Mets Bring Back Omar Minaya. Is This Real Life?

Let’s briefly recap the current state of the Mets before diving into the latest shenanigans:

  • The Mets went 70-92 in 2017 and were one of the worst teams.
  • They traded 1/5 of their roster at the trade deadline (Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Addison Reed) primarily for salary relief (roughly 60 million in total salaries came off the books).
  • The Mets “fired” Terry Collins and then immediately hired him in a front office role.
  • The Mets hired new manager Mickey Callaway and basically put all the pressure on him to turn around the pitching staff.
  • The media reported that the Wilpons will be slashing payroll and the Mets will have roughly 30 million to spend on the roster.
  • The Mets signed some reliever named Anthony Swarzak for a 6 million dollar salary in 2018.
  • Sandy Alderson spent most of the offseason serving as the GM on a volunteer basis without a contract (definitely not strange at all) and yesterday he received a contract extension (after doing basically nothing to improve the team).
  • The media is now reporting the Mets only have 10 million dollars left to spend. (Had 30m, spent 6m, and now have 10m left? That’s some Wilpon math).

And to top it all off, today the Mets announced that they are bringing back former GM Omar Minaya to serve in a player development role. That’s right folks. Fred Wilpon has decided to put a nice poop cherry on top of this shit sundae of an offseason by bringing back his old buddy Omar despite the objections of the current front office.

With this move the Wilpons have brought the franchise full circle. We had Omar Minaya during the Madoff era, Sandy Alderson during the post-Madoff years, and now Fred Wilpon has decided that it’s a smart idea to create a two-headed GM monster comprised of Sandy AND Omar. Genius move! This is definitely something that a well run organization would choose to do. I can’t envision any scenario where this new dynamic fails.

This move once again confirms that it doesn’t matter who sits in the front office as long as the dysfunctional Wilpons make the final calls. The only thing that seemingly hasn’t come full circle is the Wilpons’ bank account. The economy is currently booming yet they still act like we’re in the middle of the financial crisis and they have no money to invest in their beloved Mets. Whatever money they do have they’ve been pouring it into the stupid New York Islanders hockey arena and that damn e-sports team that they recently bought a stake in.

Remember in 2015 when the media talked non-stop about the Mets championship window? Well in 2016 the window started to close and that last minute wild card playoff appearance helped keep it open just a crack. In 2017 the Mets were among the worst teams and the window basically slammed shut. And today Fred Wilpon grabbed Omar Minaya and smashed him head first through Sandy Alderson’s championship window. The window has completely shattered.

The media recently reported that Fred Wilpon was furious when the Yankees traded for Giancarlo Stanton. He gets “pissed” when the Yankees are successful and the Mets struggle. Ummm welcome to the goddamn club Fred. If only you could do something to make your own team better but alas, you’re just a powerless owner. 

He also supposedly doesn’t think the Yankees economic model is “sustainable”. Fred Wilpon, a man who emptied his bank account and confidently gave his money to Bernie Madoff (the biggest fraudster in the history of the world), doesn’t think the Yankees formula for winning championships (the most successful formula in the history of professional sports) is sustainable?!? Is this real life? Just reading that makes me feel like I’m on an acid trip. My brain is melting just trying to comprehend that Wilpon logic.

The Yankees model for success is to let smart baseball people make the baseball decisions and to spend more money than any other team on talent. It definitely works. They have 27 championships to prove that it works.

What’s the solution to fix the Mets? There is no solution as long as the Wilpons refuse to spend any money on the team. You can’t add 25 wins to a 70 win roster without spending money on new talent and you certainly can’t fix the problems with 10 million dollars. The Mets could turn this roster into a playoff contender tomorrow if they decided to spend money commensurate with the market they play in. The Wilpons are CHOOSING not to do that. So I choose not to show up.

