Mets’ acting GM Zack Scott is stepping to the plate at Citi Field and doing a better job than the results from the field. He should be called “Great Scott” and I don’t see anything wrong with making statements for a team ravaged by injuries and not being compliant to conditioning and attitude.
With MLB protocols in place, it’s difficult to get a feel from the players with clubhouses closed and limited time is available for a quote or two during pre game on the field.
Scott, though, was not referring to injuries that have sidelined Jacob deGrom and Francisco Lindor, the latter and key offseason acquisition has been one of the underachievers along with Michael Conforto. Some of the blame can be attributed to a career low in numbers from Lindor and an entire Mets lineup.
Javier Baez is no different and not much of an impact coming with his numbers after being acquired at the trade deadline.
So there is nothing wrong about the GM taking a stance because the Mets have been a dismal failure since the All-Star break. After this series with the Nationals, a crucial 13-game stretch awaits with the almost certain October bound Dodgers and Giants.
By then, the Mets are contenders or headed to another dismal offseason and possible overhaul of the roster, coaches and perhaps the manager and front office. Then again, Steve Cohen has left all the responsibilities to “The Master,” Sandy Alderson who is allowing his GM to do the talking.
Also a remedy is winning ballgames and that is what the owner, GM, manager, and fans would expect down this crucial stretch. It seems like yesterday when the adversity kept the Mets with a hold of first place for 90 days until the Phillies got hot.
Though, with all of the adversity of a Mets team that succumbed to injuries in the first half, we heard about team chemistry. Manager Luis Rojas took a stance about the positive attitude in the clubhouse and how his team overcame the adversity.
In 2019, the last time we were permitted in the clubhouse with access to players, I never witnessed Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeill, Michael Conforto, J.D. Davis, or Dominic Smith with a quit attitude or not complying.
But Rojas has not shown Terry Collins leadership when the Mets hit their rough patches during those playoff runs in 2015 and 2016, though there is a contrast in the demeanors of the former and current manager.
I don’t need to hear Pete Alonso and his postgame comments with a plea to Mets fans about being positive and believing in this team after the Phillies three-game sweep that knocked the Mets out of first place. You, as a Mets fan, surely would rather hear Alonso speak reality and display an attitude of a fighter throwing a flurry of punches in the 12th and final round.
And Steve Cohen is no George Steinbrenner, yet, I give the owner credit for visiting the clubhouse in Philadelphia with a brief pep talk to his underachieving team, though there were no comparison to those days of the Steinbrenner era and his throwing chairs in the clubhouse.
Zack Scott pulled no punches. He was realistic. In his words, the Mets are a bad team. Need we know that they are a completely different team with flaws finally showing as the Phillies and Braves passed them in the standings this week.
Fewer than four runs in the month of August, batting .179 as a team .150 on that devastating trip to Miami and Philadelphia, and 9-15 since the All-Star break. So the “Great Scott” spoke and you hope that message resonated in the clubhouse.
Wednesday at Citi Field, and with Scott’s words resonating, the Mets seemed to respond in the resumption of a Tuesday evening suspended game against the Nationals. The Mets came back four times and actually got hits with runners in scoring position, including a go-ahead eighth inning single to center off the bench from Brandon Drury.
Pete Alonso hit the ball hard down the line on both sides of the field and J.D. Davis did his part with two extra base hits.
Edwin Diaz got the easy save out of the pen and the Mets 8-7 win snapped a four-game losing streak. That’s the way to answer the GM and the Phillies sweep is in the distance. The Mets won their share of close games in the first half and are still capable of making this a good seven weeks down the stretch.
Rojas said, “It shows who we are as a team. It’s good to see these guys get those swings. Like the conviction of the swings and quality of bats. It’s been tough to watch at times. It’s great to see. It’s who we are. These guys are resilient. “
But the players need to show leadership and take control of their destiny. The GM did his part and “Great Scott” had his word.
Comment: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso