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Common Themes Unite 2004, 2010

By Howard Megdal ~ February 3rd, 2010. Filed under: Howard Megdal.

Here are some quotes from the 2004 season and winter. See if you can identify any similarities between them and the current situation in Queens.

“Jim Duquette, the Mets’ general manager, said Wednesday night that this elbow injury was different from the one Zambrano sustained last month, which was diagnosed as flexor tendinitis. Duquette said the current injury is in the back of Zambrano’s elbow and not the flexor tendon, which is on the side. ‘It sounds like a new condition,’ Duquette said.” Zambrano and the Mets Pray It All Works Out, August 18, 2004

So the Mets trade for damaged goods, don’t properly evaluate the pitcher, then express both surprise and frustration when that pitcher breaks down. In both the Zambrano and J.J. Putz cases, the Mets publicly acknowledge failing to do their own physical on a pitcher they are acquiring.

“The perception swirling around the Mets as another unsuccessful season is about to end is that their baseball people have not had full autonomy to make decisions and have been hobbled by interference from the front office, particularly from Fred Wilpon’s son, Jeff, who is the team’s chief operating officer. The result, in the opinion of some baseball executives, is that the Mets have become a dysfunctional organization with too many voices suggesting too many solutions.” Minaya Named Power Source for the Mets, New York Times, October 1, 2004

As reported by both Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal, the Mets currently do not set a particular budget for Omar Minaya, leading to solving one problem at a time, with each move needing separate signing off. As a result, the Mets are moving too slowly to keep up with other teams. Does that sound like full autonomy to you?

“‘Based on the information I got, not only on injuries, but on the time it took to get guys back, we had to evaluate the medical department,’ Omar Minaya, the Mets’ new general manager, said last month. ‘Part of that re-evaluation process was the contract with N.Y.U. The whole medical area was evaluated.’”

“When the team was talking with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays about trading its top prospect, Scott Kazmir, for pitcher Victor Zambrano, doctors studied X-rays of Zambrano’s sore right elbow and signed off on the trade. Less than a month after the trade, Zambrano went on the disabled list with a strained flexor muscle and did not return for the rest of the season.” Mets Cut ties With hospital, December 4, 2004

A delay in getting people back. A disconnect between timetables set and players actually getting back on the field. Incorrect or incomplete diagnoses.

Of course, that was a different medical team. That was a different general manager.

Yet somehow, it was the same process, breakdown and results for the New York Mets.

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Howard Megdal is the Editor-in-Chief of The Perpetual Post. He covers baseball, basketball and soccer for Capital New York, MLBTradeRumors.com, New York Baseball Digest and has written for ESPN.com as well as numerous other publications. He is the Poet Laureate for SBNation New York. His book about Jewish baseball players, “The Baseball Talmud,” is available for purchase on Amazon.com and wherever books are sold. His next book, "Taking The Field", is available for pre-order on Amazon.com and will publish in May 2011.

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1 Response to Common Themes Unite 2004, 2010

  1. Mr North Jersey

    Great post. Scary all the similarities.

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