It’s no secret that the Mets are currently suffering from a severe image crisis. While some may think that crisis began during the Tony Bernazard/Adam Rubin fracas, it really goes back to the mid nineties and is now so deeply rooted that it will take more than just shifting bodies and roles to change it.
This morning, Joel Sherman of the NY Post elaborates a little bit about one who he thinks “the Mets had and let get away”, Jack Zduriencik, the current GM of the Seattle Mariners. Sherman writes,
Zduriencik, who aside from a three-year detour, worked for the Mets from 1982-98, was a draft magician after becoming the Brewers’ scouting director from 1999-2006 (think Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun). The Mets under LaRocque did not find much talent.
Had he been named the Mets’ amateur scouting director, Zduriencik might have found that talent and might have been on the GM trajectory. Instead, bypassed for the role, he left for the Dodgers in 1998. Today Phillips lives in disgrace, Duquette does radio and Minaya is barely holding on as GM after overseeing another discouraging Mets offseason.
It’s true that Zduriencik has enjoyed some success in finding and harnessing talent, and he has had a very successful offseason adding Chone Figgins, Cliff Lee, Milton Bradley, Casey Kotchman and Eric Byrnes.
While it may be tough to say how much better (or worse) the Mets might have been with Zduriencik as their GM, we do have a substantial track record. All of the GM’s the Mets have had from Steve Phillips to Jim Duquette to Omar Minaya may have all been tainted by the Wilpons who expect their front-men to stay inside the boundaries they have developed and have not evolved in over a decade.
The Mets are a business first to the Wilpons, and all organizational decisions are guided by their impact on the profitability each move. The minor league organization may have been just as lackluster under the tutelage of any Mets Minor League Director, especially with the Wilpon’s reluctance to pay above slot for the best talent available.
The Mets offeasons have all been similar in that regardless of the teams needs, the usual plan was to grab one marquis player that they can feature on the cover of their new yearbook and media guides, followed by a slew of reclamation projects.
I don’t think having another former Mets employee as a GM would do anything to change the Mets organizational dynamic. What the Mets need is an outsider… a sharp baseball man who can operate with full autonomy. Until that happens, expect the miscommunication and the dysfunction to continue. Luckily, the Mets have proven that they can still win with all that ineptness, so lets hope for the best in 2010.