Noah Syndergaard

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Ran Out of Gas

The New York Mets followed an inspired series split against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a less than inspiring performance against the San Diego Padres. To be fair, there are some caveats to this performance:

1.  The Mets played their 30th game in 30 days. Over that span, they had two west coast trips with no scheduled travel day prior to their trip out west. Overall, this team is exhausted, and when that happens, you are going to see what we saw.

2.  What’s impressive is the Mets actually grew their lead from 7.0 to 8.0 games over this stretch. Keep that in mind when they finally get some days off with a chance to rest and play at their peak level.

3.  The Mets won the only game of this series they did because Carlos Carrasco was great again. He stepped up big time saving the bullpen, and he helped secure the Mets only win in the series.

4.  Chris Bassitt has really struggled since James McCann hit the IL with his start in the series finale being the worst start of them all. There are many reasons why this is happening, but one overlooked one is he has really struggled pitching to Tomas Nido. He is just a different pitcher on the mound with Nido back there.

5.  It was great to see Jeff McNeil off the snide. After that recent slump, he was back to being himself at the plate. As noted by Keith Hernandez, McNeil never brings his slumps into the field which is another reason why you have to love him as a player.

6. Speaking of Keith, he was just overly kind to J.D. Davis about his play at first. He was making excuses for Davis dropping balls that where in his mitt and making poor throws. We gets it’s a difficult thing to do on the fly, but Keith went way out of his way to excuse a poor performance.

7.  Speaking of poor performance, Davis has been bad. On this west coast trip, he is 4-for-18 (.222). When it was between him and Dominic Smith, you understood choosing Davis because he was a right-handed bat on the bench. However, now, they need Smith because it appears they will need someone who can play first everyday.

8.  MetsWes put it best with Pete Alonso when he said, “Pete Alonso walked away from an awful car crash and been hit in the head and was fine. You think a little [Yu Darvish] “fastball” is going to break a bone? Tongue-in-cheek for sure, but it does speak to how much Alonso has dealt with this season.

9.  Starling Marte had quietly been one of the Mets best players for a few weeks now. They’re going to miss him in the lineup, and in many ways, they will miss his fire.

10. This is Nick Plummer‘s big opportunity to prove he can be a Major Leaguer. He started by going 0-for-3, but he did hit the ball hard. If he has a big stretch, the Mets would be hard pressed to send him back down to the minors again.

11. With Alonso and Marte down, you can understand the Mets scoring just two runs over the final two games. Of course, the Padres pitching had a lot to do with that as well.

12. In addition to the injuries, Luis Guillorme and Francisco Lindor chose the wrong time to go into slumps. More than ever, the Mets need them to start hitting again.

13. Eduardo Escobar is heating up at the right time, and as noted several times here, he is a player who breaks out in June. He became the first player to hit a cycle at Safeco, and the is the first player in Major League history to get his cycle after hitting a homer and triple over the final two innings.

14. Mark Vientos chose the wrong time to get injured. It is very possible he could’ve gotten his chance now with his hot hitting and the Mets recent injuries leaving them looking for offense.

15. Brandon Nimmo is obviously still dealing with his wrist. You can see it when he swings. Frankly, he won’t be put on the IL now because of the other injuries and the fact he provides offense with his ability to draw walks.

16. The Mets batters get plunked more than anyone because it is their approach. Really, do we think anyone is throwing at someone like Mark Canha? Of course not. This is a design of where they are positioned in the box and their approach at the plate. That said, retaliation every so often is merited especially with Sean Manaea buzzing Guillorme by the head multiple times.

17. In case you haven’t heard from Mets fans starting to panic, the Mets have the largest division lead in the National League and are tied for the second largest division lead in all of baseball. There’s absolutely no need to panic. This team is great and will be fine.

18. The impending matchup with Noah Syndergaard is going to garner a lot of attention. With respect to Syndergaard, he went to the Los Angeles Angels for more money and this front office and pitching staff. The Joe Maddon firing was a sign he might’ve been duped.

19. The Mets are catching the Angels at exactly the right time. They’ve lost 14 straight, and Mike Trout is hurt. They got a much needed day off. There is no excuse for not taking at least two out of three.

