2020 New York Mets
2020 New York Mets / Franchise: New York Mets / BR Team Page
Managed by Luis Rojas
History, Comments, Contributions
Following an unsuccessful 2019 season which was marked by injuries and internal tensions in the team, the 2020 New York Mets somehow managed to top that unending soap opera.
As the 2019 season ended, GM Brodie Van Wagenen fired manager Mickey Callaway, with whom he had had a very public tantrum in mid-season, and replaced him with Carlos Beltran. But before Beltran could manage a game, he was forced to resign, his name being at the center of the sign-stealing scandal around the 2017 Houston Astros. He was replaced by Luis Rojas, son of Felipe Alou, and someone who was universally respected, but who was also put in a very complicated situation.
The 2020 season was then upended by the Coronavirus pandemic, which pushed back opening day until late July. There was a season-ending injury to P Noah Syndergaard, followed by the abrupt retirement of DH Yoenis Cespedes, who just come back from a lay-off of almost two years, a couple of days into the season. A few weeks,later, thee Mets had to sit out a few games due to some members of the team testing positive for COVID-19, and on August 27th, they staged a powerful walk-out, alongside their opponents that day, the Miami Marlins, after taking the field and observing a 42-second moment of silence, the number 42 being obviously symbolic as it evoked Jackie Robinson on the eve of his annual day. Following that non-game, Van Wagenen was caught on a microphone criticizing Commissioner Rob Manfred for suggesting the game could still be played after a pause, due to pressing scheduling concerns. "At leadership level, he doesn't get it. He just doesn't get it," was his comment. It turned out it wasn't Manfred who had suggested this, but Mets Chief Operations Officer Jeff Wilpon. Van Wagenen apologized to the Commissioner when he learned this, but obviously these remarks had created a distinct chill with the team's top brass, who issued their own statement chastising the GM for his inconsiderate words. Observers were wondering if Van Wagenen had not just dug his own grave. While this was going on, the Wilpons were looking to sell the team, whose finances were still negatively impacted by their involvement a decade and a half earlier in the Ponzi scheme run by disgraced financier Bernie Madoff.
Awards and Honors
- Anthony DiComo: "5 challenges Rojas will face as Mets skipper", mlb.com, January 23, 2020. 
- Steve Gardner: "Mets, Marlins walk off the field after 42-second moment of silence honoring Jackie Robinson", USA Today, August 27, 2020. 
- Bob Nightengale: "Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen's latest embarrassment could be the beginning of his end", USA Today, August 27, 2020. 
- Justin Toscano: "Mets to resume play Tuesday after having no additional COVID-19 positives", USA Today, August 24, 2020.