Duke's To-Do List
Too far from the majors:
Question mental makeup to succeed in NY:
Hates puppies, kittens, and orphans:
I used to think Duquette was doing very good. He came in and dealt some dead weight in Burnitz and Alomar for some good prospects. Not blue chippers, but he did the best he could with what he had to deal. Now only Victor Diaz looks like a useful player at this point and I have serious doubts about where he fits in. Royce Ring has found his way to back down too AA, Kole Strayhorn is injured and struggled mightily this year, and Jose Diaz was sent off to the D-Rays. He traded Benitez for Jason Anderson and Anderson Garcia when he could have gotten Adrian Gonzalez from the Marlins (I know I complain about this too much). But all that is OK, he did what he could with the situation he was presented. He didn't get Gonzalez because he held out for Stokes and lost. It was not like he did not try and maximize his return on this best chip, he just lost.
Then came this off-season. They did not want this team to be confused with a contender, then they mentioned something of a plan to build from within and get younger, faster, and more athletic. To build the team around defense and pitching. The Mets had a plan and it was not illogical for the first time in a while. They did not think they could turn a near 100 loss season into a 100 win season. Fine, we all took that and loved what was going on. Plenty of arms on the farm, some nice position players, and a few possible future stars out of the bunch with ceilings higher than almost everyone in the minor leagues. Then somehow it all deviates. I was for picking up Benson or Zambrano, but not both. Duquette disregarded the talent on the market next year and went for two pitchers that cost them a lot in terms of future talent.
His idea to get younger and build from within is now a curious statement indeed. Now the Mets are looking at having a rotation with every single guy over 30 come this time next year. Benson will be 30, Zambrano will be 30, Leiter (if he returns) will be 39, Glavine will be 39, and Trachsel will be 34. How do you build a long sustain winner when Leiter is just about done, Galvine will be 40 in 2006, Traschel is not exactly getting younger, and Benson and Zambrano will be on the wrong side of 30?
Building long sustained success is done by building quality arms like the A's have done unless you have Yankee money. The Mets still have some good arms, but traded away one of the best for an unnecessary move. Duquette still spins this as part of the plan, but it is not like the guys they picked up are 25 or 26, they will be 30 next year. Not many teams have a rotation as old the Mets will have in 2005 when they are supposed to be getting younger. They succeeded in bring some youth into the field with addition of Matsui and their two jewels of the organization in Wright and Reyes. They also have some good and potential impact position prospects in Milledge and Bladergroen on the farm as well. But the reality is this, the Mets will have three of their starting outfielders over 30 at this point next year (if they re-sign Hidalgo or even if they pick up Magglio), their starting catcher will be in his mid-30's, and Matsui will turn 30 October of next year. That means that in 2005, out of the eight starting position players and the five rotation pitchers, only two or three (depending on who is at first in 2005) players will not turn 30 or older during the calendar year of 2005. Unreal, some fucking plan to get younger.
The better defense thing is something I won't touch. The defense should have been better, and I do not think Matsui is this bad. It seems like a lack of concentration at times and if the first base position can be filled with a good glove, the defense will vastly improve.
As a fan, I do feel lied too. Not that how I feel matters to anyone but myself and people I complain too. I have zero insight to the organization except for what I read in papers and on websites. Maybe this is part of their plan, just not the part that was shared with everyone. This move reeks of wanting to put together a team to make a run at it for the old fogies on the team to give it one last hurrah. They could not tell them they were playing for 2006 and beyond and had to win now for them. They had to make a few Steve Phillips moves and revert to their old mentality. However, I still maintain that they could have played for now, 2005, and beyond without dishing off so much future talent. Pitching is one thing there was plenty of in the off-season and for a team in NYC with money to spend, it really did not seem like a stretch for the Mets to be the winners of the next free agent market and have a better rotation than they have now even with their two new additions.
In the end, I am still a fan of the Mets. I have liked the Mets no matter who the coach is, who is on the team, where the team finishes, who owns the team, or who is the GM of the team. As of now, I kind a sour taste in my mouth, but I'll keep buying my ticket packages and go to about twenty games a year and buy $6.00 beers and $4.50 hot dogs because I still enjoy it. To me, Duquette has fallen short of the high expectations that I had for him. When I look back at his short tenure as GM of the Mets so far, I cannot really see anything that distinguishes him from anyone else or anything really positive that he has done. The best thing I can say is that he held onto Wright and Reyes while bringing in Mike Cameron. In my opinion, the best thing Duquette could have done is stand pat and maintain the vision every Met fan thought he had. I was not against making a move for a pitcher, but for one pitcher and deal with Seo as the #5 until the off-season. At that point he could have addressed it from within or possibly outside the organization. By some accounts, Duquettes moves were good because no one knows if those guys he gave away will even pan out. Obviously no one does know what their future holds and the chance of all of them panning out is slim to none. But for the same reasons they got Zambrano, which was tools and upside, they should not of let a certain someone go. As the old adage goes, you cannot teach someone how to throw fastball 95 mph. You cannot teach tools and natural ability to any schmuck walking around the street. To give that up is a mistake especially when that player is young and is well refined, succeeding, and under 21 years old. I may look back by the All-Star break in 2005 and think how great the Duke's moves have been in retrospect if the Mets are playing in the World Series, but I just cannot see that happening. For me, what and who he picks up this off-season is of paramount importance for him to show us he had some sort of plan. What is done is done and hopefully nothing comes back to bite the Mets. Overall, he has yet to impress many fans as of yet. Also, there should be no excuses that this is not their year to contend and it does not make sense to chase a certain star player. It is obvious they think they have what it takes to make a major push after what they did at the deadline. Ultimately, I still think they can be very good for the next few years and may be one big bat and two relievers from being good so I hope the Duke can redeem himself. But the plan that we thought he had was not only good to contend for the next few years, but perhaps contend for the next decade.
Not only did the wheels fall off yesterday, but the engine dropped straight out of the Mets' vehicle.
This is one of the more truer statements that I've heard lately.
I do know that I'm being very negative, but right now it is hard not to be. I'm almost done venting for those sick of me being a whiney bitch.