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Noah Syndergaard and Mets front office still don’t agree on his catcher situation

2019-09-10

Let’s get this out of the way: Noah Syndergaard pitches better when Wilson Ramos is not behind the plate. Keeping that in mind, Syndergaard lifted the curtain on his relationship with Mets upper management and the discrepancies between the two parties about pairing him with a catcher.

Hours before first pitch of the Mets’ 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks on Monday, reports surfaced that Syndergaard was, once again, voicing his displeasure with Ramos as his catcher. No hard feelings to Ramos, but Syndergaard said his 2.22 combined ERA over 11 starts and 73 innings with Tomas Nido and Rene Rivera speaks for itself. Comparatively, Syndergaard has a 5.09 ERA in 15 outings and 92 innings with Ramos.

On Tuesday, Syndergaard said that the initial report was wrong to claim he was “livid” with the Mets front office when he reopened the catcher conversation. He added it was “unfortunate” that his private conversation with the front office and coaching staff was leaked to the public.

Mickey Callaway said he doesn’t know who leaked Syndergaard’s private conversation, but the skipper added: “That’s part of New York.”

“My only main concern was having an open dialogue with the front office and coaching staff with my initial frustration of why there was these extreme splits with different catchers,” Syndergaard said. “More so the matter is, it’s all on me. I’m just trying to look for an answer.

“I know in terms of pitchers and catcher, there’s a certain ‘it’ factor. There’s a symbiotic relationship that two guys can possess. It’s about being comfortable out there.”

When asked about his relationship with Mets leadership, Syndergaard took a long pause and looked off to the side before answering.

“Um, I mean, as of right now, the 25, 40 guys in the clubhouse, those guys are my family,” Syndergaard said.

When pressed specifically about his relationship with GM Brodie Van Wagenen and COO Jeff Wilpon, Syndergaard stuck to company lines and said: “As of right now, I respect each and every one of those guys. I’m really appreciative of the open dialogue and conversation we’re able to have. Hopefully we’re able to grow out of it.”

The differing opinions of Syndergaard and Mets brass were exposed even further when the pitcher gave his thoughts on personal catchers being implemented not only in Major League Baseball, but closer to home.

Jacob deGrom threw to Devin Mesoraco for 21 of his final 25 starts in his Cy Young season after the Mets ace expressed how much more comfortable he was with Mesoraco behind the plate. Syndergaard said Mets management hasn’t talked to him about how his situation is any different from deGrom’s last year. In fact, when asked if his situation is similar to deGrom’s, Syndergaard said he “completely” agrees.

“Watching what those two did last year was like watching Bob Ross paint a painting,” Syndergaard said on the battery of deGrom and Mesoraco. “Everything was calculated and it was artful.”

Mickey Callaway said deGrom’s preference to throw to Mesoraco last year was different because the Mets were out of the postseason race early in the year. This September, the Mets still have a chance to make the playoffs and they need Ramos’ .301 batting average in the lineup as many days as possible.

"It's different because Jake had a 1-something ERA and was fighting for a Cy Young. Where we're at as a team is much much different. So there's definitely that,” Callaway said.

Brodie Van Wagenen spoke on the matter Monday and said, “I’ve talked to Noah, as I do all players, I’ve talked to these guys throughout the course of the season. From our standpoint, we don’t have personal catchers.”

Syndergaard said “as of right now” he’s not concerned with who catches him. He’s focused on becoming more consistent with whoever is behind the plate and competing regardless. The right-hander said he respects Ramos and his relationship with the catcher has not been impacted since the report surfaced.

When asked if the same can be said about his relationship with Mets brass, particularly if he feels wanted in the organization, Syndergaard was pretty blunt.

“I’ll admit I can be stubborn at times, but it’s just I want the best for the team,” Syndergaard said. “And I want to go out there and compete to the elite level I think I can compete at. But yeah, I would say that I’m wanted here.”