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  • Thank you Omar.

    I'd posted this in the Minor League/Player Development thread, but nobody's responded. Maybe people don't look at that thread as much as they should. Maybe I shouldn't have posted this as an afterthought to a couple of long articles about Chris Schwinden. Anyway, I've been thinking of the good ball the Mets have been playing lately with many of their best players out. Almost all the players responsible have come up from within the organization and were acquired by Omar Minaya.

    I always felt Omar Minaya was unfairly maligned by most on this board. Overpaying for big names in decline was a Wilpon strategy long before Minaya arrived. I think they felt the names drew more fans; they would then save money by going cheap in the draft. I'm sure it wasn't Omar's idea to go after low ceiling types and spend less money than most other teams. Still, Omar took the blame.

    Let's look at what he accomplished - remember, except for Pelfrey and Ike none of the guys he signed were considered blue chip prospects. The injuries to key players this season is almost as bad as 2009. Unlike then, though, a lot of young guys are ready and stepping up and coming through. Other than Turner all of them are Omar's. If someone said that Wright, Ike, Johan and Chris Young would all be out for extended periods and that Bay would still be below replacement level (might be aftereffects of his concussion), most would have figured the Mets would be in last place. But the Mets are hanging in there around .500.

    This really isn't a bad team. I think some of the guys still in the system, or who we haven't really seen much of yet, like Duda, might also prove pleasant surprises. If Omar had been allowed a New York type budget in the draft, who knows what he might have been able to do?

    I think his gift for evaluating talent was squandered. Instead of trawling the bargain bin for reclamation projects it should have been used to pick blue chip amateur prospects. Unfortunately that wasn't how the Wilpons rolled. Now that they're desperate they've ceded control to Alderson and will hopefully finally spend on their high ceiling draft picks. We'll see what happens. I do think Omar could have done some great things if he'd been allowed, though. As it stands the Mets have decent, Major League ready depth for the first time in many years.

    Thank you Omar.


    "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

  • #2
    I basically agree - Omar is a man of many baseball gifts, and his work can be seen on the field right now. This is his team (excluding some of the pen and the two pinch-hitters who won't finish the year with the Mets), competing even without many of its stars.

    He was a far better GM than Fred Wilpon is an owner - maybe we should leave it at that.
    Cleon Jones catches a deep fly ball in F. Scott Fitzgerald's Valley of the Ashes, and a second-grader smiles in front of the black and white television.

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    • #3
      For what it's worth, Mongoose, I had seen and read your post in the ML&PD thread. I also think it's a good post with which I very much agree.
      Put it in the books.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by milladrive View Post
        For what it's worth, Mongoose, I had seen and read your post in the ML&PD thread. I also think it's a good post with which I very much agree.
        Omar's trouble was in signing free agents: Castillo, Ollie, Bay to name a few. Maybe he was better suited for a position that evaluated talent, but was not involved in the money end.

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        • #5
          I agree that Omar is being vindicated for his eye for talent. That was always his strong suit, and if the Mets end up succeeding with even just three players drafted and retained under his watch like Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Dillon Gee, Jonathan Niese, Ruben Tejada, Jenrry Mejia, and eventually maybe Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Matt Harvey, he'll have done pretty well.

          The problem is that even as he may have seeded the Mets well for the future in terms of cheap young talent, he also cost the Mets lots and lots of money in current payroll. He lost his GM job for that - in this I doubt the Wilpons were anything more than enablers, though you could say that that's bad enough - and rightly so. But I do wish he could have been retained in a scouting position.

          Let's also remember to give Collins some credit too. The Mets also fielded half a roster full of overmatched-on-paper minor league callups in 2009 and 2010. There is a difference here though, not only in some of these guys like Tejada or Duda being a little older and stronger, but in the attitude of the team. The 2011 Mets have had more than a few infuriating late-game losses - five in the past 3 weeks, in fact - that strongly recalled the failures of past years, yet instead of kicking off a death spiral the team has bounced back and won the next game in each of them. And already it feels like the Mets have had more come-from-behind wins in 2011, winning when they trailed or were tied going into the 7th inning, than in ALL of 2010.
          «Telle est la vie des hommes. Quelques joies, très vite effacées par d’inoubliables chagrins. Il n'est pas nécessaire de le dire aux enfants...» (Marcel Pagnol)

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          • #6
            Omar does have a good eye for talent.....that much is true and he gets alot of credit from me for the usable players we have to work with right now and the next few years.

