Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Dangerous Game

When I started blogging in 2007, I tried modeling myself after my blogspirations. Some of them still are around, others are not. One blog in particular I started following back in 2004, and the rigeur du jour of this particular site was to fire the then-Mets manager, Art Howe, coined correctly as "FireArtHowe.com." I thought it was hilarious, and one of the items the owner of this site would encourage is feedback and comments from his or her readers. Needless to say, the Mets fired Art Howe by the end of 2004, so the owner of the site had to think of another route to promote.

The name of the site was changed to "SelltheMets.com." However, by the end of the offseason going into 2005, with the hiring of Omar Minaya snowballing into so-called "Full Autonomy" to the pursuing and wooing of Pedro Martinez to nabbing that offseason's free agent crown jewel Carlos Beltran, the owner of the site also shut down SellTheMets, because (s)he felt it was inappropriate.

Well, I too felt that the Mets were on the right track. On the right track that finally they came to their senses and attempted to have a semblance that "baseball people" and not the ownership were calling the shots on the team, and that they were rightfully in their place, and that was behind the checkbook.

It appears as though old habits die hard and it's evident that once again, the ownership has gotten in the way of the success of the team and most of all, themselves.

Back at Spring Training, a friend of mine was working on a school project down in Port St. Lucie, and I agreed to be interviewed for it. He asked me, "If you (meaning: Coop) were the Wilpons, what would you (meaning: me, the Coop) do to improve the Mets?" And I said without a moment of hesitation, "Sell the team." I think it took him a minute or two to recompose himself, as I'm certain he didn't think I was going to come up with something that quickly. And say it with such conviction.

Whether it's truly a monetary issue, or just a habit of thinking they know better than those who are supposed to take care of the baseball operations, or simply a vanity thing (which is ALL they are about) the fact is the Wilpons are determined to run this franchise into the ground.

What is disturbing to me recently, I guess not so much recently but the habit of the usage of the press to pit the public perception against "underperforming" or those players who are out of favor with the organization to send the proverbial message. I mean, what does this exactly do? It makes the players unhappy, it makes their agents air their dirty laundry back out there not to mention doesn't make it appealing for other stars to want to play. Players will have their ups and downs. But it seems like if the Wilpons are spending the money a few things are bound to occur. One is that if they pay you, they play you (hypothetically speaking of course. They managed to run a 25-man roster with only 23 players in the thick of what could have been an interesting wild card race had they taken it seriously). Two is, if you don't perform up to expectation, they won't cut you but they'll cut your manhood down to size to the point that they hope it is YOU who leaves.

The third is, they tend to take what the public perceives about THEM (note: the ownership and not the team or players themselves), that they'll cut their nose to spite their face. Like I said earlier, it's all about vanity. It's always been about vanity.
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I think it's clear that they are planning to part ways with not only Jerry Manuel at the end of the season but also reassigning Omar Minaya to some other part of the team (he has time on his contract, so he won't be fired outright). There is a lot of speculation on what to do to improve the team in 2011. Certifiably insane talk about "improving" the team.

Of course, I mean the crazy talk with trading players like Jose Reyes for prospects. Having a new General Manager come from within (like John Ricco) than getting someone in with a vision and bringing a new level of organizational culture to the Mets, and promoting the status quo. Or at the very worst, will "act" like things are changing, then it will be more of the same.

Why on earth if we bring someone in from the outside to be the General Manager (which is what they SHOULD be doing) and have them make crazy moves? I think it goes both ways. For one, they bring in a new fall guy and the Wilpons want to get rid of someone, let the "new guy" do it so their hands are clean. Then we can blame the "new guy" when things go wrong.

If we've learned anything as Mets fans, it's that from darkness comes light. How many down periods we've had as fans, it all leads up to something special and memorable. I have to believe that only good can come out of the inevitable change that is about to occur in the offseason. That is, of course, if Jeff Wilpon & Co don't do the obligatory Francesa visit on WFAN and "promise" change and not deliver it, or deliver enough of a little bits and pieces of it to keep the fanbase appeased and look like they're doing something and then, by not doing anything.

So what do I think? I think the Mets are playing some dangerous games, leading into 2011. It's a slippery slope, for sure. There's a right way to do things, and a wrong way. I am hoping that for once they figure it out all out and not shoot themselves in the feet once again.

4 comments:

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