20. In some ways, the Mets need for the New York Rangers to win this series. They need the Rangers to have some buzz to keep some of the unnecessary heat off of the team at a time when they are tired and hurt. Mostly, I need the Rangers to win the series. so yes, I am selfishly saying this.

 

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Take Two From Nationals

The New York Mets are now 9-0-1 in their 10 season series, and they are on pace to win 108 games. After another series against the Nationals, the Mets look all the more like a World Series caliber team:

1.  The incredible 5-6-1-9-6 double play was punctuated by Taijuan Walker knocking down Juan Soto, who went in hard. That’s the way it is with this Mets team, they’re there to beat you, and they’re not stepping down.

2.  It just seems like the Mets have something special store in each series. There was the co-no, the epic comeback, and now that double play. These are the things fun and special teams do.

3.  Luis Guillorme had a heads up play to start that double play, and he’s really earning more playing time. Over his last 10 games, he’s batting ..321/.387/.536 with five runs, three doubles, a homer, and two RBI while playing exceptional defense. Perhaps, he needs to play everyday.

4.  Eduardo Escobar is in a real bad place. Over his last 15 games, Escobar is hitting .167/.231/.200, and he has struggled defensively with a -2 OAA and -3 DRS at third. The good news is he usually has a bad May and breaks out in June.

5.  The Mets can’t seem to hit left-handed pitching even when it’s Patrick Corbin. Corbin has a 2.00 ERA, and against the rest of baseball, he has a 7.60 ERA. Overall, the Mets are the fifth worst NL team against left-handed pitching with a 90 wRC+.

6.  We can save the J.D. Davis needs to be the everyday DH narrative. He’s batting .217/.362/.326 driving the ball on the ground with a 51.5% ground ball rate so far this season. With that, he’s now back to a much more reasonable .286 BABIP. Really, this is the batter he is.

7.  Mark Canha snapped out of it just when the Mets needed him. His 3-for-4 game with a homer and three RBI snapped a streak where he hit .231/.292/.292 over his previous 19 games.

8.  Canha is still a player in decline with him seeing a steady decline in barrels, hard hit rate, exit velocities, whiff%, chase rate, and really all metrics. A game like he had is fun, but overall, there is a reason Buck Showalter removes him late in games and was transitioning him to a part-time player.

9.  Brandon Nimmo has an eight game hitting streak, and he has reached base safely in all but one game this season. He’s the Mets best player, and the way he is playing, he is not only going to get All-Star consideration, but he will get MVP consideration as well.

10. Carlos Carrasco has continued his terrific bounceback season. He is again the pitcher he was in Cleveland, and the Mets are on a different level because of it.

11. Not enough can be said about the job Trevor Williams and Stephen Nogosek did. They saved the bullpen in what was a lost game in more ways than one. These are the unheralded moments which helps teams win divisions and World Series.

12. Trevor Megill had a bad start. It happens. It’s best not to over-analyze it. Just move on and reassess after his next start.

13. The Mets have missed James McCann, who has been out with an injury. He’s been quite good this year, and Tomas Nido has not shown he can replicate what he can give. Now seeing its a hammate bone injury, for all intents and purposes McCann may be done for the year.

14. We can probably now add catcher to third base for trade deadline needs because it is way too soon for Francisco Alvarez. That goes double with Alvarez’s recent slump.

15. Jeff McNeil has been great this year. He has been versatile, and this is the best he has ever hit. He’s learned to combine some patience at the plate with his hit everything approach.

16. This upcoming series was going to be about Jarred Kelenic and Edwin Diaz, but with Kelenic getting sent down, it’s not. Whatever the case, the trade remains an unmitigated disaster.

17. Robinson Cano turned down a chance to go to Triple-A to help get back up to speed and help the Mets in the long term. Instead, he’s going to the San Diego Padres. This is not remotely a player grateful for the Mets keeping tabs on him last year and making sure he was alright and for giving him an undeserved chance again this year.

18. The Mets can beat teams in just so many ways. They can do it with power, with singles and timely hitting, with speed and defense, and with pitching. When you get that rare mix, you’re a special team. This is a special team.

19. No one should care what Noah Syndergaard has to say about the co-no or anything Mets. Just be grateful he was a Met, hope he pitches well this season, and mostly, hope he returns next year.

