Mets manager Mickey Callaway, part-time cheerleader, and part-time field boss continues to batten down the hatches. But behind the scenes…
When will New York Mets manager, Mickey Callaway, look in the mirror and say to himself, “This is not me, and we suck”? Yes, he’s paid to be the Captain of the ship come hell or rising water in the cabin, but when does the hallow cheerleading about the season being on the cusp of a turn-around stop?
It’s insulting to Mets fans who have to listen to Callaway’s dreamy “we’re almost at the corner” wishful thinking when all these fans need to do is confront the Major League Standings to find the truth.
The same standings that unveil a Mets team with only two more wins than the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates, with only one more win than the last-place NL West San Francisco Giants. The same Mets as the team playing ten games under .500 on the road. The same Mets team that has slipped to four games under .500 (34-38) heading into tonight’s game against the Braves that could put them five under for the first time since May 19.
Nevertheless, while Callaway preaches the only gospel he is paid to read, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen is reading today’s New York Post that features a closer to the ground article by Mike Vaccaro entitled, “Prepare The Eulogy”.
Met’s Van Wagenen Will Take No Prisoners
Take a deep breath because you can be sure Van Wagenen is doing the same thing. This Mets GM is not of the same mold as the previous regimes. He wants blood in the water as he sees his preseason boasts go up in flames by a team which (no matter what Mickey says) is simply going through the motions.
A team that sees defeats in the face of victory becoming an everyday feature. Whether it’s the combustible bullpen in a close-knit game or another disastrous start from a starting pitcher like Zack Wheeler‘s in last night’s 12-3 trouncing by the Braves, it all adds up to nothing.
If only to preserve his own job, Brodie Van Wagenen knows the fix is in and it’s time for some serious housecleaning. Scapegoats will be found in every corner of the clubhouse as the Mets do what they must by becoming sellers before the other sellers (think Blue Jays, Royals, Tigers, and possibly the Nationals and Rangers) jump the gun.
Wheeler jumps to the top of the list, not because of the fact Van Wagen wants to deal him, but because he must deal him. Plugged in a number three on any starting staff, Wheeler qualifies only as a rental before he plunges into the free-agent market in November. Still, Wheeler is healthy and buzzing 97 mph fastballs for strikes more often than not.
Noah Syndergaard and I’m afraid there’s no other way to say it, is a complete bust this season. True to form, Syndergaard has found his home away from home on the 10-day DL, hiding from the press again, and apparently bewildered by the fact he can’t find his devasting slider.
By reputation only, Syndergaard can and will command the haul Van Wagenen will be asking for.
Dominic Smith is a first baseman, not an outfielder. He’s blocked by Pete Alonso whom the Mets will never trade. Smith is hitting a ton and his trade value will never be higher. Bring on the prospects.
From there, Van Wagenen can move to Grade B talent, perhaps in a package deal for more prospects. Juan Lagares is the new Travis d’Arnaud with so many years of “potential” I’ve lost count. Is Amed Rosario the best the Mets can do at shortstop while the rest of the league is producing 25-30 home runs with 90-100 RBI players at that position? Brodie will answer the question.
And what of Todd Frazier and Steven Matz? Matz has shown signs of brilliance this season, and he’s working on his “head” when he’s on the mound. But again, is it something that’s going to stick or will Matz slide back to his old ways? Frazier is extra fluff Van Wagenen has no stake in. By trading him to a contender looking for a veteran piece, the Mets can add a few dollars to their budget.
Mets Fans: Let It Be, It’s Not The End Of The World
Essentially, the old axiom in baseball that no one is untouchable comes close (minus Jacob deGrom and Pete Alonso) to describing the Mets today.
The Mets went into the 2019 season filled with renewed hope and new talent designed to have an impact on the NL East race. It just didn’t work out as planned.
It’s not the end of the world and the 2020 season still lies ahead. In the meantime, let Van Wagenen do his job by replenishing the farm system with players projected to be no more than two years away from Citi Field.
I repeat – it’s not the end of the world. It simply hasn’t worked out.
Footnote: Did anyone notice the absence of Mickey Callaway’s name among those to be purged? That’s intentional. Callaway finishes out the year. He’ll be dismissed in November with a high-powered hiree to replace him by Van Wagenen…