The Bargain Basement Big Market Team
I grew up in three "towns"... first, Ozone Park, then Richmond Hill, and lastly, Jamaica, Queens, New York.
Regardless whether you lived in any of these three communities, Saturday was the day you took either the 56 or 27 bus to Jamaica, shopped at May's or Gertz, and went to the movies at the Valencia. There were no malls in those days; just Jamaica, and that was here you shopped.
Next to Gertz, was a little store named John's Bargain Store. This was where you went when you had less than ten bucks to spend, and you could fill quite a bag of cheap shit, and leave with change.
It was New York's orignal bargain basement store.
After only two championships since 1962, and two years of blowing the playoff race, the Mets let it all hang out in 2009.
2009 proved there's a big difference between a pain in the ass and total rectal destruction.
At the same time, the Yankees went out and redefined their team through three major free agency acquisitions, all done in a year where their owner was slowly dying and a new, very expensive stadium was being built. No excuses. The team played in New York City, it needed a shot in the arm, and they gave the team three injections.
Sadly, Mets fans are starting to realize what most of us dinosaurs have known for a long time. The Mets are not the Yankees.
There was so much excitement and promise when Omar and Company took over. Year one brought Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran. Year two were great trades for Carlos Delgado and Paul LoDuca..
It didn't bring the bacon home, but that didn't stop Omar from trading four prospects that still haven't made it for the best pitcher in baseball. It was happening. The Mets were operating like the Yankees. Nothing was going to stop this team, playing in the biggest city in the USA.
Now, after the Hot Stove seaon has begun, I'm reading about how the Mets will spend around 20mil when they have saved over 40mil.
I read about going after pitchers like Ben Sheets rather than the best available.
And I read about platooning both first base and catching until prospects mature.
Does anyone with an office at CitiField actually think the Yankees would sign Ben Sheets and platoon two catchers until Jesus Montero matures?
I'm afraid we're starting to look at how the Minaya era will end someday. Secondary acquisitions, fingers crossed at critical positions, and AAAA pitching at the end of the rotation.
Probably good for teams in Cincinnati or Houston.
Definitely great for teams like Pittsburgh.
But, this just isn't a shopping day at Gertz and a movie double feature at the Valencia. It's not even a movie at that theatre across the street from the Valencia that showed all the Shaft movies.
No, it's John's Bargain Store.