The only remarkable detail of the Mets 2019 season is the 3.5 games they trail the Phillies by. It could be worse…Don’t worry, it’ll get there…
The dike finally broke while the Mets were in Washington losing a series to the free-falling Nationals. Three games against the Marlins, followed by four more at home against the same Washington team, then three against the Detroit Tigers before the Mets head west to take on the Dodgers are supposed to be a soft spot in their schedule with an opportunity to spin off a run of 8-2, enough to at least move past the second-place Atlanta Braves.
Make no mistake, the mood around the Mets is sour. The team is unraveling both on and off the field, and soon Mickey Callaway will become the poster-boy scapegoat, despite being responsible for only ten percent of the team’s problems.
Mets: Who’s The Real Huckleberry
Mickey Callaway did not sign Jed Lowrie, who has yet to have an at-bat this season, to a $20 million deal. He did not bring in Robinson Cano and his .257 batting average and a mere 13 RBI (five Mets have the same or more). Callaway also had nothing to do with Todd Frazier coming to the team to bat .164 with just three extra-base hits in just half the Mets games played this season.
Mickey Callaway might be a genius pitching coach, but he can’t throw the ball for Zack Wheeler, who can’t seem to escape the good-start bad-start performances that drive everyone crazy. Ditto Noah Syndergaard. Nor is it Callaway’s fault the Mets do not have anyone in their farm system to replace the starts of oft-injured Steven Matz (due back Sunday) and Jason Vargas who, even when he’s healthy can’t seem to make it through two turns through a lineup.
This should be enough to suggest to Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets rookie GM, that the core of his team’s problems stretches far beyond his manager. But we know how these things go, and Mickey Callaway is managing on borrowed time. He will be replaced by Van Wagenen’s hire, Jim Riggleman, with a title as “Interim” manager, and that will be that.
Except it won’t because Van Wagenen is too smart not to know that Riggleman, at 66, has been through five teams as a manager, beginning in the Twentieth Century (1992), compiling a less than impressive 726-904 record over 13 years.
In mathematics, Riggleman would be called a placeholder, where you put in a valueless zero to even up columns of numbers. The trouble is the Mets have too many placeholders on their team – and they should be the target of Brodie Van Wagenen. (See Above)
Put it this way. In order for the Mets to reach 90 wins this season, they need to go 70-48, a full 22 games over .500, which would be winning percentage of .600 for the remainder of the 2019 season. I’ll leave that one to the boys in Vegas…
Another sign of trouble for the unraveling Mets occurred after yesterday’s 7-6 loss to the Nationals when Keon Broxton popped off to the New York Post about his lack of playing time, blaming his 1-25 slump on the Mets “plan” for him. Apparently, Broxton’s four for nine start to the season sewed up his place in the Met’s lineup forever?
The fact that Broxton chose to go public with his frustration, rather than stopping by Mickey Callaway’s office, is a big mistake on his part. And if Callaway isn’t putting Brodie’s phone on overload with texts suggesting Van Wagenen unload this guy – Now! – then maybe Callaway deserves what he gets.
Footnote: The Mets wasted no time today in designating Broxton for assignment. Good riddance.
Mets: It’s Your Move, Brodie
Steven Matz will never be Jerry Koosman, Noah Syndergaard will never be Jacob deGrom, and Jason Vargas will always be Jason Vargas. Todd Frazier, at 33, has hit a wall and can barely get the bat off his shoulder, and Jed Lowrie, at 35, failed his rehab stint at Syracuse and is inactive once again. On the plus side, Dominic Smith‘s value will never be higher than it is today. Ditto Jeurys Familia.
With the exception of Syndergaard and possible Matz, this is no walk in the park for Van Wagenen. And trading players who are injured or prone to injury reduces the value of the return. But this is a matter of subtraction, not addition, and more of a gut-check for Van Wagenen as to whether or not he (really) believes the Mets, as currently constructed, can win at a .600 clip to get to 90 wins.
He’ll never tell us, but as they say, action speaks louder than words. Staying put with the Mets roster means Callaway is certain to be fired so, at least, Brodie can be seen as trying to do something. But Mets fan are not stupid, and neither is Jeff Wilpon.
Joe Maddon reminds that you are only as good as your record says you are. The Mets are a sub-.500 team. That’s what they are. And once again, it wasn’t supposed to be that way…
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