Carlos Beltran

The Wilpons Final Embarrassment

Through the Wilpons majority ownership, we have seen one embarrassing moment after the next. It just never ended with them, not even when times were good.

An injured Pedro Martinez was forced to pitch a meaningless game for a gate. They fired Willie Randolph after a win and one game into a west coast trip.

The Wilpons nearly lost everything in a Ponzi scheme, and in a puff piece to help salvage their image, Fred Wilpon unnecessarily and unfairly maligned Carlos Beltran and David Wright.

Leigh Castergine was fired. Jose Reyes was brought back and held out as a role model.

They had Steve Cohen offer well over market value for the team, and the financially strapped Wilpons bungled the deal. They bungled it over control of the team and escalating salaries for them. Now, they’re looking to sell the team for what is likely a lower price.

By all accounts, 2020 is it for the Wilpons. After this season, they’re gone. But seeing them in action all of these years, you knew they couldn’t go out without embarrassing themselves, the Mets franchise, and all of baseball one last time.

Tonight was that night.

As a backdrop, Dominic Smith bore his soul in an emotional post game news conference. Michael Conforto said he’d have Smith’s back, and he made good by working with the Marlins to not play akin to what the NBA and other MLB teams were doing.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen would address this with reporters. Keep in mind, this exchange which was supposed to be off the record was posted to the Mets website:

Well, when you trash the commissioner, and it gets public, there are going to be ramifications, and the need for apologies need to proceed.

First up, was Van Wagenen who both apologized to Commissioner Rob Manfred and pinned the blame for the poorly received idea on Jeff Wilpon:

Well, that apparently wasn’t sufficient. This incident actually required the Wilpons to spring to action. Fred and Jeff Wilpon offered their version of events and apologies:

Both Fred and Jeff Wilpon managed to misspell Brodie as Brody. This was just a perfect encapsulation of who the Wilpons are and their failed stewardship of the Mets organization.

Their organization took the players emerging and bungled it. The same owners who had NOTHING to say publicly when Smith cried rushed to admonish their GM and misspelled his name in the process.

Even better, they took ownership of an idea universally dismissed as plain stupid and seen as insensitive by many. While this was happening, one of the Mets official accounts called for Manfred to be fired.

If this was anyone other than the Wilpons, you’d be absolutely shocked at the level of incompetence involved here. Seeing how this is the Wilpons, you can’t be remotely shocked they were a complete embarrassment one last time.

Shame On Brodie Van Wagenen And Wilpons For Not Publicly Supporting Dominic Smith

After last night’s game, Dominic Smith was moved to tears speaking about his pain and fears. He was raw, emotional, and honest. It moved many people. It led Mets fans to go out and buy his jersey and support his foundation.

We also saw former Mets players like Paul Lo Duca speak to how moved they were by hearing Smith’s words.

Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen? Well, he’s been silent. He has had no quotes for the published articles on the moment. He also has sent no tweets

Remember, this was the same man who had been caught illegally texting game decisions to the clubhouse. Van Wagenen can reach his phone to text for his manager to make a pitching change, but he can’t reach his phone to send a tweet in support of one of his players who was clearly in pain.

The same goes for the Wilpons. They’ve been silent. This is still their organization, and there’s been no press release or quote in support of Smith.

Remember, they were the ones who once silenced Carlos Delgado‘s protests and trashed Mets players like Carlos Beltran and David Wright to the New Yorker.

Dominic Smith clearly felt all alone yesterday, and it caused him pain. That was a time for Van Wagenen and the Wilpons to come out and publicly support him. They opted not to do so.

Dominic Smith deserved better than that from them. We all do.

Just make this the latest exhibit in a very long line as to why we’re all counting down the days until the Wilpons are gone. This is another example why Van Wagenen needs to follow them out the door.

Brodie Van Wagenen Is Comically Bad

Last night, Travis d’Arnaud was 3-for-4 with five RBI. Three of those five RBI came on an eighth inning double which put the Braves ahead 11-10. This was the same d’Arnaud he rage released last year.

