Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Wait Til Next Year

There's nothing left for Mets fans to do except turn our attention to next year. As bad as this season was, the Mets did win 88 games and only minor improvements need to be made to get this team to 92 wins next season.

As mad as I am I hope the Mets don't make too many drastic moves because this collapse was a fluke more than anything else, the confluence of hundreds of extraordinary, minor occurrences, that added up to a disastrous meltdown. The odds of that happening again are small, so the Mets shouldn't worry about how to fix the problems of the last 17 games too much, they need to make the team better overall.

I'll give a brief blurb on almost everyone on the Mets, their role in this collapse and what should happen to them next season:

Omar Minaya: He's a good general manager, a little stubborn, a little too reliant on veterans and guys he knows. He needs to cut ties with some veterans and acquire some pitching without trading any of our top young players.

Willie Randolph: He's a bad manager. His in-game moves are for the most part awful, and obviously he's not the right guy to fire this team up. His calm demeanor did not work down the stretch, and he spent two weeks fiddling while Rome burned. I am now officially against him and I wish they'd fire him.

willie randolph, captain of the titanic

Jose Reyes: I love him. He's my favorite player and still the best player on the Mets, but he was horrible down the stretch. I don't know what was wrong with him and I'm confident it won't carry over to next year but he is the guy that makes this team go, and he did nothing the last two weeks of the season. Other than the atrocious bullpen, Reyes's horrid play was the second most important reason for this collapse.

Luis Castillo: They should let him go. He's an average offensive player at best. He made two huge errors that cost the Mets in September. They can do a lot better (or just as good) for a lot cheaper.

David Wright: He was awesome this season, particularly late in the year. Other than his huge mistake on the potential double play in Pedro's start on Friday, he's almost blameless in this disaster.

Carlos Beltran: I don't know why Mets fans hate him so much. He's a great player and produces on a level equal to Wright. He had some bad moments this season but he played great almost all year. I feel he will never be accepted by the Mets fans but he is a special player.

Moises Alou: Had a great season, and was absolutely on fire in September. But he should go. The Mets don't need another 40-something player. Especially one who probably is only going to play 100 games.

Carlos Delgado: The Mets have him signed for one more year at $16 million and they'll owe him $4 million if they don't sign him in 2009. Acquiring him was a terrible mistake. Compared to other first basemen he's one of the worst in the majors. He did come up with some big hits early in the season but he's basically just a home run hitter. He hits .260, plays bad defense and doesn't hustle.

Paul LoDuca: Will not be back and should not be back. I don't mind Paul, I like his hustle and his attitude, the problem is, he just isn't very good. Even by the lowered standards of catchers, LoDuca was one of the least productive full-time catchers in the majors this year.

Shawn Green: It was a terrible decision to bring him here and it didn't really work out. He's just not that good anymore. 46 RBI is 446 at bats? That's an awful percentage for a guy in an RBI position in a relatively potent lineup. 76 outfielders had more, meaning he was in the bottom 17% of major league outfielders. Does that sound like a guy worth bringing back for another year?

Lastings Milledge: I fear he is going to be traded because of all these minor attitude things. I think he is going to be a great player and I really want him to be the every day right fielder next year. He can hit for power, run, throw and all he needs is a chance. He should be our 6th place hitter next year on opening day.

Carlos Gomez: Has a lot of talent, but may not be ready quite yet. Even so I hope they give him the permanent left field job next year and let him bat second between Reyes and Wright. That would help his development. The Mets always bury their young players at the bottom of the lineup and wonder why they don't produce. Putting a young guy in a key spot would give him more opportunities to succeed and speed his development.

Ramon Castro: His great performances in spot duty as the Mets backup catcher for three years warrant giving him a chance to be the regular catcher next season. No one the Mets will get in free agency will be that much better than Castro, but they will cost several million more. He's a much better hitter than LoDuca right now and other than this year, much better at throwing out baserunners as well.

Ruben Gotay: I'm not sure that he plays good enough defense to be an everyday second baseman but he definitely hits well enough to bat 8th in my lineup, if Anderson Hernandez is not ready to contribute enough offensively on the major league level.

Marlon Anderson: I would love to bring him back as a pinch hitter. But Anderson did lose his head twice and hurt the team. His blatant takeout slide may have cost the Mets a game against the Phillies, one that might have been the difference between this result, and the playoffs. Then, he missed two key games while serving a suspension for flipping out on an umpire.

Endy Chavez: He is a great fourth outfielder. With my plan to start Gomez and Milledge, Chavez will be much needed insurance.

Oliver Perez: Despite his horrible start on Friday he had a breakthrough season. A lot of his problems were mental as he gave up runs when he walked a couple guys or when the defense made bad plays behind him. He is still a young pitcher and any improvement (particularly making his bad starts a little less bad), will make him a legitimate number one starter.

John Maine: He can be a great number 2 to Oliver Perez. He had a great first half then faded before Saturday's brilliant performance. I have a lot of faith that the problems he faced in the second half can be fixed, now that he has more experience.

Pedro Martinez: I love Pedro, he's just too old and too injured to be relied upon. If he can pitch a full season he will give the Mets the best top 3 in the National League. But at this point in his career it would be unreasonable to expect 35 starts out of him. Unfortunately, giving an injured guy $52 million has backfired because for the past two seasons, the Mets were so close, and Pedro just wasn't around to nudge them over the edge.

El Duque: I love his toughness but he's also too old to contribute. I don't want to pencil him in then have him die on us late in the season for the 3rd straight year. The Mets should let him go.

Mike Pelfrey: He was horrible in April but showed a lot of improvement. He also has to learn to pitch out of trouble and to conserve pitches a little bit so he can go deeper into games. I still have confidence in his talent and want him to be the 4th or 5th starter next year.

Philip Humber: He's getting older and his time is coming. I'd love to see him win the 5th spot in spring training.

Jorge Sosa: Hopefully the Mets can keep him as a reliever and insurance in case of injury to or bad performance by a starting pitcher. Perhaps with a full year in relief he can get better adjusted to the rigors of that role.

Pedro Feliciano: Despite his troubles he's still the best reliever the Mets have.

Billy Wagner: He's our closer. He's not great, but he's better than most.

Aaron Heilman: I don't like his attitude and the fact that his mistakes seem to result in losses.

Scott Schoeneweis: He was horrible for most of this year but was the one reliever who improved down the stretch. They have to keep him anyway since he's got two more years on his contract and I think he might have a bounceback year next year, especially if the rest of the bullpen improves and he can be used more situationally.

Guillermo Mota: He has a year left on his contract. Terrible signing. I hope they cut him loose. He sucks.

Duaner Sanchez: Come back, please. We need you. Be as good as you were before the car accident. Please!

Joe Smith: Not sure he has any real potential. His hot start may have been a fluke. He wasn't fooling anyone in his second stint with the team late in the season.



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