            Unfortunately he was also very, very, very bad at payroll management most of his tenure....especially the 2nd half.
            "all the mets road wins against the dodgers this year have occured at Dodger Stadium"---Ralph Kiner

            "Blind people came to the park just to listen to him pitch"---Reggie Jackson, talking about Tom Seaver

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            • #7
              Thank You, Fred Wilpon, for hiring Omar Minaya.
              "I'm happy for [Edwin Encarnacion] because this guy bleeds internally, big-time" -Dusty Baker

              "If on-base percentage is so important, then why don't they put it on the scoreboard?" -Jeff Francoeur

              "At the end of the day, the sun comes up and I still have a job" -Joba Chamberlain

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by NYMets523 View Post
                Thank You, Fred Wilpon, for hiring Omar Minaya.
                Hey, I remember you. Long time. You were the one guy who thought the Wilpons were great owners and everything wrong with the organization was Omar's fault.

                Fred was actually the guy who hamstrung Omar. Because Omar was a relative novice GM and Fred was highly seasoned at being an intrusive, domineering, know-it-all owner, Omar had little real autonomy. It was the usual case of Fred and Jeff hiring a puppet to take the blame while they built their usual team. Their usual strategy of being too cheap to pay for the best free agent at a position of need (Matt Holliday, Sabathia, Mussina) and instead overpaying for less (Bay, Perez, Appier) yielded the usual disastrous results.

                The difference was the few areas Omar actually controlled - like choosing which players to draft with Wilpon's cheap bonuses - were handled better than any other Wilpon puppet had before... With the possible exception of Joe McIlvaine's work developing players.


                "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                  Hey, I remember you. Long time. You were the one guy who thought the Wilpons were great owners and everything wrong with the organization was Omar's fault.
                  No, I was the guy who didn't think Fred and Jeff Wilpon were responsible for every bad thing that has happened.

                  Also, Omar wasn't hamstrung until he started screwing things up in 2007. Singing Holliday would have been a mistake. Many believed Bay was a better fit and signing, however he's completely forgotten how to hit which no one expected. Sabathia wasn't an option, it's foolish to commit over $40M to 2 players that only play once a week.
                  "I'm happy for [Edwin Encarnacion] because this guy bleeds internally, big-time" -Dusty Baker

                  "If on-base percentage is so important, then why don't they put it on the scoreboard?" -Jeff Francoeur

                  "At the end of the day, the sun comes up and I still have a job" -Joba Chamberlain

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NYMets523 View Post
                    No, I was the guy who didn't think Fred and Jeff Wilpon were responsible for every bad thing that has happened.

                    Also, Omar wasn't hamstrung until he started screwing things up in 2007. Singing Holliday would have been a mistake. Many believed Bay was a better fit and signing, however he's completely forgotten how to hit which no one expected. Sabathia wasn't an option, it's foolish to commit over $40M to 2 players that only play once a week.
                    "Singing Holliday would have been a mistake", you say.

                    Maybe, but what about signing Holliday?

                    Here are Holliday and Bay’s stats per 162 games since the signings:

                    HR RBI BA/OBP/SLG OPS OPS+

                    Holliday: 28 108 .318/.399/.534 .933 155
                    Bay: 10 69 .243/.333/.363 .697 92

                    A mistake? Really?

                    Meanwhile here are Ollie and Sabathia’s stats per 162 games since the signings:

                    W L BB K ERA ERA+ WHIP
                    Ollie 4 12 131 130 6.81 59 1.985
                    Sabathia 20 8 71 195 3.25 135 1.182

                    And wins above replacement:

                    Ollie 2009: -1.4 WAR, 2010: -1.5 WAR, 2011 0 WAR.
                    Sabathia 2009 4.3 WAR, 2010 5.0 WAR 2011 2.1 WAR so far.

