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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Another Surreal Night in Panic City

OK, so …



Seriously, how the hell do you start?

Wednesday night’s game was weird before it began, but we had No Idea.

Even before Will Venable headed for the plate to start the top of the first, Twitter was buzzing with rumors: The Mets were close to a deal, and it was for a bat — a big bat. The actual game against the Padres was a sideshow — you could hear the tension in Gary Cohen’s voice, and imagine him between innings demanding to know what the heck was going on.

Then, even as Bartolo Colon was unraveling and Lucas Duda was taking aim at fences, the buzz turned into an apparent fact. The Mets were acquiring Carlos Gomez. For Juan Lagares was the first fragmentary report, followed by something definitive: The team had traded Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler to Milwaukee.

A Post columnist tweeted news of the deal, followed by a Daily News beat writer. The Brewers beat writer had it too. The national guys had it. From the Brewers’ plane, catcher Martin Maldonado tweeted a photo of teammates saying farewell to Gomez. On SNY, Gary and Keith began talking about the deal. Soon enough we even learned that the Brewers had wanted Dilson Herrera but settled for Flores instead. It was all following the script for a deadline deal in the Twitter age.

Nothing was official pending the usual review of medical reports, but those are formalities. And in an age where most fans have a powerful computer in their pockets, Citi Field was no sanctuary from the news. The fans knew the deal had happened. They chanted Gomez’s name, and, in your nightly reminder that we live in times that seem borrowed from “The Jetsons,” they told Flores he’d been traded.

Which led to one of the more surreal sequences I’ve ever seen: First, Flores got a mini-ovation in what certainly appeared to be his final Met at-bat. We all waited for him to be pulled from the game and get goodbyes from his teammates — #HugWatch is how it’s now described on Twitter — on his way to the clubhouse, street clothes and a Brewers uniform.

Except Flores wasn’t pulled. He stayed in the game, reduced to tears. For which no one with the smallest shred of a heart could blame him: Flores signed with the Mets at 16, busted his butt to make the major leagues, was assigned to a position he’d been told he couldn’t play, played it variously not so well and well enough, was taken off that position, struggled with his hitting and was now being traded. All of it in public, in the cauldron of attention and noise and opinion that is New York City.

It seemed unimaginably cruel that he was still in the game, and at the position where he’d been left to struggle so publicly. What on earth were the Mets doing? How had they managed to turn a great story — a deal for an All-Star, prodigal son and potential pennant-race difference-maker — into yet another self-inflicted embarrassment?

The Mets finally finished losing — the ballgame was all but forgotten before it concluded, even though it saw Colon self-destruct to continue a worrisome trend and Duda club three homers to (possibly) accelerate a hopeful one. Terry Collins addressed the media in full Get Off My Lawn mode, decrying fans looking at their cellphones on a game, players getting distracted by the business side of things, and repeatedly noting that no one had told him anything about a trade.

And then, just when the narrative was seemingly cemented as the Mets making an audacious move but being cruel to one of their own in the process, everything changed.

Sandy Alderson — an obviously angry Sandy Alderson — said there was no trade and would be no trade.

Which is where the needle got pulled off the record, and everyone — players, reporters and fans alike — just sort of stopped and looked at each other in disbelief. Had all that really happened?

It did. But what was the real story of the night the Wilmer Flores era didn’t actually end? We’ll have to wait to find out, while accepting the possibility that we may never know. But here’s my guess: The deal was done as described, and both front offices thought the review of medical records was a formality, as it usually is. So people in both front offices started talking to reporters. Then, with the whole world already knowing about the deal, the Brewers decided they didn’t like something in Wheeler’s reports and pulled out. That infuriated Alderson, to the extent that he’s swearing he won’t revisit a deal with Milwaukee.

Do I have that right? Maybe, maybe not. It’s the best fit for the facts that I can see.

[Updated Already: Maybe not. Now there are reporters saying it was the Mets who backed out, over Gomez’s hip. Which might mean Alderson was mad at the Brewers for something in the medical reports, or for talking early. Or he was mad at social media, or the beat writers, or at Buddy for pooping on the carpet. Good God, what a mess.]

Feeling dizzy? Then brace yourself. Because what happens tomorrow, when the Mets arrive bright and early for a businessman’s special against the Padres? Flores will still be a Met, somehow — and can be forgiven for wondering what on earth will happen to him on Thursday. Travis d’Arnaud will be back, preparing for the Nats series. David Wright will be hanging around on the field, doing baseball-like drills that will get us too excited. Perhaps Lucas Duda will keep swatting balls to Portugal.

The Mets will still be close enough to the Nats that we should be excited. They’ll probably be working on other trades for a bat. Beyond that, though? I’m not even going to speculate — not after five hours that were spectacularly weird even by the surreal standards we’ve grown used to around here.

101 comments to Another Surreal Night in Panic City

  • Lenny65

    The aftermath is nearly as ugly as the confluence of events that caused it all in the first place. “The media” leaped all over the Mets and TC for cruelly leaving Wilmer in there to suffer, but in fact there was no trade and apparently TC didn’t really know what was going on regarding that situation. Then he’s getting hacked up for THAT, as if he should have been glued to his phone all night as opposed to managing the game. THEN the focus shifts to how the Mets “blew” the trade somehow and that it MUST have come down to Wheeler’s arm which MUST be much worse than the Mets are letting on and etc. No one knows what really happened but thanks to the internet everyone assumes they do and they jump to wild conclusions re: the Mets presumed incompetence.

    And other than failing to improve the team RIGHT NOW, I can’t fault them for anything. SA and TC have every reason to be furious, as does Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler. The zeal to break a story WAS the problem here, nothing else. It’s a shame, though, as IMO it would have been a great deal for us. Hope they’re not finished yet.

    • Jack Strawb

      “A great deal for us”? Seriously?

      Flores and Wheeler between them are under team control for another eight seasons. The return over and above the salary their team will pay them will easily be upwards of $35 million (and double that if Wheeler turns into a stud), while Gomez is getting $9m per through the end of next year, and likely to return around $15m above his salary.

