I don’t wan to defend Omar Minaya. I don’t want to defend anything about the Mets front office. I think they are all terrible and the Mets won’t win anything until the entire organization is overthrown and that starts with the Wilpons selling the team. However I am going to make one daring statement. Is it possible that Omar Minaya has actually been doing a good job this season?
The 2010 Mets have been consistently inconsistent. Odds are they will finish somewhere right around 81-81. During the last offseason the fans cried for the Mets to either trade for or sign a premier starting pitcher. Everyone who follows the Mets knew that pitching was going to be the Mets biggest weakness in 2010. What did Omar Minaya do, he decided not to acquire a pitcher and instead spent his money on OF Jason Bay.
Fast forward to this season; the Mets are playing very well at home and awful on the road. As the trade deadline approaches both Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee are available. Mets fans are begging the Mets to spend the money and acquire one of the two. After all, both Mike Pelfrey and Johan Santana are pitching like aces, and R.A. Dickey is proving to be a very pleasant surprise. Everyone believed the Mets were just one starter away from being a legitimate playoff contender. The trade deadline came and went and the Mets remained quiet, not making any moves.
When the Mets did nothing at the trade deadline many fans had had it with management. Many fans were calling for Omar Minaya’s head, claiming both he and manager Jerry Manuel needed to be fired. Many began to think that Minaya was only employed because he was keeping his mouth shut on the amount of cash the Wilpons were allowing him to work with, a number that many people believe is much smaller then the Wilpons are letting on. But perhaps maybe Omar knew exactly what he was doing?
While the fans have believed all season long that pitching is the Mets problem the truth is that hasn’t been the case at all. While the Mets did start the season with both John Maine and Oliver Perez in the rotation, they are both now gone, and have been replaced by a very good R.A. Dickey and occasionally the solid Japanese rookie Hisanori Takahashi. Mets pitching has a 7th best E.R.A. of 3.72. Furthermore the Mets also have pitched a league high 18 shutouts this season. The problem the Mets face is their manager gets matchup happy and often goes to the bullpen too soon, causing the relief pitchers to become overworked and therefore they are unable to hold onto leads.
The biggest problem the Mets face right now is with their bats, a problem that Omar tried to address during the offseason by signing Bay. Mets pitching has been unbelievable this season, the hitters however seem to be unable to get a hit even if the other team was only playing with six guys. During the offseason Minaya tried to address this by signing Jason Bay, who just hasn’t been hitting. While third baseman David Wright is 7th in the league with 77 RBI, his 126 strikeouts is not only staggeringly high, but often cost him RBI’s which cost the Mets runs.
The Mets simply are not getting offense from any parts of their lineup. While they have pitched 18 shutouts, the Mets have also been shutout too many times for a fans liking, as well as losing several games by a 2-1 score. The Mets pitchers are putting the team in a position to win, it’s the hitters who have been unable to come through for this team.
While I do think that Omar Minaya has made several mistakes during his tenure as Mets GM, his move of not panicking at the deadline and giving up prospects for unneeded starting pitching should be met with cheers, rather then the boos that it has been getting.