Omar Minaya: How The New York Mets Went From Contender To Obscurity In 4 Years

Mike SochaContributor ISeptember 3, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 17:  New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya addresses the media at a press conference called to name Jerry Manuel as the interim manager at Angel Stadium on June 17, 2008 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

And so September arrives with the Mets looking up in the standings at not one, not two, but three teams. How exactly did this happen to a team that was one win from a World Series berth in 2006? Or a team with a seven game lead with 17 left to go in 2007? Or the team one win shy from forcing a one-game playoff for the coveted division crown in 2008? One answer: Omar Minaya.

I can't crack on the guy for a lousy and abysmal 2009 because injuries decimated the team, but 2010 was supposed to be the year that the Mets bounced back and finally returned to the playoffs. Despite the fact that the Mets are not mathematically eliminated from contention, any true fan will tell you the season has been over since the 2-9 debacle that started the second half of the season.

Any true fan will tell you Oliver Perez should never have earned a 3 year contract worth $36 million. Sorry Luis Castillo, but 4 years and $25 million, not for you. John Maine, I don't even know what to say. Wait, I know we'll go into the season with one bona fide starter and question marks surrounding the other four guys. No really, it'll be okay because Omar has faith in the team he assembled. Mike Pelfrey can be our number two and Perez will be our three and Maine will fit in nicely as our four and we'll put an unproven rookie with an average spring in the five slot. Nothing says playoff-bound like a rotation that is filled with has-beens and unprovens.

Then we can sure-up the position players by sticking the strikeout king Mike Jacobs at first and Gary Matthews Jr in center. We have great depth on the bench with the 70-year-old Alex Cora and Frank Catalanotto. At this rate it wouldn't surprise me to see the Mets go 162-0, just saying.

It gets better, however. We'll sign Kelvim Escobar to a one year contract for a mere $1.25 million because, heck why not give a chance to a guy who's pitched in one game in the last two seasons (he tore his capsule in his right shoulder in spring training and was sidelined for the entire season). We haven't finished just yet. We still need to go over Ryota Igarashi and Hisanori Takahashi. Considering the Mets had one of the worst bullpens in the league, it'd be best to sign more unproven players to throw into the mix. Certainly nothing bad can come from this right?

Wrong. The Mets start the season off dropping 8 of 12 and Jerry Manuel has given up all hope of sitting on a cool bench. Just how much does a manager have to show that he can't invigorate a team or lead in a Joe Torre-like manner. Nothing this franchise does is right. Don't just blame Jerry for what happened to this team blame Mr. Wilpon, blame Mr. Minaya, who clearly cannot put a winning team together, even with the third-highest payroll in all of baseball.  Blame the guy, who after a great run of baseball for the remainder of the first-half watched the team he oversees from the front office be within striking distance of first-place in the division to faltering so mightily on the West Coast.

Don't start a youth movement because, "It's not a market where you can go young. You have to bring in players." Trade a fan favorite in Jeff Francoeur, who struggled at the dish for a majority of the season, just to save the franchise some money and in return receive a high-ceiling prospect that has been that way for over seven years now. But don't eat the contract of Perez or Castillo or Rodriguez because they're too valuable, right Mr. Minaya?

You have become a laughing-stock throughout all of the tri-state area because you cannot assemble a team that has any character, heart, or leadership-qualities. You cannot field a competitive team with an enormous payroll. You cannot call yourself anything more than a "bust" Mr. Minaya because once upon a time you brought hope back to all the fans of my beloved New York Mets, but all you have done now is make me lose interest and turn the channel.

Don't you feel as if you have hurt the organization, the fan-base enough Omar? Or will you continue to collect your paycheck that you shouldn't be earning because of the amount of non-talent you brought together on the diamond. The time has come in Flushing for some change. A youth movement that will perhaps allow the team to make a run in the playoffs come 2012 or 2013. But for now Mr. Minaya, you left a bitter taste in my mouth that won't dissipate until you are relieved of your duties.

Hopefully for Mets fans, that day will be sooner rather than later.