Javier Baez

Why Philadelphia Phillies Will Win 2022 World Series

The 2022 World Series will be quite telling for New York Mets fans. This World Series will truly confirm once and for all the baseball gods hate us, and that Mets fans cannot have nice things.

After all, how else are we going to explain what is happening in the world of baseball.

Really, since Citi Field was opened there has been little more than torture for Mets fans. There was the Madoff Scandal and all the austerity measures. When the Mets finally got good in 2015, we effectively lost David Wright forever, and it was the beginning of the end for Matt Harvey, who would have a troubled injury plagued career mirroring his troubled life.

The Mets made a big run to get back into the 2016 postseason only to lose in the Wild Card Game. From there, nearly every single one of the Mets beloved starters would go down with injury. That included Noah Syndergaard, who went down twice with major injuries.

After some down years, which included the rise of Jacob deGrom as the best pitcher in baseball, we got Brodie Van Wagenen mortgaging the farm while simultaneously not going all-in to win. Van Wagenen was the guy who sought to redefine the role of a GM, and instead, he wound up merely redefining how to be a terrible GM.

After those horror years, we finally got Steve Cohen. The results have been disappointing. That’s not to blame Cohen or this front office who has done everything they could do to win.

We saw deGrom go from the best pitcher in baseball to unable to stay on the field for more than a few months at a time. Now, he is opting out of his contract. Javier Baez came, and the Mets fell apart last season leading to him being gone. There was yet another collapse this season.

To make matters worse, the Atlanta Braves won the World Series last season. They ran past the Mets and didn’t look past last year. This year, they chased down the Mets all year, and they finally caught them on the final weekend of the season.

Of course, it needs to be noted Travis d’Arnaud has been a leader for the Braves. They also got great relief work from Colin McHugh. This is what just seems to happen to the Mets. We can rattle off names like Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy. The Mets don’t understand what they have in players, they let them go, and then, they act amazed when good players thrive when given an opportunity to thrive.

That brings us to Zack Wheeler leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a pennant. Wheeler was an ace level pitcher on the Mets. He was that for the Phillies. Notably, this Phillies team also has Syndergaard.

There is absolutely zero reason to expect the Phillies to win. Then again, we should not have expected Howie Kendrick to become Reggie Jackson and for Stephen Strasburg to become Bob Gibson in 1999. We should not have expected the Braves bullpen to look like Jeff NelsonMike StantonMariano Rivera last year.

The Houston Astros are one of the greatest teams we’ve ever seen. They haven’t lost a game this postseason, an unmatched feat in the Wild Card Era. They have Justin Verlander, and they have a manager in Dusty Baker who just needs that one World Series to ensure his rightful place in Cooperstown. Everything should point to them winning the World Series with ease.

And yet, there is the Mets factor. Make no mistake, if the Phillies win here, it is nothing more than the baseball gods taunting us Mets fans. It is what they did in 2019 and 2021, the last two World Series with a full season. For that matter, no Mets fan wanted to see the Los Angeles Dodgers win in 2020.

The Astros should win this series, and it should be a short series. As a Mets fan, we somehow know better.

Steve Cohen Was Mets Breakout Star Of 2022

When Steve Cohen purchased the New York Mets, there was a ton of excitement from the fanbase. We were finally getting an owner who knew what it was like to be a Mets fan. We were getting an owner with the resources to do what was needed to win.

Well, the first year did not go nearly as planned. We saw the type of influence Cohen could have dining with Francisco Lindor and then giving him the largest contract in team history. In a bit of panache, he gave him one million more than the San Diego Padres had given Fernando Tatis Jr.

Still, much of 2021 was “same old Mets.” Jared Porter was fired for harassment. A Cohen directed investigation uncovered more leading to more firings. The replacement GM, Zack Scott was fired after being arrested for a DUI. They would trade a top prospect for Javier Báez. With apologies to Trevor Williams, the trade was a disaster.

This was a Mets team who set the record for most days in first place only to finish the season with an under .500 record. The hated Atlanta Braves overtook them en route to winning the World Series. The Mets players were booing fans from the field. This was all reminiscent of the Wilpon Era.

In the offseason, the Mets once again struck out in their president of baseball operations search leading them to settle on Billy Eppler as the GM. The collective bargaining agreement would actually implement a Cohen Tax designed to stop him from flexing his financial muscle.

Cohen would be undaunted, and in fact, he would prove to Mets fans and all of baseball this is definitively not the same old Mets.

