Still, there are some Mets fans who believe they will see better days before they see the end of days. After all, the Mets from the late '70s, despite needing magic to come back (and a GM named Frank Cashen), eventually did see better days in the mid '80s.
But let's just say for argument's sake that the end of the world was coming in one year. And let's also say that the reason for its coming was because Omar Minaya was never fired. What if the Mets had not subscribed to the Mayan Calendar, but instead believed in the Minayan Calendar?
We recently pretended to ask Omar Minaya himself a few questions about what he would have done to the current Mets had he still been employed by the team. The answers he made up were quite surprising to say the least!
Studious Metsimus: Seeing that no one stood out at second base in 2011, what do you plan to do to give some stability to the position?
Omar Minaya: I'd re-sign Luis Castillo to a three-year, $20 million deal. Hey, Dan Uggla got five years and $62 million from Atlanta. All he did was hit .233 and watch as the Braves collapsed in September. With Castillo, we'd get a player who has experience with late-season collapses and can hit for a higher average than Uggla. So what if Uggla had a 33-game hitting streak last year. Castillo topped that, hitting in 35 straight games in 2002. Did it happen as a Met? No. But it could. So that being said, I think Castillo would be the perfect choice for the Mets. We can sign him and commit two fewer years and $42 million less than the Braves gave to Uggla. I'd say that's a bargain.
Studious Metsimus: Last year, R.A. Dickey led all Mets starters with a 3.28 ERA, but only won eight of 21 decisions. The team leader in wins (Dillon Gee) had a fine start, but faltered as his innings piled up. What would you do to bolster the starting rotation in 2012?
Omar Minaya: I'd like to get a top notch starter, perhaps one who recently won a Cy Young Award. Remember 1989? That was the year the Mets traded Rick Aguilera, Kevin Tapani, David West, Tim Drummond and Jack Savage to Minnesota for former Cy Young Award winner Frank Viola. If memory serves me correctly, Viola won 20 games for the Mets the following season. No Met has won more than 18 games in a season since then. Drummond and Savage combined to win three games in the major leagues. West finished 31-38 in ten major league seasons. I don't recall what Aguilera and Tapani did, but judging how the other three pitchers did after being traded to Minnesota, I'd assume they probably didn't do too well, you know what I'm sayin'? Therefore, I suggest trading Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia to the Chicago White Sox for Jake Peavy. Peavy won the National League Cy Young Award in 2007 as a member of the San Diego Padres and is only under contract for one more year, with a team option for 2013. Yeah, he's going to make $17 million in 2012 and he only won seven games in both 2010 and 2011, but that shows he's consistent. We can't go wrong with this deal!
Studious Metsimus: What about your bench? As things currently stand, the Mets could use a little help in that department.
Omar Minaya: Help is on the way in the form of Julio Franco! This signing would serve two purposes. First, he would come off the bench as our top pinch-hitter and would serve as a backup to Ike Davis at first base in case David Wright decides to play footsie with Ike near the pitcher's mound again. Second, with all the talk of Jamie Moyer attempting to return to the major leagues at age 49, it would just be another way for the Phillies to take the spotlight away from the Mets again. Julio Franco should ALWAYS be the oldest player in the major leagues. Not Jamie Moyer. Not anyone else. Plus, should Terry Collins fail, I could always have Franco be player/manager. I'd be a fool not to sign Julio Franco!
Studious Metsimus: I'm contractually obligated to ask you this question, so I apologize in advance if this brings up painful memories. Oliver Perez. Are you going to bring him back to pitch for the Mets?
Omar Minaya: No apologies necessary. And Mets fans, you don't have to worry. I'm not bringing back Oliver Perez to pitch for the Mets. That being said, I am going to sign him as our new pitching coach. Look, Dan Warthen has been the Mets' pitching coach since the team played at Shea Stadium. That's way too long for a man who wasn't even a good pitcher during his time in the major leagues. Did you know that over his career, Warthen walked 198 batters in 307 innings? That comes out to 5.8 walks per nine innings. It's also almost a walk higher than Oliver Perez's career rate (5.1 BB/9 IP). That's the man the Mets entrusted to teach their pitchers how to throw strikes consistently? I'd rather take my chances with Ollie. At least he could throw a strike every once in a while.
Studious Metsimus: Here's a tough question. Mets fans are still bitter over the loss of Jose Reyes. What would you do to offset the departure of one of the most beloved players in franchise history?
Omar Minaya: That's an easy one. Obviously, with Reyes staying in the division, we're going to see him quite a bit and I'm sure he's going to try to run wild on the bases when he plays us. We're going to need someone who can punch him out whenever he tries to steal a base, that's for sure. Therefore, I'm going to trade for Miguel Olivo. Olivo has always been good at throwing out baserunners, but in case Reyes tries to show us up on the bases, Olivo can literally punch him out. Surely, you remember the John Maine game of the 2007 season. Most people remember it for the near no-hitter that kept the Mets alive in the race for the division title. I remember it because of Miguel Olivo. Since that game, I've wanted Olivo on my team. I'm not letting this chance pass me by.
Studious Metsimus: Finally, I'd like to ask you one more question. It's a topic we've discussed recently on this blog, regarding statues at Citi Field. If you could immortalize a former Mets player with a bronze statue, which player would that be and why?
Omar Minaya: Come on! Are you serious? Who's the most beloved Met of all-time? Do you even have to think about it? Clearly, it's Joe McEwing! When I was languishing in Montreal as their GM hoping I'd get the call from the Mets, I watched Super Joe show off his skills on the field regularly. I'd never seen anyone hit Randy Johnson so well in my life. In fact, he was so good against the Big Unit that he had fifteen more at-bats against him than any other pitcher he faced in the major leagues. In 44 at-bats against Johnson, McEwing batted .250 with five doubles and one home run. Trust me, that's actually pretty good, as Johnson held opponents to a .221 batting average over his two decades in the majors. The Mets already have VIP entrances for Casey Stengel, Gil Hodges and Tom Seaver. They also have their retired numbers up on the left field wall. Erecting a statue to honor any of them would be overkill. Therefore, I vote for a Joe McEwing statue. It's the least I could do to make up for releasing him prior to the 2005 season, you know what I'm saying?
We know what you're saying, Omar. That being said, what exactly did you just say?