In a recent article by Mike Puma of the New York Post, he indicated the New York Mets were going to have difficulty finding a President of Baseball Operations just like they did last offseason. That article cited the errors in the hirings made by Sandy Alderson and Cohen’s Twitter account.
Considering former Miami Marlins executive David P. Samson was the source, you can take all of this with a grain of salt. After all, Samson loved operating his teams and treating the Marlins fans every bit like the Wilpons did with the Mets.
That right there is the problem. There have been years of transgressions by the Wilpons largely unreported and/or criticized in the press. These are the same people who claimed they were duped in a Ponzi scheme. They had a number of hirings and a lawsuit hostile to women in their workplace. They threatened the press about the coverage of their team, and they would go so far as to restrict access in response to a negative story about them or a favored player.
They stripped the team down for financial solvency. They used SNY as an intermediary to do exactly what the McCourts did with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jeff Wilpon interfered with medical decisions which cut short Pedro Martinez‘s career, and he tried to interfere with Carlos Beltran‘s career saving knee surgery. By and through Sandy Alderson, there was the lie about Matt Harvey‘s innings limits, and we saw what happened with Harvey’s once promising career.
Overall, the Wilpons were just flat out bad people. They did horrid things, and they did them purposefully. They cared about no one but themselves and their own power. This largely went unreported and uncriticized except when a reporter would leave the beat.
However, with Cohen, if his eye glasses are askew or he tweets something, it is a capital offense demanding the power of the pen. In the end, those now criticizing him have let us know they’re not reporting what they know, but rather, what ownership tells them they’re allowed to report. If anything, these reports attacking Cohen are a credit to Cohen because he is not standing in the way.
If nothing else, that tells us the Mets are truly in a much better spot. It’s not just the money or the desire to win. While there have been missteps requiring reflection and growth, things have truly changed in how the team is operated. The only hope is these mistakes are cleaned up, and the Mets get back on the path towards winning a World Series.
Earlier in the season, Jacob deGrom landed on the IL with tightness in his right side. Since coming off the IL, deGrom has left games for various reasons.
There was fatigue. There was a flexor tendon issue. The latest was his leaving a game with a shoulder issue. Overall, since that IL stint, it needs to be reiterated deGrom has left starts for reasons other than he hit his pitch count, and it was time to bring in a reliever.
With that being the case, everyone has a theory on what the issue is and how to handle it. He has too much velocity. He didn’t heal and is pushing it. As usual, there was Dr. Sal Licata with his input saying deGrom never should’ve made the start:
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 17, 2021
Actually, no, Licata doesn’t have an MD. The same goes for people like Chris Carlin, who proffered similar advice. Really, anyone rendering an opinion has the same level of medical expertise as Jeff Wilpon, which is to say they have none. As we saw with Wilpon, when people with zero medical expertise renders an opinion on what should be done, bad things happen.
On that note, there is something to be said for what Pedro Martinez said. Remember, Pedro was once what deGrom is now, and we did see Pedro’s prime and career shortened due to injuries. When he speaks, it should carry weight.
It’s unfortunate for DeGrom to have left tonight’s game. The @Mets cannot afford to lose him for the rest of the season. I would just rest him for an outing or two
— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) June 17, 2021
Pedro’s advice was rest, and while his words should be heard, it’s not dispositive. Really, nothing is right now.
At this moment in time, no one knows what’s wrong. We don’t know if these injuries are all linked by one core problem, if one injury begat the other, or if these are just three isolated injuries which happened.
No one knows, and those offering advice are just trying to get heard and sound smart. Well, everyone except Pedro, who is someone speaking from experience.
To the question of how to keep deGrom healthy, the answer is no one knows. If they did, he wouldn’t be dealing with different issues right now. That said, someone will figure it out, and everyone will go on from there.
Overall, just be patient and wait with baited breath until we find out what’s wrong and how to best address it. Hopefully, sometime soon, we’ll see deGrom back out there pushing for a third Cy Young and leading the Mets to the World Series.
