It is long past time we stop sugar coating what is happening with the New York Mets. Moreoever, we absolutely need to stop giving the Atlanta Braves more credit than they are actually due.
Yes, the Braves were nipping on the Mets heels as the result of playing ridiculously well since June 1. That is even the case with them having a losing record against teams with a winning record, and the Mets leading the season series against the Braves. The Braves got themselves in it because they were resilient and won a a lot of games.
However, they are in a first place tie now (in the loss column) because the Mets are collapsing. Yes, it is a collapse, and we need to call it as such.
The Mets have the easiest September schedule in all of baseball. So far, the Mets are 6-7. That record looks worse when you consider they opened the month with a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. This means the Mets are 5-7 against teams with a losing record this month.
They were swept for the first time all season. It was the Chicago Cubs, who are on pace to lose 93 games. By the way, they didn’t even need Marcus Stroman to do it.
The Mets are the only team in the Divisional Era (1969) to get swept at home while 35+ games OVER .500 against a team 20+ games UNDER .500.
Last team to suffer such a sweep: Detroit Tigers in the final 3 games of the 1968 regular season.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 15, 2022
They had a three game stretch where the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates beat them by six plus runs. That was the first time in Major League history where a team with a 30 game differential in the standings lost three consecutive games by six runs. The first ever time. That’s how unacceptable those losses were.
They lost a series to the Nationals. They were swept by the Cubs. They couldn’t sweep the Pirates, who are dreadful. At least, the Mets took two-out-of-three from them. Of course, everything looked good after that series only for them to be swept by the Cubs. Yes, it is getting redundant saying that, but it is just that maddening.
We can and should note Starling Marte and Max Scherzer landed on the IL, but then again, so what? Did the Mets really need both of them to win these games. That is what was supposed to be so good about this schedule. The Mets could rest some players and allow players to heal. Also, with all the trade deadline moves, weren’t the Mets supposed to be in a position to be able to easily withstand injuries like these?
When it was Willie Randolph trotting out pitchers like Jorge Sosa, Philip Humber, and David Williams, we all correctly termed it a collapse and were embarrassed by it. There were some who called for Randolph to be fired. The fact we’re not seeing similar anger is shocking.
Yes, the Mets are definitively going to the postseason. However, with the new format, not winning the division actually creates an addition hurdle. It actively works against their chances of winning a World Series. For some reason, everyone seems cool with Buck Showalter leading this collapse.
Keep in mind, he’s had some bizarre decisions. Joely Rodriguez in a close game against right-handed batters. Darin Ruf as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded. Not giving Francisco Lindor or Pete Alonso a day off even after Lindor says he and the team is tired, and Alonso is actively showing his frustration on the field.
Showalter was supposed to be different than everyone who came before him. Instead, he’s doing the same exact thing we saw out of Randolph, Jerry Manuel, and Luis Rojas. Showalter was the one in charge when the Mets lost a 10.5 game lead, something that has only been done eight times in Major League history.
That’s not seven in 17 bad, but that’s really bad.
Right now, there are zero excuses for the Mets not winning the division. Failing to win the NL East would be completely and wholly unacceptable. This team is too good to be doing what they are doing right now. Supposedly, Showalter is such a good manager that this never could have even been contemplated.
However, the moment is here. Do the Mets collect themselves and right the ship? Or, are they going to collapse against terrible teams and cede the division to the Braves? With this pathetic schedule, the Mets are in the driver’s seat. It’s time they push the pedal to the floor and take off instead of going to go off path only to crash and burn.
If you have been trying to watch the Mets on the SNY App, good luck. All over Twitter and the internet there are complaints about the app. For those using Roku, Fire TV, or an ipad, there are many instances where they need to constantly reload the app. Often times, this is multiple times an inning.
This makes watching Mets games on the app next to impossible. You lose chunks of the game just trying to restart the app. There’s also the matter of how far delayed it is from the actual broadcast. Another issue is even if you are a paid cable subscriber, it will not permit you to watch the Mets games on the app when you, yourself, are out of your home thereby defeating one of the features which would make the app desirable.
