This team isn't going anywhere. Fast.
And you know what? They haven't been going anywhere, for a long time. This has got to be, given the kind of resources that have been available, the most mismanaged franchise in sports ever. Now, keep in mind that my knowledge of sports franchise management really only goes back about 15 years, but in that period, since 1990, I'd put up this team against anyone.
It all started in 1990, when they fired Davey Johnson. That's when the Mets, in my era, started making decisions that had nothing to do with on the field performance whatsoever.
Under Johnson, the Mets never finished lower than 2nd, and they won two division titles and one World Series. That was before realignment, when you basically had to win at least 96 games to get into the playoffs. Competitive baseball... year in, year out.
And for that, he got canned. Right about then, the wheels came off the track. In came the high-priced flops: Vince Coleman, Bobby Bo, Bret Saberhagen, Eddie Murray, etc. etc. so on and so forth. We all know the story there. Then, a few years later we go to the World Series on the back of a catcher and no outfield. Oh, and the pitch before Kenny Rogers' last pitch to the Braves? That was a ball as well. He couldn't throw a strike with the season on the line TWICE.
But let's talk about now. Let's talk about how ridiculous this team is now and what really kills me--the fact that the best players aren't the ones getting the most playing time. Its become management by politics and it drives me nuts.
Mike Piazza is batting .243. Remember Jason Phillips? He's up at .287. Now, granted with the few meaningless homeruns Mike's hit, his OPS is within a few points of Phillips, but Phillips is throwing out about 20% of the runners than run against him... and A LOT less people run against him. Mike is tossing them out at a 10% clip, which means my grandmother has a shot on the back end of a double steal at least. Oh, and the big difference. Jason Phillips is making about $300k. Piazza makes $300k a week... not just during the season... all year.
But, he's still probably better, at least offensively, than half the catchers in the league. The problem is, we have him batting 5th. How about flip flopping him with David Wright, who, out of the regulars, leads the team in slugging, total bases, and is 2nd in RBI. Plus, the guy draws walks and has a .400+ on base pct. Well, but you can't do that, because then poor Mike and his $15 million feelings are going to get hurt. You know what? For $15 million, they could bat me 10th. New York City teachers make what Mike makes in a day. He has no right to complain if they move him in the lineup, move him to another position, or trade him to the Orioles for a bucket of baseballs. I'm sick of watching this guy leave 5 on a night and ground out into a double play with runners in scoring position.
You know who else they're afraid to bench? How about Tommy Glavine? Seven guys have started games for the Mets this year. Glavine has the 2nd worst ERA and the worst WHIP out of any of them. After the All-Star break last year, Glavine posted a 4-7 record with a 5.06 ERA. So, the fact that Aaron Heilman isn't a permanent fixture in this rotation, ahead of Glavine, is a joke. But, he's Tom Glavine, so you can't send him to the bullpen. So, we're stuck with him for as long as he wants to keep losing to the Braves.
Speaking of money pits... How about Kaz Matsui? First of all, and I brought this up at the time, Miguel Tejada (the Miguel Tejada that drove in 150 runs last year), is making about $12 million a year. Matsui is making $7 million--a guy who had never batted before in the US, and for $5 million more we could have had the 2002 AL MVP. A lot of good that extra $5 million did. This is a guy who, when it was obvious that he couldn't play shortstop in the majors, wouldn't give in on the clause in his contract that said he could only play short. So, we had to wait until the offseason to switch his position. But, what's spent is spent, and now we put this yahoo out in the field just because we spent the money. If it were up to me, I'd hand Cairo the job now and Matsui would never bat again. Does it say in his contract that we have to play him at all?
Bat Wright 5th. Trade Glavine, Piazza, and Matsui to anyone who will take them. Let Heilman pitch every 5th day. Get Rickey Henderson back... to teach Jose Reyes the strike zone and how to draw a a walk. (Hell, he could teach Ishii and Zambrano where the strike zone is, too.) Health Bell should always come out of the bullpen before Manny Aybar.
And for the love of God, please let Carlos Beltran run. I don't care who bats behind him. What the hell is the point of spending all this money on a 30-30 guy if you don't let him steal? Did I mention I'd like to manage the team?