Peter Hyatt - Sandy Alderson's Statement: Strength Coach

The Sheriff Remains on the Job
Readers of Mack's Mets have read of some of the inner struggles of Mets' management to exercise leadership over the team. 

Sandy Alderson has given us further insight into who is running the New York Mets.

After a string of injuries, especially to Yoenis Cespedes, heavy criticism fell to the Mets' strength coach, Mike Barwis.  The criticism referred back to a March 2017 video of Cespedes doing 900lb leg presses, and leg hypertrophy exercises as foolish for an athlete. 

Alderson has been under fire over it, too, with calls for the Mets to part ways with the strength coach.  

"Mike's not going anywhere" Alderson said defiantly.  

This is the type of statement made in a defensive posture; under attack, from his own management team.  

It is not the only inner debate within Mets management.  Alderson has been under pressure since he took the risk of signing Cespedes to the $110 million dollar contract.  Recall in May of 2017, Alderson's frustrations with Cespedes reached a peak as Cespedes refused to follow Mets rehab protocol.  Alderson used a public pressure tactic by not only setting up the MRI for Cespedes, but telling the public that there was "no substantial injury; not even swelling" found.  

Cespedes' "people" got the message and finally got him to Florida where he still refused to follow the prescribed protocol of at bats and innings in the outfield.  He told the media that El Hombre tells the Mets when, how, and where rehab goes.  

“The perception that some people have of what Barwis provides to the Mets is completely erroneous,” Alderson said. “He provides mostly training in the offseason and there are a couple of misconceptions.”
Which is it:  "completely erroneous" or are there a "couple of misconceptions"?  This is what it sounds like when one does not believe his own words.  
Alderson said one "misconception" is Barwis was responsible for Syndergaard’s offseason training. The right-hander, who worked out independently last winter at a facility near his home in Mansfield, Texas, reported to camp boasting that he had added 17 pounds of muscle; something almost impossible for a top flight young athlete to accomplish naturally.  
“Barwis had nothing to do with Syndergaard’s offseason training,” Alderson said.
This is a truthful statement.  
It does, however, avoid the topic of where "Thor" Sydergaard (and "Dark Knight" Matt Harvey) got the notion of doing what they want, how they want, when they want as employees of the Alderson Mets.  The Mets PR team helped build into the inflated egos.  Recall how much "Thor" looked up to the self grandiose tactics of Cespedes in Spring of 2016 with the horse and pony show.  Having failed to win the World Series (remember Cespedes blaming a missed ball on a rookie?), Cespedes led the 2016 Mets coming into the Spring, not hungry for success, but for self promotion.  
Alderson address the issue that Barwis was involved in the leg hypertrophy training of Cespedes  highlighted by the video and the now infamous  ESPN segment with the 900lb controlled bar squats.
What did we see on the video?
We saw Cespedes doing bar squats of 900 lbs under the supervision and verbal encouragement of Mike Barwis.  
What does Sandy Alderson say we saw on the video?
Cespedes didn’t do any of that kind of exercise with any of his work with BarwisIt was filmed, I think, because somebody wanted to demonstrate how strong he might be and it has left a completely erroneous impression.
It was all an optical illusion for us?  We didn't see Barwis set up, guide and encouragement Cespedes through the ostentatious video?
Here Alderson shows fear of truthfully reporting that it was Cespdes himself who wanted it filmed.  
He does not explain why Barwis was yelling encouragement in the video to Cespedes as he narcissistically pressed the weight.  
The impression is not "erroneous" but "completely erroneous." 
At least Alderson did not call it a "bad optic" as he has previously with the golfing Cespedes.  
“It wasn’t part of his training and, in fact, Mike Barwis is probably key to keeping Cespedes on the field going forward. 
So now suddenly Barwis is going to be in control of Cespedes' strength and conditioning?  From the man who had to go public to shame Cespedes onto the field we are to believe a hired employee is going to tell El Hombre what to do?
Then, Alderson lets us know why the need to be so defiant in saying "Mike is not going anywhere" as he clarifies why Barwis' services are being retained: 
The guy that Cespedes most trusts is Barwis.”
If Cespedes does not want him fired, he won't be fired.  
From telling the Mets when and if he will play, to pressuring Terry Collins into keeping two of his buddies in the line up, to rehabbing when and how he wants, Yoenis Cespedes has exerted undue control over the New York Mets.  He was persona non grata in Oakland, Detroit and Boston for his attitude. He shows up when he wants to  and phones it in when he wants to.  He will play only where he says he will play (left field now) and continues to provoke defensive posturing into the language of Sandy Alderson. 
Yoenis Cespedes continues to run the New York Mets by quiet bullying and pouting.  
We now can expect a PR blitz of the "new and improved" $110 million dollar man.  
Expect announcements about flexibility and athleticism and maybe even a few pounds lighter Cespedes.  
Turning 32 (or 33), and emboldened by the acquiescence of leadership by the Mets, expect the same nonsense from Yoenis Cespedes in 2018. 
Expect the Mets to continue to make soft overtures to American League teams (DH) this winter and in 2018. 
What if Cespedes does not produce and continues to bring contempt for both leadership and the game with his nonchalant and dismissive irregular play?
Assuming Alderson is still around (ownership loves the cheap waiver wire addiction), he needs one thing, in particular, to be free of Cespedes:
he needs the fans to turn on him.  
This was part of the major roll of the dice of the 2017 MRI announcement.  
If Cespedes slumps, broods, claims injury, comes back and slumps some more, it will actually "increase" his value to an AL team because it would allow Alderson to have the fans' backing of moving him off the roster.  
Think:   Cespedes' statement of insult about Terry Collins and his interesting recall of his time in Oakland.  When Cespedes broods, he talks.  When he talks, his narcissism is revealed.  
If Cespedes continues to be a thorn in the side of the Mets and does not produce,  expect by 2019 the Mets to rue the signing of Cespedes and if they cannot move him anywhere, perhaps in 2020 they will designate him for assignment.  
Ownership is displeased with the return on  their $110 million dollar investment thus far. 
Without a leadership change the atmosphere of anarchy and a split clubhouse will continue to the 2018 season.  
Just as Michael Conforto had to move out of the apartment with Noah Syndergaard to get away from party central, so the two sides of the clubhouse will not meet in the unity necessary for winning unless changes are made.  


Thomas Brennan said...

If Cespedes does not do a 180 in 2018, we will lose a LOT of games in 2018. Simple as that.

Barwis retention is frankly bewildering...nice job to show the FANS you are not satisfied with awful Mets results, Sandy and Wilponzis.

We feel almost as good as when Sandy and Terry are here on opening day, too, explaining why having 6 more guys on the DL on opening day is so unfortunate and unavoidable.

Thomas Brennan said...

Jay Bruce having the time of his life right now. Why would we think this is his first choice to return to in 2018?

Peter Hyatt said...

Jay Bruce had a very tough time with Terry Collins/Sandy Alderson (we never seem to really know who is pulling the strings).

He was said to be a voice of reason in the club house and tried to unite the team. It is one thing for him to go up against Cespedes and Cabrera (early on, Reyes, too), but it was a completely new thing for him to face off against them protected by Collins.

Cespedes was the "untouchable" one and had to be kept "content" at all costs, including playing the best players (hot hand) and a bit later, youth.

He was glad to get out of Bedlam.

He knows what the disease of Cespeditis is like.

Reese Kaplan said...

Cespedes has a no trade clause. He's not going anywhere.

Mack Ade said...

Is it my imagination or have the Mets announced that no one is being replaced so far next year?

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