The New York Mets are seen as the struggling and often helpless brother of the two New York baseball teams. Well, it’s hard to compete with the Baby Bombers of the Bronx, but we can all admit that Yankee Stadium and it’s short porch in right field is a joke.
The Mets are off to just above a .500 start to the season, and although only a few star players are on the DL—unlike in years past when half of the team was on the list—the team is up to its usual inability to play baseball.
Mets gonna Met, right?
The first case was starting pitcher turned relief pitcher, Matt Harvey. If you’re still watching 2012 highlights of The Dark Knight, you might be surprised as to why he’s included in this article. Well, welcome to 2018, where I think kids have finally stopped eating Tide Pods and that kid who yodeled in Walmart is more successful than I’ll ever be. And Matt Harvey is bad.
He started the season with a 0-2 record and a 7.00 ERA after four starts. So the Mets, thinking it would be a good idea since, you know, other teams do it, sent Harvey into the bullpen. I feel like the bullpen has become timeout for starting pitchers who are declining. Like is it a short-term rehab stint or something? Hey, instead of throwing—hopefully—six to seven innings in a game, we’ll put you in during the seventh or eighth inning with the game on the line and skyrocket your stress level.
So Harvey trudged along to the bullpen to hang out with his new friends. In his first bullpen appearance of the season for the Mets, Harvey allowed two hits and an earned run over two innings pitched. After the game, he refused to talk to the media.
A few weeks and three more relief appearances later, on May 4th the Mets announced they would be designating Harvey for assignment—better known as getting “DFA’d” as the cool kids say.
For some reason, all I can picture is Harvey with general manager Sandy Alderson, assistant GM John Ricco, manager Mickey Callaway, and pitching coach Dave Eiland stomping his feet and crossing his arms and saying “I won’t go! You can’t make me!” when he was told they were sending him down to the minors.
Side note: I’m not sure what level Harvey would end up in, but Tim Tebow is playing for the Mets double-A affiliate, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, right now, and Harvey could have totally played on the same team as a washed-up NFL quarterback who couldn’t throw in the pros but ended up as an outfielder. Go figure.
Anyway, Harvey was DFA’d on May 8th and picked up by the Cincinnati Reds, who just recently won their 13th game of the season. The Reds will be looking up at the rest of the National League Central throughout the 2018 season. The Mets received catcher Devin Mesoraco, and the Reds have already put Harvey in their starting rotation.
So I guess Harvey got what he wanted in the end?
Then—AND THEN—during a game against the Reds a week ago—everyone wave hi to Matt Harvey and his new team—the Mets batted out of order and got penalized for it.
I’m sorry, HOW DO YOU BAT OUT OF ORDER IF YOU’RE A PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL TEAM?
Another side note: I managed my high school’s baseball team for two years and kept the book, which meant I had to write down subs and make sure I had everyone in the right order. Every once in a while, the home plate ump would ask me what the change was, and I had to give him the correct sub. (That was assuming our coach actually told me the sub because there were a few times he didn’t and I had to figure it out myself.)
Also, it happened in the first inning. They batted out of order in the first inning. This is so Mets.
The umpires got the wrong lineup cards prior to the game, which caused this whole snafu. Wilmer Flores was supposed to hit second, and Asdrubal Cabrera was supposed to hit third. Seems simple enough, right? But the lineup card given to the umps had Cabrera second and Flores third. Cabrera hit a double, and the Reds interim manager—yeah, the Reds fired their manager not even a month into the season—called the Mets out on the mistake.
Jay Bruce, who was due up after Cabrera was penalized and called out even before his at-bat because of the Flores/Cabrera confusion. Because of those silly baseball rules, 6.03(b)(3) to be exact—the ones that are actually written down:
When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and the defensive team appeals to the umpire before the first pitch to the next batter of either team, or before any play or attempted play, the umpire shall (1) declare the proper batter out; and (2) nullify any advance or score made because of a ball batted by the improper batter or because of the improper batter’s advance to first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter or otherwise.
But at least after the mix-up, the lineup reverted back to what it should have been—and was, depending on who received the cards—as Flores hit second for the rest of the game while Cabrera hit third.
Who knows if the Mets can outdo themselves during the rest of the season. I mean, it’s only May, so this could all go down the rabbit hole if the Mets can’t figure out how to play professional baseball. And stop making little league mistakes.