MLB will showcase, at least in theory, its best for the next week to 10 days. The World Series doesn’t usually pair the two best teams, depending on definition, but it does pair the two that are playing best at the moment. And it’s got all the stakes that matter. Whatever the participants, it’s supposed to showcase the best the sport has to offer—the randomness of who that night’s hero will be, the drama, the decisions we can debate for weeks if not years, the pop of the big moments, the skill on display among the highest tension.
But it’s good to appreciate that by also appreciating the clear relief of these two teams in comparison to those that have mud in their tires. LIke the Mets.
Whatever we think of the Braves and Astros, both inside and outside the organizations, the rosters are well built. You can chide the Astros all you want, but they’ve added Kyle Tucker, Yordan Alvarez, and every starter they’ll use in this series (likely, though Zack Greinke might start) onto the team since their last World Series. The Braves have their own homegrown stars, and when they lost Ronald Acuna Jr. and saw the rest of the outfield have to go away either through allegedly being a ghoul (Marcel Ozuna) or just putting up goofus production, their GM was able to wheel and deal for Joc Pedersen, Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall, and current playoff Galactus Eddie Rosario.
Meanwhile, the Mets can’t even pick the guy who could possibly do this for them one day. The Mets GM search is closing hard on the outside to nip Tottenham’s managerial search from the summer as most slapstick.
They were immediately rebuffed by Theo Epstein, David Stearns, and Billy Beane. In some circles it was a foregone conclusion that Epstein would want to take the job, with Steve Cohen’s millions at his disposal and Cohen’s desperation to change the rep of the Mets. Guess he wasn’t all that desperate.
The Mets haven’t found anyone from the B-List to take their money either. Giants GM Scott Harris didn’t want to move up the chain and/or across the country to be President of Baseball Ops for the Mets, preferring to still answer to Farhan Zaidi.
We’re only about two weeks from the offseason, and though that offseason could be tethered to the radiator thanks to a lockout, there’s still going to be a couple weeks between the end of the World Series and that possible lockout. And it is a possibility, though a farfetched one, that negotiations in November could at least be positive enough to avoid a lockout on December 2, and the old rules would still apply. The Mets need someone in that chair.
Or at least someone in that chair who isn’t Sandy Alderson. He’s rumored to be the problem, not only by miraculously turning the “Mets” name into a bigger figure of fun than it already was with all that’s happened, but possibly by also installing his son as an assistant GM. It could be that candidates aren’t exactly dying to insert themselves between those slices of bread where they could get brained from either side.
Or it could be that any candidate for president doesn’t want his loudmouth boss going off on Twitter about the team he’s assembled, as Cohen did last season. Or maybe what Cohen has promised to anyone he’s been able to talk to doesn’t really position anyone to be the East Coast Dodgers. We’re still in a world where the Yankees want to duck the luxury tax, after all.
Or maybe it’s both, along with simply not wanting to clean up this mess. They always say there are only 30 of these jobs and anyone who can grab them will do so with glee. The Mets, as is their way, are here to prove that they can defy any perceived normality.