Karpin’s Korner: Mets “Slipped a Mickey,” Leavin’ Steven, Mantle Mark Should Stand Alone

Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

Steven Matz was traded, @Steven ACohen2 was deleted and Met fans, not only named Steven, retweeted. The Mets had quite a week and that wasn’t the end of it.

Steven A. Cohen, the Mets new owner, played with the Twitter fire and he got “Bern-ed.”

Thanks to a group of day traders who manipulated the stock market, Cohen lost a lot of money this week. We’re talking billions. Sound familiar? It did to Met fans who, reportedly bombarded Cohen’s twitter account with their feelings. Let’s say, they weren’t exactly wishing the owner “Good tidings.” More like, “You ‘Made-Off with what?.”

Reportedly, there were a large number of tweets that were threatening Cohen and his family. Instead of “Meet the Mets,” it became “Delete the Mets.”

The Mets were in the process of putting the embarrassing Jared Porter situation behind them, now they’ve been “slipped a Mickey” with another episode of questionable behavior.

The Athletic is reporting five females, who work in sports media, are alleging former Mets Mgr. Mickey Callaway displayed “lewd behavior” in front of them. Porter’s transgression occurred while he was with the Cubs, but he was the Mets GM at the time they were made public. Reportedly, Callaway’s alleged behavior took place while he managed the Mets. Unfortunately, it’s another blemish on Cohen’s early tenure and both times, he was not directly involved.

Both Cohen and President Sandy Alderson, who was the GM who hired Callaway before the 2018 season, issued statements late last night. Cohen, “The conduct reported in The Athletic story today is completely unacceptable and would never be tolerated under my ownership.” Alderson’s statement, “I was appalled by the actions reported today of former manager Mickey Callaway. I was unaware of the conduct described in the story at the time of Mickey’s hire or at any time during my tenure as General Manager. We have already begun a review of our hiring processes to ensure our vetting of new employees is more thorough and comprehensive.”

There were rumors that the Mets were closing in on NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer. I would not sign Bauer for big money over a long term deal. (ala Gerrit Cole)

Like a former NY Rangers’ defenseman, Bauer has also driven down that controversial twitter road in the past but he said he’ll change. However, someone’s sordid past on social media always seems to surface in the form of “ghost posts” that come back to haunt. Do they want to take the chance that Bauer will “behave?”

In January 2019, Bauer reportedly smeared a woman by posting retweets of her drinking before her 21st birthday. NY Post columnist Ken Davidoff wrote this about the incident in his column of January 23rd,

“In all, over a span of three days, Bauer tweeted at least 17 times either directly at the woman or at others while discussing her and the argument. Predictably, the woman has said that she endured considerable abuse from Bauer’s followers.”

On the field, the Mets had seen enough of the 29-year old, enigmatic left hander. Matz was chosen by the Mets in the second round of the 2009 draft out of Ward Melville high school in Long Island. The promising southpaw made a spectacular debut in 2015 and pitched in the post season. After that however, it’s been a slew of injuries for Matz and his inconsistency that has held him back from reaching his potential.

Part of that inconsistency has been an inability to deal with adversity. If Matz gets rolling, he looks like a dominant pitcher but there’s been too many times where he doesn’t know how to “grind” through a game when, for one reason or another, things are not going well. Sometimes, that has happened within an inning. He gets the first two outs, but, whether it be hits, walks or an error in the field, the inning continues to mount on him and then he can’t stop the bleeding.

The Mets are going for it in 2021, but they’re also mindful of what it’s going to take to keep this cast together. Remember, they have impending free agents in Micheal Conforto and Noah Syndergaard, who is scheduled to return in 2021 from Tommy John surgery. A Syndergaard comeback would be like making a trade to acquire a starting pitcher. The Mets are “under the gun” to re-sign Conforto, who is an MVP candidate. Do they sign Bauer as insurance if Syndergaard decides to walk?

With the recent death of Hank Aaron, MLB Network has been honoring the all time great by running highlights of his fabulous career. One of his greatest highlights was the victory over the Yankees in the 1957 World Series. Aaron was a big reason why Milwaukee won that series but during the hour long World Series film from that year, I was also reminded of the greatness of Mickey Charles Mantle.

Circa 1980’s: Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees. Mantle is practicing his swing in the cages in preparation for the Mickey and Whitey Fantasy Camp game against the campers at the Boardwalk & Baseball Stadium near Haines City, Florida. Cliff Welch Archive

I happened to turn the program on when Mantle homered in game three. The narrator said that was Mantle’s 9th World Series home run. 1957 was Mantle’s seventh season in the league and he was playing in his sixth World Series and he already had 9 Series homers.

I’ve always been under the belief that the World Series stats should stand on their own. Ever since post season play expanded from two leagues, to two divisions, to a wild card entrant, to three divisions and two wild cards who meet in a one game showdown, the stats from those post season series are being lumped in with the World Series stats.

Mantle has 18 career World Series home runs, but if you place him on the list with the expanded playoffs, he is tied for sixth and trails the leader, Manny Ramirez, by 11 homers. Derek Jeter is the career post season hit leader with 200 hits. 50 of those came in the World Series. (Jeter is fifth all time in World Series hits) My contention is why should those 50 not be noted separately. Even if you take away the World Series total, Jeter still has the most post season hits. Mantle is second all time to Yogi Berra (71 hits) with 59 hits in World Series play, but he doesn’t even show up among the top-10 on the all time post season hit list.

My point is that Mantle’s accomplishments should not be lessened in baseball’s new statistical world.

Let the World Series stats stand alone.

MLB’s proposal for a 154-game season, Universal DH and expanded playoffs was officially rejected by the Players Union. This means its “Full steam ahead” for a 162-game season and a playoff system that features only 10 teams.

I consider myself a purist but I always wanted both leagues to play under the same set of rules. With or without, the DH was fine with me. The Universal DH left a taste and it’s going to be implemented at some point in the very near future, if not this season.

Something to consider with pitchers hitting in the National League. God forbid, a big name pitcher, much less any pitcher that is hitting in the National League, gets hurt. The backlash would be like a tidal wave.

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