2009 Mets versus 1986 Mets
In an excellent article by John Harper of the Daily News, Harper believes that Omar Minaya has a lot to answer for should the Mets fail to make the playoffs this season despite the new 3 year contract he got from the Wilpons.
Between his “we-don’t-have-an-edge” comments to Fox sports.com, which Minaya insists were misinterpreted, and Oliver Perez making him look silly for investing $36 million in the lefthander over the winter, the Mets’ GM has set himself up for some public grilling if his team doesn’t gets its act together.
Indeed, where last year the bull’s-eye was on Willie Randolph’s chest at the first sign of trouble, Minaya surely has to be held most responsible if this season goes bad for the Mets.
It would be interesting to see what would really happen if things fall apart for the Mets. It’s well known how much the Wilpons love Omar, but would that keep them from replacing him if the Mets fail to deliver again?
Minaya did recant the comments he made to Fox and said that Rosenthal misinterpreted him, but it rings hollow.
Harper also draws a comparison to the 1986 Mets and how much different their clubhouse was as compared to the current climate.
You hate to always go back to the ’86 Mets, but in this case it’s hard not to. Imagine if Carlos Beltran was on that ballclub and he essentially cost his team a win because he didn’t slide at home, as was the case in St. Louis a couple of weeks ago.
I’d put the over/under at five on the number of players on that team who would have told him he better not let it happen again, whether he’s leading the league in hitting or not.
On this team? I asked a Mets player privately over the weekend if anyone had said a word to Beltran about it, and he shook his head in a “what-are-you-gonna-do?” kind of way.
Harper nails it on the head. This is exactly what I’m talking about when I say the Mets need some leadership in the clubhouse. Some might say having a captain wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans, but I disagree.
Maybe if the Mets had a captain, it would lead to a circle of leadership where nobody would have felt out of place to confront Carlos Beltran about not sliding, or Jose Reyes for not laying down a sacrifice bunt.
Not only that, but when you’re a leader you usually try harder and make better decisions and improve your fundamentals simply because you don’t want to look bad. It can become contagious.
Having someone sport a “C” on their chest will not translate directly into more wins. What it would do is transform the current malaise into a wining attitude, better fundamentals and a renewed focus, and those are the things that can put more games into the win column.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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