Debunking Nonsense – The Mets’ Week in Review


Over the past week, Mets fans, bloggers, and writers, have lost their minds over the following things:

  • A report about the Mets and Ryan Braun that was fairly innocuous and probably true.
  • A tweet about the payroll that can be debunked by using Sandy Alderson’s comments from earlier this week – and math.
  • The Chris Young signing.
  • A tweet that was an opinion, but reported by some as fact.

So, what the hell is going on?

To recap…

Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog wrote that the Mets had discussed Ryan Braun internally (which is apparently true), and that the Brewers were more likely to trade Braun than Norichika Aoki. It also came out the next day that five teams had called the Brewers to inquire about Braun, lending further credence to Cerrone’s report.

However, Cerrone’s report was taken out of context and bashed. National writers reacted to it, local writers reacted to it, and fans reacted to it (mostly in a negative way).

In one case, Cerrone was accused by another writer of putting out an “irresponsible and totally bogus” report.  Mind you, what Cerrone wrote appears to be accurate. Still, that didn’t stop some from frothing at the mouth about it while claiming otherwise.

Right as the furor over Cerrone’s mostly innocuous piece was dying down, this tweet set off a fiasco on #MetsTwitter:

That tweet by Harper (which came before the Chris Young signing) directly contradicted what Sandy Alderson had said earlier in the week – that the 2014 payroll would not be lower than the 2013 payroll (which was calculated at $87 million).

At the time of Harper’s tweet (he’s since walked back his remarks a bit), the Mets’ payroll sat at roughly $55 million (with arbitration numbers factored in).  If Harper’s tweet was accurate, it would’ve meant that the 2014 payroll would be between $80 million and $85 million – placing it below the 2013 number, and in turn making Sandy Alderson a liar.

Instead of using a trusty thing called math and/or looking at Alderson’s recent quotes, #MetsTwitter decided to have a collective conniption:  “Here we go again!” “Sandy is lying!” “Screw this team!”

Apr 1, 2013; Queens, NY, USA; New York Mets fan James Johnson poses for a photo before the opening day game against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

The problem, was that the people who were going nuts were reacting to something that most likely wasn’t accurate.

I understand that even at $87 million (or a bit higher) that the payroll isn’t at a level that pleases the fans (it certainly doesn’t please me).  However, even if the payroll is $87 million, it will have meant that the Mets spent $32 million on external player acquisitions this offseason.  Moving on…

Yesterday, all hell broke loose.  The reason?  The Mets signed Chris Young to a one year deal worth $7.25 million.

I wasn’t a fan of the dollar amount of the deal since I was hoping the Mets would use Young as a platoon bat.  After analyzing it further (Young is a plus defender with pop, has speed, and is due for a large BABIP improvement), and reading numerous pieces that applauded the deal, I felt a bit better about it.

Some people felt the same way I did (not a huge fan of the signing at first, more accepting later), but others used it as a reason to bash the Mets.

A day earlier, the Mets had signed no one of note, and many used that fact to claim that the Mets would sign no one of note all offseason.  Once the team signed Young, the new refrain became “this will be the only big move.”

It’s quite a coincidence that every time traveler in the world is also a #MetsTwitter commenter.

Shortly after the fire that was caused by the Young signing was under control, this tweet re-ignited the flames:

That tweet was clearly an opinion from Puma (not anything new he got from a source), and Puma stated as much when he was asked by fans.  After a bit, most people realized that Puma was merely editorializing.

At the moment, Jhonny Peralta is asking for an insane amount of money, and Stephen Drew‘s market is unclear.  One of them will sign with the Mets, or one of them won’t, and the Mets haven’t ruled out either.

Still, that didn’t prevent many fans from taking Puma’s opinion as fact.  And it didn’t stop one site from using that tweet as a springboard for an article that had this headline:

When Joe DeCaro of MetsMerized was told by many that his headline wasn’t factual and that it intentionally misled the many readers their site has, he responded by saying that the headline is his opinion.

It’s funny that the site that incorrectly accused Matthew Cerrone of putting out an “irresponsible and totally bogus” report is the same one that’s printing articles with headlines that knowingly mislead readers.

As I noted above, it’s understandable that the fanbase is restless.  I’m one of the fans who’s restless.

Still, that’s not a reason to react with vitriol every time any bit of news comes out.   It’s not a reason to accuse others of being liars because something they wrote doesn’t fit your narrative.  It’s not a reason to treat opinion as if it’s fact.  It’s not a reason to pretend you can tell the future.  And it’s not a reason to turn everything into a #LOLMets moment.

It’s November 23rd, not January 23rd.

If the Mets’ main upgrade this offseason turns out to be Chris Young, we’ll probably know by the time January 23rd rolls around.  That would be the time to be angry and/or upset, not now.  How about we all try a novel idea, and let the offseason play out?

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