Reese Kaplan -- Spin Doctors Are Working Overtime


When I was in undergraduate school I once took a course called “Business Communications” which was subtitled “How to write a bad-news letter.”  At the time I had been preparing myself for a career in public relations and this course was a fantastic introduction to the concept of spin doctoring – how to make the worst possible news sound like a positive.

During the class we covered things like when Proctor & Gamble had to deal with a tainted Tylenol capsule scandal, the Amoco Cadiz oil spill and other major disasters.  It resonated so well with me that I remember laughing uncontrollably at an episode of the old Carol Burnett show at the time that portrayed a pair of political speechwriters who were tasked with having to make the problem of runaway inflation sound like a positive.  After debating it awhile, Harvey Korman volunteered, “In the coming year you will have more money pass through your hands than ever before!”

These thoughts came to mind when I saw the overdrive operation of the Mets PR machine over the past several days.  Just yesterday I read an article saying that a farm system rebuild wasn’t necessary because what the Mets had was very good, just further away than people would like.  I read about how the recent returns of Wilmer Flores and Jeurys Familia allowed the Mets to part with subpar performers and strengthened a team on the upswing (huh???????????????)  I read about how Yoenis Cespedes is returning to rehab and should be assuming his role in LF very shortly.  I also read about how after a couple of decent games Michael Conforto is back.

Now, you can’t spin things without the slightest glimmer of truth. However, less than 2 wins per week is not nearly enough for even the most optimistic among us to declare that this team is good to go and headed back into contention. 

In case you haven’t noticed, they do not feature a batter hitting even .275 in their lineup.  (And the “savior”, Yoenis Cespedes, is hitting .255):

Dom Smith -- .267
Asdrubal Cabrera -- .267
Amed Rosario -- .237
Todd Frazier -- .224
Brandon Nimmo -- .274
Michael Conforto -- .218
Jay Bruce -- .216
Devin Mesoraco -- .218

The manager has seen fit to put the batter with the least plate discipline into the leadoff slot on multiple occasions.  They farmed out a reliever with a 2.08 ERA to make room for one with a 5.91 ERA (who promptly looked even worse than that in his first appearance).  The “Joses” are both inexplicably still on the roster.  Yes, Reyes did bunt his way on in yesterday's win due to a brain fart by Diamondbacks' catcher Alex Avilas and Bautista did hit a double on a bad route taken by Diamondbacks' right fielder Jon Jay.  Even with a couple of hits on Saturday, neither Devin Mesoraco nor Kevin Plawecki are making the case for a starting catching assignment in the future. 

Don’t fall for the machinations of Jay Horwitz and company.  Keep the pitchforks and torches handy.  This club is a mess from top to bottom with no light at the end of the tunnel except, perhaps, an oncoming train. 


Thomas Brennan said...

Tops spin, Reese, but eventually the spin in unsustainable and the top topples.

For this team to turn around this season, the several recent positive signs need several more - and those sorts of things rarely happen. it did in 2015, but it is rare.

Unless Alonso and McNeil make truly impactful major league debuts soon, the upper minors is very bare indeed in terms of legit future major league helpers. So, any reference to the minors with positive spin is fake news.

Reese Kaplan said...

Even Topps seemingly met its match with Fleer and Donruss :)

Mack's Mets © 2012