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NY Mets: 6 people to have doubts about going into 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 20: Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets react at home plate umpire Nestor Ceja #103 after striking out with players in scoring positions during the eight inning against Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 20, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 20: Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets react at home plate umpire Nestor Ceja #103 after striking out with players in scoring positions during the eight inning against Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 20, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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MIAMI, FLORIDA – JULY 13: Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets reacts after being thrown out in the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 13, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

[Expletive, expletive, expletive]

Take a wild guess who just struck out, or grounded out, or flew out, lined out, got thrown out, or made an error.

Even coming off a down year, Jeff McNeil’s problem is not his ability or his injury history. It’s his attitude. In a sport where the most successful athletes fail 70% of the time, McNeil needs to learn how to chill out.

Spiking his helmet into the ground in foul territory behind first base after grounding out is childish. Throwing his bat and stomping after striking out is pathetic. Screaming expletives while walking back to the dugout isn’t professional.

It would help if his numbers went back up to his normal level of production. Every year prior to 2021, he had a batting average of .311 or higher, an on-base percentage of .381 or higher, a slugging percentage of .454 or higher, and an OPS of .836 or higher. This year he slashed .249/.317/.358/.674. He also set career lows in OPS+ (86), wRC+ (91), and WAR (0.5)

So how can McNeil overcome my doubts? By growing up. Everybody gets out. Everybody swings and misses at hittable pitches. Everybody rolls over and hits ground balls to first. The vast majority of people don’t handle it as childishly as him. Broadcasters shouldn’t have to apologize to families watching at home because he can’t behave like an adult. The middle school kids I coached didn’t throw their bats and scream after striking out. There’s no reason for it.

If he needs to vent sometimes, fine. Go down the tunnel or into the clubhouse and do what you have to do. I’m just tired of seeing his childish behavior on full display day after day.

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