By Mike Steffanos
Some of the other guys, such as such as MetsBlog and Hot Foot, have already weighed in on Omar Minaya's long interview on WFAN this afternoon. I had a chance to listen to the archived version on the web site when I returned back from a couple of afternoon appointments I had. Omar didn't seem all that optimistic about the chances of making a trade that would have a big impact on the pitching, but also noted things can change very quickly as the deadline approaches.
What was of particular interest to me was when Francesa asked him about John Maine. Francesa tried to imply that the Mets weren't really very high on Maine when they got him, but Omar quickly corrected him. I remember reading at the time that Omar considered Maine the key player in the deal, and Omar's comments this afternoon seemed to bear this out. Omar compared Maine to John Patterson's acquisition when Omar was with the Expos, and said he liked Maine more than he liked Patterson. He feels that Maine is only touching the surface of his talent, and is a year away from being a solid mid-rotation starter. He liked Maine's "swing and miss" stuff, and the way his ball runs in on right-handers and away from left-handers. He feels that Maine offers a nice contrast to the soft tossers the Mets currently have in their rotation.
Omar also said denied that the organization Lastings Milledge had fallen into disfavor in the organization, and was impressed with the way Mike Pelfrey is learning at the major-league level, and likes his composure and feels that you can already see there is "something special there" when Pelfrey pitches.
Also of interest, when asked which one of Valentin, Nady and Chavez have "put a bigger smile on his face", Omar picked Jose Valentin. He said the team took off once Valentin took over second base and convinced the team to trade away Kaz Matsui. He noted that, on top of the great production he's given the Mets, Valentin was a smart player that did all the little things right.
Marty Noble has a nice piece on Brian Bannister's comeback from the hamstring injury that has cost him so much of his rookie season.
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