Highest Payroll in National League Should Be Good For Fourth Place

Courtesy of permanantly scatterbrained FlickrEditor’s Note: This is a guest post by long-time Mets fan David Daniels. David is a Long Island native that gives his take on the state of the Mets in 2010. You can read David’s work at his site on Long Island life and tech.

Baseball’s back! Let the season begin, but before it does here is where I think this Mets team will stand at the end of the year. Stock up on your Rolaids and Tums because we’re in for another wild ride and when the dust clears this team will be in 4th place and possibly fighting for the basement of this division.

Why? This team has entirely too many issues so I’m going to start at the top:

Management – A clown of a GM, two straight collapses, a ballpark dedicated to another team, a manager fired in the middle of the night, a beat writer blamed for the team’s troubles, not to mention the Madoff mess where the Wilpons may, or may not have, lost significant money – Mets Management has one debacle after another to their credit and, yes, we will get more of the same this year. I just don’t trust this management team with making any decision bigger that deciding if “Frankie should go back to glasses.”

From managing the media, to managing injuries to managing the farm system, the Mets have failed miserably at all three. The newest instances with Reyes’ and Beltran’s most recent injuries just reaffirms that management and the medical staff are still not on the same page. Expect more bad decisions by management regarding injuries. I just hope they don’t ruin any careers.

Having solid management from top to bottom is the foundation of a successful franchise. Another losing season and Omar’s gotta go. We’re stuck with the Wilpons because I really don’t think they will ever sell the team. The Mets need a new blueprint for success. Paying top dollar for free agents and plugging all your holes with retread players is a formula that Omar has proven does not work. Let’s cut our losses early this year. No waiting till 2012 when Omar’s contract expires. The Wilpons should have a replacement for him ready to go by the July trading deadline or there will be many empty seats after July. Except me. I enjoy buying $.99 seats on Stubhub. Really!

Starting Pitching – Entirely too many question marks here. Minaya needed to get a top of the line starting pitcher this offseason to pair with Johan. He got Takahashi, a 35 year old rookie from Japan. ┬áLast year it was Johan and a bunch of number 5 starters. This year it’s…. Surgically improved Johan and a bunch of #5 starters. With such an inconsistent and young pitching staff Omar better get a veteran presence behind the plate to help guide this staff through another rocky season. That leads me to…

The Catching Situation – Sometimes you can put a really good catcher behind the plate and that catcher can make a young and inconsistent pitching staff better by providing leadership, calling a good game and providing Gold Glove defense. So Omar immediately figures out the best defensive catcher in free agency that will make his young and inconsistent pitching staff better is Pudge Rodriguez. Omar immediately signs Pudge to a 2 yr, 6 million contract. Oops, my mistake, the lowly Nationals beat Omar to the punch on this one and Pudge was never actually considered for the job. Let’s go to our real option 1, Benjie Molina, former Gold Glove catcher with decent power to boot. Nope! He decides to sign with the Giants for less money than Omar offers because they “give me the best chance for the playoffs“. With this pitching staff, who can blame him for turning Omar down?

OK, Omar now proclaims, “let’s go with…. “OMIR SANTOS”! Omar immediately proclaims Omir Santos the opening day catcher and the hunt for a catcher is over. Psst…. bring in 11 other catchers to spring training just in case.

Luckily Omar takes time out from updating his resume to continue his quest for a real catcher and goes ahead and signs Rod Barajas. A veteran catcher with decent power and, rumor has it, he works well with pitchers. I will need to see this for myself. In my opinion he is still unproven and this could blow up in the Mets faces. Management dropped the ball on this one. A good catcher makes the entire pitching staff better. I hope Barajas can be that catcher.

It can’t be worse than last year –

Or can it? I can’t possibly see how the Mets would be decimated by injuries for a second year in a row but there is a trend with this team as players, management and the medical staff are still not on the same page.

Obviously the Met’s can’t beat out the Phillies for the division. Atlanta has a solid pitching staff this year and they always play tight, fundamental baseball. My question is will the Mets keep pace with the Marlins, a playoff contender last year with an increased payroll this year? Probably not. I certainly hope these Mets can stay out of last.

Of course a last place finish would guarantee me what I ultimately want. A well needed shakeup in management. Who is with me?

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