New York Mets, RIP

The Mets sucked this season. No news there.

It was exceptionally disconcerting watching them self-destruct in almost the same fashion as they did last season, with less margin to spare.

While the Wilpons keep saying GM Omar Minaya did a good job, one has to question that considering he did nothing to upgrade an already shaky bullpen at the trading deadline and then only added Luis Ayala a few weeks later.

And while much was made of the bullpen’s collapse, I also question why Jerry Manuel went through 4+ relievers on average per game, telling us it was all about match-ups when the fresher arms brought up September 1 idly sat in the bullpen much of the month.

The Mets never fired on all cylinders with hitting and pitching in synch. It was one or the other while other teams found their rhythm and outperformed them in the stretch, including the Phillies and Marlins. If you checked the reports, you’d see how the Phillies put together beginnings and come backs to play their way into contention while the Mets continued leaving men on base and rallied way too infrequently.

I would like to think there will be some wholesale changes on the team so they’re better balanced and able to go into 2009 ready to contend.

Auction Update

The charity auction for the Siegel home ended earlier today and the naming rights for an appearance in next year’s Iron Man novel went for $512. I just need to hear from them who the lucky person is.


Infield

Clearly, they will pick up Carlos Delgado’s option so first base is fine. David Wright and Jose Reyes aren’t going anywhere so 3B and SS are also spoken for. Second has been a gaping hole and if Daniel Murphy successfully learns the position during hr Winter League then we have a viable layer. Argenes Reyes can then back him up.

Yes, they should eat Luis Castillo’s salary and dump him fast.

Outfield

Left field needs a power hitter, exactly what they signed Moises Alou for and he was signed a decade too late. Nick Evans is too light hitting and is better as the 4th or 5th outfielder. Endy Chavez is the ultimate backup and late inning defensive guy so the position needs filling from outside the organization.

Carlos Beltran in center and Ryan Church in right should be fine. Church has all winter to get back his timing, lost to concussions suffered in service to the team.

Catcher

Brian Schneider and Ramon Castro were inching towards a true platoon when one then the other got hurt. If they can stay healthy, I’m perfectly comfortable with these guys coming back.

Pitching Rotation

Pedro Martinez will be gone. Oliver Perez probably should be re-signed. If so, that gives then Johan Santana, John Maine, Mike Pelfrey and Perez. Not bad. But the open slot requires a proven commodity, someone who can throw strikes and go deep. Who that player is remains to be seen but it won’t be Jonathan Niese or one of the farm hands.

Bullpen

I feel for Scott Schoeneweiss who has more important things on his mind during his last two appearances. None of that excuses the last two seasons of shoddy pitching. Aaron Heilman, I think, has pitched his way off the team. With Bill Wagner hurt and the Mets on the hook for his $10.5 million 2009 salary, this hampers the planning. They need strong, reliable arms that throw strikes and put a little fear into the opposing lineup when they come in from the pen.

Joe Smith and Pedro Feliciano were overused cutting into their effectiveness. They also never really had a reliable long man and clearly they need to get back to that. Maybe Niese or a different farm hand gets auditioned here.

The problem is, everyone knows the Mets need a new bullpen so the asking prices will come high.

3 comments

  • Peter David

    A very cogent wrap-up–not dissimilar from using a newspaper to wrap up the stinking fish of a season. But I notice that you make no mention of the coaching staff. What’s your take on that? You’re correct that the offense and the defense never seemed to be in the game at the same time, but how much of that is traced to deficiencies in pitching coach Dan Warthen or hitting coach Howard Johnson? Yes, their guys didn’t get the job done, but as whose feet does the buck stop? For old time’s sake, I’d hate to see Hojo shown the door, but what’s your take on the temperature in the coaching room?

    PAD

  • Craig J. Ries

    It could be worse, Mets fans.

    You could be a Cubs fan right now. 🙁

  • Jim B.

    Actually, the Mets aren’t on the hook for Wagner’s salary, even though Minaya lied, uh spinned, uh, was confused the other day. As we learned from Mo Vaughn, if a player is out for the season, insurance covers eighty percent to all of the contract.

    And expect Delgado to be a sign-and-trade; NOT next year’s first baseman.

    With no accountability, expect little significant change from the Mets’ heirarchy–especially with the promise of near-sell-outs at a 12,000 seat less, Citi Field… And then see what happens when it comes time for Reyes and Wright to resign. They probably won’t want a bird’s eye view of a perennial loser, either.

    By the way, Jerry Manuel, fond of quoting philosphers, has just become the first baseball manager to sign for a regular gig on NPR, where he’ll be doing the weekly Spinoza show. Some how, ahem, they were able to chop-an-hour, from their schedule.