Injuries, poor performance, Jerry’s invisible dog house, and expectations that were way off, have shaped the current Mets into something nobody could have imagined on April 1st.
Omar’s master plan had too many holes and much like last season, it’s success was hinging on a huge contribution from a soon to be 37-year old slugger in the middle of the lineup. Sound familiar?
Carlos Delgado may have struck the biggest blow to the Mets this season, when he was derailed by a lingering hip injury that required surgery. The surgery will keep him out for at least two months according to the Mets who tend to see things with rose colored glasses and have a hard time coming clean about the reality of the situation when it comes to player injuries.
Many baseball insiders, and outsiders like me, fear that the truth is Carlos Delgado has played his last game in a Mets uniform. Delgado has as much chance of coming back in two months as Moises Alou did when the Mets made the same comments.
The Mets liken the procedure to the same one Alex Rodriguez had, except for the fact that it’s really not. A-rod required a repair to a partially torn labrum in his right hip and was back in six weeks.
Carlos Delgado’s surgery was similar in that he too had a torn labrum repaired in his right hip, but what the Mets don’t mention is that Delgado also had to repair a hip impingement as well as remove a bone spur.
A-Rod bounced right back as expected, it remains to be seen if Delgado at 37-years old can do the same, but don’t bet the house on it.
Some would say, there was no way Omar could be blamed for what unfolded, but I say he could be blamed and in fact he should.
After seeing other mid 30′s and older players like Moises Alou and Cliff Floyd negatively impact the Mets in recent years, Omar should have had a better contingency plan before handing $12 million dollars to Delgado and hoping he’d stay healthy. How many more years will we have to go into a season with our fingers crossed at 5-6 positions?
Knowing fully well that the odds against a Delgado repeat performance was at best 50/50, he decided to leave leftfield in the hands of an inexperienced and untested Dan Murphy who he portrayed as our golden boy.
Another GM, may have considered the first base situation and backed it up with a power hitting slugger in left field, just in case. Especially when your other corner outfielder Ryan Church, looked nothing like the player we saw in April of 2008 when he returned from the DL. And in fact, the player we saw that month had never had a month like that at any other time in his six year career and has never hit more than 15 homeruns in any season.
The Mets may have caught a break when the Detroit Tigers released Gary Sheffield despite owing him the equivalent of the GDP of Lithuania. But at 40 years old, is he really the answer? After playing three games in a row he admitted that he can no longer withstand the rigors of playing everyday, and two days later he was out of the lineup and unavailable for the next three games.
And even if Sheffield does provide a little relief in left field, it still makes you scratch your head when the .248 hitting Daniel Murphy is trying to replace Carlos Delgado with a slugging percentage that is below .350 and falling fast.
Adam Dunn, Lance Berkman, Aubrey Huff would have all been great leftfield targets this off season, because they could have each jumped in at first base if the need arose. But there were even better options if you just wanted a pure corner outfielder.
It scares me that Omar was so blind in his vision for this season, that he completely overlooked the obvious with Delgado, Church and Murphy. He never even gave it a second thought by statements he made all off season long that he was set offensively and that he MIGHT look for a utility infielder and outfielder, but not much else.
The Mets can still overcome these fatal errors by Minaya, but only if Minaya opens his eyes and stops standing by and watch his team flounder as Jerry Manuel puts out a patchwork lineup day in and day out.
He still has an opportunity to redeem himself, but his ego is so big that you wonder if he will miss opportunity’s knock.