Omar Minaya Should Have Taken His Own Advice
As Jim Nabors in “Gomer Pile” used to say: “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.” He could have been pontificating cryptically on the present wafer thin condition of the Mets’ starting rotation. A concern expressed by many since there was snow on the ground, and ignored by Omar Minaya, but coming to fruition as June bugs and Vultures are circling.
Yesterday John Maine lasted five pitches. He was throwing a Tom Glavinesque 85 mph, sans the biting breaking ball. No surprise that he admitted afterward that he has been pitching in pain for two years. His pitching coach, Dan Warthen called him a “warrior.”
He also called him a habitual liar. Ouch. Then take Ollie Perez-Please. If he doesn’t soon acquiesce to a shuttle to Buffalo he will remain the janitor of the bullpen. It’s time to cut the losses with this underachieving lefty and let Rick Peterson have another go with him in Milwaukee.
The most promising of the trio, Jon Niese has hamstrings that Rickey Henderson would die for. There you have it folks, three-fifths of your NY Mets starting rotation. Oy.
And Jerry Manuel will pay, soon enough. Too bad, because he never had a full deck to play with, but the man is a baseball lifer, and will find a seat in someone’s dugout next year. Maybe when Willie Randolph takes over the Brewers he will make that hire.
You have a better chance of Perez or Maine making major contributions to this reeling ballclub this summer. Think the $66 mill handed out to one player, that should have spread on several live arms (how is Jon Garland doing?), looks like a savvy investment now?
I didn’t realize the price for singles hitters had risen so precipitously until I went shopping for Mets tickets recently and found out why. But, getting back to Manuel:
He made some extra scratch by replacing Randolph, and knew he someday would be in front of the same firing squad, with a cig dangling from his lips wearing a blindfold. The old adage, “Managers are Hired to be Fired,” will ring true until the day they run out of horsehide.
If there is any justice in the world, Manuel will be tethered to the GM when he walks the plank. Remember Omar’s mantra, as he hopefully becomes shark bait. “You can’t have enough pitching,” he once said.
He may regret not taking his own advice soon enough.
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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