Open Thread: Fix the Mets, fix the Mets, step right up and fix the Mets

Jim Callis on Bleich
Miranda, Henry & Cervelli all return to action

So let’s leave our Wang problems alone for a few hours. There are only so many times in one day we can discuss Wang anyway. Instead, let’s turn our attention a few miles south and east of Yankee Stadium, and let’s visit the Yanks’ bumbling co-inhabitants of the New York City baseball universe.

Heading in the 2008 season, the New York Mets and their fans had high expectations. While they were coming off an epic last-season collapse that saw them lose the NL East to the Phillies on the final day of the season, their off-season acquisition of Johan Santana as well as the return of Pedro Martinez had the Shea Faithful feeling pretty good about the team’s chances in the final season in the House that Robert Moses Built.

But things haven’t worked out as planned. Sixty-eight games into the season, the Mets find themselves at a disappointing 33-35, 6.5 games behind the Phillies and treading water in the playoff hunt. While Santana has made a difference — without Johan, this team would be dead and buried — these numbers don’t even begin to tell the full story.

From the get-go, this has been one of those epic bumbling Mets seasons for which this team is famous. They’ve lost countless players to injuries; Carlos Delgado has been terrible; the pitching has been inconsistent; and Billy Wagner has seemingly forgotten how to close out games, blowing four of his last nine save opportunities and three of his last four late-inning appearances. The team also did a marvelous job putting Ryan Church’s career and life at risk by rushing him back from a concussion.

Off the field, things have been no better. Since the Mets rolled into Yankee Stadium in May, Willie Randolph’s job has been hanging by a thread. The Mets’ Front Office has continually declined to give Willie any long-term vote of confidence, but they refuse to flat-out fire him, perhaps recognizing that this team’s poor performance rests more on the shoulders of Omar Minaya than anyone else. It was Minaya, after all, who opted to go with an old team; it was Minaya who didn’t shore up the pitching beyond Johan Santana and a whole bunch of question marks; it was Minaya who milked the farm system dry for the likes of Delgado, Ambiorix Burgos and countless other moves.

Meanwhile, another day has passed with the axe still hanging over Willie’s head but not quite ready to fall. His coaches may be dismissed; his ability to lead this team may be questioned; but no one in the Mets organization is willing to pull the trigger. The fans have noticed too with prominent Mets bloggers calling it a perplexing embarrassment.

So as we Yankee fans leave our troubles behind for a few hours, let’s discuss the Mets. How would you fix the disaster in Queens? Would you fire Randolph? Fire Minaya? Hold a fire sale of usable parts? The Mets can’t really improve through trades this year; they have nothing left. So something must give. What do you do?

Jim Callis on Bleich
Miranda, Henry & Cervelli all return to action
  • My Pet Goat

    Fire Wang! Oops, I forgot. Really, they have to drop Minaya. This goes back to the Paul DePo posting about good vs. bad process. Minaya’s process has been to luck into a job where 1) he can recklessly throw around a bunch of money and 2) he inherited David Wright, who is flat-out an awesome baseball player. You can pile some of the blame on Steve Philips, but that ship has sailed. Minaya has never really displayed a plan for fashioning a championship team, short of acquiring the most expensive talent in the off-season market. The Mets only need look across town and up to Boston to find the preferred model of big market juggernaut construction. Interestingly enough the right man for the job just might be Paul Depo as he built what possibly is a great club in LA, despite Colletti’s great interest in squandering his inherited spoils. Finally whoever Wilpon hires to replace Minaya, he has to give him the power to scuttle the slotting system. I know they’re a National League team and the tit-for-tat arms race in the AL East is not their concern, but that’s what the Metropolitans have to look to for inspiration. This team should flex their financial muscle in the amateur department. …and they should get a do-over on the Kazmir trade.

  • Chip

    Obviously they should trade Santana and cash to the Yankees for Betances, Romine and IPK

  • Phil McCracken

    I’d get rid of Omar at the end of the year. Not much you can do by dumping him mid season.