20. Mets in the black jerseys on Friday the 13th with Max Scherzer on the mound. Mariners are going to be frightened as is the rest of baseball when they see the Mets on their schedule.

Mets Co-No Was A Real No-Hitter

On April 29, 2022, Tylor Megill, Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz each took the mound, and none of them allowed a hit. By its very definition this is a no-hitter. In fact, it was one of 17 in Major League history featuring multiple pitchers in a game.

It was an amazing night at Citi Field, and it was a moment New York Mets fans will forever cherish. After all, this was just the second time in team history this pitching fabled franchise had a no-hitter. It was a historic moment in Mets and MLB history.

Really, no one can take that moment away from those five pitchers, this Mets team, the franchise, or the fan base. This will be forever played on SNY, and this is a moment which will be noted somewhere in Citi Field for eternity. It needs to be repeated – nothing can take this away from us.

That includes when Los Angeles Angels pitcher Reid Detmers threw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was what we have long referred to as a no-hitter, or as Noah Syndergaard put it in his Instagram story, a “real” no-hitter.

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Honestly, this is not something which should have been met with any reaction whatsoever. Syndergaard took to celebrating a moment. Instead of analyzing whether he was chiding the Mets or trying to examine why he put quotes around real, we should move on. When Syndergaard was doing this stuff with the Mets, we all loved it.

It’s who he is. He’s a quirky personality. In some ways, it’s why he’s built for the big markets, but more to the point, the second team in the big market. He’s built for the Mets, Angels, or Chicago White Sox. He knows how to garner attention and keep his team in front of the local rival. He’s really good at this.

Whether or not this was a shot at the Mets really doesn’t matter. More to the point, anything anyone says about the co-no, good or bad, really doesn’t matter. That goes for players and analysts alike.

As an aside here, if you are in the Apple+ TV booth, making comments like this is rather humorous. This is the only “network” who has zero exclusivity to their time slot for a “nationally televised game.” That is even before you consider how maligned that booth has been this season.

Overall, Syndergaard and Keyser can say what they want. Really, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Guess what? The Mets still threw a no-hitter, and this is a first place team who is built to win a World Series. Mets fans have enjoyed every moment of this season, and there are going to be a lot more special moments in store as this team goes deep into October.

When the Mets make the postseason and win the World Series, let’s see what everyone has to say then.

Mets Lose While Cardinals Lose Their Cool

Over the course of a 162 game season, there are going to be games like this. Frankly, Carlos Carrasco just didn’t have it, and as a result the New York Mets just weren’t going to win.

With the Mets winning six straight series to open the season, we shouldn’t be dwelling too much on a game like this. That goes double with the Mets resting players in advance of a travel day.

Where the focus needs to be is how the Mets comport themselves and are rattling their opponents.

Again, Mets batters were thrown at by the opposing pitcher. Steven Matz went up-and-in on Brandon Nimmo. J.D. Davis left the game with a foot injury after being plunked by Genesis Cabrera.

Finally, for the first time all season, the Mets responded in a way that wasn’t Starling Marte or Max Scherzer threatening the other team. Yoan Lopez took the ball and buzzed Nolan Arenado.

It was a pitch reminiscent of Noah Syndergaard and Alcidies Escobar. It was up-and-in, but the batter was not in danger of getting hit. Like with the 2015 World Series, an overreaction ensued.

Arenado chirped, attacked Tomas Nido, and then, he headed for Lopez. He wouldn’t get there as the benches cleared, and Arenado backed off. During the melee, the Cardinals went after Pete Alonso.

That was done by the Cardinals first base coach Stubby Clapp, a coach whose name is reminiscent of what Jimmy Duggan advises young boys to avoid. Things might’ve gotten worse, but Albert Pujols stepped in and de-escalated the situation.

At this point, the Cardinals had hit five batters. That included hitting Alonso in the helmet. Then, they went after him in a scrum.

Chris Bassitt tried to throw the Cardinals pitchers a lifeline by blaming MLB. Instead, Miles Mikolas effectively called Bassitt a liar and said Bassitt needed to take responsibility for his own control issues. Again, this was in response to Bassitt trying to absolve Cardinals pitchers of throwing at his teammates.

After the game, Cardinals manager Oli Marmol not only whined after the non-HBP, but he went on to defend attacking someone from behind:

When Buck Showalter was asked about the same course of events, his reaction was markedly different. He noted how when Alonso was ACTUALLY HIT IN THE HEAD, he went to first base.

