“I think our biggest priority when we came to these meetings was to try to strengthen our bullpen. We knew we had to rebuild it. To get it done the way it happened today, I’m amazed by it. Those were three very, very good arms — power arms. It’s going to give us huge depth down there now. And I think it’s going to make a difference. – Terry Collins
We all remember the end of 2008, no matter how hard we try to forget it. Another chance at the playoffs wasted, due largely in part to an inept bullpen. General Manager, Omar Minaya, fixed the problem by throwing $38 million at Francisco Rodriguez for three years. Although Rodriguez was somewhat effective, no one can argue he was $38 million effective.
Flash forward to 2012. The Mets again are dealing with bullpen issues. Instead of investing 12 plus million on one player, Sandy Alderson invested almost the same amount on three arms (when comparing the single season salaries). Granted, Ramon Ramirez, Jon Rauch, or Frank Francisco aren’t the same caliber reliever as what K-Rod was back in 2008. However, I argue the combination of the three improve the Mets bullpen ten fold compared to the K-Rod fix.
Before you start to think this is a post about how much smarter Sandy Alderson is compared to Omar Minaya let me stop you. I don’t believe this to be the biggest difference in the two. Just like anything in baseball it eventually comes down to dollars and cents.
Omar Minaya filled rosters during the “who gives a shit about fiscal responsibility, let’s invest a bunch of money with Bernie Madoff, and spend frivolously on free agent band aids” era of the Wilpons. Sandy Alderson is doing his job in the new era of “holly shit, we are broke and need to stop the bleeding” era of the Wilpons.
Keeping this all in mind, I don’t have a lot of patience with people who bitch and moan about “small market Sandy” and he didn’t make a solid offer to Jose. Look at the reality of what the Mets are now. Once I did, I feel the front office is doing everything they can to be as competitive as they can with the budget they have to play with.
Good Bye Angel
A quick thought on the Angel Pagan trade. I dig it. Pagan wasn’t happy playing for the Mets. I don’t really care why, but it was pretty obvious. This unhappiness probably lead to all of the mental errors we saw during his tenure.
Andres Torres isn’t anything to write home about, but he is serviceable and at least won’t consistently miss the cutoff man or make little league-esque base running errors.
My Take On The Mets
I’m bummed Reyes is gone, but surprisingly enough, I am pretty much over it. I’m glad the front office stayed true to their plan and improved the bullpen rather than committing mass suicide because they don’t have access to trillions of dollars like the Miami Marlins. Pitching will always outweigh hitting in my opinion.
I can’t say I’m expecting a playoff caliber team. However, I believe the Mets will be competitive (middle of the pack competitive). Who knows? Maybe Johan Santana miraculously comes back as a true ace, David Wright plays like he did in 2006-2008, Ike Davis will pan out to be the slugger we have desperately been missing, and Mike Pelfrey will be a consistent #2 (enter double entendre jokes here).
The bottom line is I am genuinely interested to see how this team will perform with an average team and a solid manager. One thing is for sure, I’m not going to spend time whining about the Mets not spending money they don’t have. Regardless if they are from New York or not, facts are facts and they don’t have the dough. Blaming the current roster or the front office for anything wrong with the franchise is a mistake.
Blame the Wilpons, because the shit associated with this franchise has clearly rolled down hill.