      • Lenny65

        If Gomez was 100% I think it would have been a good deal, as I assumed the Brewers would be asking for more than the Mets offered. Wheeler is a big “if” and you can’t get something for nothing. An injured Gomez, though, would have been the very last thing we need.

    • rapple

      the mad rush to break the story and the craven expectations of a media gone mad do no one proud and do not justify the brutal insensitivity to the players.despicable. SA & TC have every eason to be furious.

  • sturock

    In other words, a fun night at ol’ ballpark. Maybe next time the media can wait until trades are, you know, officially announced. This was a great media story; it may or may not have been a great trade. I’m kinda happy the Mets are keeping Zack, but this deal may yet be consummated. Whatever happens, our good friends online, on the air, and in print will do all they can to make the Mets look bad.

  • Matt in Woodside

    My guess is that it was a floated rumor from within the Brewers organization that went haywire. They’re willing to trade Gomez for an MLB ready infielder and a top tier pitching prospect who will be ready by midseason next year. Collins seemed apoplectic during the post game interview, and Alderson did seem kinda pissed off. Regardless of the narratives on twitter and the rest of the media, I don’t see what Collins or Alderson did wrong. If talks were serious, the Brewers were still planning to wait on medical reports and evaluations of a guy who just had Tommy John surgery. Even if this was a real deal, it wasn’t close to being done. Friday morning at best. Joel Sherman pulled the trigger way too early on that tweet, and everyone that contributed to the subsequent frenzy was basically just citing HIM. And Flores straight up said he heard the news from fans at the game tonight.

    Regardless, I hope Flores and Wheeler both stay. Gomez is a good player, but IDK.

  • BornAMet

    If we’re talking big bats, Carlos Gomez (in clear decline) doesn’t seem to be the one. I would almost rather have seen them go for Parra with his batting average over . 300 (Hey, he’d be the only Met at that benchmark this season!) CarGo or Cespedes seem more interesting to me than Gomez, though obviously no one’s sure if CarGo’s longevity is much longer than Gomez’s.

  • Lenny65

    If TC was in the dugout making player moves based on tweets he read during the game, we’d run him out of town on a rail and rightly so. Ditto re: things fans are yelling from the stands.

    “Hey Terry, just saw on Twitter that Flores was traded!”

    “Oh, geez. Thanks Joe from Bensonhurst! Reuben, grab your glove!”

    And if SA turned down the deal based on Gomez’s medical report, good for him, as damaged goods are the last thing we need. We can always homegrow those. I suppose getting all defensive about my team is a good thing but man, this whole thing really pissed me off.

    • Gary

      Let’s look at it a little differently. If the deal was agreed to pending medical reports and all of the medical reports checked out, BUT Sandy doesnt tell anyone and Wilmer gets hit by pitch in that at bat and breaks his wrist, then it’s even more incompetent that what went down last night. Once a trade is agreed to, you pull the player. From a business prospective it’s to protect the trade, from a human being perspective it’s so that you don’t put a 23 y.o. kid that’s given his all to your team through what they did last night. Only the Mets could screw this up this badly

  • eric1973

    Lesson learned. Don’t count your chickens before the medical reports are approved.

    ‘Joel Sherman’ and other ‘reporters’ needed to qualify their comments with every comment made. They did not. Everyone knows the medical reports are just a formality, 100 per cent of the time. Not anymore. I cannot think of another trade that was cancelled due to medical reports. Can anyone else?

    • Matt in Woodside

      Yeah but I still think (if this was even an actual deal in serious discussion) that the Brewers would have been considering medical reports regarding Wheeler, who just started long tossing this week. Not formalities with Gomez or Flores.

  • Matt

    I don’t have anything to add to what’s already been said regarding the trade that wasn’t, other than I’m actually glad it didn’t go through. Too bad all the hoopla has obscured the fact that Duda has hit 6Hr in 4 games. Hopefully we can start getting some runners on in front of him. I’m also getting very concerned about Bart. As much as I love the guy, the frequency of these blowup starts is becoming untenable for a team in a race.

    • Eric

      The formula of score four and trust the pitching doesn’t work with a pitcher who’s being lit up for 4 runs by the 2nd inning with growing regularity.

      Colon has taken some well-pitched, tough-luck losses like the rest of the staff, but since mid-June, in between starts he’s pitched well like the old Colon he’s been lit up like an old Colon.

      On this team, the 5th starter needs to be counted on for 3 runs over 6. Colon has crossed that line in 4 of his last 7 starts.

  • The Bilmo

    Wasn’t there a catcher a few years ago that the Mets backed away from after getting the medical reports? He was going to file a grievance.

    • Matt in Woodside

      Sorry to harp on it, but any potentially deal-breaking medical reports involved in this non-trade probably would have involved Wheeler, rather than Gomez or Flores. And this thing, whatever it was, vanished before anyone on the Brewers training staff (or a Brewers affiliated doctor) had a chance to evaluate Wheeler.

      • Eric

        A deal-breaker over Wheeler’s health likely would have been factored earlier in the negotiation process given Wheeler’s current status. His medical condition is obvious and up front.

        Gomez is trickier since he’s been active.

        However, the Mets aren’t trading for 2015 Gomez, not at the price of Wheeler and Flores. They’d be trading for the reward of Gomez recovering back to 2013, 2014 Gomez for this season’s stretch run and next season, his contract year.

        Gomez is playing, so the up front indication is that Gomez is healthy again and recovering. Perhaps the medical reports indicated 2015 Gomez can play but likely no better than his current level for the rest of this season and maybe next season.

  • eric1973

    You’re right, the Bilmo, but the catcher was a free agent, not a trade, I believe. But very much along the same lines.

    Matt, Jason says Gomez’ hip appears to be the dealbreaker — so it’s Gomez. Wheeler will come back next year, and will be stronger than ever in 2017.

  • eric1973

    Boras says there’s nothing wrong with Gomez. Wouldn’t put it past him to sue the Mets for slander, or at least ensure that Matt Harvey walks.

