Omar Minaya was hired prior to the 2005 season to turn around the floundering New York Mets. The team and its management were in chaos. The Mets had completed three consecutive losing seasons with 86, 95, and 91 losses. The low point occurred in 2004 when the Mets traded top prospect Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano.
During his first winter on the job, Omar signed Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran. The Mets were moving in the right direction. The popular motto in New York became “In Omar We Trust”. The Mets improved by 12 games from 2004 to 2005. They finished over .500 for the first time since 2001.
In 2006, Minaya continued his hot streak. He acquired Carlos Delgado, Billy Wagner, Jose Valentin, Moises Alou, Damien Easley, El Duque, John Maine, Duaner Sanchez, Endy Chavez, Paul Lo Duca, Sean Green, Oliver Perez and Darren Oliver. That’s a lot of good moves! Each move turned to gold. All these players were instrumental in contributing to the Mets achievements during the 2006 season.
Omar was on fire, so to speak. The Mets improved by another 14 games and won 97 games in 2006. Even though there was to be no World Series title, the Mets were the best team in baseball .
Minaya deserves the credit for building a championship caliber team so quickly. Let’s remember that before we run him out of town too quickly.
In 2007, we thought the Mets would take the final step and win it all. Lo and behold, late season collapses in ’07 and ’08 shocked the organization and fans. Omar’s aura of invincibility was beginning to tarnish.
No one was prepared for or could have predicted the debacle of 2009. Nothing Minaya did worked. The Oliver Perez signing was a disaster, the Putz trade didn’t work, and the injuries were devastating. A barren farm system made matters worse and brought to light the deep rooted problems of the Mets organization. In addition, Omar’s foot was in his mouth every time he spoke to the media.
Omar Minaya’s mystique has faded so quickly. He’s like a batter who is hitting for average and power and then suddenly he can’t buy a hit. He’s now mired in an awful slump.
Players go through hot and cold streaks. The good ones break out of their slumps. Let’s hope that this winter, Omar breaks out of his slump in a big way, and returns to his 2005/2006 ways. Of course, a few lucky breaks and bounces will help too.