For nearly three months, the New York Mets held the top spot in the NL East, navigating through injuries and a few underperforming veterans.
However, they began to slide after the break (frankly, they haven’t been playing all that well before the All-Star game) and gave up first place to the Philadelphia Phillies after being swept over the weekend.
Right now, they are on the verge of being a .500 team, with a 56-55 record and four straight losses.
Their second-half record stands at 9-15, and some fans have started to ask for manager Luis Rojas’ head.
Is it really fair to blame it all on the manager, though?
It’s a complex question, but Rojas still has the support of his players.
Owner Steve Cohen, additionally, is reportedly not contemplating the option of firing the skipper.
Analyzing The Mets 2021 Season
The Mets season, to this point, can’t possibly be considered successful.
A billionaire owner took over the team before the campaign started, with some time to plan and design an active offseason.
They did make some moves, including bringing a superstar shortstop via trade (alongside a top starter) and signing him to a mammoth extension.
Capable executives, like Sandy Alderson and Zack Scott came over too.
Everything was in place for the Mets to make the postseason in 2021.
They still can, because there are a little under two months left to play.
However, their second-half slide has left the Mets without a spot in October baseball if the season ended today.
Luckily for them, it doesn’t end today, so they can still fight their way back in the standings.
They are still relatively close to the first spot: 2.5 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies and half a game behind the Atlanta Braves.
Is It All Rojas’ Fault?
Because of all the resources invested in the team, and the current available personnel, failing to make the postseason would be a huge blow for one of the most passionate fan bases in baseball.
And while Luis Rojas hasn’t shown enough to be considered a top ten manager in today’s game, he isn’t one of the worst, either.
Lineup construction, bullpen management, and other on-field matters remain a subjective affair, even if analytics do help and can maximize most resources.
Rojas is certainly not elite in any of those departments, and some fans have grown frustrated by his decisions and actions.
But everything that has happened to the Mets in 2021 isn’t his fault.
It's not Luis Rojas' fault that the #Mets are swinging through fastballs.
— Thomas Knight (@Thomas_Knight89) August 9, 2021
And the primary reason why the Mets shouldn’t fire him right now is because the odds of someone from the outside taking over and doing a better job are slim at best.
Should he be on the hot seat?
Yes, in the sense that he has a little under two months to right the ship, bring the best out of his players, and make better in-game decisions to put his club in the best position of winning consistently and making the playoffs.
He deserves to finish out the season, even if most fans won’t like it.
His performance should be reviewed after the campaign.
After all, the team he manages led his division for most of the season, and still has time to get it back.
I’m sure these comments have nothing but positive things to say as they learn that Luis Rojas’ managerial job is reportedly safe. Surely Mets fans haven’t forgotten about the month of May and how he kept the team together throughout that whole course of injuries? Right? pic.twitter.com/9M4SGbS4eI
— deGrom Smiling (@DegromSmiling) August 10, 2021