This is where the Mets and Cardinals could not be more different. The Mets are angry they keep getting hit by pitches, but they’re channeling that anger towards beating you. So far, it’s not only worked, but it’s also galvanized the team.

With respect to the Cardinals, they couldn’t handle it. They threw with reckless abandon and kept hitting Mets batters.

When the Mets said, we get what’s happening here. It’s not your fault. The Cardinals response was to tell the Mets to take responsibility.

When the Mets three inside, the Cardinals freaked out and attacked Alonso from behind. Then, they went and pretended like all of their actions were justified.

In the end, the Mets are better than the Cardinals because they’re a better and more mature team. Every time you hit them, they get you back by winning. As for the Cardinals, well, they’re there to whine, complain, and point fingers.

The Mets took two of three, and they’ll have the mental edge when the Cardinals come visit Citi Field.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Win Fifth Straight Series

Another series and another series win for the New York Mets. That’s five in a row to start the season.

1.  As Starling Marte said, Brandon Nimmo‘s hustle rubs off on other people. That’s what makes this team great. They’re making each other play better and harder.

2.  While the extra inning rule stinks, with Marte’s infield single and Pete Alonso‘s stretch, you can get used to extra inning replays for the Mets.

3.  Marte gave the Mets two wins with his speed. It was the infield single, and then, it was the go-ahead run with the double, stolen base, and error on the throw. We’re seeing he can have an impact while still struggling at the plate.

4.  Seth Lugo is back. He’s throwing strikes, getting spin on his curve, and dominating again.

5.  As we saw with the homer, so is Edwin Diaz. He’s always a mixed bag, so we just have to ride the wave this season.

6.  Tylor Megill shook off a rough start to have a very good start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He may very well be a special pitcher.

7.  David Peterson did not deserve the demotion. He showed he is a Major League caliber pitcher right now, but he’s still seventh on the depth chart with Taijuan Walker set to return. This is a good problem to have for the Mets.

8.  With the rosters shrinking May 1, Trevor Williams is putting himself on the bubble with his struggles. Part of that is Buck Showalter‘s usage of him not allowing him to get into the flow of the season.

9.  In some ways, the Mets biggest hit of the season was the James McCann homer. If he gets going at the plate, this is a truly elite team with the way he has framed this season.

10. There aren’t a lot of positives with Trevor May‘s performance so far, but much of that is explainable. He dealt with arms issues, and Showalter is just asking him to do things he has never been comfortable doing in his career.

11. Showalter needs to stop shoehorning Robinson Cano into the lineup. While he can still contribute some, he is just not an everyday player or semi-regular right now. Other players deserve the playing time.

12. Luis Guillorme has earned his playing time, and he should be getting more. The DH allows to get his bat into the lineup and get rest for the outfielders who have been injury prone in their careers.

13. Mark Canha has cooled off, and he still doesn’t have an extra base hit. His hard hit rates are also concerning as is his poor defense to start the season.

14. While he’s had his moments, Alonso has been mostly poor to start the season. His defense has slipped completely, and he’s swinging at a lot of the zone. In some ways, this is very promising because once he gets going, watch out!

15. The Mets are beating bad teams, which is the key to making the postseason. In fact, that’s basically all they did in 2015, and they came within Terry Collins of winning the World Series that year.

16. It is a real shame Michael Conforto is done for the year. Not only is this costing him a year of his prime, but it is also costing the Mets a draft pick and pool money because Conforto had turned down the qualifying offer.

17. Given the year he had, Conforto probably should’ve accepted the qualifying offer and built back his value. That said, the talk around him rejecting the extension is plain wrong. That was a severely discounted offer anyone would’ve rejected.

18. Noah Syndergaard has been excellent to start the season, and Marcus Stroman has been quite bad. This hasn’t been discussed much because the Mets have been excellent with a very good rotation. That’s something the Wilpons never figured out. Make those decisions but make other ones to justify it.

19. In some ways, the Mets are about to get their real first test of the season with a long flight to play the St. Louis Cardinals on the road. This is a true measuring stick of where they are, especially with the Mets having Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt pitching in the series.

