Has The Confidence Of Some Returning Players Been Shaken?

The Mets front office, purposefully or not, is damaging the confidence of their young players. The likely starting lineup this year will feature players who have been the subjects of trade rumors, mid-season minor league demotion, or work ethic criticism. It is difficult to pinpoint the result of such degradation yet, but it is hard to imagine the result being positive.

ruben tejadaThe confidence of Ruben Tejada, the Mets prospective opening day shortstop has reached peaks and valleys. Once thought of as a capable Jose Reyes replacement, the confidence and subsequent performance of the 24-year-old Tejada has since plummeted.

In a piece written in November by Andy Martino of the Daily News, Martino understandably predicted an end to Tejada’s time with the Mets by the end of this offseason. Martino’s prediction came on the basis of several conflicts between Tejada and the Mets. Most recently, Tejada’s grievance threat and most notably his 2013 spring training appearance, to which he arrived out of shape.

The latter misstep on Tejada’s part was a mistake, and for a 23-year-old shortstop of a New York team, missteps should be expected. However, instead of privately consulting Tejada, both Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson took to the media to express their disappointment. “Extra batting practice, extra this, extra that, doesn’t happen unless someone else is insisting on it”, Alderson griped in a WFAN interview.

The complexities that arise when a player is thrust into the New York City spotlight are well documented. Tejada is currently experiencing everything the media has to offer as his coaches make public his private issues. Now, less than a year later, the Mets are counting on Tejada to open the season at Shortstop, expecting a change. The newfound dependence on Tejada speaks to the Mets’ desperation, lack of a formidable substitute, and the necessary resources to acquire one. The Mets on the trade market are talking the talk but have yet to walk the walk, thus sacrificing the confidence of the players they are depending on.

Bobby Parnell, despite lingering neck issues, was all set to be the opening day closer for the Mets. That was at least, until the Mets reportedly were willing to shell out $12 million for Grant Balfour. The Rays swooped in and Balfour opted to stay near his hometown, cutting short what might have been a Closer Controversy.

The fact that the Mets, according to Adam Rubin, are now “in dialogue” with Fernando Rodney suggests that something is up with Parnell. Either way, the Mets are not confident in Parnell to open the season as their closer and are actively searching for a replacement.

Joe DeCaro of MetsMerized details in a recent article Parnell’s Twitter cameo, in which he notes “the neck is very good”, and that he is “throwing, running, lifting all on schedule for the start of the season.” Parnell’s intentions seem to be in discordance with those of the Mets. Either way the Mets will have to rely on Parnell and we must wonder how his confidence will have been altered.

The same pattern has occurred with Ike Davis and now, after having been booed off the field in 2013 and the Mets having failed to find him a new home, Davis is on track to open 2014 with the Mets. Hard to believe after the months of ongoing rumors fueled by the front office.

Davis, Parnell and Tejada are still young players playing in a very tough baseball town. Their confidence has taken many hits of late and yet all three are expected to preform in starting roles as the season approaches. Little has been done this offseason to enhance the confidence of these players and they will be left to their own devices due to failed attempts to replace them. I ask you the reader, what effect if any will the organization’s lack of confidence have on these Mets players this season?

Presented By Diehards

  • KennyandtheMets

    Come on. These are supposed to be professional players. If they can have their confidence shaken by criticism from the GM or manager, then they don’t belong at this level. I applaud the team’s management when they demote players who aren’t pulling their weight. Especially when a player is out of shape and not prepared to do his job.

  • Raww

    Shaking Tejada’s confidence–would that be a bad thing?

  • XtreemIcon

    “The same pattern has occurred with Ike Davis and now, after having been booed off the field in 2013 and the Mets having failed to find him a new home, Davis is on track to open 2014 with the Mets. Hard to believe after the months of ongoing rumors fueled by the front office.”

    What rumors? That they were trying to trade him? I thought they did try. That’s not a rumor.

  • Mcgrupp81

    What about Duda? Should his confidence be affected since he will likely be part of a platoon with Satin if Davis isn’t on the team come Opening Day? Should a healthy Mejia’s confidence be shaken because he hasn’t been named the 5th starter? Confidence can only take you so far. Davis seemed pretty confident in his abilities when he didn’t think he was deserving of a AAA demotion. If you prove yourself, it won’t matter if the Mets don’t like you because another team will pick you up. That’s the mentality guys like Davis and Tejada should have. I am not worried about Parnell. If he’s not healthy, confidence will do nothing for him.

  • El_Verdadero_Presidente

    If this kind of thing bothers a player, he’s in trouble anyway.
    That said, this FO is tin-eared, lead-brained, and uranium-assed when it comes to leaking stuff that should stay behind closed doors.

  • EzRider

    Is Sandy and Terry calling up all the New York Media everyday. Nope. How about we lay some blame at the feet of the Jackals. After the constant badgering by reporters it becomes a lose lose situation for this front office.

    I won’t entirely scapegoat for any of these guys but there is a lot more blame to go around.

  • NewYorkMammoths

    Didn’t they do self-esteem exercises at fat camp?

  • orangeandbluesince72

    Cleon Jones was pulled from a game so was Reggie Jackson players have to suck it up and go back out and show what they have. If you can’t stand the heat get out of Hell’s Kitchen

  • BCleveland3381

    I guess they can either pout and let it get to them, or they could play like they have something to prove with a chip on their shoulder. Tejada, Ike, and Duda in particular should all be ashamed with how they played last year. They all deserved to have their jobs questioned and to be involved in trade rumors.

  • BarnRat

    OK, good article and I’ll take the opposing side to the first commenters. Performance reviews are not conducted publicly, even if performance is. The FO / owners / manager can’t be conducting their assessments of players in public — their thoughts should show up as conclusions (he’s our guy; he’s gone, whatever). We all work — telling me I’m not cutting it is very different from telling everyone in my universe I’m not cutting it. In my opinion, produces very different results — bear down vs. bug out.

  • jason bay

    LOL,

    These are the sorts of things Yankee prospects have had to deal with for over three decades now. Club Met and the coddling of under performing rookies is over. Tell ’em to grow a pair

    There is a Marine in charge now.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Very well said.

  • BarnRat

    Sorry Kenny, I’m not with you here. Criticism and public criticism are hugely different. The first tends to create focus; the second more anxiety than focus. We need focus (and talent!). And all of us should remember, these guys are professionals because they get paid, but they’re all 20-somethings. Closer to teens than professionals in most other endeavors.

  • Bail4Nails

    I agree that this adds to the poor reputation that Mets ownership has earned. When you are not a contender, the last thing you need is a reputation for publicly bashing your players, especially when you’re trying to sign FA’s to become a contender.
    That being said, there are players who deal with adversity (Murphy, Satin, EY), and players who whine to their father, complain about demotions, blame the ballpark, threaten to file grievances, and take their opportunities for granted (Davis and Tejada)
    The same rule that applies to the organization also applies to each player. YOUR REPUTATION IS EVERYTHING!

  • Welcome to MMO, Dylan, and congrats on your debut post with us!

  • Dylan Blanke-White

    Thank you! My debut post actually came a few days ago, this here is my second.

  • BCleveland3381

    I don’t mind calling out players that stink. But I don’t like the constant talk about platooning or limiting Lagares. That’s just stupid. This kid absolutely turned around our OF last season with his game changing defense. He did enough to earn the job offensively considering he hit .246 as a rookie. Give the guy a chance to improve by giving him a show of confidence. Especially when the other option is either Chris Young or EY.

    Lagares earned the job, give it to him. If he has the everyday job and it’s June 1st and he’s hitting .180, ok fine, start dropping his playing time. But to start the year, the job should be his every day.

