Doesn’t Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS seem like it took place a decade ago? The Mets were THAT CLOSE to a World Series berth and potential championship after a magical season in which they dominated the NL the entire year.
Ever since Yadier Molina homered off Aaron Heilman and Carlos Beltran took strike 3 to end the series, it’s been a painful, downhill slide, with no end in sight. When you fall off of a cliff, you have to hit rock bottom at some point, right? But every time you think it can’t get any worse, or it can’t get more painful, it does.
– A monumental 2007 collapse topped off with a “gem” by Tom Glavine. Enough said about that season.
– A wacky 2008 which saw the Mets fire their manager in the middle of the night on the West Coast, rebound under Jerry Manuel to take over first place, only to finish off the season with yet another late-September collapse.
– The optimism surrounding a fresh start in a new ballpark for 2009 evaporating almost immediately. It started with complaints about Citi Field – everything ranging from a lack of Mets presence to overpriced seats to obstructed views. It then continued with injury after injury, loss after loss, with a Luis Castillo dropped pop-up in between. Oh, and if an abysmal season wasn’t enough, the cherry on top: a Yankees-Phillies World Series. C’mon, really? You can’t make this stuff up.
Mets fans were ready to turn the page on ’09 in July, so with the Winter Meetings and Hot Stove, we clung to some hopes (or dreams) that Omar & the Wilpons would do something major – something to improve the club and give fans reason to be excited for 2010. We should have known better.
Roy Halladay? Nope – and worse, he goes to the Phillies! John Lackey? No thanks Mets, I’ll go to Boston. Free agents are going off the board left and right, and what do the Mets have to show for themselves? 2 backup catchers and a backup middle infielder. Nice!
Truth be told, the Mets need several pieces to become a true contender. I actually don’t want to see Omar and the Mets overpay for Matt Holliday or Jason Bay just to make a splash. I’m concerned that they’ll do just that – or give 3 years to Bengie Molina, or give Jason Marquis or Joel Piniero an Oliver Perez-like contract which they’ll be stuck with.
I don’t know what the answers are. But the most frustrating thing in all of this is that I have no confidence that the Mets’ management has a clue as to what the answers are, or that they even have a plan. The Wilpons gave us a nice ballpark, but they don’t know a thing about running a baseball team. Signing Omar Minaya to a 3 year extension BEFORE last season is proof enough of that. Minaya doesn’t know how to put together a major league club, farm system, or talk to the media. The only thing he does know how to do is overpay for free agents that other teams have no interest in (Perez, Castillo).
So what do we have to look forward to? It’s hard to argue with the Daily News’ recent cover – the Mets are Scrooged.
The Mets are in trouble. I think that’s pretty obvious to anyone who has seen the injury reports or the lineups that the Mets have been putting on the field on a nightly basis. The Mets somehow survived a West Coast trip and a recent homestand with their makeshift roster, but after being swept by the Pirates and in danger of losing a series to the Nationals, it’s time to sound the alarm.
Jose Reyes is out anywhere from 1-3 months (wth a hamstring injury, you just never know). Carlos Delgado is out until August or later. JJ Putz is undergoing elbow surgery, and it looks like Billy Wagner might make it back to the team before he does (yikes). As for the rotation, Oliver Perez is trying to rehab in the minors (take your time, Ollie), John Maine is still not 100% after surgery, Mike Pelfrey is inconsistent when he’s not balking, and Tim Redding is, well, Tim Redding.
Now is the time for Omar Minaya to do something. I’m not sure what that something is, but that’s why he’s being paid to be the GM. It will certainly be a challenge, especially for Omar. When you look at his biggest moves at GM, his acquisitions have either been due to throwing money at free agents, or having players fall into his lap (Johan). The Mets don’t have much of a minor league system to play with, but the flip side to that is almost no one should be untouchable. I wouldn’t trade Fernando Martinez (yet), and I would hold onto Bobby Parnell. Anyone else is fair game. Daniel Murphy? Love the guy, but he doesn’t have a position and now he’s struggling to hit. Jon Niese? See ya.
To me, the Mets needs in order of priority are offense and starting pitching. The Mets could use someone who plays the corner outfield and/or first base. Could Lance Berkman be available? He’s a switch hitter who can play first base or the outfield, and could provide some much needed power. As for starting pitching, the Mets need a solid #2 or #3 type pitcher. They have their ace for years to come, but they have a bunch of #4’s after Johan.
I don’t know what Omar can pull off, but the Mets need more than a band aid. The Mets need Omar to pull off some major surgery. The way the Mets have been going down with injuries, maybe another surgery isn’t so far fetched. Let’s hope he can come up with something, and fast, before this season slips away.