Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen apparently doesn’t mind if the team disbands during the scheduling lull. But now more than ever, the guys need to be together.
The Mets, like every team in baseball, are not able to consult a manual with guidelines and instructions detailing what and what not to do during this unprecedented hiccup for the 2020 season.
General Managers are “it” and the onus of generating a plan falls on their shoulders.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman felt it was best to let the players decide the best course of action for themselves, their families, and the team.
So, he said, let’s vote on it. Unanimously, the team voted to remain in camp to continue workouts and rehab assignments.
In contrast, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen decided to mirror the recommendations of MLB and the players union – which basically says you (the player) decide and anything goes.
Stay here in camp, go home, return to the city you play in, or what the hell – take a couple of weeks in Tahiti, and we’ll catch up with you later.
That’s a big mistake, Brodie.
These are times when people (even major league ballplayers) are looking for leadership and guidance.
With only rosy forecasts but no mode of action coming from the Oval Office, professional sports leagues took it upon themselves to act.
Bold moves led by the NBA with later other leagues, including MLB following suit to put a stop to all activities and games. But teams are mostly on their own regarding how they approach the downtime.
Van Wagenen Losing The Momentum
The Mets brought themselves into Spring Training on a high from the second half of last season when a late surge brought the team from ten games under .500 to ten games over at season’s end.
Mets players couldn’t wait to get to Florida to resume the camaraderie.
Not a single instance of unneeded drama emerged from anywhere, save for a brief “I’m not talking – I am talking” – from who the hell cares – Yoenis Cespedes.
The mistake the Mets are making under the direction of Van Wagenen is ignoring the importance of routine to ballplayers.
Getting to the ballpark the same time every day, sampling the buffet, chatting with teammates, answering mail, dropping off laundry for the clubhouse attendants, checking to see if the kids made it to soccer practice – it all establishes a comfort zone.
Take it away – take it “home” as Van Wagenen is suggesting it’s okay for his players to do erases the routine at a time when regimen and unity are needed most.
Van Wagenen stresses these are grown men who have a lot on their minds these days,
Mets: Trying To Be All Things To All Players
Admirable, but you are not really helping your players or the team. Mets players are conditioned to be away from their families from February to October. Housing and schooling for the kids are based on this calendar.
It’s like a “snow day” for parents when schools are closed, and the kids are home with the loss of a structured day at school and Mom – too bad – it’s up to you to fill the time.
The Mets need not go overboard in trying to accommodate their players.
At the moment, Van Wagenen is saying the team will supply “support” wherever clusters of players are.
Even to the point of promising that: If players who reside in other countries decide to leave, Van Wagenen said the club would actively monitor travel guidelines to ensure they will be allowed to return promptly once the sport reopens.
Van Wagenen: Bring ‘Em All Home
Families gather together in a storm; they don’t separate.
Though never given the opportunity by Van Wagenen, it’d be interesting to know what the outcome of “team vote” would turn out.
Would the Mets follow suit with the Yankees, saying we’re here as a team from now through October – no matter what?
Meanwhile, Brodie Van Wagenen stands there with his roster in hand, calling out names, who’s here and who’s not? Not good. Not good at all.