Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Minaya and Cashman, Revisited

Back in June, I compared the performances of Omar Minaya and Brian Cashman. And Minaya won; it wasn't even close. But a few months later, at least in terms of 2007, it's become a tough call.

Let's face it: Minaya did a bad job this winter. Burgos for Brian Bannister was a flop, as Bannister has quietly become a very good pitcher for KC. When they signed Alou, I knew the guy was gonna get injured; it was inevitable. And you knew Shawn Green was on the decline. The Mets have smartened up and given Milledge more playing time, but Green might've cost them a few wins.

The biggest issue I have with Minaya is the bullpen. Terrible job there. Re-signing Mota after he was off the juice? Stupid, stupid, stupid. And I know Bradford would've cost a lot to re-sign, but these are the big-market Mets - money is not an excuse. And giving Schoenweis three years was straight out of the David Littlefield school of management. What the heck were they thinking? Heilman has turned into the second coming of David Weathers, and Feliciano has been iffy. Meanwhile, Heath Bell and Dan Wheeler are doing well for other teams.

Minaya deserves credit for cutting PR project Julio Franco, but why did it take so long?

Sure, there have been many unexpected injuries, especially in the outfield and at second base. But the pen has been a big problem for the Mets, and that's why you can't expect much from them in October.

And Cashman's performance will hinge upon whether the Yanks make it to the playoffs. He's redeemed himself over the past few months, totally revamping the bench (Duncan, Molina, Betemit, Phillips) and the bullpen (Chamberlain, Edwar Ramirez). But if the Yanks are playing golf in October, it'll be too little, too late to make up for mistakes like Nieves and Mintkiewicz.

UPDATE: Cashman also has to answer about the starting pitching mess. Giving Moose a new two-year deal was stupid, Kei Igawa was a horrendous signing, and Clemens has been somewhat better than Matt DeSalvo, but not worth $18 million. Pettitte was a great pickup, but there's a lack of depth there. And right now, starting pitching is the biggest question-mark for New York.

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