20. The Mets are the only team in baseball with 12 wins. It is a really good time to be a Mets fan right now.

2022 MLB Predictions

It’s Opening Day, so it is time to make some predictions (sure to be wrong) about the 2022 season.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

AL East – Toronto Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays have the biggest home field advantage with Canada’s vaccine rules. Opponents will be missing key players whenever they visit. For example, Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole.

AL Central – Minnesota Twins

The Chicago White Sox might be better full strength, but losing Lance Lynn is a huge blow. The Twins also made some huge moves adding Carlos Correa, who is among the best in baseball, and they bolstered the rotation with Sonny Gray. With some health from Byron Buxton, they’ll be unstoppable.

AL West – Los Angeles Angels

With Noah Syndergaard, the Angels finally got that big top of the rotation starter, and they addressed the pen adding Aaron Loup. Oh, and by the way, they have the two best players in all of baseball in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.

AL Wild Card 1 – Tampa Bay RaysThey’re the Rays. They do this better than everyone, and they will have a full season of Wander Franco and Josh Lowe.

AL Wild Card 2 Chicago White Sox – Even with the loss of Lynn, there is still more than enough there to get this team back to the postseason.

AL Wild Card 3 – Houston Astros – Many seem to be downplaying the loss of Correa, but in the end, that division appears to be so weak, especially with the Athletics stripping down, they can still make the postseason.

AL MVP – Mike Trout – For those who forgot, this is still Mike Trout. With a healthy season, he’ll remind everyone there is no one better.

AL Cy YoungAlek Manoah – This is a darkhorse candidate for sure, but his spin and velocity numbers are off the charts. Also, if the Blue Jays can make Robbie Ray a Cy Young, they sure can do the same with a former first round pick.

AL Rookie of the Year – Bobby Witt Jr. He seems the consensus pick and for good reason. He’s got the tools, and he’s playing for a team who will let him play.

AL Manager of the Year – Rocco Baldelli – This usually nothing more than an award for whose team exceeded expectations, and it will likely be the Twins this year.

National League

NL East – New York Mets

Yes, the Mets have lost Jacob deGrom, and Brandon Nimmo is battling injuries. However, this is a much improved club over the team who was atop the Atlanta Braves in the standings most of last year. Remember, that Braves team has lost Freddie Freeman, don’t have Ronald Acuna Jr.. back yet, and that bullpen which carried them was taxed.

NL Central – St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals were a disappointment for much of last year, but they turned it on late. They are more analytically inclined to match that roster.

NL West – Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers are a juggernaut, and they are just going to keep going out and finding ways and players to beat you. Keep in mind, they almost won the pennant, and they added Freeman to an already absolutely stacked roster.

NL Wild Card 1 – Milwaukee Brewers – Aside from the Mets, they have the best rotation in the National League, and that will help carry them to the postseason even in Christian Yelich is still not back to being in his MVP form.

NL Wild Card 2 – San Francisco GiantsThey’ll miss Buster Posey and Kevin Gausman, but this was still a very deep team, and they have the players and organization to keep this a postseason caliber team, especially in an expanded postseason format.

NL Wild Card 3 – Philadelphia Phillies – No, the Phillies cannot catch the ball. However, they can absolutely mash, and in that ballpark, they will wear opposing staffs out. They also have the top of the rotation and manager in Joe Girardi to do enough to stay above .500 (again) to claim the last spot.

NL MVP – Francisco Lindor – We’ve seen it time and again with the Mets. The first year is the transition year. The second is the break out year. Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran were denied their MVP, but Lindor will not be this season.

NL Cy YoungZack Wheeler – Wheeler was an unappreciated ace level pitcher when he was with the Mets, but with the Phillies, he has gotten the chance to shine. He should’ve won last year. He won’t be denied this year.

NL Rookie of the Year – Keibert Ruiz – The Nationals are going to let him play, and he has shown some signs in his brief Major League career.

NL Manager of the Year – Buck ShowalterAgain, this is a narrative award, and if the Mets win the division, he is going to get it.

