In The Godfather: Part III, Michael Corleone said, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
I can’t believe I am beginning a column with a quote from one of the worst movies I have ever seen. But, I just did.
Anyway, this quote relates to the Mets and specifically the organization and the dysfunction in how they are run. In the span of a week, GM Sandy Alderson has answered questions about what he knew and when he knew it about the elbow of Zack Wheeler. To add insult to injury was the cloud surrounding Noah Syndergaard. The righty prospect was supposed to start Saturday for the Mets. The manager was telling reporters that he was looking forward to watching him on Friday. Nope. The Mets decided to drop him to the minor league camp because he has an ankle injury. Why did they need to do it Friday?
Well, Friday was the deadline to do it because if they had to place him on the DL because of the ankle after Friday, then he would accrue MLB service time. Syndergaard took a ball off his ankle last Monday and the X-rays came back negative. So the ankle is pretty much fine. However, for the Mets, they did not want to risk the possibility of Syndergaard being put on the DL and getting service time. This is what it has come down to with the Mets.
You get the feeling that it is not necessarily about the talent of the player. Do Alderson and Collins have free-flowing conversation? It does not seem to be the case. Collins was not aware that Syndergaard was being sent down when he was telling reporters how excited he was about seeing him pitch. It simply does not look good. It does not look like everyone is on the same page. That is what brings me back to the Michael Corleone quote.
This year it was supposed to be different. With the return of Matt Harvey, change was in the air. With the addition of Michael Cuddyer, the offense was going to be better. Wild card contention and expectations hung over CitiField like an anvil. The fan base is begging for relevance. They are tired of hearing about financial restrictions and payroll. The fans watch as their GM, Alderson, is the subject of a book, “Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson revolutionized baseball and revived the Mets.” The revival is supposed to culminate this year, even with the questions at shortstop and the injury to Wheeler.
There is not a lefty specialist in the bullpen. That is an issue that Terry Collins will have to deal with. Why not use prospect Steven Matz in the bullpen? He is a power lefty with a good amount of upside as a starter. The Mets have a big-time need. Nope, he was sent down to the minors yesterday.
Alderson will continue to lead the revival. All answers to questions will come in due time. Pressure is on Collins to win early or he will be out as manager. I ask you, is it different? Are the Mets run differently? Are you buying into the revival? Or does it just feel like more of the same?