Opinion: I fear the Mets are at a Crossroads

According to Bob Klapisch in the Bergen Record, citing one person familiar with Fred and Jeff Wilpon’s philosophy, ‘the honeymoon is over’ for both Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya, who both have only a month or so before ownership starts asking some serious questions about the team’s future – assuming they are still a middle-of-the-pack team around June 1.

this is a must-read and thought-provoking column by klapisch, who continues to be one of my favorite columnists and writers

…by the way, i have a fear…it may be premature, and i hope it is soon-to-be irrelevant, but it’s a fear nevertheless…

…i fear that the Mets did what was necessary to make themselves competitive quickly, to gain respect in the game, and move fast from last place to first place in two year’s time, but that the cost for this burst may now be a disorganized team at a crossroads…

…think back, it seems that most champions in baseball do so in phases…it never happens on a smooth, straight-up rocket ride to a ring…instead, there is usually a rebuilding phase, followed by mild success, lots of hype, then some disappointment, a slight reshuffling and then true, ultimate-success is achieved…

…i fear the Mets are in that disappointment-reshuffling stage – moving sideways, not forward – but they just don’t know it yet…

Carlos Delgado, Orlando Hernandez, Moises Alou, Pedro Martinez, Paul Lo Duca and others may be players who were needed for that initial push, but who will not or may not be part of this team’s next push towards a championship…in 2006, when the Mets were winning, smiling and surging, i never imagined i would see Ryan Church as a key cog in the next phase of winning…in other words, things change…quickly…

…to their credit, i know for fact that some people high up with the Mets realize there may need to be a slight shift in course if the team is going to truly take that next step in winning – and do so consistently over the next decade…surprise, surprise, but acquiring aging veterans to plug holes is not an organizational-wide philosophy…it’s a short-term solution that can temporarily sustain jobs, while gaining instant credibility in the market place…

…the thing is, this team’s needs may be changing…they are respectable now…they have had success…now it’s time to build on that success and grow for the future, pushing aside these short-term solutions so the team can achieve more than just short-term success