Sorry I’ve been dormant from the site for awhile. I’m going to restart the engine with a bang. Here is a “conversation” I had with fellow Mets diehard Mike Nitzky. My responses to his wants and wishes are in italics. I’d love for anyone to chime in on the topics we broached on how to move forward with this floundering franchise:
Mike: Get rid of Ollie Perez, if the cubs won’t take him & Luis Castillo, just trade 1 of them, I know they won’t cut him, because of the loss, but try and take on someone else’s concern like Carlos Zambrano or Gil Meche, etc…
I would love to be able to purge Ollie and Castillo, but I do not think they could even get rid of either for a bag of balls. That is unless they take on an equally inflated contract that is likely for more years. You are right to say ownership would never cut ties with either of these bums. Righting financial wrongs is not something in the Wilpons DNA. For that matter, the almighty dollar seems to be missing from the Mets genetic code as well.
Mike: Alex Cora. He only needs 20 more games to guarantee $2 for next year. Cora has become Marlon Anderson the sequel. Let him play 15 more games, but then dfa him & bring up turner, Who is basically Jeff Keppinger light.
Yes Cora is a bum and they no doubt should have refrained from signing him to a two-year deal. Having seen him in the locker room setting, he does have value to this organization. In fact I would not be surprised if they are grooming him for some kind of coaching role. Cora doesn’t add much to the lineup offensively, but he is the least of this team’s woes.
Mike: Don’t sign anyone big, unless you can cut salary. This team has to pay a lot to Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay & K-Rod. Don’t make it worse.
This third item contains words which I think many Mets fans would have trouble swallowing. It would essentially mean ownership is refusing to give back to the fans who are filling their coffers and seats. You are right to say that this team has made its bed based on the big money and long-term contracts they have on the books. Yet, no good organization passes up the chance to better itself (see: the NY Yankees at the trade deadline) if the opportunity is presented. If by some stroke of madness Cliff Lee desperately wanted to come to Flushing next season and the Mets passed because they weren’t willing to make an investment in someone who could bring them future riches, that would constitute heresy in my book. Then again, Jeff Wilpon being in charge of an MLB baseball team is effectively heresy.
Mike: Let the kids play. I would like to see Fernando Martinez in the majors & given one of the corner positions. If he is up to the task, explore trading him or pagan, who is at his ceiling in value.
How many damn years have we been have we been uttering that line. Thankfully, there are actually a few kids who are inspiring good feelings right now in Ike Davis and Jon Niese. I agree on F-Mart. Despite some setbacks and a downgrade in expectation level, Martinez should be given a shot next year, just not at the expense of displacing Angel Pagan in any manner. It has finally all clicked for this very talented athlete (with athlete being the operative word) and the Mets may have struck gold on this one.
Mike: Don’t resign Rod Barajas. Josh Thole is fine behind the plate & is a patient hitter, who can Take pitches, possibly a grt 8 or 2 hitter. Bring back Henry Blanco for day games but for less than $1m.
You are spot in with your take on the catchers. While the ceiling may not be incredibly lofty for Thole, he could be an asset to a lineup as a high average guy who works the count and wears out the opposing pitcher. Rod Barajas, we loved what your mighty cuts a few months back…when the ball was going out of the park instead of the catchers mitt. The bell tolls my friend and it tolls for you. Buh Bye.
Mike: Fire Howard Johinson, this is the most unlikely of scenarios because he is a beloved met, but it’s time to let go.
They may actually follow through on this one Mike. There really seems to be no choice at this point. Too bad it will have been about two years too late. Anyone not named HoJo who had presided over as many offensive dry spells as he has, would have been giving his walking papers long ago. Yet another example of organizational disfunction