Thursday, January 05, 2006

Off-Season Report Card - Part One - Making Los Mets More Newsworthy

The greatest thing about Omar Minaya's tenure as GM with our beloved Mets is that he has extended the baseball season to 12 months a year. I grew up with Strat-O-Matic Baseball, and played religiously in the off-season, interrupted by the occasional article in the Post with some crazy rumor that never happened (where are you, Willie Mays Aikens and Carney Landsford?) I remember waiting long months for Tim Leary to finally debut, and then nothing...and I was often one of the few in the stands in the late 70's and early 80's when you didn't need to bribe an usher to sit in a box seat because there was only 2000 more of us in the stands. Throughout all of that time, I was consciously and painfully aware that when November came, snow was coming and football would soon be over, too, leaving me with the Islanders & Nets/Knicks. Granted, there was 4 great hockey years in there, but losing baseball every year hurt like a strong kick in the gut, only relieved when the first article hit in February, again in the Post, listing the pitchers and catchers who'd be reporting in mere days. Now the chase was on, and it was merely 2 months until we'd see that round sphere racing in at 95 mph so a guy with a piece of beautifully carved wood could try to hit one out of the park! It was the longest 6 months a fan could go through, and when we were down and out for so long, it felt a whole lot longer.
This year, having moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles, I have experienced a colder winter than any I've faced in the past 11 years. I still read the Post everyday, albeit online (although I get the real copy occasionally), but the difference is the Mets are part of their sports pages seemingly every day, with actually more copy devoted to them then during the regular season. Omar has made the Mets headline-worthy throughout the offseason, and for this I am truly grateful. It's just as exciting for me to read about all of the trades that might/may/should/could happen as it is to see the actual games...well, almost, but close enough so that there is never a moment of "out of sight, out of mind." Omar is inherently aware that, in the battle for market-share vs. the Yankees, as well as vs. other sports, it's imperative to keep the Mets in the headlines year-round. In this case, he deserves an "A" for his efforts, as barely a day goes by when I don't read some interesting rumor or article in one of either the NY papers or the many great blogs. (Quick note- PLEASE read , as they are, I believe, the finest Mets-devoted blog out there. They are usually first in reporting what's going on with our beloved team, and they offer great insight into the decisions that go on behind the scenes. I prefer to merely comment on what I am seeing from the fan's perspective, but they get all of the headline news, even before it's announced. Great job, Matthew!) Omar has done what no one before him has, which is making the Mets newsworthy all year long! This is so far his greatest accomplishment, and that is why I have given him such a high mark. It doesn't hurt that he so far has filled our needs at first base and in the bullpen so well, and that definitely helped his rating (let's face it- if he had acquired Dan Kolb and J.T. Snow instead of Wagner & Delgado, this blog would be slanted in a decidedly different direction.) I am confident in Omar's plan, and he bleeds Orange & Blue like the rest of us. Let's give him the props he deserves, and wait for the next headline to be written. (Let's hope it says "Pelfrey finally signs deal with Mets!")
**I will be publishing a more in-depth look at Omar's off-season baseball moves in a few weeks.

1 comment:

David Rubin & Jonathan Elfenbein said...

Editor's Note- One more thing that contributed to Omar's "A" grade is that he didn't sign Sosa or trade for Manny at the cost of players we all wanted to keep. Omar is often wrongfully portrayed as "foaming at the mouth" to acquire a certain player, but so far all he has done is what is right for the long and short term health of this organization and for this he is to be commended. It would have been more headline worthy to acquire Baez- but the better move was getting Sanchez and Schmoll. It would have been headline grabbing to trade for Sorriano, but instead we have a healthy competition between Matsui, Boone, Hernandez & Keppinger. Again, doing what's right instead of just spending money or obliging your desires. Keep it up, Omar- World Series first, Mid-East Peace next!!!