    Thank goodness the deal is dead. Would have been awful.

    • Eric

      Boras is just stating the obvious. Gomez is playing and has been cleared to play by the Brewers who presumably follow standard MLB protocols. The only additional info is that Gomez isn’t playing hurt.

      However, the Mets aren’t trading Wheeler and Flores for 2015 Gomez. They’d be trading for the expectation of Gomez recovering to 2013, 2014 Gomez. And that happening now for the stretch run.

      At a guess, the medical reports showed that it’s likely Gomez won’t be 2013, 2014 Gomez again, at least for the rest of this season and next season.

      Imagine this Metsian scenario:

      Gomez is just okay for the rest of this season and next season. Average. Barely moves the needle.

      Meanwhile, Zach Wheeler’s TJ recovery progresses as expected. He’s up and down in after he comes back in June/July 2016 and is back by 2017 – at the same time Gomez has moved on having barely moved the needle for the Mets. At least, an up-and-down Wheeler in 2016 whose TJ recovery is on track and projectable is a more valuable trade chip a year from now.

      This doesn’t even consider Flores finding his footing over the next 1-2 seasons.

      Trading for the likelihood of Gomez recovering to 2013, 2014 Gomez is worth it. Trading for 2015 Gomez staying at 2015 Gomez is not worth Wheeler and Flores.

      • Dave

        Boras saying there’s nothing wrong with one of his clients (and it wouldn’t matter if he was in traction or had an arm amputated) is as predictable as Donald Trump calling someone a loser because they said something other than “I love Donald Trump.” It’s all about the money with him (another Trump parallel, but I digress), so whatever happens with Harvey down the road is going to be based on who puts the most money on the table. Boras will have picked another 1000 meaningless fights between now and then, this will be long forgotten.

  • Sorry for Wilmer, but glad trade was not done. Gomez is a declining talent at this stage. Wilmer and Zach have much higher upsides, in my opinion. I would do Zach and a lesser piece for Cespedes. Probably take more than that, tho.

  • Lou from Brazil

    I compare this whole situation to buying a house. An agreement in principal is made, then the buyer must do his due diligence via home inspection to be sure the house is sound. In this case, the Mets found termites somewhere (perhaps Gomez’s hip is made of wood). Are we saying that if put in that same situation we would ignore the inspection and buy the damaged house anyway? I know I would be wary of risking my money like that.

    If word got out the Mets ignored the report, imagine the media firestorm if or when Gomez ended up on the DL at some point. I guess all these amateur GM’s out there in the twitterverse are smarter than I am. Other than Flores’ reaction (gotta love the kid, he’s got heart and he’s a Met for life in my book, no matter what happens) this situation played out terribly.

  • kdbart

    As Jim Bowden noted on MLB Network last night, many trades get nixed before they actually leak because of bad medical reports. The media was quick to jump the gun reporting this trade and weren’t willing to wait on the medicals which in this trade were quite important.

  • Dave

    Who has a better long term upside or is under team control for however many years is not relevant; this would’ve been a win now trade, and the Mets have enough young talent to make such a trade, not to mention that their place in the standings warrants one.

    But of all the “only the Mets” moments I’ve witnessed in 47 seasons, this will be one of those I won’t soon forget. And somewhere Lucas Duda is saying, “uh hello? Anyone notice that I hit three…oh, forget it…”

    And any chance any reporter will learn a lesson from this, that an accurate story is better than a fast one? No, I don’t think so either.

    • Eric

      The win-now aspect hinges on Gomez recovering quickly to 2013, 2014 Gomez for the stretch run and next season. 2015 Gomez staying 2015 Gomez is not worth the price.

      I guess the medical reports indicated that 2015 Gomez is likely to stay 2015 Gomez.

    • dmg

      i agree, dave, when you’re in a win-now mode, you make trades for now, not later — and i’m glad that the mets are in that mode. this is the best shot the team has had to win the division in years.

      on the reporting end of this, the weird thing is that the mets’ own website had the story of the trade. that’s where i went for initial confirmation.

      this episode was metametsian. makes me wonder if this was sort of a faux trade — letting the fans see that the front office tried to make a major deal, then scotching it for “medical issues.” and shrugging their shoulders: “hey, we tried.”

      the club has two days to close a real deal. i hope they do it.

    • Lenny65

      I also agree, constantly worrying about who’s under team control and etc. doesn’t do anything to help you win now. Getting a healthy Gomez would have possibly improved the team right now. That said, I’m happy to see that they’re doing their due diligence here. This whole episode has put me in defensive mode, as I’m weary of the constant Mets bashing and the rush to assume that they’re always bungling everything. The idiocy going on last night about how TC was cruelly torturing Flores was insane and uncalled for.

  • Dennis

    I for one am glad the trade didn’t go down as I want the Mets to hang on to Wheeler. I like the fact the Mets are going for it, but not with the upside of Wheeler against what could be damaged goods in Gomez.

    Great quote by Collins after the game:

    “Again, you guys think this game is easy to play? Play it with shit like that going on during the game.”

  • If and when another team trades for Gomez and it goes through, I will assume it was not his medical report that nixed the deal. On the other hand, if the Brewers take him off the market or another team nixes the deal, I will assume it was his report that nixed it. Would love for Wilmer to shake it off and have a terrific last 2 months of the season. Go Wilmer!!!!

    • Eric

      Depends on the price the next team pays.

      A contender wants to rent 2013, 2014 Gomez, not 2015 Gomez.

      If another team trades for Gomez with a package with value on par or better than Wheeler and Flores, then yeah. But a package with lower value would account for Gomez’s diminished value if a return to 2013, 2014 Gomez is considered unlikely.

  • Daniel Hall

    I’m all with Terry on this one. Terry gets his cues from Sandy or some goon in Sandy’s office. He’s not getting them from some seriously well-connected and very important social media-conscious punk who’s reading his dumbphone in the second row next to the home dugout rather than watching a game that he probably shelled out fifty bucks just to get there. There’s no fault with Terry, and whatever has gone on between the GMs’ offices is not entirely clear because everybody’s pointing fingers in the other direction now.

