I never thought that I would cite Tom Glavine to make a point … but I’m going to cite Tom Glavine to make a point. I know Glavine is the author of the “disappointed not devastated” line, and we’re all still pretty upset at him because he was probably a spy all along. But go with me on this one. Hold my hand as we go over the cliff …
Though some of the details escape me, I remember clearly a New York media type talking about how he either went on the radio or said in print about how much the Mets are dogging it, aren’t trying, have no effort … so on and so forth. Tom Glavine took this reporter/radio host aside and said to him (paraphrasing) “look, go ahead and talk about how much we suck, that we’re not talented, that we can’t play the game to save our lives. But don’t say we’re not trying. That’s an insult to the guys in the room that put a ton of time preparing each and every day.”
I bring this up today because I was noticing how dead the Mets looked during the last game before the All-Star break. It’s easy to wonder if this team, or any team that plays sickly during a game can “not be giving effort”. Sometimes, another team can make you look disinterested just by playing better than you. And if enough teams make you look that way, than maybe the problem isn’t effort, maybe the problem is that you’re just not very good. Let’s face it, the Mets just aren’t very good right now, and they sure as heck didn’t look good after a 6-0 loss to the Cardinals where Steven Matz was lit up, and Lance Lynn only gave up three hits and a walk in seven innings. The Mets were made to look like a team protecting its wounded hyde with its tail between its legs.
In this case though, and I know it will sound weird, but I’m not sure how this team doesn’t look like that. All the injuries that they’re told “fight through, fight through, nobody feels sorry for you”, and then they hear that Brandon Nimmo has a collapsed lung? I’m not saying that made this team finally give up and lay down and die, but to have a collapsed lung on top of everything else, how can a team not throw up its hands and think “what the hell is next?” I’d be morose too.
So Terry Collins, the manager of the team, gave the Mets a little challenge post game, and questioned the effort of the team:
“If you’re looking at one of the things that’s got to happen during the break, we’ve got to get some energy back,” Collins said. “We’re not playing with much energy right now and I’m hoping that the rest will help out.”
He declined to comment further, only saying, “I’m just telling you we need to get some energy.”
Now to the best of my recollection, every time Terry has gone to that whip, the team pretty much agreed with him and responded favorably. This time, something very interesting has happened. This time, a player disagreed with him and put his name … Jay Bruce … to it:
“I don’t see it,” Bruce said. “That’s his opinion, and I respect that he thinks that, but I feel like we have a group of guys who go about their business pretty professionally and pretty consistently.”
Well it’s not exactly the team turning in their jerseys for Rudy, but I’ll take it.
I don’t want to drum up any controversy, but it’s interesting that now there is some pushback. Has Terry Collins gone to the same whip one too many times? Sure, I think even with all the injuries this team has underachieved a little bit. But is it a lack of effort or energy? Even as lackluster as they looked on Sunday, I think Tom Glavine might be right. I honestly think that all of the injuries and all of the losing has this team physically and mentally worn out and there just isn’t a next gear at this moment. I know Terry Collins doesn’t want to seem like he’s raising the white flag on the season, and he knows the clubhouse better than I do. But I wonder if his voice is getting stale at this point. For the first time, somebody finally said “wait a minute, we’ve been through a lot here and I think I need to defend the guys in the room because they’re trying their best.” So while Collins may know the clubhouse better than me, I’d venture a guess that Jay Bruce knows the clubhouse better than Terry Collins. So what does it tell you?
And what does it say about the second half? Will Bruce’s innocuous quote galvanize the team somehow? Or does this team have nothing left in the tank with all the injuries and no length of All-Star break can fix it? After ten years I can finally say that I’m with Glavine. This isn’t about effort. This team just plain isn’t good enough to win anything. Even if everybody comes back, I think the 2017 ship has sailed.
Perhaps Terry’s ship will be the next one to sail in October.
Today’s Hate List
- Paul DeJong
- I can’t even put anyone else on the list today.
- That guy.
- I wonder if he’s heard of John Druce.