Photo Credit: AP/Kathy Willens
Don’t fall into the trap, folks.
Everywhere you look, you’ll see huge portions of the fanbase turning against Noah Syndergaard.
Syndergaard made the wrong type of headlines the other day, when it was reported that the right hander prefers to pitch to Tomas Nido, and was “livid” when he saw he was paired up with Wilson Ramos on Sunday.
As we speak, fans all over the internet are getting riled up. They are calling in to sports talk radio shows or ranting at the water cooler at work. I’m sure you’ve seen the sentiments.
“Noah should shut up and pitch.”
“Who is he to demand a personal catcher?”
“He’s immature and selfish.”
What I would like to say, is that this could have been avoided. Easily.
You may remember that this is not the first time we are dealing with this personal catcher saga this year.
I’d like to share a quote from Mickey Callaway from July 2nd, when the Mets vowed to pair Syndergaard and Nido together publicly.
“With what we’re trying to do with Syndergaard, keeping the ball down, Nido is a good complementary catcher for him,” Callaway told the Post. “He receives the ball down better, so it’s something we have to continue to do.”
Ok. So the Mets paired Syndergaard together with Nido and even provided a reason why to the press. How did that work out for the Mets?
Well, in five starts after the All-Star break with Nido behind the plate, Syndergaard posted a 1.78 ERA and didn’t allow a homerun. Hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right?
Well, on August 10th, before a Saturday night game with the Nationals in which the Mets were trying to extend their winning streak to 8 games, Callaway paired Syndergaard with Wilson Ramos.
“That is not the case at this point,” Callaway said of Syndergaard feeling more comfortable throwing to Nido. “Everything changes, you always have to change with the circumstances. I think the circumstances are such right now that he feels confident no matter who’s catching him. That allows us to be the best team we can be offensively.”
Does Noah Syndergaard have his faults? Absolutely. Is one of his faults being a bad pitcher. Absolutely not!
When on his game, Noah Syndergaard is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. Guess what? The Mets had discovered how to put Noah Syndergaard back on his game! They let him get in a groove and then paired him back up with Wilson Ramos.
Do me a favor. Scroll back up and read the last Mickey Callaway quote. Is it just me, or does it sound like Syndergaard is being punished?
Syndergaard pitching to Ramos:
– 5.09 ERA, .732 OPS
Syndergaard pitching to Nido:
-2.45 ERA, .614 OPS
What am I missing here?
I’m well aware that Tomas Nido is not an offensive threat by any means. I’m also well aware that Brodie Van Wagenen tendered a contract to Travis d’Arnaud for 3 million dollars, and then cut him weeks later, effectively paying him six figures per at bat.
The Mets chose Tomas Nido. Remember that.
Wilson Ramos is one of the best hitters on the Mets. He’s been a constant source of offense for the team as they’ve tried to stay afloat in the NL Wildcard race.
The Mets made a decision to prioritize offense over defense. By doing that, they put Syndergaard in a less than ideal situation.
Here’s where some of the fan arguments arise.
“Jacob DeGrom can pitch with Ramos, why can’t Noah?”
“Syndergaard is putting himself above the team.”
Maybe I’m biased, but I don’t think Syndergaard is being selfish. I believe that he’s a competitor who wants to win. (If you watched him pitch in the postseason, how could you argue that?)
Given his body of work, I’m downright flabbergasted when he struggles on the mound. He is looking for answers just like us.
So, I’m not ready to kill Syndergaard for having what he thought was a private conversation about his battery mate. I can’t kill him because it’s not the first time the conversation has been had. In fact, THE METS AGREED WITH HIM AND MADE ADJUSTMENTS BASED ON THAT CONVERSATION!
The Mets decided to reverse course on the fly, and leave Syndergaard to deal with the fallout.
The cat’s out of the bag now. Someone leaked that conversation. The result? A good portion of the fanbase have turned against Syndergaard. If they decide to trade him, a good portion of the fanbase will now be on board.
So, I’ll close with this. IF the Mets decide to move Syndergaard, they’ll spend another decade trying to replace him. At least.
Please don’t vilify Noah Syndergaard for the dysfunction of the Mets.