim; the wage gap between the two teams is incredibly high. Each member on the women’s team will make about $1,350 if they win, and if they lose they get nothing. On the other hand, the men’s team could each make up to $17,625- depending on how high the opposing team is ranked. Even if they lose, the men’s team is still looking at making $5,000. So, even after losing a game the men’s team still makes $3,650 more than what the women’s team makes for winning. Since each team is required to play at least 20 friendly matches it’s very obvious that in the end the wages won’t even come close to each other. Imagining that the women’s team wins all 20 games they would make $27,000 each, and if the men do the same they could make up to $352,500. If the men’s team lost all 20 games they would still be making $100,000, which is still $73,000 more than what the women’s team would make for winning all 20 games.

The United States Soccer Federation also argues that the five team members and their lawyer have picked the most successful year for women’s soccer and it is resulting in misleading conclusions. Yet, the Women’s National team has brought in a revenue of $17.7 million, much more than what the Federation had anticipated. The Women’s World Cup Final was also the most watched soccer game in United States television history with  25.4 million views. With three Women’s FIFA World Cups, four olympic gold medals, winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup seven times, and one Algarve Cup- one of the most prestigious women’s tournaments-, Carli Lloyd rightfully states “I think that we’ve proven our worth over the years.” Dates for any action that will occur with the complaint are still being negotiated.