In their 60 year history, the New York Mets have never had an MVP. Francisco Lindor is set to change that.
This is a record setting season for Lindor, and it’s the type that gets recognized. He’s really out there doing what Hall of Famers do. Being a future Hall of Famer, that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.
As noted above, Lindor is one of 12 players in MLB history to have 10+ game streaks with a run scored and an RBI. That list includes Babe Ruth, Mel Ott, Rogers Hornsby, Hack Wilson, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Joe Morgan.
Lindor is also setting Mets records. He’s the first Mets shortstop with consecutive 20 home run seasons. In fact, he’s the only Mets shortstop with a 20 home run season.
Lindor ranks sixth in the majors with 79 RBI. That puts him two behind Jose Reyes for the Mets single season record by a shortstop.
Overall, Lindor has played 110 games thus far. He’s hitting .268/.344/.462 with 17 doubles, three triples, 20 homers, and 79 RBI. He’s 11/14 in stolen base opportunities.
From an advanced stat perspective, Lindor has a 4.4 bWAR, 4.8 fWAR, 130 wRC+, 127 OPS+, and an 8 OAA. These are outstanding numbers.
The bWAR ranks Lindor sixth. One note here is Arenado and Goldschmidt may split the vote. With respect to Austin Riley, there may be emphasis on how much better the Mets were, and how good Lindor was in that division altering series.
Lindor is certainly in the Gold Glove mix and may find himself a finalist. Even if he’s not, he’s the one shortstop in the game who or year-in and year-out one of the best defenders and hitters at the position.
All told, the Mets are having a special season, and Lindor has been their best player. Historically, players like this do well in MVP voting.
With 51 games remaining in the season, we could well see Lindor establish himself as the best player in the NL. He could be the Mets first MVP.
One of the best things Steve Cohen has done in terms of fan engagement is Old Timers’ Day. The New York Mets now have their own history, and we now get the opportunity to celebrate it. Apparently, fans aren’t the only ones eager to celebrate it.
We have seen a number of players eager to return. Already on the docket are a who’s who of Mets greats including Mike Piazza, Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Howard Johnson, John Franco, Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez, Daniel Murphy, Mookie Wilson, and many, many more. Really, Mets players are coming out of the woodwork to try to attend this event.
With every name came more excitement and more fond memories. Then, the Mets announced Jose Reyes was returning.
While the Mets were blowing Game 4 of the 2015 World Series, Reyes was in Hawaii grabbing his wife by the neck and throwing her into glass doors. The altercation was so violent, the hotel would need to call the police, and his wife would need to be taken by ambulance to a local hospital to be treated for her injuries.
The Colorado Rockies (who also had Trevor Story ready) were so appalled they released Reyes. There was a debate whether Reyes would ever play a game again. After all, who in the world would want someone like that on their team? It’s one thing to deal with someone on your roster. It is a whole other to proactively go out and sign that player (or acquire him if you are the New York Yankees and Aroldis Chapman).
Well, frankly, the Mets were cheap morons, and their third base plan for 2016 was David Wright. That lasted until May 27. After that, the Mets were trying to figure it out on the fly. Instead of looking to make a trade, they opted to do the whole dog-and-pony show of trying to rehabilitate Reyes’ image.
Reyes was decent enough, and he had a big homer against the Philadelphia Phillies. The media acquiesced with the Mets demands and wrote the necessary articles (yes, they are 100% complicit) to support the Mets bold move to cheap out and take bad a wife beater. Everyone was so happy the Mets brought Reyes back.
Well, third base wasn’t good enough anymore for Reyes. With Asdrubal Cabrera‘s thumb injury, Reyes pushed his way to short. It was a bad year for Reyes, and it was apparent to the Mets, they needed to pivot. Amed Rosario was called up at the end of the year to be the shortstop of the future, and in the offeseason, they had to sign Todd Frazier to play the third base Reyes no longer wanted to play.
Reyes agreed to be the utility player. Anything to help the team. Again, just talk.
