In case you missed it yesterday, Mike Francesa hosted Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya, and David Howard on his WFAN show. Francesa joked that Howard’s presence was “to be a filibuster”. In truth, it was because he is “the guy” associated with Citi Field, and the homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers was of course the most successful accomplishment of the New York Mets franchise in 2009.
Oh did you mistake “success” for “winning”? No, friend … success is bottom-line profits. And as you will hear in the interview, the Mets “brand” did well in its ability to serve its “customers”. But that should be changing in 2010 — if we are to believe the head honchos of the Mets’ organization.
Understand that the above links lead to material that may not be suitable for all audiences. For example, they are not for those with a weak stomach, nor for the strong of mind. I also would not listen to these clips if you are suffering from anxiety, depression, or stress disorders.
Some of the things I personally gleaned from the interview …
– Daniel Murphy will not return to the outfield, and he may or may not return as the starting first baseman
– Jeff Wilpon insists that the Mets will continue to have one of the highest payrolls in MLB, and that Omar Minaya has no financial constraints
– Further, Wilpon will not be “slicing payroll”, will be “aggressive” on the market, and his commitment this winter is “to give Omar the resources he needs to put a championship team on the field”
– Neither Minaya nor Wilpon believe the team needs a “rebuilding”, and they plan to use a mix of free agent signings and trades to “fix the holes”
– Minaya’s role and responsibilities as GM will not change
– Citi Field was built so large because Omar Minaya’s philosophy was to build a team around pitching, defense, and speed (hmm … the plans for Citi Field, including the vast dimensions, were unveiled in 1998 — when Minaya was an assistant to Steve Phillips)
– the Mets are going to add “more imagery” and a “Mets Hall of Fame” to placate fans’ complaints that Citi Field is an homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers
The Mets have publicly changed the goal from “putting a winning product on the field” to “putting a championship team on the field”. Wilpon claims that the financial coffers are available to make that happen.
We are going to hold on to these two points in particular as we watch and analyze this winter’s moves.