In looking at the big picture, what has Mets GM Sandy Alderson really accomplished since the end of the season?
Terry Collins, whom his staff disparaged in an article ripe with anonymous, scathing comments, was removed as manager and given a new position as special assistant to the general manager. Collins officially accepted the job this morning.
ALDERSON: No meaningful change so far. (AP)
With the collapse of the pitching staff caused mostly by injuries, pitching coach Dan Warthen’s job was tenuous. His imminent departure became official this morning, but like Collins, Warthen was offered another job in the organization.
What is this? Keep your friends close but your enemies closer? If Collins and Warthen were so bad – each had faults but neither was the root of the Mets’ collapse – then why were they kept on?
My guess is that by giving them new jobs, they wouldn’t be in the position to publicly rip Alderson. Keeping them on insulates the general manager.
Neither Collins nor Warthen lit a fire under Mets’ fans like trainer Ray Ramirez, who was fired today one week after Alderson said he was staying.
Ramirez took a lot of heat for the Mets’ run of injuries over the past several seasons, but he was clearly not responsible for the pitching staff’s three most significant injuries.
When Matt Harvey struggled finding his velocity this spring following thoracic outlet surgery, Warthen said he wouldn’t regain his full strength until the end of May. However, with Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler not ready, the Mets pushed Harvey’s return.
That’s on Alderson, not Ramirez.
Then there was the Noah Syndergaard fiasco. Syndergaard bulked up in the offseason – not under Ramirez’s guidance and unbeknownst to Alderson and Warthen – and added 17 pounds with the hope of lasting longer in games. Syndergaard complained of soreness in his arm which was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis.
Syndergaard refused an MRI then sustained a partially torn lat muscle which prompted the gem from Alderson, “I can’t tie him down and throw him in the tube.’’
That was Alderson’s call, not Ramirez’s.
Finally, there was Jeurys Familia’s blood clot, which some tried to pin on overuse by Collins. However, there was being away from spring training for the WBC followed by his suspension. Perhaps after that, he was rushed back, but Collins doesn’t make those decisions.
Also training on his own was Yoenis Cespedes, who played in only 81 games.
The thing about Ramirez’s job is he doesn’t diagnose the serious injuries. Ramirez’s staff and the conditioning staff remained intact, as were the Mets’ medical staff. Ramirez is far from perfect, but he’s been made a fall guy.
Today’s purge also included bench coach Dick Scott, first base coach Tom Goodwin and bullpen coach Ricky Bones. Staying on will be Kevin Long, Pat Roessler and Glenn Sherlock, which tells you the incoming manager will be assigned part of his staff.