Postseason

Wild Card Round

Astros over Angels
White Sox over Rays

Mets over Phillies
Brewers over Giants

Divisional Round

Blue Jays over Astros
White Sox over Twins

Dodgers over Brewers
Mets over Cardinals

League Championship Series

Blue Jays over White Sox
MVP – George Springer

Mets over Dodgers
MVP – Jacob deGrom

World Series

Mets over Blue Jays
MVP – Brandon Nimmo

Babe Ruth Would Annihilate Modern Day Pitchers

Babe Ruth is widely considered the greatest baseball player who ever lived. In his era, he would out-homer entire teams. When he hit 60 homers in 1927, he passed the single season home run mark. Of course, he was beating his own mark, a feat he would accomplish on a number of occasions.

By the way, Ruth was also an accomplished pitcher. He had a career 122 ERA+, and he once held the record for consecutive scoreless innings in the World Series. No one in the history of baseball would dominate the sport in the way he did.

Fast-forward a century later, and many people scoff at the notion Ruth is the greatest player in Major League history. Their argument is Ruth never faced the type of pitching we see in the modern game. Assuredly, Jacob deGrom and his stuff would make Walter Johnson look like a Four-A pitcher . . . at best.

Of course, part of that misses the point. A century ago, deGrom would never make it to the Major Leagues. Remember, deGrom would undergo Tommy John surgery in 2010. We wouldn’t see Tommy John undergo that surgery until 39 years after Ruth played his last game. To put it further in perspective, medicine was so far behind where it was now that penicillin wasn’t discovered by Alexander Fleming until Ruth was in his 15th Major League season.

If you were to put modern day pitchers back in the game a century ago, they couldn’t compete, or better yet, they wouldn’t be anywhere near the pitchers they are now. There aren’t the modern training techniques or training. There isn’t the focus on changing baseballs as frequently as they do now.

In fact, it was routine until 1920 that one baseball would be used per game. As a result, you would get dirty, heavy, and hard to pick up on baseballs. While that would suppress pitch velocity, it would also reduce exit velocity. It wasn’t until Ray Chapman‘s death, that things would change.

Aside from that, while it is true Ruth probably never saw a pitcher like Noah Syndergaard‘s fastball or slider, pitches were routinely scuffed, and pitchers were permitted to use the spit ball (and likely used many other substances). Fact is, every time Ruth stepped to the plate, he was effectively facing Mike Scott on the mound. Also, keep in mind, someone like Johnson or Smoky Joe Wood was throwing their fastballs in the lower 90s.

Another consideration is during Ruth’s playing days, he routinely used bats which weighted as much as 54 ounces. The modern day bat weighs around 33 – 36 ounces. Ruth was hitting the ball when it was likely mostly thrown in the 70s and 80s. Keep in mind, he was hitting the ball out of ballparks whose fences were typically deeper

Even if we were to assume Ruth could not keep up with the current velocity, he could drop 15 ounces on his bat and be much better positioned to catch up to that velocity. It should also be noted Ruth would be using a significantly better quality bat than he was using a century ago.

That’s exactly the point. If you put Ruth into baseball a century later, he would have every advantage the modern day player has. If you put the modern day player in baseball a century ago, they may not be able to even step on the field. Overall, Ruth dominated his era like no one ever has or ever will. If you gave him all of the modern advantages, or you took them away from the modern player, he would absolutely destroy those pitchers because Ruth was that great.

Mets Bench Coach Search Isn’t A Concern

The New York Mets were on a hot streak. They hired Buck Showalter, and then they started filling out the coaching staff with some well respected candidates.

They quickly landed Joey Cora as the third base coach. Showalter confidant Wayne Kirby will coach first. Then, the Mets pried Eric Chavez away from the New York Yankees to be the hitting coach.

And then, nothing.

The Mets are looking for a bench coach, and they’re coming up dry. Andy Stankewicz will remain as the head coach of Grand Canyon University.

The San Diego Padres denied the Mets request to speak to Ryan Flaherty. The San Francisco Giants blocked the Mets request to interview Andrew Bailey. Jeff Pickler removed his name from consideration.

Suddenly, this search is becoming reminiscent of the Mets GM search. It was then a reminder of the beginning of the Mets offseason when Noah Syndergaard shockingly left the organization to sign with the Los Angeles Angels. Things were bad.

Out of that would eventually emerge Starling Marte and Max Scherzer. With that, the Mets suddenly changed the narrative about the direction of the franchise. Suddenly, the same old Mets became legitimate World Series contenders. It happens that fast.