  • sperry

    Seriously this. Too much confidence in Tejada led to him being complacent and taking an enormous step back. If this doesn’t motivate him than good luck finding someone else willing to employ a singles hitter with overrated defense.

  • BarnRat

    B — a point I tried to make in another comment: If we want them to perform, they need to have their feet held to the fire by the FO, and they are inevitably subject to fan reaction, but torquing that by having the FO encourage public emotion against them seems counter to me.

  • Waz0787

    Young is getting 7 mil. He will start opening day. Tejada is not even average. He has no power, his defense is questioned. I don’t care his confidence gets affected he plays professional baseball.

  • BarnRat

    I’m not cool enough to say THIS, but this.

  • metsfaninparadise

    Just wait til they get to arbitration.

  • jason bay

    This FO is very tight lipped about trades but they cannot help if it gets out from the other side. As for Tejada I doubt that the first mention of his work ethic went to the media.

    This kid has no glaring weaknesses, good instincts and can have a nice Major League career but it’s always something. First he was going to come to camp a month early and showed up after everyone else. The next year he was going to work out with Reyes but Hurricaine Sandy wiped out the apartment he was going to stay in so he showed up 2 weeks before ST. Both years he pulled his quad.

    I realize it’s difficult for the young kids from outside the Country, their family and girlfriends don’t have visa’s so the only way to see them is at home in the off season and the Mets realize that and even hired a trainer for Ruben in Panama but who had to hire a trainer for Reyes? Wright? Murphy? Beltran? No one, that’s who.

    Ruben got a great chance and hasn’t done all that he could to make the most of it.

  • Nolrog

    Yeah, that’s what he meant. Congratulations on your debut post that was a few days ago. For some reason, this didn’t show up on the forums until now. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Weird huh?

  • Taskmaster4450

    Sorry I am not buying any of this.

    To start, we dont know that their confidence is shaken. Ike was one who always appeared to be brimming with confidence. If it is shaken, it isnt because the FO shopped him around. Perhaps the fact that he had 1/2 a season in the last 2 where he was any good.

    As for Tejada, he did come in out of shape. Could the situation have been handled better? Sure. But welcome to life. Many wish they had a boss who would call them into the office and politely correct them. Instead, they get someone who yells obscenities across the office. The bottom line is Tejada didnt come in as he was suppose to and coupled it with a terrible season. He was out of favor with the FO. One thing I will say to his credit, it appears he did all the FO asked of him this off season. Based upon that, he deserves to be back in the good graces of the organization.

    Now Parnell is a total stretch. Let us not mistake him for Mariano Rivera. This is professional sports. If a team thinks it can improve by replacing you, it will. In fact, that holds true for all of us who work for someone else. Parnell is coming off neck surgery so he is questionable no matter what the medical reports are. For him to take exception to the team looking for a plan B (or even a replacement) would be ill-advised.

    The bottom line is this is a professional sports team. Personally, I dont like how the FO and Collins calls people out publicly but they are far from the first to do it. I recall Dallas Greene liked to do that too. And lest we forget George never was above getting himself in the paper by giving a player an insulting nickname. The point is that this is NYC and it is a tough place to play for that very reason: everything gets magnified.

  • LOL We added six writers in the last 2 weeks and I’m getting mixed up. Enjoy a double dose of congrats! 🙂

  • Taskmaster4450

    By the way, the potential filing of the grievance by the union on Tejada’s behalf had nothing to do with him. Tejada made the cut off date for arbitration for super 2 regardless of the Mets leaving hm off the callup list. The grievance was going to be for the next guy behind Tejada who might have qualified if Tejada moved up with more service time.

  • These are grown men. If understandable questions about their future with the team arise because of very substandard performance and these questions hurt their feelings, they should not be professional athletes. That said, there was no closer controversy brewing. There is no reason to replace Parnell unless he will be unable to play and if he is unable to play, there is no controversy about replacing him.
    Also, Vic Black is the next in line. Not a 36 year old with an up and down statistical history

  • BarnRat

    Jason, not exactly sure how to respond (usefully) since I didn’t comment on Tejada. But if you mean that the FO should be dealing with him forcefully, as maybe they have — Michigan — then I’m completely with you.

  • BarnRat

    You should care

  • I think their “performance” or lack of producing on the field probably does more to harm an destroy confidence than the business of baseball mention din this article. I don’t like much of the things mentioned, but that’s the game. But nothing…nothing shakes confidence like bad performance.

  • metsman

    Ike Davis was supported by this FO when the fans were calling for demotion or replacement at several points in time. The fact that they didn’t cut him this offseason after teams very appropriately showed little interest, shows a lack of conviction on their part, but they weren’t wrong in finally wanting him gone. It’s not about Ike’s confidence, it’s about …what the hell are they doing?

  • KennyandtheMets

    Don’t be sorry. I respect your opinion. I don’t like the way the FO has handled some situations. There was no reason for them to be so public about their interest in reading Ike, or Murphy for that matter. A lot of the stuff about their frustration with Tejada should have stayed in house too. All of that said though, these 20 something guys have to be confident in their abilities naturally, or they will never be successful at the major league level. IMO

  • BronxMets

    oh the poor babies who have sucked for the past 5 years got their feelings hurt…………seriously WTF? is everyone under 40 a pansy now.

  • BronxMets

    he is not the first SS to not have power when did ss become a power position wish you guys would give it up

  • BronxMets

    is that a joke? 25 years old is now a kid………….wow…

  • Destry

    I really think a lot of the talk about Tejada & Davis is just posturing. The Mets put out information that they want to get out in the open. Sandy is waiting out the Stephen Drew market because he knows he has the upper hand right now. Likewise, we don’t have to trade Davis and if we release before opening day, he only costs $600k. WHy not wait to see if someone will offer something of value before releasing him? Also, isn’t demanding a top prospect for Ike boosting his confidence instead of hurting it? Trading him for nobody would damage his confidence more. Isn’t saying that we are comfortable with Tejada at SS boosting his confidence? It may well be that it is just talk while we wait on Drew, but its certainly an endorsement.
    Good Article Dylan
    I like to play devil’s advocate
    Dexx

  • BCleveland3381

    GET OFF MY LAWN!

  • LongTimeFan1

    Maybe Parnell is on the blocks or will be once he proves healthy in spring training.

  • BCleveland3381

    Yeah, its fine not to have power, but most people expect defense and Tejada’s was terrible last year.

  • Destry

    Perception IS reality

  • LongTimeFan1

    The grievance for Tejada is that the delay in call up delays his free agency by an additional season.

  • BronxMets

    shutup

  • metsman

    It shouldn’t shake his confidence that they were trying to trade him, but that fact that no one wanted him enough should be of note.

  • BarnRat

    Yes, if you work any any real profession 25 is a kid — actually a Pre-K (and probably sorry to disappoint, but so is 30).

  • Dylan Blanke-White

    Yes. I love Lagares out there every day he has certainly earned it. I’m loving the reports about Satin’s dedication to adding outfield to his repertoire, how would you guys shift the outfield around to accommodate Satin if he wows us in the Spring?

  • BronxMets

    in your world tell that to the 18 years olds defending your freedom…………loser

  • LongTimeFan1

    Totally disagree. One year of big league experience does not give Lagares birthright to a starting job – period. That’s the way it is as it should for a defensive specialist who hasn’t shown much at the plate or on the bases and whose defense can be replaced. Professional sports is ripe with competition for playing time – Lagares has earned nothing but a spot on the roster and spring training opportunity to compete for playing time with others seeking same.

