Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mets Need an Identity for the Future

Who are the New York Mets? Besides being a painful disappointment the last few years, what do the Mets represent? Think about it. You can ask a dozen people and you'll get a dozen different answers.

Now who are the Braves? What do the Braves represent? They're a team that has been built on solid starting pitching and defense for the last decade and a half. Who are the Minnesota Twins? They're a team built on young, unproven talent who will single, double and scrap their way to a win and have a solid bullpen.

Who are the New York Yankees? They're a team who will buy their way to winning each and every year. Who are the Anaheim Angels? Who are the Florida Marlins? I could go on and on and you'd have a certain identity that you could associate with many MLB teams. They might not always be good teams, but you know what they are trying to accomplish with their ball club.

The Mets don't have that identity. They tried to be a club that would buy free agents to help them win, but that didn't work out. They used to be a team that relied on starting pitching and a 3-run home run to win games, but that's no longer the case.

Are they going to be a speed and defense team? Will they be pitching focused? Should they rely on heavy hitters with the Citi Field dimensions being what they are? For too long the Mets have been searching for an identity. It's time for them to choose one.

Sandy Alderson may be the guy to do this, but they need to come out and say it, then show it by the product they put on the field. The most hypocritical moment of Omar Minaya's tenure was when he harped on how the Mets needed to be solid defensively "up the middle" and then signs Luis Castillo to a ridiculous deal and trades Brian Schneider a year after he made the prior comments when talking about his signing.

Speed, defense, power, pitching or whatever the Mets are in desperate need of a strategy that they can point to for how they will succeed as a team in the future. If Mets fans can have an identity for their team, it will allow the Mets to have some rebuilding years because the fans will know they are building towards a goal.

Right now the only goal we see is to not lose as many games as last year. That's a horrible strategy.

My two cents, the strategy should be solid starting pitching and speed in the lineup, but right now I'll settle for at least knowing what my favorite team is aiming for.