Talk all you want about the lack of offense. And yeah, it’s “pathetic“. (Snoop’s joke writers are obviously either on strike, stolen by Leno, or the checks they’ve been getting from the Wilpons are finally starting to bounce, because the manager had nothing tonight.)
But not only do the Mets stink in the here and now, this organization is doing everything it can to stink in the future, near and far. Consider that Fernando Martinez was sent down yesterday to make room for Rod Barajas. Now, forget for a moment that this speaks to Snoop chasing windmills in hopes of making the playoffs when everybody else in the world knows that it’s over. And yes, that’s a huge problem, because he did this last season, and he’s doing it again this season … maybe at the expense of Martinez’s development. Maybe, because you could make the argument that Martinez should stay up so that the organization can see what they have here. Maybe, also, you could make the argument that Martinez should have never come up in the first place … why not leave him in Buffalo and see if he can stay healthy a full season, and give him an opportunity to lead a team towards the playoffs and give him that experience? After all, he’s still only 21, and there’s no need to rush him into this mess. So you could make a valid argument either way.
What do the Mets do? Neither, which is the indefensible argument. They seem to be making sure that this kid’s value drops to nothing before he’s traded for maybe a back-up middle infielder with leadership qualities, and Cory Sullivan. Using Martinez like a yo-yo ensures that he’s exposed as a quadruple-A player with a future not as limitless as some may say. Yes, the Mets did a great job getting Johan Santana without giving up the golden child. But if the team knew that Martinez wasn’t all he was cracked up to be and didn’t get maximum value for him, then that’s unforgivable. Yes, Martinez didn’t do any favors for himself by not staying healthy, and his minor league numbers don’t match his tools. But instead of maximizing his value, it’s being minimized. Same thing happened with Scott Kazmir, same thing happened with Lastings Milledge. It’s happening with Martinez too. Bottom line is that the Mets aren’t even giving themselves any options with Martinez. He either had better be the superstar that Omar Minaya thinks he is, or he’s going to be the next Alex Escobar and they aren’t even going to be able to get a fifth of a washed up Robby Alomar for him.
But don’t worry, because Martinez’s latest demotion enabled Rod Barajas to rejoin the team, and he really helped the hitting woes tonight. It’s baffling … not only because the Mets are carrying three catchers, not only because it signifies a chase for something that can’t be caught, but now I find myself questioning why Alex Cora was released. Cora goes to make room on the roster for the youth of Ruben Tejada who, by the way, can’t hit. But Martinez gets sent down because he’s 3-for-18? Now if they’re showcasing Barajas for a trade that’s fine. But come on … what are you going to get for a player who wasn’t signed until March, to a minor league deal at that?
To me it makes it clear that Cora was chosen to be exiled not because he was pointless on a non-contender, but to avoid that 2011 season kicking in on his contract. In other words, cash. The Mets are in full-on penny pinching mode now … there’s no other explanation for the lack of a philosophy that doesn’t shift from week to week.