Jerry Seinfeld Will Bring Humor, but State of the New York Mets Is No Laughing Matter

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COMMENTARY | New York Mets legend Keith Hernandez once made an appearance on Jerry Seinfeld's hit comedy "Seinfeld."

Tonight, Seinfeld will make an appearance on Hernandez's Mets telecast, where he'll join Keith, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling for the call of tonight's game between the Mets and San Francisco Giants.

The Mets are 15 games under .500 and 22 games out of first place. Zack Wheeler, who gets the start tonight, will bring a few more people to the TV set. Jerry Seinfeld, a Mets fan, should bring many more. It's the second time he'll appear as a guest analyst, the first coming in 2010.

Seinfeld knows baseball and he knows his Mets. He also knows how to entertain, thus giving fans more of a reason to tune in to tonight's game.

While Seinfeld will add a refreshing element to a meaningless September game between two teams whose seasons ended a while ago, for the Mets, once the final pitch is thrown, let's hope the laughing ends.

That's because this is serious business for the Mets and, in particular, for general manager Sandy Alderson. Alderson will be put to the test this offseason. It'll be a make-or-break winter for him. His Mets legacy will be on the line. While the Mets have made some strides this season, they're still on their way to another fourth-place finish, the third in Alderson's three years as GM.

There are significant holes and huge question marks in the lineup. The Mets need help in the outfield. They need a shortstop. They have to figure out what to do at first base. We're not talking about bringing in one player. The Mets may need to upgrade at as many as five different everyday positions. Money will be a factor as well, challenging Alderson to be creative.

It's fair to say that no general manager in baseball will be sitting on a hotter seat.

If last offseason is any indication, there's hope. The trade that brought in Travis d'Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, John Buck and Wuilmer Beccera for R.A. Dickey, Josh Thole, and Mike Nickeas ended up being a good one. Marlon Byrd and LaTroy Hawkins, considered minor signings, were major contributors to this year's team. The Mets will need more signings like those. They'll also need to pursue marquee players through free agency and trades.

"I will say that this [is] a critical winter for Sandy Alderson," Keith Hernandez said in an interview with Newsday. "It's a critical winter. We're decimated right now. It's a little bit unfair what's going on, the injuries to key people. But you've got money freeing up. I think you've got some people you can move that other people are interested in. It's just a critical year for Sandy to put something out there that's competitive next year."

The Mets' roster, at least their everyday lineup, will look a lot different in 2014. It has to. What you'll see on the field tonight is no laughing matter.

Charles Costello has followed the Mets closely since the rookie years of Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Dwight Gooden (1984). He was a beat reporter assigned to cover the Mets during the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

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