The Goal is Mediocrity

Last June, I jumped all over Jerry Manuel for his goal of winning 50% of the Mets ballgames.

Now I feel kind of bad, because that rather modest winning percentage is, in fact, the organizational goal. Jerry was only pushing his team toward the expectations set by his bosses. Sorry, Jerry — my misunderstanding.

See these quotes by Omar Minaya, from the Daily News (hat tip to loyal MetsToday reader “gary s”):

“The home stand, we had an opportunity to be 4-2,” Minaya added. “I think we showed some fight, that we’ll battle and come from behind. We need to get more clutch hits. I thought the pen did a good job and the starters held their own.

“It’s early in the year. One week you have one concern, the next week you have another. You always like to be around .500 and we have a tough road trip. But we got Jose Reyes back. … If we had won (Sunday), we would’ve ended the home stand at .500.

“I feel good that we’re going to win some games.”

Apparently, “some games” equals about 80 or so by season’s end. Hmm … I’m not sure that’ll be enough to put the Mets into the postseason. Though, it might fool some Mets fans into thinking that their team is “playing meaningful games in September”.

My guess is that Omar and Co. are looking at the past NL Championships in Mets’ history, in particular the NL crown won in 1973, when the team went 82-80. Perhaps they point to that season as evidence that a .500 team can go to the playoffs.

And perhaps, their next move is to coax Rusty Staub, Don Hahn, George Stone, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, et al, out of retirement.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Walnutz15 April 13, 2010 at 1:28 pm
    Well, all the cliches are here in Art Howe…..errr…..Omar Minaya’s interview.

    Let’s remind ourselves that the Mets just played against the Marlins and Nationals, before a Home Crowd – and left for their road trip with 2 wins and 4 losses.

    Jorge De La Rosa
    Chris Carpenter
    Adam Wainwright

    …all on tap…

    Many Met fans, for some reason or another, have taken for granted that the Mets were “automatically going to be better than” certain teams within the NL East for some strange and unknown reason.

    It’s early, yes.

    However, these guys had better step it up…and with the quickness, too — provided they want improved attendance at the park as the summer months roll in.

    Another summer of “Who’s Going to Manage?”/”Who’s Going to be GM?” would leave even more of a bad taste in the fanbase’s mouths.

    In actuality, “house-cleaning” should have taken place a few years ago already……however, we keep holding onto the belief that this is the brain-trust to lead us to the Promised Land.

    I’m glad that Omar’s happy with the bullpen’s performance. (Reminder: it’s the 2nd week of the season; let’s see how they’re faring by the ASB with a suspect rotation petering out at however long 100-pitches gets them.)

    For the 4th straight season, we’re preaching (like old, senile people with dementia) that we have no idea whether or not this rotation is capable of allowing us to put together a prolonged winning streak….and that will undoubtedly have carry-overs into our ‘pen.

    Why don’t these guys get it?

    It’s time for Omar, Jerry, and Dan Warthen to start getting in guys like Maine and Perez’s ears….that they’re not going to be bailed out at the 1st sign of trouble in the 4th inning any more.

    Time to start earning some paychecks.

    Unfortunately, that will never amount to rational, logical spending within this organization.

    It’s feast or famine with the names that The Wilpons allow us to pursue…and those are never the right ones.

    Some things will never change.

  2. micalpalyn April 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm
    1. – The manuel-Mets are not motivated. Normally they play down to the opponent but they have no fire.

    2. The headhunters are already circling. The blos are full of gloom and pre-written obituaries for Manuel. Too soon?

  3. Mike April 13, 2010 at 9:56 pm
    John Maine may be one of the worst major leaguers I’ve ever seen. Perhaps Oliver Perez is worse. These guys lose their composure faster than a nervous 12 year old boy talking to a girl. Maine will not last 10 starts on this team, not just because he can’t pitch, but because he does absolutely nothing to help the team win. His demeanor and body language suggests zero confidence and it shows with sloppy errors and terrible plate appearances. (Ever see him try to bunt?) That we have two of the worst players in the league as two fifths of our rotation is pathetic.

    I’d rather see Dillon Gee rushed to the bigs and Jenrry Mejia in the starting rotation at the MLB level than watch washed up John Maine or the basket-case Oliver Perez pitch another inning.

  4. micalpalyn April 14, 2010 at 8:36 am
    No you would not. Not if Gee loses his mettle and Meija flames out in half a season.

    at this point, I would
    -Bring Nieve back into the rotation.
    -Bench Luis Castillo in favor of Tatis/Tejada

    Find takers for Castillo, Maine and GMJ/Pagan.

    you are right youthfull enthusiasm is missing, and I think Fmart & Tejada can be a spark.

    This is manuel’s last stand, and I’m not sure Hojo/Backman will not get the job sooner as opposed to later. …I’d love Orel hershiser back as a pitching coach too.

  5. Mike April 14, 2010 at 9:33 am
    I picked Gee because he is pitching well in AAA so far, but he at best is a number 3 MLB pitcher. Ultimately Ike, Martinez, and Tejada I believe will be on the 25 man roster for good. Yes I want Mejia to be in AA starting, and lately I get the feeling that the MEts wanted to get off to a fast start (laughable) and thought in the first month Mejia would help them do that, then go back down after things settle down and start again. It would allow him to pitch less innings this year if you believe in the Verducci Effect. I just hope the prospects worth keeping are not sent away for marginal MLB pitchers to save this year. I also don’t believe in blowing up the team like trading Wright or Reyes just because things haven’t worked out. I think the team needs new leadership, a strong organizational plan and better starting pitching.
  6. isuzudude April 14, 2010 at 11:06 am
    Mic: finding takers for Castillo, Maine, and GMJ/Pagan is like trying to find someone who is willing to be subjected to small pox, anthrax, and malaria. No one wants our diseased players, and they certainly haven’t done anything since the beginning of the season to increase their trade value or make anyone else interested in them.

    I also fail to understand why you want to safeguard Dillon Gee’s 24 year old psyche, but are willing to throw FMart and Tejada into the fire when both are 21 or under.

    Regardless, there ain’t nothing saving the Mets this season. Maine and Perez are lost causes, there’s no legitimate prospects who are ready to step in full-time and produce at a consistently successful level, and there’s no good reason for the Mets to trade the farm in order to acquire temporary solutions. And greater than all other problems is that, even if there were a way for the Mets to dig out of their hole, they’d inevitably be sabotaged by Omar’s crackpot roster decisions and Jerry’s ridiculous team management. They are doomed until those two are shown the door.