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On the New York Daily News' website, they had a poll asking whose fault it was that Mets' season has spiraled out of control. They gave you four options:
- The Wilpons have steered the team into the iceberg.
- Omar Minaya's personnel moves have been dreadful.
- Jerry Manuel's in-game decisions make him seem clueless.
- The players that haven't been able to win.
So, they are telling us we can only pick one?
The biggest problem for the Mets is that it isn't one thing. There is no quick fix for the Mets. They need a complete overhaul.
First off, the Wilpons are in no position to be running a major league ball team. Their finical and legal problems are holding the team back from completing deals that they need to do. It's hard to judge whether it's Minaya's fault, or that of the front office. He can't make a deal without first getting the approval by the owners. So, who knows what happens behind closed doors? I don't think the Wilpons will sell the team, but they could hand ownership responsibilities over to a different person until they are able to collect themselves.
Minaya gets the brunt of the ridicule because he is the one who assembled this team. Like any GM, he has made some bad moves. Difference is in New York they are under the microscope more and usually for a lot more money than other teams, i.e., Oliver Perez. I'm actually not even that mad at Minaya. He did make some good moves in the offseason. R.A. Dickey, Hisanori Takahashi, Rod Barajas, and he still deserves credit for trading for Johan Santana and Angel Pagan back in 2008. Though he is not the team's biggest problem, I think it's just time to move in a different direction and let him go at the end of the year.
The Mets have a ton of talent on this team, but they can't take what is on paper to on the field. To me, that shows that the problem is with the coaching staff. I'm not one for blaming managers for the team's problems, but in this case I will. There has to be something that Manuel is doing wrong. Of course, none of us know because we are not there in the Mets clubhouse playing with them, but you get the feeling something isn't right. Manuel, as well as Howard Johnson, need to be gone in 2011. The only coach I would keep is Dan Warthen because the Mets pitching has been outstanding this year.
Now, onto the guys who actually make it happen on the field. It's been painful to watch the Mets' offense go up to the plate and back to the dugout like clockwork. We've been watching games that are routinely 1-0 in the seventh inning, with no sign of life in the batting order. You can do whatever you want with the front office and coaching staff, but when it comes down to it, the players need to perform, and they aren't doing that. It may just be time for a complete overhaul of this team, keeping only the cornerstones of the franchise.
So, what to do in 2011? Well, first off, if the ownership wants to show anything to the fans of this team, they need to fire Minaya, Manuel, and all other coaches not named Dan Warthen. The replacement manager comes down to the three people; Joe Torre, Bobby Valentine, and Wally Backman. I'm a big fan of Backman, but the other two have much more experience than him, which would be important for this team. However, Torre will always be a Yankee to me, and I feel like Bobby V had his time here and they shouldn't go back to him. So, I would go with Backman as the Mets' manager in 2011.
Next comes down to the players. Big contracts like Carlos Beltran, Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and Francisco Rodriguez will try to be moved in the offseason. Beltran will have the most value, but like Perez and Castillo, and if they were to move Beltran, they would have to eat a large portion of his salary.
He's due to make $18.5M next season, and though it looks like he is starting to get back to his old form, many teams would not want to take that risk. They would probably have to eat $10M or even $15M of the last year on his contract to get back anything good in return.