Said Manuel about last year’s collapse and the playoffs: “The burden … the cloud … the demons … whatever you want to name it. I think we’re gonna be fine. If someone scraps and claws their way in, those teams seem to fare very well in the playoffs. That’s my hope. That we fight our way in and we fight our way through.”
Quite simply, the Mets are a better team today than they were when Minaya was hired. There is discontent from the fandom to be sure, but that’s in large part because the expectations remain high after the 2006 disappointment.
So, what are your thoughts on the Minaya Era? By no means are the following lists conclusive, but there to give you a working reference.
1. Signing of Carlos Beltran.
2. Signing of Pedro Martinez, which gave the franchise credibility.
3. The trade for John Maine.
4. Acquiring Carlos Delgado.
5. His ability to bolster the bench (Tatis, Easley, Chavez, etc.)
6. The acquisition of Oliver Perez after the Xavier Nady injury in 2006.
7. The trade for Johan Santana.
8. The Lastings Milledge trade.
1. The extension given Luis Castillo.
2. The two years given Guillermo Mota.
3. His reliance on older players such as Pedro Martinez and Moises Alou.
4. The inability to repair the bullpen after last season.
5. The organization’s handling of the Ryan Church injury.
6. The Lastings Milledge trade.
7. The handling of Willie Randolph.
8. Not trading Aaron Heilman when he had the chance.
It will be all but impossible for the Mets to overtake the Phillies, especially if they lose and Philly wins. A Mets’ loss and Milwaukee win makes the wild card tight.
Johan Santana goes tonight for the Mets, who are 11-3 in his last 14 starts. Santana has won seven straight decisions, so there’s more than a little bit of hope for the Mets.
Tonight’s closer: Anybody’s guess.
Carlos Beltran, who ran into the wall last night, will play. There’s never been any doubt of Beltran’s toughness in my mind. The guy played with a broken bone in his face after his collision with Mike Cameron in 2005.
Here’s tonight’s lineup:
SS Jose Reyes
2B Luis Castillo
3B David Wright
CF Carlos Beltran
1B Carlos Delgado
C Ramon Castro
RF Ryan Church
LF Nick Evans
LH Johan Santana
My friend David hosts a web site pertaining to Mets’ prospects. Please check it out. Thanks. JD