It’s hard to be a Mets fan.
The Wilpons are broke, players avoid Flushing because of the turmoil, Jerry can’t manage well in game, Omar has lost “it”, and the Mets at the plate have looked atrocious when it counts. All common and valid arguments. The Mets are not making the playoffs. No team with a sub .500 record are getting in. Too deep. Too much ground. Too late.
If you could turn this team into a perennial contender, how would you do it? These players and personnel, if assembled, make us legit now. Reyes and DW are still here but veteran leadership’s been added to compensate. These scenarios may never happen or maybe it’s spot on. Either way, a welcome departure from the harsh reality and into a fantasy of sorts. Let’s have a little fun.
GM: Billy Beane. Attitude, track record, and willingness to spend money. Big market, big time GM. MGR: Joe Torre. Winner. Leader. Respect. Perhaps a 2 0r 3 yr plan at best but he actually wants to coach here. Bench Coach: Bob Melvin. Hitting Coach: Milt Thompson. Pitching Coach: Dan Warthen.
1B: Jorge Cantu. I like his 29 HRs, 95 RBI, and a .277 BA. I’m sure playing in a familiar division doesn’t hurt. We need consistent hitting from that position and depth is a positive. A platoon with Ike Davis is an option or Davis off the bench.
2B: Let Ruben Tejada man the middle. Hopefully, his BA will improve. I would put David Eckstein on the bench behind him. Tejada could use a mentor and I can’t think of a better one.
SS: I’m not the biggest fan of Jose Reyes but he can play when he wants to. I like Justin Turner as a backup at second and short. He appears to have a nice bat and youth and depth can’t hurt. Not a wealth of SS options out there.
3B: David Wright. When DW needs a rest, you got Cantu who can play third, too. That puts Cantu and Ike on the field at the same time. That’s what depth does for you. Not feeling Hessman.
C: Josh Thole is the catcher of the future. I wouldn’t mind seeing affordable catching options like John Buck or Gerald Laird behind him to mentor him some if some combo of Henry Blanco or Rod Barajas is not extended in Flushing.
LF: Carl Crawford. I believe he wants to play in New York. Hopefully, he wasn’t thinking about the Bronx. You know my thoughts on Jason Bay. The team panicked and the deal so far looks like a bad one.
CF: Angel Pagan is our CF for the foreseeable future. I don’t think Beltran will be in Flushing when his contract comes up in ’12 unless it’s incentive laden. Jesus Feliciano backs up.
RF: Brad Hawpe brings home run power and better than average BA to this lineup and has one of the best right field arms in all of baseball. Pagan can play the position as well if Beltran remains.
P: Johan Santana is the ace and that doesn’t need to change. Cliff Lee. Finally make the deal work this time. Bronson Arroyo. R.A. Dickey. Give him a one or two year extension but no more than that. Jon Niese can fill the 5th spot. I like Kevin Correia in a 6 man rotation if the Mets go for depth there. It worked for Boston.
Brandon Webb (injury recovery), Frank Francisco, and Octavio Dotel are great for the bullpen.
In my opinion, spending shouldn’t be an impediment anymore. Buy a championship if it’s needed. New York needs to return to relevance in NY and in the league ASAP and I believe my team can win a championship. The guy in the thumbnail is the only thing I don’t know how to change. You got a squad that works better? Bring it on. Enjoy the fantasy until the reality of the next series sets in.