By Michael Sutter
After 10 games, the New York Mets sat at 7-3. The team was in first place and 1.5 games ahead of the Washington Nationals. Fans were happy about the team’s hot start. The starting rotation looked sharp and the offense was producing. The team’s new identity of dominant starting pitching and power hitting looked to be a success.
Since beating the Marlins 9-8 in extra innings on April 13, the team has gone 6-12, including an abysmal 1-10 stretch. It’s only May and there’s plenty of baseball left to play, but fans are furious. With a fully healthy starting rotation and better-than-ever lineup, this team had lofty expectations heading into the season. Who’s to blame?
Most fans blame team trainer Ray Ramirez. Ramirez has been under constant scrutiny since taking the head trainer job in 2004 due to seemingly constant injury mismanagement. Eight players are on the DL including face of the franchise David Wright and star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Elite pitcher Noah Syndergaard is also on the DL.
Mets manager Terry Collins, set to retire after the season ends, has also faced criticism for the underperforming team for player and bullpen mismanagement. Collins has been criticised in the past for overusing relief pitchers and keeping valuable young talent benched in favor of veterans.
Young outfielder Michael Conforto had been kept on the bench until recent injuries and Jose Reyes’ poor start to the season forced Collins to act. Conforto responded by batting .347 with 7 HR and an OPS of 1.104.
Baseball is a team sport and almost everyone on the team deserves at least a little bit of the blame. Regardless, it’s time for the team to start making changes. The Wilpons need to remember that losing teams won’t fill Citi Field the way the 2015 pennant-winning squad did.