For the second time this season, a New York Mets pitcher was thrown out of a game for having an illegal substance on their hands. Both times, there was an MLB official involved.
With Max Scherzer, he was told to clean his hands because of the rosin residue. He would wash his hands in the presence of an MLB official. When Scherzer returned to the game, he would be thrown out for having an illegal stick substance on his hand.
What was interesting with Scherzer was David Cone did an experiment on Sunday Night Baseball which effectively exonerated Scherzer. In essence, he showed how what Scherzer claimed was absolutely true, and yet, Scherzer was still suspended.
In the opener of the Subway Series, the umpires did a check of Drew Smith before the top of the seventh. Umpire Bill Miller determined Smith’s hands were too sticky and ejected him from the game. After the game, Miller would say he didn’t know what the substance was, just that Smith’s hands were too sticky.
Ron Darling was frustrated asking for a standard to be put in place. This might be more fantasy than reality. It’s really difficult to adopt a uniform standard, and that is part of the shortsightedness of MLB implementing this rule.
However, that’s not the most troubling part of all of this. The most troubling part is an MLB official did not find Smith’s hands sticky in a post-ejection inspection.
Drew Smith says he had an MLB official check his hands in the tunnel after his ejection.
He says the official laughed and said there was "nothing there." pic.twitter.com/Vc1AfdCxA3
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 14, 2023
Now, there is the caveat here that either Smith or the MLB official was not exactly being truthful. That said, it is alarming Smith was told there was nothing there after he was ejected. If the timeline of events are correct, Smith would not have even had an opportunity to clean his hands before this post-ejection suspension.
With Scherzer, an MLB official supervised and approved the hand washing. With Smith, an MLB official said there was nothing on Smith’s hands.
Of course, the obvious point here is that there is an MLB official right there. Why is that official not performing these substance checks?
The MLB official has the opportunity to see if there is anything illicit happening. The MLB official can easily check hands before or after an inning without any of the theater we see now. For a league hyper focused on pace of play, it would also make the game move just that much quicker.
We can also get more checks with that official able to do it each and every inning. Yes, that would also mean a need for an official in the bullpen. With Major League Baseball having record revenues that should not be an issue at all.
The end result would be the promise of a more unified standard for ballparks because you get the same person checking every time, and that person can be trained specifically for this one area. You also get more testing resulting in the appearance of a fairer game with less foreign substances. Moreover, you get the game moving slightly quicker by ending the umpires periodic checks.
Really, there is no reason why this isn’t happening. At a minimum, you take away the ability for players to claim the MLB official cleared them creating less drama and frustration with the sport. Overall, you’re just making the game better.
With Steve Cohen, things have changed so much for the better. Just look at this offseason, So far, the Mets have given record deals to keep Edwin Díaz and Brandon Nimmo. They have also brought in Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, Omar Narváez, José Quintana, and David Robertson. In the past, it would take the Wilpons more than a decade to bring in all of these players, and of that group, we’d never be able to consider a Verlander coming to Queens.
However, even with the Wilpons gone, they still find ways to mess with New York Mets fans. Of course, it comes with them being cheap and not realizing the value of franchise greats.
There is still a gap between SNY and Keith Hernandez in contract talks. Hernandez was offered a new deal, rejected it, and counter-offered. SNY has not yet responded with another offer.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) February 1, 2023
SNY (read, the Wilpons) always seems to do this with Keith Hernandez. They make the contract negotiations more prolonged than they need to be. In many ways, they don’t realize his value to the franchise and their broadcasts. Keep in mind, Hernandez and his commentary keeps fans tuned in during blowouts because fans want to hear Keith in those situations. That’s not hyperbole.
Actually, maybe the Mets do realize Hernandez’s value. It may be much more likely they really just don’t care. Based upon their ownership of the Mets, we can safely assume that is the case.
That is what actually makes this worse. They already have their billions from the sale of the franchise. They were financially made whole from the Madoff Ponzi Scheme scandal. Now, they’re just making money off the Mets like they always do.
There is going to come a point in time where Keith steps aside, and we are no longer going to have Gary, Keith, and Ron. However, that has to come on GKR’s terms. They’re Mets legends, and they earned that right as they are about to surpass Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy, and Ralph Kiner as the longest serving Mets announcing trio.
The Wilpons cannot mess this up. They’ve already messed up too much, and for all they have done, this would be a step too far. We shouldn’t put it past them. All we can do is hope they finally do the right thing by the fans.
