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Odds and Ends

Mike SteffanosWednesday, October 26, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

I'm still working on my Mets Hot Stove Preview on position players. I'm sure everyone is impatiently waiting for yet another look at what the Mets should do this off-season. In the meantime, I had a couple of things suggested by my reading of other bloggers:

Bullpen Candidates

When I was listing potential free agents for the closer role, I left out a couple of names:

Bob Wickman
He'll be 37 years old next year. He's been really solid this year, but he's got a lot of mileage on him. I also heard he really wants to return to Cleveland. I can't see how he would be a huge upgrade over Looper, and his age makes him a gamble.

Todd Jones
He'll be 37 next year, also. He was a superb pick-up for the Marlins this year, having the type of season we only wish Looper had. The thing is, if you look at his previous years, last year was a career year for Jones. If you sign Jones, you're gambling not only with his age -- you're betting that last year wasn't a fluke.

The last candidate is a name that never occurred to me. Kudos to Vinny from No Joy In Metsville for this idea:

Octavio Dotel
He's obviously a risk, coming off Tommy John surgery, but if you can't get Wagner or Ryan Dotel is the kind of guy that you could take a chance on striking gold with. I don't think I would feel comfortable with him as a closer, since he has struggled in that role, but he was great as a set-up guy, and if you can agree to a fair contract with incentives he'd be worth a shot. Plus he's pitched in New York. You might strike out with him, or you might strike gold like the Marlins did with Todd Jones last year. There is going to be so much competition for Wagner and Ryan that a fallback plan is a necessity.


In his "Great Turncoats In History" posting today, Metstradamus points out that Doug Mientkiewicz' statement that the Mets organization doesn't have a clue shouldn't just be written off as sour grapes. To quote Metstradamus directly:

The Mets? Until they can consistently show a commitment to winning and a solid organizational plan, they have to overpay for free agents and hope that they work out...which 99% of them haven't.

I couldn't have said that better, and I do recommend reading the whole post. As an organization, the Mets have been a bad joke for so long that it is crucial to change this perception. And more importantly, I join Metstradamus and many other loyal Met fans who wonder if the organization really does have a clue. I like a lot of what Omar has said in interviews, but to be honest I still don't really trust him. Maybe that's unfair, but I feel as if this franchise has burned me so badly over the years that Omar and anyone associated with the Mets has to earn my trust back.

But what is more important, they have to prove it to potential free agents and future fans of this team. Are they really on the same page with a real plan, or are they the same old Mets, with the front office split into factions that are more interested in furthering themselves rather than building a winning organization? Those of us that care about this team are certainly watching with interest for the answer to this question.

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