pixel 1
header
Friday, May 29, 2020

Articles tagged: New York Mets

Minor leaguer Andrew Church rips Mets over Tim Tebow, ‘toxic’ culture

Tim Tebow

There was a massive purge of minor league players by MLB teams on Thursday, and Andrew Church was among those to lose his job. The former New York Mets second-round pick proceeded to rip the team in a lengthy Instagram post in which he also took a jab at Tim Tebow.

Below is Church’s Instagram post.

View this post on Instagram

Please read to understand my true feelings. Today I got released by the NY Mets organization. The people on the other end of the phone had nothing but good things to say and I appreciated that very much. Anyone that has seen me play and compete knows that I lay it all on the line no matter what. Every practice, every game. I am a competitor, a true warrior. It’s in my DNA. From the outside looking in, my baseball career probably raises a lot of questions. Why did you retire and come back? How come your numbers aren’t very good if you were that dedicated? I have always kept my opinions to myself out of respect for the organization I signed a contract with. But now that it’s officially over with them I’d like to say some things. One of the main reasons I retired was to keep myself from expressing how I felt. I was bitter, frustrated, and angry at the Mets organization. I felt my competitive nature was being taken advantage of. They knew I would never say no to competing and would fly me around to fill in for anyone that got injured. I realized this wasn’t in my best interest when my delayed flight finally landed in the 3rd inning, and I was on the mound in a AAA baseball game for the first time, without any warm up throws. My UCL originally tore that night. Instead of seeing a doctors like I asked, they sent me back to High A to pitch in the playoffs. When I told them I couldn’t I was made out to be the bad guy. Then the next year, they made a mockery of our team by putting a celebrity on it to sell more tickets. I saw players lose their jobs because of it. We weren’t playing to win, we were playing to make everyone else money. Not the players. We never saw a cut. Well, allegedly that one player did. I think people are starting to understand that more now but they didn’t in 2018 when it was happening again. I was fed up. I spent my whole childhood honing in my passion and anger, to not let it get out of control, but it was and I was going to explode. So I took the opposite direction, I bottled it and silenced myself. I took some time away and cleared my head. Continued in comments..

A post shared by Andrew Church (@papachurch36) on

Here is what he said in his lengthy note:

“Please read to understand my true feelings,” Church began.

“Today I got released by the NY Mets organization. The people on the other end of the phone had nothing but good things to say and I appreciated that very much. Anyone that has seen me play and compete knows that I lay it all on the line no matter what. Every practice, every game. I am a competitor, a true warrior. It’s in my DNA. From the outside looking in, my baseball career probably raises a lot of questions. Why did you retire and come back? How come your numbers aren’t very good if you were that dedicated? I have always kept my opinions to myself out of respect for the organization I signed a contract with.

“But now that it’s officially over with them I’d like to say some things.

“One of the main reasons I retired was to keep myself from expressing how I felt. I was bitter, frustrated, and angry at the Mets organization. I felt my competitive nature was being taken advantage of. They knew I would never say no to competing and would fly me around to fill in for anyone that got injured. I realized this wasn’t in my best interest when my delayed flight finally landed in the 3rd inning, and I was on the mound in a AAA baseball game for the first time, without any warm up throws. My UCL originally tore that night. Instead of seeing a doctors like I asked, they sent me back to High A to pitch in the playoffs. When I told them I couldn’t I was made out to be the bad guy.

“Then the next year, they made a mockery of our team by putting a celebrity on it to sell more tickets. I saw players lose their jobs because of it. We weren’t playing to win, we were playing to make everyone else money. Not the players. We never saw a cut. Well, allegedly that one player did. I think people are starting to understand that more now but they didn’t in 2018 when it was happening again. I was fed up. I spent my whole childhood honing in my passion and anger, to not let it get out of control, but it was and I was going to explode. So I took the opposite direction, I bottled it and silenced myself. I took some time away and cleared my head.