When the New York Mets played the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card Series, it was the first time the Mets were in the postseason since they were in the postseason in 2016. In fact, that marked just the second time in team history the Mets went to the postseason in consecutive seasons.
While just seven years ago, none of the players from those 2015-2016 Mets teams are around anymore. Actually, that’s not entirely true with Jerry Blevins working on the SNY postgame and occasionally filling in for Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez.
Blevins isn’t the only player who is retired. Look back at their starting lineup in Game 1 of the 2015 World Series. Almost all of those players are retired:
- Curtis Granderson – retired
- David Wright – retired
- Daniel Murphy – retired
- Yoenis Cespedes – attempting a comeback after retiring
- Lucas Duda – retired
- Travis d’Arnaud – Atlanta Braves
- Michael Conforto – San Francisco Giants
- Wilmer Flores – San Francisco Giants
- Kelly Johnson – retired
That is five retired and one more effectively retired. Notably, with Johnson, we saw Michael Cuddyer and Kirk Nieuwenhuis pinch hit in that DH spot, and both are now retired. If anything, it would seem the San Francisco Giants is the official team of the 2015 Mets.
As we see with Conforto and Flores, there are still some of those Mets players still in the majors, Matt Harvey notwithstanding. However, when Jacob deGrom signing with the Texas Rangers, there are currently no players from that team still with the Mets organization.
When Seth Lugo signed with the San Diego Padres, that left the Mets with absolutely no pitchers from that two year run. When Conforto signed with the Giants, that meant Brandon Nimmo was the only Mets player from that two year stretch to remain with the Mets, and he only played in 32 games.
When deGrom signed with the Rangers, we obviously lamented the second greatest Met ever leaving the organization. However, it was Conforto and Lugo leaving which officially turned the page on those teams with so much promise which ultimately fell apart due to the Wilpons malfeasance and cheapness.
In a sense, we should welcome this chapter forever being closed. Now, it is all about Steve Cohen and how he runs the Mets. So far this offseason, that means Nimmo is a Met for life in addition to adding Justin Verlander, Koudai Senga, Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Omar Narvaez and hopefully, Carlos Correa. Oh, and by the way, the Mets brought back Edwin Diaz and Adam Ottavino.
So yes, it is sad to see a part of Mets history gone, but we will have those memories. More than that, we have an exciting new era and owner. Now, it is time to just wait for Correa to sign, and the Mets to win a World Series.
The New York Mets traveled to Los Angeles with a depleted pitching staff to face-off against the Dodgers. In the end, this was a split with people’s emotions going through the gamut.
1. For those who panicked after the second game or wanted a litmus test, just stop. Regardless of how this trip goes, this is a very good Mets team who is a World Series front runner. This series only served to prove that.
2. This was Buck Showalter‘s best managing of the season. Lifting David Peterson during an at-bat and using Edwin Diaz in the eighth inning against the Dodgers best hitters was inspired and absolutely the right call in each circumstance.
4. The Mets might’ve lost Holderman if a Rule 5 Draft was held. Medina was obtained after he was designated from assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Going deeper, Stephen Nogosek has an ERA under 1.00, and the Mets had previously designated him for assignment. Not enough is being talked about with how great Jeremy Hefner has been.
5. Ron Darling was wrong. They’re not getting contributions from all 26 players. We’re hovering around 35+ right now.
7. Eduardo Escobar is coming out of his funk and starting his June hot streak on schedule. While the homer was great, that 10 pitch sacrifice fly was one of the team’s best at-bats all season.
8. Tomas Nido might just be the best hitter in the majors with two outs and RISP. He is actually slashing .455/.500/.636 in those spots. Maybe someone can hypnotize him into thinking every plate appearance is two outs with RISP?
10. Chris Bassitt is really struggling right now. He’s had a 6.35 ERA over his past four starts with opposing batters hitting .261/.327/.544 off of him with a dipping strikeout rate. The Mets need him now, and he’s faltering.
11. Jeff McNeil is struggling to the point Showalter pulled him from a game and gave him a breather. Hopefully, it’s just a blip because the Mets need him.
12. You can argue no Mets player has stepped up like Trevor Williams has this year. He’s gone from complete afterthought to pitching five strong innings against the best offense in baseball.
13. The Mets bullpen was underrated entering the season, and it is all the more so during the season. Case-in-point, this bullpen is undefeated in extra inning games.
14. While we all understand why Nick Plummer is up with this team right now, if the Mets see him as a real player going forward having him as a little used fourth outfielder is doing him a great disservice right now.
