NEW YORK, NYâ€”Now that this bad horror movie of a Mets season is coming to a merciful end, it might be a good time to start thinking about 2010. It canâ€™t hurt right? I mean, letâ€™s face it, even die-hards such as myself canâ€™t bear to follow this crap anymore. You know itâ€™s bad when youâ€™re absolutely certain that the 1979 Mets would have wiped the floor with the current team the Mets are fielding. You think Iâ€™m kidding? Joel Youngblood hit 16 home runs in 1979! David Wrightâ€™s got only a few more weeks to try to hit six more just to tie him. Anyway, whatâ€™s past is past, and that includes this season. As for next year, here are a few modest suggestions.
â€¢ Fire Omar Minaya. OK, so maybe you canâ€™t blame all of the injuries on him, but isnâ€™t the shape of the Metsâ€™ farm system as well as the Tony Bernazard debacle grounds enough for dismissal? Do whatever it takes to lure Pat Gillick out of semi-retirement and away from the Phillies. All the guy has ever done is build winners wherever he goes.
â€¢ Donâ€™t raise beer prices. If the Mets are even remotely as bad as they were this year, weâ€™re going to need a few extra bucks for a few extra beers.
â€¢ Finally put together a Mets Old-Timers game. This sentiment has been brought up on this site again and again and again by the likes of Rex Oâ€™Rourke, Short Matt, and countless others. Itâ€™s an absolute no-brainer and a surefire sellout. How stupid is the Metropolitansâ€™ front office that they canâ€™t even figure this out? Canâ€™t they see the excitement that gets generated when they do things like honor the 1969 Mets or when they brought back all of those old players for the goodbye to Shea? Just do this already!
â€¢ Get rid of all of the Dodgers pictures and the giant # 42 in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Itâ€™s honor enough that you named it after the man, this is not Dodger Stadium. I repeat, not Dodger Stadium. Iâ€™ll say it once more very slowly in case Jeff Wilpon didnâ€™t hear me. This… is… not… Dod… Gerrrr…. Staaaaa…. diiiiiii….. ummmmmm.
â€¢ Trade Luis Castillo if you can. Aside from his colossal blunder in the Bronx, heâ€™s had a pretty nice season. But, you absolutely know in your heart of hearts that this wonâ€™t be the case next year. Iâ€™m willing to forgive all of the sins of â€œlower câ€ if we just somehow manage to show him the door.
â€¢ Give Keith, Gary, and Ron a full year together in the booth. Iâ€™m sorry but the chemistry is just too darn good to give Keith and Ron off days. Even throughout this wretched season, these guys made it worth tuning in just to hear the banter.
â€¢ Stop selling cotton candy. I know the kiddies like it, but cotton candy has no place at the ballpark. Though the Mets can be a bit of a circus sometimes, this ainâ€™t the big top. Sorry Junior but youâ€™ll do just fine with peanuts, popcorn, cracker jack, and ice cream. Besides, this will save all of those parents the two innings it takes to scrub the blue napalm off their kids.
â€¢ Get rid of one of the pizza concessions and put in a second Shake Shack. Tom Seaver could be standing out in the food court signing autographs and taking pictures and still the line for Shake Shack would be longer. OK, maybe not, but you get my point.
â€¢ Hire a new manager. Jerry Manuel would make for a great quirky movie character but he has no business managing a team that expects to compete for the World Series every year. I know Grote has called for the return of Bobby Valentine, and that might be the way to go. But a move, any move, has to be made. Let Pat Gillick make the decision. Iâ€™m comfortable with that.
â€¢ Fire Wayne Hagin and hire Short Matt. Hagin brings absolutely nothing to the radio broadcast booth. Heâ€™s more vanilla than 1,000 gallons of Haagen-Dazs. In fact, they should rename their vanilla ice cream Hagin-Dazs. The same way the appearance of Citi Field begs the question â€œwho plays here?â€ Haginâ€™s broadcasting approach makes one wonder â€œwhat team is this guy working for?â€ A booth featuring stalwart Howie Rose and Short Matt would be perfect. In fact it almost sets up as the beginning of a great joke: â€œA Jew and an Irish Catholic are calling a Mets game….â€
â€¢ Field a more fit team. Some injuries canâ€™t be avoided, but this year was a joke. Bringing someone like Delgado back, for instance, is just asking for trouble.
There are plenty of other things that need to be addressed, but this seems like a good starting point. Feel free to add suggestions of your own.