Yet again, Jacob deGrom flirted with a perfect game. Yet again, he drove in more runs than he allowed. Yet again, records were set.
After facing the minimum through six, deGrom has a 0.56 ERA through 10 starts, which is the best in MLB history. Coincidentally, he has allowed just four earned runs on the season while driving in five himself. He’s the first pitcher to ever accomplish that feat.
During the game, deGrom struck out 10. He now has 103 on the season. With his doing it in 64.0 innings, he’s the fastest in MLB history to record 100 strikeouts.
His career numbers are already heading into another stratosphere. His 2.50 career ERA is already ahead of Tom Seaver for best in Mets history. It’s also just a hair behind Clayton Kershaw for the best since World War I.
deGrom’s 156 ERA+ has not only surpassed Seaver for best in Mets history, he’s also moved past Pedro Martinez and tied Kershaw for best all-time.
Tim Keefe had the best single season ERA+ with a 293 mark in 1880. The modern day record is Martinez with a 291 in 2000. Right now, deGrom has a 689.
Read that again. Jacob deGrom has a 689 ERA+. He’s more dominant than anyone ever has been. He’s going to completely re-write record books. That is why his virtuoso performance is the Neon Moment of the Week!
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Just like looking at the records, the San Diego Padres were a much better team than the New York Mets. It certainly didn’t play out this way in the weekend series:
1. Over the first two games of this series, the Padres had Yu Darvish and Blake Snell against Taijuan Walker and Joey Lucchesi. It took everything the Padres had to beat a Mets team with 17 players on the IL.
2. Give Lucchesi credit. He’s fixing his release points, optimizing the churve, and he’s turned his season around.
3. Did it look like Darvish was cheating? Who knows, and really we should stop these witch hunts because: (1) you don’t know; and (2) you don’t know who is and who is not cheating.
5. deGrom is taking another run at Bob Gibson. In 2017, it was the quality start streak. Now, deGrom has had a better nine start beginning to his season than Gibson had in the Year of the Pitcher.
6. For that matter, deGrom has had a better start to his season than Pedro Martinez had in either of his best seasons.
7. Honestly, it was a treat to watch Fernando Tatis, Jr. for four games.
9. We have another example why GKR are the best with Gary Cohen asking where the Bartolo Colon home run plaque is calling it the most significant event in Petco Park history.
10. Not to be sour grapes, but while the Steve Gelbs segment was funny, we should be reminded he’s the guy who gets to ask the first question at every press conference. If he’s just the sideline guy or in the studio, this is all well and good, but he’s not trying to be just that.
12. When Stroman talks about how good the clubhouse is we should listen. It should also be noted this is one of the more likable Mets teams we’ve seen in years.
13. Jose Peraza doesn’t hit many homers, but when he does, it gives the Mets the lead.
14. Brandon Drury is perhaps the perfect encapsulation of this team right now. He probably hasn’t been a viable Major Leaguer since 2017, so, of course, he makes a game changing double play.
15. For those questioning why the Mets are still winning games right now, the answer is pitching and defense. Pitching and defense always wins more games than optimizing your offensive lineups.
16. It took a while, but we’re seeing the real Francisco Lindor, and it’s glorious. Phenomenal defense. Great offense. Unparalleled leadership.
17. Someone awoke the power in Dominic Smith‘s bat.
18. Sometimes you get lucky finding the right guy at the right time. That might’ve just happened for the Mets with Billy McKinney who is playing a good right field and has a 148 OPS+ with the Mets so far.
20. The Mets are on pace for 90 wins right now, and that’s while they’re incredibly injured. Who knows just how good this team can and will be.
The New York Mets went to the desert, and it was the Arizona Diamondbacks who came up dry. While the Diamondbacks did push the Mets, the Mets took this series:
2. Brenly should forever keep Tom Seaver‘s name out of his mouth. He should not be sullying the name of a great man and best right handed pitcher in the post World War II era.
