The New York Mets have consistently been making front page news over the past several years. It has not been without good reason either. A team which has been involved in the acquisitions of Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana, Fransisco Rodriguez, Jason Bay, J.J. Putz as well as others has earned its fair share of headlines. The corresponding question with these headlines is why the Mets have not received the headlines that should go hand in hand with having several big name all-stars on their roster. Headlines which mention the Mets winning the National League, the N.L. East, or even a Wild Card. With so many big name players, why have the Mets played so poorly?
It has constantly confused me as to how a team which appeared so good on paper could be so bad from year to year. If all of the players mentioned above had their career years all in the same season, along with the Mets homegrown players Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Mike Pelfrey they would simply be unbeatable. The Mets have even had great supporting casts surround these star players as well. Either this is another case of an all-star style team not working or there is something else going on which might explain the Mets woes. Here are some possibilities…
-Media Pressure- As mentioned before, the Mets are constantly making headline news. Could pressure from the media be influencing the players on the field performance? We regularly hear about the pressure of playing for the Yankees, but I can only imagine what media pressure must be like when playing for the loosing team in the same city!
-Injuries- Not much explanation necessary here, they have had a bad case of the injury bug. Not just the supporting cast either; virtually everyone in that clubhouse has been exposed.
-Poor Management- The Mets go through managers as fast as anyone in baseball. However, bad management in this organization is not only on the field. The front office has been going through a severe overhaul for over a year now. To make matters worse, the Wilpon family’s view of the management seems to be cheap publicity. “At least they are talking about us.” (Not a direct quote, but I’d bet you could find one of them saying that)
-Inconsistent Catching- The catcher is the most important player on the field other than the pitcher. He is the only player who is directly involved in virtually every play throughout the game. Despite the many all-star caliber players they have been able to attract, they have had a carousel of catchers throughout the entire process and not one has been able to stick. Consistency behind the plate might do this team some good.
-Weak Farm System- Understandably, shopping for big ticket players on the trade market will without a doubt tax your farm system. In addition to trading away many prospects over the years, the Mets have also lost top of the draft pics due to signing Type A & B Free Agents. Considering this, they actually have to get an A for what they have done with their system, but the expectations couldn’t be set any lower for what they could produce.
It would be fair to place the blame on any single one of these sources. All, without much doubt play a role in this organization underperforming. At the time of writing, these same Mets are in the heat of a pennant race; only two games behind the first place Braves. They have been rumored to have interest in acquiring Cliff Lee as well. I need to give my opinion and say to the Mets organization… Omar if you are reading this: Do not jeopardize the future of this consistently inconsistent franchise for half a season of Cliff Lee. You are going to need all of the prospects you can get down the road. If this roster can’t make it without Lee, they can’t do it with him.