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Mets Need Overhaul Not Band Aid Solutions

By Mike Silva ~ August 12th, 2009. Filed under: Mike Silva.

Yesterday, Andrew Marchand of ESPN 1050 reported a scenario where Omar Minaya would be reassigned this offseason and John Ricco would become the GM and face of the franchise. The staff would mostly be kept intact and I assume Jerry Manuel would survive as well. This is not an acceptable situation moving forward. The Mets don’t need a “band aid”, but rather, a major overhaul.

We have gone over ad naseam about Minaya’s managerial skills and public speaking. I am not even sure, as long as the Wilpon’s own the team, things would change drastically with an outsider coming onboard. Remember, the dysfunctional chain of command starts with the guy that signs the paychecks. As far as we all know, that is not about to change anytime soon. What could help is bringing on a strong personality with a fresh set of ideas. Kevin Kernan of the NY Post suggested Billy Beane the other day. I am not sold on Beane, but the Mets are not in a position to turn down any type of solution. Beggars can’t be choosers right? Currently the Mets are not a very desirable job. Any successful GM would give pause to change addresses, or come out of retirement, to deal with this soap opera. Beane, on the other hand, seems like the type that would relish the challenge. It also appears from reports that he is very available. Moneyball with actual money, what a concept!

Beane will obviously purge the front office and put his own methods of player development.  Jerry Manuel should be part of that purge. I am a supporter of Manuel and believe that he is a good manager that just got caught up in a bad situation. He took over the ‘08 squad and provided a great contrast to the paranoid and stoic Willie Randolph. He repaired damaged relationships with the players and media very quickly and saved the season. The collapse wasn’t his entire fault since he was dealt a bullpen that relied on situational arms, an emotionally damaged Aaron Heilman, and a scrap heap closer. If Billy Wagner stays healthy ’08 might have gone down as one the greatest managerial SOS jobs in Mets history.

Things have changed drastically for Manuel. He oversees a club that has been injured. Even if healthy, you have to believe the pitching problems make it unlikely that this team could withstand the Phillies and their improved rotation. We will never know, but what I do know is reality. A pall has set over the team. They looked sleepy in San Diego and now anemic in Arizona. For the first time all year I can question the effort. Manuel made a critical mistake back in June by accentuating how shorthanded they were instead of reiterating that, even compromised, had more talent than many teams. If they could have played slightly better when Beltran was around they may even be on the peripheral of the Wild Card. The atmosphere can’t stay the same going into 2010. You have to move away from as much of ‘07, ‘08, and ‘09 as possible. Jerry Manuel, unfortunately, is now part of that negative taste in everyone’s mouth.

Just like I said with the general manager, the Mets situation is not desirable. I don’t think a Tony LaRussa, loved in St. Louis by a great fan base, wants to throw that away to come here. A dysfunctional team, demanding media, and an emotionally unstable fan base. Who would be the perfect fit? Yes, Bobby Valentine, that blast from the past should be hired. If you ever watched the independent film “The Zen of Bobby V” you will get a great look at the personality of Valentine and what makes him successful. He took over a far worse situation with the Chibe Lotte Marines. The Marines not only were financially strapped, but had a history that makes the Mets look like the Yankees. He knows what to expect here as he had his own issues during his first stint with management, the media, and fans. Valentine is a solid in game manager and knows how to bring in the right 25 man mix that combines talent and character. His 1999 and 2000 teams had flaws, but were able to overcome it thanks to a core of gamers that were tough when the stakes were highest. What he would inherit here makes his 1999 and 2000 teams seem like a joke. That joke, by the way, accomplished more than this group.

Billy Beane and Bobby Valentine don’t guarantee a championship. The Mets don’t have a complete roster or deep enough farm system to guarantee you anything other than they will play baseball in 2010. At the very least, as Matt Cerrone pointed out, it will be entertaining. The fans obviously want a winning team, but the Mets have become very unenjoyable over the last three years. The constant soap operas make it easy for those in the media, but the fans just want to watch some baseball. A band aid solution doesn’t do this team any good on or off the field. Want to compete and sell tickets going forward? Bring in Billy Beane and Bobby V and I have a feeling you will achieve both.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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2 Responses to Mets Need Overhaul Not Band Aid Solutions

  1. G. Gomez

    That would be such a dream come true. But we’re talking about the Mets here. They don’t do anything right these days.

  2. Steve

    Bring back Barry Heyden who over saw the health, fitness, and conditioning of the players and kept the player injury free and on the field able to perform. From 1997-2001 while Barry Heyden was with the Mets they had the lowest injury rate in baseball and since he left the highest.

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