  • mad met

    Yes ..everyone wants a participation trophy

  • that’s one possibility. Better be for something good though. Young, cheap and under control, promising late inning relievers don’t grow on trees. All reports have been that Parnell is completely healthy so this is probably the most likely reason. A veteran on a 2 year deal to let Black get more innings under his belt before taking over the role in 2015/16

    Parnell, Montero and Ike for Encarnacion and a late hotstove season run for Diaz at short? Pinch me 🙂

  • BarnRat

    Good point re our armed forces, and your observance is noted. But don’t talk to me about defending America — and sorry, but my experience still says that we’re expecting a lot in terms of maturity from 20+s exposed to the NY media.

  • BronxMets

    n o we have dropped our expectations fo them half the men in this country are raised by women no man in the house…they are all woosies.

  • Tlagee

    Hey Task, how are ya mate?

    Couldn’t agree with your post more. While the ownership and front office have always put their collective feet in their mouths each ball player mentioned controlled their own fate on the field and in the case of Ike ad Tejada, failed to come through.

    Parnell May turn out to be a good closer but he has not been tested in Important games and has never put fear in the hearts of the opposition. Improving your bullpen is always a top priority. We all want a stud who we are pretty confident can strike out a batter with a runner on third, one out, and the game on the line. Parnell is not there yet.

  • LongTimeFan1

    I don’t think the players should be attacked for what is the author’s point of view.

  • Just to dream a bit:

    Diaz
    Murph
    DW
    Encarnacion
    Curtis
    CY
    TDA
    Lagares

    Niese
    Colon
    Wheeler
    Gee
    Mejia/DiceK/Lannan/Thor eventually?

    That team has a very good shot at the WC if not the division, assuming a bit of luck and reasonable improvements/bouncebacks

  • Joey D.

    HI Dylan,

    Great debut article because it focuses on what so many still don’t pick up on – that creating friction is of no help to anybody and when it is done with indifference it can only work against you.

    I’m not too worried about this being a confidence breaker. These are indeed professionals and if for any other reason, will play hard for themselves. And that is the point. What I am afraid of is that the indifference permeating from the front office is creating an atmosphere of “me” first and the “team” second. Yes, baseball is a game of individual achievement but what we are seeing has become less of a cohesive unit of individuals playing together as a team as it is a team of 25 athletes playing as individual achievers. We’ve see this in the way they conduct themselves as well – it in many ways reflects that of the front office – a “me” instead of an “us” attitude. Last season notice their body language when they get behind early, as if OK, let’s get the game over with and get out of here? Notice instead of a focus on the game we saw mental mistakes due to a lack of concentration? How often would they not carry out the fundamentals and did we find them being out of position in the field? Notice how often we saw post-game comments about being satisfied with their own performances rather than being so upset about the team just taking a loss?

    This is not about being babies. This is not about grown men being unable to cope with hurt feelings. This is not about one not understanding baseball is a business and they are going to be called on the carpet just like you and I. This is about the way an organization decides to conduct itself in the way it interacts with its players. An organization that treats its players with indifference toward public humiliation, being cashed starved and being unable to support them privately (no faith in the team, being kicked in the teeth), the worst thing they can do is create such an atmosphere which encourages no dedication beyond one’s own self – which is exactly what the owners and front office have come to represent in themselves.

    So for those who think the best way to run a business is with logic, toughness and an all-business attitude where inter-personal relationships are stumbling blocks to success, think again. The change in attitude doesn’t have to be personal or altruistic, it can come about for strictly selfish business reasons.

  • Old man yells at cloud 🙂

  • BCleveland3381

    Here’s the problem with that argument. Grandy is our LF. Chris Young is going to start. Sandy didn’t give him 7.25 mil to sit the bench. So now, you have to decide whether or not to start Lagares or Eric Young. You know what you get with EY. He’s a one tool player. He’s fast. He doesn’t give you power or hit for average, he’s an average glove with a weak arm.

    Im not sure how you can defend not starting Lagares after what he did. He was without a doubt one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball. His defense and arm were game changing last season. He had a monster Dominican League season this year and needs at bats to be able to judge whether or not he’s a part of this franchise. You don’t put him in a spring training battle with Eric Young when we aren’t likely to be in a playoff race anyway. You get Lagares his ABs and see if he can improve.

  • Guest

    Bronx, lets be honest here. You are the most crotchety person here. All anyone needs to do is click on your avatar and look at your recent posts. Complain, complain, complain, whine, whine, negative, negative, negative. Do you actually root for the Mets to win?

  • Andrew Herbst

    I think that Tejada and Ike deserve to be criticized for their performances last year. Hopefully it motivates them to bounce back this year.

  • BarnRat

    Yes (my version of THIS)

  • BCleveland3381

    I agree with the whole “posturing” point. I posted on another thread that Sandy knows how to use the media to his advantage and he leaks the information he wants to leak.

    As of right now, waiting on Drew seems to be the smart move. Nobody seems to care about signing him. The Red Sox are lukewarm on him, and don’t really need him with Middlebrooks and Bogaerts. The Yankees may be able to use him as a 3B, but his value as a 3B is pretty low compared to SS. And then there’s us( I don’t buy the Boras leaked nonsense about 6 teams being involved).

    The only thing I disagree with is releasing Ike. I still think Ike could be a great power hitter. The valley fever and ankle injuries I believe severely hurt his production and progression. The valley fever was especially brutal…I dont think fans gave enough slack for that because it was such an unknown thing before Ike was diagnosed, but it can hamper you for a long time. If he is recovered from that, he could be a dangerous hitter. Im wouldn’t give up on him.

  • Kabeetz

    In developing a winning culture you can’t accept mediocrity.

    It’s the right thing to do to shake things up and put players on notice. I.e. Tejada.

    What isn’t acceptable or sensible in my eyes is using the media to bash your players or put on the open trade block. I.e. Davis.

  • BCleveland3381

    To be fair, even if you take out Ike’s production, the mets still have 2 left handed hitting 1B in Ike and Duda. One has to go, they both know it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the media knowing it, too. It’s pretty obvious.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Defending our freedom? Unless we’re back in 1942, that’s total nonsense. Sorry.

  • BCleveland3381

    On a lighter note, I’d like to congratulate MMO for creaming the “official” blog of the mets. That place has become a complete wasteland.

  • metFAN660

    Or…Tejada will take his demotion as a wake-up call and get his act together. Based on his few games back before his season-ending injury, and his voluntary participation in the off-season conditioning program, it looks like that’s exactly what happened. Ike Davis is now fully aware that the Mets value him more than any other major league ballclub. This is going to damage his confidence, or build it up? Bobby Parnell is coming back from major surgery, and I’m sure he’s not shocked or upset that the team is looking for some insurance in case of any setbacks. These are professional athletes…they know the deal.

  • KEITH

    Ike over Duddda anyday. Tejada would be ok surrounded by major talent. A year away from competing

  • Mike

    Parnell’s issue is a physical one, so he can’t be too sensitive about the fact that the Mets are looking for some insurance(as foolhardy as it might be to shell out that kind if money for a relief p). Tejada I don’t feel sorry for. Someone with such a limited toolset should never take anything for granted. Ike probably is hurt the most by all the negativity because from all the reports it seem like he’s a good guy who works really hard, maybe too hard. This might be what he needs, a chip on his shoulder, he always seems very laid back.

