A losing season for the New York Mets will typically result in some scapegoating. Finding someone to point the finger at and blame is the natural reaction when the Mets were as World Series or bust as can be.
Because the Mets season was pretty much over from the time they decided to sell at the trade deadline, the blame has already gotten passed around the circle plenty. The white flag flew over Citi Field for two months. Since early August, we've had time to come to more rational conclusions: no one person was to blame. The stadium was built on cursed land.
Among the biggest scapegoats receiving blame, one deserved his fate, another didn't, and a third should have probably been given a little larger of a lashing.
Billy Eppler deserved his fate from the 2023 outcome
The way in which Billy Eppler left the Mets isn't what anyone expected. It seemed like he was going to remain with the organization beneath David Stearns only for an MLB investigation into his use of the IL to appear and lead to a resignation.
The results of that investigation haven’t actually been made public just yet despite the belief we’d know by the end of the year. Any shady business Eppler might have engaged in certainly should lead to his ouster. However, we can find other reasons, too.
Eppler didn’t necessarily need to lose his job, but he did need to lose the power. His 2022 trade deadline performance remains unforgivable. Although we thank him for what he did at the 2023 trade deadline, those moves were more courtesy of Steve Cohen having the willingness to eat contracts.
Many of the good moves Eppler did make turned into a pumpkin after one season. Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, and Mark Canha are those three delectable free agent signings with a short shelf life.
Blaming the general manager is easy because they’re the ones who pick the players. Eppler made a lot of really good moves, but rested a little too quickly into believing it was enough.
It wouldn’t have been criminal for him to remain with the Mets. Awkward is the more appropriate way to put it. Getting leapfrogged by Stearns in the front office was the outcome he knew was already on the way. We’ll have to curiously wonder how things would have gone if he stayed.