The New York Mets and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen were in desperate need of a win. This offseason has been like a eight-game losing streak, and they needed a stopper. Someone to take the ball and stop the bleeding. That man just happened to be Van Wagenen himself.
After losing their new manager to the sign-stealing scandal, then losing potential new majority owner Steve Cohen because the WilPonzis went full WilPonzi, the last thing the franchise needed was needling from a former player. But that's what happened when Zack Wheeler, who signed a five-year, $118 million contract with the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies in December, conducted an interview with Greg Joyce of the New York Post. In the full article, which went live on Thursday and can be read here, Wheeler stated that it was "basically crickets" when he circled back with the Mets before ultimately signing in Philly, then he applied the final dagger.
"Because it’s them," he said. "It’s how they roll."
Ouch. Honestly, though, is he wrong? A good majority of Mets fans probably nodded in agreement before furiously googling his stats and telling themselves that Wheeler actually sucked. Not coming back with a legitimate offer does sounds so Mets it hurts. It should be noted that Wheeler did make it clear he was not sour about how it all played out, just not surprised. "I don't think everyone was on the same page," he added.
Van Wagenen caught wind of Wheeler's comments and said he was both "surprised" and "disappointed" before sniping back with an A+ response. Newsday's Tim Healey tweeted out the full quote on Friday morning:
Just like Wheeler's comments had a hint of truth to them, so did Brodie's. After showing some promise in 2013 and 2014, Wheeler missed two full years due to injuries, then returned in April of 2017 before eventually being shut down for the year in August with another injury. Finally, he put together two solid seasons in '18 and '19, or, as Van Wagenen described them, two good "half seasons." Ouch. Good scrap from both guys here, but the victory goes to Van Wagenen, and it's the Mets' biggest win since Game 3 of the 2015 World Series.