Mets remind us that things can always get worse

Baseball and beer have a long history together, which is good because if you’re going to watch the 2018 Mets, you’re going to need a little something to dull the pain. While no alcohol was consumed by me during last night’s debacle – had to stay sober for the Gut Reaction, you know – I was thinking of a beer commercial from back in the 1980s. They would show a group of friends getting together and having a good time and the tagline was: “Fellas, it just doesn’t get any better than this!”

Of course, I was thinking about it in an ironical sort of way. Right now with the Mets, it seems more like, “Fellas, it just doesn’t get any worse than this!” But then I remember an unfortunate truism of life. Things can always get worse.

But let’s recap where thing are. Actually, let’s take it up to right before the start of the Yankees series. Here’s what’s gone wrong for the 2018 club:

Jacob deGrom has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball, yet the team somehow has a losing record when he starts.
Noah Syndergaard has become the most hittable starter who throws 100 mph in baseball history. Originally, this sentence contained the word “pitcher” but then it had to be changed to “starter” because, well, Gerson Bautista exists. And Syndergaard’s on the DL.
Neither Steven Matz nor Zack Wheeler has stepped up to be a consistent pitcher.
Jason Vargas was first injured and then mostly bad
Both catchers got hurt within a couple of days of each other and their replacements have been terrible.
Adrian Gonzalez has done his best James Loney imitation. He hasn’t been good at all but does just enough so that a team with a veteran fetish won’t be moved to do anything to replace him.
Amed Rosario shows glimpses of his talent but mostly seems like a guy with a lot to learn when he has a bat in his hands.
Jose Reyes tarnishes his legacy on a daily basis but seems to be kept around because … he’s done so well tutoring Rosario?
Yoenis Cespedes is on the DL with leg injuries again.
Michael Conforto had a Granny-esque horrible streak and was in the beginning of another bad stretch.
Jay Bruce got old overnight. Buster Olney ran some numbers how he’s doing against 95 mph fastballs. It’s not pretty. But I’ve got news for Olney – Bruce isn’t doing well against curves, changeups or sliders, either.
Anthony Swarzak, the big offseason addition to the pen, had missed most of the year.
We wish Hansel Robles had missed most of the year, as he was busy proving that last year’s home run barrage was not an outlier.
Jerry Blevins was so ineffective that some people were actually questioning the wisdom of carrying a LOOGY.
Not one single minor league guy called up, pitcher or hitter, got off to a Kirk Nieuwenhuis hot start. And quite a few guys got a shot.
Wilmer Flores forgot how to hit southpaws but remembered he couldn’t field any position. Oh and he’s on the DL.
Juan Lagares spent the offseason with coaches famous for teaching guys to hit the ball in the air. He then proceeded to put up a career-low 22.0 FB% before going on the DL, where he’s expected to miss the rest of the year.
The Mets went dumpster diving for a 37 year old with a .593 OPS and he’s actually been an upgrade.

That’s an impressive list of bad stuff. But it appeared like some good news was on the way. Todd Frazier and Swarzak returned from the DL and it looked like both Cespedes and Syndergaard would be back for the Subway Series. The starters put together some good outings and a few days off gave hope for a recharged bullpen. Shoot, there was even David Wright doing something that was described as “baseball activity.” Wright was seen on the field throwing the ball. It was a Christmas miracle in early June.

Could it be that the club would use this time when everyone was counting them out to do a Lazarus routine and somehow become relevant?

Of course not! Because, everyone say it with me now, things can always get worse

Let’s see what bad stuff has happened the past few days:

Jeurys Familia went on the DL.
Syndergaard had a setback and would not return to pitch in the series finale.
Cespedes re-injured himself during a minor league rehab game.
Mets took early leads in both games only to lose the first two games of the series.

If you submitted this as a premise to Hollywood, they would reject it for not being realistic. But oh, it’s happening, sweetheart. And it just leaves you wondering: What bad stuff is going to happen next? It would not be good to be Brandon Nimmo right about now. My advice would be for Nimmo to get a bodyguard, a black belt Judo expert with a machine gun. Also, throw in some holy water, a giant cross and a wooden stake to try to keep the bad luck vampires away.

It probably still wouldn’t work. You know, just like Mickey Callaway’s managerial moves.

