Reese Kaplan -- Mets Name Shemp the New GM


It’s now the official halfway point of the season and it seems appropriate to assess what’s gone wrong (quite a bit) and what’s gone right (some) in 2018.  The most recent black cloud over the franchise is the revelation of the return of Sandy Alderson’s cancer.  While no one wanted this script to unfold in this manner, it gave the team an opportunity to go in a new direction. 

Would they name an interim GM to provide a unified voice to the 29 other clubs during this critical juncture in the team’s future?  No, that made too much sense for the Meddler-In-Chief, Jeff Wilpon.  He has already announced that all decisions must filter through him anyway, so I suppose it really doesn’t matter all that much. 

Now to read the stories in the media perhaps it is John Ricco who is being given the unofficial/official mantle as The Man.  After all, the reports were plentiful that it was Ricco calling the shots for the past few years anyway.  He was the one entrusted to be the interim GM between Omar Minaya and Sandy Alderson.  He has no experience as a real GM, so by Mets logic it makes the most sense to give him the greatest responsibility.  After all, learning on the job has worked so well for Mickey Callaway, right?

Then there was a story today about Omar Minaya having the primary input in the search for an external candidate to become the GM.  Bringing back Omar Minaya is consistent with the Mets way of doing things – no new ideas, going back to the well for what’s familiar (and hasn’t worked in the past). 

Now J.P. Ricciardi is the somewhat forgotten man of this trio who has had extensive experience as the GM of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001 through 2009.  Like most baseball executives, by the time his tenure was coming to an end there was a fan outcry to “Fire J.P.” including signs hung in the stadium during Roy Halladay’s final Blue Jays start. 

Right now the Mets are facing the expiring contracts of Asdrubal Cabrera, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista and Devin Mesoraco.  They have the newcomers who are underperforming like Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce.  You have the untradeables like Jason Vargas and Yoenis Cespedes.  Then you have the decisions to be made on the two aces, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.  On top of that you have young pitchers who have improved significantly in Zack Wheeler and Steve Matz.  Finally you have the rookie manager who at times has looked totally overmatched in his on-the-job training audition. 

In mid-season it may be difficult to find a long term solution to these problems, but isn’t having three people having to come to consensus before approaching Jeffy the Martinet to get his blessing.  Ricciardi and Minaya are much more aggressive in their decision making (for better or worse).  Ricco is more of the Alderson sit and wait style.  How is that going to work?  They are once again setting themselves up for failure without naming a single person as the primary focal point, even if it is little Jeffy. 

Until then calling the Mets about personnel moves is going to be a latter day version of a Three Stooges movie, with Shemp insisting he get the final say.  Maybe they’re honoring the old tradition of The Curly Shuffle.  Who knows?


Mack Ade said...

People close to Omar say that he has no desire to be a baseball GM again. I'm not sure if that covers the other 29 teams.

I always liked Omar and I am especially fond that he has a second chance now to walk through the gate without a ticket.

I have never seen any public press about J.P. and the Wilpons, so it seems right to put Omar on the point and filter stuff through Ricco.

I hope he stays on in an International capacity (if that makes him happy).

What a mess.

Thomas Brennan said...

Despite the rare win yesterday, it truly is a mess in almost every aspect in Queens.

It could be worse - just look at the Orioles - but it could be better - just look at the Yankees and almost every other team not from Baltimore.

Is Yoenis Cespedes playing video golf somewhere? Do video injuries count?

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