Monday, June 11, 2012

Mets Bullpen: A Culture of Blowing?

In business, companies have a culture that represents their brand regardless of changes in personnel and leadership at the top. Apple's culture is still the same even though Steve Jobs is no longer at the head. Some things have changed, but the core of what Apple is and does remains consistent. The same can be said of Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Nike and Google.

The pieces change but the way things are done and the end product it produces remains the same. Unfortunately what's worked for these great brands is what's killing the Mets bullpen.

The Mets are trying to change their culture this year. No more free agents for hire as the backbone of the ballclub. Home grown talent permeates the lineup. But unfortunately the bullpen is going to need a cultural shift to get out of it's current standing as a BLOWpen.

How many years in a row has the Mets bullpen been consistently blowing tight game after tight game? It's been a while. You could go back to the days of John Franco, who may be lauded as a great reliever, but true Mets fans know that Franco was always one to have runners on base and blew his fair share of close games during his time with the Mets.

Then you have Benitez, Looper, Ayala, and KRod. Add in Heilman, Parnell, Acosta, and Mota and you have a decades worth of blowing.

No bullpen in baseball is perfect, but the Mets bullpen is performing poorly on an annual basis. It's become a culture of blowing. So how do you change a culture like that? I can't say that I have the answer, but if it's anything like culture change in business it takes a long time and it starts at the top.

You can say the bullpen mishaps this weekend aren't necessarily the fault of the pitchers. Fine, you can make that excuse, but that's all it is.

A culture change is needed. Perhaps even something drastic. Those who refuse to look at history to help change the future are doomed to repeat it.

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