Andy Martino of the Daily News writes that while Sandy Alderson is developing a thoughtful plan for this and future seasons, it is also worth noting that nearly every player contributing right now, firing up the fan base and keeping the season interesting, is a product of the Omar Minaya regime.
Minaya’s legacy will always be defined in part by regrettable contracts, like the ones given to Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo (the view from here is that Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez were largely productive signings), and for historic divisional collapses in 2007 and 2008; still, his stamp on the organization was, like most things that acquire a conventional-wisdom narrative, more complex.
Martino summarizes a few of this year’s feel good stories that he attributes to Minaya and how they were acquired.
–Justin Turner: Claimed off waivers from Baltimore on May 25, 2010.
–Daniel Murphy: A 13th round draft choice in 2006.
–Ruben Tejada: Scouted and signed as a 16-year-old free agent from Panama in 2006.
–Dillon Gee: A 21st round steal in 2007.
–Jonathon Niese: A seventh-round find in 2005.
–Ike Davis: He’s injured, but has proven a terrific first round choice from 2008.
–R.A. Dickey: Signed as a minor league free agent before last season, Dickey began 1-5, but has shown significant improvement of late.
–Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia: These exciting pitching prospect are not yet Mets, but are lighting up the minors this year, and figure to help as soon as 2012.
–Terry Collins: The popular manager had retired from baseball two winters ago, when Minaya coaxed him to join the Mets as minor league field coordinator.
I agree with Martino in that Minaya’s downfall if you will, was largely based on some bad contracts he doled out. But I would also add that he lacked a cohesive vision after the 2006 season and lost his focus. I believe it was the impetus for some of the bad decisions that would come afterward.
Minaya was always a very jovial and charismatic GM, but his inability to communicate effectively between his chain of command and the different departments of the team, also led to some problems for him.
That said, he did his best to build a winner and he genuinely loved the team. History always has a way of easing away the bad memories as time goes by and re-discovering a new respect for one’s accomplishments as time goes by.