It’s time for the New York Mets to blossom into a different kind of organization.
I love October baseball. Sadly, in 2018, it’s once again absent of the New York Mets.
Seriously, there’s nothing like it. As much as I enjoy other sports, baseball is the most riveting. There’s no way to run out a clock. No way to avoid the other team from getting their shot. Every pitch and every play is crucial. You don’t focus for one second and it could cost you the game.
I love seeing the tension on players’ faces. Love the jubilation when someone gets a clutch hit, or makes a great play. The games just have a different feel.
This postseason is no exception. The games have been great, and with no horse in the race, I can just relax and enjoy the game. Even more so, now, with the New York Yankees knocked out.
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There’s only one thing that’s keeping the postseason from being perfect. Much like with most of my life, there’s one ingredient missing . . . the New York Mets.
While I’m much more relaxed when the Mets aren’t involved, it’s not nearly as much fun as having someone to root for. A team which you’re living and dying with on every pitch. Without the Mets involved, the games are fun for me, but clearly not the same as it is for those fans who have teams still involved.
But, here’s the funny thing about the Mets. Even with them not involved in the postseason, they’ve still found a way to be a topic of discussion, and in typical Mets fashion, it’s not in a good way. It appears that they’re bungling things. Again.
The Mets are conducting their General Manager search, and already, I’ve read about several prominent names who have turned down their request to be interviewed for the position. Names such as Ben Cherington from the Boston Red Sox, Thad Levine from the Minnesota Twins, and the latest invitation declined, Mike Chernoff from the Cleveland Indians.
Now, admittedly, I’m not in love with any of those candidates, but that’s not the point. The Mets’ GM job should be one of the most coveted positions in the sport. Working in New York, flush with resources, and a chance to cement your status in the biggest media market out there. So, why isn’t everyone clamoring for it? Well, let me give you a guess.
Actually, two. A father and son pairing.
Fred and Jeff Wilpon have made the Mets an unattractive proposition. Dysfunction radiates out of every pore of this organization.
What other team can you think of, that has their current GM or in this case a trio of GM’s, John Ricco, Omar Minaya, and J.P. Ricciardi, involved in the hiring process to find someone who might possibly replace them or relieve them of their jobs. Though, to be fair, we’re already hearing that the Wilpons would recommend to the new hire that all three keep their jobs, thereby handcuffing the new GM right off the bat.
As if that’s not enough, how many people are yearning for a job, where Jeff Wilpon has basically admitted that he has final say on all transactions? He’s telling all prospective candidates that he’s the real GM of the team.
So really, what’s attractive for a candidate in working for a team that has shown little willingness to spend like it belongs in a big market. A team that has done everything on the cheap for so many years, that it’s become their normal way of life.
Now, I was never a fan of Sandy Alderson as GM. I always found him trying to show how much smarter he was than everyone else, by “finding” value in players that other teams passed on, instead of going after high-end players. I found him flippant and insulting with some of the statements he made.
But still, I felt really bad for him, when he had to cover for the Wilpons’ ineptitude and not reveal what really goes on behind the scenes. Even if he had been the best GM in the world, it’s tough to do business when the people you work for have no clue what they’re doing, and are handcuffing your abilities at every turn.
I used to pray for Major League Baseball to step in, and force the Wilpons to sell, for the good of the game, much like they did with Frank McCourt and the Los Angeles Dodgers. I realized long ago, that it’ll most likely never happen, but here’s where the Wilpons need to take some of this upon themselves.
If reports are accurate, then Chaim Bloom, the SVP of the Tampa Bay Rays, is interested in the job. He’s young, 37, and has been instrumental in getting quality and competitiveness out of a small market team. Let’s see what he can do in a bigger market now. Yes, I understand that saying big-market and Mets in the same sentence is contradictory, but as I’ve stated in a previous post, it’s time to open the checkbooks.
The Rays have always impressed me by holding their own while playing in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees. Bloom has had a huge part in that. I don’t care if he uses scouting, analytics, or even sorcery, and frankly, the Wilpons shouldn’t care either.
Get someone young in, who’s already making a dent, and let’s see what they can do. Hire Bloom, and then stay out of his way. Let him run the team however he wants, but give him the financial wherewithal to do so.
It’s not that I don’t like the other candidates like Gary LaRocque, Doug Melvin, and Kim Ng. But, with the exception of Ng, they just seem like it’s more of the same. I’m intrigued by Ng, but excited about Bloom. It really is time to show fans that it’s not business as usual. The Mets have to show that they’re open to new ideas and new ways since we sure can see that their old ways haven’t been working.
I, normally, avoid posts like these, since it’s way too easy to dig them up and pointing out that I advocated for someone who wound up not working out, but hiring Bloom just makes so much sense. Give him the keys to the kingdom and let him succeed or fail. Either way, he deserves the chance, without any Wilpon interference. Because, if there’s one thing the Wilpons have proven, repeatedly, it’s that they’ve already grasped the failing part.
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Now, it’s time to try for success.