Tom's Takes: A Marlins and Braves Nightmare
By: Tom Greer
So, I have to say... if it wasn't for the savior, Uncle Stevie Cohen - I would more than likely be a lot more depressed about this Marlins and Braves Series. Well, it's not so much the Braves as its Travis d’Arnaud; but still - the Marlins have been cornerstones in the years of painful losses. I, similar to most Mets fans... still have nightmares of the ending to the 2007 Season. One of the LARGEST collapses in Baseball history was completed by losing a Series to a 71 - 91 Marlins team who finished last in the division. Of course, the John Maine 'almost no-hitter' was spoiled by a swinging bunt up the third base line. Yes... those are ancient history at this point; but they still cut deep! To make matters worse, if you asked anyone prior to this Season if the Marlins would be a Playoff contender - they’d tell you that 'the fish' would be lucky to not finish in the basement of the NL East! Then tack on getting hit hard with COVID; in fact... if memory serves me right - the Marlins were the first to really get hit hard which
forced them to play 53 games in 52 days. They were also tasked in needing to find players to fill some roles of the 'ones hit' with the virus. So needless to say, fate was not on the Marlins
side. Now however; they are here and they're playing in the NLDS, while the Mets who had ACTUAL expectations...! Going in the lineup are Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Conforto in a contract year, and of course, the BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL - Jacob deGrom. I mean, even though I can be a pessimistic person... I, very much like some others, thought they had a real shot to make some noise this year. Especially with a shortened season and expanded Playoffs. The MLB was basically 'gift wrapping' the Mets a Playoff spot - and they did nothing with it. No one picked them as World Series favorites; but they absolutely should've made it over the Miami Marlins! They finished last in the Division the past two years. Coming off Jeter, just trading away the cornerstones of the franchise Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich (and even though he has problems staying healthy I'll include), Marcell Ozuna. They should've taken out the Chicago Cubs and made it to the NLDS to play the Braves.
This brings us to those Atlanta Braves... a team that is actually supposed to be where they are. The Braves have been a perennial Playoff contender in the NL East which is a really garbage Division; but the Braves... are actually really good. Freddy Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuña Jr, and now the man who is probably going to make the Mets life HELL for the remainder of his career... Travis d’Arnaud. Yes, I said Travis d’Arnaud. The focal point in that R.A Dickey trade who was supposed to be this nice offensive 'catcher of the future' who found himself on the injured list more than in the actual line up. So much so that he was DF’d (designated for assignment); or in other words - basically cut and free to find a new team and opportunity. After a quick stop with the Dodgers and a cup of coffee with the Tampa Bay Rays - he found himself back in the Division of the team he COULDN'T stay healthy for... the New York Mets. How has it been going you may ask? Well, like the Justin Turner's & Daniel Murphy’s of the world... he is beyond thriving in his new home.
I think it was Brandon Nimmo who said it best in one of his post game press conferences, “You wish he was on your team so you didn't have to play him” - Yeah, I freakin' bet... especially SINCE HE WAS ON YOUR TEAM! It only makes matters worse when the replacement that was supposed to be brought in here to be a 'stable veteran presence' behind the plate, with some 'pop' in his bat Wilson Ramos, picks up where d'Arnaud left off, spending his time on the disabled list or striking out on bad pitches. So let's add Travis d’Arnaud to the list of Baseball players that found their careers once they were out of the clutches of the Wilpon era Mets! Let's just deal with the fact that he'll probably be a Mets killer for the rest of his career; or at least for however long he's in Atlanta.
As I mentioned in the beginning... Uncle Stevie is here to cure these wounds! While Travis d’Arnaud is raking for the Braves, and the Marlins being good literally out of nowhere would typically have me feeling as though the Mets have punched a one-way ticket to becoming the worst team in the Division - it is a NEW dawn and a NEW day! Mr. Steve Cohen is here to bring in the personnel and the players to make all of this a non-issue. Trevor Bauer and J.T. Realmuto come on down! Normally the Mets would be shopping in the 'bargain bin' when it came to signing new players. Now though, with Stevie's BIG BILLIONS - they are going big game hunting! Travis is putting up some big numbers no doubt; but we won't be worried about that when JT isn't only hitting dingers. Behind the dish for deGrom, Bauer, Syndergaard and hell... maybe even Marcus Stroman - again, they'll have the money to spend! Something that over the years I never thought I would actually say. So we'll allow the Marlins and Braves to have their fun until the Dodgers or hopefully the Padres win the title and we usher in a new era. Welcoming NEW Evil Empire in New York... the Steve Cohen owned Mets - ready to put the NL East and the entire National League as a whole on notice! #LFGM