Minaya and Wilpon – Part Of The Problem, Not The Solution
Somewhere in heaven, former Mets beloved broadcaster Bob Murphy has bellowed, “Fasten Your Seatbelts,” one more time. With no games to call, he may have been referring to the news that the Mets are interested in former Braves pitcher John Smoltz as a starter.
If Murph was back in the booth next season, only he would be older than Smoltz, as employees of the floundering Mets organization. Perhaps Omar Minaya has already made inroads into his second career as an Archaeologist.
Congratulations Omar, you are about to unearth your greatest fossil discovery since you re-signed Tom Glavine, also in the twilight of his career (Smoltz would be hard pressed to find a taker from the Independent Leagues, albeit he has had a great career). As Minaya is fond of saying, “At the end of the day,” how will the signing of two washed up ex-Atlanta pitchers work out?
It says here, akin to Glavine’s final start in a Mets uniform.
Seriously folks, the Mets wait and see approach is about to yield rancid fruit. You pick the apples off the tree, Omar, not wait till they hit the ground and get mushy. Yesterday’s news of the Padres signing innings eater Jon Garland (what amounts to a $5 million commitment for 2010-that includes a mutual option for 2011 of $6.75 million, but a buyout of 600 grand) was the final blow to shoring up a pitching staff in shambles.
Chicken feed in today’s baseball economy with a dearth of competent starters. Just look at what the Phillies paid for the services of Joe Blanton ($24 mill for three years), a mirror image of Garland. By the way, the lanky right-hander has averaged 32 starts and 191.2 innings since 2002, and 209.5 innings in the past six campaigns. He is not a number two starter’s caliber, but rockets past the current assemblage of mediocrity.
You can keep the propaganda emanating from the Mets mini-camp yesterday that both Johan Santana and Ollie Perez are healthy. Santana is an ace and the rest of the cards in the hand could easily be discarded- a bevy of number four, five and AAA starters, with Mike Pelfrey the only one accumulating innings (184). After that there is John Maine, who hurled 81, Perez, 66, and a lump of coal led by Bobby Parnell, Jon Niese, Nelson Figueroa, and Fernando Nieve (combined 209 innings, give or take a fraction).
Just to show you I am not a total ingrate, passing on the oft-injured Ben Sheets, (how does Oakland come up with the 10 mill scratch for him?) is applauded here. Just because he threw a few pitches at 91 mph before a herd of scouts? This guy would have fit in perfectly with the 2009 Mets.
He won’t make it past the all-star game (NBA).
The pitching list has dwindled to a precious few: Jarrod Washburn, Erik Bedard, or Chien-Ming Wang. Talk about dreck! Signing any free-agent pitcher is a gamble and one coming off an injury personified. The plan this off-season to revamp the pitching has underscored no plan at all.
It’s been a revolving door of speculation about whom would drop in the Mets’ laps. And several weeks from spring training it’s evident the operative word is droppings. Someone has to step up and replace the 255 innings recorded by the dearly departed Livan Hernandez and Tim Redding.
One thing is certain. Minaya (and the Wilpons) are part of the problem, not solution. You can find Omar engrossed in a dig somewhere in never-never land hoping to dust off the old bones of another stellar finding that belongs in a museum upstate, not toeing the rubber at Citi Field in a few months.
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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