Apr 1, 2013; Queens, NY, USA; New York Mets fan James Johnson poses for a photo before the opening day game against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

What Year Is It?

I do not know why Manny Ramirez is in the news in 2013.  I do not know why some people think the Mets should consider signing him. There was a time when Manny could have meant something to the Mets, but I am no longer in middle school and the Mets are no longer desperate for a sideshow.

The outfield has been the biggest question mark for the Mets all season.  They have seemingly had a revolving door of center fielders and they still don’t have any answers.  At the moment they are trying to find playing time for Juan Lagares, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jordany Valdespin, Eric Young Jr., and Andrew Brown in left field and center field while Marlon Byrd holds down the fort in right field.  The focus of the 2013 Mets is the future and they simply do not need anything that is going to take focus away from that.

The connection between Manny Ramirez and the Mets is symbolic of an era that is hopefully behind this organization.  The Mets went through the era of gimmicks and trying to fill the seats with big contracts and aging players.  They are finally starting to play the prospects and see who has a future with this team.  It took so long for the Mets to play Nieuwenhuis and Lucas Duda instead of Jason Bay or make Bobby Parnell the closer instead of Francisco Rodriguez or Frank Francisco or Jon Rauch or anyone else they could pluck out of the bullpen.  Shaun Marcum‘s contract does not guarantee him a spot in the starting rotation anymore.

There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel.  Sandy Alderson and his staff seem fully dedicated to the future.  They are not going to make a trade or sign a player simply because fringe fans will recognize the big name.  The players they bring in will be here because they can contribute to the team, not simply boost ticket sales for a week.  I truly believe the Mets will look at players like Carlos Gonzalez and Jacoby Ellsbury as options.  The Mets have finally shown they are dedicated to the next generation of Mets.

Manny Ramirez was an option in the past.  He was an option when the Mets wanted fun slogans and were desperate to keep the bandwagon fans.  Sandy’s regime has changed that culture.

Regardless of if Manny Ramirez would ever actually come back to North American baseball, he is so far away from the direction the Mets are going and should not be more than symbol of the past.



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