It’s beyond frustrating when the app crashes only for you to have to watch two commercials to get back to the action. Yes, that is the norm for loading any app, but it is all the more problematic when you wind up spending more of your time rewatching the same commercials over and over again than you do watching the actual game.
Another issue is how the app did not cut the audio from Gary Cohen when SNY cut to highlights. Fortunately, there was no Nick Castellanos moment, but rather, Cohen complaining about why SNY is showing Yankees highlights while Ron Darling was trying to alert Cohen to the issue.
Of course, what makes this all the more frustrating is this Mets team is really good and has a real chance to win the World Series. As a fan, you don’t want to miss a moment, and yet, you’re forced to miss many.
Given the Wilpons own SNY, we shouldn’t be all that surprised. After all, this was a family who set out every year to make the Mets unwatchable. Now that they don’t have the power to do so with their personnel decisions, they are setting forth and doing it with their app.
As previously noted, Rob Manfred has been using the COVID19 pandemic to push his agenda. That has included eliminating minor league teams, a universal DH, radical realignment, and an expanded postseason.
People will say it’s only due to the pandemic, but Manfred is pushing for these things to take place over the following two seasons. With these things transpiring for two years, it’s hard to imagine going back, especially with this commissioner.
Now, it’s looks like Manfred is going to go too far. He’s now pushing his extra inning plan. Years ago, he eased off when there was pushback, and he instead implemented it in the minors. Now, there’s not as much pushback.
MLB sought to start extra innings with a runner on 2nd in 2020-21 and union agreed in their counter document to do it, but for 2020 only. Union also proposed discussing ending 2020 extra inning games in a tie after an agreed-upon inning and relaxing substitution rule in extras.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 20, 2020
Make no mistake here, Manfred is using this pandemic to push forward all of his moronic plans for the game. When people were paying attention, he was shouted down by everyone. Now, when everyone is focused on a pandemic, Manfred is pushing forward unchecked.
There may soon be advertising on jerseys as well. Well, there will be past the Nike swoosh if and when they can ever play again. Of course, with the numbers exploding in Florida and Arizona, and the Phillies dealing with a coronavirus outbreak, you wonder if they’ll actually play in 2020.
Considering what Manfred is doing to the game, you have to question whether it’s actually worth playing? While we’re at it let’s find new “B” words for MLB because when Manfred is done fundamentally changing the game it’s not going to represent baseball anymore.
If you’ve been paying attention, the negotiations to return to play in 2020 has happened like this. The players make an offer, and the owners counter by making the same exact proposal each and every time. No matter what, the owners say choose however games you want, but we’re only paying you for 50 of them.
While doing this, they’ve admitted they agreed to pay a fully prorated share for however many games are played. They’ve done that while making nonsensical claims business with literally appreciate in value hundreds of millions to billions of dollars aren’t really profitable. They’re trying to tell us about all the money they’re losing while not opening their books and cashing in to the tune of roughly half a billion just one TV deal that does not include a World Series.
So, seeing that, and seeing how Manfred is set to appear on ESPN with the commissioners of the other sports less than a week getting taken to task by Karl Ravech, the MLBPA called Manfred’s bluff:
Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark today released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/d1p3Oj4K70
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 13, 2020
Effectively, the players are daring the owners to go ahead and use their rights under the March agreement to just set the regular season games to be played. The problem for MLB is that doesn’t give them the unilateral right to expand the postseason, which might’ve been something they just sold to TBS, or are prepared to shop to other networks.
So, now, MLB is in the position where their commissioner is less than 48 hours away having to defend himself instead of touting the sports return. That happening alongside the NHL, who is actually going to play and be in a position to steal everyone’s spotlight makes this all the worse for MLB.
If you’re a baseball fan, you could be heartened that this is the one thing which could stop this complete lack of progress. This is the one move which will get an MLB season.
Then again, you should also be angry. The owners are dragging their feet and bringing the sport down with them. They’ve yet again proven they think everyone else is stupid and that they don’t really care about the future of the game.
Essentially, Mets fans are learning there’s somehow 29 other Wilpons out there.
To that end, being able to highlight how inept the Wilpons are and how they don’t really care about winning, or at this point actually playing, may just be the one normal feeling a Mets fan gets out of this season. We’ll soon see.
