There is not one soul on the planet who believes Francisco Lindor‘s explanation about what happened. Really, no one believes there was a dispute between him and Jeff McNeil over whether they saw a rat or a raccoon in the clubhouse.
We know there was some sort of an altercation. Well, we at least expect there’s one. What really happened is only known by the Mets team.
Yes, it’s the job of the reporters to ask questions and get to the bottom of things. However, their reaction was been way over the top. Instead of bemusement, we saw a charge led by Todd Zeile where they were personally insulted.
Zeile said it best about Lindor's rat tale: keep whatever happened with McNeil behind closed doors but don't "insult our intelligence." He could have added: this ain't Cleveland.
— John Harper (@NYNJHarper) May 8, 2021
Of course, they didn’t with Jeff Wilpon when he stood in the way of Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Jed Lowrie, and countless others with their career threatening and altering injuries. The same goes for creating an environment of harassment with Mickey Callaway, other employees, and his own actions. Who knows what other heinous acts went unreported.
That’s partially besides the point. The media gets to cover what they want to cover. Then again, teams and players in turn get to dictate how to respond to inquiries. There are several options including ignoring the questions, boilerplate answers, and as we saw with Lindor, having some fun with it.
Opossum.. I saw a rat in Boston, against the Red Sox, this one was definitely meaner.. and BIGGER!!
— DOMINIC SMITH (@TheRealSmith2_) May 8, 2021
LFGM!!!!! Btw that was definitely a rat #bob
— Tomas Nido (@tnido24) May 8, 2021
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) May 8, 2021
Instead of the incident between Lindor and McNeil dividing them and the team, we saw it become a moment which brought the team together. We got a sense of that from Stroman.
It’s also something which has galvanized the fanbase. Mets fans are very protective of their players, and they’re all the moreso when they believe their players are being unfairly maligned.
The raccoon is also a fun angle reminiscent of the rally raccoon. For that matter, Mets fans always enjoy a good animal story whether it’s the black cat or Yoenis Cespedes‘ rally parakeet.
Whatever the case, Lindor took what could’ve been a divisive moment, and he made it absurd. From there, the players and fans rallied together. His ability to do that may very well pay dividends now and in the future.
At this point, it’s a sick joke. Really, you have to wonder if someone is doing it on purpose. It just has to be a prank or a gag.
deGrom’s final line was 8.0 IP, 5 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 14 K. The 14 strikeouts tied a career high for deGrom.
His reward for this effort? A loss.
It’s not even like deGrom didn’t help himself. In fact, he had one of the Mets three hits.
After Edwin Diaz allowed two in the ninth, the Mets would go on to lose 3-0.
Michael Conforto would be booed, and we would see J.D. Davis put on the IL before the day was over. We’d also see Jonathan Villar start over Luis Guillorme due to his offense only to go 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.
This was a complete disaster which seems to be the case when deGrom takes the mound. Put it this way. On the season, deGrom has allowed just one run over 14.0 innings. He’s allowed eight hits and walked two while striking out 21.
For all that, he’s 0-2.
Game Notes: Jed Lowrie claimed he sought to have knee surgery while with the Mets only to be told if he went through with it the team would file a grievance. This is similar to the Carlos Beltran situation only he called the Mets bluff.
So much for the universal DH.
Wheeler also has more strikeouts than anyone on the Mets pitching staff including Jacob deGrom. For that matter, so has Matt Harvey. In fact, Harvey has struck out more batters than the entire Mets staff combined.
If you think that’s scary, consider Chris Flexen does as well. In fact, Flexen has more wins that the Mets do this year. Of course, that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise considering Brodie Van Wagenen was horrible as the GM.
Of course, we all know the reasons why Wheeler is out-hitting the Mets, and Flexen has been stats than anyone on the Mets is because the Mets haven’t been able to play their opening series.
Until that point, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, and Carlos Carrasco are atop all the Mets pitching categories despite their not being able to begin their season for at least a month. Of course, no one is pitching for the Mets now.
The stats are so skewed J.D. Davis is the Mets top fielder . . . and hitter. Right now, Davis can be considered the Mets player because he’s tied atop every statistic. That’s how you know things aren’t great.
