Jun 26, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets manager Buck Showalter (11) on the field before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s fair to say that as things have gotten worse for the New York Mets, so has Buck Showalter’s relationship with the media. The 67-year-old Showalter has often been a media darling throughout his managerial career, but as pressure has mounted on an underperforming ballclub, he’s starting to get more and more testy with the local beat.

On Sunday, while his bullpen melted down in a 7-6 loss to the Phillies, Showalter inexplicably decided against using his key relievers—Adam Ottavino, Brooks Raley and David Robertson—in a crucial series finale. Coming into Sunday, Robertson had pitched twice in the last 10 days and only threw 13 pitches on Saturday, while Ottavino had pitched just twice in the last week.

Showalter opted to use two arms—Josh Walker and Jeff Brigham—who weren’t on the Opening Day roster instead. It went as expected, but Showalter maintained that he didn’t have his best guys available, as he was saving Roberston for a ninth-inning appearance that never came. He also said that Ottavino was unavailable, though the veteran reliever relayed a different answer to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. And Showalter later said he would’ve had Ottavino pitch in extra innings if needed.

During the Mets’ 2-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, Showalter elected to use Robertson, Raley and Ottavino, despite his team trailing from the sixth inning on.

And after the game, he mentioned how Monday’s bullpen usage might affect Tuesday. Using that same logic, DiComo did his job and elected to press Showalter on if he regrets his bullpen usage on Sunday.

“No, those guys weren’t available (Sunday),” Showalter said. “We deemed them before the game. So they were available (Monday). They weren’t available (Sunday). So I don’t know what else we could’ve done, so that doesn’t make much sense.”

Again, Ottavino said after Sunday’s game that he was available to pitch, and Roberston was warming up in the bullpen, even after the game had gotten away from the Mets. So, Showalter contradicted himself with his answer on Monday as he continued his hapless routine, refusing to take accountability, despite being the face of this underperforming enterprise.

Whether Showalter takes responsibility for his bullpen decisions is beside the point here. Even after Monday’s loss, he continued to refute himself, even though he otherwise indicated that both Robertson and Ottavino were available in some capacity on Sunday. His logic doesn’t make much sense here, and those in the local media, like DiComo made sure to point that out. And yet, Showalter has doubled down on the fact that his hands were tied.

Even with his previous assertations already being proven incorrect, Showalter continued to stick by his answers. At this going rate, Mets fans certainly deserve a whole hell of a lot better.

[MLB.com; photo from Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.