Message of d’Arnaud’s demotion lost in sea of lies

d'Arnaud2There’s been a perception – correct or not – over the past four seasons that poor play was something would be tolerated by the Mets in sake of building for the future.

A big piece of that future in theory is Travis d’Arnaud, one of the prospects netted by the Mets in return for R.A. Dickey.  With d’Arnaud posting a futile .189/.277/.269 line through 257 career plate appearances, the Mets decided to send him down to Triple-A Las Vegas for some more seasoning.

This demotion, as Terry Collins said, is not going to be a short one.  D’Arnaud will stay in Vegas until he merits a call up.

More important than the length of the demotion is the strong message that it tries to send to fans.  It attempts to say that poor play won’t be tolerated any longer.

When the Mets stuck with Ike Davis for the entire 2012 season and left him flailing at the plate in 2013 until the end of June before a demotion, they settled for mediocrity.  They did not with d’Arnaud.

Unfortunately for the front office, the message has fallen upon jaded and skeptical ears, and for good reason.  While they are not tolerating d’Arnaud’s poor play, Ruben Tejada and Chris Young continue to get chance after chance to not perform.

At this point, there is no reason fans should receive any message that the front office relays, because time and again the words spoken by Sandy Alderson have been false.  Whether Alderson is being misled by the Wilpons, or the Wilpons’ financial situation is really changing on a dime, or whether he’s just flat out lying doesn’t really matter as far as the credibility of his statements go anymore.

No matter what the source of the lie is, fans are now conditioned to take everything that comes out of the Mets front office as a lie unless there are corresponding actions that show it to be true.

They want fans to think that they aren’t going to settle for poor play from their players, yet have gaping holes offensively and defensively at shortstop and left field.

The message is: “We won’t tolerate poor play from this guy, but these other guys we will.”

The money issue is understandable, but not tolerable – Stephen Drew was not in the budget, and they had to pull the trigger on Young because the money used to sign him might not have been available later in the offseason, depending on if the Wilpon’s debt obligations played out.

That this is how a team in the number one market in the country has to operate is bad enough, but the attempt to convince fans that everything is okay while it clearly isn’t has wrecked any credibility the team had.

So yes, demoting the struggling d’Arnaud was the right move, and under better circumstances the message that it sends might actually be received positively by the fans.

But not this one. Not anymore.  If the team wants credibility back – if they want to show fans that they are actually committed to winning, and not just saying it to pay lip service – it’s time for more dominoes to fall.  It’s time to start practicing what you preach.

Joe Vasile is the voice of the Fayetteville SwampDogs.


16 comments for “Message of d’Arnaud’s demotion lost in sea of lies

  1. Chris F
    June 9, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Joe, I think you have written a piece that is close to the hearts of Mets fans everywhere. In short, Alderson speaks, and all I hear is the teacher in Charlie Brown (wah wah wah, wah wah, wah wah) — or worse — intentionally misleading triple reverse double talk read from right to left and bottom to top.

    Unfortunately, the level of success this FO sees is apparently not measured in Wins and Losses, but rather obscure peripheral metrics, like “batted ball exit speed” when practically everyone can see that no matter what that value is, the poor showing in XBH, total bases, slugging, BA on offense and a plethora of pitching shortcomings (rotation and relief) is all you need to know. So while Alderson continues to refine the appetizer menu for late dinner on the Titanic, everyone else is screaming we hit a friggin iceberg. The lack of seeing and responding to the obvious is so compelling that it nearly defies explanation. Im tired of the “we have no money, Im not limited by money” crap; Im tired of hearing about the youth brigade apparently coming; Im tired of measuring the future in unknown time units; Im tired of the endless losing culture; Im tired of the divisive, and intentionally obstinate, nature with the fan base.

    “If the team wants credibility back – if they want to show fans that they are actually committed to winning, and not just saying it to pay lip service – it’s time for more dominoes to fall. It’s time to start practicing what you preach.” I couldnt agree more.

      June 10, 2014 at 6:54 am

      Editor’s Note – This comment deleted for violating our Comment Policy.

      • June 10, 2014 at 7:01 am

        That’s a lot of caps Joe. But your point is well taken.

  2. Larry love
    June 9, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    You are right if the mets want to show any credibility to their fans. They need to release young play bobby Abreu everyday or go out and get a left fielder. Release Tehada get a shortstop. Demote wheeler. Fire terry collins and bring up Wally backman. They are only 5 games out. The future is now win now. Enough BS already !

