Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The calm before the storm
There is a still silence from the New York Mets right now. A calm if you will. This time next week, however, will not be so quiet. The fans, writers and media are all waiting with baited breath in anticipation of the direction this team will decide to go in.
As everyone by now knows, this Saturday at 4pm EST, the MLB trade deadline ends. The Mets are currently at a "wait and see" point in the process according to ESPN's Buster Olney. While the Mets wait, the fans see a lot happening. The many pitchers that have been examined over the past month or more in anticipation of the deadline, are dwindling down to a few unlikely options. Let's take a brief look at them.
First there was Cliff Lee. The bloggers debated him for weeks. Every website seemed to be running Lee stories. He was being considered, then the talks stalled and he went to Texas. I expect that discussion to be revisited in the off season though, when he becomes a free agent.
Then, there is Dan Haren. Arizona never officially discussed him with anyone associated with the team, except for a phone call or two of inquiries. The bloggers discussed him at great length. He's gone now too. Off to sunny California where he got hurt in his first start with the Angels.
There is the controversial Carlos Zambrano. He demanded out of Chicago this time last month. Now just yesterday, he is trying to make amends and stay in the windy city. Most fans here may be thankful for that, but still another one off the board.
Jake Peavy had been mentioned. I wrote an article on him as an option. He wasn't interested in staying with the White Sox if they were going to be rebuilding. Since then, he became injured and had to shut down for the season or maybe longer.
Speaking of Chicago, Ted Lilly is still out there, but when last rumored, the Mets weren't interested. They felt his loss in velocity was a red flag. So he will go somewhere else and help another team succeed most likely. They also weren't interested in paying Cleveland too much for Fausto Carmona. He had been doing well on a struggling team. The trade rumor winds swirled early on this, but died down as quickly as they were built up.
Then there's Roy Oswalt, who when last rumored, may be landing in Philly without them even giving up Jayson Werth. Wouldn't that be wonderful as a Mets fan, going into Philly and face Halladay and Oswalt with the offense still intact?
As the potential options of the trade deadline, that had fans so hyped over the past few weeks, begin to drop like flies, we have to consider another option. Nothing. Nothing can be an option. In fact, it has been this team's option for the past few years. Despite hot seats and losing streaks, they remain idle year after year.
I hate to say it, but this year may very well be the same old thing. If that happens this season though, I think the real storm will strike. It is already brewing off in the distance. The calm before the trade deadline storm is awaiting the right time to unleash its fury upon the Mets.
How will it be perceived? Will that storm be a result of Omar splashing into the trade waters? Will it be a response to more silence? Either way, it is coming. If the Mets remain silent, the ramifications of that decision may very well cost several coaches their jobs. The only ones then that would be safe will be, of course, the Wilpons, Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel. Perhaps that is the root of the problem though.
The Wilpons refuse to see that Omar is not the right guy for this team in that position. He would be a wonderful scout or head of scouting. Even as assistant GM, he was good. But as the main man with the plan, he withers away faster than an ice cream cone in a heat wave. I will not re-examine this, but suffice it to say, he lacks the aggressiveness needed to be in this market.
If the Wilpons keep him, they will most likely let him keep his managerial choice, Jerry Manuel. That sets us up for a repeat of all of this terrible outlook, miscommunication and indecision for next year too. That would be most unfortunate. While the insightful and knowledgeable fan base recognizes the real problems, the ones who can fix it, do not.
That is like being at a hospital where the doctor wants to put a band aid on an open wound. While the family yells "stitch it up", the doctor scratches his head and shrugs his shoulders unaware of the massive blood that is being lost during his indecision. This is the Mets ownership and the team is bleeding. They need stitches, not a band aid! Stitch them up!
If they don't, the indecision will most certainly be fatal to some one's tenure and the team's season. The storm that the indecision creates will most certainly be brutal enough to leave this team crippled and helpless in its wake. It's coming and very soon. Until then, enjoy the silence. It won't last much longer.