                    Ollie is actually more valuable to the Mets not playing for them at all. Assuming each WAR is worth $4 million, Ollie cost the Mets $12 million in value by taking the field, in addition to the $36 million in salary he was draining.

                    Meanwhile, Sabathia has more or less earned his money.

                    Sure Ollie was cheaper, but you get what you pay for... Oh, wait! With overpriced, second tier free agents, you actually don’t get what you pay for.

                    There are probably two main personnel hallmarks of the Wilpon era: overpriced second tier big name players on the decline, and drafting amateur free agents on the basis of who'll accept a sub-par bonus. Both policies pre-dated Omar. Mutt and Jeff must therefore take the blame.


                    "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with Mongoose that the Wilpons have created a dismal team environment, but people forget that Omar was unwilling to cut Perez and Castillo despite their lack of performance. We would have gotten way better 2B Production if we never signed Castillo and had signed someone like Placido Polanco instead.
                      Just call me a sports fan.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                        Fred was actually the guy who hamstrung Omar. ... It was the usual case of Fred and Jeff hiring a puppet to take the blame while they built their usual team. Their usual strategy of being too cheap to pay for the best free agent at a position of need (Matt Holliday, Sabathia, Mussina) and instead overpaying for less (Bay, Perez, Appier) yielded the usual disastrous results.
                        Unfortunately this does not make them "cheap". This label doesn't stick because the Mets were consistently in the top 3, if not the #1 spot in payroll in the National League both before and during Minaya's tenure. As owners, they can't be said not to have opened up their wallets. What it makes them is stupid, given how poorly the teams built with that money ended up doing. And also arrogant in their pointing the fingers at everybody else - GMs, coaches, even their own fan-favorite players, and most lately this Picard bulldog - without ever reflecting that, as Despair.com put it,


                        «Telle est la vie des hommes. Quelques joies, très vite effacées par d’inoubliables chagrins. Il n'est pas nécessaire de le dire aux enfants...» (Marcel Pagnol)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AJbaseball00024 View Post
                          I agree with Mongoose that the Wilpons have created a dismal team environment, but people forget that Omar was unwilling to cut Perez and Castillo despite their lack of performance. We would have gotten way better 2B Production if we never signed Castillo and had signed someone like Placido Polanco instead.
                          Let me ask you: who do you think would be more likely to be so panicked about biting the loss on those two contracts that he’d rather waste two roster spots than write off that money, Omar or Fred? Let me remind you, it was Fred’s money, not Omar’s.

                          Signing Castillo in the first place wasn’t a bad idea, the problem was - like many players before him - his body chose the Mets phase of his career to begin to fail. You could argue Omar offered too many years, but I never said Omar was perfect. All I’m saying is he built a decent farm system with Fred supplying some of the poorest resources in MLB.

                          Originally posted by robardin View Post
                          Unfortunately this does not make them "cheap". This label doesn't stick because the Mets were consistently in the top 3, if not the #1 spot in payroll in the National League both before and during Minaya's tenure. As owners, they can't be said not to have opened up their wallets. What it makes them is stupid, given how poorly the teams built with that money ended up doing. And also arrogant in their pointing the fingers at everybody else - GMs, coaches, even their own fan-favorite players, and most lately this Picard bulldog - without ever reflecting that, as Despair.com put it,


                          Fred pursued a definite strategy that annoyed me for years. By definition building through free agency instead of the farm system is the expensive way to go. But this strategy wasn’t consistent. He really only did it during two separate periods.

                          1) The early 1990s when he was trying to repair the damage he did in purging the 1980s team.

                          2) in the 2000s when he was trying to raise the team’s value so he could borrow against it to build the new stadium.

                          The nature of each objective didn’t really allow a wide enough time window for him to build/rebuild a good team through the draft. Even when spending for free agents, Fred seldom went for the best. He tended to find excuses to back down from getting Arod, Mussina, etc. To that extent he was cheap.

                          Ultimately he was stupid, too, but part of that stupidity was always overpaying for the lesser option when the more expensive option offered the better value.
                          Last edited by Mongoose; 06-15-2011, 09:38 AM.


                          "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                            "Singing Holliday would have been a mistake", you say.

