Minaya to Blame for Mets’ Struggles

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Minaya to Blame for Mets' Struggles At five games under .500, 10 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the
NL East and 7 1/2 games behind the Rockies in the wild-card race, the
New York Mets are in trouble.

And with the second-highest payroll
in all of baseball ? behind their neighbors from the Bronx ? the Mets?
current collapse is that much more embarrassing and inexcusable.

But ask Joel Sherman of the New York Post about the Mets? utter disappointment that has been 2009, and he?ll tell you he?s not surprised. After all, Omar Minaya is their general manager.

Sherman documents the Minaya era in Queens ? which began just after the Mets traded Scott Kazmir to Tampa Bay for Victor Zambrano,
when they were all but out of the 2004 playoff race ? and  points out
that Minaya hasn?t done much since taking over the team?s baseball
operations in September of ?04.

According to Sherman, the Mets
got what they deserved in hiring an unqualified Minaya, who was
supposed to be a genius talent evaluator. The team must have overlooked
Minaya?s GM stint in Montreal, when he traded Lee Stevens, Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Grady Sizemore to Cleveland for Bartolo Colon in 2002.

During
his time in New York ? which Sherman believes is coming to an abrupt
ending ? Minaya consistently overpaid for players, rarely seeing the
dividends that should come with such a high payroll. The Mets
underachieved almost yearly as their farm system never quite provided
them with enough talent to get them over the proverbial hump, which
ironically was supposed to be Minaya?s forte.

In eighth place
in the NL wild-card race, the Mets should be sellers, not buyers before
Friday?s trade deadline. Buying would only dig the hole that is their
future even deeper, while taking a shot at an ?09 title seems less
likely than a Roger Clemens admission of steroid use.

Still, the sentiment, as it should, remains positive in the Mets? clubhouse.

?We?ve got a shot,? Jeff Francoeur told reporters on Sunday.  ?We?ve got 65 games left, and I guarantee you every person on this team will fight ? to the end.?

But as a GM, it?s better to be realistic than overly optimistic. That?s what got Minaya into this mess in the first place.

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