Oh good: the tabloids have already started “Mets are doomed” hysteria

Associated Press

I said in the recaps this morning that, given the Mets 2-4 start, “you know the tabloids are gonna start poking pretty soon.” Little did I know that they had already started. The first baseball article I read today came from Kevin Kernan at the New York Post and it’s a classic of the “Oh my God, the Mets are doomed” variety.

The first line is “Welcome to Terry Collins’ nightmare.” That “nightmare” is the Mets not being off to a good start. Six games, apparently, is the stuff of nightmares.

It goes on to the next telltale sign of a good inducing-Mets-panic piece: quotes from an anonymous scout. This one saying that Steven Matz — who had a bad start last night — should be sent to the minors. Look at the stunning and precise professional insight on display here:

“He looks like a young guy who needs a month in Triple-A to clean up some things,’’ one veteran scout at the game told The Post.

“Clean up some things.” For a guy who hadn’t pitched in nine days. That’s what led to the headline “Scout calls for Steven Matz’ demotion as Collins’ worries grow.” And I’m sure that quote came in the service of a total professional breakdown of Matz’ current state and wasn’t a casual comment in the course of a conversation with a buddy ballwriter during a night game that was already going poorly. Indeed, all good scouting work comes from the pressbox. In other news, anonymous scout quotes are about as lazy an appeal to authority as there is. In this context they may as well be “my friend says . . . ”

I have no idea if the Mets season is going to be good or bad, but believe it or not, teams which start slowly in their first five or six games are not ALWAYS doomed. The 2015 Mets started out 2-3, for example. Then they ripped off an 11-game winning streak. Then they sucked for a while. Then they got better. Then they won the pennant. It’s a long season.

Either way, I feel like, perhaps, Terry Collins’ “nightmares” are being somewhat overstated in the interest of freaking out Mets fans and selling some newspapers.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.