Noah Syndergaard left last night’s game with an apparent leg injury. Whatever the reason, he was still in the clubhouse after the game instead of getting treatment or an examination in the trainer’s room or somewhere else.
Syndergaard finally left the clubhouse when the media entered, and the media pounced:
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
Noah Syndergaard’s strained right hamstring hasn’t totally robbed him of his mobility.
Walking faster than he did off the mound, Syndergaard left the Mets’ clubhouse as reporters entered.
He did not comment on his injury/outing.
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) June 16, 2019
Noah Syndergaard coincidentally had his treatment scheduled just as reporters walked into the #Mets clubhouse. He will not comment on his right hamstring strain.
Mickey Callaway, too, was curt in his description of Noah's injury: "We are going to reevaluate in the morning."
— Deesha (@DeeshaThosar) June 16, 2019
As is typically the case, reporters pounce on when a player ducks them. We saw it happen earlier this year with Clint Frazier, and we’ve seen it with the Mets with Matt Harvey and others.
It’s a player’s responsibility to face the media, and when they failed to meet up to their responsibilities, they should be held accountable. Even if the media attacks tend to go over the top, they’re within their right to do it.
The question is why this only applies to players.
Sandy Anderson used to meet with the press before every homestand. He was there to answer for everything good or bad (mostly bad). It’s a tradition Brodie Van Wagenen has not followed. Instead, his media availability during homestands typically only goes as far as the notes he leaves telling the media he hopes they enjoy the doughnuts he bought them.
There’s also Jeff Wilpon, who never makes himself available to the media. That is, unless, he’s in studio with his friend Mike Francesa whose toughest question to Jeff is whether Jeff McNeil or Yoenis Cespedes could come within 25 strokes of him on the golf course.
Basically, the media will kill players for their self-imposed unavailability, but they’re unwilling to do the same with the General Manager or ownership. That goes at least double for ownership.
Sure, we will hear about how Syndergaard left his team high and dry to answer questions for him. However, we won’t hear the same about how Van Wagenen and the Wilpons do the same exact thing to Mickey Callaway and the Mets players.
No, for some reason only players need to be held accountable by the media. The Wilpons and Van Wagenen can and will continue getting a pass for the same behavior despite their unavailability being all the more egregious than what an injured Syndergaard, a player who’s always there to answer questions, did today.
That is a ridiculous double standard.
The National League East is supposed to be a tight race all season long. So far, it is proving itself out to be that way with the Phillies tied for first place with the Braves. The Mets are only just 4.5 games behind both teams (four in the loss column).
Because of the Subway Series, the Mets get four games against the Yankees – two at Yankee Stadium and two at Citi Field. That’s four games the Mets have against a Yankees team with a 40-24 record. With that record, the Mets get four games against the team who has the fifth best record in baseball. If the Yankees were in the National League, they would have the second best record.
That’s before the Yankees get players like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton prior to the next series which takes place at Citi Field next month.
The Braves split series is against the Blue Jays (23-42). The Phillies don’t have a split series. Rather, they just have two road games against the Red Sox (34-33). Now, some years we will see the Blue Jays as being great, and other years, like this year, they are bad. That makes a matchup with them all the better.
With respect to the Yankees, even when they’re rebuilding, they’re good. That’s four good games that’s on the Mets schedule that is not definitively on the schedule of another National League East rival. That means every year the Mets get four difficult games in place of somewhat randomly generated games which typically is not as strong as the games the Mets need to face.
Overall, the Mets are getting screwed here, and it is all in the name of some gimmick, albeit a still popular gimmick in New York which generates sell outs and increased ratings.
Last night, Mickey Callaway trusted Seth Lugo to finish the seventh inning over Noah Syndergaard. Even with Syndergaard cruising, the numbers were the numbers. As a result, Callaway decided to go with his best reliever to get the team a win rather than let Syndergaard get himself into a jam. It didn’t work out.
Sometimes managers make the right move, and it doesn’t work,. Sometimes, you want the managers to have a feel for the game and stick with their starters. After all, that was the justification for Terry Collins sticking with Matt Harvey, and we know how that ended.
But it’s not just Collins/Harvey, it’s also Callaway/Syndergaard.
