A Lot Of Work To Clean Up The New York Mess

Goodbye Omar Minaya. You should have been out of here a long time ago for making the New York Mets the “Mess” they are, now something that a new general manager will inherit. As for Jerry Manuel, nice guy who was never the right fit for this team calling decisions in the dugout.

What took Fred and Jeff Wilpon so long to pull the plug and finally make their move to fix this “Mess” in Flushing at Citi Field? They made a rare and must appearance together Monday at Citi Field. They addressed their public, the fans.

Jeff and Fred, father and son gave their assessment and had to give the answers. Because they saw the empty seats at their new and sparkling ballpark these past two Septembers. The fans truly had their voice heard by staying home and finding something better to do than watching losing baseball.

So, where do we go from here? Minaya collects another year of his million dollar salary and contemplates what to and surly knows the new GM will not require his services. Manuel goes home to Sacramento, picks up some rocks and reflects on what went wrong during his tenure in the dugout

And Mets fans wonder, will they see pennant winning baseball in the near future? As one Mets insider said to yours truly last week, “It will take another five years to clean what Omar put together.” Truly believe that it will be that long a duration if Fred and more so, Jeff, move visible, and the CEO, allows the new GM to have full autonomy on baseball decisions.

You see it never worked that way across the Robert F, Kennedy Bridge in the Bronx. Though Brian Cashman supposedly has most if not all the baseball decision making at Yankee Stadium, we all know the late George Steinbrenner made the final call about player acquisitions, scouting, development, and the overall baseball operation including the manager.

The new regime for the Yankees, the sons, Hal and Hank, Randy Levine and company will make it known that Cashman has that autonomy, But we all know the Steinbrenner billion dollar empire knows baseball. They make the final decisions as Cashman gives them their evaluation and opinion. As much as Fred and Jeff said that losing made them suffer, and as Fred said, “We don’t pick baseball players, we never had,” perhaps they should hand the team over to people or investors that know baseball.

They trusted their money with Minaya. The Mets this year, with the fifth highest payroll in baseball will carry about $130 million of that into next year, coming off another fourth place finish and second straight losing year at Citi Field.

Just a brief overview of the “Mess” Minaya hands over to the new regime, and it does not matter who the new head of command will be, Or who the new manager is. Whether it is Wally Backman or Bobby Valentine, or someone else, the new field general will have to suffer with more losing.

Because the youngsters that Manuel put on the field in August, and in September have a lot to prove. They could be parts of the rebuilding via a trade or two. Or continue to develop with the right manager and coaches in place.

What to do with the Minaya “Mess” that comprised these Mets the past few years?  You can’t love Omar “like a son” as Fred Wilpon said Monday because of this: It’s October and the Mets are once again in hibernation.

Because Oliver Perez is owed another $12 million of a $36 million dollar contract and in two of those years the Mets pitcher had a 6.81 ERA in 31 mound appearances, and did not make a start this season after May 14th.

Because Luis Castillo with his four- year $25 million contract extension hit .235 this year, had his share of injuries and most of the second half sat on the bench and second base went to youngsters Luis Hernandez and Ruben Tejada.

Because when a Mets top prospect Fernando Martinez was a hot item, and a coveted trade commodity, numerous opportunities to get value for Martinez were bypassed. Martinez became a true disappointment and now damaged goods with injury after injury.

Because the Mets never had a reliable closer on the mound, even with bad boy Francisco Rodriguez and it was Minaya who had no hope for Heath Bell who was traded to San Diego for Ben Johnson and Jon Adkins. Where are Johnson and Adkins now? No longer with the organization and Bell was second in National League saves this season with the Padres who were in contention.

Because there were so many more bogus transactions done by Minaya that fail to address his sometime success with obtaining Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez, Carlos Delgado, plus giving Jose Reyes and David Wright extended contracts,

Said Jeff Wilpon “We have a lot of fans out there; we just have to bring them back. And from Fred “I love the New York Mets. I love this franchise.  We made investments that weren’t good investments. We take the responsibility, the buck stops here.”

And it certainly does stop here now. Hopefully, it will end, this “Mess” of the Mets that Minaya caused. Even with some success, one game away from a National League pennant and back to the World Series in 2006. Fred and Jeff now get another opportunity to get it right with a new regime.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under Acquisitions, Brian Cashman, Dollar Salary, Dugout, Father And Son, Final Call, George Steinbrenner, Gm, Gm Autonomy, Kennedy Bridge, Levine And Company, Mets Fans, New York Mets, Nice Guy, Pennant, Rich Mancuso, Robert F Kennedy, Septembers, Staying Home, Tenure, Top Story, Yankee Stadium

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on October 6, 2010

Despite Win, Everyone is Talking Minaya and Manuel

NEW YORK-  There were multiple reports coming from Citi Field Friday evening that team general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel will be replaced when the season concludes Sunday afternoon. The moves have been rumored for the past month.