                            Maybe, but what about signing Holliday?

                            Here are Holliday and Bay’s stats per 162 games since the signings:

                            HR RBI BA/OBP/SLG OPS OPS+

                            Holliday: 28 108 .318/.399/.534 .933 155
                            Bay: 10 69 .243/.333/.363 .697 92

                            A mistake? Really?
                            You think Holliday puts up the same numbers in Citi Field in a lineup without Albert Pujols?

                            Meanwhile here are Ollie and Sabathia’s stats per 162 games since the signings:

                            W L BB K ERA ERA+ WHIP
                            Ollie 4 12 131 130 6.81 59 1.985
                            Sabathia 20 8 71 195 3.25 135 1.182

                            And wins above replacement:

                            Ollie 2009: -1.4 WAR, 2010: -1.5 WAR, 2011 0 WAR.
                            Sabathia 2009 4.3 WAR, 2010 5.0 WAR 2011 2.1 WAR so far.

                            Ollie is actually more valuable to the Mets not playing for them at all. Assuming each WAR is worth $4 million, Ollie cost the Mets $12 million in value by taking the field, in addition to the $36 million in salary he was draining.

                            Meanwhile, Sabathia has more or less earned his money.

                            Sure Ollie was cheaper, but you get what you pay for... Oh, wait! With overpriced, second tier free agents, you actually don’t get what you pay for.

                            There are probably two main personnel hallmarks of the Wilpon era: overpriced second tier big name players on the decline, and drafting amateur free agents on the basis of who'll accept a sub-par bonus. Both policies pre-dated Omar. Mutt and Jeff must therefore take the blame.
                            Comparing Perez to Sabathia is ridiculous. It'd be like saying the Mets should have signed some big closer to be in the bullpen (which they tried with Putz and K-Rod. Didn't work out. Neither has the same experiment gone well with the Yankees and Soriano). Are you going to get on the Wilpons for signing a back-up 1B instead of Prince Fielder or Pujols this offseason? This isn't a video game where you can get every good player on your team.

                            If you want to compare Perez to someone else, do so with Randy Wolf. They were free agents the same offseason, both lefties and most would agree same talent level (Wolf more consistent).
                            "I'm happy for [Edwin Encarnacion] because this guy bleeds internally, big-time" -Dusty Baker

                            "If on-base percentage is so important, then why don't they put it on the scoreboard?" -Jeff Francoeur

                            "At the end of the day, the sun comes up and I still have a job" -Joba Chamberlain

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NYMets523 View Post
                              You think Holliday puts up the same numbers in Citi Field in a lineup without Albert Pujols?
                              With Reyes batting in front of him and having a career year, and surrounded by Wright and Ike, you can't really argue Bay is surrounded by garbage. The gap between their stats is too big to be explained by ballpark factor.

                              Why exactly are you defending signing Bay yet saying signing Holliday would have been a mistake? It boggles the mind.

                              Originally posted by NYMets523 View Post
                              Comparing Perez to Sabathia is ridiculous. It'd be like saying the Mets should have signed some big closer to be in the bullpen (which they tried with Putz and K-Rod. Didn't work out. Neither has the same experiment gone well with the Yankees and Soriano). Are you going to get on the Wilpons for signing a back-up 1B instead of Prince Fielder or Pujols this offseason? This isn't a video game where you can get every good player on your team.

                              If you want to compare Perez to someone else, do so with Randy Wolf. They were free agents the same offseason, both lefties and most would agree same talent level (Wolf more consistent).
                              The Mets were willing to sign Perez for $13 million a year. The other free agent pitcher they looked seriously at was Derek Lowe - another second tier free agent that still commanded $15 million a year. That was the range the Wilpons were willing to spend in. If you're going to spend that kind of money on a free agent pitcher, why not bump it up to $20 million and get your money's worth?

                              The Mets themselves placed Ollie's value at about 2/3 that of Sabathia. It clearly wasn't. If you're going to spend a fortune on something, at least get your money's worth. The Mets were always penny wise and dollar foolish, which goes back to ownership.
                              Last edited by Mongoose; 06-15-2011, 11:07 AM.


                              "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

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