“Baseball has always been the only constant in my life. No matter if I’m active or not I will always play. It’s my release. I asked to be reinstated in 2019, when a new player development regime took over for the Mets. I honestly think they are making strides to be a better organization, but the culture that has been built for decades within that organization is toxic. Filled with snakes and bottom feeders trying to elevate their professional careers at the expense of the players, with no remorse.

“I hadn’t pitched in a competitive game in over a year, but they needed a filler because someone got hurt the night before. I took a red eye flight, to one stadium, a 7 hour bus trip, another flight, and a taxi to the stadium I would be pitching in. Again I was in a AAA baseball game with no worry about my well being. I lost my drive to perform for an organization who continuously treats us as pawns in their chess games. Especially when the ones doing it, don’t know what it takes to be a baseball player. And some must’ve just forgotten.

“Ignorance is a scary thing. We see it in mainstream society too often. Ignorance with power and a lack of empathy is, in my eyes, the scariest of all evils. Thank you to all the players and coaches who had the passion and drive to empower each other and push the game forward. F–k you to everyone who wasn’t. You have no place in professional baseball.

“To my future, you all know I can’t stop. And I get scary when I’m motivated. Watch out! CarveNation.”

Though he didn’t mention Tebow by name, it’s very clear he was talking about the former Heisman Trophy winner when he said they put a celebrity on the team to sell tickets. From 2017-2019, the two were teammates on the St. Lucie Mets, Binghamton Rumble Ponies, and Syracuse Mets at various stages.

There is no doubt this was an awful day for Church and any other minor leaguer who got released. It stinks for anyone to have their dream of playing pro ball come to an end like this — not on their terms. But that doesn’t mean Church’s rant was necessary, and it certainly does not reflect well upon him.

Church was a second-round pick by the Mets in 2013 and has had seven years to make his mark. He has had plenty of chances. He has a career 7.11 ERA in 62 innings in Double-A and a 7.83 ERA in 16 innings in Triple-A. He walked away from the organization to briefly retire and then was allowed back. He wrote in his note that he was angry at the Mets before retiring. That shows me he was blaming the wrong sources for his problems and not looking at himself.

The Mets have given us plenty of reasons to laugh at them over the years, but they’ve also developed plenty of good players (Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and Jeff McNeil to name a few). Church seems to be blaming the team for all that has gone wrong in his career, and is taking unnecessary shots at Tebow. He needs to look in the mirror about the reasons why he didn’t make it. His performance just wasn’t good enough.

Investor Wayne Rothbaum reportedly interested in buying Mets

New York Mets

The New York Mets are still looking for a new owner, and a possible investor has emerged.

The New York Post reported on Thursday that billionaire Wayne Rothbaum has interest in buying the team, but only at a discount.

The Post’s Thornton McEnery says Rothbaum is only interested in buying the team at a significant discount, like for around $1 billion. That would be a massive change from the $2.6 billion price Steve Cohen was willing to pay before his deal with the Mets fell apart. However, there is one significant difference: Rothbaum would not want cable channel SNY included in the deal, which is why his price would be so much lower than Cohen’s.

The Mets probably have no interest in selling for that much of a discount. But Rothbaum likely views this as an opportune time to low ball the owners with an offer given all the uncertainty, the Wilpons’ shaky financial situation, and the likelihood of teams losing money this year. Interestingly, Alex Rodriguez has reportedly been exploring the possibility of buying the Mets too.

Rothbaum is listed as the president and founder of Quogue Capital LLC, as well as the founder of Acerta Pharma BV.

Report: Mets still trying to find new owner during pandemic

New York Mets

Not long ago, the New York Mets were worth $2.6 billion as part of a sale. Now, things are a lot different.

According to Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, the Mets are still pushing for a sale as soon as possible. Allen & Co., the adviser to the Wilpon family, has continued to try to find potential buyers for the franchise. They have been unsuccessful thus far.

A large amount of this is due to global events. The coronavirus pandemic has led to major losses in the stock market, significantly hurting the finances of potential buyers. Kaplan believes any sale of the Mets that would take place right now would be for significantly less than the $2.6 billion that Steve Cohen was set to buy them for before that deal fell through in early February.