15. Luis Guillorme was bound to cool off. The hope is this is a blip and not a complete regression. As he’s never been truly given this chance, no one can definitely state either way even if all indications are he will be fine. Regardless of those struggles at the plate, his defense remains great.
16. At some point, you have to wonder if Brandon Nimmo needs to go on the IL to let his wrist heal. He is just not hitting at the moment.
17. After a small cold streak, Francisco Lindor is hitting and playing elite defense again. Also, he now has the highest WAR among MLB shortstops. It’s as if he’s a future Hall of Famer in the prime of his career.
18. Tylor Megill‘s rehab stint should not be rushed. Give him the time he needs as this is a marathon, not a sprint. When he’s ready, it looks like it’s Peterson who will need to be sent down.
19. The discovery the Mets are using the same pitching machine the San Francisco Giants used for their resurgence may have more of an impact on this team’s offense than anything Eric Chavez is credited with doing.
20. Let’s be honest here. The NL East race is over. It is now just about the Mets getting ready for the postseason.
Tonight, the Mets got runs for Chris Bassitt, and it seemed like everything was in cruise control. Again, Bassitt was terrific.
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 27, 2022
Bassitt did have to navigate through the first inning, but it was relatively smooth sailing from there. He was working well up in the zone much to the consternation of the St. Louis Cardinals.
He pitched so well Paul DeJong didn’t even have a hit. When things are going good, they’re going good.
On the other side, the Cardinals started Jordan Hicks getting the start. He was the only Cardinals pitcher to give up runs.
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 27, 2022
The Mets were up 2-0 with two on and no outs, and they appeared poised to blow it open. After Francisco Lindor grounded into a double play, that was it for the scoring in the inning.
One thing that was noticeable was how the ball wasn’t carrying. It was a cool night in St. Louis, but this has been a much talked about issue in baseball this season. That said, this was seemingly the first time it was truly noticeable in a Mets game.
Pete Alonso is hit on the helmet and the Mets are not happy one bit. pic.twitter.com/Kh88hgCuKJ
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 27, 2022
Alonso and the Mets were furious, and the benches cleared. Intentional or not, Alonso was hit in the head for the second time this season.
The Mets wouldn’t make the Cardinals pay in the eighth, but they would in the ninth.
After McCann struck out, Nimmo had a typical tough at-bat where he drew a walk. That brought up Marte who was hit by a pitch forcing home a run.
Starling Marte hit by the pitch.
Mets lead 3-0. pic.twitter.com/OjBCfnQnzD
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 27, 2022
Marte wasn’t happy, but a run scored showing it was unintentional.
With no intention adjudged, neither Ottavino nor Brooks were ejected.
Traditionally, Diaz isn’t good on a second straight day. After a leadoff walk, it seemed like he was in for trouble again. However, he’d settle down and record the save.
With that, the Mets secured their fourth shutout of the season. It’s also the first time in franchise history they won the first six series to open the season.
If you have been trying to watch the Mets on the SNY App, good luck. All over Twitter and the internet there are complaints about the app. For those using Roku, Fire TV, or an ipad, there are many instances where they need to constantly reload the app. Often times, this is multiple times an inning.
This makes watching Mets games on the app next to impossible. You lose chunks of the game just trying to restart the app. There’s also the matter of how far delayed it is from the actual broadcast. Another issue is even if you are a paid cable subscriber, it will not permit you to watch the Mets games on the app when you, yourself, are out of your home thereby defeating one of the features which would make the app desirable.
It’s beyond frustrating when the app crashes only for you to have to watch two commercials to get back to the action. Yes, that is the norm for loading any app, but it is all the more problematic when you wind up spending more of your time rewatching the same commercials over and over again than you do watching the actual game.
Another issue is how the app did not cut the audio from Gary Cohen when SNY cut to highlights. Fortunately, there was no Nick Castellanos moment, but rather, Cohen complaining about why SNY is showing Yankees highlights while Ron Darling was trying to alert Cohen to the issue.
Of course, what makes this all the more frustrating is this Mets team is really good and has a real chance to win the World Series. As a fan, you don’t want to miss a moment, and yet, you’re forced to miss many.
Given the Wilpons own SNY, we shouldn’t be all that surprised. After all, this was a family who set out every year to make the Mets unwatchable. Now that they don’t have the power to do so with their personnel decisions, they are setting forth and doing it with their app.
Ever since the 1980 season, New York Mets fans have loved the Home Run Apple. That Apple has become synonymous with the monster homers from Darryl Strawberry and Mike Piazza. For one evening, it actually rose for a single, well, it was Robin Ventura‘s Grand Slam Single.
