The Mets are a mess: Players and fans go to silent war over constant booing and poor results

The New York Mets keep making headlines for the wrong reasons. During Sunday’s victory against the Philadelphia Phillies, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, and Kevin Pillar used a thumbs down celebration every time they made a good play.

Most people thought, at first, that it was a joke, like the 2017 Yankees. But after the game, Baez talked to the media and made a baffling revelation: “[It’s] to let [fans] know when we don’t have success we are going to get booed, so they are going to get booed when we have success.”

Even if it’s understandable that players are frustrated by the lack of results and by hearing constant boos from their own fans, it’s certainly surprising that they decided to start a silent war with Mets’ fans. It’s not an ideal situation, especially for Lindor, who will be in New York for at least 10 more years unless he is traded.

The Mets are 8-19 in August and relinquished the first place of the NL East division, one that they held for months, a few weeks ago. They are currently in a very delicate situation, and making the playoffs is a pipe dream at this point.

The Mets released a controversial statement

Mets’ president Sandy Alderson released a statement on Sunday night condemning the thumbs down sign.

Here is his message:

“In a post-game press conference today, Javy Baez stated that his “thumbs down” gesture during the game was a message to fans who recently have booed him and other players for poor performance. These comments, and any gestures by him or other players with a similar intent, are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“Mets fans are understandably frustrated over the team’s recent performance. The players and the organization are equally frustrated, but fans at Citi Field have every right to express their own disappointment. Booing is every fan’s right.

“The Mets will not tolerate any player gesture that is unprofessional in its meaning or is directed in a negative way toward our fans. I will be meeting with our players and staff to convey this message directly.

“Mets fans are loyal, passionate, knowledgeable and more than willing to express themselves. We love them for every one of these qualities.”

Tensions are boiling in New York.

Mets reportedly ‘prepared to spend big’ amid contract negotiations with Lindor and Conforto

New York Mets

The New York Mets were pretty aggressive during the offseason, bidding on just about every top free agent available. They were in on George Springer and Trevor Bauer, but a trade ended up being their most important move. And when all is said and done, that will turn out to be OK if they are able to sign one or both of their next targets.

Shortstop Francisco Lindor and outfielder Michael Conforto will be free agents after the season, but the Mets have the power to prevent that. They can sign both to long-term extensions and flex some of that financial muscle they currently boast, having the richest owner in MLB.

Of course, the idea is not spending for the sake of it. But in this case, both targets are young, talented, and with an extensive track record of success. Locking them up would be a coup.

In six seasons and 777 career games, Lindor has a .285 batting average, 138 homers, 411 RBI, a .346 OBP, a .488 slugging percentage, and 28.8 career WAR.

Conforto, who has played all of his career with the Mets, has a .259/.358/.484 line with 118 dingers, 341 RBI and 14.5 WAR.

The Mets have a deadline to deal with

Both men told the Mets they don’t want to negotiate during the season, as it would be a distraction. If they don’t reach a deal before Opening Day, they will test the market.

So, for the Mets, the clock is ticking. But according to Tim Healey of Newsday, the Mets are mentally and financially prepared to spend big in the near future to retain their stars.

“We have plenty of capacity,” Mets president Sandy Alderson recently told Healey. “Whether that flexibility is exercised later this month or next year, we don’t know. But always having options and maintaining that flexibility is important.”

The Mets would prefer to stay under the luxury tax threshold for 2020, which is $210 million, and they are currently around $200 million.

According to Alderson, even the richest organizations like the Mets should pick their spots.

“Big-market teams typically have more choices available to them,” Alderson said. “But you still have to be patient, you still have to be discerning. And you also have to have an eye on the future.

“It’s easy to, within the framework of one season, spend money on what you hope is a successful year. But you have to keep in mind what the impact of those decisions in the current year are going to have on future years.”

New York Mets Hire Zack Scott as Senior VP and Assistant GM

The New York Mets supplemented their front office by bringing in another former Boston Red Sox executive. Red Sox assistant GM Zack Scott will join the Mets as their new senior VP and Assistant GM.

Much like their new GM Jared Porter, Scott has an extensive resume working in the Red Sox organization. Scott and Porter worked together for 10 years in Boston. He specialized in the analytic, advanced professional scouting, and baseball systems departments. This is another good hire for a franchise trying to bolster an analytic department that the Wilpons neglected.

Scott is also another executive who is still in their 40s. Instead of holding out for Theo Epstein, the Mets are trying to find their own versions of him. These are people that Sandy Alderson and Steve Cohen hope to entrust the future of the franchise with.

