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.
José Reyes is the house and the Citi Field crowd gave him a standing ovation and a warm extended applause. Perfect song choice by the Mets, too. pic.twitter.com/7AkHJlaktC
— Deesha (@DeeshaThosar) August 14, 2021
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.
Earlier in the season, Michael Conforto was struggling mightily. There were a number of reasons why from his having COVID19 entering Spring Training and how the New York Mets weren’t playing games due to COVID19 and weather shutdowns. This happens to everyone now and then.
Conforto is a homegrown Mets player who has expressed his interest in staying with the team for his career. He is a leader in the clubhouse who could one day be captain. He was arguably their best player last year, and he was a former All-Star who seems to be getting back to that level.
Naturally, during his struggles Mets fans booed him.
The fans who could not attend games last year decided to boo their team’s leader. He didn’t get any rope from his previous seasons with the Mets. His homering twice in a World Series game didn’t matter. All that mattered is he struggled over a handful of games.
Now, Conforto is hitting, so as a result, the Mets fans ire must be directed towards another player. Naturally, that player is Francisco Lindor, a player who signed on to be a member of the New York Mets for 11 years and could one day wear a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. Mind you, Lindor was booed on a day when he did this:
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 28, 2021
But Lindor didn’t get a big hit while the Mets have been struggling at the plate; so, therefore, he must be booed. It doesn’t matter Lindor is historically a slow starter, or that he has been otherworldly with the glove. Lindor has saved the Mets a number of times already with his defense. That doesn’t matter the least bit. All that matters is he didn’t come through in that spot.
This isn’t to say players shouldn’t be booed. There are certainly times where fans are within their rights. After all, there are players who are clearly dogging it out there. There are players like Jose Reyes who beat his wife, and Bartolo Colon who didn’t pay child support. Beloved Met J.D. Davis was part of the biggest cheating scandal post-steroids. However, none of those players have been booed for those actions.
No, you get booed because you have some struggles at the plate. You didn’t get a hit in one spot. What you have meant to the team, your wanting to be a big part of the franchise’s future, and all of your goodwill means absolutely nothing. Mets fans need to be much better than this. They are embarrassing themselves booing players like Conforto and Lindor.
Instead of trying to stake claim to different sections of the ballpark and coming up with cute names for themselves, they should actually be paying attention to the players on the field. They should know what those players have and will mean to the franchise. If they can’t grasp that, they should just go out and boo themselves because in the end, they’re the ones making everyone look bad.
If we hearken back to the 2018 season, the New York Mets were languishing, and Todd Frazier landed on the IL for the first time in his career. Jose Reyes was just flat out terrible, Wilmer Flores was at first, and David Wright, well, he wasn’t an option. Down in Double-A Binghamton, Jeff McNeil was flat out raking. He just kept hitting and hitting and hitting.
The answer seemed obvious to everyone. Everyone, that is, except Sandy Alderson and the New York Mets. When pressed on calling up McNeil to play third base, the answer was McNeil was a second baseman only. Of course, the irony there was McNeil was the Binghamton Rumble Ponies Opening Day third baseman.
Back then, it was difficult to ascertain how much of personnel decisions were driven by Jeff Wilpon, whomever Wilpon decided to listen on any given day, or Alderson. Whatever the case, McNeil would eventually get the call-up, prove himself, and he would go on to have an All-Star season in 2019.
Since 2019, things have gone quite uneven for McNeil as it has for the rest of us. In the end, what we do know with McNeil is he is an exceptionally gifted contact hitter, and he is a fiery player who you could trust defensively at four different positions.
According to Baseball Savant, McNeil has a career 3 OAA at second, 3 OAA at third, and -1 OAA in left field. DRS has a much better picture with McNeil having a 5 DRS at second, 6 DRS at third, and a 3 DRS in left field. All told, McNeil is not a Gold Glove, but he is a very solid defender at multiple positions.
As noted, McNeil could hit. Entering this season, McNeil had a 139 wRC+. Since his debut, he has been the 13th best hitter in the majors, and he trailed only Brandon Nimmo among Mets players. All told, McNeil has established himself as a very good, versatile, and valuable Major League player. Despite that, we are seemingly back at square one with McNeil.