Reyes didn’t really put the time in to succeed in the outfield. He was terrible, and he stopped playing there. Then, the sham of the narrative he was going to mentor Rosario was exposed when he whined to the media about it. This came at a time when the baseball world was wondering if he was done and would soon be ticketed for being designated for assignment. Instead, he was rewarded with more playing time.
Despite the beating of his wife and acting bigger than the organization, he was given a big send-off as part of the Wright festivities. He got to retire as the Mets leadoff hitter and shortstop. He deserved none of this.
After he beat his wife, the Mets had kept throwing him olive branch after olive branch. None were good enough for him. He showed a complete lack of gratitude to this organization. And now, he’s going to be rewarded by being brought back for Old Timers’ Day like he didn’t beat his wife and wasn’t a completely selfish jerk on his way out?
Seriously? This is Wilpon level garbage and has no place in the Steve Cohen era. In reality, Reyes has no business being at Citi Field for Old Timers Day even if he bought his own ticket.
If in 2019, Jacob deGrom spoke with reporters and said he wasn’t signing an extension but was instead testing the free agent market, New York Mets fan would’ve been in a panic.
The Wilpons never could’ve afforded a bidding war for deGrom. For that matter, they probably had zero interest in one. In all likelihood, it would’ve been the Jose Reyes to the Miami Marlins all over again.
Put another way, deGrom would’ve been gone without an offer, and the Mets would be playing media games. No Mets fan could’ve handled that.
However, now, deGrom announces he’s opting out, and fans are wondering just how much more the Mets will give him. There’s just an implicit trust Steve Cohen and the organization will not let deGrom leave. Certainly, not over money.
After all, we saw the Mets give Max Scherzer $43 million per year to join the rotation despite his being 37. We saw Cohen shrug off the Cohen Tax and announce he’s going over it.
Now, this isn’t to say deGrom returning is a lock. Weird things happen. For that matter, the opt out isn’t an absolute certainty. There’s a lot that can happen during the 2022 season.
What we know is Cohen has the money. We also know deGrom has repeatedly said he wants the chance to spend his entire career with the Mets. Both have the will to make deGrom a lifetime Met.
Because this isn’t the Wilpons, we can have faith it will happen. Because we’ve seen the lengths Cohen is willing to go this offseason, we can trust it will happen.
In many ways, this is the best part of Cohen buying the Mets from the Wilpons. We can believe and trust it will happen.
Since 1989, you would tune into the occasional New York Mets broadcast, and you would hear Howie Rose incredulous another Mets player wearing the number 17. With the New York Mets announcing Keith Hernandez‘s 17 will now be retired, we will be forever robbed of those moments, but we can look back at the players who wore the number after Hernandez left the Mets.
David Cone – Cone would change his number from 44 to 17 in honor of his teammate. It would be the number Cone wore when he led the league in strikeouts and tied Tom Seaver‘s then National League record of 19 strikeouts in a game.
Jeff McKnight – McKnight became the first player assigned the number after Hernandez wore it, and you could argue it was even more of an eyesore because it was the year the Mets had the underscore jerseys. Believe it or not, McKnight just had a knack for wearing great numbers. He would also wear David Wright‘s 5, Jose Reyes‘ 7, Carlos Beltran‘s 15, and Darryl Strawberry‘s 18.
Bret Saberhagen – Saberhagen changed from his usual 18 with the Kansas City Royals and the number he first had with the Mets after his good friend Cone was traded to the Toronto BLue Jays. While Saberhagen did have some success with the Mets, he was probably the player least suited to wearing the number after the bleach incident.
Brent Mayne – Again with the former Royals wearing 17. Mayne’s first hit with the Mets was a walk-off RBI single off Dennis Eckersley to take the opening series of the season. Even after that, he still couldn’t get recognized on the 7 line on the way to the park.
Luis Lopez – Lopez was a utility player for the Mets for three years including the beloved team. His biggest hit with the Mets was the time he punched Rey Ordonez on the team bus. Hearkening back to the team photo incident between Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry, this may be the most Hernandez moment any of the subsequent players to wear the number 17 ever had.
