I have tried, I really have tried to remain calm, patient and, forgive me, even excited about the prospects for the 2008 Mets. I really and truly have. I dutifully bought my seven pack the other day (we opted for the Jose-Jose-Jose Pack, "a festival of Friday night games at Shea." A festival? Come on. Are we even trying anymore?). But denial ain't just a river in Egypt, and there is simply no way to put it off any longer.
This team is going to suck.
Just look around. Starting pitching? Not really. We lost 200+ innings with the departure of Glavine (who, by the way, I still think struck that guy out in the top of the first inning against the Marlins, which would have changed that game, my life, and probably the price of tea in China), and have not replaced him. El Duque and Pedro are a combined 345 years old, and have three healthy limbs between the two of them. John Maine and Oliver Perez are both really nice second or third starters; neither is a front line pitcher. Mike Pelfrey has promise, but there is no way to be sure what we can get out of him. It gets worse from there.
The offense should be good, assuming Reyes rebounds from a lousy second half and Wright continues to develop, but Delgado is done, Alou won't start 100 games, and it is becoming increasingly clear that while Beltran is a phenomenal player, he is not the superstar the Mets paid almost $100 million for. From there we are in real trouble. If you sit close enough at Shea you can actually hear Luis Castillo's knees creaking, Ramon Castro is 300 pounds, and Brian Schneider is . . . wait, who the fuck is Brian Schneider?
So what have we been doing to improve this team?
Angel Pagan? Stop. What the fuck kind of deep psychological conflict is that shit? Angel? Pagan? Who am I? Well at .264 with four home runs in 70 games last year I'll spare you the suspense: you're a fucking chump. And you aren't the answer.
A vast, right field conspiracy?
Do you see where I am going with this? Brian Schneider, Angel Pagan, that other guy from the Nationals. This is not how you take a championship-caliber team with a few holes and get them over the top. The Mets need pitching, so we trade young outfielders for other young (and shittier) outfielders. The Mets need a catcher, so after Yorvit Torrealba (worst. name. ever.) doesn't pan out we promote The Pillsbury Doughmuchacho to do more of the catching.
I have been repeatedly astounded by what a lousy job Omar Minaya has done with the Mets this offseason, but this week really takes the Challah.
A few days ago, it was reported on mlb.com that the Mets were still very much in the running to nail down a trade with the Twins for Johan Santana. As any baseball fan knows, Santana is one of the best two or three pitchers in baseball, would provide a huge boost to the Mets rotation, and would single-handedly make them a much better team.
So how did our GM handle this news? What phone calls is he making? What meetings is he setting up to make sure that this tenuous and uncertain opportunity isn't squandered?
None. He is in Israel. As the New York Times reported last Friday,
General Manager Omar Minaya was getting ready to depart for an eight-day good-will tour of Israel.
Minaya’s involvement evolved from his friendship with the player agent Arn Tellem, who is leading the delegation and is on the board of directors of Seeds For Peace, which strives to improve relations between Israeli and Palestinian children.
The trip will mark the second consecutive off-season that Minaya has visited a foreign country for the first time. Last winter, Minaya spent time in Ghana as part of a delegation that was trying to heighten interest in baseball
And what the fuck is he going to do over there anyway? Shuttle diplomacy? What is Omar going to go play stickball with Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert and just reason with them? This isn't Jimmy Carter we're talking about here. Shit this isn't even Gary Carter we're talking about here.
Maybe Omar is shopping for a new faith, maybe he digs brisket, or maybe the Angel Pagan thing confused him more deeply than we thought. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: unless Elijah the prophet shows up at Passover this year with a nasty slider and a decent change-up, we're fucked.