  • DrDooby

    Considering their awful production in 2013 and inconsistencies in 2012 already, I´m not sure that public statements by Mets officials can have much of a negative impact on Ike & Tejada.
    If they still want to be in the majors a couple of years from now, they better look into the mirror and look at themselves and not worry about what management, media and fans say.
    Sure, the situation with Ike is going to be somewhat awkward. But a 1bman with a .660 OPS doesn´t have much leverage, so it´s on him.
    And it´s clear that the FO wanted to push Tejada towards a more “want” oriented attitude.
    As for Parnell, should the Mets not target anybody who has closed in the past to avoid any confidence issues for their incumbent closer? If so, I´m not sure Parnell is the right man for a high pressure role. And considering that he has the injury questions, it´s not as if a backup plan is inappropriate besides the armada of hard-throwing kids.
    If Jeurys Familia & Vic Black are pitching lights out in spring, will that shatter Parnell´s confidence with two potential threats to his job in-house too ???

  • DrDooby

    Hi Joey D.,
    actually the situation improved a lot after the first couple of months. Demoting Ike & essentially Tejada, plus Duda, Valdespin, Nieuwenhuis and others along the way did show that lack of performance won´t be tolerated or excused anymore.
    Over the past few years, there were too many players on the Mets roster just happy to be in the majors at all. Too many players also “grew up” without experiencing or expecting winning – be it in the majors or especially at minor league levels where the Mets fielded mostly awful teams at AAA and AA in recent history. Bringing in players like Granderson and Colon goes beyond what they may provide on the field but also in terms of being used to and expecting to win. Also while winning in the minors doesn´t tell how high the talent level in an organization really is, it does help to install confidence and create a winning culture with the major league caliber talent that gets promoted.
    And as for the “team” vs “me” thing, Ike, Valdespin and Tejada have been prime examples of management not tolerating a “me first attitude”. With Valdespin, a fringe utility player who behaved like he was a superstar, with Ike blaming everything but himself for awful performance and with Tejada by being out of shape in spite of being expected to fulfill a key role in early 2013. So, I see no contradiction at all.

  • DrDooby

    That´s the problem. Tejada was adequate in 2012 and 2011. But his defense was awful in 2013 and that has to be there. The offense isn´t as important from a SS – but you need a steady defender in there.
    Offense & lack of punch will keep Tejada from ever being better than fringe average.
    But defense will be the difference between a fringe starter and a strict backup or Quad A player…

  • KennyandtheMets

    Yeah. I never quite got the THIS thing. Lol

  • jason bay

    The Mets haven’t been very cohesive since 2006.

    None of these veteran leaders would talk to the press, it was left to Wright every game. Ownership calling the team ****ty. Belittling and seeking to embarrass the players. Oliver Perez refusing to vacate his roster spot was the ultimate me first move. Delgado undermining the manager in the clubhouse. None of the injured players ever being around to provide that “veteran leadership.”

    The culture change has not taken full effect yet but it is getting there and Club Met is seeing it’s last days rapidly approaching.

  • skyking26

    Maybe now the underachievers have some incentive to prove themselves. Not saying Parnell but it won’t hurt most on this team to work a little harder to keep their positions.

  • Martin

    All nonsense. Especially the things not heard directly from the team.

  • Anthony

    Suck it up cup cakes

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Isnt it funny how quick Alderson is to bash these young players to the MEDIA on WFAN but how defensive and nippy he got when he was being criticized….LMAO…

    Whats good for the goose is good for the gander….Players who have done poorly shouldnt be shielded but the last place you go is to the media to bad mouth them

    UNLESS you are a GM who is attempting to point blame for the reason the team has been TERRIBLE rather than take blame since you are the man in charge of the lineup….More reason why you DONT DEPEND ON PROSPECTS!!

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Uhm Alderson went on radio and said it himself…it came out of his mouth

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    They are young players…this is what young players do they have up & down seasons, unless they are STUDS.

    Parnell was brutal when he 1st came up and he was inconsistent and couldnt pitch late in games. He improved and became more consistent the past 2yrs.

    Tejada was really good his 1st 2 seasons and struggled last year…Coincidentally last year is the 1st year he broke his offseason routine and gave in to Terry Collins demands and came in EARLY to camp….Is it possible that the Mets terrible coaches tinkered with him and forced him to make changes???

    When do you start to blame the coaches and the FO for the struggles of this team they have yet to develop ant of these young guys….Everyone is regressing under them.

  • Rob

    Only the cheap Mets thought Tejada was a replacement for Reyes….we are still looking for Reyes replacement

  • Tommy

    I swear I only read the 1st sentence or two & cannot believe why anyone would write something like this! I swear I am getting so sick & tired of people, especially most that write here (even though I love the site) putting Met management down already! Please tell me one player that supposedly has had their confidence shaken by management that didn’t deserve it 150%! Please give me a break! Ruben Tejada? Lucas Duda? Ike Davis! I am so happy they didn’t end up trading Davis, & hope he starts the majority of the games for them this year, because I feel he is going to be the Ike Davis of old, but why wouldn’t they entertain offers for Davis & Duda? I don’t understand the point of this article even a little bit! Bobby Parnell? If the Mets didn’t go out and try to find a veteran to back him up, you all would be killing them for that! They can’t seem to win with some of you! Amazing! Balfour and Rodney were hopefully coming in to play the Latroy Hawkins role this year! What is wrong with that? Parnell said he loves & respects Hawkins to death, no one had a problem with that! If you want to kill the Mets management, it would be for letting Hawkins go over pennies! This constant bashing of Alderson is getting so old & boring already! MY GOD!

  • Biggle Boy

    Ike had a bad 100 game season. Tejada had a bad 50 game season. Got it. Parnell just depends on his recovery from surgery. But Ike and Tejada being publicly denigrated by a GM who wants to trade them? That’s crazy!

  • Biggle Boy

    “You DON’T DEPEND ON PROSPECTS!!” I agree with you on that.

  • Martin

    Quote him. And how did this shake anyone’s confidence?

  • Hodges14

    Publicly dissing a player who you want to trade is just dumb. But the fact is that Ike and Tejada have both used up all their chances in NY and have flamed out.

  • Hodges14

    Just curious, what is the Davis of old that you are picturing? The .227 hitter with a .771OPS? the .205 hitter with the .661 OPS? I keep hearing about how Ike is going to rebound but he hasn’t put 1 solid season together at the major league level yet.

  • Hodges14

    Sure seems that way.

  • Hodges14

    Not sure that posturing by trashing a player you are trying to trade makes much sense though.

  • Hodges14

    If Chris Young and Eric Young are both starting on this team there is a large problem. EYJR as you mention is a one dimensional player… he can run. CY is a mess. He was worse than Ike Davis last year. CF should be Lagares’ job until he proves he can’t hit enough to keep it.

  • Tommy

    I don’t need him hitting .300, but if he can hit +25 HR & be as disciplined at the plate as he was last season when he was called back up & play solid defense at 1B, I am cool. with that! And I honestly believe that is what we are going to see! (at least more of that than “the other Ike”)

  • Blaiseda

    I can’t understand this. First the fans scream that they upgrade here and there and spend money and trade this guy and dump that guy and when they try to do that now fans say well the confidence of those players whom you want to trade replace dump is now hurt. Jeez can we make up our minds. First of all they are grown men they are in a very profitable but high stakes business. They should know that. Second I don’t want players whose feelings get hurt. I want players who get pissed at themselves for not being better. I want the players who look at this situation and get mad. Mad enough to get better.

