Unrelenting bad news…and Jacob deGrom

Last week, some bozo relayed a story about Yankee fans wanting Jacob deGrom and what the Mets would want back in any deal. In yesterday’s 2-0 pasting by the Braves – yes, it’s a pasting because this Mets “offense” is finding a 0-1 deficit insurmountable lately – deGrom took the loss, again, while pitching brilliantly, again. A few Yankee fans took to social media to tut-tut and say what a shame it is for deGrom. The tone was that by rights, he should be pitching for a contender, where his talent could be truly appreciated and rewarded, that it’s going to waste on a historically horrible team. This is the baseball-fan equivalent of one of your buddies hanging out with you and your girlfriend, then telling you seriously and in private “She deserves better.”

Maybe all this is true, but baseball economics and current collectively bargained circumstances will keep deGrom with the Mets at their whim for the next two seasons, as well as the rest of this one, so if a contender wants to swoop in, it’s going to have to dazzle the Queens brain trust. In any event, deGrom’s starts have been the lone bright spot in this rotten-to-the-core season. Much like Matt Harvey in 2013, deGrom’s games have become must-see TV. It’s different than Harvey, though, because watching deGrom is like watching a craftsman at work – precision cuts, dazzling artistry – where with Harvey, it was an admiration of sheer power and determination to force his will on a given game. Pity that there was scant evidence of that by the time he left, but life goes on.

The rest of the story for this year so far is the steady drumbeat of bad news. Since mid-April, the season has become a drip-drip-drip of DL stints, bad offense, bad bullpen, bad quotes, bad managing and bad timing. Howie Rose mentioned it on the radio yesterday, after Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson made a dive, spin and strong throw to snuff out a would-be Mets hit. “This is what it looks like when you’re a confident, relaxed, first-place team,” he said, “where the Mets are nervous, pressing and two plays that weren’t made have given the Braves this 1-0 lead.” Interesting take, but the Mets’ grinding their bats to sawdust is only part of the story. Another part is a simple lack of talent. The front office hasn’t built this team to compete in today’s game. The trend the last few years has been to build around young position players and fill your pitching with veterans via trade or free agent signing. GM Sandy Alderson has taken the opposite tack, making his rock young starting pitching and adding veterans in the field. This stratagem brought them a pennant in 2015, a wild card in 2016 and a year and a half of abject disaster. The great young starting pitching has turned out to be fragile and the veteran position players are rickety. I’ll leave the bullpen woes aside, as there really is no way to manage the year-to-year fluctuations in fortunes inherent in any bullpen staff that doesn’t include a Mariano Rivera. Alderson took responsibility for the whole thing the other day in a press conference, but whoop-de-damn-doo. We fans are still left rooting for garbage. Maybe owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon are playing a long game, maybe setting us all up for the ultimate heartbreak. Maybe they’re thinking of moving the team, a la their hero, Walter O’Malley.

Are you ready to root for the Montreal Mets?

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley.

12 comments for “Unrelenting bad news…and Jacob deGrom

  1. metvibes
    June 14, 2018 at 7:40 am

    This team has bad Karma. The Wally Backman curse. You reap what you sow.

    • June 14, 2018 at 5:32 pm

      Lol a Wally Backman fan that herb can’t even get a minor league job gotta go to Mexico and now Indy ball.

  2. Chris F
    June 14, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Funny thing Charlie, the words Montreal Mets passed through my head yesterday after the miserable game.

    There is something to be said about the “rebuilding backwards” approach this FO has taken. I think the old adage you can’t have enough pitching is true, but there are still 8 other positions out there, and this FO has abjectly neglected to have any interest in being concerned with fielding a complete baseball team. The failure of the “5 Aces” to materialize past 1 shows how finicky pitching can be. In the Alderson years this team has failed to develop a single complete baseball player. And to my eyes, it’s pathetic. I have zero respect for their development and talent evaluation team. And here we are, 7 years later and worse off than the day Alderson was given the keys to the house. The big league team is an atrocious mix of injury addled vets and low talent youngsters; no matter whose list you use, the minor league system is 25th or lower in rankings. Wasn’t the plan to win – and sustain that?

  3. Mike Walczak
    June 14, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Alderson made another Alderson move. He signed that scary fastball pitching prospective hall of famer Chris Beck.

