Mets manager Carlos Mendoza needs his players to prove he hasn't lost them

Carlos Mendoza needs to get a positive reaction from the players after one of the worst days for the Mets in a long time.
New York Mets v Cleveland Guardians
New York Mets v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages

After the Jorge Lopez comments and some time to think about it, what can we reasonably take away from everything that happened on Wednesday? The team placed an already fallen Edwin Diaz on the IL. Pete Alonso exited early after getting hit by a pitch. The New York Mets aren’t even winning games. It’s not as if these moments are a blemish on the prom queen’s face. They’re more of a zit on a rabid stray cat’s nether regions.

The decision to DFA Lopez isn’t up for debate. He clarified in calling your team the worst and it’s probably not just in relation to the standings either. Lopez is one of those employees who trash talks the company behind the scenes and might never be happy wherever he goes unless he ends up in Europe with three months of PTO. Seriously, America, let’s get it together!

It’s up to Carlos Mendoza to reign it all in. The rookie manager hasn’t had it easy. As safe as his job may be, it’s moments like these he needs to get the players to buy in or else the fungus in the locker room will continue to go around.

Mets manager Carlos Mendoza is in an impossible situation

The challenge for Mendoza is to get a positive reaction from a group of players who won’t even be here next season. In fact, because they have played so awful, many won’t be here within two months. The players aren’t stupid. Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor can provide hunky-dory commentary after games—which they’ve stopped recently. The truth is the Mets are exactly what they were last year. It’s a bunch of players whose main interest is long-term stability.

The players on expiring contracts are essentially gig workers for the Mets. They can see the end of their time with the ball club. The hourglass has already been flipped. Sand is filling up the bottom. Guys like Lopez knew from the start they were either going to stick around through a fun season or get traded mid-season to a better built club. In criticizing the Mets while taking himself down in the comments as well, he accelerated landing somewhere else.

There is no known problem in the locker room, but like last year’s poor vibes and comments by Tommy Pham later on about them being the least hard-working group of position players he has been around, we can assume it’s not all rainbows again this season. Added in is the expiring contract for Alonso which undoubtedly feels like something of a distraction. Others who have already been paid aren’t performing up to their contracts while several of their better players are those with a reasonable chance to get a long-term contract in the winter.

Inadvertently, the Mets built a selfish ball club. That’s not to say players are wrong for caring about their next contracts. We all do our jobs a little bit better when there is financial security on the line. Furthermore, by bringing in all of these new faces, the Mets were bound to have someone not buy into what they were selling. Lopez is one we know about. Surely there is another member of the 2024 Mets who feels exactly the same way as him.

This is an example of where a modern manager matters. The analytics department can write the lineup and tell him what to do in the middle of a game. Handling people is different and a skill we don’t get to see on display out in the open. 

Will the Mets respond? They haven’t yet this year to anything said by David Stearns, Steve Cohen, or anybody else. Muster up the troops, Mendy. Prove you have a grasp on this team of guys you’ll lose touch with in the coming months.