  • METS62FAN

    WITH ALL DUE RESPECT FOR DYLAN’S EFFORTS IN CONJURING THIS WELL WRITTEN REPORT, I MUST STATE I AM VERY SHOCKED BY IT’S NAIEVETY BEST REFLECTED IN THIS SENTIMENT…. However, instead of privately consulting Tejada, both Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson took to the media to express their disappointment. “Extra batting practice, extra this, extra that, doesn’t happen unless someone else is insisting on it”, Alderson griped in a WFAN interview.” AS DYLAN PRESUMES THAT WHAT HE HEARS & READS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN BE IT RADIO, TV,TWITTER,FACEBOOK, MAGAZINE, NEWSPRINT OR WHATEVER IS THE “BE ALL &* ALL ENCOMPASSING FACTS. MORE THAN LIKELY EACH & EVERY ONE OF THESE PLAYERS HAD NUMEROUS COUNSELING SESSIONS WITH MNGT BOTH FIELD & UPPER LEVEL LONG BEFORE MEDIA COMMENTS WERE MADE BY TEAM OFFICIALS.
    AS FOR TEJADA, IT WOULD NOT SURPRISE ME TO LEARN ALDERSON, RUBEN & HIS REPRESENTATION[AGENT] SAT DOWN OVER HIS FORMAL GRIEVANCE.
    THAT IT WAS NEVER FILED & RUBEN SUBSEQUENTLY ATTENDED NY MET BOOT CAMP[OVERSEEN BY MICH ALUM.BTW MICHIGAN IS FRED’S ALUM AS WELL] SHOULD INDICATE A PRIVATE MEETING OCCURRED
    DURING WHICH ALDERSON HELD OUT THE CARROT OF AN ABILITY TO BEGIN ANEW & A CHANCE TO EQUALLY COMPETE FOR THE STARTING SS JOB IN ST ASSUMING RUBEN ACCORDED HIMSELF WELL THROUGHOUT THIS ADDITIONAL PHYSICAL TESTING & CONDITIONING.
    AS SUCH RUBEN MAY JUST ENTER THE GATES OF PSL WITH HIS CHEST OUT & HEAD UP AS ONE WHO EARNED A PRIZE HE COVETED & NOT THE HEAD DOWN, SLUMPED SHOULDERS OF A MALCONTENT GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS.

    BASED UPON SOME OF THE 2013 OFFSEASONAL COMMENTS MADE BY RUBEN, HE FINISHED THE 2012 SEASON GIVEN A SINGULAR “TO-DO” FROM HIS HITTING INSTRUCTOR, HUDGENS, TO “BULK UP & BE READY TO ADD SOME POWER” TO HIS ARSENAL.

    UNFORTUNATELY IT APPEARS THE VERY YOUNG UNSOPHISTICATED TEJADA INTERPRETED BULKING UP IN THE OFFSEASON TO EATING MORE & WEIGHING MORE. AS HE WAS NEVER, EVER CONSIDERED A GYMRAT PREVIOUSLY, HE LIKELY EQUATED GYM EXERCISE TO WEIGHT LOSS, THE DIRECT OPPOSITE FROM HIS INTENDED GOAL.

    MOST LIKELY ALL OF THAT MISCOMMUNICATION WAS AIRED OUT BEFORE SANDY AND THE RESOLUTION BECAME “BOOTCAMP & IMPROVED OFF-FIELD WORK ETHIC; WHICH LATER REPORTS ARE INDICATING AS ACCOMPLISHED.
    TO HAVE ACQUIRED A STARTING SS & RELEGATING RUBEN TO BACKUP INFIELDER ROLE WOULD HAVE VIOLATED THE UNDERSTANDING THAT SHELVED THE GRIEVANCE & WORKED THE ASS OFF RUBEN.

    I ADNMIT TO CONCLUSIONING & EXTRAPOLATING MUCH AS DYLAN HAS ABOVE; HOWEVER, I BELIEVE MY PROGRESSION OF LIKELY HAPPENINGS FOLLOWS A MORE PROFESSIONAL MNGT COURSE,
    AS MY PRESUMPTIONS FAVOR MNGT COMPETANCY OVER PRESUMING INCOMPETANCY. A COMPETANT MNGT STYLE IS A TRAIT ALDERSON IS SINGULARLY RENOWNED FOR POSSESSING.

    DAVIS MORE THAN ANYONE IS THE EASIEST TO EXPLAIN SIMPLY BECAUSE IMO, THE METS, CONTRARY TO PUBLIC STATEMENTS DID NOT REALLY WANT TO TRADE HIM, RATHER THEY WANTED EVERYONE ELSE TO FERVENTLY BELIEVE THEY DID BECAUSE THAT WOULD GIVE THEM THE MOST ACCURATE ASSESSMENT OF HIS MARKET VALUE.
    THE SIMPLE LOGICAL CONCLUSION THAT THE VALUE OF ALL THE OFFERS RECEIVED NEVER ONCE EQUALED OR EXCEEDED THE METS ESTIMATED DAVIS VALUE IS WHY IKE DAVIS IS STILL WEARING MET COLORS.

    AS A SECOND GENERATION PLAYER, HE IS LESS LIKELY TO BE BRUISED BY THE BRUTALITY THAT IS THE BUSINESS SIDE OF BASEBALL.
    ONCE MORE, IMO, THIS DAVIS,TEJADA NON TRADE OFFSEASON WILL EVENTUALLY BE VIEWED AS POSITIVE OUTCOMES.
    AS RUBEN’S MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT BULK & POWER HITTING COMBINED TO DERAIL HIS FIELDING WITH A BULKIER BODY & FLYOUTS OVER LINERS; WHILE DAVIS SHOULD ABSOLUTELY BENEFIT BY BEING FURTHER REMOVED FROM THE HEART OF THE LINEUP WHERE PRESSURE TO PERFORM ABIDES NIGHTLY.
    W

  • SRT

    This ^

    Many fans complain about accountability. Well, here you are.

  • Fast Eddie

    Actually, I don’t think Lagares’ defensive skills in CF can be replaced by any of the players currently on the Mets’ roster. Matt den Dekker is the OF closest to Lagares in defensive range, but his arm is nowhere close to Lagares’ in power or accuracy.

    Chris Young is a legitimate ML CF and has a good arm, but he hit .200 last year, which is much less that what Lagares hit (.242). Young has much more power, but that’s his only advantage.

    Looking at the players actually on hand, I’d say that the Mets’ CF job should be Lagares’ to lose at this point. That’s what ST is for.

  • peter

    Its a media driven joke, if anything this should make you want to prove people wrong. In Tejeda’s case, he is making one million dollars this year, if you come to camp out of shape and do not put in the work to get better then you should not be complaining about what people say, especially the people who are paying you. I love Davis and I hope he puts everything together and think he can, but how about putting together a consistent season before feeling disrespected, if that was even really the case. I am sure Davis knows he was not very good and has to improve.

    In general the players have nothing to complain about and this should not make their confidence shaken, it should in fact drive them to succeed, and if it does not then maybe their personalities are not built for a New York market and they will no longer be on the team. This is their last year to prove themselves for sure.

  • Tommy

    Collins & Alderson didn’t take to the airwaves until long after they met with Tejada in private and let their feelings be known! They expected him in camp early, they expected this that and the other thing, and he did none of them! Why? Because he thought everything would be handed to him! I have zero pity for him because of what “the Met brass said about him in public”! TOO F’IN BAD! Handle yourself like a MLB player, put the time in, consider where you are & how much money you make a friggin privelage, and where the uniform of the NY Mets with pride! If that is too much to ask, then all bets are off, as far as I am concerned! As for Ike, I don’t think Alderson said anything negative about him in the press this offseason, did he? He was trying to trade him, why bring his value down by talking negatively!? If Ike is upset because they tried to trade him, again I will say, PRODUCE! This is a what have you done for me lately business! If you are mad about them trying to trade you, come to camp & work your butt off & put up the best season & numbers of your career! Again, these guys aren’t babies……they make great money to play an amazing game & they should know the business! I simply don’t get the point of this article at all!