Mike Bordick – Bordick was supposed to be the key pickup for the Mets to replace the injured Ordonez at short. He gave us all hope as he homered in his first Mets at-bat, but things would end badly as he would be benched for Kurt Abbott in the World Series, and he would return to the Baltimore Orioles in free agency. Worse yet, 1999 postseason hero Melvin Mora, who was traded for Bordick, would go on to be a star for the Orioles.
Kevin Appier – With Cone, Saberhagen, and then Appier, it seemed Royals pitchers really liked wearing 17 with the Mets. Appier came to the then pennant winning Mets in the hopes of winning a World Series, but unfortunately, he is forever known as the key piece sent to the Angels for Mo Vaughn.
Graeme Lloyd – Lloyd was one of the few who thrived with the Yankees who pitched well for the Mets. He didn’t last a full season as he and many of the 2003 Mets who battled under Art Howe was moved at the trade deadline.
Wilson Delgado – Mets fans were thrilled to obtain Delgado in 2004 as he would be the return for Roger Cedeno. Delgado played 42 games for the Mets in 2004. He’d never appear in a Major League game after that.
Jose Lima – The 2006 Mets pitching staff was so injured that we’d get Lima Time! for four starts. After struggling mightily, this marked the end of his MLB career as he then played internationally.
David Newhan – There really isn’t much to tell with Newhan. In his one year with the Mets, he proved himself to be that classic Four-A guy who annihilated Triple-A pitching but struggled in the majors.
Fernando Tatis – Omar Minaya first signed Tatís as an amateur and would bring him to the Mets organization. Tatís rewarded Minaya’s faith by winning the 2008 NL Comeback Player of the Year. For a franchise known for “what ifs,” you can’t help but wonder if the Mets don’t collapse for a second straight season if Tatis didn’t injure his shoulder. While Tatís had many memorable moments with the Mets, perhaps, his most memorable was his being one of the few actually capable of hitting it over the Great Wall of Flushing.
After Tatis, the Mets had finally said enough was enough. They were taking the number 17 out of circulation like they had done in the past with Willie Mays‘ 24. That meant the number was not going to be worn again. That is, unless, the next Rickey Henderson came long. However, now, with the number being officially retired, no one will ever wear Hernandez’s 17 again.
The New York Mets seem to be narrowing their managerial search, and reading the tea leaves, it seems Buck Showalter will be the next manager. There are reports Steve Cohen wants him, and there are ties from the New York Yankees between new general manager Billy Eppler and Showalter.
If we are going to go back to Eppler’s old Yankees ties, the Mets could also look at Willie Randolph for the managerial role. With Randolph, there are two things which stand out in his candidacy: (1) he’s actually had success as the Mets manager; and (2) he has unfinished business.
When we look back at Randolph’s Mets tenure, people mostly remember the bad. There was the 2007 collapse, and he was fired one game into a west coast trip. There was the chasm between him and Carlos Delgado. Of course, many forget the 2008 Mets also collapsed, but this time under the helm of Jerry Manuel.
Really, Randolph had to deal with more as the Mets manager than most did. He never had the full backing and respect of ownership. Things got so bad Manuel and Tony Bernazard were going behind Randolph’s back to not only spy on him but to find reasons to remove him from the job. The shame of it was Randolph was quite good at the job.
First and foremost, Randolph was immediately challenged in his job by trying to find a way to graciously end Mike Piazza‘s Mets career. Randolph did it in a way where Piazza not only had a strong season, but he had his dignity during the course of the season.
Randolph was gifted an old foe in Pedro Martinez atop the rotation. Notably, despite the many battles between the two during the heyday of the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, there was nothing but respect between the two. Randolph had tried to protect Martinez from the team, but to no avail.
Another challenge with Randolph was the Carlos Beltran situation. He helped Beltran navigate through what was a disaster of a 2005 season and get him playing at a Hall of Fame level. By most accounts, the two had a good relationship, which is something a smart manager will have with their superstar.
One important part of that is the ability to adapt. When Randolph first took over the Mets job, he initially tried to make the Mets more like the Yankees. Case-in-point was the restrictions on facial hair. That is something he eventually rescinded.The ability to adapt to the job is of vital importance.