At this point, the Mets keep striking out on bench coaches. That’s fine. There are still a number of qualified candidates out there, and the Mets will eventually get their guy. If they don’t, well, they still have Marte and Scherzer, so in the end, they will be more than fine.

Steven Cohen Led Mets Not Grasping Free Agency

There’s a gag on the show Archer wherein Archer is essentially asked what he can’t understand, and the answer is, “Core concept.” Right now, this applies to the New York Mets and free agency.

Noah Syndergaard was a free agent, who had a qualifying offer in hand and wanted to return to the Mets. However, while the Mets were focused elsewhere, the Los Angeles Angels and other teams were making their pitch.

The Mets immediate response to Syndergaard’s signing with the Angels was they weren’t given the last chance to sign him. Of course, to make that request, they’d actually have to talk to the player.

Not even a week went by, and the Mets are once again upset a player who wanted to return to the Mets didn’t give them an opportunity to make the final offer. This time, it was Steven Matz.

As the story goes, Matz first contacted the Mets, and the team’s interest was mutual. It was a wide open field, but for whatever reason, the Mets not only we’re going to get the opportunity to match, but they were willing to match the deal Matz signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.

However, that’s not what happened. Matz liked the deal and the opportunity presented by the Cardinals, so he signed with them. Mets owner Steve Cohen was angry:

Keep in mind, this was the same Matz the Mets traded for spare parts (Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz, and Josh Winckowski). The Mets could’ve extended him last year with zero competition, but they instead traded him.

The Mets getting upset over Syndergaard and Matz not giving them the final chance shows they fail to understand the core concept of free agency. Free agents owe no loyalty to anyone, and they can sign with whomever they want.

For the Mets, you can almost write this off as a fluke. After all, it’s not often these situations present themselves, and it’s really infrequent this happens in a week.

The problem is it’s not just this week. Last year, the Mets thought they had Trevor Bauer signed. Honestly, with the website snafu, everyone did.

When Bauer went to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Alderson complained this was the furthest in the process he went in contract negotiations with a free agent and not get the player. As a result, Anderson and the Mets (fortunately) didn’t sign Bauer.

This marks the third time the Mets thought they were in a great position to sign a player only to come up empty. At some point, that’s a Mets problem and not a agents problem.

Argue over whether the Mets should’ve signed these players all you want. The fact is the Mets lost out on all three, and they wanted all three. That’s a huge problem.

Cohen can pretend it’s the agents fault. It’s not. The Mets are failing to sign players, and all they can do is tweet their way through it.

The Mets need to do better. If they want a player give them a strong offer while they’re there and don’t let them go out and leverage your offer. Just get it done, and then tweet out you actually signed the player.

That’s how free agency works.

Angels Taking Advantage Of Mets

There can be a debate as to when the New York Mets knew they needed a front office overhaul. It could’ve been since the start of the season since they failed to hire a president of baseball operations last year.

It could’ve been as late as Zack Scott’s DUI arrest. Whatever the case, the Mets knew before the end of the season they needed a front office overhaul.

What ensued was a protracted search which missed the mark. First, the Mets again gave up on hiring a POBO. Then, it was a GM search.

While this was happening, other teams went to work on their offseason plans. That goes double for the Los Angeles Angels.

While the Mets had no leadership and no plan, Noah Syndergaard signed with the Angels. While the Mets had radio silence, the Angels were laying out their plan from their assembled front office. The sales pitch and uncertainty had an effect on Syndergaard and his decision:

While Syndergaard was due partially to confusion over the front office, Aaron Loup was something else. Loup was great for the Mets, and he wanted to stay. He didn’t.

During the Mets exclusive window to negotiate with Loup, they were trying to assemble a front office. Again, while this was happening, the Angels were making their pitch to Loup. Obviously, it was a successful one.

So, Billy Eppler hasn’t been on the job for a week, and he’s seen Syndergaard and Loup leave. That’s not to say the Mets aren’t moving. After all, they’re pursuing Steven Matz.

Again, the Mets are working from behind. The Angels aren’t and have struck twice. Who knows where this stops, especially with Marcus Stroman still a free agent.

The Mets have time to act, but free agent starters are flying off the board. More to the point, the Angels are taking some of their best pitchers, and it’s possible it’ll happen again soon.