Ahh, the Mets. So much to say in just 600 words.
Obviously, they’ve made a lot of mistakes in the last year. Omar Minaya has taken a beating here and elsewhere, and the organization appears to be in something of a mess, with the organizational flow chart kind of summing up the front office. Feuds with the players and media, a GM who may or may not be allowed to handle conference calls, an involved (to say the least) ownership group… it’s all just a big circus at times.
It didn’t help that everything that could have gone wrong last year did, from the star players getting hurt to David Wright losing his power, and the team fell apart as a result. As such, the Mets have been the butt of many jokes over the lsat 12 months. Spending a lot of money to be terrible will do that to you, especially when you play in New York.
But, despite all the jokes and all the problems, the Mets actually aren’t in that bad of shape. The revenue stream from being in New York with a new ballpark is significant, obviously, but the core of a good team is still there. Despite last year’s debacle, few teams have a group that can match Wright-Reyes-Beltran-Santana. And it’s not exactly barren after that, either.
Jason Bay may be wildly overpaid, but he’s not useless. There is a mix of solid role players and some good young players. The farm system boasts a couple of high ceiling youngsters. The roster isn’t perfect, but with a few breaks, they could contend this year, and a better management team could build a beast of a team with the resources they have.
In many ways, the Mets are where the Mariners were a couple of years ago – the joke of the league, with some core talent dragged down by bad decision making upstairs. But, a new front office can fix a lot of things in pretty short order, and since the Mets front office probably can’t survive another bad year, the options for them are essentially win or clean house. Neither option is all that bad.
So, while the Mets may do a lot of things hilariously wrong right now, I don’t think fixing the organizations is that big of a task. They don’t have to burn the whole thing down – just get some new people in charge, make some better use of the money they have to spend, and the Mets could be challenging for the NL crown again. It probably won’t happen in 2010, but I don’t think it will take that long.
Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.