There were other highlights from Randolph’s tenure with the most important being his development of David Wright and Jose Reyes. With respect to Reyes, he was able to help him hone his skills to develop a more sensible approach at the plate to help him become an All-Star. With respect to Wright, he admitted in his book, The Captain: A Memoir, Randolph helped him become the Major League player he wanted to be. If not for injuries, that would’ve been a Hall of Famer.
Looking at Randolph, one of the biggest skills he had was his working relationship with Rick Peterson. The two worked together to get the most out of the Mets pitching staff, and we saw them do some things which may now be considered commonplace. For example, Randolph had a very quick hook in the 2006 postseason, and he was not afraid to let his superior bullpen win him games. The Mets will be looking for something like that in 2022 with Jeremy Hefner being retained as pitching coach.
Overall, Randolph had strenghts and weaknesses as manager. As we saw with him, the strengths far outweighed the weaknesses. That’s a major reason why he’s second only to Davey Johnson in winning percentage. He was a very good manager, who for some reason, never got another opportunity to manage.
Perhaps at 67, Randolph no longer has any designs on managing. If he does, we need to remember he was a good manager for the Mets. Unfortunately, he never received a fair shake. All told, Randolph knows what it takes to succeed with the Mets. No, he’ll never get the job, but there should have at least been some level of interest.
Going back to 2015, Noah Syndergaard arguably had the best career ahead of him out of any of the Mets proverbial five aces. He had just unparalleled stuff, and he had the swagger to back it up. More than that, he was a big game pitcher.
We saw Syndergaard come out of the bullpen in Game 5 of the NLDS to shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers for an inning. He followed that with a win in Game two of the NLCS, and he would be the only Mets pitcher to win a game in the World Series. You could see greatness in Syndergaard in those moments, and greatness would ensue.
In 2016, Syndergaard would fulfill every bit of his promise. He was a true ace, and he emerged as an All-Star and top 10 in Cy Young voting. To date, he is probably the only pitcher to go toe-to-toe with Madison Bumgarner in the postseason. In that game, Syndergaard actually outpitched Bumgarner over his seven innings, but unfortunately, there were two more innings in that game.
After that, we excepted Syndergaard to do what Jacob deGrom essentially did. The problem was Syndergaard faced injuries and the Mets medical staff as run by Jeff Wilpon. There was the torn lat, and then two years later, he required Tommy John surgery. That Tommy John rehab was interred with by a minor injury and COVID19.
This wasn’t new to the Mets. This is akin to what happened to Zack Wheeler. They saw it happen. It took Wheeler two years to get back on the mound. Then, it took him another half of a season just to get up to speed again. After that Wheeler was terrific, and then, he was out the door to Philadelphia as the Mets showed little to no interest in re-signing him.
The final indignity with Wheeler was Brodie Van Wagenen taking shots at him. Wheeler responded by being one of the best pitchers in baseball. In fact, he is a finalist for the 2021 Cy Young. While some sycophants may want to tell you otherwise, this was apparent at the time Wheeler hit free agency.
This is the same exact situation the Mets found themselves with Syndergaard. Actually not quite because they were going to get the opportunity to keep Syndergaard BEFORE he rebounded post Tommy John. Moreover, Syndergaard loved New York, and he wanted to stay. You couldn’t have scripted a perfect situation for the Mets.
They had the opportunity to learn from the Wheeler mistake. They were going to be able to keep an ace at a discount. They were going to be able to prove the organization was not in complete disarray as it looked with the president of baseball operations and GM search. Put another way, they could show the world this wasn’t just a more financially solvent version of the Wilpon run Mets.
Instead, Syndergaard is bolting for the Los Angeles Angels for a one year $21 million deal. No, Syndergaard didn’t get a multi-year deal. He ONLY received $2.6 million more from the Angels. The Mets lost Syndergaard over $2.6 million. This is so inexplicably and embarrassingly Wilponian.
While the Angels were talking with Syndergaard, the Mets were botching their GM search and choosing the worst possible candidate in Billy Eppler. Like he did with Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy, Alderson decided it wasn’t worth keeping a homegrown Mets player and build around him and let him flourish because he could get a compensatory second round pick.
