Of Mets And Marlins; Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

By Michael Lecolant

To the readers of Rising Apple Blog, I apologize for being out of the loop.  I’m currently working long hours, seven days a week throughout the post-Hurricane Sandy recovery period.  I hope to get back on a regular schedule in the near future.  But after reading this, some Mets fans might wish I had stayed away.

Poof!  Jason Bay’s twenty one million dollar golden parachute now brings the total amount of Omar Money thrown into the Citi Field furnace at $44.25 million dollars and counting.  Jason Bay joined Oliver Perez ($12 million), Luis Castillo ($6.25 million), and Francisco Rodriguez ($5 million went to Milwaukee) as those paid in full to leave Flushing on the first possible flight departing LaGuardia Airport.  And just for kicks, let us start considering the $5.5 million the Mets will potentially give Johan Santana to buy him out of his 2014 option.  That would effectively raise the amount to fifty million Omar Dollars laid to waist.  Now where have we heard that number before?  Ah yes…, that equates to the reduction in payroll entering last season.  Add them both together and what do you get?  I don’t know.  It just sounds good.  But luckily for Mr. Wilpon, the team doesn’t exactly need money at the moment, just good decisions.

June 18, 2012; Flushing, NY, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson (left) and owner Fred Wilpon before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Enter Jeff Loria, an owner far worse than ours.  With the Commissioner’s blessing, he is in the midst of destroying his second major league organization.  The three-card monte Bud Selig orchestrated which allowed Jeff Loria to assume control of the Marlins was a sham in the first place.  And the current fleecing of Miami’s taxpayers falls on both their heads.

I happen to think very highly of Miami Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest.  How on earth he continues to work for Jeff Loria however is beyond my comprehension.  Good executive, bad owner – sound familiar?  Enter Sandy Alderson, who by most accounts is considered a good executive.  If you ask Mets fans, many would suggest Sandy works for a very unpopular owner as well, but for different reasons of course.

It is clear the team will continue in corrective mode throughout the 2013 season.  The relaunch of the Mets is slated for the 2014 season.  Sandy Alderson is taking a much more methodical approach to team building than say Miami’s more abrupt tact.  Therefore, we should not be too overly preoccupied with the team’s 2013 budget.  Not when teams like the Orioles, A’s, Reds, Nationals, and Braves all made the playoffs last season while sporting modestly lower payrolls than the Mets even after cutbacks.  That said, the issue then is not so much money, but procuring young talent.

I think Jeff Loria is his own organizational dysfunction.  But at the same time I believe in American enterprise.  Now here’s the rub.  I applaud his blockbuster trade.  I get the ‘ol I can finish in last place with you, and I can finish in last place without you routine.  But closer to my point is that I’m envious.  Why?  It is the kind of deal I want the Mets to make.  That’s why.

I say nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I’ve long been a proponent of trading David Wright and R.A. Dickey.  I’ll be even more blunt.  I’m perturbed this organization did not initiate a far more extensive rebuilding effort.  Other than the farm system, Sandy Alderson’s version to date is marked by mild alterations in large part to protect Fred Wilpon’s gate receipts.  The GM’s decisions were not necessarily all based on baseball per se.  To be fair, Alderson’s dilemma was more like a catch-twenty two.  I get that.  So far, these are my only gripes with Sandy Alderson.

I believe in many instances the most unpopular decisions in life turn out to be the best made decisions.  That’s just my opinion folks.  Now if you would like, let the debate begin.