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.