The Mets should be ashamed of themselves for jerking their own players and fans around yesterday, and Steve Cohen should be doubly pissed.
The Mets front office may have thought they were doing everything possible to please their new owner, Steve Cohen, with ticket and concession sales, by starting a game in the rain that lasted only lasted five batters.
Then, to make matters even worse, allowing two hours to pass by before the game was called while fans sat waiting out a damp and cold rainy day in Queens.
But they were wrong, and Steve Cohen should, and hopefully, he’ll be the first to tell them (whoever they are – Sandy Alderson, the all but invisible acting GM Zack Scott, or Mr. Met) this will never happen again on my watch.
Mets Marcus Stroman Rightfully Erupts
Underlying Stroman’s frustration, of course, is the potential of losing a start unless manager Luis Rojas can jump through hoops to squeeze him in without upsetting the routine(s) of his other starters.
Now, it goes without saying the Mets are not the only team to engage in ways to manipulate the weather they know is coming as they watch fans filing into their seats and rushing to the concession stands.
Is MLB Interference Warranted
And in this case, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred should be on the horn advising the Mets that if they pull a stunt like this again, they are risking his office stepping in to remove their privilege to control the start of a game amidst existing or threatening weather conditions.
A precedent it would be, but when we’ve seen the extreme example of a game between the Rangers and the hosting White Sox be delayed for 7 hours and 23 minutes (8/12/1990), only to be followed lamely by White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, claiming, “The weatherman kept saying it’d stop,” MLB should know the jig is up and act on it.
Mets Players And Fans Bear The Brunt
Days like yesterday are doubly hard on players, too. If the game had been called as it should have been while fans were still crossing the Whitestone Bridge on their way to Citi Field, Mets players would be on their way home to their families for an unexpected but welcome Sunday dinner.
Instead, there’s nothing to do but pace back and forth in the dugout, watch TV, play cards, eat from the buffet things you know you shouldn’t, and otherwise be totally bored while someone else decides the fate of your workday.
MLB Players: Imprisoned By Routine
And if loyal readers of this column are sick of hearing is my constant reminder that ballplayers are self-incarcerated prisoners of routine and habit.
They don’t just show up at the ballpark, get dressed, and pronounce themselves ready to dig in to face a 98 mph fastball.
A choreographed build-up varies with each player, but it’s a concentrated effort that goes beyond batting and fielding practice that prepares them for a game.
There is calisthenics in the outfield, sprints, time-outs for chats, and more stretching activities to ensure their bodies and minds are ready for the contest ahead.
A last-minute run to the bathroom and a quick check for important text messages on their phone, and only then is it time to line up for the National Anthem.
Mets Get Another Chance Tonight
Break that routine as the Mets did yesterday at your own peril. Interestingly, the Mets and Phillies game scheduled for tonight calls for a forecast of scattered showers and rain throughout the evening at Citi Field.
Once bitten and twice shy? – and the Mets front office will act differently tonight with an early postponement – or will they roll the dice again in an attempt to get the game in?
Make-up games are difficult for teams and players to bear. The Mets and Washington Nationals will be playing two split-doubleheaders to make up for the season-opening series that had to be canceled due to Washington-inflicted COVID players.
But at least in those cases, the players know what’s coming as they look at the schedule, and they can prepare themselves mentally to adjust, as can managers and pitching coaches as they look at what lies ahead.
Mets Need At Least A Slap On The Hand
Look, this is not one of those why did you trade for Robinson Cano moments in Mets history, but it is something that their front office needs to hear from somebody – preferably Steve Cohen – that you don’t do what you did Sunday to our players and fans.
As for the rest of the league, there will come a time (soon) when MLB will rightfully step in to determine when and if a game shall begin – or not.
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