SOURCE - Former New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler was suspended through the 2024 World Series on Friday by baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, who concluded he directed team staff to fabricate injuries to create open roster spots.
Manfred said in a statement that Eppler directed “the deliberate fabrication of injuries; and the associated submission of documentation for the purposes of securing multiple improper injured list placements during the 2022 and 2023 seasons.”
Use of the so-called “phantom injured list” is thought to be common throughout baseball, but Eppler is the first to be disciplined.
There's a couple different ways to look at this. One could be that this is a pretty light punishment because Eppler is already getting paid the Mets for 2024 because he was fired before this suspension. He won't lose a cent. He's the perfect scapegoat for Rob Manfred to use to crack down on teams using the IL improperly.
It's a fair thing to crackdown on because teams use it improperly all the time. It's the most open secret of all time that teams will manipulate the IL and in many cases, the players are happy to comply because they would be accrue service time and be paid a major league salary while on the IL instead of being sent down the AAA where they would get neither of those things.
The other way to look at it is Billy Eppler was really bad at cheating and went way overboard with how he broke this rule to the point where the league had to step in. I'm also pretty curious who ratted him out to the league. There must be some players who maybe didn't like how they were treated by Eppler or was this people inside the Mets front office who couldn't wait to sit on Eppler the second was no longer in charge?
As much as I hate to say it, this really is the Same Old Mets. Just in the past few years, there's been a former manager (Mickey Callaway) accused of sexual harassment and was suspended from the MLB. This whole thing feels like exactly what would have happened under the Wilpon regime. It's stupid and sort of pointless. It's ideal LOLMets.
Does this have much of an effect on 2024? Not at all. Eppler is a pretty shitty GM. He has proved that now with the Mets and the Angels. Even before this scandal, it's not like he was going to have a flourishing career in someone's front office next year. I can see a team hiring him an advisor when the suspension is up but his days of running a MLB team are long over.