On June 25th, I posted with glee the Mets were starting 7 home grown players out of nine for that night's game. A short time after that the Mets set an organizational record for the most consecutive games played with the most home grown players in the line-up.
Everyone knows by now how much I've been snivelling about how my ship has sailed regarding this team's old guard. Ollie, Maine, Beltran, Castillo, and Barajas and Francoeur too; I'm DONE, and have been and you all know this! I've been screaming about all of this since I moved into the Hood over the winter...haven't I?
If the Wilpons will not permit a quality deadline transaction to improve our pitching, I don't want the old guard wasting my time anymore. I realize I am alone on an island with my thinking. Just remember I kept reminding everyone how badly I wanted this team broken up in 2007. I also realize that my wishes and the Mets' reality are in conflict. These players I mentioned have contracts that just don't disappear. I get all that. I guess I'm just killing myself over a philosophical debate here. But having said that, finally, three years later after me asking for the team to be gutted, the Mets embarked on transitioning this team to it's young farm hands (I think it came about through desperation but we can argue whether the Mets did it by design or got here by accident).
What do the Mets need right now to make a playoff push? We know. They need a top flight number two pitcher and a slugger better than Jeff Francoeur. Francoeur can be packaged so he doesn't bother me too much right now. Pitching? There's a large price to pay for that. I am not willing to pay a whole lot for anyone right now considering Lee is off the market. Oswalt? The Astros will want too much I believe. What will the price be and how many of my kids do they want? And I just don't trust Oswalt in a Met uniform in a year two or three scenario. I will just not do it. Oswalt to me represents another expensive Met band-aid. If the Mets want to get Lilly on the cheap or something like that?...Whatever! Really.
I am saying I am willing to let the chips on 2010 fall where they may. I do not want this front office to do anything short-sighted. I am not interested in a three month fix.
Here's my dream of Opening Day 2011:
catcher ~ JOSH THOLE
1st base ~ IKE DAVIS
2nd base ~ REESE HAVENS (AA) ~ JON MALO (AA) ~ RUBEN TEJADA (AAA)
shortstop ~ JOSE REYES ~ (see 2nd base candidates), FLORES
3rd base ~ DAVID WRIGHT
left field ~ Jason Bay...we have no choice. I was warm at best over his signing.
center field ~ ANGEL PAGAN
right field ~ FERNANDO MARTINEZ
Starter ~ Johan
Starter ~ MIKE PELFREY
Starter ~ JON NIESE
Starter ~ (AAA) DYLAN OWEN
Starter ~ (AAA) DILLON GEE
Starter ~ (AAA) HENNRY MEJIA
Starter ~ FERNANDO NIEVE
bullpen ~ BOBBY PARNELL
bullpen ~ EDDIE KUNZ
Now, will these names I mentioned win me a Championship? C'mon...I don't think so. But you assemble them together and see what you have. See if there is a core worth building around. Do I think we have some players like that? Yes. Put them together and see if they can gel. See which ones work well together. Keep shaking the pieces and watch them fall into slots. Then..., I say we take the steps necessary through astute trades and using free agency to compliment, augment and supplement that core of young, joyful, gamely, hungry players.
In a more simpler posting of mine...that's it; That's my plan as of today. It hasn't really differed. I'm still pursuing the same things I wanted in April; the same things I wanted over the winter and the same things I've been looking to take place since July of 2007.
Do I think the Wilpons are going to blow this for me? Absolutely!!
I don't think they realize what they started and where they are right now. Take a look. Since the All*Star Game, the Mets are 1-4 (as of 7/21 they are 1-5 since the break; and have lost 11 of their last 15). Beltran made his return and that lone victory we have since the break is when Beltran did not start. For the first time this season, last night against Arizona, we fielded our Type-A Line-up. Beltran, Reyes, Castillo and the rest of the starting cast finally played in a game together. So what happened? The D-Backs blew us out. We left a lot more than our hearts in San Francisco when we got shut-out twice there. Now we haven't been able to win a game in the dessert yet.
I guess what is OLD is NEW again. We've reassembled the cast of regulars and the chaos is back as well.
The Mets are already being appeasers with Beltran. Instead of making him fit into the new context of this re-invented line-up, the Mets have acquiesced to Beltran by allowing him to play CF over Pagan because he's "more comfortable" there. He's wearing a brace the size of a milk crate and he's already back telling the team what's good for him. THAT'S why I have no more use for the old guard folks. That's why my ship has sailed. The return of Castillo and Beltran have already caused ripples in the water and disruptions with positive efforts the young lings put forward to help keep us with-in sight of first place. The other guys are back and we've stumbled out of the gate entering this 2nd half.
Is there a correlation? Who cares. It still doesn't get me what I want.
Yea...the Wilpons are going to get this wrong; very very wrong. They have no plan. Omar MIGHT have one but it's clear Jeff Wilpon is pulling all the strings and their end of the business is in bad and worsening shape...or so we hear. That means the Wilpons are in somewhat in survival mode and people do desperate things when in that situation. The lack of a plan and desperation is a horrible mix for me to fathom as it pertains to my team.
In 2011 we have expiring contracts and flexibility on the way. Maybe the best thing the Mets can do at the trade deadline is...Nothing.(?) That wouldn't bother me. Don't do anything stupid JEFF. Don't over pay for Oswalt. If there is another guy who will eat up innings and make a game of things in the 4th slot.......fine. There's a couple of names out there to chose from (who don't impress me at all!)
The kids of this organization have saved Jerry Manuel's job this season. They also helped Omar save face. The kids of this organization have given the fan base a whole new perspective.
Don't blow this for us JEFF! What is in your best interest right now is to start weaning yourself off the money siphoning players we have, cutting ties with the dead weight, promoting the players from within and signing Cliff Lee this winter.
Jeff promised us last Fall, his Father's company was in good shape, the Mets were healthy, we would be active with trades and seeking free agents, and that payroll would not be a restrictive issue. Oh yea, he also told us Omar is free to run this team as he sees fit.
Here's the answer to that. The Wilpons have never been forthright about their financial troubles. I believe the only reason they signed Jason Bay was for appearances and fan perception. Why? ~ Because they do things like that. Oh yea, we got joined at the hip with Ollie Perez and Omar got lucky with R.A. Dickey. Payroll? Again...the Wilpons say one thing and behave a different way. And it's clear Omar can't do anything unless Jeff approves it.
So...you tell me Jeff...!? This is all up to you buddy. Your season ticket holder's faith lies in the balance. Me? The wind is picking up and I'm ready to sail Dude. Everything is coming together. Are we going to go full-blown re-build or what? Most of it is here already. Just finish the job and don't blow it. Feeling the Breeze Jeff?