Since d’Arnaud was released he outplayed Wilson Ramos. That was readily apparent when Ramos’ framing, if you can call it that, cost Seth Lugo a strike in that fateful d’Arnaud at-bat.

You couldn’t help but notice the same game d’Arnaud won, the .208/.269/.250 hitting Ramos flew out with the tying run on second to end the game.

Ramos’ failures go beyond his offense. He can’t frame and his game calling has been poor. It’s one of the reasons Edwin Diaz has struggled in a Mets uniform.

Case-in-point, Ramos called six outside pitches when Marcell Ozuna was up last week, and on a 3-2 pitch, he called the same pitch Ozuna struck out on the previous day. Short of using a megaphone, Ramos couldn’t have made the pitch type and location any more obvious.

This is normally where we go to Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn. On that note, the Mets called up Brian Dozier despite his bit really fully preparing for the season and his not taking part in summer camp.

By hastily starting an ill-prepared Dozier, the Mets have admitted Cano is no more than a platoon player making that trade somehow worse.

On the topic of the platoon, you know who was a really good right-handed platoon option? Wilmer Flores.

However, the Mets non-tendered Flores partially because of a knee condition he never actually had. Instead, they replaced him with Jed Lowrie, a player who actually had a knee injury.

That knee injury is the invented condition of PCL laxity. Even better than the conjured up diagnosis was it taking nearly a year-and-a-half to get a second opinion.

On the topic of the IL, Jake Marisnick landed on it. The Mets could’ve just signed a player like Juan Lagares for cheaper, but instead, they chose to trade Marisnick.

While the Mets are getting nothing from the impending free agent Marisnick, and their bullpen has been struggling Blake Taylor has been terrific out of the Houston Astros bullpen.

The list with Van Wagenen goes on and on. He told us he was replacing Zack Wheeler with Marcus Stroman, who was in the same rotation. He then let Wheeler walk and actually replaced him with Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha while trying to tell us the pitching improved.

Don’t forget his continuously telling us he wasn’t going to fire Carlos Beltran only to fire Beltran before he managed a game.

It’s like Van Wagenen is George Costanza. Every instinct is wrought with failure. The key difference is Costanza was the assistant to the traveling secretary, and Van Wagenen is the GM.

The other difference is Van Wagenen is real. He’s all too real.

Robinson Cano Bats Third Because Of The GM, Not The Manager

Last year, Robinson Cano began the year as the Mets third place hitter, and he’d stay there for a good part of the season. He’d stay there despite many screaming Mickey Callaway needed to remove the washed up second baseman coming off a PED suspension from the middle of the lineup.

Heading into 2020, it seemed like the days of Cano batting third were behind us. At the end of last year, Cano was supplanted by Michael Conforto in the third spot in the lineup, and it stayed that way when Cano returned from the IL.

Couple that with Callaway (and Carlos Beltran gone), the Mets seemed poised to reshape the middle of their lineup without Cano taking a prominent spot. Seeing the lineups in the Yankees series and the comments from Luis Rojas, that will not be the case.

Once again, Cano is going to be batting third for the Mets. Apparently, two separate managers looked at Cano and independently determined Cano needs to bat third.

Of course, that’s nonsense. We know that’s not what’s happening here. The truth is the GM, Brodie Van Wagenen, is making this decision.

First off, we know that because that’s how baseball teams now operate. We also know it’s true because we’ve learned Van Wagenen does not respect any boundaries. In fact, despite it being against MLB rules and regulations, he will text game decisions to the clubhouse.

As it pertains to filling out the lineup, we’re well past the days of a manager setting the lineup on his own volition. That doesn’t mean he has no input. One famous story was when Terry Francona told the front office if they wanted him to bench Mike Lowell against the Yankees on Sunday Night Baseball, they were welcome to tell Lowell themselves (Lowell started that night).

However, that’s Francona, a future Hall of Fame manager with two World Series under his belt.

Callaway was a manager who was on the hot seat before 2019 Opening Day, and he was ducking chairs thrown at him by Van Wagenen. Rojas was the guy the Mets hired only because they fired Carlos Beltran after the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal (only for the Mets to keep J.D. Davis and Jake Marisnick). Neither have the presence or footing in the organization to even think about attempting what Francona did.