    Its his fault the Mets are in this bind with old players ie Alou, Delgado, Duque. I think they should start shopping Beltran and maybe Reyes if the price is right. I don’t think they can get much for Perez this season, so they should just let him walk at the end of the year and hope for a draft pick.

    I don’t think they are a playoff team as they stand right now. The pitching besides Santana isn’t consistent. They are kind of in a tough spot. If they don’t make the playoffs this year, what do they do in the off season? Hope Sabathia is a free agent a try to bring him in? What if Sabathia isn’t? Same with Teixeira.

    Mets just seem to have too many holes to fix in this off season. By making a trade they might be able to bring in some talent that will help them rebuild without taking years due to their weak farm system.

    • My Pet Goat

      I disagree on when to fire Omar. There’s no time like the present and now with Mariner’s in the market for a GM, there’ll be one less qualified candidate come next winter. This would also prevent Minaya from making any damaging moves for the benefit of keeping his job in the short term. You’d get the benefit of having your new GM in at the trade deadline, cause let’s just imagine the Mets don’t right this ship. Who do you want making deals next month? Sitting on your hands when the right move is staring you in the face is never shrewd.

  • Bruno

    The Mets need to move to Cali. Oh wait….

  • Adam

    if the mets want the city to love them, they should trade wright and reyes to the janks for igawa and hawkins. hell, i’ll throw in pavano if they want.

  • Manimal

    1st step: Omar Min-bye-bye
    2nd step: Fire Willie
    3rd step: Ship Carlos Delgado somewhere else
    4th step: Billy wag’s his way out of NY.

  • Nefarious jackson

    Sorry, wrong thread but…

    Karstens gives up 3 runs and 4 hits in first inning… according to Gameday even the outs were line drives…

    PLEASE let Alan Horne be ready soon…

    Brighter news Phillies bitch slapping Colon for 3 runs in first, maybe the fatman won’t the the Red Sux savior afterall…………………….

  • Manimal

    btw the open thread shouldv’e been about if Interleague play is dangerous/should the NL still have a pitcher batting.

  • jsbrendog

    I don’t want reyes on my team one bit he’s a cocky showboat who doesn’t play hard and has mental lapses that are atrocious. at the first game yesterday he just trid to nonchalantly backhand a ball and it went right under his glove just despicable. the mets are a mess also yesterday whoever was up walked and castillo at first had no idea and looked like a moron with this dub look on his face cause he didn’t know there were (hree balls. this team doesn’t try or care end of story. keep reyes. someone should tell him he’s not jimmy rollins and to shape up.

    now david wright at 1b with cano jeter and arod……

    • Manimal

      when your that fast who gives a damn, show boat all you want.

  • Mike A.

    I’d leave everyone not named Wright in Anaheim after their current series with the Angels.

    In all seriousness, Minaya needs to go. He put too much trust into older, injury plagued players (Alou, Pedro), and he’s decimated the farm system. They have zero depth at the ML or MiL level, all you need to do is look at the guys they brought in when players starting getting hurt (Tatis? Aguila? Cancel? Is that really the best Omar can do?). While he certainly deserves credit for picking up Maine, they need to get rid of him before he doesn’t something catastrophically bad.

    I love Willie Randolph, but he needs to go just so they can start fresh. Wright gives them a cornerstone, a player to build around, which is a great start. Oh, and for the love of God, start going over slot in the draft. It’s okay, Bud Selig won’t bite.

  • Mike A.

    Mike Patrick & Orel Hershiser – calling the Georgia vs UNC CWS game on ESPN2 right now – are a brilliant announcing tandem. Patrick sometimes goes off on the inappropriate tangent, but it adds a nice little comedic relief. They’re outstanding.