    Bottom line is: Twitter is evil and oughta be burned. Dumbphones are evil, make people step right into traffic, and oughta be burned.

    Keith will tell us in a few hours how baseball was better in the 70s, and how the world as a whole was better in the 70s, and I am very much looking forward to that, and I wasn’t even *alive* in the 70s!

    • Eric

      Life was better in the 90s.

      Setting aside epochal real-world events that followed the 90s, there was just the right amount of internet and social media during the 90s to enhance our lives, but not enough to overwhelm them.

    • DAK442

      Eric, you nailed it. Smartphones are ruining the world. You can’t have a conversation with most of the people in your life anymore, without them checking their stupid phone. I read an article the other day that said over 50% of those surveyed said they would save their phone from a fire before their cat.

      I wish we could put the internet back where it belongs: in a big, clunky box on your desk in the spare bedroom that you look at once in a while. And your office, so you don’t have to actually work.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    The Duda thing is kinda reminiscent of the day Lou Gehrig hit 4 Home Runs, but on the same day John McGraw resigned as Manager of the NY Giants. Duda hits 3 Home Runs at Home but on the day Wilmer Flores was almost traded.

    I guess the only guy who might have felt good about the trade would be Tejada. Trading Flores would have most likely meant that Tejada had re-won the Shortstop job for like the 4th time.

  • 9th string mobile

    “That is one nutty hospital”. Bill Murray in Tootsie. Not an exact correlation, but definitely what was going thru my head last night.

  • Eric

    Stark example of traditional business as usual being warped by invasive modern, alien technology.

    Plus, Colon’s outing and Gomez’s suddenly lowered trade and contract value are why players take PEDs.

  • Steve D

    1) With today’s technology, we either have to adjust to this stuff happening and/or front offices have to tighten leaks. Even so, no trade should be officially consummated by MLB while a game is occurring. Therefore, the media must report every trade during a game with the caveat “not yet official.”

    2) Wilmer crying tells me one thing…keep him. He cares.

    3) I knew Duda would hit that 3rd HR. Wacky franchise…no 3 HR game at home for 54 years, then two in a few weeks.

    • Eric

      I doubt that Flores was exceptional in his reaction. Players often talk about the 1st trades of their careers being hard and, for the few who’ve done it, staying with one organization for an entire career is special.

      Pro teams are both tribes and businesses. The Mets organization has been Flores’s tribe for most of his adolescent and adult life, where he’s experienced his rites of passage. Now he has a better appreciation of pro ball as a business where only the contract is guaranteed.

      If I recall correctly, reports said 21-year-old Carlos Gomez took it hard when he was traded for Santana in 2007.

      The difference with Flores is we saw the player’s reaction in public on the field when usually it happens in private in the clubhouse.

      • Steve D

        If I recall correctly, reports said 21-year-old Carlos Gomez took it hard when he was traded for Santana in 2007.

        And he eventually turned into a decent player. Wilmer may not be alone in crying, but he seems to care and seems to care about the Mets more than others. I bet he starts to play really well now. I read an article saying he feels much more comfortable playing 2B. Just leave him there. I would trade Murphy before Flores.

        • Eric

          I hope this episode jogs his bat awake. Flores’ potential with his bat is why he plays. Everything being said about Conforto now has been said about Flores.

          The Mets looked to add Gomez because the Mets need a bat in part because Flores hasn’t been the bat he was expected to be.

          If he wants to stay a Met, Flores needs to start delivering with his bat consistently. The stretch run of this pennant race would be a good time for him to start.

          • dmg

            it’s hard for anyone to get going when a lineup is as anemic as the mets’ has been. there’s no support anywhere. had flores gone to the brewers, i think he would have gotten his footing and done well.

    • Dave

      Steve is absolutely right, organizations need to understand the environment they operate in. Social media can make a story explode in Podunk, never mind New York, and never mind at a time when the fans are going crazy waiting for a trade. Lots of people need to know when trades are made, from the team’s attorneys to someone in payroll to those who have to do mundane tasks like arrange travel and gather up equipment for the departing player and whoever would have had to have put together a set of uniforms for Gomez (and hey, anyone buy a Mets Gomez jersey last night?)…my guess is that some reporters have connections somewhere in that chain, those connections become “according to a team source…” Different plan of attack is called for.

      I think someone pissed the NY Times off. In today’s paper, the sum of all reporting about the Mets includes the box score from last night’s game, and about 2 sentences in an article about the Yankees possibly making a move at the deadline, and that mention alludes to the Mets “scraping their pennies together” to obtain Uribe and Johnson. Not a word about last night’s game or sideshow.

      • Eric

        Good point. Chains in multiple organizations, plus in some cases, chains with the players and their agents that may rival the teams.

        Tulo talked about being blindsided by his trade to the Blue Jays because he believed he was in the loop with Rockies management. Tulo was the Rockies’ Wright, so I accept he was granted exceptional access to management. But the fall-out in this episode shows why even with headlining stars like Tulo, let alone not-yet established players like Flores, courtesy to the players must be limited.

  • Gianni Privacio

    Interesting that the Mets are getting excoriated in the media for this bizarre series of events. In fact the entire thing happened because Joel Sherman got his facts wrong, or at least reported the trade before it was consummated. Wondering here how he even found out about it before it was official, I guess either some sort of leak in Mets’ organization, or possibly something as benign as the photo tweeted by Brewer’s players on the plane being published before the official announcement? Guys clarify if you know – because that’s the real story here.

    One of the other real stories of the season is the ongoing and ceaseless media blasting of the team. Yet another being, you know, staying in the race despite losing most of their best bats, a couple front-line starters, and several key relievers to injury. Fitting that Sherman is the culprit here given the Post has led the endless attempts to bury them. If I’m running this team at this point I’d basically close the clubhouse. Psychological game here and having players not endlessly looking over their shoulders at the papers or Twitter might help a bit?

