Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya have to dread off days, because it gives the guys who cover the Mets extra time to think about the big picture issues as opposed to any single game.

First its the Daily News' Adam Rubin unloading on Omar:
You are watching the painfully slow demise of The New Mets, the vision Omar Minaya articulated four years ago but built as a house of cards . . . Two primary reasons for the Mets' misfortunes are clear: Minaya used to espouse the idea of having a young and athletic roster, which proved lip service in reality. Like a college student with a credit card, he just spent and spent and spent without considering any consequences [and] the decline and fragility of veteran players has been compounded by one of the worst farm systems in baseball, which has left no safety net . . .

. . . The dependence on free agency coupled with the lack of a farm system also raises the question: Has Minaya failed to recognize a seismic shift in the MLB landscape?

Fair criticism on Rubin's part. This isn't exactly The Worst Team Money Could Buy, but it's all facade, really. Once you get past David Wright and (sometimes) Jose Reyes, there is not a lot to build on here.

The Post's Bart Hubbuch is up next:
Just call them The Middlin' New York Mets .

After forking over a whole lot of millions in the offseason, the Wilpons are getting a whole lot of mediocrity in return. At this rate, a team built with the World Series in mind will be lucky to claim the NL wild card.

How pedestrian and disappointing is the league-high $140 million lineup assembled by GM Omar Minaya? Consider that the Mets awoke on June 10 last year to find themselves 36-24 and holding a 31/2-game lead in the NL East standings. Exactly one year later, they are in fourth place at 30-32 and already a whopping 71/2 games behind the surging, first-place Phillies.

That's the club's largest deficit since Sept. 30, 2005, when the Mets were eight games out. The Mets' record in that one-year span is 82-82 - the definition of ordinary.
Hubbuch is a little more complimentary about the roster, but again, I can't find anything in his piece with which I disagree.

Not that it would have mattered if I did. The New York papers fight tooth and nail for scoops and readership, but there has always been this sense of a harmonious convergence whenever the end of a manager or general manager's tenure is near. You can smell it in the air, and I'm smelling it now.

You can also imagine Rubin and Hubbuch sitting next to each other on the charter flight home from San Diego on Sunday night, sipping cocktails and deciding that, yes, it is high time to bring this unseemliness to a close:

"Adam -- would you like to take Omar or Willie?" Bart inquired.

"Omar, " said Adam. "He's ripe for attack. And you?"

"I think I'll bury them both," Bart replied.

The scribes then paused for a moment, clinked glasses, and laughed maniacally.


Ken Dynamo said...

if willie ends up lasting the whole year will you just add milliseconds and then nanoseconds to the count down? at what point does that statute of limitations run out for 'calling it first'?

Craig Calcaterra said...

I'll go out to six decimel places if I have to!

OK, maybe not. And I agree, I'm pretty much at the end of the road on this bit. I just kind of like the clock thing and I'm having a hard time giving up.

I hereby reserve the right to break it out if Willie says something stupid about race again.

Sony said...

People are right when they say the NY media is much harsher than L.A. Ned COlletti is a far, far worse GM then Minaya, yet the reporters just parrot back his pablum- once we get Andruw Jones, Pierre, Garciaparra and Jason Schmidt right, we should be fine and, anyway, its all the kids' fault for not liking Larry Bowa.

themarksmith said...

I agree. Randolph and Minaya have an underachieving team. Is it their fault for putting it together? Yes, but remember, everyone at the outset thought they would win the division. Should those experts be fired, too? Probably not. Baseball's a goofy game, and with 90+ games left and a near .500 record, it's not time to panic ... yet.