It was Black Monday at 126th street and Roosevelt Ave.
In a much-anticipated move, the New York Mets said goodbye to GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel on Monday. This is no surprise to anyone who has followed this team over the past couple of years.
Let’s start with Minaya first since he is mostly to blame for the Mets’ mess recently. The biggest problems with the way Minaya he ran the Mets was that he had no game plan and had no creativity.
What was the Mets’ game plan under Minaya (besides being chokers)? They had none. Were they a team built around pitching and defense? Or were they a team built around speed and power? Were they a team that was going to build through the minor league system?
They were a jack of all these trades, but a master of none.
It seemed the Mets were just a mish-mosh of talent that really was never a team. They were a team that was saddled with bad contracts and a team that always lacked any depth.
The Mets under Minaya were always very top heavy. The best example of that was the 2009 season.
Yes, the Mets had a ton of injuries that year, but that season also exposed the lack of organizational depth under Minaya. The Boston Red Sox had just as many devastating injuries in 2010 as the Mets had in 2009 and the Red Sox almost won 90 games.
The other issue with Minaya was that he always made the obvious move. If the Mets needed a closer, he would go out and get a Francisco Rodriguez, but not address any other of the teams needs or improve what they already had.
He also lacked any creativity. Where was his acquisition of a Nick Swisher-type player? How come Minaya couldn’t find a guy coming off a down year and buy low on him? He would buy high on mediocre players like Jason Bay.
The new GM coming in needs to do a couple of things right off the bat…
They need to be gone at any cost.
2. Same can be said for Francisco Rodriguez. Rodriguez has about $15 million remaining on his contract when you consider his $3.5 million buyout for 2012, but after what happened this year, there is no way the Mets can bring him back.
3. Pick up the $11 million club option on Jose Reyes. I am a firm believer that Reyes will never be the player he was from 2005-2008 again, but the Mets need him to regain some trade value. It would do the new GM no good to get rid of him when his value is at an all time low.
4. Change the culture. This might be the most important. The culture around the Mets’ organization is a disaster right now.
The new GM must figure out a way to reconnect the team with it’s fanbase. In my 25 years of following New York baseball, I have never seen the Met fan as disconnected and infuriated with the organization as they are now.
It’s very bad.
Sandy Alderson, Josh Byrnes, Chicago White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, and former Kansas City Royals GM Allard Baird are early candidates for the GM position.
As for Jerry Manuel, he had no shot as Mets manager. Replaced a laid back manager like Willie Randolph with another laid back manager is never a good strategy.
Regardless, he was dealt a pretty bad hand in New York. But also think he didn’t command much respect from the team and just as important, the media. I don’t think anyone in New York believed he was the long-term answer as manager of the Mets.
Wally Backman, Joe Torre, and Bobby Valentine are early candidates for the Mets managerial job. However, Jeff Wilpon on the Boomer and Carton Show on WFAN said the new GM will be able to pick his guy as manager.
I don’t buy that for a second, but that’s what he said.
Whomever the new GM and manager are, they will have their hands full at least for the first year. With questions surrounding Johan Santana and the rest of the pitching staff and with a questionable roster because of some unmovable contracts, the Mets figure to be a .500 team at best next year.
Met fans need to be patient regardless of whoever the GM is. He has a lot of work to do.
You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg