Archive: September 28th, 2008

Brand Manager of the Year: Omar Minaya

omar_minaya.jpgCongratulations to Mets BM Omar Minaya, who is a favorite to win Fortune Magazine’s coveted “Brand Manager of the Year: Sports Industry”.

Some fitting quotes after game 162 from Minaya:

“… the bottom line is we have to continue to put a winning product on the field … ”

“… I believe we got four million fans …”

“… our ownership is totally committed — you saw the investment we made in Johan Santana — our ownership is committed to putting a winning product on the field”

“… our brand is good, our ratings are good, and we are going go out and to continue to give our fans the best product we can, every day.”

Bottom Line … Product …. Brand … Investment … Ratings … THIS is the language of an executive truly committed to profitability!

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Not a Collapse?

On Septembr 12, 2007, the Mets were in first place, 83-62, up by 7 with 17 games to play. They finished 88-74.

On September 12, 2008, the Mets were in first place, 82-63, up by 3, with 17 games to play. They finished 89-73.

In both cases, the Mets finished in second place and just barely missing the wild card.

Yes, the 2007 “collapse” was more dramatic, but 2008 is just as disappointing, and just as unacceptable. The only reason it won’t be measured similarly is because it wasn’t as bad as the previous year.

Let me put it this way: if 2007 never happened, this September would be judged much more harshly than it has been. The horrific decline of 2007 made this year’s disaster seem not so bad. As a result, the GM gets a 4-year extension, the manager likely gets a new contract, and a complete housecleaning in the organization is hardly a consideration.

What’s the goal next year? To be in first place by only one game on September 12, 2009, then blow it by the last game of the year? Perhaps every year the “collapse” will be less and less dramatic.

Other than transferring to Citi Field, it’s hard to figure which way this organization is going

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Mets Game 162: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 4 Mets 2

Too little, too late.

Oliver Perez pitched well, but was no Johan Santana. Carlos Beltran was clutch, but was no Ryan Howard. David Wright, Carlos Delgado, Ryan Church, and Jose Reyes combined for two hits in 16 at-bats. Those two and the two by Beltran represented the complete output of the Mets offense for the day.

As a result, the Florida Marlins eliminated the New York Mets from playoff competition in the last game of the season for the second straight year.

To add insult to injury, the most crushing loss of 2008 was a prelude to the “celebration” of Shea Stadium’s closing. What a weird way to say goodbye.

Notes

Endy Chavez made a spectacular snare of a line drive in the seventh to save a run — possibly the second-best catch of his career. Endy is destined to make great catches in losing ballgames.

Next Game

The Mets open the 2009 season in Cincinnati on April 6th. We’ll have plenty to discuss here between now and then.

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One Game Makes a Season

My good friend and MetsToday reader Dennis — who has been watching the Mets at Shea since the 1960s — made a fitting comment back in June about today’s Mets fan (and the media coverage), in contrast to the “old days”:

It’s as if an entire season is played in one game

In other words, we as Mets fans treat nearly every single game as if it were an entire season — we are ecstatic after every win, crushed after every loss. Further, we analyze nearly every pitch of the game with a sharp, critical eye — then blog about it for the next 24 hours — because we react as though the success of the entire 162-season depends on that one contest.

How many of us were “on the ledge” when the Mets began the season 2-4, mired in last place, after the initial six contests? How many of us wrote off the season in mid-June, both prior to and after Willie Randolph’s dismissal?

Ironically, today Dennis’ description rings only too true: the Mets are playing an entire season in one game — their fate DOES in fact depend on the outcome of one, single game.

Let’s go Mets!

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Momentum Built

Before yesterday’s game, we discussed the sensibility of starting Johan Santana on three days’ rest after throwing a career-high number of pitches. With Johan being in the first of a seven-year contract, and the Mets more focused on the future than 2008, it didn’t seem like a great plan.

However, it worked out for today — Saturday’s win kept the Mets in the hunt for a postseason bid — and we’ll hope it has no impact on 2009 and beyond.

One thing we didn’t consider, and was astutely pointed out by longtime MetsToday loyalist “Murph”, is the momentum that Johan’s performance has given to the team. Momentum is everything in baseball, and there’s no doubt that Santana’s 3-hit shutout was uplifting — and possibly inspiring to the most important person today, Oliver Perez.

Let’s hope like heck that the Mets win the game, otherwise the postgame ceremonies could get really bizarre. A Mets win guarantees at minimum a one-game playoff tomorrow, but a loss will cause everyone to be hanging on every pitch of the Brewers-Cubs contest. It will be a weird send-off for Shea if, in the middle of the “celebration”, the Mets are eliminated from the postseason.

By the way, you can head on over to MetsChat.com to discuss / chat / twitter about the game with other Mets fans.

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