Fortunately, the Mets hiatus will be over soon when they take the field in Philadelphia on Monday. When that happens, we should soon see deGrom correct a number of these bizarre discrepancies caused by the Nationals COVID infections.
With reports the sale of the New York Mets being finalized, and with free agency having already begun, Steve Cohen has to hit the ground running. In light of that, here’s a helpful first day to-do list:
1. Have security escort Jeff Wilpon from the building.
2. Officially announce Sandy Alderson re-joining the Mets.
4. Fire Van Wagenen.
6. Call Indians and ask for initial asking price on Francisco Lindor and what pitchers they’d be willing to trade.
7. Have security do a sweep of the building up ensure Wilpon and Van Wagenen have vacated the premises.
8. Give a big raise to all the scouts and front office personnel who handle the draft.
9. Talk with media about plans going forward and to send message out to fans about this being a new era of competitiveness in all areas and accountability.
10. Order Shake Shack and enjoy a first day well done.
Justin Toscano of The Record wrote the latest in what appears to be a series of articles giving the pros and cons of keeping Brodie Van Wagenen on as the New York Mets General Manager.
There has been much written on Van Wagenen’s tenure, especially here, but when we look at it the seminal moment might’ve been the Jed Lowrie signing. After all, that was the “Come get us” moment.
As explained by Michael Mayer of MMO, things didn’t quite work out that way.
List of players with more hits with the Mets than Jed Lowrie:
Vinegar Bend Mizell
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayerMMO) October 8, 2020
Really, the best way to sum up how poorly the Lowrie signing went is Bartolo Colon had more homers with the Mets than Lowrie had hits. More to the point, Colon, who set a Major League record for PA before his first walk, drew as many walks as Lowrie did with the Mets.
Colon has nine more runs, 15 more hits, four more doubles, one more homer, and six more RBI than Lowrie has with the Mets. They’ve also played the same amount of innings at second, third, and short.
Now, this isn’t to poke fun at Lowrie. He’s been a very good player throughout his career, and by all accounts, he’s been a good guy.
Rather, this just yet again highlights how horrific Van Wagenen’s tenure as GM has been. As a result, the articles looking for reasons for him to stay are really reaching.
Looking at everything, once Steve Cohen is approved, it’s time to come get a real GM.
As the day progressed, the rained out New York Mets hopes of making the postseason lied in only one scenario. They had to win out while the San Francisco Giants were swept by the San Diego Padres.
The Padres are a very good team, so it was at least possible. With the Padres up 3-2 entering the sixth inning of the seven inning game (thanks again Manfred), there was increasing hope. That hope seemingly vanished when Wilmer Flores stepped to the plate:
🎶 I'll be there for you🎶
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 26, 2020
This should infuriate every Mets fan.
Flores was a fan favorite and productive bench player who wanted to be a Met. Instead of looking to keep him around, the Mets non-tendered him and made up an arthritic condition he didn’t actually have.
Worse yet, Flores has been more productive than any player Brodie Van Wagenen has brought into the Mets organization. That includes Jed Lowrie who actually did have a knee issue.
They tried to replace him too by trading for J.D. Davis who was actually a significantly worse defender than even what they made Flores out to be.
Overall, the Mets would’ve been much better off with Flores. That’s not only because he was better than every single Brodie Van Wagenen alternative. It’s also because Flores wouldn’t have been in San Francisco trying to end the Mets season.
Fortunately for the Mets, Trent Grisham hit a seventh inning walk-off homer for the Padres (in San Francisco) to give the Padres a 6-5 victory and to keep the Mets hopes alive.
TRENT GRISHAM WALK OFF BLAST
IN SAN FRANCISCO
— Fox Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) September 26, 2020
Tomorrow, the Mets will have to win two games while hoping Flores doesn’t have any more magic in his bat. Whatever the end result, we’re not too far away from Jeff Wilpon and Van Wagenen making stupid decisions that has Flores in San Francisco with worse options on the Mets roster.
According to reports, Steve Cohen is bringing Sandy Anderson back to the Mets as an advisor, and he is planning on finding a replacement for Brodie Van Wagenen. Both are excellent and needed decisions.
