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Mets Morning News: Manfred not confident in 2020 season, five days after expressing 100% confidence in 2020 season

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Your Tuesday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

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Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Meet the Mets

Marcus Stroman is offering to lend his talents to high school and college baseball teams looking for a “pitching/mental/vibe coach”. Inquire within.

In response to the latest developments in the negotiations surrounding the quickly-fading 2020 MLB season (more on that later), Pete Alonso shared the MLBPA’s latest statement and exclaimed, “Tell us when and where. WE ARE ALL READY.”

Brandon Nimmo chimed in on the ordeal, sharing the MLBPA’s Tuesday statement and saying that, “It couldn’t be more true”.

Noah Syndergaard offered a much more subtle response, choosing to post a gif from the movie Dodgeball.

Like many baseball players, Wilson Ramos is ready to return.

Yesterday marked 43 years since the infamous “Midnight Massacre”, in which the Mets traded away Tom Seaver. On the anniversary of that trade, Ken Davidoff examined how the move turned Pat Zachry’s life upside down.

In happier trade memories, yesterday marked 37 years since the Mets acquired Keith Hernandez in a move that would alter the franchise’s fortunes for the better. On the anniversary of the deal that changed everything, Hernandez talked about how the trade and playing for the last-place Mets became a new motivator for him after feeling bored as a member of the defending World Series champion Cardinals.

SNY looked at how the acquisition helped take the Mets out of rebuild mode and put them on the path towards contention.

A source recently revealed to AMNY’s Joe Pantorno that the Wilpons likely will not put much into the Mets in 2021 if they don’t sell the team, adding that the hiatus this season will “hurt the Mets more than others.” The source went on to say that Steve Cohen “dodged a bullet.”

Josh Harris, who is looking into placing a bid to purchase the Mets, bought a minority stake in the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. He already owns the New Jersey Devils in the NHL and the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA. This move is not expected to affect his pursuit of the Mets.

This week’s Mets Mailbag looks at what the payroll might look like in 2021 if the club isn’t sold, among other things.

The Mets signed third round pick Anthony Walters, signing him to for $20,000. Normally, the 91st pick in the draft is valued at $647,300.

The Mets signed undrafted Cal outfielder Brandon McIlwain to the max $20,000 bonus. By signing McIlwain, the team continues to add outfield athleticism. In addition to baseball, he played quarterback for South Carolina and for Cal.

The Mets also inked right-handed pitcher Drake Nightengale. On Twitter, he called it a “Dream Come True”.

In their third Tuesday signing, the Mets signed outfielder and Long Island native Joe Suozzi out of Boston College. Suozzi is the son of Congressman Tom Suozzi, who represents New York’s 3rd District. The Wilpons have previously contributed to Tom Suozzi’s political campaign.

The latest edition of the Red Pub Seats looks at the best and worst free agent acquisitions in franchise history. (Paywall Alert)

Around the National League East

Sean Doolittle criticized the leak that revealed that several MLB players and coaches positive for COVID-19, calling the timing of the leak “suspicious” and “gross.”

Max Scherzer called out Mandred and the owners for going back on their word once again.

Bryce Harper responded to the latest developments in the negotiations by sharing a photoshopped image of himself wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jersey on Instagram. At least the outfielder is having fun with all of this.

The Braves had a solid but otherwise unexciting draft.

Around Major League Baseball

A mere five days after saying he is 100% confident there will be a 2020 MLB season, Commissioner Rob Manfred is backtracking. In his latest comments, he is currently “not confident” there will be a season, explaining that he’s “not 100% certain that’s going to happen.” He sees the union filing a grievance after a shortened season is implemented as a “bad-faith tactic” that makes it “extremely difficult to move forward in these circumstances.”

MLB told the MLBPA there won’t be a season unless players waived any legal claims against the league, according to Bill Shaikin.

The MLBPA’s response was swift and angry in tone, noting that “players are disgusted” in Manfred guaranteeing a season on to go back on his word and threaten a season.

Somebody on the player’s side sees this latest tactic from Manfred as a continued stall.

MLB is not keen on implementing a schedule unilaterally, for fear of the eventual grievance the MLBPA will file. (Paywall Alert)

Trevor Bauer unleashed on Manfred in a long Twitter thread.

Derek Holland’s response was a simple gif from Austin Powers.

Gerrit Cole shared some footage of himself pitching at Yankee Stadium...just in time for a 2020 season to (maybe) not happen.

In letting baseball burn the way he has, Manfred is showing his true colors, argues Mike Vaccaro.

In addition to failing the game, Manfred is failing the players by delivering the wrong message.

Things will only get worse for MLB next season.

Besides the monetary issues, MLB and the players have yet to resolve all the health protocols and special rules that would accompany a potential 2020 season.

In a leak to AP, it was revealed that several players and coaches around MLB have tested positive for coronavirus.

It’s probably too early to tell for sure, but have the volatile negotiations permanently damaged the sport?

Marc Carig satirically congratulated the Owners on their win in the negotiations to start the 2020 season. (Paywall Alert)

He also squarely put the blame on this fiasco on one party.

So, will there be baseball in 2020? Jeff Passan answered some questions that may be on fans’ minds. It is worth noting this piece ran before many of the day’s big developments.

The Yankees and MLB officially appealed Judge Jed Rakoff’s decision to unseal a 2017 letter sent to Manfred by Brian Cashman regarding the Yankees’ potential sign-stealing.

Yankees employees will continue to earn their salaries and benefits “for the time being”, according to a letter from Hal Steinbrenner. In the letter, the Yankees organization also claims it is facing “significant financial hardships.”

MLB has informed teams they can begin scouting amateur events. Each club will be allowed to send three scouts per event.

According to a Baseball America source, MLB has sent a memo to teams warning them not to offer “exorbitant” amounts in the continuing education scholarship program when trying to sign undrafted free agents.

The international free agent signing period has been moved from July 2, 2020, to January 21, 2021.

Several black MLB players came together for a video in support of Black Lives Matter.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Bored without baseball? Looking for new TV shows to binge? Amazin’ Avenue has you covered with round two of our TV recs. You can also go back to round one of our recs.

Episode 66 of From Complex to Queens focused on the crew’s final thoughts from the 2020 MLB Draft!

Steve Sypa provided an update on the CPBL team and the KBO team that the From Complex to Queens team has been following this year.

APOTO will be hosting a live episode tonight at 8:30pm on Amazin’ Avenue’s Facebook page. Don’t forget to tune in! They will be answering your questions on baseball and non-baseball topics!

This Date in Mets History

On this date in 2013, the Mets were well on their way to another lackadaisical Sunday afternoon loss. Through eight innings, the woeful Mets trailed the equally-woeful Cubs 3-0, having mustered just three hits against Matt Garza and James Russell. Carlos Marmol was called upon to shut the door on New York, but failed spectacularly. His third pitch of the inning to Marlon Byrd was deposited in the left field stands to shrink Chicago’s lead to two. After a walk to Lucas Duda and a John Buck single, Omar Quintanilla bunted them over to second and third. Kirk Nieuwenhuis stepped to the plate and rocketed a 1-0 pitch off the facing of the Pepsi Porch to give the Mets a 4-3 walk-off win and avoid the sweep at the hands of the Cubs.