It should come as no surprise the Wilpons didn’t understand how much Mets fans loved that Home Run Apple. In fact, it left them scrambling before the opening of Citi Field to install a new one in center field. After not knowing where to put the old one, they finally found a fitting spot outside the main entrance leading into the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.
Mets fans absolutely can not get enough of the Apple. Sure enough, Rob Manfred found a way to get Mets fans to no longer want it.
We discovered Apple TV purchased the rights to a Friday Night Game of the Week which will be streamed exclusively on their network. That means when Max Scherzer makes his Mets debut against his former Washington Nationals team, we will not get to hear GKR on the call.
As an aside, this must also be terrible for Nationals fans. As soon as he retires, Scherzer will likely have his number retired. More than that, he will one day become the first Nationals player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Instead of a hometown crew for the call, they get the national broadcasters.
In some ways, this is a good thing for Major League Baseball. We are seeing more and more people move to streaming services, and this is a way to reach a more national audience. Also, if you are doing this you are going to want to showcase things like Scherzer returning to Washington because it is a major story line.
That said, this isn’t great for fans. We all have our plans to watch the Mets whether that is an SNY or MLB TV subscription. Games over the first 12 weeks will be free. That means Friday’s game as well as the Mets June 10 game at the Los Angeles Angles will be free. However, this is a seven year deal. Eventually, if you are a fan who wants to watch 162 games, you need to eventually pay for Apple TV, which is right now $5/month with fees likely to rise in the future.
To make matters worse, there is also a Peacock TV deal. They are getting an exclusive Sunday morning game. Right now, the Mets will be featured in their June 26 game against the Miami Marlins. Peacock TV is an additional $5/month. Combined with Apple TV, that’s $10 per month or $120 per year. Of course, that is in addition to what you already pay to watch the Mets.
This is one of those things were it is good business for MLB, but it is bad business for fans. They’re removing games from local markets and charging the fans more. They’re gambling you’ll pay more or won’t care. In the end, this is the type of deal which may backfire in terms of generating fan interest, but in the end, MLB will have the revenue they want, so they won’t care.
The New York Mets made the announcement Keith Hernandez will have his number 17 retired during the 2022 season. After the Mets opted to break with tradition and retire Jerry Koosman‘s 36, there is no doubt it was Hernandez’s number which needed to be retired next.
Really, even if the Mets kept to the old standard, Hernandez’s number should have been retired eventually. When you break it down, Hernandez had a Hall of Fame worthy career. He was the best fielding first baseman of all-time, and he had a better career than first baseman already in the Hall of Fame. Chances are, Hernandez would go in the Hall of Fame with the Mets, but to be fair, that is probably wishful Mets fan thinking.
That said, the standards have changed. Now, it seems to be impact on the franchise. When you look at the Mets franchise as a whole, Tom Seaver undoubtedly had the biggest impact. After all, he was given the moniker The Franchise. He has been and always will be the best player in franchise history. After Seaver, there is no question Hernandez has had the biggest impact in franchise history.
It began in 1983. Hernandez was shockingly available, and Frank Cashen made a shrewd trade not just to obtain him but to give him a contract extension. There are many ways you can define his leadership and what he brought to the Mets. It could be the streak from 1984 – 1989 where they averaged 96 wins winning two division titles and the 1986 World Series. There are the five Gold Gloves, three All-Stars, three top 10 MVP finishes, and the Silver Slugger.
It was more than that. It was what the Mets players told you. They told you it was Hernandez who taught that young but extremely talented team how to win. He then showed them how to do it with his clutch hitting and otherworldly defense. It was the reason why he was named the first captain in Mets history. In many ways, it was Hernandez who ushered in and led the Mets to the greatest run in franchise history.
If that was all Hernandez did, you could make the case Hernandez had the second most impactful career in Mets history. However, Hernandez would prove to be more than that. Hernandez has become part of the beloved Gary, Keith, and Ron. Gary Cohen is the best in the business, and it was Darling whose terrific work which would lead to him getting national broadcasts. However, it is Hernandez who is the reason fans stay watching.
There are the guffaws and the adoration of players. He’s become the beloved uncle who comes into our homes on the SNY broadcasts. Really, dating back to when he was first acquired by the Mets, he has been the beloved uncle of the franchise. He’s been the adult in the room to show us all how things are done, and now, he is the one who has stuck around to tell us how great things are and used to be.