When it comes to Van Wagenen, it’s difficult to quantify exactly how much damage he has done to the well built and talented Mets organization gift wrapped to him from Alderson. Essentially, all that Alderson built needs to be rebuilt.
Van Wagenen was given a starting staff comprised of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz. Behind them were well regarded prospects in Justin Dunn, Anthony Kay, and Simeon Woods Richardson.
The Mets rotation over the final week of the 2020 season will be deGrom, Rick Porcello, maybe Matz, and who knows what else?
The position player core was remarkably cheap and talented. There was Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, and Amed Rosario. Behind them was Andres Gimenez and Jarred Kelenic.
Sure, there were some bad contracts, but they were short term in nature, and they were not going to serve as an impediment to either building on or retaining this core.
For example, the Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes contacts were set to expire after this season. That coincided perfectly with having to have the money to re-sign deGrom and to have extension talks with Conforto, Matz, and Syndergaard.
Instead, the Mets no longer have Kelenic giving them a buffet against losing one of Conforto or Nimmo. They also have Robinson Cano‘s onerous contract on the books which already served as an impediment to re-signing Wheeler.
That’s nothing to say of the quality prospect purge in the same of finding a late inning defensive replacement in center for a team who already had Juan Lagares and adding J.D. Davis to a team already overstocked in 1B/DH players.
Couple this with the Mets getting rid of Wilmer Flores for nothing only for him to be more productive than anyone Van Wagenen brought into the organization and signing Jed Lowrie for $20 million to get eight pinch hitting attempts, and the Van Wagenen stint as GM has been an unmitigated disaster.
If you want to point to Van Wagenen’s drafts as a positive, you should. However, in doing that, remember, that was a scouting group built by Alderson and Omar Minaya. The Mets will be keeping both advisors.
When you take everything into account, Alderson built the Mets to be a competitive team in 2019 and 2020. With any luck, he had a deep farm system to make the types of trades he made in 2015 to help get the team over the top.
The real window for this Mets team was supposed to open in 2021. Given the talent on the Major League roster and in the farm system, it promised to be a 1980s like run.
Instead, Alderson is back to figure out how yo fix this mess. Fortunately for him, he won’t have Van Wagenen or Jeff Wilpon standing in his way. Instead, he will have an owner with deep pockets who intends to let smart baseball people like Alderson do their jobs.
Well, the Mets took two out of three from the Phillies. As a result, the Mets next series actually matters. So there’s that. Here’s some more:
1. This is just the third series the Mets have won all year and the first against a team other than the Miami Marlins.
3. The deGrom start was a tough one because it probably cost him the Cy Young, which will also hinder his Hall of Fame chances.
5. As far as the starting pitching, we haven’t seen much of a tangible impact from new pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, but we have seen him help relievers with pitch utilization and locations.
6. That’s not to say the bullpen has been good because it hasn’t. However, they came up big in a series when deGrom and Lugo didn’t pitch five innings combined.
7. There’s a lot to unwrap from Lugo’s start including how the Phillies hit four homers off of him and his decreased velocity as a starter. While this bears mentioning, we need to see more before drawing any conclusions.
8. Lugo even being in the rotation is another indication of just how awful a job Brodie Van Wagenen has done and just how much he has stripped the Mets of quality rotation depth.
10. Articles trying to explain why Steve Cohen’s money may not matter and why he won’t spend right away are trying to be a little too cute and are very disingenuous in their premises.
11. Also, Cohen is getting approved because he’s going to be the wealthiest owner in the game, and he bought the Mets for more than any North American sports team has ever sold. People telling you his approval is because of the respect Fred Wilpon has in the game are embarrassing themselves.
12. Wilson Ramos has seemingly struggled more than anyone being separated from his family. It’s a real shame he has dealt with these issues.
13. Its a good thing J.D. Davis had that big game on Wednesday because he’s been basically terrible since August 1 costing the Mets games with his ground balls and glove.
14. Over the last month, Davis is hitting .253/.360/.411, and Jeff McNeil is hitting .360/.442/.584. Naturally, McNeil bats seventh and Davis third. It’s because it’s not about winning, but rather about Van Wagenen.
15. With Davis and Pete Alonso struggling, at some point the uncomfortable conversation needs to happen about how much the juiced ball impacted their 2019 production.
