Before we discuss the New York Mets, let’s talk about something else. Please. I need to get it off my chest.
There is no superhero worse than Superman. I’m sorry. How lame can one invincible made-up character possibly be? His arch-nemesis is a bald billionaire—basically Jeff Bezos. The one thing that can take him down is a strange product only found on his planet—basically an Amazon Prime account.
I’m so anti-Superman that the only film of his I’ve ever seen is the one with Kevin Spacey. Yet Superman is a big part of our pop culture to the point where I know some side stories of his. For instance, there’s the Bizarro World. This is where another Superman villain Bizzaro hails from. It's hard to take him too seriously. Who names a baby after the planet they live on?
But that’s where the Mets come into play. They have their own Bizarro.
NY Mets catcher James McCann is the Bizarro World’s Wilson Ramos
When James McCann joined the Mets last winter, it was a refreshingly different look at what could be behind the plate for the coming years. Known for his defense, McCann had also come off of two straight productive seasons at the plate with the Chicago White Sox. He seemed to have turned a corner on the Southside. McCann looked like one of the best catchers in baseball.
That thought wouldn’t hold any water in year one with the Mets. While he did play a fine defensive game, McCann was abysmal at the plate. He finished the year hitting .232/.294/.349 with just 10 home runs and 46 RBI.
Hardly the big winter acquisition many had hoped for, McCann managed to prove he is the Bizzaro World’s version of the club’s previous catcher, Wilson Ramos.
Ramos, as you may have been unable to forget, was a horrid defender but a productive hitter—at least in 2019. He spent that season hitting .288/.351/.416 while getting called out by the pitching staff for his poor game-calling abilities.
The Ramos signing had a lot of the same hype around it as McCann. The team was finally moving on from the weak platoon years of Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki with a sprinkle of Rene Rivera. A professional hitter was coming to Flushing and things would never be the same again.
Unfortunately, the excitement of Ramos was short-lived and often criticized. He was an incomplete player and a burden on the pitching staffs.
Meanwhile, after one season of McCann, the exact opposite can be said about him. He helped get a lot of out the club’s pitchers but made a case for himself to never hit higher than eighth in any Mets starting lineup.
It would appear that the Mets’ very own Lex Luther, Steve Cohen, has brought us more of the same behind the plate. Longing for the days of a Mike Piazza, a Gary Carter, or a Jerry Grote, we can only hope McCann avoids his personal Kryptonite in 2022.
Otherwise, it’s going to be a long couple of years.