Today Iâ€™m taking a look at what Omar must do to keep his job! I honestly believe that Omarâ€™s job is not in jeopardy this offseason (barring a new media fiasco), so the focus of this piece will be what heâ€™ll have to do to keep his job through the 2010 season.
We love to bust on Omar, but in all honesty, his trade and free agent history is fairly solid. There have been some major let-downs (Colon trade while with the Expos, Castillo and Perez with the Mets), but most of Omarâ€™s big signings and trades turned out pretty, pretty, pretty good.
I could dig much much deeper into all the trades and signings, but itâ€™s simpler to look at the big picture. After a successful 2006 campaign where the Mets almost made it to the World Series, the next three seasons have been disasters. But after 2008, the Wilpons didnâ€™t seem to care about two collapses in a row, and signed Omar to an extension. Omar built a competitive team, but not one good enough to consistently make the playoffs â€“ so what else was going through the mind of the Metsâ€™ owners? Iâ€™ll tell you with a few shift-4â€™s: $$$. Omar brought the Mets back into relevancy and ticket sales have shown such, which put lots of money into the Wilpon familyâ€™s pockets.
To keep his job, Omar must continue to funnel into the Wilponâ€™s bank account. To do so, he doesnâ€™t necessarily need to create a winning team, but needs to give the fans the perception of a competitive team. And this is where Omar excels. He knows how to plug holes and make a team look incredibly solid, but as soon as one thing goes wrong during the regular season the team falls apart. By then though, tons of tickets and merchandise have already been sold, and the Wilpons are winnersâ€¦even if the Mets arenâ€™t. Though this can only last for so long, before fans catch on, and weâ€™ve begun to do just that, but is it enough yet?
A new GM could potentially make the team better, and bring in more money, but itâ€™s a gamble. Itâ€™s a gamble for a family that recently lost hundreds of millions of dollars in a huge scandal. Would you make that gamble? Iâ€™m not even sure I would.
So what should we look for next season? Hereâ€™s my Prismoprediction for you: if the Mets make the playoffs, Omar stays (duh). If they miss the playoffs, the next indicator is ticket sales*. If ticket sales stay the same, Omar keeps his job for another season, but if theyâ€™re downâ€¦heâ€™s out. Itâ€™s a tough pill to swallow to think that the team could miss the playoffs again and Omar would keep his job, but itâ€™s a viable possibility. Gulp.
*Omar will get a pass regarding the drop in ticket sales this season due to injuries to the team – next season is the true indicator