Like the rest of America, Jeopardy James is dragging the New York Mets on Twitter
Sunday night was a strange one in Mets lands. Then again, aren't they all these days? Moments after hanging on to beat the Pirates 8-7 in a game they led 6-0 after the first inning, news broke that longtime Toronto Blue Jay Marcus Stroman was heading to Flushing to join the Metropolitans rotation. Ordinarily this wouldn't be cause for too much alarm. The Mets didn't give up any top-100 prospects to get him, unlike those included in the now-disastrous Cano-Diaz swap this winter, and Stroman is a solid, if unspectacular, starter with a career 13.2 WAR. So what's the big deal? Why did the internet strike a collective thinky-face emoji pose as soon as the trade became official? Well, because only the Mets could manage to make a move this mundane make this little sense.
Despite winning four straight games, the Mets are 5.5 games back of the final National League Wild Card slot. Lying between them and the postseason are the Diamondbacks, Giants, Phillies, Brewers, and Cardinals, three of which are far better teams than the Mets. For weeks, the Kings of Queens have been rumored to be shopping Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Edwin Diaz. All the neon signs of Times Square pointed to the Mets being "sellers" as the trade deadline approached, and yet the first move they made—despite a dangerously depleted farm system that could leave the team reeling for years if not addressed soon—was to buy. Ladies and gentleman, step right up and meets the Mets.
The decision confused baseball pundits and armchair managers alike, but its apparent lack of logic, reason, common sense, business sense, actual smarts, street smarts, and general 30,000-foot strategy attracted a whole new detractor: Jeopardy! James Holzhauer, AKA your new favorite Twitter follow:
Holzhauer is, of course, referring to the reported interest of several MLB execs in hiring him as an Analytics Guy™ (actual job title). There was once a time when Holzhauer could have twisted the knife without, um, jeopardizing his future job prospects, but unfortunately this spring, and nearly $2.5 million of Jeopardy! booty, has changed all that.
That said, Holzhauer, like the the rest of the America, still couldn't resist getting in a jab or two. And given the Wilpons' affinity for hiring front office employees with zero front office experience, Holzhauer could probably call them the Baseball Jets and still get the job. Fingers crossed too, because in Holzhauer we trust.