Take the April 10th game against the Twins as an example. Syndergaard allowed one earned on two hits. He came out to start the eighth, and he allowed three straight hits starting what was a four run inning which chased him from the game.
There have been a number of instances all year where Syndergaard was cruising and just like that he lost it. There was the game against the Tigers where he struggled in the first two, but seemed to settle down only to allow homers in back-to-back innings. There was also his game against the Padres where he allowed homers, and as he got deeper into the game, he began to allow more base hits.
If we’re being honest, while Syndergaard has been much better starting May 1, he still has his issues while he is struggling with this slider. He’s allowed the most hits in the majors. He has a 4.83 ERA, 83 ERA+, and a 3.60 FIP. He’s allowed the most hits in the majors. Most of his numbers, including his strikeout rate, now stand at career worsts.
This isn’t the 2016 Syndergaard who was one of the best pitchers in baseball. This is a very talented pitcher impressively gutting through starts giving his team a chance to win while he’s still trying to rediscover pitches he’s lost due to the new ball.
Point is, we have seen Syndergaard lose it this year at a moment’s notice. It’s one of the reasons why Mets fans and reporters have jumped at the chance to criticize him all year long. But now, all of a sudden, everyone gets amnesia and pretends like they didn’t say the things they said about him about a week ago.
While you can defend keeping Syndergaard in, you can also realize why Callaway would go to Lugo. What you don’t understand is the composition of the roster and why there hasn’t been more attention focused upon it.
Right now, this team has only two reliable bullpen arms – Lugo and Edwin Diaz. That’s it.
In yesterday’s game, the Mets started J.D. Davis in left field and Carlos Gomez in center. They rushed Jeff McNeil off of the IL. Against a Giants bullpen, they mustered just four singles over the final four innings. They played poor defense in the field.
When Lugo blew the lead, eventually Callaway had to go to Robert Gsellman. Now, Callaway does deserve blame for completely overusing Gsellman. It’s led to him being terrible. However, as bad as he is, Callaway’s other options are worse. Honestly, in a pressure spot who do you want him to pick:
- Jeurys Familia 6.56 ERA
- Drew Gagnon 4.76 ERA
- Wilmer Font 5.52 ERA
- Hector Santiago 7.20 ERA
Looking at those options and the players who currently comprise the roster, you see that even with Callaway’s faults, this is on Brodie Van Wagenen and the just ridiculously bad offseason he had.
Take into consideration the fact he gave Jed Lowrie a two year $20 million deal. That’s $20 million to a 35 year old with a knee issue. In true J.J. Putz fashion, the Mets didn’t discover anything during the physical before the deal was consummated.
In lieu of that $20 million, the team could have signed Adam Jones ($3 million) and Greg Holland ($3.25 million) and saved some money to add another bench piece or reliever. The point is the Mets needed more depth in the outfield and the bullpen, and Van Wagenen instead opted on another infielder.
Sure, we can criticize Callaway for his faults, but this isn’t on him. This was a poorly constructed roster, and it will remain that way even if he’s fired and the team replaces him with Jim Riggleman, Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter, or whoever else you could conjure up.
So go ahead, blow up at Callaway for using a terrific reliever while pulling a starter you have likely been killing all year. Get angry with him for putting in one of his not up to the task relievers in a spot. Get upset when the offense full of bench players and Triple-A starters can’t score runs in a close game.
Certainly, he’s the issue here and not Van Wagenen or the Wilpons who haven’t come up with the money for Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel despite the team desperately needing the. Make Callaway the whipping boy here just like Van Wagenen and the Wilpons want. After all, what good is a human shied if he’s not there to block all the the criticism really due to other people?
Similar to the Roberto Clemente Award, the MLBPA has the Marvin Miller Award. The Marvin Miller Award is given to the player their peers “most respect based on his leadership on the field and in the community.”
Each team gets to nominate a player, and we have seen upstanding players win this award including Curtis Granderson, who has won it twice. Unsurprisingly, he was nominated again for the award this year.
There will be some stiff competition for this award, but it will not include Steven Matz, who not only donates time a money to the FDNY Foundation, but he also takes an active role with the Special Olympics.