With the acquisition of Francisco Lindor, and his preference to hit near the top of the lineup, McNeil was dropped from the top two spots, where he thrived, to sixth and seventh in the lineup. Perhaps it was the drop in the lineup, the new baseball, the delay to the season, the typical influence Chili Davis has on his teams, the pandemic, or just the normal ebbs and flows of the season, but McNeil has struggled.
The thing is, he didn’t quite struggle right away. In fact, to start the season, McNeil was tattooing the ball. Unfortunately, he was not getting any luck. Balls he normally hit for singles and doubles weren’t falling in anymore. The Mets reaction to that was to sit him after the Mets first two games of the season.
That has become an emerging pattern for McNeil. So far, the Mets have played 17 games, and McNeil has only started in 14 of them. The only projected starter who has started in fewer games is J.D. Davis, but that was only because Davis landed on the IL after getting hit by a pitch early in the season.
Davis is somewhat illustrative of the problem here. Davis has again been a nightmare defensively. He’s already a -2 DRS and a -1 OAA at third. He made errors directly impacting his team and leading Taijuan Walker and David Peterson to have shorter starts. The end result was just one game off, where he still appeared as a pinch hitter, and he was put right back in the lineup.
For some reason, Davis is able to work through his problems despite them not being fixable. For McNeil, this is very clearly a blip, but he keeps getting relegated to the bench. Instead of getting to see more pitches and get into a rhythms, the Mets are doing to the opposite. In fact, they’re just setting him up to continue to struggle.
Perhaps, this is just Alderson resting back on previous biases towards players from his first stint with the Mets. Taking a broader look, Dominic Smith has had some similar struggles getting into the lineup. In fact, the Mets have begun using him as a platoon bat. That’s despite him being one of the Mets best hitters against left-handed pitching.
To some extent, McNeil is also being used as a platoon player. For example, he was also not in the lineup against Patrick Corbin. More likely, McNeil is just being punished for struggling. For some reason, he is not going to be permitted to struggle and figure things out at the plate while others can go out there being butchers in the field costing the Mets games.
Make no mistake, how the Mets are handling McNeil is a very big problem. They are taking one of their best players, and they are crossing him up further. They are not putting him in a position to succeed in terms of where he hits in the lineup and in terms of getting to play enough to get into a rhythm and figure things out. Whatever the reason for the McNeil benchings, they have to stop, and they have to stop now.
All offseason, New York Mets fans were pushing to extend Michael Conforto. Honestly, how could you blame them?
Conforto is a homegrown player who is true captain material. He has an opportunity to rewrite the Mets record books. From his World Series homers to his walk-offs, he’s become adored by many Mets fans.
In some ways, Conforto seems like the logical person to take up the mantle from David Wright. Of course for that to happen, he will have to stay with the Mets.
For some players, the extension talks in-season is time consuming. The walk year is too much pressure and/or a distraction. Some thrive; others don’t.
There’s also the COVID factor. Conforto had it right before Spring Training. It prevented him from working out right before reporting.
As an aside, we saw it with Mika Zibanejad with the New York Rangers. He had COVID before training camp. It took him months before returning to form.
Whether it’s the contract situation or the COVID, Conforto is struggling to start the season. Through five games, he’s only hitting .143/.250/.190. It seems like the only way he can get hit is by throwing his elbow into the strike zone.
After struggling for five games, Mets fans in Citi Field began booing Conforto.
Think about that. People who were unable to ever a ballpark for well over a year due to the pandemic were so grateful to be back they booed a homegrown star who had the audacity to struggle for four games.
If we wanted to, we could look at Mets fans cheering Jose Reyes after he returned to the Mets after his domestic violence arrest. Bartolo Colon not paying child support and joking about it was just part of his “charm.”
And yet, Conforto has a poor stretch, and he’s vilified. He’s booed by fans who really should be happy just to be there. Moreover, he’s booed by a fan base who is supposed urging him to be a Met for life.
Conforto doesn’t deserve that garbage. He’s been too good of a Met for that. In the end, he’ll make those fans who booed him look all the more ridiculous.
Mets fans, at least those who booed, embarrassed themselves. They’ll look worse when Conforto is Conforto again.
Simply put, third base was the biggest hole the New York Mets had this offseason, and they did nothing to address it. Now, they’re scrambling.
