When new MMO writer Daniel Nelson sent me a link to a Grantland article entitled, The Mets’ Outfield Could Be the Worst Unit in Professional Sports, and Maybe All of Life, my first inclination after I was done vomiting, was to email the writer of that garbage, Sean Fennessy, and tell him what I thought.
However, I felt it was best to post about it here instead. That would ensure that it would live on for all eternity in this bottomless pit we call the internet.
Fennessy takes an unprovoked shot at the Mets at multiple levels before getting to the heart of the matter which was this:
Forget Michael Bourn, Mets fans. Josh Hamilton, too; he’s at Disneyland. Not even Scott Hairston is walking through that door. Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Mike Baxter: These are the men for our times. Knights. Legends. Warriors from an ancient guard sent to protect us. Just kidding. They suck.
That was his opening volley and it all goes downhill from there. Frankly, Met fans don’t need Grantland to tell us that our outfield sucks. Most of us are well aware of the situation and not at all blind to that fact. But to say that the Mets outfield is the worst unit in the history of sports might be the most extreme case of outlandishness I’ve ever read on any sports site. You either have to be a complete moron without an ounce of pride, or have brass balls the size of grapefruits to sign your name to a post with a title like that.
It’s kind of disappointing to be quite honest with you. I always held Grantland in such high regard and would expect much more from them than something this bad. Until tonight, Grantland always had a pretty solid reputation and ranked very high on the credibility scale, before Fennessy flushed all that down the crapper with this rubbish.
I’ve spent the last three months knocking Sandy Alderson for the way he approached and ultimately handled the team’s dire need for an outfield overhaul. I thought he misplayed his hand from day one, and I never once bought into the Michael Bourn charade – he knew it would cost him the pick and he knew he’d never get him for less than four years. Alderson is not naive, but he is very calculating and knows how to play the PR game better than most.
However, I don’t doubt for a second that he has the best of intentions where the Mets are concerned and I believe that he sincerely wants to build a team that can achieve the sustainable success he often talks about.
We may not always agree on every move he makes or doesn’t make, but his heart is in the right place and we both have the same desire – which is to bring another championship to Flushing, Queens.
Getting back to Fennessy, he provides the reader no research whatsoever to back up his ridiculous claim that the Mets outfield is the shittiest group of pro athletes of all time. None. He offered no comparisons to support his crazy assertion.
The article wreaks of a poor attempt to grab some undeserved attention as well as all the unmerited traffic that comes with it.
The thought process behind this was very simple – the hell with the content, the truth be damned, and lets go for the shock value. All you need is a preposterous and attention-grabbing title, throw in some choice keywords for good measure, and then sit back and watch the CPM earnings skyrocket.
It’s a formula that has been expertly crafted and perfected by the folks at Bleacher Report, where more work, thought and time goes into creating their titles than the actual articles themselves – and I use the word “articles” very loosely. It’s now abundantly clear that Grantland is taking a page out of BR’s playbook.
Oddly enough, there was one isolated truth in Fennessey’s article that is worth mentioning, but alas it didn’t come from him and was actually a quote from Fangraphs who wrote:
Last season, the Mets’ outfield ranked 29th of 30 teams in total outfield wins above replacement, with just 4.1. Hairston and Andres Torres, two players who combined for 3.7 of those 4.1 wins, are now playing elsewhere.
That tidbit provided another launching pad to spew even more word vomit:
The Mets are still a team with fans and expectations and $17 lobster rolls. And the prospect of running out three 26-year-old AAAA players, out of position and on the wrong team, is hilarious, cruel, and perfectly inexplicable.
Of course, no article about the Mets outfield would be complete without referencing Sandy’s many jokes this offseason. In this version, the Mets GM is likened to an over the hill and out of touch comedian who showed up five years too late for his Last Comic Standing audition. There was that, and then this little nugget… Alderson’s jokes are evil.
The Wilpons caught some grief too. To Fennessy they are just wealthy men – overgrown children really – who like to buy expensive toys just so they can break them.
But make no mistake, this was all about the Mets outfield. An outfield that he contends has no upside whatsoever, and that will end up with a WAR of unimaginable lows that will test the limits of terrible.
Terrible job by Fennessy, and an even worse job by Grantland for allowing this to pollute their once respected site.