With the Mets once again finishing their second season at Citi Field below the .500 mark, there is every reason to believe there will be a new regime running the show next April.  Prior to the start of a three game season finale series with the Washington Nationals, won by the Mets 2-1 in 10 innings, Manuel was asked about reports he would not be returning next season,

“I have not discussed anything,” said the Mets manager regarding his situation. The talk about Manuel not returning for a third year has been a constant topic of discussion since the all-star break. “Nothing has been told to me,” he said,

He added “Just like every year you discuss it, you discuss it at the end of the year. I haven’t been told anything.”  Though Manuel may have not been told anything about his status there is every reason to believe his regime with Minaya will conclude Sunday,

Minaya, general manager since 2004 has seen minimal results during his tenure. The Mets once again this year, with high expectations and third highest payroll in baseball, failed to make the postseason again since their 2006 loss in the National League Championship Series to the St Louis Cardinals.

On the field the Mets tried to play for something as they finish out the string. Against the last place Nats, starter Pat Misch went eight innings, gave up three hits and struck out 10.  Michael Morse hit a solo home run to center in the seventh, the lone run surrendered by Misch that tied the game at 1-1.

“I know I can pitch,” commented Misch (0-4) who did not figure in the decision, “Obviously the record doesn’t show it and maybe the numbers aren’t the greatest.” Manuel, speaking like he will be in control next season said, “He can possibly give the organization some depth next year.”

The game stayed at 1-1 until the bottom of the tenth when catcher Josh Thole hit a 3-1 pitch to the right field stands that gave New York a 2-1 win. It was the third home run for Thole as the Mets got another walk-off win. It was their fourth hit of the game off Nationals Tyler Clippard (11-7) tagged with a loss out of the pen.

“I didn’t know what to do when I got to home plate,” said Thole. As was the case with rookie Ruben Tejada, who got a walk-off wining double against the Brewers Tuesday night, Thole was mobbed by teammates when he reached home.

It was his first ever game winning home run. Thole is projected to be the Mets starting catcher next season. “Just wanted to get out of here with a win and get out of here on a positive point,” he said about the win and final games of the season.

They are playing out the string, the Mets are. Manuel is still in control as is Minaya, at least until Sunday. The final two games won’t make a difference as the Mets even with a sweep over the Nationals will have their second consecutive losing season finishing under .500.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under All Star, Baseball, Friday Evening, Game Season, High Expectations, League Championship Series, Mets, Michael Morse, Minimal Results, National League Championship Series, New York Mets, Omar Minaya, Pat Misch, Payroll, Regime, Season Finale, Second Season, St Louis Cardinals, Sunday Afternoon, Tenure, Top Story, Washington Nationals

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on October 2, 2010

Reports: Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel On The Way Out

NEW YORK – With three days left in the season, the Mets are coming to a decision.

Multiple sources reported today the club will fire general manager Omar Minaya as early as Monday and also decline the option on manager Jerry Manuel’s contract.

The move comes as the Mets close out another disappointing season, where they will finish under the .500 mark for the second year in a row.

In his six years as general manager, Minaya had a number of highs early on which quickly turned to lows with the signings of Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez to bloated and under-producing contracts. The club struggled as the top heavy salaries blocked the team from overcoming injuries.

COO Jeff Wilpon will begin the search for a new general manager as soon as the season ends. He is expected to interview a wide variety of candidates, including former Oakland A’s general manager Sandy Alderson and Tampa Bay Rays VP Gerry Hunsicker.

As for Manuel, his tenure ends in utter failure. After an impressive run in 2008, after replacing Willie Randolph, the season quickly ended in failure when the Mets collapsed for the second year in a row. That was followed by two under .500 seasons, which triggered the coming moves.

Although, Brooklyn manager Wally Backman remains the front runner, Wilpon will wait until a new GM is named before bringing in a manager. Former manager Bobby Valentine will also be considered, but there may still be open wounds from his last go around which was highly successful in 1999 and 2000 but ultimately his outspokenness got him fired in 2002.

Any announcement is expected Monday at the earliest.

Posted under Bobby Valentine, Brooklyn, Gm, Jeff Wilpon, Lows, Luis Castillo, Manager Bobby Valentine, Mets, New York Mets, Oliver Perez, Omar Minaya, Open Wounds, Salaries, Sandy Alderson, Six Years, Tampa Bay Rays, Tenure, Top Story, Utter Failure, Vp, Wally Backman, Willie Randolph

This post was written by Joe McDonald on October 1, 2010