Cohen opened up the wallet. In the offseason, he paid for the Mets to sign star players in Starling Marte and Max Scherzer. They were not just great, but they changed the culture of a team which fell apart the previous season. That was part of an offseason which also saw the Mets overhaul their lineup and approach at the plate.

Cohen wanted and made sure to land Buck Showalter. The organization wanted to change their offensive mindset and approach, and they were able to hire Eric Chavez away from the New York Yankees to do it. They also continued to grow their analytics department, and late in the season, they purchased one of the famed hitting machines which can replicate pitcher deliveries.

Cohen understood the best thing an owner can do for the fans is to put a winner on the field. He gave the organization all the resources they needed, and they built a 101 win team. However, Cohen was not done there.

Being a Mets fan himself, he loved and appreciated the Mets history. He brought back Old Timers’ Day and would retired Willie Mays‘ number because he believed it to be the right thing to do (making this a complete departure from the Wilpons). He would also retire beloved player and broadcaster Keith Hernandez‘s number.

In essence, Cohen has given Mets fans everything they’ve ever wanted. Fans wanted this team to matter and be a contender. They were. They wanted the team history to be recognized and celebrated. It was.

The best news yet is Cohen is far from done. Eppler has already talked about getting the resources needed to improve upon this season. The organization has talked about spending to bridge the gap to sustained winning much in the vein of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

No, the 2022 season did not end the way Mets fans had hoped. More important than that failure is the future. With Cohen, the future is bright, and we see how the focus is winning and making the Mets as fan friendly as possible. Seeing the totality of the season, Cohen did all he promised and more. That should leave all of us Mets fans excited to see what comes next.

Mets 2022 Collapse Complete, What Now?

If there was an expanded postseason in 2007, perhaps history would’ve been kinder to Willie Randolph. That team would’ve had at least a three game series against the San Diego Padres giving them a chance at redemption.

That Mets team will forever live in infamy. That era of Mets history will be defined by a Carlos Beltran strikeout and collapses in consecutive seasons.

Well, this Mets era is so-far defined by consecutive collapses. No, it was not seven in 17, nor was it losing Game 162 at home to the Florida Marlins. That said, it was still horrid.

Last year, the Mets were in first place for 103 days. They’d set an MLB record for most days in first place and finishing with a losing record. That season will forever be defined by Javier Báez and Francisco Lindor giving Mets fans the thumbs down.

For the second straight year, the Mets have collapsed. Worse yet, they choked. Anyone saying different is lying.

They were 2-6 at home against the Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, and Miami Marlins. They were swept by the Braves. This is an absolute choke job.

However, that’s not how we’ll remember that season. Truth be told, we don’t yet know how we’ll remember this season. In some ways, this is 1999.

The 1998 Mets collapsed, choked, and were left for dead. The 1999 Mets seemed to be facing a similar fate. That was until the Milwaukee Brewers took 2/3 from the Reds allowing the Mets to force a one game playoff for the Wild Card.

Instead of failure, we remember Al Leiter’s two hitter in the one game playoff. Edgardo Alfonzo homered in that game and hit three in a roughly 24 hour period including a Gabe winning grand slam in Game One of the NLDS.

Todd Pratt hit an extra inning, series clinching walk-off homer to win the NLDS. It was Pratt who stopped Robin Ventura giving rise to the Grand Slam Single.

That 1999 season will be forever remembered for all of that as well as that epic Game Six which ended with Kenny Rogers. That 1999 postseason was a roller coaster, and at no point was anyone focusing or dwelling on the Mets nearly choking it all away in the regular season.

The 2022 Mets collapsed. They choked. In true Mets fashion, they’ve made 98 wins feel terrible. At this point, we can only say, “So, what?”

In the Wild Card round, the Mets will have Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Chris Bassitt lined up. While some might say, it didn’t work in Atlanta, others might say those three are about to make the next team pay.

If the Mets win the Wild Card Round, they get the Los Angeles Dodgers. As we saw at the end of August, they are two evenly matched teams with the Mets having a legitimate chance of winning that series.

If the Mets take out the Dodgers, no one is or should concern themselves with this collapse. Really, after first pitch in the Mets next series, there’s no need to mention this again.

The Mets collapsed. Fortunately, the Mets season won’t be defined by it. That part of the Mets 2022 season hasn’t been written. Anything is possible now. That includes winning the World Series.

May 20/20 Hindsight: Best Mets Team Ever?

