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11 August 2009

Mets Should Fire Omar and Manuel, Hire Bobby Valentine, Kill the Black Uniforms and Thensome

In no way do I claim to be a baseball expert. However, in my own way, I need to vent a little — as a very frustrated Mets fan. It's been years of futility, actually — not just 2009 — that have caused this immense frustration. It was the 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008 teams that have contributed to the frustration, too. It was the 1998 team that barely missed the playoffs. It was the 2001 team that barely missed the playoffs. If was the 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990 teams that were geared and prepared for a dynasty — didn't actually happen did it? — that have caused this frustration.

So here, then, are some simple things I'd like to see happen to clean house within the organization. And this is just a start. I won't even begin to tackle the players in this column. Instead, here are some steps I firmly believe will bring this organization back to respectability — and that's an important place to start.

1. Dismiss Omar Minaya. This man has caused so much organizational damage it isn't even funny. From the Tony Bernazard mess to signing Oliver Perez to a three-year, $36 million contract, his tenure as general manager has led to one disappointing playoff appearance — and a lot of hellish events before and after that.

2. Dismiss Jerry Manuel: He's funny. He's great with the media. But he has no command over this team.

3. Hire Bobby Valentine to be the manager. Bobby is the only manager to bring the Mets to the post-season two-straight years (1999 and 2000), brought them to within three wins of a World Championship, was the face of the Mets for many years, especially after 9/11 — and has the fire Manuel, Willie Randolph and Art Howe never had after V was dismissed.

4. Be cautious before hiring a GM: No rush. At least for the moment. A big name is a must here. Rushing is not. Hiring from within will just bring more of the same nonsense. As long as it's not Steve Phillips, that's fine.

5. Strip the organization of the color "black." Since the Mets added black to their uniforms in 1998, something of a "black cloud" has cursed this organization. Instead of playing daily "Guess the Uniform," they should wear pinstripes and blue caps at home — and grey road uniforms with blue caps. Get the names off the back of the home uniforms. It's not the names. It's playing as a team. Yes, there will be a need for some new "names" to be brought in to erase the horror that was 2009, but showing a little tradition can go a long way. Enough of the stupid musical uniforms — especially between games of a double-header.

6. Offer season-ticket holders from 2009 a steep discount in 2010. If fans wanted to see minor-league baseball, they could have saved a lot of money by buying season tickets to the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Newark Bears, the Somerset Patriots or the Lakewood Blueclaws. Fans deserve better than what they got — especially the season-ticket holders who got nothing for their dollars. Additionally, the team should not raise prices on a single ticket next season and, in some cases, should drop the prices in 2010 (see the empty seats behind home plate and on the lower first- and third-base lines).


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