May 13, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) and New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada (11) sit in the dugout during a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Juan Lagares benching defies logic

Before Thursday night’s game at Citi Field, the prevailing thought was that there was no way Juan Lagares would be on the bench again, for the third time in four games. That thought turned out to be wrong, and it set off an understandable uproar among those who cover the Mets, the team’s broadcasters, and its fans.

The reason why Juan Lagares is rotting on the bench? No one knows. A grand total of zero writers asked Terry Collins for an explanation after the game.

On Twitter, #FreeJuanLagares, #FreeJuan, and #FireTerryCollins were all over the place, and #MetsTwitter – which is usually divided up into sections – was almost entirely unified in its disgust at the Juan Lagares situation.

By now, everyone knows the story.

Juan Lagares is perhaps the best defensive center fielder in baseball.

Juan Lagares has been one of the most valuable offensive players for the Mets in 2014.

Juan Lagares isn’t playing.

Juan Lagares isn’t playing because Eric Young, Jr. is.

One side effect of this is that Eric Young, Jr., a good guy and solid fourth outfielder, is becoming the target of fan scorn. It isn’t Young, Jr.’s fault that Terry Collins is apparently unfit to make rational decisions, but he’s bearing the brunt of the madness.

What makes this situation almost impossible to fathom is that not only is Juan Lagares one of the most valuable players the Mets have, he was also anointed the starting center fielder less than two weeks ago.

Additionally, Terry Collins (foolishly, since Eric Young, Jr. shouldn’t be part of a rotation) proclaimed before Lagares was named the “everyday” center fielder that the club would use a rotation to get all four outfielders playing time.

Instead, Curtis Granderson, Chris Young, and Eric Young, Jr. are playing full time while Juan Lagares – the most valuable of the four – sits on the bench.

Here’s a sampling of what those connected to the Mets had to say Thursday night about Juan Lagares seemingly being relegated to bench duty…

Anthony DiComo,

Lagares is already one of the ‘ best players, with a chance to become even better. I do not understand why Collins refuses to play him.

Jared Diamond, The Wall Street Journal:

It’s hard to believe that Juan Lagares has basically been relegated to a bench player for the Mets. But here we are.

Bob Ojeda, SNY (on how he’d make the outfield situation work):

I make it work by not sitting my best player…to me, this doesn’t make sense.

Gary Cohen, SNY:

Conspicuous by his absence is Juan Lagares…that’s a real puzzlement right now…It’s hard to figure why you wouldn’t play Lagares every day.

Keith Hernandez, SNY:

I’m at a loss.

…In four words, Keith Hernandez basically described the feelings of nearly every Mets fan.

One Mets fan who posted on Rising Apple’s Facebook page said that the fact that Lagares isn’t playing is resulting in him not enjoying the games.

Until Terry Collins makes the right decision here, this will continue to be a mind boggling mess – sabotaging not only any good feelings the fans might have, but a young career as well.


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Tags: Eric Young Jr. Juan Lagares New York Mets

  • Chris Kittredge

    This IS the ny mets.

    ONLY the ny mets would take a 25 year old, 6’1, 215 lb. .300 hitting, Gold Glove caliber, pencil him in everyday STUD of a ball player and relegate him to the bench in favor of the ‘spark plug’ that is eric young jr’s .225 batting average and sub-par outfield play.

    chris young can’t crack .240 and God only know how long granderson will remain lost on the interstate. I don’t care which of the three shmucks doesn’t play, but Lagares ain’t on that list.

    the mets are NOT concerned with putting the best team on the field.

    terry collins should be FIRED.



  • MetsFanSantaMonica

    Ditto for Wilmer Flores. I get that he was sick for 2 days, but now he’s better and needs to play. If Juan and WIlmer aren’t in the starting lineup tonight there will be a mutiny. It is absolute madness and Terry is alone in the corner with his fingers in his ears saying “na na nanananan….I’m right, you’re wrong” to about 3 million met fans. He thinks Lagares is reaching for pitches again – well guess what, DW reaches for that outside slider at least once per at bat. Proper lineup construction last night may have resulted in Lagares keeping McCann at 3B instead of scoring. It may have resulted in EYJ pinch running for Abreu, stealing 2nd, and scoring on Murphy’s single down the line. That’s about 6 losses this year that can be directly attributed to managerial decisions.

  • Ken Meoni

    I’ll post this again, because it’s how I feel about this organization and sums up how I will continue to feel until everything changes.
    It seems whenever someone is given a job, it’s more like the kiss of
    death. This has happened many times before. I really hate the way this
    team is run and that’s from the top down. The outfield they put in
    Thursday was not very good when you think of the actual hitting stats of
    that outfield and the fielding of that outfield. So, the two big
    hitting free agents that SA picked up are not doing much. Low 200′s are
    not hitting much. Also, all of a sudden, Flores is stuck on the bench
    so he can get rusty and soup is doing the same. Why do we depend on
    Abreu to be the only left handed hitter to come off the bench? Does SA
    really think this is a good team? It is his team. I am sick of the old
    game of who’s fault is it. It’s not Collins fault because SA makes the
    moves. And it’s not SA’s fault because the Wilpons don’t spend the
    money. Now let’s think about the three big free agents he signed this
    offseason. Do you think that money could have been spent more wisely?
    It’s all very disfunctional and all Met fans would love for all of them
    to leave.

  • jayc21

    this puppet show will continue as long as Alderson and his puppet are managing the team

  • cheapertv

    Lagaras and Flores are out of the line-up again tonight. Young Jr., Granderson, and Abreu are starting. Please fire Terry and replace with Wally Backman.