    • Pablo Zevallos

      if only they called Yanks games…

  • alex



  • LiveFromNewYork

    I think Wright and Santana are the only two worth anything on that team. I have no idea how to fix everything else that is wrong. We get upset when Robbie hacks at a first pitch. We have no experience theorizing on the train wreck that is the Mets.

    • ChrisS

      Yeah, some things are just better left to the experts.

      I can’t imagine they could do anything this year besides draw out detailed 1-3-5 year plans … that is once they replace management. Omar should have been gone solely for trading Kazmir for Zambrano.

      • ChrisS

        disregard this comment, I f’d up.

        • JT

          You mean the like of Steve Phillips and Peter Gammons… oh wait, you said expert.

  • Alex

    Before I start, something that I understand completely whether or not it comes through in this post: Somebody has to play the rest of this season’s games. With that, here we go.

    -If the ‘Beltran for Rios and Burnett’ rumor that Gammons continues to allude to has legs, make the deal. Beltran is a wonderful baseball player, but often hurt and with the roughly $60 million remaining during the final 3 years of Beltran’s deal, the Mets could have 6 years of Rios. Between now and the trade deadline, Burnett becomes a valuable trade chip or a serious addition to the staff. From this point forward though, I’ll assume Burnett is a trade chip and the Mets are selling and building for 2009 and beyond.

    -Its no lock that free agent-to-be Oliver Perez will net the Mets two draft picks this winter, and in the event Perez is a type A free agent, the Wilpon’s penchant for adhering to MLB’s slot recommendations seriously limits the value of those picks anyway. The dearth of pitching available on the trade market might make Perez a real asset. Maybe the Cubs would be a player here in the event that Sabathia and Bedard stay put and Harden remains too high-risk of an option.

    -Heilman and Wagner absolutely need the opportunity to rebuild their trade value. After they’ve done that, these are very real assets. Bullpen depth is a problem for virtually every team in baseball and, in spite of his recent struggles, Heilman has been a reasonably reliable late-inning arm for several years. Wagner is due $10.5 million in ’09 and would quickly become the best bullpen arm available, a two or three prospect trade chip.

    In the event of a total purge, I imagine some other parts (Schoenweis among them) would move, outside of Reyes, Wright, and other cheap and controllable talent.

    In the abstract, the Mets divest Beltran, Perez, Heilman, and Wagner and might see a return along the lines of 2-3 legitimate ‘Grade A’ prospects and 4-5 lower level farmhands, with one excellent, cost-certain, everyday player in Rios who has the potential to be a star.

    My Father is a Mets fan and his Yankee-obsessed son is a big sore spot. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

  • mike pop

    what id do is id try to deal beltran and heilman in a package to the dodgers… well at least beltran… i send him over there and something else cash ?? for a package of kemp loney and billingsley…. than i look to deal scotty scho and maybe even wags give the closing dutie to duaner… trade wags in order to go after k rod after this season// i might look to acquire jason bay if i i could// i’d def look to deal beltran to the dodgers tho for kemp loney and billingsley a package like that

    • My Pet Goat

      That’s some wishful thinking from a Mets fan.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    The New York Mets are a self-esteem problem in the form of a baseball team. Why anyone in this city chooses to root for them over the Yankees will always perplex me. Someone should really do some sort of psychological study on that.

    Minaya’s the problem. He’s the kind of guy Steinbrenner would have loved in the 80’s. He’s built a crappy, old team with nothing on the bench and the thinning pitching staff ever. Willie Randolph is not the problem.

    Screw the Mets. They’re not worth our time.

  • pat mcloughlin

    i dont think omar minaya has the intestinal fortitude to rebuild hes gonna go the yankee route and throw money at the problems

    on a side note i absolutely love brian cashman and what he is trying to do for our team he has taken alot of shit in the past But i think he is a great GM and hope he re-signs. these new steinbrenner boys like to play the part of the old man yapping to the press but I think they’re secretly down with the transition 100%

    • JT

      Hahaha I totally agree. It would be so funny if the Stein brothers were just playing the media for the fools they are.

