By Mike Steffanos
I haven't made any pretense about the fact that I believed it would be a mistake for the Mets to pursue Manny Ramirez. I have to be honest, though -- I was convinced that it was going to happen. And then I hear the news that Manny doesn't want to play for the Mets. My first reaction is I have to laugh. My second became the title of this post.
I'll state right now that Ramirez is still one of the top 5 hitters in the game, and his addition to the lineup would have been a huge upgrade for the Mets. The cost would have been outrageous, though, with 3 years at almost $20 million per left on the contract, and the rumor that to approve a trade Manny is seeking another year tacked on at the end. The problem with superstars in this game is how much you have to overpay to get one. You pay through the nose for the production you get when they produce as expected -- and when they flop, as Beltran has, the cost is hard to justify.
Omar, count your blessings. Take the 20 million you would have paid Manny, combine it with the 15 million that Piazza made last year, and you have some real $$$ to spend upgrading this team in several areas. Also, keep working on that farm system, and maybe someday the Mets can field a top-notch team that isn't just a bunch of overpaid mercenaries that have no real tie to this organization beyond their paycheck. Maybe we'll have a few more guys like David Wright, who really seems to care. Maybe there will be a more important difference between the Mets and Yankees other than the Yankees have more money to buy a team. Just a thought.