Ever since the 2006 season, the New York Mets have been baseball's biggest disappointment.
It's not all the fault of the players. Hell, it's not even Willie Randolph's fault. The blame lies with owner Omar Minaya.
While Minaya can be great at making deals, he has not shown that quality for a while. Why is it the Mets, one of baseball's power teams that can afford to over-spend, shoot themselves in the foot every offseason?
After the 2006 season, the Mets claimed that they improved their team and were ready for 2007. They were, up until the historic collapse based entirely on a lack of management and improvement after the trade deadline.
It is said that time heals all wounds, but when it came to the 2008 season, the Mets had made few improvements. Why did Minaya not make the moves that were so desperately needed? This became a glaring problem in 2008, as yet again the Mets collapsed.
Even worse, Mets fans were treated with the ultimate disrespect of the Phillies winning the World Series. They were not supposed to win the east in 2007, and they were not entitled to win the Series in 2008, being the lesser team.
That's not to take away from what Philadelphia did, because it must be respected. But Mets fans are tired of not getting the players they need.
So, again, in 2009, we hope for the best. The Mets have a chance at being an offensive juggernaut in the NL East with the likes of David Wright, another good year hitting-wise from Reyes and a power year from both of the Carloses. But they may be as mediocre as last year.
There arealways going to be injuries here and there and there are too many holes in the lineup to make up for those. For example, Luis Castillo might have a good year, but can the Mets afford to give him the chance to try again? Ryan Church may be good with the bat, but is it going to be enough?
Church was never the same after the side kick in the head last season, but that wasn't the only reason he didn't do well. When he slumps, he seems lost everywhere.
How about the bullpen? Johan Santana, yes, but who else is there? Mike Pelfrey is good, John Maine is questionable and Ollie is a lost cause, simply because he is a question mark every time he throws.
Why did the Mets not add to the starting rotation? Why didn't Minaya go after C.C. Sabathia? Why did Derek Lowe not get a bigger offer? Minaya failed to get an upgrade over Perez, he failed to get a Randy Wolf, and although there are talks about obtaining Sheets or Peavy, who knows how those will shape up?
Minaya has made so many bad plays that I question if the Mets are playing to compete or playing simply as a pastime.
Now, another mistake is going to occur, as Minaya is opting not to pursue Manny Ramirez, a potential RBI machine. Signing him would take the pressure off Wright's shoulders and give another hitting complement to Delgado.
Ramirez with the Mets makes sense. He has played for two big-market teams and produced. Even if his outfield play is sloppy, it would be overshadowed by his bat and his abilities to hit 40-plus homers.
The Mets have lacked a legitimate power hitter for some time, but whenever one becomes available the management just passes. Wright is not going to carry a team all year, and neither is a bullpen with holes. Those holes could be covered with a power hitter. Until they find one, preferably Ramirez, the Mets' chances of winning the NL East are going...going...gone.
So thanks, Omar Minaya, for giving us the same team for three years straight. If another season collapse occurs this time, Francisco Rodriguez should close the door on you.