Monday, February 22, 2010
This past weekend, New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon was asked of his thoughts on this past offseason? His response, in one word, "torture". “It was very, very difficult. You’ve heard the theme of you’ve gotta stay healthy. I’m very optimistic that they will, and I think that when you have very good and in some cases great players, it doesn’t necessarily translate into a great team. So I think that if they stay healthy, now our people have to translate that into a great team. That’s what my optimism is about, and what my hope is about.”
He went on to state that the moves or lack of moves that were made by his front office, were directed by their "baseball people". He has admitted that he didn't make the decisions himself to not sign one of the many available free agent starting pitchers. Earlier this offseason, Mets GM Omar Minaya had said in an interview that he was not in control of such decisions, that it was the owners who decided who to sign or not sign. So, Omar blames the inactivity on the owners, the owners blame it on their "baseball people", than one question remains. Who do the "baseball people" blame it on? If that can be answered by Fred or Jeff Wilpon, than perhaps the organization could have better direction.
On a similar note, Jason Bay, the only big splash the Mets scored this past offseason, showed up for spring training with just as much optimism. When asked of his thoughts on this years' squad, his reply was "I obviously knew their performance record-wise last year wasn't what people wanted, and I also understood there was a lot of injuries," Bay said. "But I couldn't really understand where all the animosity was coming from given the fact you look at the team ... that's a pretty good team. I thought I offered a fresh perspective as far as coming in as an outsider and being like 'I don't really get it.' Maybe that's good for me, coming in with a clean slate and seeing what I see."
Bay is coming in with a clean slate, this much is true. With the present optimism by players and brass alike, perhaps they are all on board with this years' team goals and such unity could cause a better outcome. The problem is that optimism doesn't cancel out execution and hard nosed play. That swagger that they had a few seasons ago that helped so much has now become a detriment unless properly utilized. It's not enough to be confident, they must execute and hustle. Only time will tell, but so far, this is a good sign that at the very least they are all on the same page.