Put A Cap On That
Last Friday, Mets starter Chris Capuano had a very telling response to a question of whether he would re-sign with the Mets in the offseason. Let’s see if you can catch what I caught.
“I love New York. I love living in New York, and I’ve had nothing but positive experiences playing here, so of course I would love to be back. It all depends on how the Mets’ offseason shapes up. What free-agent acquisitions they make, and Johan Santana is coming back next year. A lot of that depends on the Mets.”
There… Did you catch that?
It all depends on how the Mets’ offseason shapes up. What free-agent acquisitions they make…
What does that mean exactly? I’ll tell you what it means… It means Capuano won’t re-sign unless he sees the Mets make significant improvements that will make the team a contender. That’s how most top players and free agents view things. Nobody wants to pay for a loser unless the loser overpays millions more than their next best offer… Then maybe they’ll think about it… Isn’t that right, Jason?
So after the Mets helped get Capuano’s career back on track, he’s now ready to go out and get his $8-10 million dollar a year deal from another team, presumably a playoff contender.
Maybe Alderson should have unloaded Capuano to the Red Sox when he had the chance?
Why didn’t he?
If you were willing to unload your team’s closer and their best hitter in the middle of a wild card run, what was the big deal in keeping Capuano for a couple of meaningless starts in September anyway?
So What’ll It Be This Time Fred and Jeff?
For the last few years, just like clockwork, Fred and Jeff Wilpon have made a point of appearing on WFAN or SNY immediately after the end of the season to make some sort of an apology or provide an explanation as to why the season went as badly as it did. I’ve actually enjoyed these appearances by them because they always come out feeling like a fireside chat.
Usually, they tell us exactly what you would expect to hear and they even throw in a few promises (which may or may not be fulfilled) with the goal of renewing our hopes that things will be much better next season. I wonder what they will say this year? It looks like we may finish with an even worse record than last season which they called “unacceptable”. Here are some of their past quotes:
In October 2008, Jeff Wilpon said:
“I demand a better performance from this team, and the fans deserve better. I want to see a Championship-caliber team competing right to the end in October. The team will be as aggressive as it has been in the past (regarding spending) . We don’t just want to compete, we want to win a Championship.”
In October 2009, Jeff Wilpon said:
“We’re going to be aggressive, we have to be, whether it’s in trades or free agents. We are in a results town, in a results business. We will expend whatever resources are needed, whatever that is, to put a Championship team on the field.”
In October 2010, Fred Wilpon said:
“We have always gone over budget in the 30 years I have been here… I don’t remember one time in all of Omar or before Omar, where the baseball department has come to Ownership and said, ‘We’d like to do this, this or this,’ and we turned them down… The new GM will get that same opportunity and latitude.”
That last quote is a real head-scratcher considering that all we kept hearing was how Sandy Alderson’s hands were tied… Were they?
Anyway, here’s a few things I’d love to hear them say to re-energize the fan base when they deliver their state of the union message in the next week or so.
1. We guarantee that Jose Reyes will lead-off and play shortstop for the Mets on Opening Day in 2012.
2. We promise not to spend the next six months trying to sell you a pre-2008 version of Johan Santana as the ace of the team in 2012, and we will make every attempt to sign or trade for a top of the rotation starter this winter.
3. Payroll will not be reduced and the general manager will have the same budget as his predecessor Omar Minaya. If he chooses to spend less than $140 million dollars, it will be his doing and not because of any restrictions we placed on him.
4. We are committed to reducing the dimensions at Citi Field and making it a fair ballpark that won’t punish our offense the way that it has, and we will change the colors of the walls from black to Mets blue.
Oh yeah, and retire Mike Piazza’s number while you’re at it….