15 comments for “Mets remind us that things can always get worse

  1. Chris F
    June 10, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Ok Brian, that is exactly the article we needed today. However, sorry you had to write it.

    • Michael
      June 10, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      I agree. Excellent post.

  2. MattyMets
    June 10, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Avoiding a sweep tonight and ending this pitiful losing streak would be nice but against Severino it’s really hard to envision this lineup scoring.

    I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. This team needs one of those pressers where significant moves are announced with underperforming players released, benched or demoted.

    • Chris F
      June 10, 2018 at 11:27 am

      … or possibly sent to London Tower for a little Henry VIII “encouragement” to play better … or else!!!!!

  3. Rick
    June 10, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Good morning everyone! It’s raining here and I like rainy days but the good part about rain is it may postpone the game which means the Mess won’t lose but why delay the inevitable? This article was right on the money like so many others which describe the inept and sorry group wearing the NY on their caps. Putting a few facts together from past and present articles, it amazes me that this front office, GM, VP’s, scouts and everyone else with some form of authority still has a job. A recent article showed what we’ve spent this year and yet if we upped the payroll about 15% we could have gotten players that are currently winning games for other teams!
    The point is…whomever is making these decisions should be fired! Today!! Now!!! I am so tired of seeing subpar (and I wont even use the word “talent” in the same sentence) players making more $$ than any of us will ever see. And I’m more pissed to continually read which name today goes on the DL. They should rename the DL to the CL… Cespedes List. I’ve had enough. And yet the other night as I was driving into NY on the fan 101.9 JJ said the Mets could sign both Harper and Machado this off season. Love the idea but who’s smoking the crack pipe? No way they’ll accept the league minimum offer because that’s what Alderdumb would offer. Is there any way we could ban together and boycott this office that has ruined what we once were proud to support?

  4. June 10, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I never thought there would be a team that hated young players more than the 95-05 NY Rangers but here we are. It just is unreal with AGon and Bruce getting a pass and Conforto being scapegoated, lol. It is amazing that they finally realize that Nimmo’s a good player and deserves to start (if only they realized this six months ago), and yet they want it to be in place of Conforto instead of AGon, my god. I used to be a pretty big Sandy defender but no more yeah the Wilpons are the biggest issues but at this stage Sandy is a very bad gm and is clearly over the hill.

    How many the Mets need to trade articles can the media churn out? Especially they must trade him to the Yankees ones, oy vey.

  5. TJ
    June 10, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Brian,
    Thank you. As depressing as the Met currently are (very), sports is entertainment/fantasy escape from reality. Unfortunately, the escape has become quite the burden.

    We all know the offense is a train wreck, but the Torres HR pitch and the Judge HR pitch were not near MLB quality, and why Swarzak is starting off with a spring training slider is frankly mind boggling. These are the types of things that make the games unwatchable.

    Lastly, slightly off Met topic, but I will never understand or accept how a professional athlete, and specifically those often referred to as pitchers, cannot “run the bases”. If this utter nonsense leads to the DH in the NL, that may be the final straw for me. A 30 year old pulled out of the stands with no warm ups could sprint 90 feet with a very low probability of injury. I don’t know what these guys are doing, or not doing, but why it can’t be improved is perplexing. And, for Mr. Cespedes, I say bring him up and put him in the field. Tell him to be prepared to play every day. If he sustains a worse injury, it is a worthwhile risk. Tightness does not qualify for a doctor’s note. I try not to doubt a player’s injury or pain level, but I just ask why an elite athlete in his early 30s cannot sprint 90-180 feet regularly with a minimal injury risk.

  6. June 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    First, fire Alderson and his entire staff. Next trade deGrom for the top three players in someone’s system, plus a current Major Leaguer.

    Based on that return, then work on shipping out anyone blocking any of these prospects.

    • June 10, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      Only way I’m trading deGrom is if we can package the Wilpons with him.

      • TJ
        June 10, 2018 at 2:44 pm

        David,
        My preference would be to keep deGrom, and Syndergaard, but they most certainly need to see what either could bring back, both at the deadline and over the winter.