The New York Mets have finished the first two months of the season in first place with a 10.5 game division lead. That is tied for the best ever lead on June 1 in MLB history.

1.  It doesn’t matter what happens with this team. They are perhaps the most resilient Mets team we have ever seen.

2.  Luis Guillorme has earned a job in the starting lineup, and he’s playing like someone deserving of an All-Star right now.

3.  Playing time may hold back Guillorme, but it should not hold back Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo. They’re not just having All-Star caliber seasons, but they are also building budding MVP campaigns.

4.  Lindor going around humming the Rangers goal song is awesome. That run is having a big impact on this Mets team, and it seems to be driving them all the more to have their own special season.

5.  Colin Holderman and Stephen Nogosek have earned a permanent place in the Mets bullpen.

6.  If Drew Smith is hurt, just put him on the IL. There is no need to mess around and have the chance he hurts his arm compensating for the pinkie.

7.  Trevor Williams has stepped up big time, and he has taken that last spot in the rotation for now. He might’ve been a throw-in last season in the Javier Baez trade, but he’s been a very importance piece for this Mets team.

8.  The pitching injuries necessitated Dominic Smith be sent down. The team needs the arms, and right now, Smith hasn’t made the case he should stay in the majors. Then again, J.D. Davis hasn’t either, but looking at everything, he is on borrowed time as well.

9.  Eduardo Escobar is slowly but surely coming out of his struggles, and he is primed to have the same big June he has always had. To his credit, he has not let his struggles get the better of him as he was always out there hustling. That’s why he had the big extra innings catch followed by the walk-off hit.

10. The Mets are in a tough spot at the catcher position, and it seems like the problem isn’t improving as Patrick Mazeika just can’t seem to get on the same page as his pitchers, and he’s made some questionable pitch calls. Case-in-point was that Adam Ottavino fastball.

11. The most important move the Mets made all season was Chris Bassitt. While he was not pegged as such, he has been the team’s ace all season long. That’s because he has pitched that way and because he’s the last man standing.

12. There is not enough we can say about how Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker have stepped up this season. This team is in first place because of them as any other reason.

13. With Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer coming back at some point this season, it is really difficult to pinpoint where this team desperately needs to make a move to make it a World Series contending club.

14. That said, Joely Rodriguez and Chasen Shreve at least have you wondering if the Mets need a left-handed reliever. Then again, maybe David Peterson can move there for the postseason and have a 2015 Jon Niese type of impact.

15. Having Johan Santana out there with Tylor Megill, Smith, Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz was one of the coolest photos in Mets team history.

16. It is amazing hearing Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry will return to Flushing for Old Timers’ Day. It seems like all of the Mets greats want to come back to experience this.

17. Nick Plummer is what makes a season like this so special. He’s a former first rounder who was given the bust label before having a good year in Triple-A with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. It wasn’t enough to keep him around, and the Mets have been the beneficiaries for taking a chance on him.

18. It’s astonishing to think it took the Mets nearly two months to complete their first series sweep of the season. Of course, they may follow it with yet another sweep.

19. The Mets impending west coast trip isn’t really anything but a series of nine tough games. It’s not a litmus test because we know this team is good, and we also know they don’t have all of their pitching.

20. Starling Marte has responded to hearbreak by being great. If there is anyone who understands what it means to be a Met, it may just be him.

Trevor Williams Is Really Only Option To Replace Max Scherzer

Everything was going perfect for the New York Mets. After a big four run fifth inning, Max Scherzer was at 72 pitches. That meant he had at least a few more innings before passing it off to the bullpen to close out the win. That moment came far sooner than any of us realized.

After a 1-1 pitch to Dylan Carlson, Scherzer motioned to the dugout. He was hurt, and he knew he was done for the evening. Perhaps longer.

During the game, Gary Cohen announced Scherzer was going to have an MRI. After the game, Scherzer answered reporters questions. While he seemed alright, he told them he was in considerable pain, and he was experiencing spasms in his left side. It would seem reasonable to assume he’s going to be on the IL for an indeterminate amount of time.

You could really argue this was the arm the Mets could ill afford to lose. He was the Jacob deGrom insurance. While true to an extent, the Mets really can’t afford to lose anyone from their rotation from the moment. In addition to deGrom still recovering, Tylor Megill is dealing with biceps tendonitis. That means any pitcher injury was one too many.

