The Waiting Is The Hardest Part
Mets fans agree and disgaree all the time about a myriad of Mets topics and issues, especially here on MMO where all views are welcome, encouraged and shared – much to the dismay of some who still keep coming back for more.
In the last few days we learned a few things about how this offseason might progress. We now have confirmation that the Mets payroll budget will be between $100M and $110M. We also learned that the Mets will make re-signing Jose Reyes the number one priority of the offseason, but of course that comes with no guarantees.
Let’s assume we do sign Jose Reyes… Somehow, some way, both sides get together over a two-inch steak and few cold ones and finally hammer a deal out. Great – Right On – Fantastic – Now what?
Does it mean C.J. Wildon and Yu Darvish are now off the table?
Does it mean we’ll see Pelfrey, Dickey, Niese, Gee and hopefully a somewhat serviceable Johan Santana as the main cogs of our rotation next season?
What about the outfield? Are Bay, Pagan and Duda expected to be the featured attractions once again in the great expanses of Citi Field?
Seems to me that in 2012 we might be same exact team we are now only with a few new faces on the bench and in the bullpen, none of who will be notable or cost more than $500K to maybe a million dollars.
I’m really digging this new philosophy (I think), but when do we ever get to the winning part? Three years? Five years? Ten years?
It sounds like the choicest cuts of our 2011 Draft Class are years and years away. Are we waiting for them, is that when the winning starts? What if they fall into the dark side of 50/50 and are among the top prospects that never even make it to the major leagues, then what?
Lets assume we re-sign Jose Reyes to a five year deal (fingers crossed), will he still be a Met by the time all those 17 and 18 year olds break into the majors? Will Wright still be here? In three years Niese will have accrued six years service time, and just four more for Ike Davis (yes, time on the DL counts as service time). You see where I’m going with this?
Imagine waiting these 4-5 years for paradise to rain down upon us from Buffalo, but we still find ourselves no closer to a championship than we are now? Do we just go through this great philosophical cycle again and keep doing it until all the stars align and we hit paydirt? I think that’s exactly what’s been happening in Oakland lately. They waited for all their best prospects to finally come up, but still found themselves short of cash at the checkout line. I only mention Oakland because a day doesn’t go by on this site without them getting mentioned in a good or bad way – you could easily substitute any other franchise who is waiting for the farm to deliver them to glory if you prefer.
Why can’t we do both? Why can’t we contend now AND build for the future at the same time? Couldn’t we find an architect who could pull that off?
Look at the job Kevin Towers did in Arizona… He takes over a dead last, dead from the neck up franchise and in 10 months he’s got them into the playoffs. He had the same goals during his first press conference as Alderson did, promising a renewed focus on the minor leagues and building a team with sustainable success, but he also decided he’d try and win this year in the meantime. He signed JJ Putz (45 saves, 2.17 ERA) to be his closer, his Rule 5 Pick Joe Patterson (2.91 ERA, 62 G) was one of the best relievers in the NL this season, signed Henry Blanco (8 HR, .870 OPS) to back up their young star catcher Montero, and you want to talk about a great trade – how about Kelly Johnson for Aaron Hill and John McDonald? And by the way, Towers did the same exact thing for the San Diego Padres, taking over a 70 win team in 1995 and winning 91 games the next season. Anyhow, I digress…
Alderson is right… Signing Reyes will limit any other options if we stick to a $110 M payroll, on that we all agree. But why must a New York team have a budget that is nearly half what the Phillies and Yankees have to spend? We could work toward a $110 dollar payroll in 2014 when Wright, Bay and Johan come off the books, but why do we have to do it right this second?
Re-signing Reyes isn’t what hurts our flexibility, it’s players like Jason Bay and an injured Johan Santana that kills our flexibility. Jose Reyes was why the team was even worth watching this season. All teams have bad contracts - it’s the nature of the beast. But this is New York – the sports mecca of the world – are we just gonna sit down and say we’re screwed and can’t do anything because our budget is $110 million and that’s that? In this town? All while charging a family of four $500 for a day at the park? Wow…
What I don’t get is all those who now count Fred’s pennies for him as if they have something to gain by it. What’s that all about?
Here we have a Mets team that was one of the best in the league in batting average, on-base and runs scored, and instead of complimenting that offense with enough pitching to build a contender, we’re just gonna sit on our laurels because re-signing Jose Reyes will have us in a stranglehold according to Alderson.
I actually didn’t care for how those comments came off by the way… It felt like “if we re-sign Reyes and don’t win more than 77 games, don’t blame us, blame Reyes.” Did anyone else feel that way?
So I guess the plan is to keep waiting… It’s been five years since the last time we were in the playoffs, but we’ll just keep on waiting… No rush… In a few years all the kids will come up and lead us to glory… Just hang in there and keep waiting… It’s gonna happen, trust me, hang in there and be patient… We really wanted to try and win in 2012, but selfish Jose Reyes wouldn’t let us… Just keep waiting…
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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