4. Holding back Seth Lugo from a save opportunity when you’ve already used Edwin Diaz and Miguel Castro because you want to ease him back from his injury is all well and good. However, you just can’t follow that up by trying to throw him two innings in his first appearance back. That’s a contradictory and dumb position.
5. Diaz is just a different pitcher than he has ever been. He’s able to go back-to-back days now with no issue. He’s shaking off blown saves. He’s having consecutive good years. There is not enough superlatives you can throw his way right now. He really deserves credit for how much he’s improved.
6. On that note, Jeurys Familia resurrecting his career has been perhaps the biggest key to this bullpen being this good.
7. It looks like that stint at first base was great for James McCann. He’s continued hitting well, and as we’re seeing, he seems to thrive on the platoon role. Fortunately for the Mets, Tomas Nido has taken his game to a new level to make this a tenable plan.
8. Between McCann hitting again and Francisco Lindor having figured things out, perhaps we can stop passing judgments on two months. Clearly, these two needed to settle into a new city with a new coaching staff. And yes, it helps them and everyone that the team replaced Chili Davis.
9. For those who haven’t noticed, Lindor is a truly great player. Look at what he’s doing. He’s top five in the majors in OAA, and over the past month, he has a .758 OPS. Remember, that includes a period when he was in a deep slump. By September, we’re all going to laugh at the panic some people showed over his start.
10. This team is clicking with the return of Pete Alonso. His presence in the lineup seems to have taken pressure off of everyone, and frankly, it helps that he returned to the lineup in peak Alonso form.
11. There is no one tougher than Kevin Pillar. Not only did he return from that fastball to the face and surgery to replace multiple facial fractures, but he’s picked right up where he left off.
12. The Mets have had a number of injuries, but if the hamstring lingers, none might be more impactful than Jonathan Villar. Villar has been able to hold down third base with all the injuries, and while his numbers and propensity to get picked off leave something to be desired, he does find a way to have an impact on games. The Mets are going to miss him.
13. The J.D. Davis injury is getting increasingly worrisome. It seems like he just has set back after set back. You really just have to wonder if the Mets are really missing a significant injury here.
14. The fact the Mets have a 4.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves, the largest in baseball, is impressive. The fact the Mets have that lead allows them to hold their cards and wait for Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo to return at their own pace. Of course, the pitching being so dominant allows that as well.
16. Because baseball is stupid, you have to guess Joey Lucchesi or David Peterson gets one before deGrom even though neither pitcher really belongs in the starting rotation right now. Injuries have really helped keep them here.
17. The Mets really need to decide if they want Peterson to be Mike Pelfrey, or if they want to try to give someone else a shot while he goes to Syracuse to develop like he needs.
18. For those saying the Mets need Pelfrey, the team can certainly figure it out. After all, they have Lugo, Robert Gsellman, and Sean Reid-Foley who can give you multiple innings consistently out of the bullpen. They also have Jerad Eickhoff, Corey Oswalt, and Thomas Szapucki to plug into the rotation. Really, there are options, and they need to do something.
19. Speaking of Gsellman, those 3.2 innings were phenomenal, and it speaks to his being back to being the pitcher the Mets thought he was when he was first called up in 2016.
20. May was right. That game winning hit by Josh Reddick was foul. Really, this just highlights the absurdity of the replay system where there aren’t cameras down the lines to ensure we get calls like that absolutely correct. Then again, this is baseball under Manfred, so why should we expect any different?
After sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks, the New York Mets swept the Baltimore Orioles to complete a perfect 5-0 homestand:
1. What’s the over/under on game winning RBI Patrick Mazeika gets before finally collecting his first Major League hit?
2. Mazeika is the first player with two walk-off RBI in his first four games, and it’s been well over a century before someone had multiple walk-offs before a hit.
3. Mazeika is why Old Timer’s Days are great. Some random player who most of baseball history will overlook gets to come back to a huge ovation and be treated like a legend.