The reality is, if the Wilpons want fair value on the franchise, they’re going to have to wait it out. The price they’ll get in a sagging economy with no baseball being played is not going to be ideal. They may have to hold on for a while before finding a buyer.

Jed Lowrie does not seem happy with Mets about injury

New York Mets

Jed Lowrie’s New York Mets career has been completely marred by injury, and that has continued into 2020.

Lowrie is dealing with a knee problem, and the Mets have not given any timetable for his possible return. Lowrie wasn’t telling either — and there was more than a hint of frustration in his response when asked about it on Wednesday.

Maybe the Mets have told Lowrie not to talk, but he certainly doesn’t sound thrilled with where he’s at. It could just be frustration, too.

The Mets looked into trading Lowrie before the season, but his injury status made that impossible. It definitely seems like there’s some friction here.

Are Mets breaking promise to Michael Wacha about starting in 2020?

New York Mets

The New York Mets have six starting pitchers for five spots in their rotation, which is not abnormal for many teams in spring training. What is abnormal is telling all six of those pitchers that they intend to be used as starters before considering some unusual options for the fifth rotation spot.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets are considering some unconventional options for their fifth starter spot. Among them is using both Steven Matz and Michael Wacha in the role depending on whether a lefty or righty would match up best against that day’s lineup. The Mets are also considering using an opener and then using Matz or Wacha for bulk innings afterwards.

This may come as news to Wacha, who believed he was in a battle with Matz for the traditional fifth starter’s job.

“They told me I’m a starter, so that’s what I’m here for,” Wacha said, via Scott Thompson of SNY.

There may have been reason for Wacha to be suspicious when signing his contract. According to Sherman, Wacha’s deal with the Mets includes various bonuses based on relief appearances. Wacha signed with the Mets believing he’d get the chance to start, and if he didn’t know about those clauses, it’s probably on his agent.

The Mets have something of a reputation of being an organization that can be unfriendly to its players. If the Mets aren’t being honest with Wacha and Matz about what they’re considering doing rotation-wise, it will only add to that narrative.

Report: James Dolan could be interested in buying SNY from Mets owners

James Dolan

As the Wilpon family looks set to get out of ownership, there are assets other than the New York Mets organization itself that could be available for purchase.

One of those is SNY, the cable home of the Mets that is partially owned by the Wilpons. According to Thornton McEnery of the New York Post, Knicks owner James Dolan could be interested in purchasing SNY to merge it with MSG Network, forming a network that owns both basketball and baseball games.

There is some belief that Dolan could even look at forming part of an ownership group to buy the Mets, but this is seen as less likely.

“Jim Dolan buying the Mets sounds crazy at first,” one banker with knowledge of both Dolan and the Mets sale told the Post. “But he has always wanted to merge [the MSG Network] with another local sports channel. He needs baseball, and that might require taking a shot at the Mets.”

Owning SNY would allow for a year-round revenue stream with live sports. Major League Baseball, however, is unlikely to be pleased with the prospect of any Dolan ownership.

Mets ownership speculation opened up in a major way after things fell through with prospective buyer Steve Cohen. It has led to some pretty wild chatter, and Dolan is unlikely to be the last big name we hear linked to this.

Report: Alex Rodriguez interested in buying Mets

Alex Rodriguez

A surprise name has emerged in potential bidding for the New York Mets.

According to Thornton McEnery of the New York Post, Alex Rodriguez is “kicking the tires” on a possible bid for the Mets. Rodriguez was a childhood Mets fan who has gotten into business since his retirement.

“[Rodriguez] genuinely loves the Mets,” said source told the Post. “He and J-Lo have talked about him buying a team ever since Jeter got the Marlins.”

Any bid may be a longshot. The Mets may cost in the neighborhood of $3 billion, which likely means Rodriguez would have to partner with wealthy investors as part of an ownership group.

Regardless of how serious the possibility is, this would be quite the story. Jeter and Rodriguez would be NL East owners together, and it probably would give the Mets some added credibility. A-Rod has certainly dabbled in business since retirement, but this would be an entirely new level.