  • SRT

    Maybe I’m showing my age here a bit but I don’t recall anyone coddling me in my early/mid 20s when I first entered the work force. You got the job done or they got another one who looked just like you – and you were out the door.

    It’s way past time to take the kid gloves off. They’re not teenagers anymore.

  • Kevin H

    I think the intention of publicly calling out guys like Ike and Tejada is to light a fire and make them want to prove they belong here. If that damages their confidence, maybe they should find new careers. As for Parnell, it’s just being prudent. The guy had a pretty serious injury. I think Parnell gets that.

  • Tommy Med

    1) There MLB players. This stuff comes with the job. Enough of this baby crap. Ike definitely deserves the criticism. he sucked. Tejada was out of shape. Your 21-22 and your out of shape? thats a terrible look. he also deserved to get called out. This should motivate the players. Ike should be the most motivated player in the MLB. if hes not. he doesnt have what it takes

  • Tommy Med

    *to ever bounce back

  • skyhappysal

    There has been a difference with how the organization has handled Ike, Tejeda, and Duda. Duda they have been carefull with, knowing that his game rests on his confidence level, but Duda has also shown an effort to adjust to their teachings and he works hard. The other two have been stubborn at times and Tejeda was borderline lazy for 12 months (apparently?). With Ike the demotion seemed to sink in last year so maybe being hard on him works. Different players require different tactics, it remains to be seen how effective they are.

  • coyote521

    Its the mark of an unprofessional organization that doesnt really have a clue about how to do what they are supposed to be doing.

    Constantly bad mouthing people who work for you, even if its meant in some misguided marine-ish way to give them backbone, is a sure sign of your own weakness.

    But The lame jokes and snarky cracks made to the press and in those painful interviews in the broadcast booth, are even more harmful to the new york mets brand than they are to the hapless players who are on the receiving end of aldersons jibes.

  • Lare Clark

    A lame article. This is major league baseball in New York City. These players know that. Sure, their feelings may have been bruised a little, but they need to be tough and competitive and react by working harder. This isn’t a socialist country like Cuba where players are probably spoiled by tender treatment. And look what it gets them! No good baseball players coming out of Cuba!!

  • coyote521

    Big difference between the way gil hodges handled things, going out on the field and making the move himself, and sandy aldersons snarky throw ’em under the bus in an interview routine.

  • coyote521

    A marine with a bus to throw people under, a warehouse full of stale chocolates, and the worst joke writers this side of jay leno.

  • Who can ever really know how much or how little something affects any one individual? Sometimes maybe it’s determined a player needs to be coddled more than usual and sometimes maybe a swift virtual kick in the rear is need. I am of the opinion though that any player that makes it to the Majors has to have developed somewhat of a thick skin to criticism. Though I don’t view public talks of trade as something that will have a negative effect on a players ability on the field. That is part of being a ballplayer and I would expect most players while maybe not liking it accept it for what it is.

  • SpinalRemains

    Oh please.
    Walk it off, Ruben! Get an Ab Rocket, show up on time and ready, and if you don’t produce then too bad. We love the team, not you. If you need to be embraced and coddled then hit .300 & play defense.

  • $14435385

    You hit on two important points here…the first is in the word “apparently” – saying Tejada is “lazy” is based on hearsay – other than Alderson’s comments and Terry’s lame “on-time is late” diatribe, there was nothing to suggest Tejada was dogging it. For all we know it was an old boy tactic to “make a man out of him” by deriding him publicly (which is absurd).

    The second is that there is no consistency in the way players are treated by this regime. The leash on Davis was two or three times the length of that on Duda and Tejada…it seems (by moves made) that Collins simply doesn’t like certain people (or likes some people for no defendable reason) and manages based on those feelings. I have no problem with them giving players time based on merit, but the standards should apply to everyone equally.

  • Joey D.

    Hi DrD.,

    I was not talking about individual players like Davis or Tejada. I was talking about what happens to a team when they feel “kicked in the teeth” or “the front office not having faith in them is hard to swallow”.

    We saw this happen in the late stages of the 2011 and 2012 seasons when the teams that were playing so well, hard and inspired suddenly became lifeless and disoriented – and we know about the ill will they had toward the front office each of those seasons. It wasn’t a case of them still playing hard and losing – they just lost all heart and it showed.

    Thus the importance of recognizing the”me” attitude permeating down from the front office and the danger it creates by the tone it sets in terms of loyalty and dedication. Indifference to the players also means indifference to the organization and then it comes down to playing for one’s self more than one’s team. A little less focus on the game causes a little mistake here, a little mistake there like ignoring the third base coach telling one to stop, trying to advance to third on a ball hit to the left side, being out of position, giving up on a ball too soon, etc. and that costs a game.

    Young kids can learn all about developing an individual winning attitude from veteran players but they can quickly learn about developing a losing attitude not about themselves but about the organization they are playing for instead. And thus, even a little sensitivity to the players goes a long way to changing that.

  • Chance2

    Tejada:  I think it’s fair to assume that SA spoke publicly about Tejada because private conversations were not working.  What we’ve heard so far indicates that the public comments worked.  Being in shape, your play on the field, and your work ethic as a member of the team are not private issues.  IMO a baseball franchise is a public trust – a responsibility for both owners and players.

    Ike:  His struggles were very public all year – in part bec
    ause the organization showed so  much faith in his ability to turn it around rather than sending him down earlier.  This off-season were they supposed to pretend they were not trying to trade him?

    Murphy:  I’m a Murphy fan, but there’s nothing unusual or insulting to a player to listen to offers.  Again, are they supposed to lie or pretend?  Reporters ask.  I, for one, want to know what’s going on.

    Parnell: The team is wrong to look for insurance? They’re supposed to keep their fingers crossed that Parnell, new to the closing role, will be fully ready and have full stamina after such a serious issue?  

    I think we can give the FO a break here.  They’re trying to win ball games.

  • Joey D.

    Jason,

    As far as the front office, it seems things haven’t changed. But just like the Oakland and Yankee teams of the seventies who also shared animosity toward their ownership and even amongst themselves, they had the great talent to go beyond that. Does that type of disharmony sit well with teams of lesser talent as far as them being able to rise to the occasion?

    Or the more important question – is it necessary to have that type of culture coming down from the front office to begin with?

  • mad met

    Well said tommy…. no more participation trophy bs

  • Bail4Nails

    Last Spring Training, a player in the clubhouse was quoted as saying that Tejada “looked like a little pork chop”. It was clearly known that Tejada came into camp out of shape.
    I agree with you about Davis getting way more slack though.
    If, for some crazy reason, these 2 are in the lineup on Opening Day, and they play great, I will sincerely apologize to everyone here. I just don’t see it happening.
    I don’t understand why so many fans still like these guys. What did I miss last year?

  • Bail4Nails

    That’s a very good assessment. The Tejada aspect makes sense. I still wouldn’t mind having a more self-motivated starting shortstop though. Perhaps becoming a bench player could really motivate him to impress people.
    As for Ike, I don’t know how much more anyone can do, unless they have a Curveball Camp somewhere.

  • mad met

    These guys are pros. Wanna win play better .want a job play better. This is not pickup in a park ..candy land is over time to start eanring your money or get shown the door ..

  • mad met

    But its a realy good dream

  • jason bay

    Joey,

    I like the tough love approach instead of the do nothing/say nothing approach one has to employ with the the aging under performer on a guaranteed contract.

    There is a culture change going on in the Met Organization. Something that will provide a standard for new comers to fit into when we start bringing in some longer term people.

    Remember how Roger Clemens said he was just trying to fit in when he joined the Yankees? Ever hear that from anyone coming to the Mets?

