The Mets better hope Jessica Mendoza, who they hired Tuesday as one of their baseball operations advisers, is better in that gig than she is working for ESPN as one of its “Sunday Night Baseball” analysts.
As usual, Brodie Van Wagenen, the GM and former CAA agent (his old company represents Mendoza. What a coincidence) sold the hiring as another of his out of the box moves (cue the pat on the back).
And judging from the way it was received by assorted Seamhead scribes, and other Gasbags, the sales-job worked. So, that’s another win for Van Microphone. And coming on the heels of the GM hiring Al Leiter, in a similar position, and extending the role of the popular John Franco, it was a good day for the Mets.
That’s not saying much. Any day BVW and Jeff Wilpon don’t have to concoct excuses about why Jacob de Grom has not gotten his contract extended is a good day for the Mets.
Do you actually think Mendoza, who fawned over deGrom last season, is going to rock the boat and make the case, in her advisory capacity, for why the organization should extend the Cy Young winner before the season starts?
And if the pitcher doesn’t sign before the season, does anyone think Mendoza is going to rip the Mets on “SNB” for not getting the deGrom deal done?
She has provided no evidence that she would be up for doing this.
Exhibit A: The way Mendoza deals with her broadcast partner, Yankees special “adviser” Alex Rodriguez. If you carefully watched ESPN’s “SNB,” you already know Mendoza is a lightweight when it comes to criticizing players.
She is a free-pass machine.
Also, Mendoza rarely, if ever, takes A-Rod to task for some of his dopey soliloquies. She also has never asked him the following question: “Alex, I haven’t seen that guy hit with such power. Do you think he’s on steroids?”
Obviously, the Bristol Clown Community College faculty has never suggested Mendoza try stirring things up. After all, why wake-up an audience that’s already half asleep. As long as the TV is still on the ratings count.
The fact Mendoza defers to Rodriguez so often is just one reason to watch “SNB” with no sound. More often than not, Mendoza comes off as a star struck voice without an edge.
Maybe that’s the way Van Microphone wants it. BVW might want his advisory panel to not critique the organization when necessary, especially in public?
Or is the hiring of Mendoza, Leiter, and Franco’s role expansion more about: 1) Good public relations; 2) Or a move to further burnish the media’s early perception and portrayal of BVW as MLB’s next innovative whiz.
One thing is certain. Mendoza and Leiter (he still works at MLB Network), to a lesser extent, will again be made aware how perception is reality.
Now, Mendoza will not only have to deal with the many stereotypes a woman in the booth is forced to deal with (just ask Suzyn Waldman), but those who believe her Mets gig has her tilted in a certain, orange and blue, direction. Mendoza’s words and performance were dissected before.
Now Van Wagenen, who likely meant well, has put an even bigger target on her.