      • Bruno

        HERE HERE

  • pat mcloughlin

    i dont think minaya has the intestinal fortitude to rebuild from the ground up. i think hes gonna go the early 2000’s yankee way of throwing huge free agent contracts around to try and patch the holes.

    hes no cashman

    • pat mcloughlin

      ug sorry for the double post i thought the first one was lost when i hit some weird key.. my bad

  • steve (different one)

    trade Reyes for Jeter.

  • adeelmd

    Make a strong statement that you will keep Randolph till the end of the year no matter what. I think a few of this teams losses are just secondary to all this fire willie stuff.

    Get Reyes a really good shrink. This team’s biggest sore spot is Reyes. If he was hitting, stealing, and playing like he should… the team would still have holes but they would be a lot better than they are. Prolly two games back instead of below 500.

    Seems hard to think that one player could have such an affect, look at how A-rod’s injuryh affected us….. I am not saying Reyes is A-rod, but he was and always will be the catalyst for that team…..

  • brad k

    First off who really cares about the Mets? Don’t they have their own bloggers? Second…..Cashman? This is your good example. Spare me. Goodbye Cash.

  • Frank

    1) Fire Willie

    2) I would say fire Omar, but that’s not happening…so, offer Beltran to the Tigers for a package of Granderson/Verlander which would eventually turn into Granderson and Bonderman. Bonderman gives you a durable #3 for when Pedro and Oliver Perez leave after the season to slot behind Santana and Maine.

    3) Offer the Yankees Oliver Perez and Heilman for a bat. Would the Brewers bite on Oliver, Heilman and Fernando Martinez for Prince Fielder?

    4)Release Delgado.

    5)Offer Billy Wagner to the highest bidder…would the Yankees actually bid on him to be a left setup? Nah.

    Wow…they are pathetic, I can’t even think of a 5th batter…maybe Church??

    Vargas/minor leaguer

    Assuming they held onto wagner since no one else would want him, they might end up making a run with this team.

    • steve (different one)

      why would the Tigers do that?

    • Mike A.

      Did you just call Bonderman durable?

      • Brandon

        I think he did IDK why, but I think he did.

    • A.D.

      Bonderman is untradable until at least next year, due to the arm thing

  • Pablo Zevallos

    1) Fire Willie. The man is too weak, too Torre-like, and has lost the clubhouse anyway.
    2) Fire Minaya at year’s end, and hire Damon Oppenheimer (let me be clear, I don’t want that to happen, but it’d be a damn good idea.
    3) Trade Carlos Beltran and cash to Cleveland or Toronto for a B-level prospect (Chuck Lofgren? Ricky Romero?)
    4) Trade Billy Wagner to Milwaukee for Cole Gillespie or (maybe, a real maybe) Matt LaPorta or (another real maybe) Mat Gamel
    5) Extend Ryan Church for two years
    6) DFA Luis Castillo (end of the season)
    7) DFA Brian Schneider (end of the season)

    Once the dust settles you’ll actually have a pretty good team for 2010

    • Brandon

      WTF ?

      • Pablo Zevallos

        It’s idealistic, but logical

  • Gary

    As a Yankees fan, the very first thing I’d do is I’d bring in 1,000 pounds of dynamite and explode that tacky and annoying large red apple. Then fire Randolph, as he by donning that disgustingly ugly black uniform has lost all of the equity he’d ever built up with this Yankee fan. Then sell Carlos Delgado for a half-dozen bagels and cream cheese. Then order Jose Reyes to shave that cheesy and annoying beard. Next, put duct tape over Billy Wagner’s mouth. Speaking of annoying, is that kid in the Derek Jeter Ford commercial the most obnoxious kid ever??? He must secretly be a Mets fan.

    • Mike A.

      1,000 pounds of dynamite might be a little excessive for that apple, but better safe than sorry.

    • pat mcloughlin

      seeing as how the tacky apple is made of papermache, duct tape and leftover popsicle sticks 1000lbs might be overkill

  • A.D.

