The New York Mets veterans have been quiet on and off the field this year. It’s time they start hitting and showing leadership.
Over the last few weeks, a leader has emerged in the New York Mets clubhouse. Rookie slugger Pete Alonso has been one of the more vocal players on the roster, already whipping out the “must win” duo while in San Diego.
Alonso is one of the least experienced players on the Mets and yet the most active in attempting to motivate this ball club—at least publicly. On a roster with Robinson Cano and Todd Frazier, both whom we were made to believe are there for their leadership, it’s unfortunate a rookie is doing all of the talking on and off the field.
The Mets veterans have given us some of the worst moments of the year. Specifically on offense, it’s those seasoned players who have been inconsistent and killing rallies more than anyone else.
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Cano has had his moments, but as the highest paid player on the team with several years to go on his contract, he must do a lot more. Has he spoken at all about this team’s early woes? Has he done any motivating whatsoever?
Unless I can disguise myself as a towel in the locker room, I won’t know the full story of how he’s affecting young players like Amed Rosario. To those who thought Cano was on the decline at the plate, the argument always said he’ll help the kids. Well, many of those kids aren’t playing well either. Rosario’s defensive inefficiency may cost him his shortstop job temporarily. Any of Cano’s left-handed hitting talents versus southpaws has yet to rub off on Brandon Nimmo.
It’s not Cano or Frazier’s job to teach the kids. Their job is to help the Mets win games. Frazier has been especially weak in that area. If the Mets are contending later this year and he continues to hit like a pitcher, a DFA is realistic. They cannot be as patient with him this year as they were last. J.D. Davis and Jed Lowrie should help make the decision a lot easier.
Other veteran position players who need to step up include Wilson Ramos, Juan Lagares, and Michael Conforto. We still think of Conforto as a kid because we watched him grow up. Now in his fifth MLB season, there’s no excuse. He needs to become the heart of this organization. Even if he isn’t a vocal leader, he can command the frontline by playing better.
The Mets are routinely built on pitching which is why we have seen moments where Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard have looked or sounded like leaders. When you play every fifth day, it’s a little more difficult to become the commander someone who plays closer to 162 can.
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Leadership is an underrated quality the new age analytical teams have yet to figure out. The Mets have candidates to do the talking in both areas. For those veterans who have been quiet this year, it’s time to move your bat and lips.