    Of course the underlying cynicism of the New York press especially during the wilting heat of late summer is part of our tradition. However seems more than extreme to me this year, more like a war than, er, writing about a kid’s game and last night a pretty decent player ended up being mocked worldwide as a result. While I’m at it, did anyone see the animated GIF MLB posted? Shameful. A player openly crying after hearing he’s getting traded AWAY from the Mets? Bravo, kid, that’s exactly the spirit.

    Who else here hated this trade anyway? I cringed when I read it, my one criticism of the team here, the seemingly endless tradition of trading away young talent for older more tarnished assets…in part to ameliorate the braying or the press, and, in all fairness, the actual fans. Hopefully if Sandy does anything else by Friday it’s a bit better. And I wouldn’t chase anyone and make a bad deal because:

    Despite all of the injuries, personnel and baseball mistakes they’ve made, they are still firmly in the running and without any further trades seems like they will also continue to be getting better shortly, right? Take a look ye keyboard-wielding genii of the failing house of Murdoch:

    d’Arnaud, maybe Wright, Matz, and when rosters expand they will have Verrett back, perhaps Montero, 4 decent catchers on the roster, utility plugins like Muno, Cecliiani, and Herrera for baserunning or late inning defensive replacement giving Collins the ability to manage the game at bat by at bat instead of wondering who’s left at the end of bench. The stars are even aligning here; if Collins can’t pull a Hodges with this crew and the weakness of the Nats, then they at least resolve that question.

    And the players they got, while certainly not Tulowitzki or Gomez, seem like the quietly clutch type of guys that get you in and win playoff games, if you subscribe to the Giant’s recent methodology. Love Clippard’s attitude, hopefully he can throw strikes to back up the bravado.

    So ALL IN HERE. Bright blue and garish orange, or camo…perhaps green…maybe pink on whatever day you…nevermind, you get my point.

    And once again I urge the owners of this fine establishment to utilize their superior intellect(s) to create, not destroy. No, not asking you guys to be homers. Just resist the urge to be sooooo clever and let’s give these guys the push they deserve.

    Two-thirds through and been a crazy year already, actually as entertaining as any in memory except for perhaps one or three. Summation envision if you will:

    • We squeak in on wild card, now picture whoever going up against deGrom in a one game series.

    • Or our Schmets get in a groove and take out the Nats. I know the Cards and Pirates are the superior teams but whoever they face gets deGrom, Harvey and Thor.

    • Yanks are cruising and all the other AL teams seem vulnerable. Now compare the rosters of the Mets and Yankees.

    Back at ya Joel and company.

    • Eric

      As I said upthread, 2013, 2014 all-star Gomez? Worth it. 2015 nothing-special Gomez? Not worth Wheeler and Flores.

      The Brewers are selling that Gomez’s drop-off this season has been due to an injury that’s healed and he’ll recover back to 2013, 2014 Gomez for the stretch run. If the Mets saw indications that Gomez, while obviously healthy enough to play, won’t recover back to 2013, 2014 Gomez for the stretch run, they’re justified in nixing the trade for Wheeler and Flores.

      That doesn’t mean Gomez isn’t worth acquiring. They can revisit trading for Gomez as an average CF with a cheaper package, more akin to the Uribe and Johnson trade, rather than an all-star CF.

      Adding an outfield bat would be good. But I agree that adding back d’Arnaud makes a difference. We can also hope that some combination of Duda and Conforto (who had a rough night), and maybe Cuddyer and Wright add more bat.

      More concerning than the hitting right now is Colon being lit up in 4 of his last 7 starters.

      With the addition of a revitalized 2013, 2014 Gomez, the Mets formula would still be score four – or even three – and trust the pitching to win.

      The formula doesn’t work for a pitcher who’s just as likely to give up 4 or more runs in 3 as the expected 3 runs in 6 from a 5th starter.

      With the Nationals beefing up and facing a schedule as difficult as the Mets schedule for the stretch run, the Mets can’t afford to pencil in an L every 5th day for Colon.

    • Gianni Privacio

      That was the one thing I did leave out in attempts to be positive. Agreed, Colon is currently a liability. Hopefully Matz can come back and contribute. Also to me Verrett looked awfully good stepping into an unfamiliar role.

      Final thought, what I might actually be ranting about is that this year might not be the Mets’ year but does seem like a dream for writers? The Posties are just talentless meanspirited hacks. How about this final feel-good storyline…Dillon Gee.

      • Rob E

        Gianni Privacio…I couldn’t agree with you more (both your posts). Anyone truly interested in fair and balanced reporting must shudder at the baseball coverage in NY.

    • 9th string catcher

      With ya, Gianni. With Colon’s Mets career coming to an end, Wheeler becomes a lot more important. Why give him away for a rental player, even at the top of his game (which is not the case)? In the rotation, the only certainty right now is deGrom. Thor is great, but only a handful of games in his career, Harvey is regaining his form. Is Matz for real? What exactly is Niese or Montero? What we do know is Wheeler is a proven quality pitcher, and I wouldn’t give him up just yet.

      I could live without Flores, and that’s the type of player to send to a rebuilding club, but I’d be more careful with any of these starters.

      • Gianni Privacio


        2016 removing Wheeler from the mix reduces the young-ish mound talent from 7 to 6 (including Niese), and I prefer options.

        2015, and not saying that I’d be planning the future around guys like this, but I do like the oddball little-guy-against-the-world theme presented by the presence of Neuwenhuis, Lagares, Flores etc. vs the more established Gomez. Of course that does nothing to resolve the lack of a leadoff hitter and baserunning speed. Provided he’s healthy…and now another Malvolio in this dramedy appears on cue: Boras.

        Schwing battahs at Faith and Fear, make sure yer Samsungs are charged or Bics got ink cause here we go.

        • Eric

          If – and this is a big if – Conforto hits according to his scouting report, I’d lead him off.

          • Gianni Privacio

            With the on base % Granderson is not terrible but they need a distracting factor up top. Glad, again, that they did not reacquire Reyes. Can Conforto run?

