The season may still be young, but the Mets are up to their old tricks. Despite beating the Phillies last night, there is an overall feeling of desperation amongst fans and media - some of which may be warranted. I was at the game last night. I haven't felt so tense at a game since the 2006 debacle in the NLCS. And that bothers me. Something has to give here. I have my 5 solutions to fix these Mets - for this year and for the long haul.
1. Name David Wright 'Captain' of the team. Don't put a stupid 'C' on his jersey, as John Franco did. The Yankees have it down right - my general distaste for them aside. Jeter wears no 'C'....this isn't hockey. He may be turning just 26 this December, but Wright is the de facto clubhouse voice. He carries himself the way we expect a leader to. And I hear he can hit the ball a little bit. This must happen now.
2. Send El Duque packing. Enough is enough. We don't need to hear about his injuries day after day. It numbs my mind that he did not have that bunion on his foot fixed in the off-season, despite having foot surgery for something else entirely. He is dead weight and dead money. He failed us in 2006. His resume in clutch spots is terrific. Stick that resume on the waiver wire.
3. Make a decision on Willie. Most of the dislike for Willie by Mets fans is unwarranted. We panic in NY far too much. He is not the best strategist - but he is a good manager. Unfortunately for Willie, the collapse last season with 17 games to go is the last straw, whether I like it or not. If they stumble through the all-star break, he has to go. No more speculation. Just do it. I like the guy alot. He's got that NY swagger. But he is the victim of a terrible stretch of play - responsible or not.
4. *Conditional*: Move Aaron Heilman to the rotation permanently. (Jon Heyman stole my thunder with this one)...If we are going to let Mike Pelfrey start games, there can be no reason to let Heilman relieve. However - this can not happen until Duaner Sanchez is healthy. If he proves to be, move Heilman. If not - there is nothing they can do - and he has to stay.
5. Don't mess with the farm system. This may seem to contradict my win-now feel to this blog - especially since I endorse canning Willie mid-season. But there is absolutely no way we can afford to make deals at the deadline with the talent level as diminished as it is. Even if we were to make deals - the talent level being returned to us would be average at best. The needs this team has can't be solved this year (1B,LF,SP,RP). This is the team that will win it, or lose it. The farm system is a barren wasteland where baseball went to die. The Santana deal was necessary and an excellent move. But Omar - hands off.