Well, Brodie Van Wagenen did ask for it.
The Mets general manager in mid-January infamously challenged the rest of the NL East to “come get us” after a series of offseason acquisitions. Now, just after the All-Star break, Van Wagenen has already admitted defeat.
“I said it. I think what you’ll learn, and what I hope to always be, is that I wanna say what I believe,” Van Wagenen said Friday. “And I wasn’t shy in the offseason, but they came and got us. And I think that now we view ourselves as the underdogs. For the second half of this year, I think we have low expectations for what we can be. I think now we’ll take the underdog role and run with it and try to prove some people wrong this year and then certainly try to improve upon it next year with that underdog in mind.”
Van Wagenen’s comments come before the 40-50 Mets face off with the Marlins in Miami — a matchup between the two worst teams in the National League. Despite a dismal first-half performance, Van Wagenen still “absolutely” expects Mickey Callaway to remain the Mets manager.
“I think Mickey has done a difficult job very well,” Van Wagenen said.
Van Wagenen also addressed his chair-tossing tirade in a recent meeting with the coaching staff, claiming “I’m not typically throwing furniture.” He conceded that Mets fans have probably thrown a few remotes from what they have watched on their TV screens.
Van Wagenen seemed to admit the Mets would be sellers as the trade deadline inches closer. However, he doesn’t foresee dealing Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, and said he still believes the team has a core capable of winning.
“I would fully expect those guys to be on our roster,” Van Wagenen said.
Van Wagenen also gave an update on Jed Lowrie, who has yet to get on the field for the Mets this season. Van Wagenen said the 35-year-old free-agent signing’s left side is now strong, but he is now battling a low-grade right calf strain. He is not playing any baseball at the moment.
Van Wagenen apologized to Mets fans for not giving them more to cheer for this season.
“We don’t do enough of the little things right as a team,” he said.
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