Mets Acting GM Zack Scott’s meet with the media revealed two nuggets, almost guaranteeing he is due for at least a hand slap and maybe more.
Mets Acting GM Zack Scott spent the better part of a press conference yesterday pronouncing the Mets’ recent performance of late as “unacceptable,” not a great revelation to the Mets fans.
Perhaps wanting to appear “honest” in a setting previous Mets GM’s have been (I’ll be nice) challenged, Scott’s choice of adjectives is the kind that often finds its way tacked to the wall in the clubhouse by an anonymous player to stand as a reminder – “So, this is what our front office (really) thinks about us.”
Later, and without prompting, Scott proceeded to toss a couple of nuggets out there, each of which, while newsworthy, is not likely to sit well with his bosses, who see them as talking out of school about Mets inside thinking.
Mets Players Are Not “Complying” (Scott)
The first surrounds his use of “compliance,” a term we seldom hear of in baseball because Scott was referring to the intimate relationship between a team and a player’s ownership of his body.
It all has to do with injuries to Mets players and the process of reaching an agreement on how the injury should, and ultimately, will be treated, with more often than not surgery being the main topic.
With players new to the big leagues, it’s almost automatic that they’ll adhere to all treatment recommended by the team because it is in their self-interest.
But with veterans, of which most Mets players can now be categorized, it gets more complex, especially those in arbitration of eligible for free agency (More on that later).
The inference by Scott that some Mets players are often not compliant with team treatment and subsequent rehab programs comes across as scapegoating, given the number of injuries sustained by Mets players and their subsequent performance as a team.
Mets: Is It All About Syndergaard Again?
Thankfully, Scott stopped naming names, but it’s not much of a leap to arrive at Noah Syndergaard for anyone following the Mets recently.
Syndergaard has been at odds with the Mets medical staff before, and on one occasion in April 2017, after refusing an MRI, saying he “felt fine,” days before he left a start prematurely with bicep tendonitis.
Syndergaard has yet to throw a pitch for the Mets this season. It’s a toss-up on whether or not he will return before the season’s end.
But if he does return, Scott let it be known it will not be as a starter, even though the Mets are starved to find a rotation that can take them into the playoffs.
It’s not a leap either to think that Scott’s “announcement” that Syndergaard will be in the bullpen as punishment for his non-compliance to team wishes.
Before we get to the impact on a Mets bullpen that has held their own throughout the 2021 season, with a pitcher like Syndergaard who could easily turn into the next Jason Isringhausen, another former Met plagued with arm injuries, who went on to a near Hall Of Fame career as a closer, how is this likely to sit with “Thor”?
The scenario deepens when we consider that Syndergaard is in his walk-year at a Met, and he is destined to be one of the most sought-after pitchers in the Class of 2022 Free Agents.
But as a reliever?
Syndergaard, unlike Michael Conforto, who is also a free agent at the end of the year, does not have a high-profile agent (Scott Boras) representing him has pretty much gone his own way.
Syndergaard: “Hell No, I Won’t Go”
If I’m Noah Syndergaard with my physical and financial future lying months away, I’m saying, “Hell no, I won’t go.”
Noah Syndergaard, until proven otherwise, is an elite starting pitcher in all of baseball. We need not cite the numbers to justify his existence, though they are here if you must.
And yet, he remains an unknown as he enters the 2022 season and beyond.
The Mets, as much as any team, which may be in play to sign Syndergaard during the offseason, do so in a minefield that could easily backfire on them, as in the case of the Dodger’s signing of Trevor Bauer.
Bauer, who has since fallen off the charts as one to be considered a team favorite in the Dodger’s clubhouse, is not Syndergaard. Still, he raises similar flags as the “THOR” bent idol in Mets’ culture, a designee that reminds too much of Matt Harvey and the “Dark Knight.”
As with Harvey, when the Mets reached the point of no return on one of their beloved, the Mets will find themselves in the same situation with Syndergaard.
Move on, or stay on (if he is asked to)?
Ironically, the Mets have Syndergaard between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
He knows he needs to pitch some innings to show prospective buyers that he is fully healed and worthy of commanding a three-to-four year deal for around $100 million this winter.
On the other hand, Syndergaard can also shut himself down for the rest of the season, no matter what the Mets say.
In doing so, he can set up a few Showtime performances, inviting scouts from teams to attend and see for themselves…
This is the way Corey Kluber worked his way back to signing a one-year contract with the Yankees.
Mets: If This Is Really Their Inside Thinking…
For the Mets, if they decide to shun Syndergaard by not pursuing him, with no long-range prognosis for Jacob deGrom‘s forearm injury and Marcus Stroman‘s pending free agency, what are plans to field a five-person rotation in 2022?
As for Scott, he might think twice again as an “Acting” GM before he violates the number one rule for press conferences, which states you only answer questions that are asked, releasing only information necessary to satisfy the question.
Still in play is that when Steve Cohen took over the Mets as majority owner last offseason, his initial plan was to search for a president of baseball operations to stand above his general manager in the pecking order.
After interviewing several candidates, Cohen surrendered, forcing Sandy Alderson out of retirement to take the post.
But the hunt goes on, and with Zack Scott’s momentary lapse, if I were Scott, I’d be lining up a few interviews for myself later this year.
Postscript: 8/12/2021 4:40 pm ET
The Mets have won the first game of today’s doubleheader with the Nationals. They are going for the sweep, and are leading 2-0 in the fifth inning. Get ongoing updates here.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Michael J. Cala Everything he said is true!
Dick Louie This was a slanted article to support Syndergaard and disparage Zach Scott because the GM told the truth about this Mets team.
Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts
With this, published comments are closed for this article.
Leaving little doubt, readers disagree with my stance on Zack Scott. Many see what he said as direct and honest, and for delivering a wake-up call to his players.