The Birth Of the 25 Man Roster

"You win championships with a 25-man roster."
Omar Minaya

Well, you certainly don't win them with 10 man rosters.

Nonetheless, whilst the temptation is to maintain a steady drone of hi-fidelity off-season whinge, I am now in a position to reluctantly admit that with hindsight, the off-season hasn't been the unmitigated disaster we all like to believe it's been.

True, there is no shortage of Manny Wanters, those irresponsible minds who believe all problems can be solved by throwing money at them, (I mean really, why MUST the Mets sign Manny, just for the additional headaches and nausea sure to follow?)but in the meantime, Omar has been a reasonably good job at building the 2009 Mets.

Lest yea forget, months ago, the bullpen was the biggest Achilles Heel in the history of baseball, (for those in love with hyperbole). Now look at it. A weakness turned into a strength. PLUS, no more having to watch Heilman hang his homer surrender monkey head or listening to Schoeneweiss explain for the thousandth time why it isn't that he sucks it's just that he's overpaid.

Starting pitching? Well, the no-brainers in Johan, Pelf and Maine are a reasonable foundation. Should Omar have paid over the odds for Derek Lowe? Fuck no. Let the Braves bear that burden, they're the ones who lost half their starting rotation, not the Mets. Let our rivals piss their money away with Luis Castillo-like absurdist wad offers. I mean, 4 years $60 million for a 36 year old pitcher? Pshaw. The Mets offered him what he was worth. If those monosyllabic chimps down South want to fund his retirement, let them.

Now, the business is nearly sorted. You take one Nats Reject (who still won 10 games and threw nearly 200 innings worth of mediocrity) as the fifth starter and then insured the fifth spot by signing Fat Boy Freddy (the hidden gem of the offseason) and you're really only one lefty starter short of phucking up those left-sided Phillies.

Of course, the miracle question is how much ransom to pay to Boras and the flighty and unpredictable Oliver Perez, if anything.

Don't worry, I don't intend on belabouring this point any further. Just let me admit openly, Ben Sheets is not a lefty.

So long as he signs somebody who can project into double digit win figures and 200 innings, sono sfatto di questo stronzo. Let's get on with the pitchers reporting and see what happens.

But let me just point out something else Omar is doing on the sly, not the megabucks and the supermarket hype. signing Alex Cora is a low grade, smart brain move.

As Omar rightly pointed out, "Alex Cora has been an integral part of teams that have been to the postseason in four of the last five years." In other words, the diplomat speak of politically correct baseball, He won't disappear in September and he won't fall asleep in the dugout like Luis Castillo.

He also signed the guy with the funny Polish name we're going to have to practice spelling this summer. I don't mind this. I still remember him from 2004 with the Pirates when he hit a game-ending grand slam off Joe Borowski in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cubs approximately nine hours after the birth of his first child and then followed that in the nightcap with a game-tying, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning off Francis Beltran (Pittsburgh won the game in the 10th) ... no kidding. I really remember that. And if he never does anything for the Mets, well so be it but I'm going in liking him already. Even if he sucks and hasn't done anything memorable in five years. Because I get down like that.

No, nothing earth-shattering. Not a shit-the-bed kind of headline with the name Manny Ramirez screaming out at you. We ent the bloody Yankees and be glad about that. Be damned glad about that. They haven't won feck all lately either. Money won't solve that. Only smart money, and we all know there's nothing smart about Yankees money. It's like giving a zoquete a checking account with an unlimited balance.

And if that isn't enough to create a bottleneck in the outfield, they also signed Cory Sullivan whose claim to fame is being the 11th guy EVER to hit two triples in one inning. Not even Auld Crazy Eyes, Jose Reyes has done that. Nope. But Heinie Peitz has. I think Cory was the last National Leaguer to do it since like, 1926. Freakish event, no doubt. He's faded into virtual anonymity since but what the hell, like Mackowiak, at least its something to hang his hat on. A shred of hope.

Yes, the Phillies are defending World Champions. As much as it pained us all to watch, it's an unavoidable fact.

However, we can certainly enjoy our fair share of Schadenfreude when they go sinking down faster than a turd in a martini glass. Want to know how I know? Because they seem to want to sign the Human DL Machine, Moises Alou. Go'wan auld man, break a leg. Break two.

PS - as it actually IS Sunday over here in the Land of Bankruptcy, this is a good larf for the cure.


jdon said...

