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Omar on WFAN

Mike SteffanosThursday, July 27, 2006
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.

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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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Comments (2)

It seems the Mets have a multiple options as regards pitching. During the rest of the season the ranks of possiblities include bringing up Royce Ring, Henry Owens or even Matt Lindstrom for the bullpen...this would, if all the wheels came off, G-d forbid, allow Aaron Heilman to be the emergency starter (only if it came to that eventuality). Bannister could possibly shake off the rust in time to contribute, and hypothetically Soler could find his core mentally and resolve his instability. All told, it is conceivable that Zito could be lured here with a combo platter of Heilman et al without upending the long and short range plans. I would approve of a trade to have the artillery for the playoffs especially, and even the dogdays could bring the necessity of a live arm. Minaya is steady hand at the helm. The Mets have holes and evidently, we look good but not great lately.

n8genius -- I could be wrong, but I think Beane will stick to his guns and demand top talent in return for Zito. A lot of people ask how he could just let Zito walk and get nothing in return, but if he takes a lesser package of talent now he sends the signal to other GMs that all they have to do is wait him out until he blinks.

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