The incumbent, J.D. Davis, is the worst defensive player in baseball. Not hyperbole, his DRS is literally the worst since joining the Mets.
With the Mets not improving, they’re starting to sell he’s improved there. They even point to Francisco Lindor working with him. There are two problems to this.
First, it’s useless talking point we hear every Spring akin to “best shape of their life.” Second, Davis is still quite bad in the videos promoting his defense.
— David Lennon (@DPLennon) February 28, 2021
Really, he can’t play the position, and the Mets need to stop trying to make it work. The problem is if not Davis, then who?
Yes, the answer is literally anyone else on the team would be better, but that’s also not a good answer. One early talking point is the idea of a Davis platoon with the left-handed hitting Jonathan Villar.
Villar, too, is a bad defender. Over the last two years, he has a -12 DRS in the middle of the infield. The counter-argument is third may be an easier position to play and a better fit for him.
However, that point ignores the disaster Jose Reyes was at third. Players in defensive decline just don’t automatically stem the tide and thrive at third. That’s an important consideration for a player in Villar who hasn’t played there since 2016. In that year, he played 346.2 innings there and had a -5 DRS.
So, looking at it, we return to Jeff McNeil, a player who has actually been the Opening Day starter there the last two seasons. He also has a career 5 DRS and 3 OAA there in his career.
Yes, he had a tough stretch there last year, and he had a tough Spring Training game. Even with that, he’s still been FAR SUPERIOR than the players who are under consideration for third. If you couple that with the ability to put Luis Guillorme and his Gold Glove caliber defense at second, it’s hard to argue there’s a better option.
The only problem is the Mets seem to be reluctant to both put McNeil at third and to play Guillorme everyday. It’s a bizarre thought process with zero sound reasoning given the construction of this roster.
Whatever the case, this is how the Mets built their team. It’s imperative they put their best players on the field in the best position to succeed and help the pitching staff who induces a lot of grounders.
Short of the Mets making that trade for a third baseman, they’re stuck trying to figure out a dilemma they failed to address this offseason. Rather than push sunk costs, lost cases, and poor thought processes, they need to do what helps them win in 2021.
Things were going so well for the New York Mets. The roster was radically revamped, and there was still the ability to do more.
The Mets had a braintrust in place underneath a front off legend in Sandy Alderson and the deepest pockets in baseball with owner Steve Cohen. This was about as far as you could get from the Jeff Wilpon led Mets.
That was before Mina Kimes and Jeff Passan of ESPN broke the story Mets GM Jared Porter sent a number of unsolicited images to a female reporter. One of those images was of a “picture of an erect, naked penis.”
It wasn’t the only explicit photo, and there were over a dozen photos sent. Purportedly, only three of the 17 were explicit, but that’s three too many. Way too many. Beyond that was an over abundance of texts from him that were largely left unanswered.
When approached for comment, Porter said the explicit images were “‘not of me. Those are like, kinda like joke-stock images.'”
Once he was made aware of the photos and text exchanges, Alderson did the required disavowal of Porter’s actions before saying the Mets will review the facts and “follow-up.”
At the moment, the Mets only course of action is to terminate Porter. This action cannot be condoned in any way.
If this is really the new Mets, they need to be clear this is going to be not just a well run organization, but also a morally in-check one. They really need to show the days of Jeff Wilpon are over.
Wife beaters like Jose Reyes are not held up as role models. Woman can get pregnant without fear of firing regardless of their marital status. Men who harass women and send unsolicited pictures of their genitalia have no place in the organization.
Keeping Porter after this is as unacceptable as it was when the Chicago Cubs looked the other way. But the Mets can’t. Not now. Not ever.
The Mets need to make it clear the Wilpon era is over in more ways than one. They’re competently run. They have the finances to operate the team like a New York team. Men who harass or abuse women have no place in the organization.
This means Jared Porter needs to be replaced, and the Mets need to do it in an expedited fashion.
With all due respect to Bud Harrelson and Rey Ordoñez, Jose Reyes is easily the best shortstop in Mets history. He’s the franchise leader in triples and stolen bases, and his name is scattered across the top ten rankings in team history.
Looking at WAR, he’s well ahead of the other shortstops, and he’s the 10th best player in Mets history. While it may take time to catch him, Francisco Lindor is well poised to surpass Reyes’ 27.9 WAR with the Mets.
