Owners...they’re just like the rest of us(?) Underneath the billions and billions of dollars, they’re just fans like everyone else — prone to disappointment and rage-filled rants on Twitter. Last night, the Mets lost their fifth straight game and fell below .500 for the first time since May 5 (huh, 5 straight losses, to go under .500 for the first time since 5/5...neat), and the team’s owner, Steve Cohen, was not happy about it.
Is Cohen out of line with his assessment of the team? No. Not at all. The Mets are 28th in runs per game with 3.78. The closest team currently in a division race is the New York Yankees, who rank 20th in MLB in that category, and they are averaging almost a half run more per game than the Mets. Cohen doesn’t talk about that though. He talks about slugging and OPS, and once again, he’s not wrong about either of those figures. The Mets rank 26th in slugging percentage (.381), and 24th in OPS (.693). The problem most people have with this tweet though is not that the figures are wrong. They’re clearly not. The problem is that a team owner should be more professional than Cohen is being. He shouldn’t be publicly berating his team, no matter how poorly they’re doing.
This is just a poor argument. What? He can’t be upset about his team’s performance because he’s at the top of the team’s metaphorical food chain? No one would have complained about Cohen tweeting something supportive of his team when they were doing well, so the idea that he can’t be critical of the team when they do poorly seems like a double standard. What fans should complain about is how Cohen didn’t set this team up for success.
Jared Porter and those who promoted him obviously put the team in a terrible situation to kick off 2021. Moving Zack Scott to the GM position was the only logical move that Cohen could do to shore up the position ASAP. However, in doing so, Cohen had to know that Scott was not quite ready for that kind of responsibility, despite serving as the assistant GM under Porter. Cohen must have known that he’d have to take some matters into his own hands when it comes to bettering the team. He’d been public about what moves he wanted the team to make ahead of the deadline, so why did he not step in and help make those moves happen? That’s right! He didn’t.
As the Braves and Phillies made moves at the trade deadline to fix issues with their teams, the Mets acquired the struggling Javy Baez. You can blame Scott all you want for that, but at some point, Cohen should have stepped in and demanded something extra, something more from Scott to put his Mets in a position to compete for the NL East title. After all, Cohen is the owner, he can throw as much money as he wants into the Mets. If he wanted to go after one of the bigger names on the market, say Rizzo, Bryant, Turner, or Story, he absolutely could have. Yes, Cohen had already given Francisco Lindor a massive contract, but Cohen also controls how much money his team is allowed to spend. Why not go all-in on more players to help that offense? Everybody knows the team hasn’t been great offensively the entire season. At any point prior to the trade deadline, Cohen and Scott could’ve made a move to improve the lineup, but they didn’t. The team was winning. They had a five-game lead in the division. Why would they mess that up?
That’s the problem with “good enough.” The Mets were good enough to compete for the NL East title, but they weren’t playing to their potential. That’s a problem that needs to be squashed with whatever resources are available. The Dodgers are playing great, but should absolutely be better than the Giants. What did they do? They went out and grabbed Trea Turner and Max Scherzer (I don’t think that Danny Duffy signing should go unnoticed either. Elite under-the-radar move).
The Phillies’ pitching staff was struggling to keep up with the offense, so they traded for All-Star Kyle Gibson. Months before the deadline, the Brewers went out and acquired Willy Adames to shore up their middle infield. That move has paid off wonderfully, and guess what...it happened because Matt Arnold and company saw a problem and made an effort to fix it.
The Mets knew how weak their offense was for months, and didn’t do anything. You can blame the front office for that one. But now Cohen has the guts to call out his players for not performing? Only NOW, when the team has far fewer options to combat those offensive issues? Maybe take a look in the mirror, dude.
If you’re upset with your team, fine. We all get a little too passionate about sports sometimes. However, the Mets are now in a position where they can’t do much to improve their roster. Sure, the September 1 roster expansion could provide one or two players who light a fire under the team’s hindquarters, but that’s relying on young prospects to fix a problem that shouldn’t exist on a team with playoff aspirations. If you’re going to complain about your team, do it when you could’ve actually done something about it.