    • Original Met
      June 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      I think the FO would gain a lot of credibility in this regard if they just admitted – maybe not quite yet, but certainly by no later than July 1 if things don’t turn around for him – that Chris Young was a mistake and release him (or trade him for something, anything a desperate team is willing to give them). CY’s $7m is a buried cost, and we need to see once and for all if Andrew Brown can cut it. They can say, and I will accept, that they thought they could help turn him back into the guy he once was, but that it just didn’t work…and move on. (They may have to do something similar, eventually, with TDA, who has shown zero signs of life). With Colon being passable and Granderson at least close to acceptable, I think fans can accept that you don’t hit a HR with every signing, and that the FO has a batting average too…but you have to admit your mistakes rather than compounding them by continuing to not only play this guy, but bat him 5th. If they insist on keeping CY around, it seems obvious that they should bat him no higher than 7th (and maybe leadoff against LHP) and move Tejada/Flores to second in the order, as insufficient as that might be.

  3. June 9, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    The losing streak is a help. Without it, playing close to .500 would keep us from seeing changes.

    As to the Chris Young signing, I am sick of the overhyped “money ball” mentality of finding someone “on the cheap” and watching him outperform because “no one else saw it.”

    Young was not that cheap and it mattered not that Andrew Brown was tearing up Triple A, the manager said he would get him “four at bats” a week, and Young, likely due to his contract, will continue to play, and continue to perform not that far beneath his historical averages. He was never a good signing and his penchant for killing rallies has exasperated fans. Yet, Collins will play him.

    As to parsing words, please remember that pronouns are instinctive. We have been using them since around age 3, millions of times. We are all proficient in choosing the pronoun “I” over the pronoun, “we” at any given time.

    When Terry Collins runs from commitment, it is “we”; yet when he is not afraid to speak, it is “I.”

    Deflection: Note how often Sandy deflects questions, rather than answer them. He has a humorous charm about him that he uses effectively, but it does not change the nature of the position he is in: he appears to be lying to the public because he has no choice, due to what ownership has imposed upon him.

  4. LongTimeFan
    June 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm


    I don’t agree that sending d’Arnaud down is for purpose of sending message to fans. Rather, he was overmatched and needed to be sent down to save himself from himself, having reached the point in which improvement could not happen without it.

    Your overall message would better resonate if you proofread with appropriate corrections, provided the real explanation for the Chris Young signing and playing time, laid off Ruben Tejada who’s actually playing better right now and spent some time in AAA last season due to poor performance, and acknowledged that the Mets have been demoting or otherwise getting rid of plenty poor performers via trade, DFA’s and demotions including Farnsworth, Valverde, Black, Edgin, Ike, etc.

    The overall problem I have with your article, is that you have the right premise – the Mets can’t be trusted – but have opted to use the wrong set of circumstance to support your claim..Rather, the Mets are liars and excuse makers from the top down – Wilpons, Alderson, Collins – and have no clue how to amass, obtain, sustain and develop talent at the major league level, help them be their best. nor know what it takes to be first class organization.

  5. Jerry Grote
    June 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    You can’t allow poor output to fester in the lineup. I will say this until I am MetsBlue in the face: Queens is not the location in this organization where you learn how to hit, catch, throw and pitch.

    I hadn’t looked at TDA’s page until today, and its remarkable that he’s actually getting worse from an abysmal starting point this April.

    Don’t look now, but Ruben Tejada is reasonably within reach of the best baseball of his life.

    Chris Young is clearly another story and it won’t surprise me in the least if he is released in short order or simply becomes a bench player. (I haven’t a clue what sits in the mind of a manager that would bat one of his worst players in the middle of the order for two or three years running. Look it up. Young. Davis. Bay.)

  6. Name
    June 9, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I guess i’ll try to find the beacons of hope.

    TDA’s best stretch this year was from when he broke up his season long 0 fer to the middle game in Colorado (4/8 to 5/2). In that stretch, he started 17 games and hit .267/.343/.417 with a .760 OPS. Much of this was not seen/remembered by the public because the 0-17 to start the season really screwed his early season stats.
    However, he then hit .148/.207/.259 in 8 games before the concussion, which made it surprising to me that they didn’t keep him in rehab longer. He hit just .115/.258/.115 post concussion.

    The Tejada/Flores platoon has worked very well since Flores was recalled.
    Over that time, Tejada is hitting .279/.395/.412 for a .807 OPS over 22 games. No, that was not a typo (it was supported by 2 hr’s which will be unlikely for him to repeat)
    Flores is hitting .268/.305/.357 in 17 games.
    If you add that production together, it’s about .275/.360/.390.