    • MattyMets
      June 14, 2018 at 10:25 am

      Look at Chris Beck’s numbers from 2017, his lone full MLB season and you’ll be horrified. ERA north of 6 and 16 HRs allowed exclusively as a reliever.

      When the last place, rebuilding White Sox release a player it’s for good reason. If we’re gonna crawl under the table for scraps can we at least do it at the right table? Loaded team like the Astros, Yankees and Sawx might release a solid player in a numbers crunch, not the White Sox. It’s like dumpster diving in a poor neighborhood.

    • IDRAFT
      June 14, 2018 at 1:37 pm

      We traded for forty seven relievers last July and August making sixty games unwatchable and none of them can be brought up instead of this guy? We pick up every player cut in MLB and every time we do we DFA another player and they all clear waivers. Oh except for Conlin who the Dodgers must have picked up for five days due to a clerical error. I can picture their offices – “We did what!!! Abort, abort, abort!!!”

      If the jury for Alderson is truly made of his peers their verdict is guilty.

  4. Eraff
    June 14, 2018 at 9:20 am

    I’ve become more disposed to “keeping the core” as I’ve seen the Starting Pitchers through the last 3-4 turns. If it’s deGrom, Syndee and Crap, then Sell Off. If the pitching is a solid 3-4 front end, then you can solve for everything else…. that will take a commitment of Money and Baseball Brain Power.

    Are they capable of a commitment of Money and Baseball Brain Power?

    They’ve seemed interested in competing as a means to an end…. and they do want to “show a team” that will sell some seats before the season—but are they really capable and commited to the Baseball End of this…to winning?

    They built a temple to their baseball love of the Dodgers— do they have any of that love for their Step Child—the New York Mets???

    • IDRAFT
      June 14, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      Is New Jersey taking bets on that?

  5. Pete from NJ
    June 14, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Always the optimist even I have thrown in the towel. But who out there thought the hitters were going to be a bust when the team was formed this past winter? The Bruce, Cespedes and Conforto group are no shows. Our strategy was approved by the front office and the members of this website!

  6. Pete In Iowa
    June 14, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    I’ll be the first to admit that I thought signing Frazier and Bruce were good moves. Frazier has been about what I’d thought he’d be — a low average hitter with some power, a solid defender at third and a leader in the clubhouse. However, who could have ever seen Bruce performing the way he has. He’s far worse than he was when they first got him in 2016. Totally brutal. Add in that Conforto is a complete mess, which no one who have predicted. He is still late on almost everything. The shoulder must be more of a factor than anyone would have thought. I’ve never liked Cespedes — talk about dead money!!
    Rosario just plain sucks. Can’t hit and he has no range. If Conforto is sent to Vegas, Rosario should be on the plane with him. Maybe cutting Reyes loose will wake him up. First base is a waste land and catcher ain’t much better. Plawecki is amazingly brutal. He pulls everything. Nimmo is the lone bright spot among positional players as Cabrera has regressed and he looks like he’ll be perpetually injured the rest of the season. In light of all of this, we call up Ty freaking Kelly as a replacement.
    So, what to do?? There is simply nothing they can do. I’ve resigned myself to expecting a loss everyday and so far, expectations are being met. This club is going to be bad for the foreseeable future. I don’t see any way around it.

  7. June 14, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    I thought their winter moves were good…but that’s measured against somewhat of a curve—what do i expect of them.

    Brian pretty much shut the site down because of the relentless negativity about the ownership itself…with apologies Brian…I’m sure it’s more complex than that.

    My point is…I expect Baseball Management to know more than i do!!!!! I expect them to make moves over 7 years that greatly enhance their team. Granted, i don’t expect them to spend like the Dodgers or Yankees—but this is not a Mini Market…and they should have more on the shelf by now.

    • June 15, 2018 at 10:57 am

      And the thing is, that relentless negativity about ownership was tied to payroll and then Opening Day payroll ended up being pretty much exactly where it was the previous year. If the Mets had turned in an OD payroll of $125 million then that relentless negativity would be warranted. But people were so eager to be negative that they couldn’t wait until the facts were in.

      There’s more to be negative about right now than there was in November and December.

      Alderson’s taking the brunt of that negativity now. I think he certainly deserves some, if not all of the invective that comes his way. But people are tired of blaming injuries or luck and it’s not like the players or Callaway or the Wilpons aren’t taking heat right now, too.

      Want to cut the negativity? Win some games. And re-examine everything that you’re doing or not doing now in the process.

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