METS BEAT NATS IN OFF-SEASON, TOO

If you search the baseball headlines this time last year, the New York Mets were selling hope. Matt Harvey was coming back. Bobby Parnell was on the mend and expected to help the team’s bullpen. David Wright vowed to elevate his production. Meanwhile, a contingency of Mets players and prospects hired Mike Barwis, a former strength coach for the University of Michigan, for a rigorous off-season strength and conditioning program.

But, the playoffs? World Series?

COUNTERPOINT: SPORTS JOURNALISM IS NOT DYING

Meet Michael Bradley. He is a faculty member at Villanova University and a guest blogger for the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana. Today, Bradley published a column — Word to Wise for 2016: Beware Sports Journalism — and suggested that “the sports journalism landscape … is dying a slow, painful death.” Bradley supports his point by sharing depressing tales of layoffs, mergers (and subsequent cutbacks) and a rapidly shrinking job market.

Fair enough. The industry is changing. The sports journalism landscape is shifting — fast. In 2015,  jobs have been eliminated, and others have been created. But, “dying a slow, painful death?” I disagree.

CUDDYER’S CROSSROADS

The average baseball fan has no idea what it’s like to retire from work before you’re 40 years old, but this is the inevitable path of most every professional athlete.

Michael Cuddyer surprised most everyone when he announced his retirement. At age 36, Cuddyer had one year left on the two-year contract he agreed to L ast winter. Walking away now meant leaving $12.5 million on the table. But money was of little concern to him.