In the end, Cano batting third is all on Van Wagenen. He’s placating and supporting his former client. He’s trying to justify moving Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn in the trade to get him.

The Mets can try the smokescreen of saying they’re just trying to get Cano at-bats. On that, we should note, Cano batted third, not leadoff. Cano also came out of both games. He needed at-bats so much, he exited both games early?

No, he batted third because that’s where the Mets, specifically Brodie Van Wagenen, wants him. Maybe the Mets relent now due to the public pressure, but in the end, if Cano bats third look no further than his former agent turned General Manager who gave up a king’s ransom to get him.

A-Rod Disqualified Himself To Be Mets New Owner

Mets fans have had enough of the Wilpons and their half measures. It’s dragged down the franchise and cost them a real shot at long runs of being in contention. Everything the Wilpons do is the wrong way to run a New York baseball franchise.

It’s looking at David Wright and Jose Reyes as an either/or as opposed to a both/and. It’s signing Michael Cuddyer to be a big bat. It’s letting players like Daniel Murphy and Zack Wheeler walk. It’s trading for Robinson Cano and keeping Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic instead of signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.

New Mets ownership was supposed to prevent this and other nonsense. No forcing Pedro Martinez to pitch through an injury, or trying to deny Carlos Beltran or Yoenis Cespedes career saving surgery. Having a real analytics department. There’s just so much which could be different under new ownership, including but not limited to, the Mets’ mid market payroll.

For Mets fans, there’s just one litmus test. The next owner must be fully committed to winning, and they will do what they need to do to win.

That’s exactly why Alex Rodriguez disqualified himself today when he said:

“The only way it’s going to happen is if they get to the table and say the No. 1 goal, let’s get from $10 to $15 billion and then we’ll split the economics evenly,” he said Thursday during a conference call. “But that’s the type of conversation instead of fighting and fighting against each other because there’s too much competition out there right now.

(ESPN).

A-Rod later stressed he didn’t call for a salary cap, but that’s just backtracking. Truth be told, what he described was a salary cap. That’s where he lost each and every Mets fan.

Steve Cohen is out there ready to flex his financial might. There are other billionaires involved in the bidding. The Mets simply don’t need A-Rod and his cast of retired basketball players. No, they need someone who will do what it takes to win.

We’re already seeing exactly why A-Rod has been disqualified in Mets fans eyes. Hopefully, MLB feels the same way.

Only Hesitation With deGrom Good News

Jacob deGrom left after the first inning of an intrasquad game with a back issue. He has now undergone an MRI, and it was determined there was no structural damage.

This isn’t the first time deGrom had a back issue. Back in his first Cy Young season, he dealt with a back issue near the end of Spring Training. As we know, not only did he not miss a turn through the rotation because of it, deGrom would have an all-time great season en route to his first Cy Young.

If you’re an optimistic person, you could see this as a harbinger of good things to come. Even if you don’t try to grasp at straws to try to paint this as an induction of another great season for deGrom, hearing it’s “just” muscle tightness is a relief.

Well, at least it should be.

If we’re being honest, the Mets have a horrible track record on this. In April 2015 David Wright was only diagnosed with a hamstring injury. Pedro Martinez‘s toe in 2005 preceded a torn labrum in 2006.

Those problems still persistent. Much like with Carlos Beltran in 2010, the Mets initially insisted Yoenis Cespedes didn’t need career saving surgery before relenting. There’s also the matter of Jed Lowrie whose problems are still not fully known or addressed by the Mets.

On Lowrie, aside from making the biggest free agent blunder in team history, they’ve reached new standards in medical diagnosis and treatment. That’s something else.

If you’ll notice, Lowrie’s MRI revealed “no significant damage.”

Soreness became no significant damage. That became soreness behind his knee. That became a capsule strain. After that, the Mets have all but given up on trying to pretend to know what Lowrie’s issue was and is. We just know he can’t play in games until he can play without a knee brace.

