June 15, 2007



I have a theory: Omar Minaya had a bad offseason.

Now that does not fit the theory of the moment, and we in the media do not come off the theory of the moment easily. The storyline this season has gone something like this: Omar Minaya, genius; Brian Cashman, fool. And while Cashman is far from absolved for concepts such as Kei Igawa, major league pitcher, a case can be made that Minaya’s offseason was no better and, perhaps, was worse, unless of course you are doing Sports Illustrated cover stories.

Minaya has escaped wrath, in part, because he is such a pleasant guy. However, more important to Mets Nation, his 2006 work was the kind epic poems are written about, or 10,000-word stories in sports magazines. Everything he touched thrived.

He acquired John Maine, Orlando Hernandez, Oliver Perez and Guillermo Mota for little and got a lot in return. He plucked Endy Chavez from obscurity, and Chavez became a cult hero. He said Jose Valentin could play and he could, and so could Paul Lo Duca and Darren Oliver. His biggest acquisition, Carlos Delgado, played to near MVP caliber.

“As a GM, you always hope to have a year like I did in ’06,” Minaya said by phone yesterday. “But it doesn’t always work out that way.”

No, it doesn’t. Aside from Damion Easley and Jorge Sosa, Minaya’s last offseason is more something to C than something to see. He made three trades and, to date, lost each. He obsessed on finding a top-of-the-rotation starter and could not land one. He signed older, brittle players (Hernandez, Jose Valentin, Moises Alou), who have turned out to be brittle. And in three years at $10.8 million for Scott Schoeneweis, Minaya forged one of the worst free-agent signs of the offseason.

“I think it is legitimate to ask questions about our offseason,” Minaya said.

Sox stone cold (Gordon Edes, June 15, 2007, Boston Globe)
[T]he gloves have come off at Fenway Park, where a sellout crowd of 36,939 did not let last night's 7-1 Red Sox loss to the Colorado Rockies pass without comment.

The object of the fans' disaffection was not Josh Beckett, who lost for the first time this season and gave up two home runs, including a grand slam by Garrett Atkins, in five innings. It was J.D. Drew, whose slow start at the plate was tolerated while the Sox were winning. With the Sox having lost 8 of 13 games in June, and the Yankees reeling off nine wins in a row, Drew no longer is getting a free pass around here. He was singled out for some booing that was much louder than the periodic murmurs of displeasure he'd heard before last night.

"Pretty rough crowd tonight, wasn't it?" batting coach Dave Magadan noted dryly after the Sox, who were 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position, were held to two runs or fewer for the seventh time in the last nine games.

Of course, the nice thing about having a dominant pitching staff--which the Red Sox do and the Mets conspicuously don't--is that your slump leaves you with the best record in baseball.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 15, 2007 12:33 PM

Just like '78 only a little early. Hope there's no new blisters on his fingers.

Posted by: Marty Balin at June 15, 2007 3:07 PM

Since the slump hasn't left yet, how do you know it's leaving them with the best record?

Posted by: pj at June 15, 2007 4:27 PM

Who has the best record in baseball?

Posted by: oj at June 15, 2007 5:10 PM

Can I answer in about 5 hours?

Posted by: pjbbuzz [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2007 7:28 PM