Jan 16

Jan. 16.10: Can’t anybody around here communicate?

MINAYA: Said team didn't give OK.

MINAYA: Said team didn't give OK.

Mets GM Omar Minaya said things are good between the Mets and Carlos Beltran. Among other things, he did say he spoke with Beltran before the surgery, but didn’t OK the surgery.

He said there was no need for any side to apologize, but also said: “I did not say not to have surgery. What I said to him was, ‘I’m happy to hear there’s a plan in place, but we have to go through the protocol.’ He said the plan was to be operated on (Wednesday). At that point in time, I had not heard from my doctors on whether we had agreed to it or not. I didn’t tell him not to do it. I said as long as the protocol is met, that type of stuff.’’

So, the team endorsed the idea of surgery but didn’t OK it? Sounds muddled to me.

I’m thinking Beltran figures since he spoke with Minaya that he believes protocol was met. OK, so the Mets didn’t take out an ad to say go ahead and do it. But, since their was communication, they had plenty of opportunities to say NO, if they were uncomfortable. But, if they were uncomfortable why would they have sent the workers compensation papers needed for the surgery?

Either way, I wouldn’t be too quick to believe it’s paradise with Beltran and the Mets.

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks designated Eric Byrnes for assignment. He is to make $11 million next year.

Also:

* FoxSports reported the Mets are in contact with free-agent Jerry Hairston Jr., who can play both the infield and outfield. Hairston, 33, hit .251 with 34 extra base hits in 131 games for the Reds and Yankees last season.

* On the arbitration front, John Maine avoided the process and signed a one-year deal worth $3.3 million plus incentives.

Also, Pedro Feliciano, Jeff Francoeur, Sean Green and Angel Pagan filed.

No surprises on any of that, as the Mets traditionally avoid the arbitration process.

Jan 15

Jan. 15.10: The bottom line.

Let’s forget about who is right or wrong in the Carlos Beltran fiasco. The bottom line is the Mets are without their best player, who has a degenerative condition, and with no guarantee of how he’ll perform if and when he returns.

All prognosis have to be met with skepticism.

The Mets aren’t equipped to replace Beltran, and as it has been pointed out, this adds the need to consider Carlos Delgado to offset the loss of power.

But, who plays center field?

If the Mets had no confidence with Angel Pagan in left field, they certainly don’t have confidence in him in center.

There’s not a lot out there left on the free agent market, but as I wrote several weeks ago, Rick Ankiel is available. He strikes out a ton, but he does hit for power and is very good defensively. If I’m Ankiel’s agent, I’m calling the Mets.

Jan 14

Jan. 14.10: The Mets should have done better all around.

Yes, I understand about wanting the third opinion. But after thinking about it, so what?

It was reported the Mets knew of Beltran’s condition, otherwise they wouldn’t have sent workman’s compensation paperwork to the physician. And, if what the Mets are saying is true, that they were monitoring this all along, they should have pushed the envelope on surgery in December to give Beltran a chance to be ready.

The first sign of pain should have been met with action.

There were reports this summer Beltran might have needed surgery, but they chose to wait, which was a disaster. This is something that could have been done in September and if so wouldn’t be an issue today.

The Mets also look bad in how they handled their response. They should have said they were on-board with the surgery inside of airing their dirty laundry this way. Saying they knew all along but were kept out of the loop at the end doesn’t ring well at all.

In how they handled this makes them look sloppy and inept. There’s now finger pointing and talk of legal action. Who wins here? Certainly not the Mets, who have simply aggravated their best player. And, certainly not Beltran, who’s in a cast right now.

Jan 14

Jan. 14.10: Beltran undergoes surgery …. out 12 weeks.

BELTRAN: Out 12 weeks.

BELTRAN: Out 12 weeks.

Twelve weeks is roughly the beginning of the start of the season. It will also be the time when Carlos Beltran starts working out. Mid-April at best when he starts to play. The Mets announced late last night Beltran’s knee has gotten worse, he underwent surgery and it will be at least 12 weeks before he assumes baseball duties. Beltran had the surgery in Colorado by his own physician.

The Mets statement read: “Carlos Beltran had worsening of osteoarthritis of the right knee during the offseason. He had not been experiencing pain following the conclusion of the season and into his early offseason conditioning. The symptoms returned to the point where pre-spring training conditioning became too painful. He elected to undergo arthroscopic clean out of the arthritic area of his knee by Beltran”s personal physician Dr. Richard Steadman today in Colorado. He is anticipated to return to baseball activities in 12 weeks.”

The statement did not answer the following questions:

1) If Beltran’s knee was so bad why wasn’t surgery performed earlier?

2) Did Beltran apprise the Mets of his condition? If so, when?

3) If so, why was there a delay in surgery?

4) If Beltran did not inform the Mets of his condition, then why not?

5) Why does this stuff only seem to happen with the Mets?

Beltran suffered a bone bruise last June and was limited to only 81 games.

Believe me, fingers are going to be pointed in the coming days. This is inexcusable. If Beltran’s condition was a deterioration, then it was progressive and something should have been done earlier because somebody should have known. As an injured player, the Mets should at all times be aware of his progress.

This nonsense about “should be ready for spring training,” is nuts to me. They’ve got to examine him on a regular basis, and if Beltran was progressive, he shouldn’t been more diligent in informing his employer about his condition.

Neither Beltran nor the Mets look too sharp in this. So much for all the changes.

NOTE: Please vote in the new poll on who should take the hit for this.

Jan 13

Jan. 13.10: What’s left isn’t good, but ….

Who’s remaining in the free-agent pitching market isn’t good, and it seems as if the Mets are thinking who they currently have is better.

The Cubs want Ben Sheets and appear willing to spend the $12 million or so it would take to get him. He’s good when he’s healthy, worth the coin, but there’s no guarantees he’ll hold up. Ditto with Mark Mulder, who’s talking with Milwaukee.

The Mets waited for the market to come back to them on Joel Pineiro and the pricing might well have. So has the competition to get him: Los Angeles, St. Louis and Washington are linked to him as well as the Mets. Washington also has interest in Doug Davis. Can’t imagine the Nationals getting both, but what if?

That leaves us Jon Garland, Erik Bedard, Jarrod Washburn, John Smoltz, Mike Hampton (been there done that), and Chien-Ming Wang.

There are flaws with all of them, just there are flaws with the Mets rotation, which now has four arms, three of them coming off surgery (Santana, Perez, Maine). They’ll liable to get Garland as their No. 5 and call it an offseason.