So yes, celebrate deGrom not suffering a significant injury. Breathe a sigh of relief. Picture that third Cy Young and World Series trophy. Its hard not to get carried away. After all, deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball, and he should dominate in 2020.

That’s if he can pitch. Considering the Mets history, we can’t be 100% sure. At least not yet. Sure, it’s a melodramatic way of looking at things, but this is the Mets. It’s also 2020 with all the crazy and bizarre things that have happened it’s difficult to trust some good news.

In the end, not trusting deGrom will be fine may be nothing more than paranoia. Well, justified paranoia.

Best Mets Of All Time: No. 66 Josh Edgin

The 2010 draft was one of the best in Mets history. It was not only because it brought the team future superstars like Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, but also because it developed useful Major League players. One of those players was 30th round draft pick Josh Edgin.

Edgin would first get called up to the majors in 2012, and he would be given the chance to develop as a LOOGY on a rebuilding Mets team. Something seemed to click for him in August when he began to put together a streak of 16 appearances without allowing an earned run. During that season, he seemed to establish himself as a part of the future of the Mets bullpen.

Unfortunately, Edgin would have to wait another year to do that as he would deal with the typical ups-and-downs of a young reliever in the bullpen, and he would deal with a stress fracture in his rib in 2013. Finally, in 2014, he got his chance, and he was one of the best relievers on that Mets team, and quite possibly, one of the best LOOGYs in all of baseball.

Over 47 appearances, Edgin was 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA, 0.915 WHIP, a 9.2 K/9, and a 4.67 K/BB. He limited left-handed batters to a paltry .189/.217/.323 batting line. In the rare occasions he had to face a right-handed batter, he more than held his own limiting them to a .219 batting average.

Edgin would last the full season even with inflammation in his elbow, which was originally diagnosed as bone spurs. In the ensuing Spring Training, Edgin had to shut it down as he needed Tommy John surgery. As a result, he would miss out on the Mets pennant run. As is typically the case, Edgin had a long rehabilitation road, and he would not appear again in the Majors until August 2016.

Fourteen of Edgin’s 16 appearances were scoreless. Between that and his being out of options, Edgin was set to be a part of the 2017 Opening Day roster. In the time he was up with the team, Edgin put together good numbers including a 114 ERA+. On April 28, 2017, he probably had his Mets career highlight.

With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Edgin was summoned to pitch to Bryce Harper. Edgin induced Harper to hit into a game ending 1-2-3 double play to preserve the Mets 7-5 lead and earn his second Major League save.

Unfortunately, he would hit the disabled list again in July, and at that point, his Mets career was effectively over. He finished his Mets career with the 22nd most appearances among relievers, and his 2014 season was one of the best seasons a Mets LOOGY ever had. He was a success story for a 30th round draft pick, and he is the best Mets player to ever wear the number 66.

Previous

1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez
11. Wayne Garrett
12. John Stearns

13. Edgardo Alfonzo
14. Gil Hodges
15. Carlos Beltran

16. Dwight Gooden
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Darryl Strawberry

19. Bob Ojeda
20. Howard Johnson
21. Cleon Jones
22. Al Leiter
23. Bernard Gilkey
24. Art Shamsky

25. Pedro Feliciano
26. Terry Leach
27. Jeurys Familia
28. Daniel Murphy

29. Frank Viola
30. Michael Conforto
31. Mike Piazza

32. Jon Matlack
33. Matt Harvey

34. Noah Syndergaard
35. Rick Reed
36. Jerry Koosman
37. Casey Stengel
38. Skip Lockwood
39. Gary Gentry
40. Bartolo Colon
41. Tom Seaver

42. Ron Taylor
43. R.A. Dickey
44. David Cone
45. Tug McGraw

46. Oliver Perez
47. Jesse Orosco
48. Jacob deGrom
49. Armando Benitez
50. Sid Fernandez
51. Rick White
52. Yoenis Cespedes
53. Chad Bradford
54. T.J. Rivera
55. Orel Hershiser
56. Andres Torres
57. Johan Santana
58. Jenrry Mejia
59. Fernando Salas
60. Scott Schoeneweis
61. Dana Eveland
62. Drew Smith
63. Tim Peterson

64. Elmer Dessens
65. Robert Gsellman

Best Mets Of All Time: No. 65 Robert Gsellman

In 2016, the Mets pitchers were falling by the wayside. The team was already in a precarious position in terms of the Wild Card race, and they desperately needed an arm or two to step up and help the Mets stay afloat. One of those arms was Robert Gsellman.

