So, the 2012 trade deadline has concluded and the New York Mets stood still. If you have read any posts today at this site, you may have seen that I’ve been a little upset. I have been a realest on the subject of Sandy Alderson. I felt that judgments about his performance should be held until the team gets through factors such as limited payroll flexibility, and the Bernie Madoff situation. Today is the first day where I feel it is fair to make a judgment, and my grade to Alderson and the Mets is a big fat red sharpie “F”. By no means do I feel that suddenly the Mets coffers are filled with cash. By no means do I feel the organization is suddenly able to change from a team that had to go into austerity measures to a team that operates like they live in New York City. What I did expect from a team that played very well during the first half, a team that had stories like Johan’s no-no, a team that had R.A. Dickey reintroducing the world to the knuckle-ball, a team that had Wright showing us that he is Mr. Met, is a team to say it’s time to move forward. This was the perfect time to say the storm has passed and it’s time to move on. I am not suggesting that some blockbuster move should have been made, but how can a team with glaring issues in the outfield, bullpen and defense not make a single move. Not one move, nothing.
Let’s take a look at his more notable moves just for perspective sake. I am going to do my best to group them into era’s.
The Omar’s gone, let’s clean the house era (2010):
Granted FA to Pedro Feliciano.
Released Hisanori Takahashi, Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo.
Signed D.J. Carrasco, Chris Capuano, Taylor Bucholz, Scott Hairston, Tim Byrdak, Jason Isringhausen.
Drafted Pedro Beato and Brad Emaus from the rule 5 draft.
For any Mets fan, this was not a typical NY style off-season but the reasonable fans knew the house had to be put back in order and this was a good start or getting rid of the waste and trying to get some flexibility back to the payroll.
The “Jeff I thought the Madoff situation wasn’t a situation” era (2011):
Granted FA to Jose Reyes, Chris Capuano
Released Ryoto Igarashi, Fernando Martinez
Signed Miguel Batista, Jon Rauch, Frank Francisco
Selected Mike Baxter off of waivers
Traded Carlos Beltran to SF for Zack Wheeler, Francisco Rodriguez to MI for player to be named and released later, Angel Pagan to SF for Ramon Ramirez and Andre Torres.
This era was a little more troubling for the Mets fan. We were always told that Madoff had no bearing on the team but then came the claw-back lawsuit, and the selling of 20 million dollar team shares, a bridge loan from Bank of America and the re-working of debt that even made folks at “Goldman Sachs” get skittish. Oh, and payroll was slashed by 50 million dollars. So the realistic Mets fan easily concluded that finances are the key cog in the Mets decision making.
The it’s a new day or is it? era (2012):
Released Miguel Batista.
Traded Omar Quintanilla to Orioles for cash.
So what should fans start thinking now? My feeling is the time for excuses is over. Most fans have waited patiently and understood our team was in a serious financial mess. Shouldn’t the mess be over now? I know they are not packing the house every night, but with such a reduction in payroll, the financial uncertainty gone, shouldn’t they begin to move forward? If they are not going to move forward, then when will they? Tomorrow will be no different financially then today was. In fact, if these austerity measures continue, things will probably only get worse. So I am not suggesting the pitch forks need to come out. What I am suggesting is to pay close attention to this year’s off-season. Will they invest into the team or will there be more excuses why more can’t be done. This off-season should be the true measure of what the ownership and front office is all about.