    Of course you haven’t, there was never anything to fit into. Now there soon will be.

  • jason bay

    The team has been the same as the prior two years before he got here despite having to slash payroll 33% and having half of what’s left tied up in Santana and Bay and getting very little out of the farm.

    That’s hardly a TERRIBLE job. More like a friggen miracle.

  • jason bay

    By that measure Thole and McHugh should have rebounded now that their elsewhere.

    We’ll stay posted.

  • jason bay

    The new FO certainly showed Beltran respect by letting him make the call on a position change. Ike got a long rope, Mets hired a trainer for Tejada in Panama.

    Time for the lads to toughen up.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Jason,

    Yes, I would take a tough love approach, an all business approach, etc too. That’s no problem. In fact, I hated the old “country club” approach we had for it undermined the manager and created more “favorites” as you might recall.

    I’m just pointing out that indifference and coldness does not bring out the best of performances and I know that as a fact from my own personal experience when a new partnership took over a place I worked for decades ago. There was a change in atmosphere – it was always business-like obviously but there was still a warm and cordial inter-personal relationship with a sense of appreciation coming from those who paid our salaries which began to erode and made it where few us really enjoyed coming to the office.

    But of more important note, it had a profound affect on our work performances. We were not intentionally trying to give any less a professional effort than we did beforehand but our hearts were not in it in the same manner was thus we were starting to overlook little things that we hadn’t missed before and there was a need for more double and triple checking of ourselves. This caused office efficiency to slow down. And we did not the financial security that baseball players do and knowing there is probably another team they could latch onto.

    So that is why I felt it important to note the difference in the effort we saw in the second half of both 2011 and 2012 which was of more importance than the losing records because it was reflective of the dead spirit that came from the front office that rather than helping to further “spur on” the competitive juices of the team, they “spurned” it instead. That is when they all began playing as individuals and it was noticeable.

    As said, I don’t think the proper word to use to describe the damage the front office can create with it’s indifference or coldness is creating a lack of “confidence” in the players. I feel it creates a certain lack of “motivation” not for themselves but as a team which is shared by many of the players. Thus when the question is raised about the team captain not kicking butts, this might be one of the reasons why.

  • jason bay

    Joey,

    I think that the old Club Met atmosphere was so pervassive that it had to stomped to death.

    Some of the troops have been singled out and that puts everyone on notice and that will serve us all well in the long run. Kind of like the way Marine’s get indoctrinated and then have everlasting pride in the Corp.

    No one that over performed got reamed out. Ike and Ruben were guys we were really counting on. Thought we could count on. There are only 30 jobs in the world like the one’s they have (had)

    Both of them appear to be Mama’s boys to me.

  • Joey D.

    Jason,

    We’re simply talking about what indifference to one’s feelings can create and nothing more. That includes but is not limited to the direct and even indirect badmouthing of players publicly (i.e., having a young team yet stating only two players were considered to be the core of the future). Those thoughts stay confidential and it doesn’t take much schooling in interpersonal relationships to understand that.
    Doesn’t matter how much money one makes, athletes are still human beings and only robots can deal with being emotionless. Though I have always been made to feel appreciated at work, I would be foolish to believe there not are things felt about me by those I work under that I would be better off not knowing. That is something it seems Sandy Alderson has not learned. Neither has Fred or Jeff as we know.
    More important, just like everyone else, I’ve also been called in and asked to close the door behind me. No matter if it was needed to be said and deserved, it still hurt. Emotion knows no logic and I’m not immune to my feelings. And I am also willing to bet a nickel that neither is anyone else, especially those who share in the opinion that these players should simply “toughen up” when they get called out by their bosses – not when it’s done privately behind closed doors as it should be – but when it’s intentionally done in public for all to see which is crossing the line.

  • DrDooby

    Hi Joey D.,

    I do not buy into the “loss of morale” argument that supposedly hurt the “runs” of 2011 and 2012.

    Sure, dumping K-Rod and trading Beltran in July 2011 didn´t help. But so did losing Jose Reyes and Ike Davis to injury, plus eventually Daniel Murphy as well, not getting Johan Santana back and an overall lack of depth on the roster being exposed. Still, the – too few – good to solid major leaguers kept performing at a solid rate. But the fill-in players didn´t and the lack of depth was exposed. Though obviously, some was self-created by dumping K-Rod´s ugly vest and trying to salvage something out of Carlos Beltran´s bounceback season before he was going to depart as a compensation-free free agent after the season.

    This was the same phenomenon in 2012 when beyond Mike Pelfrey, both Dillon Gee and Johan Santana were lost for the season right around the All Star Break, depleting an overachieving rotation, that had “fueled” the surprisingly competitive first half. With Jeremy Hefner and Miguel Batista “stepping” in, it became obvious, that this run was going to be aborted, regardless of how well Matt Harvey would eventually throw.

    The reason for the poor play over the 2nd halves in both 2011 and 2012, plus the 1st half of 2013 wasn´t low “morale” but rather a low level of talent on the field on most of those days. Which happens to be part of a rebuilding process where good players are either traded for prospects or let go for financial reasons and merely stopgap replacement players are put into prime roles while the farm system isn´t ready to contribute yet.

    If the 2014 Mets are somehow going to turn into a surprise contender, it probably won´t be because of their “core talent” (yet) but rather because of much-improved depth that figures to give the Mets several valid-in-house options in case of injuries or underperformance, something they have lacked in previous years.

    For example, entering 2013, this was the “depth chart” entering spring training:

    1) Johan Santana (had missed the 2nd half of 2012)
    2) Jon Niese
    3) Matt Harvey

    4) Dillon Gee (had missed the 2nd half of 2012)
    5) Shaun Marcum (coming off an injury marred 2012 season)

    6) Jeremy Hefner
    7) Aaron Laffey
    8) Collin McHugh
    9 & 10) – eventually – Zack Wheeler after the super-two cutoff and whenever healthy Jennry Mejia (also coming off surgery)

    So, two big question marks penciled in and basically just one valid “backup” plan, followed by two iffy ones and the hope for Zack Wheeler and – remotely – for Jennry Mejia

    One year later, this is the depth chart, in spite of Matt Harvey´s season ending injury:

    1) Bartolo Colon
    2) Jon Niese
    3) Zack Wheeler
    4) Dillon Gee
    5) Jennry Mejia (if healthy)
    6) Daisuke Matsuzaka
    7) John Lannan
    8) Rafael Montero
    9) Jake DeGrom

    10) – eventually after the super-two cutoff Noah Syndergaard

    # 6 to # 10 not only look more promising entering 2014 but also there are significantly fewer health concerns entering 2014 with # 1 through # 5, making it seem less likely that # 6 to # 10 even have to be used at some point.

    And having to worry about finding enough playing time for Juan Lagares and especially Wilmer Flores also seems like a nicer “problem” to have for a change.

  • Joey D.

    Hi DrD.,

    You don’t believe the front office left a negative effect on the Mets and that there was not an obvious change in the team attitude the last two months of each of those seasons? That most of them were still playing with the same “heart” or “focus” that we saw beforehand? .

    As you know, I was not talking about the won-lost record. A team that puts on a good show for a half a year and then falters can still play hard the rest of the year and despite what was shown on the won-lost record can take their improved play as an indication of good things to come – a positive momentum for the following one. How many times do we hear about 1968? Or even 1983?