    How to fix the Mets:

    1. Fire Minaya, keep Willy
    2. Trade Church when healthy, for a decent prospect player at any position pref 2B or SP, sell high
    3. Trade Oliver Perez to the Cubs for Matt Murton, or similar trade
    4. Trade Delgado, Alou, Castillo, El Duque if possible, after it’s not get rid of them at the end of the season. Alou could have mild value for an AL contender.
    5. Trade Wagner if the right deal comes along, like Gamel for Wagner, nothing less.
    6. Sign CC, DLowe, or Sheets in the off-season going into Citi field.
    7. Sign Texieria or Adam Dunn to play 1B

    Your line up next year


    Free Agent mentioned above

    • A.D.

      Presumably they could sign a decent started for the 5 spot Byrd/Looper/ Odalis Perez

  • AMS223

    I would re-sign willie for another 2 years to say HE IS OUR MANAGER AND HE IS HERE TO STAY!!

    If not for wagner the mets would be 13-5 over their last 18 and that cant be put on willie. Then hold Omar accountable. He promised when willie took the job that he would get a young athletic team and he has not done that at all!

    Willie is a great guy and a good baseball mind the past few days he has been very relaxed and the team is starting to rally around him, this could be the sign of good things to come for the old 2B

    • steve (different one)

      or not.

  • Double-J

    Breaking News: Willy Randoph Fired As Mets Manager

    They also dumped the pitching and first base coaches.

  • Steve S

    I want to preface this by saying Yankee fans shouldnt be casting dispersions on the Mets or painting them as this disaster. The Yankees are in virtually the same position except they have rebuilt their farm system (which I know for this site that means a lot). However, the Yankees play in the same division as arguably the best team in baseball (which also happens to have a deep farm system and a lot of money) and the American League is much deeper in general.

    While the Mets have had some awful luck and made some questionable moves, they aren’t that far away from being the best team in National League, thats how mediocre the National League is. Lets be honest the team who is first right now has Tom Gordon followed by Brad Lidge as their bullpen and intestinal fortitude is not something that gets mentioned in connection with those two. I dont think Omar has been awful but he has clearly gone the route of trying to make a team that will win NOW. He has taken a couple of shots, some of them worked and some of them failed.

    Wagner is a problem but he is like most non-Rivera closers. Santana has been very good, if not dominant for them and they still have Wright and Reyes at age 25 signed to cheap long term contracts. Minaya is clearly a little over matched or overwhelmed for being a GM, and its clear that he is meant to be a scout not the guy calling the shorts. And Delgado is not the first slugging first baseman in this town to have one good year and then fall apart (absent Giambi’s slight resurgence this year which is still not the player he was in Oakland and he has never been that). And finally, had it not been for Duquette and probably Rick Peterson, this team would have Scott Kazmir, Santana and Maine as their top three.

    And the constant head patting of Brian Cashman has to stop. While he has a lot more years on the job and has done a slightly better job in big picture, he has made some awful decisions.

    • Stryker

      And the constant head patting of Brian Cashman has to stop. While he has a lot more years on the job and has done a slightly better job in big picture, he has made some awful decisions.

      decisions that were most likely forced on him by George Steinbrenner. let’s see: Pavano, Wright, Sheffield, Johnson, Womack – those 4 off the top of my head are moves that George enforced. he had this mentality that we should go hard after players who wrecked the Yankees in years previous. i highly doubt those signings/trades were original Cashman ideas.

      i believe what we’re seeing now and will see in a few years is the product of a very smart baseball man who has full control of baseball operations and the support of the ownership. the game has changed. no longer are the days of overpaid sluggers steroids users. – and i believe Cashman has done a great job rebuilding what was once a weakness of this organization.

      don’t forget – cashman also brought alex rodriguez to the yankees for alfonso soriano. ALFONSO SORIANO! i definitely think that was a steal on the Yankees’ part. gotta give him credit for that.