"Integral?" "Integral?" Don't talk about integral. Integral?

And Maine is no shoo in. How about he pitch into the 7th inning once or twice a month?

Also, Pelfrey is not a given. He thrw about 50 innings more than he ever did before, and guys who do that for the first time have a hard time getting going the following year.

Wait a minute, I am just getting started. Yes the bullpen sucked, and yes, the did a good job. But we may get to the post season each of the last two years even with the bullpen if our hitters hit in big games. How do we fix that? Why, we put the same bunch of chokers out there next year.

If you want to be an optimist, fine. I reserve the right to be miserable until Omar is gone. When he goes, if I am still a gloomy Gus, then rail away at me.

Anonymous said...

I am with jdon on this-granted everyone is happy wi Krod and Putz, but wi all the $ spent on useless backup OF, they could have had Lowe for 3 at 15, AND had they some vision they could have had The Unit. Signed Burrell, and could STILL trade for Peavey(who makes MY shoulder hurt everytime I see him so I give him 2 years before exploding anyway-but it is a fairly affordable 2 years). SO we could look like this

I know thats 6 starters, but will Maine be ready on opening day-Will they ALL be healthy opening day? Ok Trade one-

Castillo(sucks as a LH hitter)/Murphy

Omar is very disappointing-07 his lack of finding a 1B and keeping MOTA cost the Mets- Last year his inability to find any bullpen/starters who could go 7+, forced a marginal bullpen into a state of exhaustion where they collapsed.

I see another 85 win team- we are becoming the Braves of 56-64



Anonymous said...

OK only one pitcher-sorry

Jaap said...

jdon, your right to be miserable until Omar is gone is duly noted.
Integral, you rightly spat is not the first word that comes to mind when you think of Alex Cora. He's hit .204 in September over the last three seasons. Maybe THAT is what Omar meant to imply, an integral part of the 2009 collapse?

Omar often makes low noise pick-ups that turn out to surprise people. I just think someone out of this recent lot is going become important later on in the season. Maybe it won't be Cora, maybe it will be. Maybe it will be a flood of LFers in a five headed platoon, maybe it won't be.

Yes, I'd like to have seen Omar send some bodies into the river, but he didn't and that's that. I would have loved to have seen Reyes gone, really. Or even Wright. But they'll be here in April (even if they disappear in September) and that's the reality of it.

You know what they say - the third time is a charm. Maybe this year there is no choke - (not because they'll be 20 games out of first but maybe because well, you can't choke EVERY bloody season unless you're called the Buffalo Bills.

Jaap said...

Luis, I dunno if I can agree with the additions you mention - the Unit? What is he, like 45 with a dodgy back that could go at any minute? I don't even LIKE him, I'd not want to see him pitching for the Mets. And I fucking HATE Burrell, even Phillies fans hate him. Peavey has zero interest in pitching in NYC and someone who thinks like that is going to buckle under pressure when the media backlash smothers them - we would have had to have offered Lowe AT LEAST what the Braves threw at him - 4 years $60 - that's just a bad investment.
I do agree that Omar's failure to address certain key concerns in the off-season the last two seasons has ultimately hurt us but look, he isn't assembling an All Star team with a billionaire at every position. I think you need no-names on a team to actually BUILD a team, guys who will hustle, guys who will throw themselves around to get a chance for more time, desperate guys who have something to prove.
That won't stop Reyes from choking or Wright from driving in 3 runs to pad his stats when the Mets are already winning 10-0 or losing 13-3 but sometimes it's the no-names who can carry you. Look at Pelf before the start of last season. And Murphy - did you expect that in February 08? Both really contributed alot to keeping it close. More than Reyes and maybe even more than Wright. And what happens if Delgado or Wright or Reyes or Beltran go down with a serious injury? You need guys who can fill in, play a variety of positions. It's at least, I would say about the recent signings, a chance to offload the 40 year olds that have populated the bench the last several seasons.

Anonymous said...

I am in TOTAL agreement about building from within, but I have seen little that makes me think Omar will bring up the youngsters umless absolutely FORCED to. The Unit would have been fine as a 4th/5th starter I feel. I would LOVE to have youngsters come up like Murphy and Evans last year. Burrell is a high OBP and HR hitting guy- I dont like him a lot either, but he CAN hit, and we need a RH slugger(in a perfect world). I am still trying to figureout if Mota gave the pictures he had of Willie and Omar, to Castillo. Why else would he have gotten that big deal?



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