Death, taxes, and New York Mets owners letting down the fans are the only guarantees in life. It’s time the Wilpons sell.
I’ve been waiting to write this since I wanted to see what further moves the New York Mets would make. At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Robinson Cano deal, but have to admit that for the short-term, having him and Edwin Diaz, while shedding the contracts of Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak, makes the Mets a better team.
I have no issue with signing Jeurys Familia again, since I believe, as a set-up guy, he’ll be much more effective than as a closer. Plus, he likes and wants to play in New York. That’s no small thing since the size of the market has wilted many a player before him. I’m even more than okay with the Wilson Ramos signing because there’s no way I would’ve given up any of the reported packages the Miami Marlins were asking for J.T. Realmuto.
But, here’s the thing. This is not enough. It’s not even close to enough. I would agree that the Mets are better now than when we ended the season, but we’re not talking about significant, putting-you-over-the-top improvements.
For Brodie Van Wagenen to come out and say that we should consider the Mets the favorites in the division, is a joke. There are still holes on this team, and on paper, they still appear to be behind the Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, and Atlanta Braves. All of whom finished ahead of the Mets in 2018, and all have also made improvements to their clubs for next season.
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And the thing is, Van Wagenen’s declaration didn’t even come across as authentic. It came across as just trying to get the fanbase excited to accept less than the best, as many who have worked for the Wilpons have done before him.
If this was his attempt at a Davey Johnson-like, “We’re gonna dominate”, it fell far short. Because with that 1986 team, you believed Johnson. Here, Van Wagenen’s comments just sounded like some more lip service and empty promises from Fred and Jeff Wilpon.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked the brashness. It’s a breath of fresh air. But, without the product to back it up, it immediately rings hollow. And I realize that Van Wagenen has to do something to excite the fans because he knows that he’s already at the end of his rope with the Wilpon budget. That’s why he even considered making a horrendous trade of Noah Syndergaard because he couldn’t add payroll without subtracting another contract first.
The Mets need a lefty in the bullpen, and instead of going out to get Andrew Miller, who might have been the best one available, they let him go to the St. Louis Cardinals? A New York team losing out to one from Missouri? So, now do they turn to Oliver Perez again. I mean, seriously?
The Yankees collect stars. The Mets collect them also, except the Mets wait until those prime years have faded and try to sell you a name instead of substance. The Yankees are at the bakery, when it first opens, to get the fresh loaves, while the Mets wait for the day-old-bread discounts. It used to be good but doesn’t quite have that same freshness as it once did.