4. That sentiment may apply perfectly to Mike Baxter.
5. Players and plays like this are a testament that you need contributions from up and down your roster. The Mets are getting that and then some right now.
6. Certainly, it helps the Mets experienced those injuries during a soft spot in their schedule. Then again, in years past when they didn’t have players like Kevin Pillar on the bench, they would fall completely apart anyway.
7. One annoying GKR trait is when a player like Pillar makes a good defensive play, they’ll mock defensive metrics.
8. We can talk about a number of reasons why the Mets are doing well, but defense is front and center. This has gone from a dreadful defensive team to a top 12 team.
9. When you’re playing good defense, your pitching can shine, and you only need four runs per game. When the Mets hit that mark, they’re 15-2.
10. If Jeff McNeil really only had cramps, and this front office has actually been upfront about injuries, the Mets dodged a huge bullet.
11. Albert Almora‘s collision with the wall is one of the scariest you’ll see. And yes, he did catch that ball.
12. It’s amazing after all the years of Jeff Wilpon laying waste to careers like Pedro Martinez, Ryan Church, Jason Bay, and many more with his playing doctor, people like Buster Olney only now take issue with the Mets handling injuries with Jacob deGrom landing on the IL.
13. We’re truly living in bizarre times when deGrom is on the IL, and Matt Harvey is pitching at Citi Field.
14. Harvey deserved each and every one of those standing ovations, and it was wonderful to hear how much it meant to him. Certainly, he meant the world to us.
15. Dominic Smith has started hitting again, and not a moment too soon with that clutch game tying RBI.
16. Contrary to previously held beliefs, Michael Conforto is indeed clutch.
17. Taijuan Walker continues to pitch great, and he’s probably been the best free agent starter. That said, he embarrasses the game of baseball when he doesn’t even try at the plate.
18. Marcus Stroman continues to be phenomenal both on the mound and as a fielder. As we’ve seen, he’s an even better teammate.
19. With deGrom, Stroman, and Walker, the Mets have three of the top seven in ERA.
20. The sting of Jarred Kelenic getting called up and the sheer stupidity of all things Brodie Van Wagenen will dull if the Mets keep playing like this.
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.
The running joke with Jeff Wilpon was what Nelson Doubleday had to say about him as he was selling away his ownership interest. For those who forgot, Doubleday said, “Jeff Wilpon said he’s going to learn how to run a baseball team and take over at the end of the year. Run for the hills, boys. I think probably all those baseball people will bail.” (Bergen Record).
Well, the joke has officially stopped being funny.
Wilpon was worse than anyone could’ve imagined. Really, who would’ve thought forcing an injured Pedro Martinez to pitch against doctor and manager advice wasn’t the worst thing he’s done. Imagine firing Willie Randolph in the middle of the night after the first game of a West coast trip wasn’t the most embarrassing.
No, Jeff Wilpon has done far worse. He was nothing short of a monster who was enabled by his father, Bud Selig, and Rob Manfred.
Jeff Wilpon was alleged to have tied the ability of a pregnant woman to receive a bonus with her ability to get married. He was also alleged to have said, “I am as morally opposed to putting an e-cigarette sign in my ballpark as I am to Leigh having this baby without being married.”
When she complained to Human Resources, she was advised to quit. Those HR complaints eventually led to a firing and a lawsuit.
When Jose Reyes was cut by the Colorado Rockies after his assaulting his wife leading to his arrest and her going to the hospital, the Mets brought him back. Not just that, Reyes’ family was put on display as Reyes played in a game with the Brooklyn Cyclones as he got himself into game shape.
Even with Reyes performing poorly, he wasn’t cut. In fact, Reyes would get a raise when he hit free agency. In his final year, Reyes was nominated for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award.
Jeff Wilpon could attempt to explain these away. He can’t explain away or defend what happened with Mickey Callaway. That one is directly on him, and it exhibits who he is as a human being.
