Make no mistake about it: the NY Mets will finally part ways with Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel after Sunday’s last game of the season. This cannot happen fast enough for me. Goodbye and good riddance to them both.
In the beginning I liked Omar Minaya. I figured this fellow who grew up in Queens in the shadow of Shea Stadium had been a Mets fan all his life. Surely, he would bring something to the table that other GMs lacked: knowledge of the good, bad, and ugly Mets past. This would have to help him fashion a team that would be a winner because every Mets fan wants that, right? Wrong!
Minaya was blamed for many things, but the worst thing I think he brought to the Mets was this: complacency was okay. He seemed to sit on his hands as big fish got hooked by other teams – especially the Yankees – and that made him look either inept or unconcerned about the team. Both attitudes (and I believe Minaya suffered from both afflictions) are deadly in the game and put the Mets into a terrible situation.
Things started to turn for me when he got rid of Willie Randolph. I don’t believe that Randolph got sufficient assistance on the field from the GM; therefore, how can he be blamed for the team’s performance. Randolph was another local boy who made good, one who went with his father to Mets games from his native Brooklyn. I liked Randolph very much and felt he had a chance to take the Mets all the way, but he was like a carpenter without his hammer and saw. No one can blame him for the team Minaya saddled him with back then.
Of course, Jerry Manuel is not as culpable in this situation. He got dealt a bad hand. He took over for Minaya and he too never got the personnel he deserved. Minaya seemed like a guy standing on the subway platform, letting all the good trains shoot by him. He never made an effort to get Manuel help this year. We wanted Cole Hamels, but what we got was Dillon Gee.
None of this makes any sense and it never will because there is no explaining Minaya’s baseball philosophy. It seems to me that he was like a guy trying to hammer nails into a table, but all he did was stand over it and toss the nails in the air. The table is never going to be completed that way, and I think that’s why we have the Mets mess we have today.
So goodbye and good riddance to Minaya. I wish Manuel well, but he needs to go someplace else. He is a good fellow and deserves better. Much better.
Whom will the Mets hire as GM? The only more salient question is who will be the new manager. I like Wally Backman very much, and his kick butt attitude got him a long way with the Brooklyn Cyclones. Maybe he is what this team needs. It also needs a guy who can hit 30 homers, a couple of starters who can win 15-20 games, and a bullpen that can close the door.
We have all winter to think about these things, but the Mets organization had better get working on next year this Sunday, October 3, 2010, as soon as the last inning is played. Otherwise, next year Citi Field is going to be a ghost town.