Goodbye Omar Minaya. You should have been out of here a long time ago for making the New York Mets the “Mess” they are, now something that a new general manager will inherit. As for Jerry Manuel, nice guy who was never the right fit for this team calling decisions in the dugout.
What took Fred and Jeff Wilpon so long to pull the plug and finally make their move to fix this “Mess” in Flushing at Citi Field? They made a rare and must appearance together Monday at Citi Field. They addressed their public, the fans.
Jeff and Fred, father and son gave their assessment and had to give the answers. Because they saw the empty seats at their new and sparkling ballpark these past two Septembers. The fans truly had their voice heard by staying home and finding something better to do than watching losing baseball.
So, where do we go from here? Minaya collects another year of his million dollar salary and contemplates what to and surly knows the new GM will not require his services. Manuel goes home to Sacramento, picks up some rocks and reflects on what went wrong during his tenure in the dugout
And Mets fans wonder, will they see pennant winning baseball in the near future? As one Mets insider said to yours truly last week, “It will take another five years to clean what Omar put together.” Truly believe that it will be that long a duration if Fred and more so, Jeff, move visible, and the CEO, allows the new GM to have full autonomy on baseball decisions.
You see it never worked that way across the Robert F, Kennedy Bridge in the Bronx. Though Brian Cashman supposedly has most if not all the baseball decision making at Yankee Stadium, we all know the late George Steinbrenner made the final call about player acquisitions, scouting, development, and the overall baseball operation including the manager.
The new regime for the Yankees, the sons, Hal and Hank, Randy Levine and company will make it known that Cashman has that autonomy, But we all know the Steinbrenner billion dollar empire knows baseball. They make the final decisions as Cashman gives them their evaluation and opinion. As much as Fred and Jeff said that losing made them suffer, and as Fred said, “We don’t pick baseball players, we never had,” perhaps they should hand the team over to people or investors that know baseball.
They trusted their money with Minaya. The Mets this year, with the fifth highest payroll in baseball will carry about $130 million of that into next year, coming off another fourth place finish and second straight losing year at Citi Field.
Just a brief overview of the “Mess” Minaya hands over to the new regime, and it does not matter who the new head of command will be, Or who the new manager is. Whether it is Wally Backman or Bobby Valentine, or someone else, the new field general will have to suffer with more losing.
Because the youngsters that Manuel put on the field in August, and in September have a lot to prove. They could be parts of the rebuilding via a trade or two. Or continue to develop with the right manager and coaches in place.
What to do with the Minaya “Mess” that comprised these Mets the past few years? You can’t love Omar “like a son” as Fred Wilpon said Monday because of this: It’s October and the Mets are once again in hibernation.
Because Oliver Perez is owed another $12 million of a $36 million dollar contract and in two of those years the Mets pitcher had a 6.81 ERA in 31 mound appearances, and did not make a start this season after May 14th.
Because Luis Castillo with his four- year $25 million contract extension hit .235 this year, had his share of injuries and most of the second half sat on the bench and second base went to youngsters Luis Hernandez and Ruben Tejada.
Because when a Mets top prospect Fernando Martinez was a hot item, and a coveted trade commodity, numerous opportunities to get value for Martinez were bypassed. Martinez became a true disappointment and now damaged goods with injury after injury.
Because the Mets never had a reliable closer on the mound, even with bad boy Francisco Rodriguez and it was Minaya who had no hope for Heath Bell who was traded to San Diego for Ben Johnson and Jon Adkins. Where are Johnson and Adkins now? No longer with the organization and Bell was second in National League saves this season with the Padres who were in contention.
Because there were so many more bogus transactions done by Minaya that fail to address his sometime success with obtaining Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez, Carlos Delgado, plus giving Jose Reyes and David Wright extended contracts,
Said Jeff Wilpon “We have a lot of fans out there; we just have to bring them back. And from Fred “I love the New York Mets. I love this franchise. We made investments that weren’t good investments. We take the responsibility, the buck stops here.”
And it certainly does stop here now. Hopefully, it will end, this “Mess” of the Mets that Minaya caused. Even with some success, one game away from a National League pennant and back to the World Series in 2006. Fred and Jeff now get another opportunity to get it right with a new regime.
e-mail Rich Mancuso: [email protected]