Morning Grind: The Legacy Of The Mets

“We are extremely disappointed in this year’s results and the failures of the past four seasons.  We need to hire a new General Manager with a fresh perspective who will transform this club into a winner that we want and our fans deserve.  We appreciate all that Omar and Jerry have done for the Organization and thank them for their time and effort.  Changes like these are never easy, especially when you are dealing with people you like and respect.”

You heard the words and expectations are high as a broad net has been cast to the tune of more than 30 names being considered for the vacant job of General Manager. Being in the Mecca would normally be a great lure by itself but this is not the Bronx. Flushing is a different story altogether. So far, more names are being discounted from consideration mainly by the candidates themselves. I am of the opinion that the role of GM will aid in turning around the team that has not lived up to expectations but there is a perception that will take more work than just personnel changes.

I think the fans as a whole see things a lot differently than I thought. The Daily News has a poll that is a pretty regular theme called “Keep ‘Em or Dump ‘Em” and surprisingly, many fans don’t even want Jon Niese or Elmer Dessens but want to retain the Wilpons. Columnists calling for youth movements especially in management. Even the COO is talking about trading core players away. Wow!

Regurgitate the talks, if you will, of trading the core, what to do with the million dollar disappointments, can we improve on the rotation without spending, and who will be the GM and Manager. It’s only pieces of a much larger puzzle. How do you rebuild a franchise like this? Even my choice of GM couldn’t fix this problem on his own. At some point, there has to be an emphasis on baseball. We have fought each other about who should manage and who should be traded but once that all plays out and the managerial and on the field pieces are in place for Spring Training, 25 men have to play defense, hit, catch, and run.

The focus needs to return to baseball. Way too many times you may have seen fly balls dropping in the infield because the communication between two players was lacking, or good hitters swinging and reaching for pitches out of the strike zone, or a routine ground out that turns into singles and doubles. How many games were lost on these this season alone? Watching the MLB playoffs when your team is not involved is painful, unbearable but a great reminder of what could be. You watch teams that you beat going after a World Series and it stings. It’s hard to watch teams that used to be in the exact position that you are now. How does one return to prominence? Most of the names that you would consider as great ballplayers are usually consistent and capable of doing the basics. The effects of playing in a big city, a large contract, personal issues, etc. have to be factored in too but first things first.

Legacy for the Mets goes back to the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. Then the Polo Grounds and Shea Stadium. Tom Seaver and the Miracle Mets. Bill Buckner and an ’86 World Title. Mike Piazza and the Subway World Series. Then no relevance in the standings until 2006 where they went to a Game 7 against St. Louis in the NLCS. And a team that has never pitched a no-hitter in its history. Whomever is brought in to turn this team around with their magic wand had better take some extra time working on fundamentals and the “little things” that have repeatedly spoiled the bigger picture for a team that has had expectations for a long time. It’s easy to forget but it’s all about playing the sport that you love and enjoying it. Flushing has not been a fun place for Met fans lately and for players and personnel either. A couple of the teams you’re watching in the playoffs right now had the same troubles that this team did. They have been where we were and they are evidence of what could happen if you develop a plan and stick to it. 

Baseball. That’s what it’s really all about regardless of who is on this team when ST starts. If they play the game the right way, can this team be successful? This team may be a laughingstock in many circles. The best memories may be distant in years although close in our hearts. But there is room for a new page of memories to be written. The pens are available. Someone just need to pick it up and help usher in the next annal of Mets history. There may have never been a better time than now.