16. Anyone calling Brandon Nimmo a fourth outfielder doesn’t know anything about baseball.
17. With Dellin Betances likely exercising his $6 million player option, and the Mets having to buy out Ramos for $1.5 million and Robinson Chirinos for $2.5, the Wilpons have left a nice $10 million tab for Cohen.
18. The extra postseason spots made sense in a 60 game season, but it will be a disaster going forward. So naturally, Rob Manfred wants it.
19. Looking through the years, under this new proposed format, you’re going to get under .500 teams in the postseason on a routine basis. That’s bad for the sport.
20. The Mets have to play the best baseball they possibly can to even have a chance. Given the matchups against the Braves and Rays, their chances aren’t good, but we’re Mets fans, so we’re going to watch and hold out hope.
It seems at least once a year the Washington Nationals just embarrass the Mets. While much has changed in this COVID19 world, apparently, this tradition has survived.
Brandon Nimmo had a rough night in the outfield. He didn’t make an error, but he didn’t get to a lot of balls. He wasn’t the only one off during the Nationals 16-4 thrashing of a the Mets.
The Nationals hit four homers with two of them coming from former Met Asdrubal Cabrera. That included a true juiced ball homer.
JUICED BALL HR OF THE NIGHT pic.twitter.com/uGxSYEHKSb
— Dylan Hornik (@_Hornik_) August 11, 2020
You may remember Cabrera from his stint with the Mets. If not, you may remember him as the guy Brodie Van Wagenen didn’t give a courtesy call to when he instead opted to sign his former client Jed Lowrie, who had a busted knee.
Lowrie gave the Mets nine pinch hit attempts, and Cabrera helped the Nationals win the World Series. He also helped destroy the Mets tonight. So, thanks for that Brodie.
Really, the less said about this debacle, the better. It’s time to turn the page and just try to figure out how to piece together a starting rotation. Again, thanks for that Brodie.
Before the game, the New York Mets announced Yoenis Cespedes went missing. The Mets didn’t know where he was, and as time progressed, it turns out, we didn’t even know if the Mets did the bare minimum to locate him . . . if they even did that.
During the game, they informed us they still haven’t heard from or located Cespedes, but they knew he was safe. That’s an odd statement to make about someone you haven’t spoken to nor know his whereabouts.
In the end, it turned out Cespedes opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID19 concerns. As reported by The Athletic, Cespedes has a family member who was high risk for COVID19 which drove his decision.
Before the season, there were reasons to play. There was a lot of money on the line not just for 2020, but if he could prove he could play, his 2021 contract was at stake.
However, as time passed circumstances changed dramatically. The Marlins had an outbreak. The Cardinals may be on the verge of one. He wasn’t getting the playing time, and he wasn’t hitting to the extent he needed to hit those incentives.
All in all, it’s possible Cespedes said it wasn’t worth the risk anymore.
However, at this point, we still don’t know. Cespedes hasn’t commented, and the Mets made sure no one but Brodie Van Wagenen commented on the matter.
In the same Zoom session Brodie Van Wagenen talked about transparency, #mets PR cut off the session with 6 hands still raised and then made just one player — a rookie pitcher — available.
— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) August 2, 2020
While the Mets told us about how they were blindsided by Cespedes, they certainly seemed to know he was alright, and the team also seemed to have addressed his absence by obtaining Billy Hamilton from the San Francisco Giants.
So, to sum up, the Mets traded for another outfielder, knew Cespedes was alright, stopped answering questions about it, and they refused to let the players speak to the press about it. Believe what you want, but the Mets are hiding something here.
So today’s fiasco seems to be either:
1. The Mets sent a statement designed to shame Yoenis Cespedes.
2. The Mets sent out a statement to say Yoenis Cespedes didn’t come to work — but without first determining his wellbeing.
A well-run organization would do neither.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) August 2, 2020
On the field, the Mets continue to disappoint.
David Peterson had a quality start allowing three runs over six innings, but he’d take the loss because the Mets were shutout. The team was 1-for-15 with RISP and left 13 runners on base.
There were many culprits for this 4-0 loss, but the biggest was the Mets front office spearheaded by Brodie Van Wagenen with not just how he handled this situation, but each and every situation with this team.