...behind the victorious general in the chariot stood a slave, holding a golden crown over his head, and whispering to him throughout the procession, "Remember you are mortal" in the ears of the victorious generals as they were paraded through the streets, reminding him that he is a man even when he is triumphing.
I doubt many long-time Mets fans would need any reminder that the team they root for is populated by mortals. The scars of the Wilpon years are just too fresh for that. But still, there was a heady moment this winter when the Mets reached an agreement with Carlos Correa that almost anything seemed possible. Even I, who should understand the perils of giving in to magical thinking about this ball club all too well after watching Lucy yank that football away over and over for five decades, allowed myself to contemplate a glorious future for the Mets, full of non-stop triumphs. The voice of that slave was momentarily drowned out by the magic of finally having an owner who seemed absolutely all-in on bringing a winner back to Queens. I allowed myself to get a bit giddy, although I fully understood that not everything that happens over a baseball offseason works out quite how I hope.
- Eppler's job is dependent on the performance of his club. Francisco is currently providing an OPS+ of 124: 24% better than the league average — not just of catchers, but all hitters. Eppler would have to be insane to give that offense up in favor of holding on to veterans who are not productive.
- Demoting a kid who is performing would be sending the exact wrong message to other prospects in the system. It would be saying, "It doesn't matter how you perform. Your spot with the big league club will still depend on roster considerations." That destroys the incentive for young players.