I’m not at all shocked that many major outlets and the national writers that have cozy relationships with the Mets have decided to focus on things like Jenrry Mejia’s upcoming start or who the next Mets manager might be, rather than the actual thing that plagues the New York Mets; the day-to-day involvement of amateurs.
Going all the way back to 1987 is useless for this blog (besides, you get that and more when my book comes out), so let’s go back to 2005, when Fred Wilpon threw Jim Duquette under the bus for the Mets’ latest debacle.
Omar Minaya, the latest in a string of ex-Mets assistant GMs with a resume of mediocrity to get the top spot, hires John Ricco (from the Commissioner’s office) and good buddy Tony Bernazard as his top assistants.
Ricco and Bernazard’s total years in building an MLB team? Zero.
Who approved these hires? Who demoted Duquette (unfairly, and with unforeseen language in his contract) after just one year of cleaning up the Art Howe Mets? Who romanced the Expos GM — who had a sub. .500 record in his tenure — as if he was coming off a World Series?
Fred and Jeff Wilpon.
They think they are savvy baseball people who can build the perfect front office. They don’t let the fact that they have failed in their 20-plus years of attempting to do so stop them.
When I read that Jeff Wilpon and John Ricco are traveling to minor league cities to see prospects, is that supposed to make me feel better about 2011? This is Fred Wilpon and Al Harazin all over again. Only worse. At least Harazin had Frank Cashen as a mentor.
I love the idea that Wally Backman is a candidate for the manager’s job, but how can I be optimistic that he will be given a fair shake? We are already hearing that there are those in the organization who are advising the Wilpons against this move. How can I be sure that Wally won’t be dictated to, lied to and manipulated by a front office and ownership that will pick his coaching staff?
How do I know that he won’t be forced to have post-game meetings in his office with superiors that never spent a day as an instructor at the major league level, let alone manage a team?
I don’t have the answer to any of the above, because they have all happened under the watch of the Wilpons. Until I see a real baseball man with a real baseball resume take the GM job, I will simply believe that any changes that can be made to the infrastructure of the Mets will be cosmetic.
But go on debating who the next GM will be, or who makes the best manager, or even if Dillon Gee should get a start in September. The Wilpons are hoping that’s what you do.