Starting with this debut, Gsellman would go 4-2 with a 2.42 ERA in seven starts and one relief appearance that season. One interesting tidbit about that season was he was dealing with a torn labrum in his non-pitching shoulder limiting him to bunt attempts. Despite, that in his last start of the season, he would actually get his first Major League hit.

When Gsellman made his Mets debut, the Mets were 4.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card. After that first relief appearance, the Mets were 3.5 games back. When Gsellman picked up his third win of the season, the Mets had a one game lead over the San Francisco Giants for the top Wild Card spot, and that’s where the Mets would be in his final start of the year.

Many expected Gsellman’s career to take off from that point, but that didn’t quite happen. In front of a poor Mets defense, the sinkerball pitcher would struggle in 2017 as a starter leading to the team moving him into the bullpen. In the bullpen, Gsellman has had some great stretches.

Gsellman opened the 2018 season as a reliever, and he was great at the start. Over the first month of the season, he was 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA. He’d struggle to handle the workload not just of a reliever, but also Mickey Callaway going to the whip with him. Gsellman would rebound to have a strong August before tiring the rest of the way.

Again, Gsellman got out to a good start in 2019. Looking over his splits, he was good in every month he pitched but June. While he rebounded in July, he began to strain under the workload, and he missed the rest of the season with a triceps injury. Despite having the injury, Gsellman did all he could do to try to get back on the mound to have the same impact in 2019 as he did in 2016. Unfortunately, he could not make it back.

Through it all, Gsellman has proven himself to be a Major League caliber reliever, and someone who could still yet make an impact in the rotation again. He helped push the Mets into the 2016 postseason. Overall, he has established himself as the best Mets player to ever wear the number 65.

Previous

1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez
11. Wayne Garrett
12. John Stearns

13. Edgardo Alfonzo
14. Gil Hodges
15. Carlos Beltran

16. Dwight Gooden
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Darryl Strawberry

19. Bob Ojeda
20. Howard Johnson
21. Cleon Jones
22. Al Leiter
23. Bernard Gilkey
24. Art Shamsky

25. Pedro Feliciano
26. Terry Leach
27. Jeurys Familia
28. Daniel Murphy

29. Frank Viola
30. Michael Conforto
31. Mike Piazza

32. Jon Matlack
33. Matt Harvey

34. Noah Syndergaard
35. Rick Reed
36. Jerry Koosman
37. Casey Stengel
38. Skip Lockwood
39. Gary Gentry
40. Bartolo Colon
41. Tom Seaver

42. Ron Taylor
43. R.A. Dickey
44. David Cone
45. Tug McGraw

46. Oliver Perez
47. Jesse Orosco
48. Jacob deGrom
49. Armando Benitez
50. Sid Fernandez
51. Rick White
52. Yoenis Cespedes
53. Chad Bradford
54. T.J. Rivera
55. Orel Hershiser
56. Andres Torres
57. Johan Santana
58. Jenrry Mejia
59. Fernando Salas
60. Scott Schoeneweis
61. Dana Eveland
62. Drew Smith
63. Tim Peterson

64. Elmer Dessens

Brodie Van Wagenen Has Drafted Great

Starting with the Robinson Cano/Jarred Kelenic trade, Brodie Van Wagenen’s trades have been bad to disastrous.

With Jeurys Familia and Jed Lowrie, you have to say the bad signings far outweighs the good signings (Justin Wilson).

Good and productive players like Travis d’Arnaud have been released while the Mets stuck by players like Adeiny Hechavarria for far too long.

Between the hiring and firing of Carlos Beltran, throwing chairs at Mickey Callaway, and his ducking the media, you really have to wonder if Van Wagenen has the judgment, temperament, or even the ability to be a General Manager.

