The Mets, despite the bizarre series of events surrounding the team of late, could not have been as bad as they seemed with the talent they have…
Nothing has changed about the dysfunctional Mets except that the team is functioning on the field again. A four-game sweep of the battered Washington Nationals at Citi Field makes a statement about the 25 men occupying the Mets clubhouse.
Whether in response to the charade undergone by their (by and large) respected manager, Mickey Callaway, or more likely, a mini-rebellion against ownership and their puppet, Brodie Van Wagenen, it doesn’t matter. The Mets showed up for four consecutive games, and that’s all we need to know.
Even more telling about what’s going on in the manager’s office and the dugout, comes the reversal of the edict that came from the top on down “ordering” that Edwin Diaz is a ninth-inning pitcher only, and not to be used in the eighth inning.
No one bothered to look or didn’t seem to care, though, that of Diaz’s 188 appearances with the Mariners, he recorded four outs or more in 20 of them. Just three of his 57 saves in 2018 took more than three outs. (New York Post)
So now, Diaz will be used for four-out saves as the need arises, negating Van Wagenen’s claim back in April that “It’s part of our ‘win now’ and ‘win in the future’ model.
Mets Reversal Number Two
That isn’t the only reversal, though. Tomas Nido is now cleared to be Jacob deGrom‘s personal catcher. A no-no before is no more. How did it escape the analytically intense Brodie Van Wagenen that in five starts with Ramos as the catcher, deGrom has pitched to a 5.33 ERA while In three games with Nido behind the plate, deGrom has pitched to an 0.43 ERA? (New York Post)
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if Mickey Callaway had sent a text to Van Wagenen “advising” him of both changes as “managerial decisions”? What a hoot that would be. After all, what does Callaway have to lose in the “foreseeable future”, or until Van Wagenen locates someone (think Joe Girardi or Buck Showalter) not named Jim Riggleman who is willing to join the Mets juggernaut with no certainty of a contract beyond this season? Ain’t happening.
Mickey Callaway doesn’t need to say it. The 25 men in the clubhouse will know, and they will respond in a positive way. Maybe, they already have, and the play on the field since Black Monday is witness to that.
Four games do not make a season in the same way the previous forty do. For the first time in 2019, the Mets are challenged by injuries to key players, forcing Callaway to come up with make-shift outfields in the absence of Michael Conforto (concussion), even to the point of playing AARP members Rajai Davis and Carlos Gomez, who were cultivating their wares at Triple-A Syracuse.
But a team that beats Patrick Corbin, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strasburg, regardless of the turmoil facing the Nationals, has some oomph and some drive left in them.
Mets: Just Ignore The Idiots
As the title of this column suggests, it is never too little and never too late. And if Callaway and his Mets have indeed decided to thumb their noses at the Wilpons and the self-crowned czar of the Mets, Brodie Van Wagenen, in order to take matters into their own hands, good for them.
The dysfunction at the top will remain, as it has since the Wilpons and Saul Katz took the helm. Leave that to the New York media and folks like me – and just go out there – pitch like you can, hit as you can – and continue to turn this season around.
In January 2018, FanGraphs did a study of the worst and the best team owners in baseball. Not surprisingly, the New York Mets finished next to last, followed only by Derek Jeter‘s Marlins. It’s become a boring topic. No change, no solutions. So why bother to waste time on it?
The players win and the players lose, not the Wilpons. This week, if what appears to be a case of the player’s taking it upon themselves – and winning – is not a mirage, then there is still good reason to not only believe but to know the New York Mets are going to give all NL East contenders a run for their money.