            Yet there are still hours to go. Perhaps Sandy can get someone with a bit of speed at low cost.

          • Eric

            Not a base stealer but Conforto can run the bases well. It’s mainly about OBP and moving Granderson down to an RBI spot. I’d rather bat Granderson 2nd if an OBP guy can be plugged in up top.

  • LA Jake

    Dennis, because you know I must ask, how can TC be an effective manager of this team when he doesn’t know when one of his players was crying/having a strong emotional reaction to something and not have any clue why. Surely that’s something a manager in a 7-2 blowout might notice and check on? For him to claim complete ignorance of the situation is one of the many reasons I refer to him as Totally Clueless.

    • Lenny65

      I have to disagree. How could TC be aware of what’s going on online during a game? If someone has to be blamed, blame the FO for not notifying him.

    • Dennis

      I don’t know Jake……I wasn’t in the dugout. From what I read he said that no one told him anything. Whether it’s a blow out or not, he had a game to manage, not to jump on stupid ass Twitter to see what’s going on.

    • 9th string catcher

      FO put TC in a bad position. Might want to tell the manager they have an agreement in principal and might want to keep the guy on the bench.

    • Eric

      There was either a trade or there was not a trade.

      Flores had a job to do and if there was no trade, it was unprofessional of Flores to act like he was traded.

      As much as our hearts soften for Flores and we sympathize, the harsh fact is he acted unprofessionally. Collins was forced to remove Flores because Flores acted unprofessionally.

      If I’m Collins, here’s what I do. I call Flores into my office today and chastise him for running into the clubhouse to check his cell phone (I’m guessing) in between innings and interfering with his play on the field, rather than following his manager and coaches.

      ‘Wilmer, you know how this works. If you’re traded during a game, Sandy will tell me and you’ll be the first to know. If I don’t tell you you’re traded and pull you from the game, then you do the job the team needs you to do. Don’t ever pull that stuff during a game again and cry on the field and force me to take you out over nothing. Thousands of men would do anything to be in your shoes right now. You’re a professional major league baseball player at the highest level in the world. Act like it.’

  • mikeL

    totally weird all around.
    yea, really felt for wilmer needing to weep and being put out there in the crosshairs of
    a 1000mm broadcast lens.
    total screwup by the organizstion regardless of the after the fact storyline.
    yes wilmer cares. i hope he siezes on this opportunity to stay.
    would also let murph go now that 3B may soon be doubly covered.

    poor duda. he’s farrah faucett to michael jackson’s gomezgate. looks like he’s ready to go on a tear (beyond the one he’s already on.

    still stoked but hope sandy has something good in the works for an impact bat.

    now, who can we slot into the rotation? colon looks quite done.

    • Eric

      Flores shares the blame.

      He acted unprofessionally on the job.

      Flores knows the standard protocol as well as we do. If he’s traded mid-game, the front office tells the manager and the manager pulls him out.

      Instead of relying on standard protocol and following his chain of command with his manager and coaches, Flores reacted to the crowd by (apparently) running into the clubhouse to check the news on his cell phone.

      In other words, Flores was distracted and crying over nothing.

      That Flores reacted unprofessionally to the unusual circumstances is not Collins’ fault, who acted according to business as usual.

      • Matt in Woodside

        Ugh. To paraphrase Collins, Flores isn’t a robot. He signed with the Mets on his 16th birthday and moved thousands of miles away from his childhood home. He’s been with the organization for one third of his life. Fans in the stands told him he had been traded and he got overwhelmed for half an inning with a high definition camera zoomed in on his face. He didn’t act unprofessionally. The media acted unprofessionally. Way too many journalists now seem to think that adding the word “reportedly” to a tweet absolves them from doing any actual reporting.

        • Gianni Privacio

          I hereby nominate Wilmer as the face of the franchise for the remainder of the season.*

          Anyone with me?

          And since we’re all in this together, we all have his back in this minor dustup with entire worldwide press and social media pit ‘o vipers. Right?

          Let’s go Mets.

          * Provided of course he’s not dealt for a has been by Friday.

      • Gary

        He’s not a machine, he’s a man.

        Hopefully this serves as a reminder that these players are actually real life people. He had what might have been one of the most emotional things that has happened in his life play out in front of the world. Think back to the last time something like that happened and if you would like to have it filmed, broadcast, tweeted about, judged and commented on by the world. He never forced TC to take him out. He grabbed his glove and went back out to play, to do his job. Even more props to him for that,especially at his age.

        • Eric

          I wouldn’t fault Flores for being distracted and crying if he was actually traded from the only organization he’s ever known but Collins sent him out into the field anyway.

          The point is Flores wasn’t traded. There was no legitimate reason for him to believe he was traded. The illegitimate reason Flores believed he was traded was he acted unprofessionally by bypassing or ignoring his chain of command, his manager and coaches, to take his orders on the field from social media and the crowd.

          Again, there’s a standard protocol for mid-game trades. GM informs manager. Manager informs player and takes player out of the game. None of that happened to Flores. Yet Flores acted as though he was traded anyway and forced his manager to compensate for a player in the game losing his bearing over nothing.

          • This feels hard-hearted to me. The fans on their cellphones told him he’d been traded. He checked for himself and saw a situation where 999 times out of 1,000 you have indeed been traded. He was understandably upset, then expected to come out of the game and didn’t, and was understandably confused/more upset.

          • Eric

            Flores should not have been confused and upset, at least not enough for him to lose his bearing. He’s not a fan. He’s a professional in uniform with a chain of command there with him.

            Flores’s reaction makes the Mets look like Anderson and Collins run a loose ship with undisciplined players unschooled in standard industry practices, sloppy upper management, and a callous coaching staff all lacking a basic professional level of communication, ie, chain of command.

            Again, when a player has been traded mid-game, he’s told by his manager and taken out of the game. If that doesn’t happen, then as far as the player is concerned, he’s not traded – no matter what’s being reported in the media or being shouted to him from the stands.