I’m not starting a full blown boycott. I’ll stop buying team merchandise. I already have a Jacob deGrom jersey and a 2015 NLCS t-shirt. I don’t need anything else. I’ll accept free tickets if people want to drag my lazy ass to the games. But I’m not handing the Wilpons my hard earned cash anymore. 

Plus, you don’t really need to actively boycott a garbage team. That takes care of itself naturally. If the Mets don’t spend another dime on the roster before the start of the 2018 season the once populous Panic City will transform into NobodyGivesAShitVille by the end of May.

I’m sure I’ll wind up torturing myself and watching this stupid team again next year. My head is already filling with delusional scenarios that lead to the Mets making another playoff run. In my head Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario are immediately studs and Michael Conforto fully recovers from his injury and Yoenis Cespedes wins MVP and Noah Syndergaard/Jacob deGrom battle for the Cy Young and Matt Harvey has a big contract year and Jeurys Familia revives the bullpen and Wilmer Flores breaks out with an OPS over .800 and hits 30 homers.

I may be a delusional die hard fan, but don’t let my baseless optimism fool you. This Mets ship is sinking. Sandy Alderson, the Wilpons, and now Omar Minaya may not believe it’s happening. But this ship is made of broken pitchers, injury-prone position players and cheap middling talent. I assure you, she can sink. And she will. ‘Tis a mathematical certainty.

Wilpons Lose 300 Million; Payroll is Rising?

 I swear to God when the Mets traded Darrell Ceciliani to the Blue Jays earlier this week for “cash considerations” my brain instantly went to the same basic place it’s gone for almost 8 years now. I just imagined the Wilpons rummaging for coins lost in their sofa or running a yard sale, flipping a bunch of DVDs, Jeff’s old toys, and worn Mike Piazza t-shirts. At this point it’s instinctual for Mets fans to rant about how cheap the Wilpons are and how their financial situation is destroying the franchise. But right now we really can’t complain about their notorious frugality. They said they would raise payroll if we had a chance to win, we got to the World Series, and they raised payroll. This doesn’t mean I trust the Wilpons to write checks forever, but it does mean that at least right now we can’t say their financial losses are impacting the team.

That being said, what the hell is going on? They lost close to 700 million with Madoff when you include the money they had to pay the investors they swindled. They have close to a billion in loans against the team. And now their real estate fund has lost over 300 million dollars?  Yet payroll is going up. All the talk today is about how the Mets are finally spending like a big market franchise. Sandy even said “I think it could happen” in reference to signing all the young starters to long term deals.

Meanwhile Fred Wilpon’s portfolio continues to hemorrhage cash. And by the way he’s not just losing money on random shit. Real estate is his supposed bread and butter. It’s how he originally made his fortune.

I would like to know what the Wilpon family has on the league. I really really want to know. When a guy loses hundreds of millions of dollars while simultaneously chairing the MLB Finance Committee it makes you wonder what deep dark secret he stumbled upon in the past. I mean did Manfred and Selig invite the Wilpons over for dinner years ago at their remote country house and when Jeff went to the bathroom he stumbled upon some underground Kiss The Girls-esque torture chamber?

Everyone always chalks it up to “well he’s good friends with Bud Selig!” First of all, Bud Selig ripped the Dodgers out of Frank McCourt’s hands because he spent a few million bucks on divorce lawyers instead of team payroll. Yet when it’s comes to the Wilpons and their near billion in debt and losses, MLB is an open piggy bank. Just handing out loans to the Mets left and right. I highly doubt that’s explained by “friendship”. And second, Bud Selig is retired. He’s gone. Rob Manfred still keeps the MLB credit line open for the Mets and lets these mooks manage all the finances of the league.

But you know what? I’m done asking questions. If they spend millions on the team while simultaneously losing and owing people billions then great. Fine by me. As long as they are ready to spend the billion dollars it’s gonna take to retain Harvey and these pitchers. Or maybe they will all take 3 year deals with an opt out and a promise from Fred to help them pick out a house in a great location. You know, whatever seals the deal.