Confusion, Chaos, and Bewilderment
Even when the Titanic was doomed and sinking to the bottom of the North Atlantic the Captain, John Smith remained in the wheelhouse. Yesterday, as the Mets organization again was taking on water, their leader, Omar Minaya was in warm dry Arizona carrying Jeff Wilpon’s luggage.
At this point, that is all Minaya is-an overpaid lackey given menial tasks to earn his keep. While on the other side of the country, John Ricco, his successor, was spewing gibberish (and least the words weren’t mangled) on a conference call to aghast beat writers.
I’m sure all of the scribes were thinking, “here we go again.” The calendar might have flipped, but the team remains mired in 2009. The tapes of that season should be burned for the sanity of the fans.
A new year yes, but a chapter of the same old story. Confusion, chaos, and bewilderment.
In this space last season I hammered home the point that the Mets were a rudderless organization. Yesterday’s conference call only fortifies that believe. There simply is no one in charge, unless you believe an idiot son who has been handed the keys to the Ferrari is capable of running a baseball organization because he can manage an office full of real estate brokers.
It’s doubtful the offspring could steer a Pinto in an empty mall parking lot.
All you have to do is look at what has transpired on 34th street to know that just because you were born into privilege does not qualify you to run a professional sports team. Jimmy Dolan, New Paltz State (my alma mater) class of 1979, spent more time in the bars on Main Street than learning about business.
How many classed did Jeff Wilpon take at the Wharton Business School, or his he a graduate of Clown College?
That leads us back to the Mets mess. This organization has a black hole for a communications system. There seems to be no direct line between upper management, the front office, the medical staff, and the players.
Good thing there are competent lower management types or else no tickets would ever make it to the printer or hot dogs land on the grill. It’s a god dam joke.
What the Mets should have done with Carlos Beltran after the season is continue to put him through his baseball paces and see how his knee would respond. While he said on SNY in the middle of November that his knee was fine, who knows how hard he was pushing it. Working on an elliptical training regimen is a different stress level than running the bases and cutting full tilt.
You can hardly blame Beltran for doing what he believes is the best course of action for his own body and career. If he felt the Mets medical staff failed him previously he is allowed by contract to seek another opinion. He did and went to one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the country and decided to get cut.
The fact the Mets wanted a third opinion speaks volumes about the mass confusion hovering over this organization. What purpose would that serve? Not only it undermines Dr. David Altchek’s diagnosis, and the noted Dr. Steadman of Colorado, but it amounts to a rainmaker.
Beltran has had knee problems for the last few years and surgery was the last option. It should’ve been done last August but that is spilled milk. At least he didn’t wait until spring training to make a determination. That would have been truly disastrous.
(FYI: Arthroscopic surgery is an out-patient procedure where the surgeon cuts away torn cartilage that inhibits the movement of the joint smoothly and results in discomfort. From first hand experience, I had it done in my late 40′s and one week later jogged three miles on a HS track. A few weeks later I was playing tennis and cutting. 12 weeks to recover is hard to fathom for someone in their early 30′s. However, all bodies are not created equal and you can be sure Beltran will not set foot on a baseball diamond until he’s 100% confident he’s healed).
As the Mets steam into Port St. Lucie Florida in less than a month their vessel must be on automatic pilot because from behind these binoculars no one is steering as it heads for ground. And it’s only January folks.
About the Author: Doug Branch
Doug has been sports writing since 1983. He first wrote about the Mets at spring training that year, and his first interviewee was surly catcher Ron Hodges. He currently writes for Mets Inside Pitch, among other magazines published by Scout Publishing-which is owned by Fox Sports. He began following the team during the Wes Westrum era, and redeemed many Borden milk coupons for free Saturday baseball. The night of Tom Seaver's imperfect game against the Cubs, he was in line to buy a ticket when the windows slammed shut and abject disappointment ensued.
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