The Big Chill

From my favorite other blog: Faith And Fear in Flushing

So what’s left for 2010?

The best scenario, in my mind, would go something like this: The Mets realize they can contend in 2011, but not if they continue to waste roster spots and at-bats on players who offer veteran qualities but no particularly useful baseball skills. Jerry Manuel is excused in early September in favor of Wally Backman, still basking in the glow of the Brooklyn Cyclones’ first New York-Penn League crown. The kids get the bulk of the playing time for the rest of the year. Omar Minaya is reassigned in favor of a GM who will approach the offseason with something resembling a coherent plan. The Wilpons note the plummeting attendance at Citi Field and their team’s irrelevance and make a hard, expensive decision aimed at showing fans they are willing to admit mistakes, determined to put the best possible team on the field, and know they need to demonstrate that the team is on firm financial ground: Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez are released.

The only bit of the above with which I have any issue is the Wally Backman part. I’m not sold on his abilities as a MLB caliber leader, but otherwise? Spot on.

It is time to face the fact that the Wilpons’ 7-year experiment with the “collegial business model” of running a major league franchise is a complete and utter failure. It lends itself to chaos, rather than a coherent vision, as outlined so eloquently above by Jason Fry. It has led to roster and front office personnel decisions dictated by a couple of veteran players with agendas of their own, to a roster spot handed to the brother of a veteran “Union Man,” to a clueless trade for a pitcher based on a pitching coach’s inflated opinion of his own abilities, to a shirtless executive challenging post-college kids to an alley brawl, to a witless GM calling out a beat writer, to a valueless closer punching out the grandfather of his children.

What more evidence do we need?

All the warm & fuzzy collegial palaver has gotten the team nowhere. It has caused the franchise to appear cheap in the areas where it could most easily shine, scouting and player development. There’s a lot of talk about who is the “face of the franchise” (psssst–it’s David Wright, btw), but what’s needed even more than that is a “voice of the franchise.” Under the current model, it doesn’t exist. What is there is a tone-deaf cacophony of out of tune instruments and busted reeds. It is time to turn cold. It is time to turn — if you’ll pardon the expression — Steinbrennerian. Someone needs to be the “parent,” if you will. Someone needs to say “It will go in this direction because I’m in charge and I SAY SO.”

Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone sitting in chair currently has that in him.

Somebody besides the fan base needs to say “ENOUGH!”

PS — They lost. In Houston. I know…


About charlieh1965

Just yer average Mets/Giants/Knicks/Rangers fan with a big mouth.
This entry was posted in 2010 Season, 2011 season, Mets. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Big Chill

  1. Uncle Mike says:

    As long as Omar Minaya is the general manager, he, not Jerry Manuel or any of the players, is the face of the franchise. And for a team whose “faces” have included Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and Mike Piazza, that is unacceptable.

    I’m a Yankee Fan, a sick, twisted, demented one. But even I admit that it’s a good thing for the New York Tri-State Area when both teams are good. Right now, that is not the case.

    I am glad to see that some Met fans are starting to get the idea that they need leadership that believes that it’s not enough to do what the Mets have been doing. The House of Wilpon is selling baseball, which is a good thing. The problem is that there’s another team in town, and it’s better, both past-wise and present-wise. The House of Steinbrenner is selling winning, pride, tradition, excellence. They do that because they can.

    And until the Wilpons decide that it’s not enough to “sell baseball,” or even to “play meaningful games in September,” and that it’s time to build a winner and go for it, to challenge all 29 teams — not just the Phillies, Braves and Yankees — then the next 10 years are going to be just as barren as the last 4 (mid-October 2006 to the present) have been. And as Met fan Jerry Seinfeld would say, “That’s not going to be good for business. That’s not going to be good for anybody.”

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