This all makes you question how soon before Michael Conforto and Marcus Stroman are gone and replaced with lesser players? After all, that’s been Alderson’s MO with the Mets. Steve Cohen was supposed to change that, but as we’ve seen so far, it’s the same old with Alderson.
Really, everything sucks right now with the Mets, and you have no idea where it goes from here.
Because it’s what Scott Boras does, he held court at the GM Meetings. During that time, he drummed up hype for Michael Conforto calling him the “King of Queens” and the “Ace of many GM’s hearts.”
"He's basically become the King of Queens. In free agency now, he's kind of like the ace of many GM's hearts."
Scott Boras says the interest level in Michael Conforto has been "extraordinary": pic.twitter.com/rvCJjtKPMy
— SNY (@SNYtv) November 10, 2021
Of course, because it’s Boras, and the New York Mets are the New York Mets, Boras took a shot at the Mets. This time, instead of criticizing how they won’t spend (Steve Cohen is not the Wilpons), he mocked them for being the only team without a GM at the GM Meetings.
Alderson couldn’t let this slight stand. So, he made sure to take it out on Conforto, a player who literally teared up on the field at the prospect of playing his last game in a Mets uniform.
Sandy Alderson responds to Scott Boras' comments on Michael Conforto
"Those comments I would characterize as a blowhard in a house of cards" pic.twitter.com/JOTcV8sj1a
— SNY (@SNYtv) November 11, 2021
Conforto was an All-Star. He hit two homers in a World Series game. He emerged as a leader. He’s been one of the best homegrown position players in Mets history, and he’s scattered across the top 10 in the record books.
Put the Boras hype aside. This was a very good player for your franchise. He’s been a good citizen the franchise continuously put in harm’s way without so much as a complaint from him (at least not publicly). This is a player who deserves respect, and frankly, this is the exact player you should want to keep.
But no, Alderson thinks calling Conforto a terrific player deserving of a big contract is just Boras being a blowhard. That’s an awfully nice way to treat Conforto.
But this is the standard course for Alderson. He eventually grows to have no use for Mets homegrown players, especially when he can get draft pick compensation – just ask Daniel Murphy and Jose Reyes for starters.
But hey, he always fails to adequately replace the players he unceremoniously dumps. Good thing he’s standing in the way of a president of baseball operations or GM who’d look to keep the good players the franchise produces and not needlessly insult them on their way out.
Now, after we see what he’s done and has been accused of doing, it’s easy to say the New York Mets were lucky to not sign Trevor Bauer. At this point, it’s fair to question if he ever pitches again.
If Bauer took the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers in this series, he would’ve been mercilessly booed. It is certainly one of the enumerated reasons Bauer is on administrative leave. However, make no mistake, if Bauer was a Met, there would be a legion of Mets fans who would be defending him.
We have actual proof of how Mets fans would react towards players who are/were violent towards women. They get introduced on the PA system and receive a standing ovation with “Jose!” chants.
That’s right. Despite his beating his wife on Halloween 2015 to the point she was taken to the hospital and he received a lengthy domestic violence suspension, Jose Reyes received a hero’s welcome at Citi Field.
That sends a clear message Mets fans as a collective don’t care. They cheered Reyes, and you can bet the house they’d be defending Bauer right now if he signed with the team in the offseason as many desperately wanted despite other transgressions.
If you think otherwise, the Jose chants will be drowning out your arguments.
The New York Mets traveled to Atlanta, and they lost yet another road series.
1. At 17-25, the Mets are an awful road team, and they’re not going anywhere if they can’t correct this.
2. When you include the one Washington Nationals make-up game, the Mets three out of four. Digging deeper, they’ve lost 10 out of their last 16.
4. Only Jacob deGrom could have a seven inning game where he allows three runs while walking none and striking out 14 a bad start.
5. It’s very troubling Sandy Alderson hired Mickey Callaway (or at least was the GM when Jeff Wilpon did it), hired Jared Porter, and came extremely close to signing Trevor Bauer. Oh, and he was the guy who brought back Jose Reyes.