Jose Butto and Thomas Szapucki are the only remaining starters on the 40 man roster. Butto has pitched fairly well in Double-A, but he hasn’t surpassed 64 pitches in an outing, and he is averaging four innings per start. All told, Butto is a non-starter (pun intended) for the Mets.

Szapucki has been impressing lately posting big strikeout numbers. However, Szapucki is returning from surgery, and he has also not gone above 64 pitches in a start, and he has reached five full innings in a start once. Szapucki is working his way back to being in consideration, but he’s still building strength, and in reality, it’s best for him and the Mets that he remain in Triple-A

That leaves the Mets in a bad spot. Looking at the Syracuse roster, Mike Montgomery is probably the best non-40 option, but he has a 5.52 ERA on the season including a 9.00 ERA over his last three starts. There also aren’t any surprise options down in Double-A. Really, the Mets answer isn’t in their minor league system.

The answer is Trevor Williams.

With respect to Williams, he was a Major League starter in his five plus seasons before coming to the New York Mets in the Javier Baez trade. The best way to put Williams career as a starting pitcher was he was a borderline fifth starter. That is a large reason why the Mets wanted him at the trade deadline as part of that trade. Williams was depth who could be moved to the bullpen.

In reality, Williams has pitched his best with the Mets with a 118 ERA+. Part of that was moving to the bullpen and not having to go through a lineup the second time. Going over his career, batters are hitting .283/.351/.468 when facing him a second time in a game. Again, he’s a borderline fifth starter.

The other benefit is working with Jeremy Hefner. He’s helped Williams get more movement on the sinker. Mostly, it’s just better location. Before joining the Mets, Williams had a 3.0 BB/9 and a 7.8 BB%. Since joining the Mets, he’s now at a 2.1 BB/9 and a 5.3 BB%. He’s also striking out more batters.

It’s more than that. Hefner was Williams working more down in the zone while using his four seamer up in the zone. The result has been a 45.2 GB%. Before joining the Mets, Williams had a 42.7 GB%. This has allowed Williams to take advantage of the Mets superior up the middle defense.

If these seem like incremental gains, well, they are. However, that’s still improvement which could help Williams become a more solid fifth starter. Honestly, that’s all the Mets need him to be right now.

Fortunately, he’s been at his best with the Mets, and due to a blowout loss and now a spot start, Williams has been stretched out a bit. In fact, he’s throwing as many pitches per outing as Butto and Szapucki. However, Williams has Major League success and has proven he can start at this level.

Overall, the Mets are a the end of their starting pitching depth. Williams is the next and last guy up. Fortunately, Williams is in a position where he can step up, and he’s been the best he’s ever been with the Mets. Hopefully, he can be that stopgap until somebody, anybody is able to return to the rotation.

Juluis Randle Is Not Javier Baez

On August 29, 2021, as the New York Mets had long since past fallen well out of a National League East race they once had a stranglehold, Javier Baez gave the fans a thumbs down. After the game, Baez let the fans know that if the fans boo them when they struggle, the team was going to boo them when they succeed.

The Baez thumbs down gesture was multi-layered. What should be first noted is Baez was greeted with nothing by love by Mets fans. Really, after an inital spate of intensified booing, Baez delivered, and he was cheered, and you could argue he was even adored.

In and of itself, Baez wasn’t doing this for him. Really, he was doing it for his teammate and friend Francisco Lindor. Lindor was booed during a difficult season for him. After coming to Queens and signing an extension, the future Hall of Famer struggled, and he was (unfairly) booed. He talked about how it was affecting him, and while he didn’t ask for fans to stop, he was making it clear it was having an impact on his psyche.

When Baez did the thumbs down, he was mostly doing it in defense of his teammate. Now, it was embarrassing for the team and the franchise, but ultimately, you could understand and even respect what Baez was doing.

Last night at MSG, Julius Randle broke out the thumbs down gesture. While we didn’t first notice the Mets doing it because they were terrible, we could unmistakably see Randle doing it. After all, he’s a 6’8″ PF. Like Baez, Randle had a message to deliver.

This is different from Baez in many ways. First, Randle isn’t just here for a cup of coffee. No, Randle invested in staying with the New York Knicks. He could have waited an extra year to cash in really big, but instead, he took the first chance he had to essentially become a Knick for life.

Randle really was the reason why the Knicks surprised last year, and really, it is why we thought this season would be special. Things just haven’t turned out that way for a number of reasons. While there are reasons outside of Randle, his not being the player he was last year is certainly at the forefront. Notably, this doesn’t mean he isn’t trying or has become lazy after the big contract. That is assuredly not the case.

