Sports

Zack Scott’s Mets fate was sealed long before DWI arrest

Zack Scott will get his day in court, at the least. He will be given an opportunity to explain, if he chooses, why White Plains police officers noticed him sleeping in his 2018 Toyota on South Lexington Avenue at 4:17 Tuesday morning, not far from the federal courthouse.

He will also be given every opportunity to explain why he declined to submit to either a breathalyzer or a blood test, and to detail what might have caused him to fail a field-sobriety test if he wasn’t legally drunk.

Fair is fair, after all.

But let’s be perfectly clear about something: Zack Scott was already on paper-thin ground as acting GM of the Mets. His job performance alone has been, in a word, unacceptable. The Mets are two games under .500, and while that is the product of some team-wide underperformance, make no mistake: when Scott could have made an impact, at the trade deadline, with the Mets still in command of the NL East, he made one trade. Now, that trade has been filled with all kinds of entertainment value, with Javier Baez displaying his full range of engaging and enraging traits in full all month.

But the Braves quietly got much better at the deadline. The Phillies upgraded. So, of course, did the Giants and Dodgers and, let us not forget, the Yankees. Maybe Sandy Alderson can shoulder some of the blame; Alderson, an old target of Met-fan angst, probably deserves as much.

But Alderson didn’t compound his deadline folly in two distinct ways. Let’s put Scott’s DWI arrest on a shelf for a few paragraphs.

Mets acting GM Zack Scott
Mets acting GM Zack Scott
Corey Sipkin

This was Zack Scott — mostly a celebrated clerk his whole career, a baseball nobody — describing the players under his command who have, one by one, spent time on the injured list this year. They were cringe-worthy in the moment; they are beyond belief given the context of his White Plains snooze Tuesday morning:

“You can have the best plan but if the plan’s not followed, that’s not going to necessarily yield a good result. Sometimes that’s the issue.

“On the soft tissue, we’ve talked through each one but nothing’s stood out to me as an egregious mistake in our process, our training, or our treatment. Some cases, it’s clear where something might have been handled differently in terms of compliance issues.”

And then: “I’m not saying that to vilify players,” Scott said, seconds after vilifying his entire team.

And then, the money shot: “You’ve got to take ownership of your career and your health.”

The hypocrisy is dizzying.

I would say you can’t make this stuff up, except when we’re dealing with the Mets, you never have to make this stuff up. One day after one of the most feel-good days of this and many recent years — the improbable doubleheader sweep of the Marlins and even more improbable redemption of Baez, however temporary — arrives news that, less than nine hours before the 1:10 p.m. first pitch of that twin bill, the acting GM of the team — and a bad actor at that — was fast asleep in his car, an inglorious end of a night that at least in part began at a charity event run by Mets owner Steve Cohen.

Life around the Mets is like that old joke about the weather in San Francisco — if you think things are boring, wait an hour.

And speaking of old jokes, there was one Joe DiMaggio used to tell whenever he was asked how much he might be worth if he were playing in modern times. He would always say he’d walk into the owner’s office, shake hands, and say, “Hiya, partner!”

Zack Scott
Zack Scott
Corey Sipkin

You can only imagine how Theo Epstein reacted to this news, on the same day Joel Sherman in The Post lent voice to something so many Mets fans have been feeling from the day Steve Cohen was approved as owner: that Cohen’s next big move, after flushing the front office of pretenders, should be to hand Epstein a blank check. And, surely now, Epstein (who, it should be noted, gave Scott his first job in baseball in 2003 with the Red Sox) has the leverage to walk into Cohen’s office if and when that interview happens and break the ice similar to the way the Yankee Clipper fantasized. Only it’ll be no joke.

All of that should have been on the docket anyway, given the Mets’ performance (or lack thereof) on Scott’s watch, given Scott’s curious calling-out of his players after doing nothing to fortify them at the deadline, a clerk calling out the guys in the arena.

Now?

Scott will be given the chance to clear his name and prove his innocence if he chooses to. He is entitled to that much. And if it turns out to all be a big misunderstanding, being asleep at the wheel at 4:17 in the morning, refusing a breathalyzer, then good for him. He can pursue many other exciting business interests.

Just not with the Mets. He’d earned a pink slip anyway, even before he parked his car on South Lexington Avenue.

via

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