In my next life, I want to come back as Omar Minaya.
What a deal he has. He totally screws up the Mets, creates an old and overpaid team, makes crappy trades, and then, instead of getting fired, he fires his manager, Willie Randolph.
I’m not about to sit here and defend Willie Randolph. It didn’t appear that the players were responding to him, and somebody has to answer for last season's collapse. By why now? Why at 3:00 AM? Did Willie tell Omar that he needed 6,000 extra frequent-flier miles?
If Randolph had been fired five minutes after last season ended, nobody would have been surprised, and nobody would have cared. In fact, with anger levels where they were, the move probably would have been applauded.
Had he been fired this season, during one of the many losing streaks this team had, the reaction would have been minimal. But Minaya and the Wilpons, by firing Willie one day into a west-coast trip after a win, have sunk to a new low, even for the Mets. M. Donald Grant couldn’t have done worse.
But the question remains, why fire Willie and leave Minaya in charge? Look at the disaster called the New York Mets that Willie was given to work with.
Starting at first base, they have a 36-year old who doesn’t care about anything more than cashing his paycheck. He dives for nothing, never hustles in the field or out of the batters box, and has become pretty useless offensively.
The outfield is a real mess. Minaya gave Willie a 42-year old who makes Cliff Floyd seem durable. Alou has spent more time on the DL since joining the Mets than he has on the field.
The answer in right field is a guy who gets a concussion every time his head hits his pillow. I can’t blame that on Minaya, but it’s not Randolph's fault either.
And let’s not forget about Omar's youth movement on the pitchers mound. A 39-year old (maybe) El Duque and a 37-year old Pedro, who left his best years in Boston. Maybe Omar would like to pick up Clemens while he’s at it.
The bullpen, as we have seen with such superstars as Aaron Heilman and Scott Schoenweis, is a total train wreck. And let’s not forget Billy Wagner, who likes to point fingers at teammates when he’s not busy blowing saves.
In my opinion, Casey Stengel in his prime couldn’t have managed this team into the postseason. This is the team Omar Minaya built, and he should have been the one held accountable.
Part of the blame has to go to the owner Fred Wilpon and his baseball-challenged son, Jeff. They are the ones who approved these trades; they are the ones who approved trading away young players and bloating the payroll with old players.
I guess they’ve been too busy lately, screwing the taxpayers with their tax-exempt bonds they are using to build luxury boxes, to notice that the team is sinking.
It was rumored that Nelson Doubleday was bought out of his Mets ownership interest because he objected to Wilpon spending his money like a drunken sailor. I find that easy to believe. The Wilpons are clueless. I’m wondering if their next move will be to fire Minaya and replace him with Isiah Thomas.
I think Willie could have done a better job in certain respects, but it is wrong to scapegoat him for this dismal failure of a team. At best, he gets as assist for once again having the worst team that money can buy.