New York Mets legend Ed Kranepool didn’t hold back while blasting the 2023 squad for failing to meet expectations that hovered over the club this past March.
“Right now, they have a very flaccid ballclub, very low-key, they just try to go out there and win the ballgames themselves,” Kranepool explained during the latest edition of the “Amazin’ But True” podcast, as shared by Miles Schachner of the New York Post. “There’s no excitement right now, so they do need a little pep, they need something…they’ve been very quiet all year, nothing seems to bother them. Not winning or losing, they just go through the motions, and that’s not the right thing to do.”
The Mets entered this season with baseball’s largest payroll but essentially were out of the National League East division race weeks before big-spending owner Steve Cohen signed off on a fire sale that included restocking the farm system by trading the likes of co-aces Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Kranepool, who featured for the franchise from 1962 through the 1979 season, didn’t like that the Mets gave up on pursuing a wild-card playoff berth “a little soon” in his eyes.
While Kranepool’s take is understandable, on paper, it doesn’t account for the fact that the Mets seemingly were dealing with serious clubhouse issues that MLB insider Jon Heyman of the New York Post recently noted made the team’s season downright “rotten.” Nevertheless, Kranepool fears the Mets’ current losing culture could impact the 2024 edition of the club.
“There’s a carryover, no question about it,” the one-time World Series champion remarked. “They were expected to win this year, they thought they had the best club in baseball that money could buy. It doesn’t work out like that. You’ve gotta put players on the field that can work together and perform together.”
It’s believed Cohen won’t punt on next season as some have suggested, but that doesn’t mean the Mets’ core as it exists today will remain intact through the upcoming offseason. Kranepool added the Amazins need “some players out on the field that lead the rest of the team and show us that they can do it every day and they are out to win.” It’s up to Cohen and general manager Billy Eppler to identify and acquire those players before March 2024.