6. There’s absolutely no place for Bauer in baseball.
8. Mets are a clutch James McCann three run homer from the walls caving in on them.
9. He was injured, but David Peterson hasn’t been good or consistent all year. The sad part is even with that they still need him.
10. Maybe it’s a blip, or maybe the league has figured out Sean Reid-Foley, but his last few appearances haven’t been good.
11. The Thomas Szapucki outing was disheartening as he didn’t really show any indication he’d be ready to help the Mets this year.
13. Albert Almora has now surrendered more homers and RBI than he’s hit. Good on him for volunteering to pitch, but there’s no reason for him to stay up over Billy McKinney when Brandon Nimmo is healthy.
14. Mets need a lot more of what Dominic Smith provided this past week, especially since his LF defense isn’t good.
15. Pete Alonso has been hitting a lot better of late, but sooner or later, he needs to start hitting a home. The same could be said for this entire Mets team.
16. With the great second base defense Jose Peraza has provided and his big hits the Mets should be really be considering his role going forward with the team. You could argue he should be playing everyday.
17. The Mets will never do it, but J.D. Davis still has minor league options and can’t refuse an assignment to Syracuse. Given how he can’t play a position, and his activation may force a Peraza DFA, he should be sent to Syracuse where he can actually learn how to play defense.
18. Speaking of Syracuse, it’s an embarrassment to the Mets and MLB that the Mets organization is not providing housing and other needs to minor leaguers they’re barely paying.
19. The quote was met with derision but hitting coach Hugh Quattlebaum is right. He needs to focus on processes. When processes are correct and clicking, the runs will then follow.
20. The Mets and Yankees both head into the Subway Series in complete disarray and with the threat of all three games being rained out.
Former New York Mets Manager Mickey Callaway was suspended through the end of the 2022 season. At that time, the now deposed Los Angeles Angels pitching coach can apply for reinstatement to Major League Baseball.
In some respects, this is good because it’s a harsher penalty than any steroid user faces for a single offense. It’s also more severe than what the Houston Astros faced.
Going further, it’s a harsher penalty than what Jose Reyes or any domestic abuser has faced. So, yes, to that end, it’s progress.
However, the penalty in and of itself is just a slap on the wrist and falls far short of being reflective of Callaway’s actions. To that, it’s time to revisit the allegations in the article written by Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang of The Athletic.
Callaway was accused of sending UNWANTED and UNSOLICITED pornographic pictures of himself to female reporters and requesting they reciprocate. He’d leverage his position inviting these same and other reports out for drinks to provide news or leaks.
This on top of his thrusting himself towards female reporters, and you see this was a monster. This wasn’t just harassing behavior, it was borderline criminal. Keep in mind, that’s just what we know.
Callaway’s response to this was to deny wrongdoing. He did that despite behaving this way for over five years. He did that despite their being text messages between him and his victims.
Either he knew he was screwed and opted to push Major League Baseball to act, or he really had no clue his behavior was disgusting and wrong.
It needs to be reiterated Callaway’s lewd and malicious actions took place for a period over five years. It involved multiple women, and he showed no signs of remorse. He then dragged MLB further through the mud. Of course, he did that to a situation partially of MLB’s making.
The response? A two year suspension?After FIVE PLUS YEARS of harassment, he’s suspended for TWO!
In that suspension, there’s no mandatory counseling and/or a framework for it. There’s no coinciding MLB partnership with organizations to aide in eliminating this behavior.
Sure, MLB put the provision for application for reinstatement, but that’s just kicking the rock down the road. It only has teeth if they want it to have teeth.
As we saw with Alex Cora with the Boston Red Sox and A.J. Hinch with the Detroit Tigers, if a team thinks they can help you win, they won’t care about your transgressions. Now, what Cora and Hinch did doesn’t compare to the heinous acts of Callaway, but the point remains.
After all, Callaway was “the worst kept secret in baseball.” Everyone knew what he was doing, and yet, he wasn’t fired by the Cleveland Indians. Worse yet, he was actually hired by the Mets and Angels.
In sum, we see the problem is bigger than just Callaway. To that end, we get the sense of why over five years of harassment leads to just a two year suspension.