As reported by Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang of The Athletic, at the time he was hired by the Mets, Callaway’s harassment of female reporters was “the worst kept secret in baseball.”
Now, this is the Wilpon run Mets, and they weren’t exactly known for their thoroughness or even competence. Really, you can believe the Mets had no idea about Callaway’s behavior as they rushed through the process of hiring him after one interview.
Mets fans are besides themselves right now. They went from literally the worst owner in all of pro sports to someone who promises to be the best.
Right now, Mets fans are anticipating a whirlwind of an offseason. They’re already putting J.T. Realmuto behind the plate, Trevor Bauer on the mound, and George Springer in center. Oh, and they’re also expecting Marcus Stroman, Charlie Morton, and literally every free agent available.
Mets fans aren’t penciling this in either. No, they’re putting this down in Sharpee. That’s how high their level of expectation is right now.
That right there is going to be the biggest challenge for Steve Cohen, Sandy Alderson, and the soon to be fully assembled Mets front office. Unless Cohen is prepared to start spending like a drunken sailor, there needs to be some leveling of expectation, and they need to do that while not diminishing the level of excitement.
Right there is one of the benefits of bringing back Alderson. With Alderson, the Mets fans already see someone they can trust to build a winner in New York. Agree or disagree with his moves, the fanbase is well aware he can do this job in this market.
If it’s James McCann instead of Realmuto, the fans can trust it’s not purely a cost savings driven decision. If the Mets opt for Jackie Bradley Jr in center instead of Springer, we can believe that is part of a larger plan to improve the defense to help the pitching.
However, there’s going to be a point where fans are going to want to see THE big name. The fans haven’t seen that happen since Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez signed with the Mets entering the 2005 season.
The Mets need to identify which player is the big name they need to pursue at all costs. That can be a free agent, and it could also come in the trade market with Francisco Lindor and Nolan Arenado available.
Right now, the excitement level surrounding the Mets is at the highest it’s been since Matt Harvey stepped on the field to pitch the ninth. Cohen needs to find a way to keep the excitement level there instead of having fans watch on in horror as their chances of winning a World Series fade away.
According to reports, Jeff Wilpon has a Zoom call to say goodbye to New York Mets employees. Other reports confirmed he will not be seeking a role with the Steve Cohen led Mets even with his team holding onto a small minority ownership.
While he says goodbye, Mets fans say good riddance.
Everything that is wrong with the Mets is in large part due to him, and with him gone, he know stories will soon leak out about how he was even worse than what we already knew.
We already know they failed to capitalize on two pennants. In 2000, it was letting Mike Hampton walk, refusing to sign Alex Rodriguez, and then following that up with actually signing Kevin Appier and Steve Trachsel.
There was forcing players like Pedro Martinez to pitch through injuries which everyone said should’ve shut down his season, and there was the attempts to try to prevent Carlos Beltran from getting career saving knee surgery.
There was not just signing Jose Reyes, but also holding him out as a role model. Better yet, around the same time, Ed Kranepool needed a kidney transplant only for pettiness to stop the Mets from initially reaching out to help (thankfully they eventually did).
Speaking of Mets greats, there is still no Tom Seaver statue at Citi Field, and now Tom Terrific is gone. Even when the Wilpons did think to finally act, they did it when Seaver had dementia and couldn’t enjoy the honors.
There was firing an unwed pregnant woman and really so much more. With actions like this, not only did Jeff Wilpon fail as a person in charge of building a winner, he disgraced the Mets organization.
Speaking of disgrace, the way the Mets got rid of people was deplorable. No one was allowed to keep their dignity. Willie Randolph was fired one game into a west coast trip and after the Mets won. Instead admitting they didn’t want to pay them fair value Justin Turner had his professionalism questioned and Wilmer Flores was said to have an arthritic condition he didn’t have.
Hopefully, Jeff Wilpon will be afforded the very same treatment he gave others when they left the Mets. It would only be fitting, and it would give Mets fans more reason to celebrate his being gone.