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When the Hammer Falls: Noah Syndergaard, the Mets, and How Chaos Reigns in Queens

Noah Syndergaard just left the New York Mets. If that’s not the surprise of the century, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention.

Noah Syndergaard by Arturo Pardavila III is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When the Hammer Falls: Noah Syndergaard, the Mets, and How Chaos Reigns in Queens


Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Noah Syndergaard is no longer a New York Met, and as of right now, the only thing that aided him in his decision was a difference of $2.6 million dollars.

That’s the long and the short of it. The New York Mets made Syndergaard a qualifying offer of $18.4 million dollars. Instead of outright rejecting it, like his former teammate Michael Conforto, Syndergaard took a one-year deal worth $21 million dollars to go play for the Los Angeles Angels.

Fine.

That’s just fine.

Look, I’m not going to sit here and whine about Noah’s decision. Do I think he has his reasons to leave New York for Los Angeles? Yes, of course. Do I think this is a bit of a PR nightmare for his brand? Yes, I do. Can I fault him for leaving the Mets for more money? Not really. I understand it. Do I like it? No, I want to cry, then lie down and cry some more.

There are two sides to this story: Noah’s side and the Mets Front Office side, and neither one of them is going to come out of this looking good.

Noah Syndergaard Drops the Hammer

It’s a bit odd that for almost 12 hours after this news we didn’t hear anything from Noah about this signing. That’s odd. How much longer was Noah’s Twitter bio going to say “I’m a Met”? Yes, it’s insane to get hung up on someone’s twitter bio, but it’s 2021. We all do weird things in a post-pandemic world. And yet, that’s not Syndergaard’s brand.

Thor’s brand is that of his Marvel namesake: a young, masculine goof, who takes himself seriously, but not too serious. He’s blessed with the ability of a God, and yet he’s a bit of a child. There was his “bowl of doom” diet, his throwing at Chase Utley and Alcides Escobar, and his Twitter beefs with knuckleheads. Noah is a big personality and has positioned himself to be a man of the people.

So why the weird silence after leaving town? Why the abrupt break-up? Seriously. Noah Syndergaard just ghosted an entire fanbase, something he’s never done before. Did he Irish Goodbye the Mets? How did Noah go from saying “It would be a tough pill to swallow, not wearing a Mets jersey next year” to this?

Is $18.4 million dollars a risky amount of money to pay for a guy who has pitched less than 5 innings in the last two years? Absolutely. Is $21 million dollars for the same player even riskier? Sure. But what makes this situation weirder is that Noah Syndergaard never gave the Mets a chance to counter the Angels offer. There’s no way the Mets let Noah walk over a difference of $2.6 million. Absolutely zero. So why the sharp cut-off? It took a few days, but now we know why.

“I didn’t want to gamble on that kind of uncertainty.”

What made Syndergaard part ways with the Mets? The same exact thing that causes ulcers in the stomachs of Mets fans for six months every year: the uncertain future of this franchise. And while Noah’s able to escape, the rest of us are still left here in Queens.

“[It was] definitely in the back of my mind a little bit. This is an important year for me,” Syndergaard said over a Zoom press conference after the signing. “This is kind of a make-or-break time for me. I didn’t want to gamble on that kind of uncertainty that’s been going on with them.”

If the chaos and mess at Citi Field is enough to get Noah Syndergaard to walk, then who is to say that the Mets have any leg to stand on going into next season, over in negotiations this offseason?

Noah’s not wrong, there are a ton of questions for Flushing to answer as the Mets turn the page and prepare for the 2022 MLB season, specifically who will be managing the team. How can Noah be asked to return to the Mets in a critical year of his career, and trust the Mets without any idea of who’ll be in charge of his return? The Angels have Joe Maddon. The Mets currently have an upturned mop with a bucket for a head in their manager’s chair. The Mets didn’t think about how their lengthy GM search would make them look.

Of course, now they finally have a GM in Billy Eppler. His introductory press conference included owner Steve Cohen saying that he told Sandy Alderson and Eppler to “get whoever they need”. This first departure makes the chaos appear far more widespread. One would think that Syndergaard would be a guy Alderson and Eppler would need, right?

How can you know that when they haven’t even begun searching for a manager. The writing on the wall with Luis Rojas was there in August when he left the division slip through his fingers without putting up a fight.

To add insult to injury, the team the Mets surrendered the NL East to, the Atlanta Braves, ended up winning the World Series. That’s two NL East World Series Champions in three years. Meanwhile, the Mets don’t have a manager, have gone through three GMs, had a horrid sexual harassment scandal regarding Mickey Callaway’s time in New York, and have seen their Rey Ramirez injury bug return.

That’s not “winning”, that’s losing.

If the Mets duture didn’t worry you, as they slow-walked their GM selection, the Syndergaard departure should. The buzzards are beginning to circle the Mets, who have no plan to get themselves out of the desert of their own making.

Even while writing this, the Mets just lost Aaron Loup to the Angels. Loup was a must re-sign after a fantastic season coming out of the Mets bullpen. What is going on?

Things are going to get worse before they get better at Citi Field, and if you’re a Mets fan, you should start getting angry now. Unbridled Optimism has been something Met fans have entered every season with for a long time. But 2022 might become the first season they leave that feeling at home on Opening Day.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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