Omar, Jerry...The end!
Marcus Henry | 4/12/2011, 5:25 p.m.
There wasn't much fanfare or hand wringing as the Mets did what everyone expected on Monday. Jerry Manuel's contract wasn't renewed and Omar Minaya was removed from his post as general manager.
Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said the team needs someone with a "fresh perspective" running baseball operations. In fairness, Wilpon does have a point. Minaya needed to answer for some of the questionable moves made the last few years.
Giving Luis Castillo a $25-million deal when he was past his prime was a mystery to everyone. Re-signing Oliver Perez was a complete disaster and the team's handling of injuries came under much scrutiny. There was also the incident with former Daily News reporter Adam Rubin last year.
As for Manuel, it's tough to be mad at the man. He never had a full roster. Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay played just half this season, while Jose Reyes missed 29 games. Truth be told, Manuel had just three reliable position players this season in David Wright, Ike Davis and Angel Pagan. We're not trying to be apologists. But fair is fair and Manuel never had a chance to field a competitive team.
That notwithstanding, there is so much anger from the fan base, the Mets needed to make moves. Coming back with Minaya and Manuel would've resulted in a half-empty stadium and an erosion of the season-ticket holder's base next year. Citi Field was half-empty this season, but fans didn't start bailing on the team until the end of June.
A return to the status quo would've turned the Mets into the Pittsburgh Pirates. It wouldn't have been fair to Minaya or Manuel to put them through that misery.
Whoever the new man in charge is needs to be willing to totally overhaul things. If that means trading Wright and or Reyes, so be it. Wilpon admitted as much during a Monday afternoon press conference.
"We're going to look for somebody that has some new ideas and a new leadership quality here to reinvigorate the franchise, to give our fans the hope that they deserve and figure out some ways to do some things to try to turn it around and try to move it into the new direction that we want," COO Wilpon said. "And we're going to listen. We're going to do a lot of listening at first to see how it comes out."
The sounds nice, but will it actually happen?