The Omar effect is a metaphor that encapsulates the concept of the Mets dependence on initial conditions in baseball theory; namely that small moves made prior to the season and during the season may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the Mets system. Although this may appear to be an esoteric and unusual behavior, it is exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ball placed in the glove of a Dickey or Perez might find success or plummet into several valleys depending on slight differences in initial position. The Omar effect is a common trope in Mets circles when presenting scenarios involving hindsight and “what if” scenarios where one season diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes.
So what the hell is all that about? How could Omar or any other baseball fan or mind have predicted these two outcomes?
Oliver “You Can’t See Me” Perez: 14 games, 6.70 ERA, 2.023 WHIP with the Mets having a record of 1-13 in games he has stepped on the mound.
RA “The Truth” Dickey: 20 games, 2.57 ERA, 1.17 WHIP with a record 12-8 in games Dickey has maned the mound.
Yet that Omar effect runs deeper than that.
Lets take a look at these:
Jason “Who the Hell Put That There?” Bay: .259 , .347, .402, .749 with 140 Total Bases.
Angel “I’m the Real MVP” Pagan .294, .349, .450, .798 with 205 Total Bases.
Lets match that with these 2.
John “Not the Truth” Maine: 6.13 ERA, 1.815 WHIP
Jon “Say Uncle” Niese: 3.63 ERA, 1.336 WHIP
Not enough? How about:
Pedro “Baked” Feliciano: 46.1 innings, 1.791 WHIP with 11.3 H/9 and 4.9 BB/9.
Elmer “Fudd” Dessens: 31 innings, 1.323 WHIP with 8.4 H/9 and 3.5 BB/9 (2.32 ERA)
Carlos “RF here I come” Beltran: .218, .331, .323, .655
Josh “I’m a keeper” Thole: .297 .371 .360 .731
So what does all this have to do with Omar or some Omar effect?
If you look at each of these cases they were Omar at his best AND Omar at his worst.
Omar signs Oliver Perez to a 3/36 year deal but how the Mets handle his lack of focus and now lack of ability turns into a back-page free-for-all. Omar signs R.A. Dickey on a minor league deal and has one of this year’s best pitchers under team control for 2011.
Omar signs Jason Bay to be a stable force in the Mets lineup only to see Bay go through the NY 1st year slump on roids as well as a possible season ending injury due to a concussion that again questions the Mets medical staff. Pagan comes in untrusted again and becomes the Mets most stable force.
Omar takes a risk with not upgrading the starting rotation and allows John Maine to prove himself healthy. He was not, said he was, said he was not and again the situation becomes a distraction again. Omar takes a risk going with Jon Niese and he produces middle of the rotation results with 13 starts allowing 1 run or less.
So are these a pattern of bad luck/good luck? Inability/ability? It seems as though the follow one exact pattern… The Mets under Omar.
At one point you see them as a team that is a team of destiny yet a short time later a team destined to fail. A team that is full of brash confidence that other teams love to hate and a team that can’t get out of their own way and is waiting for the next shoe to drop.
I think Metsfans4decades perhaps is on to something. As a poster who seems as rational as any I have ever read, her switch to blaming Omar for the Mets demise seems like a revelation to her and through her I think I have had my own.
Step one to reversing this trend of one up one down is to remove the one up one down man himself.