The Mets Should Break Up the Core

Mets owner Fred Wilpon, COO Jeff Wilpon, Manager Jerry Manuel, pitcher Oliver Perez, 2B Luis Castillo and GM Omar Minaya.

Fred Wilpon, Jeff Willpon, Jerry Manuel, Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo and Omar Minaya
Mets owner Fred Wilpon, COO Jeff Wilpon, Manager Jerry Manuel, pitcher Oliver Perez, 2B Luis Castillo and GM Omar Minaya.
CBS/Gordon Donovan

This story was written by CBSNews.com's Gordon Donovan, long-suffering Mets season-ticket holder and author of the blog Meet the Mess

The Mets core should be broken up. Not the core of Reyes, Wright and Beltran that was a strike away from the World Series in 2006.

The real core is owner Fred Wilpon and son Jeff, general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel.

Since the Wilpons won't sell the Mets and continue to kill the fan base, we can't fire the owners. We can only hope that Mark Cuban will provide some humanitarian aid.

The Wilpons are rumored to in debt, thanks to Bernie Madoff. The Wilpons took out loads to keep the organization running and are not willing to add more salary to win this season.

So the leading chopping block candidates begin with Omar Minaya. He has not made any impact moves to improve the Mets since after the team's second collapse in 2008.

What has Minaya accomplished? He resigned Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. No other ball club offered Perez a contract after the 2008 season.

Minaya signed Perez to a three year, $36 million deal. Perez has a record of 3-8 with 6.77 ERA, while surrendering 20 home runs while walking 95 batters in 109 innings over the past two seasons.

Perez has been kicked off the island and sits in exile in the Mets dog house after refusing to go to the minors on two occasions.

Meanwhile, Castillo has been a jinx since coming to the Mets in late July 2007; the Mets are 241-247 since then and 153-185 with Castillo in the lineup.

Castillo's limited range at second and limited power at the plate combined with a slower slap-happy bat make him a liability for a team looking to improve.

Castillo is signed until after 2011, finishing a four-year deal worth $25 million. He is impossible to trade unless you eat most of that contract. Thanks, Omar.

The organization continued to blame injuries for the team's decline in 2009 and hoped for returns to the lineup by Reyes, Beltran and Delgado.

In 2009 the Mets had 13 players and $89 million of salary on the DL at one point in the season. That would rank 13th in MLB salary rankings ahead of St. Louis at $87,703,409. The Mets were too top heavy.

The injuries were the free pass given to Jerry Manuel in 2009 and he was allowed to manage the team in 2010.

Manuel was the bench coach for Willie Randolph in the collapses of 2007 and 2008. That means he was in poor Willie's ear and may have helped get him get fired.

Manuel's moves puzzle everyone - fans, talk radio and media.

Recently he left tired starter Mike Pelfrey in to pitch against the Braves with runners aboard late in the game. Left-handed reliever Hisanori Takahashi was ready in the bullpen to face Chipper Jones (who is weaker against lefties) and then face left-handed hitting catcher Brian McCann.

Both Jones and McCann both took Pelfrey yard earlier in the game. McCann had a .459 lifetime average against Pelfrey also. Instead of bringing Takahashi in, Manuel stayed with Pelfrey, who walked Jones to load the bases to McCann who ripped a double to score a runner.

Then the next batter, left-handed batter Eric Hinske, was intentionally walked to load the bases. Matt Diaz was hit by a pitch to score another run.

Manuel then came running out of the dugout with his left arm in the air like he was hailing a taxi in Manhattan. Takahashi came in to end the threat with two pitches.

No moves are expected this season since the trade deadline has passed. When asked about Minaya's status beyond this season, Mets owner Fred Wilpon said: "Is the sun going to come up?"

There are dark clouds hanging over Citi Field these days making Met fans wonder if they will ever see the sun. Many fans of the team from Flushing are already getting primed for the upcoming NFL season.

  • Gordon Donovan

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