Is there any doubt that Omar Minaya is searching for leadership to help change the chemistry of his ballclub without gutting the “core” of this team?
The Jason Bay signing was not just to fulfill the need for power in the lineup, it was done also with the hope that Bay would help fill a void for leadership that exists.
I’m not trying to disparage any current member of the Mets. David Wright will eventually be the leader of this team. Carlos Delgado will not be brought back. The Mets have begun to develop younger players, and it won’t be too long until Wright finds a more forceful voice and wears the “C” on his uniform for this team.
Bay’s leadership skills are not of the vocal variety. Rather, Bay is the kind of guy that gives his best effort everyday. Bay is a “watch how I go about my business guy” and learn from me. He should never be confused with a Keith Hernandez as it pertains to leadership. Leaders like Keith come along once in a generation for a team. That’s not to say Bay won’t speak or dispense advice to younger players, it’s unfair to say that. It’s just that he’s a quieter guy.
Omar continues to search for leaders for this team. The rumors of his and the Mets interest in John Smoltz and his signing of Frank Catalanotto, (who is well respected as a smart baseball guy and good clubhouse guy) proves that he believes there is a leadership void on this team.
Smoltz would not only be pitching, but showing the other pitchers how to go about their business. He’d be brought in as much for his leadership as his pitching ability, which must be questioned at age 42.
The problem I have with Omar’s search is that guys like Catalanotto and Smoltz (if signed) may only be with the Mets briefly as their baseball skills have deteriorated to the point of ineffectiveness. Then where do you turn for leadership?
Many people say chemistry and leadership is overrated. I disagree. Look at the Mets teams that have won. In 1969, 1973, 1986, 1988, 1999, 2000, and 2006. Leaders abound on those teams. Look at our team today and point out which regular is a leader. Wright’s not ready for it yet. (he’s only 27 this year) Beltran’s hurt and isn’t’t vocal enough. Reyes doesn’t want it. That leaves Francoeur and Bay. Which one is going to help Wright be the leader of this team? Ray Knight helped lead with Hernandez in the ’86 season. Who on these current Mets can lead along with Wright? I just don’t know. Any ideas fans?