Mancuso: Mets GM Needs to Take the Fall For Sinking Ship

Oh Sandy, and this is not about a famous and devastating hurricane. It’s a sinking ship of the New York Mets and how the general manager Sandy Alderson constructed a team that is falling quick and fast in the middle of May. If the first place Washington Nationals had won their game Wednesday afternoon the Mets would be 10-games behind in the division.

Regardless, a 9-game deficit is tough to take for Mets fans and manager Terry Collins.  At this juncture it would require the Mets to win one series after another and the way the ship is sinking that could be asking for the impossible. Blame the injuries, and many, but Alderson did not help matters constructing to make the Mets younger and more athletic with a few veterans in the mix.

Across town in the Bronx there is another team that was supposed to be the second baseball team in town with no expectations and in a rebuilding mode. Instead, Brian Cashman is headed to executive of the year as the youngsters are outshining a Mets team that was full of expectations.

Yes, you can blame Sandy Alderson who rested on this promising and young pitching staff. Though it was a good move signing Yoenis Cespedes to a lucrative and long term deal,let’s face it the Mets slugger is hindered with a bad hamstring and a little older. Yet the Mets are a better team with his bat in the lineup.

To his defense, despite all the roster moves that looked good at the time, injuries are a part of the game and baseball is a long season. But the Mets seem to not have the baseball Gods on their side and Alderson had expectations that this team was very much like the one that unexpectedly reached the World Series in 2015,

But there is a difference. No Daniel Murphy in the lineup and his unexpected home run surge. Age has caught up to Curtis Granderson, Jose Reyes. Travis d’Arnaud is the overrated and injury prone catcher, Lucas Duda gets hurt again and still needs time to get an inconsistent swing back to form, and the closer Jeurys Familia is recovering from a blood clot that went unnoticed and required surgery,

It’s been six weeks of misery and that includes the escapade pertaining to the injury that shelved their ace, Noah Syndergaard for months, another hidden adventure that the Mets GM got around and who knows what went on behind closed doors?

Oh, the inconsistency of Matt Harvey continues and the GM seemed to be covering up the Mets medical team and strength coaches last week as it pertained to the one-time Mets ace who convinced his manager Terry Collins to go another inning in that World Series Game 5 loss to the Royals at Citi Field.

But this is not 2015, or last year when the Mets once again made another late run and went to their second straight postseason under Collins. The Manager is frustrated and that can be seen in his face and heard in his postgame meetings with the media. Someone could take the fall and it may be Collins who is not to blame with this sinking ship.

After a walk-off home run and another bullpen implosion Wednesday afternoon, that led to a three-game sweep at the hands of the Diamondbacks and going 0-6 on a six game trip, that also included a sweep by the Brewers, the Mets come home Friday night third in the division behind the Atlanta Braves with a seven game losing streak.

At 16-23 and seven games under .500, the ship is sinking before Memorial Day. Also, blame a bullpen that has become the worst in baseball along with a pitching staff with the lowest ERA in the National League. So don’t blame Collins for that implosion or the hitting that at times cries for a quick return of the walking wounded.

“Losing can be contagious as winning,” Collins said. “We’re going to turn this around.” But on that long plane ride home, Collins sounded like a manager trying to keep the ship afloat but his GM has become the failure as the Mets had their first winless trip of this length in 18 years.

So why is Alderson the culprit? Again, he put all his energy in the youngsters that were supposed to lead this team to the promise land for a long time. There was no backup plan and the minor league system is depleted through trades and he refuses to bring in reinforcements such as Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith.

Again, what goes behind closed doors is between Alderson and ownership. But one veteran scout who has knowledge of the Mets minor league system said, “There is not much in their system right now that are ready and available to take over.” He did say, having watched Rosario and Smith, that the Mets need to make the move now and help with the sinking ship.

Perhaps, Sandy has his hands tied on this sinking ship . But take a look at what should still be a part of the Mets that the GM took off his ship whether it be the trade market, Rule 5 transactions, losing via free agency, or just giving up on players.  It is quietly known that Sandy Alderson works the phones and also has no tolerance with players that show an attitude of quit.

Gone over the past few years: Angel Pagan, though that would not make the Mets younger, Neither would Bartolo Colon but he was a clubhouse leader and still gave the Mets innings and at a reasonable price.  Why did Justin Turner go away so easy and become an all-star with the Dodgers? Why quit on Ruben Tejada who gave one for the team, because the GM believed Wilmer Flores was a better option with Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker.

Tejada, 27 years old is consistent at the plate with the Yankees Scranton-Wilkes Barre affiliate and also making minimal errors on the field.  Oh, the bullpen? So Carlos Torres has one of those pitching slumps at the wrong time in that 2015 postseason run, and now with the Brewers is throwing strikes with a 3.32 ERA, not the best but better than the 5.50 bullpen ERA that his former team has compiled.

Torres made the spot starts, the one or two outs needed out of the pen and was considered not good enough for the Mets direction out of the pen. Or was it giving in to salary constraints that are well known with this organization?

As with hitting, pitching is contagious but Torres would have been a better option than Adam Wilk and his one start and a quick departure out of New York.

So this sinking ship is not the fault of a manager who does his best, and under the circumstances doing what he can with this sinking ship. A manager is as good as the players that are on the roster and this sinking ship does not have any or immediate rescue plan, unless the walking wounded come back to full strength.

What was so promising is how Sandy Alderson made everyone to believe. He was content what was coming out of spring training, and at this point that entails a sinking ship. There was no contingency plan and someone will take a fall because this Mets season is heading to a quick end and contending for a wildcard will be ever more difficult.

The GM hardly takes the fall with many games to play before the all-star break. But if someone is responsible it is Sandy Alderson.

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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