Baseball is a nutty game. A team can outscore its opponents by a significant margin across a 162-game season, yet miss the playoffs because of a fruity bullpen. Or a team can coast through mediocrity for six months and somehow end up hoisting a cheesy trophy in October. There's little doubt that the Mets fell into that first category last year: their offensive output topped that of their opponents and yet fell face-first into a bucket of dung in September. Will it happen again in 2008? Perhaps. This year's model has a top of the line starting pitcher, three arguably good MVP-type hitters, and the third best defense in the NL, yet you can't swing a dead cat in Flushing without hitting a Mets doubter.
That is, unless you swing the cat in the owner's box at Shea. La Famiglia Wilpon has given Mets GM Omar Minaya both a vote of confidence and a four-year contract extension that validates the vote. As per ESPN's Buster Olney:
The deal is all but done, but it is not known when the extension will be formally announced.
You may be thinking to yourself, "Self, this is the dumbest thing I've heard since I read about that possible Valley Girl remake." A four year extension to a G.M. whose team has inspired nothing but agita amongst fan and glee amongst sportsbloggers? Still, hear me out for a second. I've said some not nice things about Omar in the past, but in the four months since I wrote that attack piece, the Mets have gone 61-44. Maybe I didn't agree with giving up the farm to trade for Johan Santana, but had the Mets bullpen and offense kept up their end of the deal, Johan would be a lock for the Cy Young Award right now. Sometimes teams just get the short end of the ol' luck stick.
So I must admit: I don't know enough about the Mets farm system or mission statement or organizational philosophy to criticize Omar Minaya or Mets ownership for hanging onto the dude for four more years. The Mets have played extremely well under Minaya's eye. So they've been on the short end of some miserable collapses. Who needs shiny trophies anyway when your new ballpark is gonna have a Shake Shack?