    The team played hard the latter half of 2011? Don’t remember this?
    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/16/terry-collins-rips-into-struggling-mets-weve-folded-it-up/ http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/6974986/terry-collins-believes-new-york-mets-folded-up
    They can look forward to the following season and still play inspired ball on the basis of what they accomplish. R.A. said that. But my point is how could they, with the understanding that the organization was not going to make moves to improve the team, to not acquire that “depth” you mentioned we lacked. That no attempts were going to be made to keep their key important players no less getting others.

    That we did not see. Not in 2011 or again in 2012.

    It was obvious – I remember an August afternoon game in 2012 against the Rockies that Josh Edgin – a rookie playing to impress the organization that he belonged in the majors – wasn’t even concentrating because he didn’t immediately come off the mound to cover home plate on a pitch (passed ball) that got by the catcher. Those types of mistakes that were not happening so often the first half of either season were common the second half.

    The players were upset after Terry Collins made the same type comments again in 2012 as he did in 2011 and he apologized the next evening. However, the fact is he did express his true feelings.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/mets/post/_/id/57472/have-mets-quit-tc-ask-the-players http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/09/21/terry-collins-didnt-mean-to-imply-the-mets-have-quit/
    But Ike Davis, who was having a comeback in the second half, said this:
    “We haven’t quit at all. It’s our job. This is the way we make money. This is the way these guys feed their families, is to go out and perform. No one wants to not do good. No one has quit.”

    Notice – nothing about the concern regarding the team and winning? “It’s our job”? “This is the way we make money”? Again, all about the “me” and nothing about the “us”. Just like the front office feels about things as well. It’s all about the organization and nothing about the individual.

    That’s why it wasn’t the won or lost record that got to Terry Collins both those remaining two months of each year. It wasn’t the answer that David gave in response to Collins after that game in 2012:

    “But there’s a number of different reasons why individually guys are going out there, trying to get the job done and playing hard. … So to answer that question, no, I don’t feel like we’ve quit. I just feel like we’re playing really poorly, and the record indicates that.”

    David needs to be reminded that playing hard does not mean staying at the mound when seeing the ball go to the backstop with a runner on third like one who is playing for his future did.

    This was also a lot different than what some were saying about the team a few months before – about it not quitting. For example:

    “The bottom line is that this New York Mets team doesn’t quit and time after time now they’ve given fans reasons to embody that no-quit attitude. Sure, you may get close to shutting the television off when they get down late in a game, but then you might miss one of their ‘cagey’ comeback victories. You might see some sloppy play in the field or watch the bullpen blow a lead, but no matter how down you get, this team has shown they’re capable of picking you back up. The 2012 Mets have shown that they can do some special things and that this might just be a special season and in the end, how can you quit on that?”
    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/bitterbill/2012/05/mets-vs-phillies-game-49-no-quit-in-the-mets
    Sounds a lot different than what Kevin Burkhardt reported in late September when he said the feeling n the clubhouse was that when they needed to acquire bullpen help to keep them in the race, the front office had kicked them in the teeth.

  • SCarton12

    How many lefties did Ike hit against in the 2nd half?

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    A MIRACLE he wasnt FIRED!

    FRANK FRANK, RAUCH, CARRASCO, MARCUM now COLON???

    This guy is horrible with or without money to spend

  • DrDooby

    Hmm, Joey D.,

    not exactly sure I get your point here.
    So your theory is that players haven’t performed because they have been upset that the FO hasn’t added players during “runs” in 2011 and 2012 ?

    So, had the Mets traded, say, Harvey & Familia for Ubaldo Jimenez while keeping Beltran through the end of the year instead of adding Wheeler in 2011 that would have boosted morale and led to better performance by uniting the team ?

    And even if that’s the case and disregarding finances, would the Mets have been better off that way ? Certainly not now – but maybe in 2011 ?

    In any case, pretty sure that if the Mets somehow happen to be in contention this summer, they will actually look to add talent and not trade major leaguers for prospects. 2011 & 2012 were totally different with massive financial problems combined with a shallow talent base making any sort of move impossible with the big picture in mind. That figures to gradually change over the next years.

  • Joey D.

    Hi DrD.,

    Not sure I can explain it any more clearer than I have.

    It wasn’t a matter of UNITING the team. It was a matter of DISUNITING the team and making them more concerned about their own individual performances. I pointed that out in the way they began to play – not in the final result but in the manner that final result was achieved – sloppy play, lack of concentration, mental mistakes, and packing it in. It did not go unnoticed by the manager in either season.

    We can talk about what doing this or doing that could have created instead but that really only evades the issue of what the front office actually did. All it meant was keeping KRod and Beltran and not getting Wheeler. Few players can balance things looking at the bigger picture of business and what a top prospect might mean for the club a few years down the road like R.A. Dickey did – and even he, being the philosophical one, had trouble dealing with it.

    It’s not my theory, DrD. It’s what happened. Even if one wants to interpret the lack of concentration, focus and mental mistakes in the second half was due to a lack of talent and depth, it wasn’t the losses I was talking about – it was that lack of concentration and focus of which even the manager had acknowledged was happening. Take that with being “hard to swallow” and “kicked in the teeth” and take it from there. Again, these are human beings we are talking about and they have to be looked at in that way. If we were put in their shoes we wouldn’t feel any differently, I assure you.

  • DrDooby

    Hi Joey D.,

    but can we agree that damaging the confidence or motivation of mostly marginal players back then – if that was the case – can be qualified as ” collataral damage” as part of the bigger picture ?

    Considering the lack of finances AND lack of young talent, what was the alternative ?

  • Joey D.

    HI DrD.,

    How about if we agree upon simply that the combination of not having the finances to support the team in additional players and the indifference shown to the players they have is an indication of the possible dangers that exist because it did happen in the past – and with more than just marginal players – we saw David Wright stand up going into home plate as well, remember?

    If we are talking about a team that fell apart altogether because it was a team of marginal players playing over it’s head at a .541 clip (46-39) in it’s first 85 games, does that mean they were playing so much over their heads that they were really more representative of the club that played at .359 clip (28-49) in it’s last 78?

    And during that .359 clip in the second half they had Matt Harvey, a resurgent Ike Davis, John Rauch pitching much better, Bobby Parnell emerging as a closer with a second half 2.25 ERA, Daniel Murphy being consistent throughout the season and not to mention the one who was going to replace Carlos Beltran’s bat in the outfield – Lucas Duda – was injured so we lost his bat for most all of August of which had 12 home runs the first half and yet he was replaced by Hairston who had a good second half – while a marginal player like David Wright hit .258 in the second half and the heir replacement for Jose Reyes saw his average drop 56 points that same period.

    So what caused a team in 2012 as David said had a ton of momentum going into the All-Star break to then do the complete opposite and play so poorly in the second half – besides obviously defending his teammates as saying they didn’t quit – acknowledging the were “not executing and getting the job done”?

    And why was that? Was it because of what Terry Collins suggested which he later apologized for?

    “You’ve still got to play. You’ve still got to play the game right, play like Juan Pierre plays. He hit a chopper down the first-base line in a game [while] meaningless and beats it out for a hit. That’s how you play. ”

    Being “kicked in the teeth” had only a mild affect on it?” It was more a team of marginal players simply over-achieving in the first half instead of a team of marginal players wanting to build a momentum going into 2013?

    Attached again is the full article.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/mets/post/_/id/57472/have-mets-quit-tc-ask-the-players

  • Tommy

    Pretty much no lefties, but I am not sure I get your point? Just because TC didn’t let him hit against lefties made it a good decision! I didn’t want TC back, but the players love him & the play hard, so I am OK with it! That being said, I don’t like the moves he makes, and that was one of them! Ike came back up & was showing improvement, yet you don’t give him a chance to bat vs lefties! And if that is the case this year, we have a solid kid named Josh Satin to hit vs lefties!