Spring Training is the time for optimism and generally speaking, my preference is to be optimistic whenever possible. But this year the optimism seems especially over the top. Maybe I’m just too cynical right now. Or maybe new manager Luis Rojas is still working out the kinks in his briefings with the press.

Rojas in his updates seems almost Black Knight-like in his unchecked overconfidence. What’s that, you don’t know the supremely confident Black Knight? Well then, give this video a look:

When Seth Lugo fractured his pinky toe, Rojas claimed, “there was no concern at all.”
— “’Tis but a scratch.”

When J.D. Davis injured his shoulder diving for a ball, Rojas claimed, “Once we got there … he got more comfortable.”
— “I’ve had worse.”.

When Brandon Nimmo was removed from the lineup for a cardiac screening, Rojas said it was relatively routine and the move was “precautionary.”
— “Just a flesh wound.”

Surely, we hope that Rojas is right on all of these injuries. Still, one can’t help but harken back three-to-five years ago and the days of The Angel of Death, trainer Ray Ramirez, when every injury was downplayed and what we were told were minor setbacks ended up being extended DL trips.

But Rojas’ optimism goes beyond injuries.

Andres Gimenez looks a bit shaky in early Grapefruit League play, committing two errors. Rojas’ response to that is: “He’s played real good defense.”

Edwin Diaz continues to give up runs in his first outing. Our manager is unconcerned, saying of Diaz’ pitches, “They looked really good.” Later Rojas added, “I liked the stuff again.”

While nothing good comes from trashing guys for Spring Training results in February, at some point it would be refreshing to hear some reality creep into Rojas’ remarks. It’s not an easy thing to do, to remain positive about the player yet acknowledge that the performance leaves something to be desired.

And the task becomes even more difficult because with 50 reporters looking for anything even remotely controversial to blow out of proportion, the slightest negative thing becomes a story. So, we’re left with non-stop preemptive damage control.

This is the state of mainstream reporting. Perhaps the most interesting thing is to see when Brodie Van Wagenen steps in to “clarify” things. He did this several times last year, most notably when Jacob deGrom had the “barking elbow” in April. Mickey Callaway botched the press briefing and Callaway had to rush in and keep everyone from despair.

We’ve seen extensive quotes from Van Wagenen just once since camp opened and that was after the injury to Davis. Was it just a coincidence? Perhaps, but that doesn’t seem the most likely explanation to me.

10 comments on “Luis Rojas channels the Black Knight in his press briefings

  • Barry

    I saw one Monty Python movie as a kid, and didn’t think it was funny.
    Couldn’t even understand most of what they were saying, with the British accent.

    However, the British series “Fawlty Towers” was terrifically funny!

    And your comparison of the Dark Knight’s comments to Rojas’s comments is hilarious.

    Anyway, Rojas could have said that Diaz looked to be in “mid-season form.”
    That would not have been overstating it!

    • Brian Joura

      I’m not a big Python fan, either. Few believe me when I tell them that I’ve never seen “Life of Brian.”

      • MattyMets

        Brian, how could you have not seen your namesake movie? I’ve actually always thought it was the funniest of the bunch.

        If you think Rojas sounds positive and confident wait til you read my post tomorrow.

  • Ike Rauth

    Editor’s Note – This post removed for violating our Comment Policy.

  • TJ

    Maybe Luis is just reading off the teleprompter Mickey left behind.

  • JImO

    Why shouid Rojas start making ultra-dramatic statements when ST games aren’t even a week old yet. Baseball is still a marathon not a sprint.

    • Brian Joura

      At absolutely no point did I call for “ultra-dramatic statements.”

      The Mets have a bad history of underestimating injuries and how long players will be out. Maybe none of these injuries are serious. That’s my sincere hope. But a broken toe, a shoulder injury bad enough to require an MRI and a cardiac issue that required a follow-up exam all seem like things that should be considered more serious than your garden variety black-and-blue bruise.

  • NYM6986

    I’m unconcerned with what Rojas says to the press and public. If he can communicate with his players and motivate them to win, then he earned his paycheck and our sincere appreciation, love and admiration. I’m proud to have seen two titles from this team but it’s been a long time since 86 and we need to reach the playoffs and then repeat and repeat and become a contending team. From there getting a ring becomes more realistic. So say whey you want to Luis, just win games.

  • TexasGusCC

    I think we take some unimportant things a little too seriously; Bill Belichick would be proud. Both Callaway and Rojas are taking a “shield the player” approach. If the press thinks there’s even a small issue, they’ll harass the player. Collins on the other hand had no problem telling the world everything – so he can be “transparent” – but that led to his players instantly having to explain to each scribe that searched for an uncovered story, and there’s too many of those to even count:

    WFAN, Daily News, NY Post (Puma, Kernan, Vaccaro), New York Times, MLB, ESPN, nj.com, Newsday, ABC-TV, CBS-TV, NBC-TV, Syndicated writers (Verducci, Stark, Sherman, Kurkjian, Heyman, Gammons, Justice, Rosenthal, Carig), The Athletic, WOR, WCBS, WINS, SNY has a few, MSG, Sports NY, Channel 12 in Long Island… you get the idea.

  • Metsense

    Rojas’ comments are tolerable in Spring Training. Rojas better make sure on September 1st the fans and press aren’t chanting “Bring out your dead”. Then there will be a problem.

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