Hal Steinbrenner seems intrigued by change this offseason, hiring an outside firm to do a thorough audit of the Yankees' practices, all the way up to Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone. But if you really want to get slapped upside the head, there's nobody better than Tommy Pham.
The New York Mets learned that the hard way on Thursday, when Pham's quotes in an Athletic exposé went viral. Side note: Where is the Yankees' exposé? The Mets are rich and they failed, the Padres are rich and they failed, we get it. Where's our slice of the crazy pie?!
The highlight (lowlight?) of Tim Britton and Will Sammon's Mets evisceration was Pham's reflection on the team's "terrible f***ing June". The 35-year-old escaped New York at the trade deadline, helping to keep the young Diamondbacks pumping in the second half. But, when pressed, he reflected on his time in Flushing by revealing that he'd confessed some pretty heavy truths to de facto Mets captain Francisco Lindor.
The aggregation of Pham's quote missed a bit of key context. In reality, he claimed he had a lot of "respect for the work ethics" of Lindor, Pete Alonso and Brandon Nimmo, the offense's leaders (by most optics). That begs the question: Who was he referring to when he claimed the Mets possessed the "least-hardest working group of position players [he'd] ever played with"?
Former Mets OF Tommy Pham needs to spend some time in Yankees locker room
Brett Baty, Mark Vientos and the rookies? Jeff McNeil, who conspicuously evaded mention or praise? We're all ears!
And, keep in mind, that Pham's saying all of this after having played for the phoning-it-in 2022 Boston Red Sox. So this really stings.
There's no indication the scuffling Yankees aren't working hard to try to break the spell and start hitting again. Giancarlo Stanton said as much to the gathered press on Wednesday night in his latest accountability session. Just because nothing's changing doesn't mean they aren't desperately searching.
But, still, this adds one more reason to the pile why it'd be interesting to chase Pham as a one-year deal candidate this offseason. He brings the fire and intensity of Josh Donaldson without the expensive long-term commitment. His bat hasn't slowed yet (116 OPS+ split between two destinations this season). And, perhaps most of all, it would allow Yankees fans to finally get a detailed read on whether or not there are any preparation problems inside this locker room. Consider it a science experiment. Pham's already partied with the control group (the Mets). Now, introduce him to the variable.
One thing's for sure. Whether the Yankees are the paragon of prep or another lazy flock, Pham won't be scared to let you know.