State of the NY Mets.
Posted on: May 3, 2009 3:26 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2009 5:35 pm
I am feeling very wary of this entire organization. The Mets are 10-13 and play like they have no clue about the sport. They also show little to no resilience having only once comeback after trailing after 6 innings. They don't hit in the clutch or get clutch outs from any of their starters not named Santana or any reliever not named Rodriguez. They simply look unchanged from the 2008 and 2007 versions who quite frankly are IMHO the 2 greatest disappointments in club history.
Their top affiliate Buffalo(AAA) is a minor league worst 3-18. The top prospects there are Niese, Gee and Martinez. None of them are doing anything special. Gee is 1-3 with a high ERA, Niese is 0-2 with a 6+ ERA and Martinez is hitting .265 with no stolen bases and 25 strikeouts. The others aren't even worth mentioning. It's very sad.
There is some hope at Binghamton and St.Lucie(managed by our own Tim Teufel) where both teams are 2 over .500 and 1 game back. There are some prospects doing well like Roy Merritt @ AA who has 8 saves already and is a lefty. They also have a young Canadian 2B man named Emmanuel Garcia who his hitting well. Reese Havens is showing some pop as well. However, overall, they're not teeming with talent.
What concerns me as well is those doing the coaching and teaching. Ken Oberkfell @ AAA has over 700 minor league wins and has won a PSL title @ St.Lucie and has taken both New Orleans(AAA) and Binghamton to their respective league's finals(and lost). He is getting a raw deal IMHO. He, not a previous fired coach like Razor Shines should be @ the big league level. In fact, IMHO he should be the bench coach. He's played the game and been a champion('82 Cardinals) and was a scrappy player. He also has managed many of these players in the minors. He's a true organizational guy. Instead we have Razor Shines and Sandy Alomar, Sr. Sorry, but both are downright horrid. IMHO, they are part of the problem and Alomar is a holdover from the failed Randolph reign of error. Both should be summarily fired. We also have Ricky Bones as our AAA pitching coach. I remember Ricky Bones as a pitcher and he was at best mediocrity. Right now his pitching staff @ AAA is a disgrace. Now @ AA last year his team had a 4.19 ERA and Niese seemed to respond to him. However, we can't do better than him? Look at our SNY crew. We have Ron Darling an incredibly bright and perceptive guy who was a terrific pitcher. He's a great communicator and each and every inning I listen to him, I learn more about pitching. You think maybe he could impart that to kids? Let's say Ronny is happy where he is, what about Bobby Ojeda? Another former Ex-Met with grit. Bobby is a combination of jokester, seer and maniac. Maybe a guy like that can shake some of the doldrums out of our organizational pitching.
My new friend Schwo(a Phils fan) stated Larry Bowa would be a good fit for the Mets. I believe he's 100% on the money. However, not as a manager, but as a 3B coach or perhaps a bench or hitting coach. I think Larry @ 3B would be aggressive and he truly knows baserunning. He was a crafty one for both the Phils and the Mets. He is the personification of grit which this team lacks in spades. I believe(as Schwo stated) that he would have an positive effect on Wright and Reyes. Those guys are our core and IMHO the only untouchable everyday players in the entire organization. They need not to be coddled, but challenged. Bowa is the guy to do that. Larry knows, loves and has a passion for this game that is almost unmatched. He would light a fire. However, Omar(IMHO) would never hire him and that's the problem.
What about Gary Carter? He managed one year @ PSL and won the championship. Now Garry is a bit of a phony(I was never a fan of his), but he knows the game and is one of the game's greatest catchers. The dude is underrated. When you combine his defense with his incredible offense, you are looking @ a guy who statistically matches up to Bench and Piazza and only Bench was better defensively.You think he could have an effect on Thole or Pena? This organization needs those guys to develop because we have nothing else. Gary could be managing or even as the pitching coach. He did a great job calling games. He has a passion and verve for the game. He's energetic, even if he's pretentious.
Of course you know where I'm going here. I'm going straight to the top of the organization. That starts and ends with Omar Minaya. He's the titular head. He's the guy who somehow got a 3 year extension after 2 epic collapses, a botched firing of his original hire and talk of a fractured club house, a cultural separation of his team(Los Mets) and the Castillo contract(that alone was dismissal for firing). Omar has put together not a team, but a collection of fantasy players. The Mets may have the best fantasy team in baseball, but as is they aren't winning because they lack chemistry, grit and a sense of urgency. From their coaching they get little. They have bland coaches with little/no fire. The coaches need to lead because the clubhouse has no leadership whatsoever.
Their clubhouse is full of players who are as vanilla as a soft cone @ Carvel. Wright has some grit and really take it to heart, but he is so consumed with being a leader, IMHO it effects his game and he presses from wanting to be the hero on the field. No one else in that dugout is even close. Beltran is a very good player, but he's quiet. That's fine, but there are too many like him. Reyes is so immature no one is going to take him seriously. He's more concerned with his dancing and shimmying then playing the game right and respecting it. Delgado is a bitter, sour back-stabbing punk. When he leaves, I won't miss him an iota. Schneider has some grit, but he's always hurt. Church is Mr.Vanilla. He's so vanilla, he should be nick-named McCormick's. Murphy seems to have grit, but he's a rookie who quite frankly has been left on an island. I don't see Church or even Beltran helping this kid much. Wright seems to be his only buddy. Castillo is an outsider and has no leadership as well. No pitcher is going to step up. Sheffield is a cancer. The guy is a divider and a racist. Cora is a back-up infielder. Santana is great, but he's all business. Maine, Pelfrey are young guys finding their way. Perez is a screwball and Hernandez will be gone shortly. K-Rod is fiery, but he's not the leadership guy. He's a tad loco and a bit of a showoff. Putz seems intense, but he's a set-up guy. This isn't the Boston, Philly or even Dodger clubhouse, is it?
Now we'll get fans and posters who will say, once they start winning(let's hope!) this will go away. No, it won't. They are wrong IMHO and missing the point. The last 2 September's this team was ahead with 17 games left and collapsed. 2007's was epic, 2008's may have been a result of of 2007. That's not talent folks, that's psychological. That's where leaders step up. Philly has Utley and Rollins. Boston has tons. They have Lowell, Varitek and young players like Pedroia and Papelbon who have grit. The Dodgers have Torre and Martin seems to be a budding leader.
This blog isn't about 23 games. This is about those 23 games and the 324 previous ones. That's a span of 347 games. That's more than enough to analyze and come to some conclusions though they are hard to admit. I believe one of those is if this coaching staff isn't shaken up, some players moved and tough-nosed players brought in( EG Jermanie Dye) this team will flounder and fail. There is time to turn this around, but as each game slips by and nothing is done, time becomes shorter and the risk for failure becomes greater.
I'm not bagging this season or abandoning ship. I'm just stating this organization is not in great shape, everything isn't peachy keen and immediate changes are needed. If our GM does nothing for a 3rd straight year in season, for a 3rd straight year, we'll have failure. That failure will be on the players and coaches, but IMHO most on it's architect, Omar Minaya. Time to step up amigo and stop putting your foot-in-your-mouth and put it on someone's behind. It's time to show you have grit and the rightstuff. If you don't, you should be feeling the heat. Your head would then be on the chopping block. It's time to roll up-your-sleeves and get to work. Your siesta is over.