If one was to tell Tommy Pham that he’d be playing in the World Series this year, he — like everyone else — would have believed that it would be with the New York Mets.
Steve Cohen and former general manager Billy Eppler assembled a roster that, at least on paper, should have been in the thick of the postseason conversation. Instead, it all went horrendously south incredibly quickly to the point where they sold practically everything that wasn’t nailed to the floor, including Pham, at the trade deadline.
Pham is in the World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks and has some words of advice for his former club: Get it in gear.
“That team is more talented than this team,” Pham said (h/t Bob Nightengale, USA Today). “Let’s be honest here. But what makes [the Diamondbacks] different is everyone is still at this level trying to reach their max potential. The drive wasn’t there [with the Mets]. That drive is here. That’s what separates this team from most teams.
“You have guys that are still trying to get better every day. You have teammates trying to help you out. And that’s dangerous.”
The Mets couldn’t get out of their own way in 2023, especially in June when they went on a season-dooming 7-19 stretch. A lineup boasting one of the game’s best offensive shortstops in Francisco Lindor, premier slugger Pete Alonso, and 2022 batting champion Jeff McNeil struggled to score runs consistently.
When they did, the pitching staff faltered, whether it was now-Texas-Ranger Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander, who was returned to the Houston Astros, struggling or a thin bullpen imploding.
Far too much talent for a team that was out of the playoff race by July. So much so, that Pham said the Mets should be “embarrassed,” for missing the playoffs.
“If anyone disagrees with me over there,” Pham began. “Man, you got to take a long look in the mirror and be honest.”
Perhaps the Mets have some bulletin board material for next season.