Now, the Mets candidate for the award will be Jose Reyes.
That’s not a joke.
The Mets really chose Reyes to be their candidate for this award. For those who forgot, which clearly includes the Mets players, Reyes is alleged to have grabbed his wife by the throat and shoved her into the sliding glass doors. After hotel security contacted police, Reyes’ wife was taken to a local hospital to be treated for injuries to her neck, thighs, and wrists.
This is who Major League players “most respect based on his leadership on the field and in the community.”
Congrats to the players for taking their time to admit to us all they have no issue with domestic violence, and better yet, they believe players who commit violent acts against their wives need to be recognized as role models.
One surprising thing popped up on my son’s school calendar. It was to wear red, white, and blue for what is being referred to there as Freedom Day. Having lived through the events of 9/11 and dealing with my own fears and loss due to the terrorist attacks, it just struck me as odd that 18 years later, children would wear red, white, and blue to celebrate America. Odd, but good.
What also strikes me as odd is how Major League Baseball continues to not permit the New York Mets to wear the First Responders caps during the games played on 9/11. Ultimately, when we talk about how we get from devastating terrorists attacks to children honoring America, the First Responders caps were an important part of the story.
It meant a lot to New Yorkers to see the New York Mets wear those caps. We all shed a tear as John Franco wore an FDNY cap in honor of his fallen friend as he earned the win in the first game back after the attacks. There was not a dry eye anywhere when Mike Piazza hit that home run off Steve Karsay to win the first game played in New York after 9/11.
Wearing the caps was the brainchild of Todd Zeile. He defied Major League Baseball and encouraged his team to do the same. They all did it playing at Shea Stadium, a place that was a staging ground for the recovery and relief efforts. He had the full support of his manager Bobby Valentine, and yes, his ownership, who have unsuccessfully petitioned Major League Baseball to wear the caps during a game.
What remains odd is how fearful Major League Baseball is that another Mets player will defy them like Zeile once did. In fact, as R.A. Dickey once pointed out, Major League Baseball has threatened severe fines against players who choose to defy them, and they have taken the steps to collect the caps from the dugout and clubhouse after batting practice. This isn’t normal behavior.
In that sense, it’s odd. Across the country, schools are honoring America. Adults are taking time to remember, and some of us still mourn. Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is making sure teams don’t infringe on a licensing deal because somehow allowing the Mets to wear First Responder caps is a bad thing for Major League Baseball and New Era.
Really, in 18 years, it’s just plain shocking no one sat across the table and figured this out. There could have been some sort of happy medium wherein either New Era makes the caps, or that they create a new cap to both honor the fallen while keeping in the spirit of the licensing agreement.
Instead, Major League Baseball will go out of their way to announce the Mets will wear the caps during batting practice, which as we have learned, you are not required to wear officially licensed gear. In their minds, they probably think they are offering a best of both worlds solution. They’re wrong.
The shame of it is as we become further removed from 9/11, the more we move about our everyday lives. In the 18 years since, we have graduated from school, gotten married, and started families. For those of us who remember, we also have to remember work and running a household. Moreover, we have to get our children ready for days like “Freedom Day.”
So in different places in America, we’re mourning and honoring while Major League Baseball is forgetting and enforcing.
Sometimes, you just have to wonder how to tone deaf this organization is. When you don’t think they can do anything dumber, they do it. Last night was another example how stupid this organization is:
my eyes are legit burning pic.twitter.com/0voSAb7eKr
— Shannon (@Miss_Met) September 8, 2018
Standing next to the wife beating Jose Reyes is rapper 6ix9ine whose offenses include “posting a lewd video of a half-dressed 13-year-old girl performing oral sex on a pal.” (New York Post).
He’s also been arrested for choking a teenage fan for using his phone to record him. Additionally, he was arrested for assaulting a police officer who had pulled him over for driving with a suspended license.
Moreover, he’s an admitted member of the 9 Trey Bloods, a gang whose offenses include weapons charges, murder, and drug and sex trafficking.
6ix9ine wasn’t just a fan who purchased a Mets ticket. No, this was someone invited to Citi Field. He met and took pictures with different players including Reyes.
Let’s Go Mets