Aside from the shortened 2020 season, Lindor is a player who never had below a 4.0 WAR. In fact, Lindor has never been below a 5.0 WAR when he’s been on the Opening Day roster in a 162 game season.
Keep in mind, that’s before Lindor even entered his prime. As he entered his prime, Lindor has been a 40+ double and 30+ homer player. That is in addition to playing Gold Glove caliber defense.
Assuming he holds true to that 5.0+ WAR level player, it’ll take Lindor approximately five seasons to surpass Reyes’ 27.9 WAR. At Lindor’s 30+ homer pace, he’ll surpass Reyes’ record for homers by a shortstop within four seasons.
That’s incredible to think. As a player, Reyes was one of the most exciting and dynamic players to ever wear the Mets uniform. He was a four time All-Star and to date the only Mets player to win a batting title.
The fact it could take Lindor approximately five seasons to surpass what Reyes did in 12 speaks to how phenomenal of a baseball player he is. In getting Lindor, the Mets are getting a future Hall of Famer. They are quite possibly getting the best player not named Tom Seaver or Mike Piazza to ever don a Mets uniform.
That’s the level of player Lindor is. If the Mets agree to an extension with him, Lindor should become the greatest shortstop in team history. He may also very well become the next Mets Hall of Famer, and we could see his 12 hanging next to Seaver’s 41 and Piazza’s 31.
The path is clear for Lindor to accomplish this and much more in a Mets uniform. The only thing standing in the way is a contract extension.
One of the hopes Mets fans have with Steve Cohen taking the helm is his new regime correcting a lot of the wrongs committed by the Wilpons. There are countless examples of how poorly the Wilpons treated their former players, and that gives Cohen a real chance to seem magnanimous.
One area where he’s already planning to do this is an Old Timer’s Day. Another area Mets fans want to do this is by bringing Carlos Beltran back to the organization.
With Hensley Meulens not returning as bench coach, many fans see this as the opportunity to bring back Beltran as bench coach. Realistically speaking, Beltran is the worst possible choice for this job.
The modern bench coach job is very complicated. As a result, of all the jobs on the coaching staff, manager included, bench coach is the single job where you absolutely cannot have a novice like Beltran in charge.
As Brad Mills explained to the Sporting News, “You work with everyone from the groundskeepers to the traveling secretary, and you might even make sure the field is ready for early work.” Put another way, the bench coach has to make sure all the planning and preparation for the game is completed.
The bench coach is handling scouting and game prep. He’s running quality control before and during the game. He’s discussing strategy with the manager. He’s fostering relationships with players. He has his hands in everything. As was the case with Derek Shelton and Rocco Baldelli, that included media responsibilities.
With Beltran never having worked on an MLB coaching staff at any level, and with his front office experience having been just one year, he is ill-suited for the job. Very ill suited.
While you can understand Mets fans wanting to repair the relationship with Beltran, this isn’t the time or the job. However, just because the Mets shouldn’t use this opportunity to right a wrong with Beltran, it doesn’t mean they can’t hire a bench coach who can simultaneously right a wrong.
The Mets could very well look to hire Willie Randolph for their vacant bench coach position.
Randolph has the fifth most wins by a Mets manager, and he has the second best winning percentage. In his time as manager, he did a lot of good things including helping David Wright and Jose Reyes reach their full potential.
In addition to his successes as a Mets manager, he was on Joe Torre‘s coaching staff for the last Yankees dynasty. That includes his being a bench coach. Randolph has also been a bench coach in Milwaukee and Baltimore.
All told, Randolph knows the role extraordinarily well. He also knows the challenges Luis Rojas faces as the Mets manager. He knows how to develop players and handle a coaching staff. He knows how to win in New York, and he knows the intense scrutiny a manager faces.
If the 66 year old Randolph is interested in the position, the Mets should interview him for the role. If Rojas has a comfort level with him, Randolph should absolutely be hired for the job.
With that, the Mets will hire an exceptionally qualified person for the job thereby making the Mets a better team. It will also have the benefit of righting the wrong of how he was fired in 2008.
Ultimately, if the Mets want to right some wrongs, they should hire Randolph. If they want the best man for the job, they should hire Randolph. He’s just the perfect fit for this job right now.