Reese Kaplan -- Mets Name Shemp the New GM


It’s now the official halfway point of the season and it seems appropriate to assess what’s gone wrong (quite a bit) and what’s gone right (some) in 2018.  The most recent black cloud over the franchise is the revelation of the return of Sandy Alderson’s cancer.  While no one wanted this script to unfold in this manner, it gave the team an opportunity to go in a new direction. 

Would they name an interim GM to provide a unified voice to the 29 other clubs during this critical juncture in the team’s future?  No, that made too much sense for the Meddler-In-Chief, Jeff Wilpon.  He has already announced that all decisions must filter through him anyway, so I suppose it really doesn’t matter all that much. 

Now to read the stories in the media perhaps it is John Ricco who is being given the unofficial/official mantle as The Man.  After all, the reports were plentiful that it was Ricco calling the shots for the past few years anyway.  He was the one entrusted to be the interim GM between Omar Minaya and Sandy Alderson.  He has no experience as a real GM, so by Mets logic it makes the most sense to give him the greatest responsibility.  After all, learning on the job has worked so well for Mickey Callaway, right?

Then there was a story today about Omar Minaya having the primary input in the search for an external candidate to become the GM.  Bringing back Omar Minaya is consistent with the Mets way of doing things – no new ideas, going back to the well for what’s familiar (and hasn’t worked in the past). 

Now J.P. Ricciardi is the somewhat forgotten man of this trio who has had extensive experience as the GM of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001 through 2009.  Like most baseball executives, by the time his tenure was coming to an end there was a fan outcry to “Fire J.P.” including signs hung in the stadium during Roy Halladay’s final Blue Jays start. 

Right now the Mets are facing the expiring contracts of Asdrubal Cabrera, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista and Devin Mesoraco.  They have the newcomers who are underperforming like Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce.  You have the untradeables like Jason Vargas and Yoenis Cespedes.  Then you have the decisions to be made on the two aces, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.  On top of that you have young pitchers who have improved significantly in Zack Wheeler and Steve Matz.  Finally you have the rookie manager who at times has looked totally overmatched in his on-the-job training audition. 

In mid-season it may be difficult to find a long term solution to these problems, but isn’t having three people having to come to consensus before approaching Jeffy the Martinet to get his blessing.  Ricciardi and Minaya are much more aggressive in their decision making (for better or worse).  Ricco is more of the Alderson sit and wait style.  How is that going to work?  They are once again setting themselves up for failure without naming a single person as the primary focal point, even if it is little Jeffy. 

Until then calling the Mets about personnel moves is going to be a latter day version of a Three Stooges movie, with Shemp insisting he get the final say.  Maybe they’re honoring the old tradition of The Curly Shuffle.  Who knows?


Mack Ade said...

People close to Omar say that he has no desire to be a baseball GM again. I'm not sure if that covers the other 29 teams.

I always liked Omar and I am especially fond that he has a second chance now to walk through the gate without a ticket.

I have never seen any public press about J.P. and the Wilpons, so it seems right to put Omar on the point and filter stuff through Ricco.

I hope he stays on in an International capacity (if that makes him happy).

What a mess.

Thomas Brennan said...

Despite the rare win yesterday, it truly is a mess in almost every aspect in Queens.

It could be worse - just look at the Orioles - but it could be better - just look at the Yankees and almost every other team not from Baltimore.

Is Yoenis Cespedes playing video golf somewhere? Do video injuries count?

Anonymous said...

Horse of a Different Color

Four awhile, certain radio and television hosts (that I will not name here now but could) had been extolling their own self distorted "expert opinions" as to why the 2018 NY Mets were either not trying hard enough, not talented enough, or Mets management had no idea what they were even doing. A Mets fan just could not escape this type of daily fanned wild fire. It went on pretty much ad nauseam. Needles to eyes stuff.

This is why last night was so special to me.

Last night's game was a memory I won't forget. It was really about Mets history, the way I had always remembered it to be. The battle won. Classic. Classy. The Amazing Mets were back, and these NY Yankee enthusiastic hosts and athletic supporters had to eat crow now.

WFAN radio was quiet this morning, opting to instead play old on air advertising gimmicks intentionally played on their shows hosts. But the absence of upset Yankee fans was obvious. Few got through.

What exactly do these chest thumper hosts not get? Allow me now to try and explain...

A. They do not know the true background and history of this current 2018 NY Mets team, or even realize where their beloved NY Yankees fall short. In other words, they see only what they themselves want to see.

For instance, little details with Mets players, like the recently called up 2B Jeff McNeil to illustrate. He is not a scrub player, as a few have said in the media because all they had looked at was Jeff's age of 26 and nothing else. So the geniuses in the media assumed that Jeff was a career MiLB player who had struggled in the minors. He isn't, but he did get hurt for two seasons, 2013 and 2014.

He began with the Mets MiLB system after college in 2013, logging in very few at bats during through 2014. So basically here, Jeff was in the Mets minors playing for 3 1/2 seasons, which by the way is probably the average amount of time really good players like Jeff take to be groomed for the majors anyway.

Stuff like that with Jeff. Annoying. They do not follow the NY Mets evidently. But maybe should because half the town are Mets fans.

A day before last night's game, during their morning show, I actually heard a co-host say that the only Mets games that he watches are the ones that Jake deGrom pitches. He said, "The rest of the team is lousy, so why watch?" That explains it, he knows almost nothing about the NY Mets.

B. Let's be honest here for a moment, the NY Yankees (right now) are "in trouble" and do sort of teeter on being a non-factor (or an eliminated) in the 2018 AL Playoff Race. They are not a guarantee anymore of a wild card. There are AL teams making up ground on them now rapidly, as they lose more and more games. And they are losing a lot of games lately too. Maybe a healthy Aaron Judge can change that. We'll see.

C. The Yankees pitching staff is weak and beaten up from top to bottom now. They had to bring in three pitchers at trade deadline, just to compete. None of their best AAA Scranton starters, that they had sort of been hyping up all season long, were even ready to be called up. They all had control or pitch arsenal issues, and probably still do.

The three pitchers they got from other teams were decent, but now CC Sabathia has a knee injury from trying to field basically a bunted ball, and it looks pretty obvious that Luis Severino has a barking pitch arm. So they bail water from the boat and pray that somehow these two starters can be who they were earlier on. But can they? Because if they cannot, their season may very easily be over.

So be careful what you say may be sound advice, for us all. And watch out for the returning cows because they bite badly.

Mack's Mets © 2012