Posted by Reese Kaplan at 8:00 AM
While I can’t pretend to know the political leanings of the Mets’ brain trust, they’re certainly acting as if they are channeling their inner Trump when they say and do things that make the most loyal fans just shake their head with incredulity.
Take for example the current state of needs for improving the club. They have lost David Wright for the year (and possibly forever). They have lost Lucas Duda for most of the year. They are now without Matt Harvey for the remainder of the year. They have suffered multiple setbacks in Zack Wheeler’s recovery. They have lost Travis d’Arnaud for a large chunk of the season. They have had to contend with the sophomore slump of Michael Conforto and demoted him to Sin City to find his swing.
Word has filtered down that the “Plan” is to allow the current crop of players to get healthy and that will address the needs on the ballclub. Allow me to repeat that – wait for David Wright (who is out for the year), Matt Harvey (who is out for the year) and Lucas Duda (who has yet to resume baseball activities) to get healthy and all is right with the world. Huh…I guess I must be a heretic for not sharing that same deluded vision of faith.
Of course, then they immediately doubled back and reversed course by declaring that they will seek to find a relief pitcher in the trade market. Really? What happened to waiting for guys to get healthy (cough, Jim Henderson, cough, Josh Edgin). Isn’t that like saying you want to bring jobs back to America but then outsourcing your own clothing manufacturing to China?
While no one is denying that Antonio Bastardo, save for one brilliant bases loaded game in which he came in the whiff the side, has been an unmitigated disaster. Lately Erik Goeddel has not been much better. The jury’s still out on Seth Lugo who, being unknown to the Skipper, will only see the light of day in blowouts. However, Hansel Robles, Jerry Blevins, Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia have all been quite solid.
Word has also come that they are likely out on the Yuliesky Gourriel sweepstakes. No surprise there…their xenophobia also mimics their political doppelganger. You can’t have someone from another country come here and expect him to perform like a good American can. Remember Josh Satin? Remember Eric Campbell? One’s status as a “proven” commodity doesn’t by definition make them a superior choice. Yes, for every Yoenis Cespedes there’s a Hector Olivera waiting to happen. Still, the Mets have a need at 3rd base not just now but likely for the future as well. Plan A – Jose Reyes – was apparently the only plan as he cost just pro-rated major league minimum and they’re still holding onto the delusion that David Wright will try to play again (and thus be on the payroll). So winning once again takes a backseat to this faint glimmer of hope.
The strangest one of all, however, is the decision to keep Michael Conforto in AAA. Yes, he was totally lost at the plate when he left (and probably was kept around a month longer than he should have been). However, it didn’t take much for him to regain his swing and confidence. The team is, as usual, struggling to score runs by means other than the long ball. Throw in the fact that Yoenis Cespedes is also ailing, and you’d think the logical thing to do would be to return the suddenly hot Conforto to the majors to begin the second half, but no…that makes way too much sense. Instead we get more of Alejandro De Aza whose $5.75 million contract is apparently keeping him employed because once again the sunk cost is more important to the club than the incremental cost of cutting him loose and letting a minimum wage player such as Brandon Nimmo take his spot permanently on the roster.
The Mets talk a good game about winning, but they failed to plan for inevitabilities like the David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud DL stints. The Duda and Harvey situations were unpleasant surprises, but in neither case did they take aggressive steps to address the issues. James Loney is not the answer. Logan Verrett is not the answer. They’re all ecstatic that Jose Reyes hit a few home runs in a week but when Wilmer Flores, the man he replaced, hit FIVE in that same amount of time he was directed to plant his butt on the bench.
Maybe I’m too harsh. After all, they told use they’ll hire the best people to be in charge. Who does that sound like? And how’s it working out?