But then, there are the drafts.

Van Wagenen has been bold and daring. He’s taken full advantage of Sandy Anderson holdovers like Tommy Tanous and Marc Tramuta to both scout and draft real high end talent in the draft.

In 2019, the Mets drafted two first round talents in Brett Baty and Matthew Allan. With respect to Allan, he had dropped in the draft due to signability concerns. Not only did the Mets get Allan in the third round, but they were also able to sign him for a bonus lower than many expected.

This year, the Mets did it again, which is an even more impressive feat. It’s more impressive because this draft was only five rounds giving the Mets a tighter margin of error.

That didn’t matter as not only did the Mets draft Pete Crow-Armstrong in the first round, but they also drafted J.T. Ginn in the second round. Ginn is a first round talent who was actually a Dodgers first round pick two years ago. Ginn wouldn’t sign with the Dodgers, but he did with the Mets. Adding Isaiah Greene to this draft class was a coup.

If Van Wagenen did nothing but manage the draft, he’d arguably be the best General Manager in the game. For that matter, if Van Wagenen did nothing but draft, the Mets would have the top farm system in the game, and they’d be primed for another 1980s like run, only this time with two Wild Cards essentially insuring the Mets would be a perennial postseason team.

That said, give credit where credit is due. Van Wagenen has been bold, daring, and more than able to get the job done when it comes to the draft. If he could somehow harness those skills in other aspects of the job, perhaps he could justify sticking around past the eventual Wilpon sale of the team.

Best Mets Of All Time: No. 64 Elmer Dessens

After 13 years in the Majors, a stop in the Mexican Leagues, and pitching all of four games in relief for the Atlanta Braves, the Mets signed Elmer Dessens to a minor league deal. When the Mets signed the 38 year old reliever, they were probably not anticipating him being as good a reliever for them as he wound up being. In fact, they may not have envisioned him pitching in the majors at all.

He would be up and down with the Mets due to the bevy of injuries that hit those Mets staffs in 2009 – 2010. When Dessens did pitch, he was extremely effective compiling a 148 ERA+. That was the best of the Mets relievers over that time frame with him even ahead of Pedro Feliciano and Francisco Rodriguez.

Dessens’ time with the Mets was so good, it helped the pitcher go from a career 99 ERA+ to a 101 meaning his time on the Mets took him from a slightly below average reliever in his career to a slightly above average one. In his time with the Mets, Dessens was 4-2 with a 2.71 ERA. It wasn’t spectacular, but with relief help always scarce in baseball, that is certainly impressive. In the end, that is why he is the best Mets player to ever wear the number 64.

Previous

1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez
11. Wayne Garrett
12. John Stearns

13. Edgardo Alfonzo
14. Gil Hodges
15. Carlos Beltran

16. Dwight Gooden
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Darryl Strawberry

19. Bob Ojeda
20. Howard Johnson
21. Cleon Jones
22. Al Leiter
23. Bernard Gilkey
24. Art Shamsky

25. Pedro Feliciano
26. Terry Leach
27. Jeurys Familia
28. Daniel Murphy

29. Frank Viola
30. Michael Conforto
31. Mike Piazza

32. Jon Matlack
33. Matt Harvey

34. Noah Syndergaard
35. Rick Reed
36. Jerry Koosman
37. Casey Stengel
38. Skip Lockwood
39. Gary Gentry
40. Bartolo Colon
41. Tom Seaver

42. Ron Taylor
43. R.A. Dickey
44. David Cone
45. Tug McGraw

46. Oliver Perez
47. Jesse Orosco
48. Jacob deGrom
49. Armando Benitez
50. Sid Fernandez
51. Rick White
52. Yoenis Cespedes
53. Chad Bradford
54. T.J. Rivera
55. Orel Hershiser
56. Andres Torres
57. Johan Santana
58. Jenrry Mejia
59. Fernando Salas
60. Scott Schoeneweis
61. Dana Eveland
62. Drew Smith
63. Tim Peterson