Noah Syndergaard Right To Defend Himself Against Anthony DiComo
The Mets loss on Thursday to the San Fransisco Giants took a number of twists and turns, and the immediate focus was how Chris Mazza gave up the lead from Pete Alonso‘s 16th inning homer. To his credit, despite blowing the biggest game of his life in what was just his fourth Major League game, Mazza stood there to answer the questions from the media. He received credit for it while others were chided:
After one of the tougher Mets losses of this season, there was a pretty stark difference between losing pitcher Chris Mazza, who stood in front of his locker and answered every question, and starter Noah Syndergaard, who bolted the clubhouse without answering any.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 19, 2019
At that point in time, you almost forgot Noah Syndergaard had started the game and was great in his seven innings. Considering the step he took forward, you could see why reporters may want to ask him questions as opposed to say a Luis Guillorme who was unnecessarily burned for an inane pinch running appearance.
The reporters couldn’t ask the questions because as DiComo noted Syndergaard had left the clubhouse. It should be noted this was not the first time Syndergaard left the clubhouse not answering reporters’ questions. The other time was after he had left his June 15 start with an injury. DiComo would note that as well:
Noah Syndergaard (hamstring strain) was in the clubhouse when reporters entered postgame. He took one look at us and bolted for the back room, pursued by members of the Mets' PR staff.
Through a team spokesman, Syndergaard later refused to comment on his injury.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) June 16, 2019
Now, there are a couple of ways of looking at this. First, it is Syndergaard’s responsibility to answer reporters questions, especially after his starts. While you can understand his not sticking around after an injury, he should have made himself available after a game he pitched, and he was not seeking treatment for an injury he sustained during the game. Really, no one should be defending him for not fulfilling this part of the job.
On the other hand, this criticism has been a one way street. The Wilpons have always made themselves unavailable for comment for all Mets related matters. It should also be noted DiComo has no criticisms of the Wilpons for their not being available to the media.
Similarly, DiComo has not criticized Brodie Van Wagenen for his lack of availability. When Sandy Alderson was in charge, he met with the beat writers before every homestand. For his part, Van Wagenen has abandoned that practice, and he has on multiple occasions declined to make himself available to answer questions about the state of the team.
With that as the backdrop, you can certainly understand why Syndergaard would publicly respond to DiComo telling him their relationship is now forever changed:
This is what you go with after a tough 16 inning marathon loss? Anthony, I have been nothing but respectful and professional with you over the years. If you had issue w me, talk to me in person like a man. This is below you, you’ve changed our relationship in 1 tweet. Congrats
— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) July 19, 2019
On the relationship between Syndergaard and the press, only they can comment. That said, to the extent it was poor at all prior to yesterday, it would be fair to characterize the relationship as not deteriorating to the levels it was between Matt Harvey and the press corps. Who knows now?
In the end, we should not be defending Syndergaard for not answering questions. That’s his job. However, we should also note how the criticism on media availability is very one-sided with the players being held to a much higher standard than the people actually in charge of the team. When people like DiComo are going to act with a double standard like that, they absolutely deserve to criticized in response by the players. To that extent, good for Syndergaard.