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I once wrote a paper in high school titled “What’s Wrong with the Mets?” My 11th grade English teacher, Mrs. Baumann, was not happy about it, but she gave me a pass and permitted me to write about a subject that was apparently so important to me.
What I remember most about that project was reading everything I could get my hands on about the Mets. In those days, it was books and newspaper clippings. The books were great and I ended up with a nice little collection after it was all over. For the newspaper clippings, I had to have my mom drive me to the local daily newspaper – The News Tribune in Woodbridge, NJ – so that I could look at microfilm.
There was so much to look through and I was quickly scanning past most of the old papers, watching it fly past on the big screens in front of me. What I didn’t realize was that my mother also had her eyes fixated on the screens and, apparently, it got her dizzy because I suddenly heard a loud THUD from behind me. I turned to see two big guys tending to her, helping her to her feet.
I don’t why that story always makes me laugh. But what I learned over the years about my lovable Mets, was not really funny at all.
And if you are wondering what is actually WRONG with the New York Mets, you have to look a lot further than Michael Conforto having a horrible season, than Edwin Diaz not living up to expectations, than Jacob deGrom becoming a fragile commodity, and a rookie manager seemingly in way over his head. That is a reason for a bad season…a bad record. It is not even scratching the surface of what is so very wrong with this organization.
Fans love to scream about spending money and focus on that. Heck, it ain't about that. It is so much more. Because everything they do is just not normal.
Just when you think things are looking up, you are pulled right back down. We seem to have been down this road before. A year ago, one of my favorite players ever, Carlos Beltran, was hired to be the new Mets manager. Hailed as a smart baseball person, Carlos Beltran jumped on board without any prior managerial experience. Before even getting to spring training, Beltran was fired amidst the exposure of the Houston Astros alleged sign stealing cheating scandal.
New ownership. New philosophy. New ethics. Old-school Marine Sandy Alderson is brought back to take the reigns and steer the team into a new era. A young upstart is brought in to be the team’s general manager after stints with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Arizona Diamondbacks learning under the tutelage of Theo Epstein. And before even getting to his first spring training…fired.
Jared Porter, considered to be a young upstart in the field at 41 years old, with an understanding of the new methods in baseball…like sabermetrics and computer analytics…apparently didn’t have an understanding of baseball’s (and society’s) emergence from the dark ages. I have warned my kids, and the students I taught in college communications classes about posting on the internet, texting, and other forms of communication that are not appropriate and, once out there, can come back to bite you. But even before this modern age of communication, we were supposed to have all learned that “no” meant “no.”