Did you read this?
So Paul LoDuca just signed with the Nationals. In case you don't remember, the Mets just traded Lastings Milledge for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider.
"Hey Omar, I've got an idea for next year's slogan!"
2007 Nationals Right Fielder: Ryan Church
2007 Nationals Catcher: Brian Schneider
2007 Mets Right Fielder (sometimes): Lastings Milledge
2007 Mets Catcher: Paul LoDuca
Of these four players, one just plain sucks (Schneider, now on the Mets); one had his best year last year, which was still mediocre at best (Church, now with the Mets); one had a so-so year, probably on the down side of his career (LoDuca, now with the Nats); and one did pretty well in limited use but is only 22 years old (Milledge, Nats now).
It's hard to say who did better in the exchange of these four players, except that it isn't hard at all. The Nationals did. And, using the Ablative sense of the Commutative Property (Chuck, help), therefore the Mets did worse.
Omar Minaya, to his undying credit, did do one good thing this off-season -- trading away Guillermo Mota, though we had to accept Johnny Estrada. Johnny Estrada sucks at baseball. But at least the cheater is gone.
Oh, and Tom Glavine -- our opening-day starter last year -- now pitches for the Braves. Almost forgot.
And that about wraps it up for the Mets off-season moves so far.
Here is the Mets 5-man rotation at this point (in no particular order, because I dare you to try):
(I'm not sure about the last one, but hey, Quidditch skills might help.)
That pitching staff flat-out sucks. How can the Mets possibly hope to improve upon 88 wins? In what way have we gotten better?
You could say that Maine and Perez are one year older and one year better. But then you'd have to say that Pedro and El Duque are one year older and one year closer to death.
Pelfrey? Humber? Aaron Heilman maybe? Those names don't exactly jump out as "sure things" or even "likely to be really good things."
Yes, Jose Reyes and David Wright are a beautiful foundation around which to build a team. Carlos Beltran also stands out. But beyond that, the Mets' position players are:
1B: Carlos Delgado -- old, probably won't return to his prior numbers
2B: Luis Castillo -- oldish, bad knee, can't hit, but hey, fuck it -- let's sign him for four more years, right Omar? You idiot.
LF: Moises Alou -- old. Very old. Old to the point of needing a time machine. The odds of this guy playing a full season are equal to the odds of a lion nursing a wounded wildebeest back to health then investing smartly in certain Roth IRAs, thus allowing said lion to put the wildebeest through school (preferably Wisconsin, a good state school; big cats instinctively dislike the Ivy League, or so I saw on Animal Planet)
RF: Ryan Church -- a mediocre baseball player. Please refer to my earlier comments, which further explicate this particular baseball player's utter mediocrity. Which does not mean "good."
C: Ramon Castro/Johnny Estrada/Brian Schneider: Castro can hit, but will likely get hurt, again/Estrada sucks/Schneider sucks as much or worse.
The 2008 New York Mets look like a pretty average team at best. Achieving 88 wins with this roster again is highly unlikely. They are definitely a worse team than they were last year, significantly worse than the 2006 team, and Omar Minaya and Fred Wilpon don't seem to be doing a friggin' thing about it. (Aside from actively making it worse by giving Luis Castillo a 4-year contract and trading for mediocre and/or terrible players.)
Meanwhile, across town, the yanks have re-signed the best player in baseball, as well as Posada, Rivera, and Pettitte, all of whom will help them be better next year. Not as good as the Red Sox, perhaps, but at least Brian Cashman hasn't actively made his team worse.
I loved Paulie, but I could understand not re-signing him. But not if that means replacing him with shitty players. I could also understand trading Milledge, but not if all we get back are shitty players. God! Is this difficult to understand? How about getting us a fucking pitcher?
The Mets have a lot of money to spend. In 2009, Citi Field will open. Citi paid $20 million for naming rights. Can we please use that extra money to make our team better? Am I wrong, or is that a completely reasonable question? Why is this organization making it so hard to root for them?