The Thumb’s Down Crisis Highlights The Mets Biggest Problem

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

Just another few days in Flushing.

And it makes you wonder why it always happens to the Mets?

No matter what this organization shoots itself in the foot.

Fortunately, the currently crisis seems to be over after Javy Baez apologized for suggesting the Mets should give the fans the ‘Thumbs Down” to combat the booing from their poor play.

“I didn’t mean to offend anybody,” he said before the Mets comeback 6-5 win over the Miami Marlins. “This is something that I’ve done in the past against the other team. I did it in LA to the dugout. I might [have said] something wrong about how I was booing the fans, and I really meant to [say] like, ‘Boo me now’ — and not to the fans — to our dugout because I’ve done it with the other team and against other teams.

“I’ve never seen the same fans and I didn’t say the fans are bad. I love the fans. But I just felt like we were alone. The fans obviously want us to win, and they pay our salary, like everybody says. But we want to win, too. The frustration got to us, and I didn’t mean to offend anybody, and if I did offend anybody, we apologize.”

Listen, it didn’t seemed forced, even though there was some obvious encouragement from Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson for Baez to come out and give. A mea culpa along with Francisco Lindor.

After a few boos from the sparce crowd in Game 1, which was limited anyway because it was a resumption of an April game when the capacity was only slightly over 8,000.

“Right now, we’re just trying to stay together. Obviously there’s a lot of things going on in social media – we’re trying to stay together,” he said. “We’re trying to leave this in the back and move forward and try to win the games.

“The guys are really unique here. They really stay together most of the time and that’s what we’re trying to do here.”

No one doubts the Mets are trying to win and no one doubts they are just as frustrated as every fan in the stands when they don’t but it still makes you wonder why they came up with this scheme and no adult in the room found out and told the players it was a bad idea.

To put it more simply. Do you think Lindor would have pulled something like this with Terry Francona in Cleveland. Would Baez dared to do this under Joe Maddon in Chicago?

My guess is no.

And that’s what the frustrating part of this whole situation is. Because Alderson is essentially playing the role of Cohen’s handler with MLB and they did not hire a President of the Baseball Operation this past off-season, there is a void in leadership in the front office.

Luis Rojas is just 39 and not even the older than all his players on the team. There’s nothing wrong with having a young manager, as long as you have enough leadership above him.

Back in Alderson’s first tenure as GM, he had Paul DePodesta, John Ricco, and J.P. Ricciardi to assist him, along with a veteran manager in Terry Collins.

Now, all he has is Rojas and Zack Scott.

This is not a slight on either the manager of the acting GM, instead this is a warning for Cohen and Alderson to make the major hires in the off-season. Theo Epstein is available. He should be Cohen’s first call and then have Theo fill out the staff.

If that means the Red Sox and Cubs architect gets a 5% stake in the team, then so be it.

Because right now, the Mets need help. They don’t look like the professional organization they should be with Cohen’s resources and Alderson’s experience.

This should be priority No. 1 once the season ends.

Don’t blow it or there will be more weeks this in Queens.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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