"Does anybody know why? Text me."--Keith Hernandez
My preseason predictions
brought in the Colorado fans, but alas, I sank under hubris and complacency--traits shared by Mets players and fans alike. Though the joke was on me, I think Rock fans need to thank me for messing with mojo. I ask you, how could the Colorado team have gelled into a playoff powerhouse without me not taking them seriously? Absent adversity, where would their drive to succeed come from? That's right, I'm claiming some credit for the Colorado Kaz's meteoric success. So to Colorado I say, Get yer Rocks off!
On the other hand, although I did briefly change allegiances to the Cincinnati Reds
this season, I barely made fun of the Mets, and look where that got them! I promise not to make that mistake again next season. Nor will I be forgiving players for their sins, as I foolishly made amends with the "spy that came in from the old
." Read on for more quasi-retrospective ramblings and preenings.
First things first, we blame all the umps. One issue I hope will get a lot of electronic ink this off-season is the quality of umpiring during the season. It shouldn't take a cascade of water bottles to wake the MLB(S) up to the piss poor officiating we saw this season. As David Wright said to C.B. Bucknor, "watch the game" MLB. The umps were chumps, nuff said.
So much Br*vey news floating around. Leo Mazzone (AKA the "rockin' retard") is let go by the brilliant minds in Baltimore. The Br*ves won't resign Andruw Jwuones. And the Great Satan John Sh***holtz will no longer be the General Manager of the Atlanta klan, although he remains with the club. It looks like the other shitkicking boot is dropping in Atlanta. Now I don't go as far as some
, but I hate the Br*ves something fierce, and even if the South will rise again, we should be enjoying this news.
So why aren't we dancing in the streets?
Well it maybe because of the September to Dismember has us feeling a little subdued. Or it maybe our off-season has yet to find its theme, a story or a unifying idea like the one, now almost forgotten, given by the preposterous chase of Barry Zito from last year.
Let's try a post-season theme on for size: IS OMAR A BUM?
, he could be.
The Mets GM's competence is something no thinking, feeling Metfan wants to doubt. After all, he's the one who revived this club, taking it from dissension to dynasty, albeit on the backs of Steve Phillips era draft babies. And with everything else so wrong, I don't think we can stand the thought that the helmsman is a hack. But here is Joel Sherman
for the prosecution, making the case with whispers about Omar's "checkered" record of decision making:
Minaya had a dream season last year where nearly every move - big and small - worked en route to an NL East title. But was that an oasis in an otherwise checkered career of decision-making?
You will find executives around the game who say Minaya claims more credit than he deserves for finding Latin talent early in his career, notably Sammy Sosa. Plenty of officials who were around the Mets when Minaya was a top executive under then GM Steve Phillips swear Minaya, among other failed items, strongly endorsed Jeromy Burnitz and Mo Vaughn, and gave a tepid report on a young international free agent named Alfonso Soriano.
For Sherman, Omar's past off-season was "inexplicable."
For example, with both Paul Lo Duca and Ramon Castro facing walk years, Minaya's front office lost, via the Rule 5 Draft, young catcher Jesus Flores, who had a fine first season for Washington. Minaya shielded a lot of Steve Schmolls and Alay Solers, but most criminally protected 48-year-old Julio Franco over a 22-year-old catcher with promise.
San Diego's Heath Bell and Florida's Matt Lindstrom blossomed into top set-up men and Kansas City's Brian Bannister into a Rookie of the Year candidate. The Mets' haul for that trio - Jon Adkins, Ben Johnson, Jason Vargas, Adam Bostick and Ambiorix Burgos - was a modern version of Joe Foy and Jim Fregosi.
What message did Minaya send by re-signing steroid offender Guillermo Mota or firing a hard-working hitting coach (Rick Down) in midseason and hiring a renowned loafer in Rickey Henderson, whose time as a Met player was underscored by indifference?
So Sherman is playing the Bell card, pushing the 'roids case, and chiming the elderly gong. Rickey was a head scratcher. Fair enough. But one thing is sure, Omar needs to have a hell of an off-season. No more excuses that there is nothing to work with, a great GM makes it happen. What kind of evidence could we see in the upcoming weeks to make us feel Omar may indeed be a stinker?
Well, let's start with the re-signing of Tomahawk Chop Glavine. That wouldn't be good.
And any failure to remedy the pitching situation by somehow not scoring a number one starter and fixing the flat tire bullpen might qualify in some fan's minds. Signing players I loathe, such as David Eckstein
or Ronnie Belliard
(click on links for my savaging of these players), would do it for me.Belliard's a purple punk
So the jury is out. And they are an angry mob waiting to happen, Omar.
***axis of evil?
The Mets defensive lapses, particularly during the horrendous later portion of the season, need to be addressed. It would help if the players knew how many outs there are, or when to break into homerun celebratory trots and when not to. Reyes and Wright are young, but their throwing yips and non-coverage of bases, respectively, are not something Randolph can accept. I'm not saying that the Mets revert to Mets ex-GM Steve Phillips strategy of telling Mo Vaughn to pretend foul pops were cheeseburgers, but the Mets need to motivate these guys to keep their heads in the games at all times.
***Scott's last good day with the Mets
Scott "Show and Blow" Shoeneweis, he of the three-year, $10.8 million contract, is on the hotseat for a wee bit of mail-ordering he did
. So there are now as many questions about Shoeneweis' signing as there are about the spelling of his last name. But, contrary to what many fans think, this doesn't make signing Chadbrad to a similar contract any less ill-advised. Relievers are never a sure thing. But I want to point out something we learned in June that fans seem to forget: Blow was or is pitching with a severed tendon in his left hamstring
. Now I take this back if that hammy has somehow righted itself, but my argument is that one would need to take this into consideration when evaluating this signing. The dude has survived balls cancer, elbow surgury, and Blowsie was looking more like Willie's go to guy towards the end there, for better or for worse. If anything, Blow and the pen debacle as a whole speak to the problem of letting the "market " push you into signing middle relievers for 3 year deals.
And last and certainly least, how could we get through the day without doing exactly what Wallace Matthews wants us to do, which is be outraged while we discuss Wallace Matthews' latest performance art
over at Newsday? For Wally, the Mets are both bullies and cowards. They can't take a punch. They are responsible for global heating, spandex, disco, and Wally's premature ejaculation problem. However, I can't really contest his portrayal of Toothless:Tom Glavine -- a cut-rate mercenary compared to Clemens but a mercenary just the same -- got what he wanted out of the Mets, his 300th win, but when it came time to give something back, he couldn't get out of the first inning. Didn't seem to be too broken up about it afterward, either.
And well, it's hard to argue against the idea that the Mets are clowns, but blaming the Yanker's postseason failure on a swarm of bugs seems a little unfair. To the bugs.The Mets deny North Korean influence in the decision to retain Willie Randolph.
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