Certainly, Randle seems to be feeling the weight of the season and expectations. Fans who showered him with adoration last year have become criticial. While he probably took the fans booing a team down by 25 too personal (that’s what they do at MSG), the booing clearly affected him like it did Lindor. That’s another key difference between him and Baez. Randle did the thumbs down for himself, not his team.

Whereas Baez became a distraction in defense of his team, Randle became one in defense of himself. It was unfortunately a story which overshadowed a big come from behind win and buzzer beater from RJ Barrett.

Here’s the thing. Randle was great in that comeback. It doesn’t happen without him. The Knicks aren’t going anywhere without him. If that is what he needs to do to get back to being the player he was last year, so be it. No Knicks fans is going to care if the production and wins follow.

On that point, that is something Baez and Randle have in common. All it takes is production and winning for this all to go away. While there are fans who may never forgive Baez, there is more than ample time to forgive Randle. If that miracle championship ever comes, rest assured, no one will ever care again that Randle did that thumbs down.

Todd Zeile Comments About Marcus Stroman Problematic

Todd Zeile covered the New York Mets as an analyst throughout the 2021 season. That left him eight months to say something about Marcus Stroman.

However, now that Stroman is gone Zeile calls him one of the most divisive players in the Mets clubhouse last year. He intimated things in the clubhouse are better just because Stroman is a Chicago Cub.

Mind you, he didn’t say this when Luis Rojas was taking the fall for the purported clubhouse issues. Notably, he didn’t rebut Rojas when the former manager lauded Stroman for being a great teammate.

He didn’t say anything when there were reports of the Mets having a special chemistry. He was silent on Stroman when the narrative emerged the Mets didn’t do more at the trade deadline because they didn’t want to infringe on the clubhouse chemistry.

Zeile also was silent on Stroman when the clubhouse chemistry issue emerged with Javier Báez‘s thumbs down to the fans. There was a perfect opportunity to address team chemistry and issues. Zeile said nothing.

Time and again, Zeile was silent on Stroman’s impact in the Mets clubhouse. However, now with Buck Showalter being hired and Stroman a Cub, he is telling everyone Stroman is divisive.

Zeile sat on this information until the offseason. He sat on it during the many times the Mets clubhouse chemistry was at issue (good or bad). Now, that he never has to face Stroman, he’s more than ready to denigrate him.

This is completely unprofessional, and it highlights Zeile has little to no credibility. He had pertinent information to share in his role as analyst, and he didn’t disclose it.

Zeile didn’t have the courage to say anything while Stroman was a Met. He didn’t have the courage to say anything while the possibility of Stroman returning existed. This is as callow as it gets.

With these comments, Zeile lost credibility. It leaves you wondering what other information is he failing to disclose just to make his life easier. What is he not telling us so he can avoid an awkward conversation with a player?

Mets fans deserve better than this. The Mets players do as well.

Trevor Story Potential Third Base Option

With Javier Báez signing with the Detroit Tigers, the New York Mets are likely still looking for another infielder. One of the issues the Mets have is the pure second and third base options aren’t all that good.

The free agent shortstop class is so deep, and if the Mets could offer enough money, they could entice a shortstop to move to third. As we saw with Max Scherzer, the Mets have the money and are willing to offer it.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Seattle Mariners have had discussions with Trevor Story to be their third baseman. Apparently, they’re not the only team.

Hopefully, the Mets are one of those teams as they still need to address third base. Given how Story has seen his once elite defense at short go from an 18 OAA two years ago to a -7 last year, it’s probably time for a switch for the 29 year old.

The decline coincided with him losing just a little bit of burst defensively. His speed has fallen from elite to good. That drop may impact his ability to play short but not third.

If you’re Story, the Mets are a good place to make that transition. Their shifting and positioning were extremely effective in putting players in a good position to make a play. He also gets to play next to Francisco Lindor who covers a lot of ground making his life a little easier.

A Lindor/Story left side of the infield has the potential to be elite defensively. It could also be very good offensively.

On this topic, let’s get one thing out of the way. There’s no reason to be concerned about Story leaving Coors Field. If you can hit at Coors, you can hit.

Of course, this refers to neutralized stats. In a down year at the plate, Story was a 103 OPS+. His career mark is 112. Generally speaking, he’s an above average hitter.

This is seen through the stats available on Baseball Savant. He hits the ball very hard, and he’s capable of squaring it up. Really looking at everything, there’s no overt reason why he had a down year by his standards, which means, he’s really likely going to go back to being the quality hitter he is.