        We Met fans are a resilient group, and we can live with a lousy season, back to back lousy seasons, etc. However, we need to see some type of plan with a reasonable likelihood of success. OK, for 2018 we hoped the starters would dominate, taking heat off the pen, and by adding a few veteran bats they would provide enough pop to compete for the division. Oh well. Patience is a virtue but if Alderson acts in the best interest of the team, instead of the brief remainder of his tenure, he will get the kids in the lineup ASAP. They need as much time as possible to evaluate what they have, which will really factor into whether they need to deal a big pitcher. In order to do this, they need to free up 1B, 2B, RF, Vargas’s spot in the rotation, and the closer role via trade or benching.

  7. Mike Walczak
    June 10, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Brian,

    This was a really good article. You pinpointed all of the issues and the list is really long.

    This team is not going to win a lot of games, but that’s life. I would be ok with it, if they make the requisite moves needed to move the team in the right direction. We cant change who they signed, but we can change the trajectory.

    Reyes and Gonzalez have to be the first two to go. Darryl Strawberry had a shade over two years of minor league experience before he was brought up. Alonso is knocking the cover off of the ball at AA. Give the kid a chance.

    As much as it would hurt, deGrom or Syndergaard to the Yankees for Miguel Andujar, Estevan Florial and Justus Sheffield.

    We could also get a small return for Familia and Cabrera.

    If anyone would take Cespedes, let then have him. He is a walking pulled muscle.

    I am sure that Aldersmoke will only get rid of the expiring contracts at the deadline.

    At least, we have some options to think about even if they don’t pan out. When I was a teenager in the 70’s, I had to suffer through years with players like Hank Webb and George Theodore. Hey, remember Anthony Young ? He wasn’t as bad as his record showed.

    I hope they play the game tonight. Here in NC, I don’t get the opportunity to catch many games on TV. I do have my Internet radio and can catch games on WOR.

  8. Pete from NJ
    June 10, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Perhaps Severino will be so over confident that he’ll think our guys are a bunch of Binghampton AA players, throw some straight arrow fastballs over the plate and bam. Or not=no hitter and we get really depressed.

    As far as Peter Alfonso goes, I’m sure the front office realizes they missed the boat when the team needed right handed batters. Too late now with Flores and{maybe} Cespedes returning from the DL.

  9. Eraff
    June 10, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    The string of Health and Performance issues is absolutely baffling.

    I hate complaing about Injuries and bad luck, but as I line them up: 2 Catcher Injuries within 24 hours, 2 Pitchers with Finger Strains–those are pretty odd-ball.

    The Ces Muscle Pulls are obviously Chronic and very worrisome. Conforto’s delayed performance recovery has it’s beginnings with a Bat Swing… a perfectly normal swing…????!!!! It’s a frightful injury…has he changed his swing because of limitations???..is he afraid to swing and made a change. Is this a Jayson Heyward Post-Shoulder Injury scanario???

    Jay’s Performance— you can argue that they overpaid, but could you bring in a guy with “sun dial power performance” more predictable?????

    It goes on and on…

    …If 2018 is a goner, they need to make very large moves—this roster cannot be re-built with Machado and Harper…even if you could afford them.

  10. Chris F
    June 10, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Andy Martino, Mike Silva, Rich Coutinho, and many more in the daily Mets world say its stupid to think about rebuilding, that the team is apparently close enough…a piece or two away…that its time for the annual “on the fly” reboot of this team, which should be ample to maybe get to the 2nd wildcard. Alderson sure thinks that based on his interview this week. The you peek out from behind the orange and blue curtain, and the words you get are dumpster fire, full rebuild, need to consider all options for all moveable pieces. The Mets do not have the resources nor anywhere near the depth to have a piece or two just fix the team. They dont draft well, have one of the worst pipelines, have no one that is a significant impact player in the big leagues. Without serious resetting and a significant improvement in development, the team is at best a .500 club. Both groups think the other is insane…

    Welcome to Metsland…

    Me? I start the rebuild by removing the FO, every person.

    • Chris F
      June 12, 2018 at 2:59 pm

      Snipped from SI today:

      Even less likely than this group contending in its current configuration, though, is the prospect of this front office and these owners executing a successful rebuild. Indeed, this regime has already overseen one rebuild—the one that landed the Mets exactly here. Trading an ace would give the fans some hope, sure. Right up until the moment the team turns into the Cincinnati Reds.

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