      • Stryker

        oops. those *5 players.

        also – compared to Minaya, Cashman is a god. just look at what Omar’s done:

        Delgado was 34 and signed to a 4 year contract. Primes are 28-32. He was out of his prime. it was a terrible deal for a terrible amount of money and at a terrible length. does 2006 make a 4 year contract look good when 2007, 2008 and likely 2009 (assuming they pick up his option, which Omar Minaya may do because Nick Evans — the 1B in waiting — isn’t Latino or a household name) a good one? no, it doesn’t.

        also, Omar Minaya doesn’t deserve to get any benefits of the doubt because he’s a terrible General Manager.

        See: Bartolo Colon deal when he was the GM of the Expos.

        See: Giving Pedro Martinez a 4 year deal at age 36.

        See: Giving Luis Castillo a 4 year deal when he hasn’t been an effective ball player since 2005.

        See: Completely mishandling Mike Pelfrey.

        and that’s just what he’s done wrong while with the Mets. He was driving the Expos into the ground.

        and boy, who would’ve thought that a 34 year old (when he signed the deal) would be a terrible ball player 2 years later? I’m SHOCKED!

        • Steve S

          Not that I wanted to do this but tell me where Cashman did anything similar to. And I acknowledged that Minaya is not qualified to be a GM but Brian Cashman has not been a standard bearer.

          1. getting John Maine as throw in
          2. Even getting Oliver Perez was impressive as a throw in to the Xavier Nady deal

          As for Cashman,

          1) Carl Pavano
          2) Kei Igawa
          3) Steve Karsay
          4) Chris Hammond
          5) Jared Wright
          6) Jeff Weaver/ Kevin Brown (one begets the other so its the same mistake)
          7) Kyle Farnsworth
          8) Tom Gordon

          And there are some fringe moves that are debatable but were awful, such as the Johnny Damon contract. And while its arguable, Giambi was an awful move.

          Calling Cashman a God is a bit much and in the end, in the last three years which team has gotten closer to a World Series. I hate arguing for Minaya but Im just sick of hearing the praises for Brian Cashman. Regardless of his posturing he has constantly been bailed out of his mistakes because he has bigger budget, which I accept as a fan but objectively, I dont see what makes him a “God” in comparison to anyone (aside from Ed Wade).

          • Ben K.

            The signing of Jason Giambi was not an awful move. He’s put up a line of .263/.409/.527 with a home run every 13.87 ABs and 545 RBIs over the duration of the contract. He had a few remarkably bad seasons, but that was far from an awful signing.

            • Steve S


              Giambi has been for the most part a failure. Consider the fact that he got a contract comparable to Manny Ramirez at the time. And consider the fact that the guy was supposed to be an MVP type player not Dave Kingman who walks.

              Not to mention the fact and ignominy of his admitted steroid use and the fact that his body essentially fell apart as a result of those steroids for two out of the seven years he was here. And he managed to be out of a World Series game. With all the pride and sentimentality everyone has here regarding the stadium I would think some of kind of pride of what type of people wear the uniform (and that goes for Clemens, Pettitte and Sheffield).

              Giambi has been an awful signing. Think about it now, it would have been like giving Travis Hafner a seven year deal two years ago. A one dimensional player who cant even manage to play first base. The guy still cant make a throw to second base, he just has wised up enough to eat the ball every time the situation comes up.

          • Joseph P.

            Gordon was quite good. I definitely wouldn’t put him on this list.

            • Steve S

              Would you want him pitching the 8th inning in game 5 at Fenway in the ALCS? And it wasnt as if there werent indicators that the guy couldnt make it in big spots, he had a whole career of bad spots.

              • Joseph P.

                Gotta get there first, Steve. And he sure as hell helped get us there.

        • Steve S

          by the way he gave Pedro a four year deal at age 33 which wasnt much better considering the condition of Pedro’s arm but it did help revitalize the org.