Comparing Luis Rojas to "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and "Game of Thrones: Season 8"
Before this gets into Yankee fan territory of complaining and giving up on the season after 5 games and then winning 100 games let me be clear. We have only seen Luis Rojas manage 64 MLB games and who knows how much control managers in today’s MLB really have. This is not a panic laced article, it’s not me giving up on Rojas at all and I think the Mets are going to win 95 games this year. This being said, Rojas needs to avoid the “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”/Final season of “Game of Thrones” approach of subverting expectations at every turn.
What I mean by this is sometimes an obvious decision is just that – obvious! Simply because people were predicting what would happen in the final season of GOT on reddit, does not mean that those things needed to not happen. Similarly, Luke Skywalker did not have to be reduced to a whiny force hologram and die for no reason while Leia – played by the actually deceased Carrie Fisher, survived a spaceship being blown to pieces. In Mets terms, Jeff McNeill does not need to bat 7th behind Jonathan Villar!
However, is important to make this distinguishment: There are times when it is beneficial to switch things up and catch an opponent off guard. The reason I was disappointed with “The Last Jedi” and Season 8 of GOT is there were CONSTANT subverting of expectations. In GOT there were a number of major plot points that needed to be resolved that fans were excited about. Who would sit on the throne? What would happen to Jamie and Cersei? Would Daenerys actually fulfill her plan to return home to Westeros? How would the White Walkers play into the ending? Literally every one of these questions were answered with bizarre events that nobody saw coming. Bran on the throne, Jamie and Cersei getting crushed by rocks, Daenerys going insane, the White Walkers not mattering. The Last Jedi has a similar problem. Perhaps a few twists and turns would have been terrific, but for every major plot point to be a convolution of the story is overkill. This is where Luis Rojas comes in: Don’t overthink things. The Mets have arguably their best lineup in franchise history (I compare the 2021 lineup to other great Met lineups here: https://www.scooterbigman.com/) play them and crush people. If Rojas wants to be extremely literal (I don’t agree with this strategy) and play Pillar against a lefty on opening day, then pinch hit Dom Smith with the bases loaded against a righty. And if he isn’t going to be literal and keep Pillar in that spot then pinch-hit Dom Smith against lefty Jose Alvarado in the 9th. Consistency matters. The Mets have an immensely talented roster and this is not the time to tamper or get cute, just put the real team out there every day and win 95+ games for the first time since 2006.
Thanks for reading!