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You Never Write, You Never Call...

Mike SteffanosMonday, October 15, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

I was somewhat shocked when I noticed today it's been 2 full weeks since I last posted to this blog. Although I felt that I needed a break from the Mets at the end of the season, I never intended to take this much time off.

I've been putting a lot of time into wrapping up some large projects in the yard of our house. I'm mostly done with those, and expect to be posting 3 or 4 times a week this off-season. I've already started working on a somewhat long piece recapping the season and touching on what I feel went wrong this year, but realized it might take me forever to finish it. I think I'll go the route of shorter pieces on specific topics. For now, here are a few assorted thoughts:

The TV "Home" of the Mets
Two weeks later, I still find it hard to believe that SNY chose not to do any pre- or post-game coverage on the final day of the season, despite the fact that everything was riding on it. My Mom, who still listens to Mike and the Mad Dog, tells me that Chris Russo was on Sunday ripping in to SNY for this. It's not that often that Russo and I are both on the same page on any Mets topic, but I just don't think SNY took enough criticism for this -- probably because we were all so disappointed in the team itself. Other than having what is undoubtedly the best on-air talent in baseball, SNY has been very lacking in their two years of existence. I'll have more to say about this in detail at a later date, because I truly believe they need to be called out for their poor service to Mets fans. I'm only sorry that I don't have a larger forum from which to trash them.

The Reluctant Leftie
I'll never gloss over how difficult it can be to replace 200 innings. I'm not going to view Tom Glavine's 2007 season strictly based on those terrible last 3 starts. I think Tom Glavine was a decent Met in his time in New York.

Still, it's time to move on. The soap opera has gotten old. If his heart is in Atlanta, that's where he needs to be -- either as an active player or retired. Not only does the staff need to get younger, but the members have to want to be here. The Mets can't be Tom's fallback position for another year.

Oye Como Va
Yes, I know we all want a legitimate staff ace, but trading Jose Reyes and prospects for Johan Santana -- who will still need to be signed long-term -- is silly. I know that Jose had a rough second half, but a top young shortstop who will play 155+ games per season and is under contract at a pretty reasonable price for the next few seasons is worth more to this club than a great starter who will start 33-34 games per season. I saw the Buster Olney ESPN blog where he suggested that the Mets give up Reyes and more for Santana:

If the Twins look to deal him, the Angels and Dodgers and Diamondbacks might have the best collection of prospects from which to make trades. In the aftermath of the Mets' collapse, here's another thought -- Minnesota could ask for Jose Reyes in a deal, offering Santana, shortstop Jason Bartlett in return for Reyes and outfielder Carlos Gomez and at least one pitcher (Mike Pelfrey?).

Pure speculation, but it makes a lot of sense for both sides to have the conversation -- the Mets would get the kind of staff ace they need, the Twins could benefit in a big way from landing Reyes, who is already locked up to an affordable multiyear deal (he'll make a total of $18.75 million over the next three seasons, and has an $11 million option for 2011). If the team trades Santana and lands the affordable contract of Reyes, Minnesota would have enough money to re-sign Torii Hunter.

Santana is a great pitcher and won't come cheap -- which is why I don't believe he will be a New York Met next season. I disagree strongly with Buster Olney that this deal makes sense for both sides. I think this deal favors the Twins greatly, and could be a disaster for the Mets if Santana were to get hurt -- a not uncommon thing for starting pitchers. Pitching is such a precious commodity in today's game that a team like Minnesota can't trade a Johan Santana for anything less than a ridiculous amount of talent -- which is precisely why these deals are not being made any more. If anyone successfully deals for Santana, I suspect it will be a team with a farm system busting at the seams with talent -- or someone who overreaches and makes the kind of deal Olney suggested here. I just wouldn't give up Reyes and top prospects for a pitcher who will likely cost me over $100 million to keep past 2008.

In all seriousness, my largest fears of the post-apocalyptic 2007 meltdown involves the team panicking and making a series of moves like they did in Steve Phillips' last couple of years here, or in those years when those solid 1980s teams were transitioning into those 1990s laughingstocks . You could almost smell the desperation in the air during both eras. It sucks that the Mets suffered a monumental collapse in 2007, but it would suck far more if they allowed this failure to impact this club going forward. Mistakes were certainly made, and they need to be addressed, but to my mind the seeds of 2007's fiasco were sown by failing to make the right small moves, not by the lack of a big deal.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (6)

well I was hoping you would check in befor spring training, we were going to send out a search team for you. hot stove starting to heat up and no MIke, maybe he went off the deep end and is into nascar or tennis with mad dog. I see Jaramillo from Texas is with the METS he was afinalist for Mets managerial job. How is Willy going to feel with HIM on the side lines if he gets off to a slow spring start.may be this is a good thing for a lot of reasons. Keeping Willy on his toes and a very good hitting coach that should help everybody. Nice to have you back buddy.remember your a part of my rehab.

Thanks Al. I'll be honest with you, all of the projects for the house this year really kicked my a**. I've been pretty beat.

Rudy Jaramillo is probably the best hitting coach in the game, and apparently has no desire to manage. Given that, I think Willie would be happy to have him. I think his job is on the line in 2008.

Hey, Mike, good to hear from you. Glad things with the house are coming along. I agree that trading Reyes, even for Santana is a bit much at this time and place. Reyes is still a major part of this team and I don't see an adequate replacement for him on the horizon in the farm or elsewhere. Pitching is the primary concern and while I don't blame Glavine for his poor starts down the stretch I do agree it's time to move on. One of the kids has to show he can pitch in the majors. Pelfrey, Humber, Mulvey, or someone else has to step it up, and the Mets can acquire another innings eater during the winter. Catching and Secondbase is a priority. I like LoDuca, but can his body handle another season, and Castro is a fine back-up but can he be relied on for a full season of 120-140 games? Castillo is another concern, he did great as a number 2 and played a very good secondbase, but will that right knee hold up? Alou will most likely be back and I'm sure a mixture of him, Chavez, Milledge, and Gomez will be adequate if not more covering the corners. A lefty bat with pop off the bench is needed, but I like what they have already in Anderson, Easley, Chavez, and Gotay. Now to the dreaded reflief corps, outside Wagner, Feliciano, who is in there? Sanchez is coming off injury, so who knows what he will be. Mota and Sele should be history. Schow is here with 2 years left and Smith will get another chance to fill a spot. El-Duque is probably best fitted for spot starts and the long man role, but it is evident the Mets need a reliable arm or two in the pen. The offense should rebound with a healthy Delgado & Alou and a steady Beltran and Wright. I am putting on my optimistic hat for the winter and believing that all will be solved and get geared up for 2008. It's going to be tough but I see this Mets team having the resolve to right the ship

L.J. you have a bright vision for 2008 as for me I still have a hangover from 2007 and I m looking for change for a bright vision, to many old names with cob webs attached.WE need fire and desire kind of guys and leaders on this team

I like the optimism, too, L. J., although mine is tempered somewhat until I see what they do over the off-season.

Hey Rev, good to see your up and about, still praying for your complete recovery. Gentlemen, all we have left is to be optimistic. I have to admit 2007 resulted in disappointment, but what is done is done, it's history. After the World Series, the winter will be upon us and hopefully Omar will get the necessary pieces to push the team over the top. I have confidence in him and the organization and after them being embarassed the last month of the season. I sure hope the players that arrive and that are still here will dig deep and right the wrongs in 2008.

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