This is all part of the Mets trying to build their own culture by bringing in experienced front office personnel. For the first time in the franchise’s history, there is a motive to build for success in the present and to sustain it in the future. While the big-name free agent is not here yet, the front office is on its way to being one of the best in baseball.

New York Mets Opinion: Use Your Logic To Assess The Offseason

The glitz and glamor of Steve Cohen’s purchase of the New York Mets have faded away. Sportswriters and Mets fans have descended from their cloud nine celebrations. Baseball writers and “analysts” criticize the amount of time it has taken for Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson to construct their front office and roster.

As usual, Andy Martino of SNY and Joel Sherman of the NY Post are creating headlines based on feelings, not logic. Both are known for their loyalty to the Wilpon regime and their want for Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez to own the franchise. They will have you believe the Mets are already in a crisis, or even a failure, based on the Mets’ struggle to find a president of baseball operations.

If This Is A Failure, What Do They Classify The Wilpon Era As?

Now, I am not here to defend everything the new regime does, but I will be honest in telling you those reports are bs. Despite Cohen struggling to get interviews with his selected candidates, Alderson is a good as a backup plan as it gets. Even if the 3-5 year championship window Cohen is a high expectation, any good baseball executive would be crazy to turn down the opportunity the Mets present.

Why rush to hire someone when hiring the right guy is of the utmost importance? This is how the Mets latch on to a Brodie Van Wagenen failure, which decimated the farm system. There is also the potential Theo Epstein may want back in the game after his year off from baseball at the end of 2021.

To think some executives are shying away from the job is hard to believe. Imagine stepping into a job with the most money to spend, the best pitcher/maybe closer in baseball on the roster, and the offense which led the entire league in batting average in the previous season. To call the situation with the front office, a small concern is one thing but to claim that it is a failure makes it a wild claim.

Just a reminder that as of this article being posted, the date is December 1. The Mets do not touch a baseball field for at least another two and a half months. Should the Mets miss big time on their opportunity to improve the roster once spring training rolls around, then, by all means, call it a failure.

Context Clues

The Mets have the most leverage of any team in baseball. Teams can deny the Mets interviews all they want, but they cannot change the situation they are all in. Cohen did not suffer the $100 million-plus type losses from 2020 like the Philadelphia Phillies did. Agents throughout baseball know that as well, which is why this offseason revolves around the Mets. Them and the players they represent will wait until they hear the Mets offer before moving on. The anomaly is Charlie Morton, who understandably opted for location over money.

For the fans who are rushing to make their free-agent photoshops come true, please take a deep breath. Not having a general manager stops them from signing players, and we have seen the ability the Mets have to keep things quiet. Whether someone gets signed tomorrow or February 1, who cares as long as they are in a Mets uniform? Much like my original article about the sale, stay away from Martino and the NY Post.

New York Mets: The Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson Press Conference

New York Mets

Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson introduced, or in Sandy’s case reintroduced, themselves to the New York Mets fans during their press conference on Tuesday. The new bravado, confidence, and professionalism that the Wilpon’s lacked are immediately visible in a Cohen regime.

Cohen spoke first, and the message stood out like any unforgettable campaign slogan. The new owner wants professionalism, a fan-oriented experience, and, most importantly, to WIN! Cohen said if the Mets are not champions within the first 3-5 years of his ownership, he would be extremely disappointed.

He said perfectly that the Mets would not spend like “drunken sailors” just because they have the resources to. Cohen likened, creating a successful baseball organization to his successful hedge fund a Point72. He wants to put everyone in the organization in the best place they can to be successful. Even more than that, Cohen wants to develop an organization that produces and brings in talent.

Cohen wants this franchise to be for the fans, not for his wallet. He said his hedge fund already makes money for him. Cohen wants to make “millions of people happy” by leading the Mets to the consistent success the franchise has lacked. It was refreshing to listen to a New York sports franchise owner talking about his love for the game and winnings instead of using it as a money grab.

Players Voice, Sandy is Back

Earlier, we saw Marcus Stroman rule out playing for the White Sox after his tweets about Tony LaRussa. Just a few hours later, Steve Cohen says the words “black lives do matter” and discusses players needing their freedom of speech as long as they give it their all on the field. This was not always the case with the Wilpon’s and players with social justice opinions like Stroman or creative players like Trevor Bauer find comfort knowing their owner backs them.

Alderson handled more of the baseball questions after Cohen’s session came to an end. He said manager Luis Rojas is likely to return to his post for the 2021 season. Alderson left the door open for a potential change if the new president of baseball operations wants to bring in someone else. Speaking of the president of baseball ops., Alderson began the search over the weekend. He said the team is on the right track heading into free agency.

