Mets’ Collapse In 2007 More Than Lost Season

Little did anybody know it at the time, but the Mets’ historic and stunning collapse at the end of the 2007 season, blowing a seven-game lead with 17 to play was more than just a horrific finish.

After all, they went on to blow a late-season lead in 2008, also.

The collapses began a spiral effect of costly decisions that brought to light the Mets’ financial crisis. The Ponzi scandal, no doubt, had a huge impact regardless of the club’s comments that the baseball operations weren’t also severely influenced.

One bad decision lead to another costly mistake and we find ourselves with another losing season, another lost summer, and the very real prospect of them losing both David Wright and R.A. Dickey.

Wright told ESPN’s Adam Rubin over the weekend he could see it ending with him and the Mets. When Rubin asked Wright following the Chipper Jones’ ceremony if he could see himself playing his entire career with the same team.

Wright knew it was possible when the Mets didn’t retain Jose Reyes. For years we heard the All-Star left side of their infield, and although there’s a plausible explanation for the shortstop’s departure, it was a thanks-I-needed-that slap in the face for Wright.

“I always thought Jose would be back, that it was just a lot to do about nothing,” Wright said. “We’ve known each other since 2001. You’re talking about playing around or with each other for 11 years. Yeah, of course it opens your eyes. It makes you realize in a lot of ways there is an ugly business side to this — whether it’s from the player’s perspective or the team’s perspective.”

Wright is arguably the premier position player in club history, but there are no assurances, especially considering the past.

The following are some of the most critical decisions that put the Mets in position where they had to cut $50 million in payroll this season to make them a mid-level franchise in the country’s biggest market.

1) JOHAN SANTANA: Yes, he threw the franchise’s first no-hitter this year and has had other special moments, but the fact remains they were bidding against themselves in dealing with the Twins. Minnesota’s asking price was steep, which forced Boston and the Yankees to pull out. I don’t care about the handful of prospects as they’ve amounted to little, but the trade was contingent on signing Santana to an extension and the Mets drastically overpaid to the point where they’ve received precious little the last few years and are put in a weak position for this offseason. Santana has been frequently injured during his tenure with the Mets and there’s no guarantee about next year.

In addition, the for the amount of money Santana is getting, the Mets could have filled numerous holes, including the rotation and bullpen.

2) FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ: When Rodriguez’s own team, the Angels, want him back that should have been a red flag. Rodriguez saved his fair share of games, but paid him an extraordinary amount considering there were no other bidders. They should have taken a harder line approach in their negotiations.

3) JASON BAY: Next year is it for Bay, whose contract, injury history and lack of production make him non-tradable. What’s worse, is the Mets were moving into a new ballpark at the time and stated they were building their team around pitching and defense. ¬†At the time, pitching was the overriding need. Again, a red flag should have been when the Red Sox were so willing to let him go. The Mets have received virtually nothing for the $66 million they’ll pay Bay.

4) OLIVER PEREZ: Speaking of red flags, shouldn’t it have been a tip off when nobody else seriously flirted with him in his free agent season? Instead, the Mets signed him long term and by the end he had lost his fastball and became a clubhouse pariah when he refused a demotion to work on his mechanics.

5) LUIS CASTILLO: I could see bringing him back, but for four years? Seriously, what was Omar Minaya thinking? Castillo was already on a downhill slide, which was only accelerated by injuries. His contract, along with Perez’s, symbolized the Minaya regime.

There were more, of course, multi-year deals to Moises Alou, Orlando Hernandez, Julio Franco and Guillermo Mota, but those five, for the magnitude of dollars and not properly evaluating the market did serious damage to this franchise which might not be over.

After 2006 and 2007, the Mets didn’t properly evaluate their team. They thought they were better than they really were.




3 thoughts on “Mets’ Collapse In 2007 More Than Lost Season

  1. JD, I was at a dbacks game the other night and i was reminded of another Omar disaster, JJ Putz who Omar forgot to give a medical to before bringing him to the mets. 2007 wasnt the reason the mets are where they are now. That reason is Minaya. The montreal franchise has just now recovered from his reign after a decade. He was given a team with a young Reyes and Wright and an open checkbook and spent and spent like the fool that he is. 2007. lets see, I remember that was the year of waiting for pedro to come back. Glavine didnt even want to be a met but he was the ace by default. Ah, yes pedro, who every writer in the game knew was about to break down when Omar gave him that 4 year contract. The mets got lucky that year with flash in the pan years from Maine and Ollie but the Phillies had the superior overall talent.
    You can say 2007 was the reason minaya went into a patch the hole mode, but in reality that was his method from the beginning. You can even go back to his big trade in montreal to see his short sighted way of doing things by trading away the best players in his farm system for a half year of bartolo colon. Farm system? oh well that was one thing he couldnt trade because the mets didnt have any. But omar was going to fix that wasnt he? the great scout who signed sammy sosa. Well he was going to find us all that great talent from the dominican wasnt he? Los mets. Well he did find us Fmart , what a guy.

  2. I was thinking about a decade earlier, when Steve Phillips fired Bobby Valentine. I was hoping they would hire either Buck Showalter or Dusty Baker, two different managers who find ways to make their teams good. Instead, just like the White Sox duped us into taking Jeff Torborg off our hands, we let Oakland unload Art Howe on us. The Wilpons could even decided to bring back Davey Johnson but nnnnnooooooo!!!!!!!!