Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Journeys into the absurd

So the NY Mets fired manager Willie Randolph last night.

And now they expect their problems to be solved? It doesn't work like that, not with this Mets team. As is the case with most teams, the manager is rarely the problem. And Randolph was even less of a problem than most. By all accounts a classy and respected guy, one could hardly blame Randolph for the team's many woes (remember: managers don't play, if Joe Outfield can't hit his way out of a wet paper bag, it isn't the manager's fault when he strikes out with the bases loaded against a division rival late in the season). No no, the real problem with the Mets is that they just aren't as good as everyone thought (even I was fooled into believing they were going to be pretty good).

The Mets are old and over-payed, relying on name-recognition instead of actual production. They're weak at many positions. Catcher? Brian Scheinder and Ramon Castro? How is that tandem considered to be even remotely acceptable for a team considering itself a contender? The infield tandem of David Wright and Jose Reyes is really good, but the trio of Damion Easley, Carlos Delgado, and Luis Castillo is superb...assuming this is 1998 and not 2008. Moises Alou is old and hurt (not a surprise), Carlos Beltran is under-producing, and the rest of the outfield is made up of spare parts and Ryan Church (who's hurt). The entire pitching staff is hurt, or under-producing, or Johan Santana.
At this point, the Mets don't need a new manager, they need a new team. They have some very solid building blocks in Santana, Reyes, Wright, and some solid players in the minors like Mike Pelfrey, Fernando Martinez, and Eddie Kunz, but there are just too many old, oft-injured, and over-payed bodies for the team to ever be serious about making a playoff run.

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