WHAT’S NEXT

19 Sep

It is time in another lost September for Mets fans to turn their attention to the week of October 4th.

The season will be over and press conferences will be called to begin the overhaul of the New York Mets.

As the cross town rivals prepare for another playoff run and when the Phillies down the turnpike open their gates to another playoff series, Citi Field will be empty, and Mets fans will be richer for not having playoff tickets to overpay for.

While fans will open their wallets in a second to see some late October baseball, the Mets need a flawless winter to make that a reality in 2011.

So, we offer our two cents on what the Mets should do this October.

The Mets need to start with Omar and either fire him or re-assign him to a scouting position. He is always a move short and although he pulls a rabbit out of his hat once in a while, a la R.A. Dickey, foolish contracts have cost him flexibility and now his job.

The next move is on the managerial front. The Mets need to bring Bobby Valentine back.

Like Rex Ryan, Valentine will make as many enemies as he does friends with his mouth. But Bobby V will re-ignite the clubhouse and fan base. His baseball knowledge cannot be questioned and history shows how teams overachieved for him in 1999 and 2000.

Valentine will say the right things. He will tell the fans that not hustling will not be tolerated and the team will win with pitching and defense. Valentine will talk about Shea Stadium in the turn of the century and how he wants Citi Field to rock like the old place.

He will also say this is the job he wants, the job he has waited for. He has won in another country, now it’s time to win in New York.

Valentine will cost money, but he will fill the stadium with seats as the style of play that the manager demands is the type of baseball that this city desires.

No matter what the Mets do on the managerial front, it really does come down to the players on the field. While the Mets have a solid group of young, cheap players they have a handful of overpriced fallen stars that symbolize all that has gone wrong with this team.

It begins with cutting Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. It means a lot of money but the team needs to dump this baggage. They will try to trade them but those two cannot be in Port St. Lucie five months from now.

Although Carlos Beltran brought bad karma to Flushing, he is a player on a walk year. If healthy, he can make 2011 a productive season. Given his large contract, he is practically immovable, so the Mets should move him to right and see what they get.

They will live with Thole and Ike, David and Jose. Bay will be in left, leaving second base and center field as the two positions where they need to add offense and talent.

While he is older, a player like David Eckstein is a nice talent to play at second base. He can add a grittiness to the position that will excite fans and perhaps his leadership will be contagious in the clubhouse. If not Eckstein, Orlando Hudson will be knocking on the door once again hoping the Mets answer.

As for centerfield, they can live with Angel Pagan if they get offense out of Beltran and Bay. If not, they will need to either look for a bat with some pop (Jason Werth) or look to trade away Davis and go hard after Prince Fielder or Jorge Cantu.

As for the pitching front, the Mets need to go hard after Cliff Lee. There only hope is that they offer him top dollar and that Lee wants revenge on the Phillies. Lee with Santana is a dynamic duo that can launch the Mets back into contention. Throw in Pelfrey at three, Dickey at four and Niese at five, the Mets will have a solid rotation.

Question over Santana’s health are even more of a reason why the Mets have to stop acting like second citizens and bring in a pitcher who eats up innings and wins ball games.

The other question facing this team in Francisco Rodriguez. He is talented and he has trade value, even if the Mets have to eat some of his contract. While they will look to void the deal, the more likely choice is trading him away and looking to the Soriano or Wood.

They player movement will begin in November, but the offseason of change begins October 4th when the Mets hand over the reigns to someone else.

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One Response to “WHAT’S NEXT”

  1. woodynyou September 20, 2010 at 12:53 PM #

    They will never win with this bunch — an aging Eckstein, no matter how much he’s won in thte past, will not make a difference. Reyes is injury prone, and even at his best is a dumb player. Although with a little protection things could be different, Wright is not a clutch player. Beltran is damaged goods and Sanatana is probably through, or at best will be a shell of his Minnesota self.

    The best thing they can do is to think in terms of two or three years down the road, although I doubt they have the guts to do this. They should build on the success of some of their young players and try to build from within, adding a key free agent when they are ready to win.

    There are way too many pieces missing now to think of 2011 as a viable year in which to compete. They will never spend like the Yankees, nor do they have the funds to try.

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