Overall, throughout the history of the Mets franchise, Hernandez has left an indelible mark. He was a great player and a great broadcaster. Much of what we know love about the Mets is all because of him. He deserves his number retired and far more than that.
To a certain degree, every baseball fan complains about national broadcasts. Part of it is the nature of the nearly daily regional broadcasts where there is a more intimate nature of the relationship between the broadcast, team, and fans. That goes double when you’re a New York Mets fan and you get the pleasure and privilege of hearing Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling every night.
While national broadcasts have generally been derided, baseball fans were very complimentary of the self dubbed Nerdcasts. With Jason Benetti, Eduardo Perez and Mike Petriello, baseball fans were treated to a different type of broadcast. The terrific play-by-play work of Benetti was complemented by the advanced stats which are currently driving the game (and really all sports). It was informative and fun.
Really, ESPN hit on something perfect. They presented the alternate broadcast everyone wanted, so naturally, as is typical with ESPN with their complete mishandling of all things baseball, it’s gone.
Part of the reason why is Perez was promoted to the regular Sunday Night Baseball booth. That’s a deserved reward for him, and it will certainly make that telecast ever better. If they also hire David Cone, even better. Now, you could argue with Perez and Cone, they’re going to bring that Nerdcast to the regular booth, and if so, kudos to ESPN.. Still, it remains to be seen just how much they do it.
The other reason ESPN is moving on from the Nerdcast is the success of the Manningcast, and they want to try to replicate it for baseball.
There are many reasons why the Manningcast works so well. The first is there are two Super Bowl winning and future Hall of Fame brothers. That brings a certain gravitas. They also both have this amazingly interesting and impossibly difficult to replicate seriousness and irreverence to the telecast. To a certain degree, they don’t find themselves beholden to traditional television rules, and yet, they are very serious about the game.
In many ways, that’s the problem with TV, especially with sports. Instead, of acknowledging there is something so unique and perfect and enjoying it, they keep going out and trying to replicate it. The more and more this happens, the more and more we learn there was only one John Madden. There is only one Manningcast. And yes, there is really only one Gary, Keith, and Ron.
That hasn’t stopped YES from trying. They brought on Cone and Paul O’Neill to join Michael Kay try to replicate what the Mets have. Of course, the biggest issue is Kay is Cohen. Another big problem is no one is Keith Hernandez. Mostly, Gary, Keith, and Ron is really something you can only do with the Mets franchise because everything about it is so thoroughly Mets.
Of course, ESPN doesn’t realize this. They’re taking Kay and meshing him with Alex Rodriguez to try to create a Manningcast. It’s just about the dumbest idea possible.
One of the reasons for the Sunday Night Baseball booth shakeup was everyone tired of A-Rod. While he was initially a success in the booth, everyone tired of him over nine innings. What was once promising turned out to be terrible. For some reason, they thought it best to pair him with Michael Kay to try to create a Manningcast.
There is just no way this makes any sense. Who is the market for this? No one wanted A-Rod anymore on Sunday Night Baseball, and of all the play-by-play broadcasters, they choose Michael Kay. It’s almost like they’re challenging Mets and Red Sox fans to never tune in and watch.
Then again, isn’t what ESPN is doing? Instead of taking a very successful Nerdcast broadcast and building that,they’re making something horrible which no one wants. As is usually the case with ESPN, baseball fans deserve better.
After Taijuan Walker got knocked out by the Boston Red Sox, you knew it was going to be another long night for the New York Mets. When you’re as bad as the Mets are, that’s just the case.
Since the trade deadline, the Mets are 17-31. Since the All-Star Break, they’re 25 -39. They can’t beat good teams or much of anyone.
Seeing all the one run losses and same mistakes over and over again, it’s as if this is Groundhog Day. Time just stands still.
As it turns out, it basically is. As Mark Simon of Sports Info Solutions points out, the Mets have played 10 straight games exceeding three hours 30 minutes.
10 in a row!
Oy vey https://t.co/uYLJb0xFXg
— Mark Simon (@MarkASimonSays) September 23, 2021
To make matters worse, the Mets are 2-8. In that time we’ve seen the Mets postseason hopes go from plausible to needing an act of God to essentially dead. It’s now at the point where even Pete Alonso admits defeat.
The Mets are not a good team right now. They’re uninteresting. Worse yet, they’re borderline unwatchable. Aside from Gary, Keith, and Ron, it’s hard to find a reason to hang on in for a blowout loss taking nearly four hours.
Each and every one of these games are long and drawn out. It’s punishment for the fans. It’s just a long drawn out funeral while we try to figure out what went wrong.