            It’s understandable for us fans to believe Flores was traded, but again, Flores is not a fan. He has a chain of command that will tell him if he’s traded. He was not told he was traded by Collins and Collins did not remove him from the game. Thus, Flores was wrong to believe he was traded and unprofessional to react in the field like he did to his mistake.

  • Lenny65

    If Collins managed a game based on Twitter reports we’d be chasing him with flaming pitchforks today and rightly so. While I’m hardly his biggest booster, I can’t blame him here. The way everyone rushed to utilize the LOLMets nonsense was disgraceful and embarrassing. In the end I’m just glad they didn’t trade for a guy who’d end up on the DL by Tuesday morning.

    • Dennis

      Great post Lenny and I agree. Too early to tell how Wheeler will come back next season, but considering that Gomez’ hip could be a problem, this one potentially had disaster written all over it.

      • Lenny65

        Thx, like I said, getting the “real” Gomez would have been a nice move IMO, but if he’s on the verge of missing time or going into steep decline it’s a different story. The stupid LOLMets narrative doesn’t apply today, they did the right thing (if the reports are true, of course).

        • Eric

          Missing time, steep decline – if Gomez stays healthy but simply plays at the same level he’s played at this season, the trade for Wheeler and Flores isn’t worth it.

          If Gomez plays at the same level for the rest of this season, but improves back to 2013, 2014 Gomez for his 2016 contract year, I still don’t think the trade for Wheeler and Flores would be worth it.

          In other words, the key to the trade is Gomez being 2013, 2014 Gomez right now for the stretch run that’s right now. Any less than that, including a healthy nothing-special Gomez for the rest of 2015 who returns to 2013, 2014 all-star form in 2016, nix the trade.

          • Lenny65

            IMO the one upside here is that they didn’t panic and bite on Gomez given that they felt he wasn’t 100%. I think that’s a good sign re: FO competence. They’ll have to part with someone at some point, but this wasn’t it. Perhaps we’ll look back at last night someday and go “whew, thank God!”.

  • Matt

    I like Wilmer. I like Zack W. I think Wilmer, if the Mets are patient, grows into a Carlos Gomez type, i.e. an almost completely different player once he develops in the big leagues a little bit more.

    I think the Mets should learn from Gomez, not trade for him.

  • Elliot

    Why do GM’s wait until 7pm-9pm to close deals? They have the entire day to close a deal, but decide to start negotiations once their team takes the field? DO they not realize that’s a huge distraction?

    I dont think the deal was great- yes Gomez is better than most bats in the lineup but his slash is still weak about 265/340/425, is he really worth a blue chip pitcher like wheeler?

  • Lenny65

    Again, IMO this was all about a huge rush to start with the “oh those bungling Mets” narrative but sorry, I just can’t fault them here. SA was doing his job, TC was doing his job, they gave it a shot, it didn’t work out. The rush to be “first!” on social media caused Wilmer’s distress, then the rush to laugh at the Mets began before anyone knew what was actually happening. I’ve been following these guys for forty-plus years and I’ll bag on them plenty when they screw up but I just don’t see it that way this time around.

    And right now Deadspin is banging the LOLMets drum, claiming the Mets backed out over money. It never ends. I so much want the Mets to catch fire and shove it all right back in the hater’s faces. This whole thing has galvanized me. They’re in the race, they’re developing serious talent and all anyone wants to do is pretend they’re haplessly floundering. I’m getting pretty damned sick of it too.

  • Steve D

    Oh f’ing no.

    Should have traded for Upton. I still don’t see my avatar changing anytime soon.

  • open the gates

    Seems most of the ground has been covered here, but here’s my tuppence:

    1) Collins did nothing wrong here. Nor did Alderson. A deal is not a deal until it is a deal. A verbal agreement is worth the paper it’s written on. Thousands of deals go unconsummated this time of year. This was one of them. Period.

    2) Flores did nothing wrong either. For those who think Flores acted “unprofessionally”, picture this scenario. Your boss just told you that you’re being transferred to the field office in Topeka, tomorrow. But before you make plans, you need to meet with the firm’s most important client. Now. In a stadium in front of tens of thousands of people, on TV, with reporters analyzing your abilities in real time. You can do that, you’re not just professional, you’re superhuman. Cut Wilmer a break, for cryin’ out loud.

    3) If anyone is to blame, it’s the press for jumping the gun, then turning around and blaming the Mets. And it shocks me not at all that Joel Sherman led the charge here. If this had happened back in the day, Sherman would be cleaning out his desk before the papers hit the street.

    4) Fans at a ballgame should be watching the play on the field, not their damn smart phones. Period.

    5) At the end of the day, I think the Mets fans will be very happy that this deal did not go down.

    6) Anyone happen to notice that Mr. Duda cranked 3 out of Citi? Lucas is back.

    • Eric

      If Flores had been informed by his managaer and coaches via standard protocol he was traded and then sent out in the field anyway, his being distracted and crying would have been understandable and more excusable.

      But Flores wasn’t told by Collins he was traded because he wasn’t traded.

      Flores instead bypassed or ignored his chain of command, broke standard protocol, and believed social media and the crowd. That was unprofessional of him. Flores lost his bearing due to his own mistake over nothing.

      That doesn’t excuse the media, but the media nor the crowd are in Flores’s chain of command.

  • Lenny65

    I get all worked up over these guys then they put their clown shoes on again the next day…ugh.

  • Rob D.

    Anyone watching this travesty?

    • Eric

      I remember at the beginning of the week when the Mets looked like they had a 4-closer bullpen that had a chance to be one of the best in the game.

      That was a long time ago. Now they have a bullpen that failed to hold a 6-run lead for 3 innings against a sub-.500 team.

  • Dorff

    They resume the game when it’s still pouring, leaving enough time for Upton to put them ahead. Suspended game means Padres will have to fly in to finish half an inning. Umpires should be named and called into account for a travesty beyond words.

    • Steve D

      If they had not stopped the game the first time, Mets would have likely won and Padres would be on a plane right now.

      • Eric

        I think so, too, but as is, the flashing lights and siren are going off over Familia now. How the heck is Collins supposed to trust him against the Nationals next?