If Story is willing to make the switch, he’d probably succeed in his attempts more in New York than anywhere else. He’s got the defensive potential and bat to be a star with the Mets. In many ways, it makes sense for both sides, and it seems like it could be a good fit.

Eduardo Escobar Really Makes No Sense

Sometimes, it’s not about the player. Sometimes, it’s about the timing. Jumping the gun to sign Eduardo Escobar is terrible timing.

Looking at the stats and metrics, Escobar is a second baseman. As a third baseman, he’s not good. He was a -3 OAA last year and a -6 for his career. The obvious problem here is he’s been presumably signed to play third.

It’s not like he particularly has a bat which is going to play well at the position. He’s a player with a career 99 OPS+. He’s been better since 2018 with a 108 OPS+, which is an improvement but not great.

Keep in mind, this is a player who will play his age 33 and 34 seasons with the Mets. Honestly, his walk rates, hard hit rates, etc. are all over the map that it’s really hard to know what he’s going to give you year-to-year.

Overall, your best bet is a roughly 2,5 WAR player. Yes, that makes him a useful player. The problem is the Mets need more, and they need better.

Keep in mind, there’s still a lot better available. There are players like Javier Báez, Kris Bryant, and even Kyle Seager. There’s other shortstops the Mets could try to move to third like Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, or Trevor Story.

Really, it’s just the beginning of free agency. There are so many options and possibilities. Instead of exploring those, the Mets opted for Escobar, who does little to almost nothing to improve the team as an everyday player.

Do Mets Fans Want Good Players?

Noah Syndergaard shocked New York Mets fans when he accepted a one year deal from the Los Angeles Angels for one year for $21 million. That was worth more than the $18.4 million qualifying offer from the Mets.

Up until this point, Syndergaard had made it clear he wanted to stay with the Mets. That was until free agency began. After that, the Mets cut off all communication, and while the Mets were quick to point out they didn’t get an opportunity to match, they also weren’t going to match.

The response from Mets fans hasn’t been bewilderment over how the team let a rehabbing ace leave. It wasn’t irritation over Sandy Alderson cutting off communication with Syndergaard like he once did with Daniel Murphy, Another Mets star who desperately wanted to stay.

The response was questioning Syndergaard’s loyalty and integrity. The belief now is he never wanted to stay. It’s on Twitter, sports radio, and of course, SNY.

Like many players, free agent Marcus Stroman especially, Syndergaard is very online. He was part of the conversation, and at times, he drove it. We also know he can be sensitive. This is the same Syndergaard who will be a free agent after the 2022 season.

We all should be expecting Syndergaard to have the Zack Wheeler type turnaround at the end of 2022 and heading into 2023. Certainly, money will dictate, like it did here, but seeing the treatment on his way out the door, why would Syndergaard want to return to this fanbase?

This is the same fanbase who had an issue mercilessly booing players this season. Incredibly, that initially happened when the Mets were in first place.

Homegrown player Michael Conforto was booed as he tried to return from COVID. Francisco Lindor was booed as he struggled to adapt to New York and all the things Chili Davis did wrong as a hitting coach.

When Javier Baez was acquired, things went from bad to worse. Baez crossed the line booing back with the thumbs down, and he dragged Lindor into it. That caused the fans to get worse until Báez was great again.

At that point, Báez was cheered and was loved. Keep in mind, Báez is a free agent. He initially talked about wanting to stay to play with his best friend, and we know Alderson has always loved him as a player.

Will Báez return? Who knows? Not everyone is Mike Piazza and wants to deal with the booing and fight to overcome it. No, some players don’t want to have to deal with the negativity which comes with the boos, Twitter nonsense, and sports radio and SNY trying to come up with the biggest nonsense.

Believe it or not, players want to get paid and play. They want to win. They want to be loved and respected by the fans.

They don’t want to deal with fans who turn their back on players because they leave, get hurt/sick, or struggle. They don’t want to deal with fans dumb enough to buy the outright lies Alderson continues to feed them (remember payroll will increase when attendance does?)

As fans, you are permitted to do whatever you want, and you can continue to parrot whatever ownership tells you. However, at some point, you have to question when is your collective behavior going to be counterproductive and keep some players away.

After all, if Syndergaard does break out, why would we want to return in 2022 after the way he was treated? What would he say to other players who are thinking of playing for the Mets? Therein lies the problem.