Alderson voiced the same theme’s as his boss, saying, “We don’t want to just be known for winning, we want to be known for how we win.” As the Mets president, his urgency to win is as strong a Cohen’s even through “winning” has not been something the franchise has ever been known for.

Professionalism is Key

The number one thing to take away from the press conference is the discipline of the Mets. They will become a franchise who does things right instead of running the franchise the way the Wilpons ran it. The classic loveable losers or the franchise known for Bobby Bonilla strives to tear themselves from the negative stigma the Wilpons left.

New York Mets to introduce Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson on Tuesday

New York Mets fans: today, at 12:30 p.m. ET, you will get to know your new owner. Steve Cohen, the hedge fund personality that acquired the team from Sterling Equities in a deal that surpassed the $2.4 billion, will have his first encounter with the media on Tuesday.

Cohen, a lifelong fan of the New York Mets, had to overcome several hurdles since last year, as he attempted to buy the team on multiple occasions from the Wilpon and Katz families. In the latest round of negotiations, he had to beat several other interested groups and parties, including the Alex Rodriguez – Jennifer Lopez association.

But it was all worth it. Cohen, who is now on Twitter, wants to take the Mets into a new era of greatness. He has big pockets (he will be MLB’s wealthiest owner, and that’s saying something) but that doesn’t mean he will be spending irresponsibly. To the contrary, he’s said to want to develop a culture of sustainability, with top-notch player development and analytics departments, a la Los Angeles Dodgers.

To help him achieve that, he brought Sandy Alderson, a well-respected executive with years of experience making baseball decisions on the Mets (he was the general manager between 2010 and 2018.) He will now be the team president.

The Mets’ president will be there too

Alderson will also be present at Cohen’s introductory press conference today. Together, they are expected to address the Mets’ search of a president of baseball operations and a general manager.

Some candidates to fill both roles are Bobby Heck (currently the Tampa Bay Rays special assistant) Rays GM Erik Neander, Chris Antonetti and Mike Chernoff, with a track record of success with the Cleveland Indians; the Oakland Athletics’ assistant GM Billy Owens, Diamondbacks assistant GM Amiel Sawdaye, Royals assistant GM Scott Sharp and J.P. Ricciardi, who has twice worked Alderson.

The press conference will be virtual, and according to MLB.com, it will air live on Mets.com as well as the Mets’ Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels.

Of course, the Mets’ strategy for the free agency (and trade market) are also expected to be addressed in some form.

New York Mets: Steve Cohen to Better Analytics Department

Simeon Woods-Richardson

New owner Steve Cohen is looking to transform the New York Mets into something they never were under the Wilpon regime. Joe Pantorno’s of AM New York reported that Cohen’s most significant focus is on “beefing up the team’s analytics department” after spending years with the second smallest in baseball.

This does not mean the idea of signing Trevor Bauer or J.T. Realmuto is out the window. Cohen wants to make the Mets a well-rounded team that can spend money and finds undervalued players. Think about the Tampa Bay Rays or Oakland Athletics having the funds to supplement the cheap talent they find.

Spend Smart, Not Crazy

The Mets now find themselves in a unique situation with an owner who cares about putting a winning product on the field. They have spent money in prior offseasons, bringing in Wilson Ramos, Jed Lowrie, Rick Porcello, etc. but they were not championship level pieces. Instead of bringing in C or D level free agents, they can go after the A or B level players who make a big impact.

The foundation for a strong analytics department is in place. Sandy Alderson is back in the organization as team president after a couple of years away from the organization. Alderson was responsible for crafting the 2015 National League Championship team with a low budget. Even many of the players he drafted or signed were major contributors during the 2020 season.

What many fans do not understand is Alderson has experience building a team with and without money to spend. He was part of building the strong Oakland A’s team from the late 80s to the early 90s. Following that, he mentored Billy Beane on analytics to help create the Moneyball phenomenon. Alderson’s experience as CEO of the San Diego Padres also shows his ability to work in varied money situations.

Analytic Department

Adam Guttridge is less known among Mets fans as he is the leader of the three-person analytic department. He was a big reason why Jeff McNeil remained a Met and J.D. Davis became a Met last season. Guttridge co-created NEIFI (normalized empirical individual forecasting index) as part of the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

Much like anything in sports, a good foundation is needed for sustained success. With Cohen, Alderson, and Guttridge, there is finally leadership and competence within the Mets organization.