    Chris Young, though, i can’t find anything to defend him with. Aside from that monster Colorado series, he’s done almost nothing (.165/.267/.264 in 31 games). He’s a waste of a roster spot.

  7. Metsense
    June 9, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    The lie is that the Mets have enough financial resources to put a competitive team on the field. They do not. I am not talking spending Cano money, or Ellsbury money, or even Choo money. I am talking about spending Drew money, Hawkins money, Byrd money and the ability to right off Chris Young money. The best team in our division is only three games above .500 and the front office last winter did nothing to put us in position to capitalize on this opportunity due to an obvious lack of funds. The Mets only recycled the salaries that came off the books. On June 3, 2012, this team was in first place, eight games over .500 and the front office didn’t do anything to improve it. The Mets didn’t have the money then and apparently don’t have it now. Two years later and we have obviously regressed.
    All the other lies are cover ups for the lack of financial resources….oh what a tangled web we weave….

  8. June 10, 2014 at 12:29 am

    So the Metantic continues to go down after hitting an iceberg(Madoff). Problem is they’ve done it for the past 4 years. It’s like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day. The Mets just can’t get it right. Payroll this year is down to 80 million dollars! The team should of signed Drew, move Murphy to first base and start Flores at second base. Tejada comes off the bench to give Flores or Drew a day off.SA takes a huge gamble in signing Young with such a limited payroll to begin with. It’s the reason why his Moneyball doesn’t work. There is no back up plan. The FO signed Young so they could trade him for? More young(no pun intended)talent that will take 4-5 years to pan out. that’s assuming they ever make it to the bIg leagues. There will be no trades or FA signings to improve this team. Just think about it. Next year we’ll have TC and the same FO to deal with. Optimistic? No way. Wilpons sell the team? The answer to my prayers.

  9. Albert
    June 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I am a Toronto Blue Jays fan and I read this article with interest. I am wondering how most Met fans felt about the R A Dickey trade for D’Arnaud and Syndergaard. In Toronto most of us did not like this deal as we felt the Jays gave up too much to acquire him. Its still too early to determine who won the trade but in retrospect, it looks better for the Jays now than it did then. Dickey has won 20 games for the Jays – he was 14-13 last year and is 6-4 so far this year with similar ERA of 4.20. That’s certainly not great by any stretch but he has been serviceable and eats up over 200 innings per year. Josh Thole has also been useful as a backup catcher.

    How have the other players involved in the trade been performing for the Mets? Are you guys happy with the deal? Just curious about the perspective from the other side

    • Metsense
      June 10, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      I was a huge RA fan but looking back at the deal, I would do it again. RA signed for 3/36. Thole started for us but is really a back up catcher. Nickeas was a nice guy but not a major leaguer. TDA so far has been a bust and if Syndergaard is also a bust then Alderson is going to take alot of heat. The Mets did get a month of all star catching from John Buck and then parlayed him, along with Byrd, into a good prospect in Dillson Herrera and a potential back end reliever in Vic Black in a trade with the Pirates. The unfortunate Matt Harvey injury caused the Mets front office to sign Colon at 2/20 with the money they saved on the RA contract.
      Colon is putting up similar numbers to RA at less money and years. At the “worst”,TDA ends up a major league backup and Syndergaard puts up similar stats to RA going forward, Black remains a mediocre relief pitcher and Herrera never reaches the show and neither does Becerra, the 18 yoa OF who the Jays threw in. RA wasn’t going to be a difference maker on this poor Met team but maybe Syndergaard will be for the next seven years.

    • Jerry Grote
      June 10, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      Like “Name”, I believe you judge a trade at the time of consummation … there is no hindsight. If pressed …

      We got good value for a Cy Young award winner – but that’s what we *should* have gotten. Noah was in the last decile among the top 100 minor leaguers. TDA was in the first decile. Does that seem inordinate for the best pitcher in the National League, that you *knew* would sign for a value contract?

      And the Jays did what they had to do. You had already committed to raping and pillaging your minor league system to win now. What was the last two prospects going to mean?

      Good trade at the time. Maybe a minor plus to the Mets, but not by much.

  10. SL
    June 10, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Editor’s Note – This post deleted for violating the terms of our Comment Policy.

  11. blaiseda
    June 12, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I cant believe im quoting Bobby Valentine, but this was probably his only intelligent baseball comment, when he said “A player has to leave AAA behind them.” Due to injuries, increasing age, obeserved good mechanics, and MLB team needs, D’Arnaud was rushed to the majors and never had a chance to prove (to himself) that he had nothing left to prove in AAA. If they give him 100-150 at bats in LV, maybe he’ll get there.

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