        Familia was showing signs before the all-star break and since the all-star break, he’s fallen apart.

        Just think … if Dillon Gee hadn’t gotten hurt and missed his start against the Yankees, Jacob deGrom could be the closer now.

  • Steve D

    Interesting rain delay filler on SNY…Joe Torre just compared Steve Henderson to Willie Mays…I kid you not.

    • Dorff

      Torre was a f’in moron when he was Met manager, and remained a f’in moron with Yankees, albeit with a large f’in payroll.

  • eric1973

    Wilmer seems like a great guy, a lot more fun to root for than that immature creep Reyes. Thank goodness this trade did not go through. Eric, we would have gotten the 2018 Gomez, who is probably through.

    I don’t blame Wilmer a bit for his reaction. We’re all still getting used to the modern world of communication, and all the knuckleheaded fans and reporters it has spawned.

    • Dennis

      Immature creep Reyes? Really?

    • Eric

      To be clear, I don’t fault Flores for reacting emotionally to his belief he had been traded. Players often talk about how hard it was to experience their 1st trade.

      I fault Flores for believing he had been traded in the first place when he had not been traded and had no legitimate reason to believe he had been traded.

      It’s reasonable for us fans to believe the media. Fans rely on media hearsay because we’re not insiders. Flores, on the other hand, is not a fan. He’s an insider.

      It was not reasonable for Flores to believe the media and the media-informed crowd instead of his chain of command.

      I’m puzzled why Flores relied on media hearsay when he has personal access to the primary source and works directly under a manager whose job includes informing Flores if he’s been traded mid-game.

  • LA Jake

    Dennis and Lenny65, I’m not asking TC to pay attention to twitter or anything online. I’m saying he should’ve noticed there was a problem with his second baseman either before or after he went back on the field. His claim that he didn’t know anything is either a lie or tells me he doesn’t even pay attention to his own dugout. Whether Flores should be pulled from the game or not in that situation is a different question and I can see where if the manager doesn’t know about a trade he might not think about pulling him, but when your 2B is crying in the dugout and as he runs out on the field and you still have no idea, well then you’re Totally Clueless.

    • Dennis

      I give up Jake…..just to end this childish exercise….ok, he is Totally Clueless. There you go. I’m guessing you know what it’s like to manage 25 MLB players and know exactly what was said in the Mets dugout. Whew… about beating a dead horse.

      • Rob E

        None of this would have mattered if Flores just ate some dirt and hit a game-winning HR like the guys on the 70s Cardinals did when THEY thought they were traded mid-game but really weren’t. Course that was back before math-a-me-ticians ruined the game (I’m paraphrasing Keith here).

  • nestornajwa

    All those pointing fingers at Flores and citing precedent for mid-game trades should remember that the Mets have not followed the playbook for fair treatment of fans and players. “Sure, Ryan, get on the plane. The doc says you checked out okay”. The Mets lost half a season from one of the best players they’ve ever had, Carlos Beltran, because nobody bothered to check on his health from Closing Day until January. Do I have the details of that incident correct? I don’t know, because the Mets simply pointed a finger at Beltran and moved on. Underneath all of this is a team that is somehow hanging in a pennant race despite having no offense (the Mets and Jets are becoming even more indistinguishable from one another). That team happens to play in the world’s biggest media market in a new stadium with its own TV network, but has one of the lowest payrolls in the game. And they’re also loaded with tradeable assets. Nothing is more coveted on Deadline Day more than starting pitching, let alone compentent starting pitching with club-friendly contracts. If ever a team needed to take on payroll at the trading deadline, it was this one. The fact that they did not continues to keep me away from all things Mets.

  • Matt in Richmond

    eric1973, I don’t know what your problem is, but you clearly have one. Last week you were insisting that Duda needed to be benched, I tried to get you to see the bigger picture and told you he was likely about to go on a hot streak. Now you’re calling one of the most beloved Mets of all time an immature creep?! Are you even a Mets fan?

    • Dennis

      Thank you Matt! He was also calling for everyone to burn their David Wright jerseys last week as well. He’s probably a Yankee fan.

  • Steve D

    LA Jake and Eric1973,

    I don’t necessarily agree with you, but stick to your opinions and don’t be afraid to express them. A few years ago, I was criticized for pointing out Ike Davis would never hit…by some of the same people in fact.

    • Dennis

      Hey Steve…..I give you credit there and admit I was one who thought Ike could be salvaged. You were correct….he’s still playing but really lost his power. But disagreeing about whether or not a player could hit is a bit different than calling a former great Met like Reyes an immature creep.

      • Steve D

        But disagreeing about whether or not a player could hit is a bit different than calling a former great Met like Reyes an immature creep.

        Well, that may have been rash…but I do recall Reyes doing things on the field that made my blood boil…not running out tappers and getting thrown out by 70 feet and such. I didn’t make a tally or log of it, but it is in the back of my head. I do recall a lot of histrionics…I do recall him sitting out after he notched the batting title. I said a few days ago the Mets should get Reyes and Cargo in a trade, so I guess I assumed he has matured. There is a least a kernel of truth in the statement. The guy is entitled to his opinion.

  • cleon jones

    The best trades are some times the one you never make. Trading Gomez for Flores and Wheeler is too much. Lets go Mets!!!!!!

  • […] Another Surreal Night in Panic City »    […]

  • […] On Wednesday night, while losing feebly to the Padres despite three home runs from Lucas Duda, the Mets acquired Carlos Gomez from the Brewers in return for Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores. Or at least that deal was reported by many media outlets, subject only to the usual pending review of medical records, which means nothing 999 times out of 1,000. The bizarre, digital-age twist was that Flores found out he’d been traded during the action, from fans on their cellphones. Instead of being removed, he played the rest of the game in tears, upset at being sent away from the only organization he’d known since signing up to be a professional baseball player at 16. […]

  • Art

    2 months down the road, and we can agree this was the turning point of the season. And it made Flores “one of us” forever.