Note: The following was inspired by the great lunch scene in the film version of "Jurassic Park". I couldn't find a video of it online, but here is a pretty good re-creation by some guy on YouTube. Click here for the screenplay for further reference. I reimagined the characters from the scene as members of the Mets organization. This is pretty out there, but whatever, I had more fun thinking about this than I would have had writing about Omir Santos's plate discipline or something.
Location: Citi Field offices, late March 2009, mid-day
Situation: Various Mets higher-ups discussing the team
Mets Character/Jurassic Park Character:
Omar Minaya/John Hammond
Fred Wilpon/Donald Gennaro
Ben Baumer/Ian Malcolm
John Ricco/Alan Grant
Minaya/Hammond: The stadium and team are not finished yet. Citi Field will not have the championship banners and player photos up. We are also monitoring Gary Sheffield's situation in Detroit - he may become available soon. Absolutely spectacular stadium and team. Spared no expense.
Wilpon/Gennaro: And we can charge anything we want! $200 a ticket, $500 a ticket and people will pay it. And then there's the merchandising. We have a Citi Field uniform patch design, and-
Minaya/Hammond: Fred, this stadium was not built to cater only to the super rich. Every Met fan has the right to enjoy these animals, err, I mean players.
Wilpon/Gennaro: Sure, they will, they will. We'll have a coupon day, or something.
Ricco looks down at the plate he's eating from. It's green and says "Murphy 28" on it. He looks at his drinking cup. It's got Johan Santana's grinning face on it.
There are a stack of folded amusement park-style maps on the table. Ricco picks one up. Boldly, across the top it says, "Fly Delta to Citi Field!"
Baumer/Malcolm: The lack of wise roster construction that's been displayed here staggers me.
Wilpon/Gennaro: Thank you, Mr. Baumer, but I think things are a little different than some have feared.
Baumer/Malcolm: Yes, I know. They're a lot worse.
Wilpon/Gennaro: Now, wait a second, we haven't even seen this team play yet!
Minaya/Hammond: Alright Fred, alright, but just let him talk. I want to hear all viewpoints, even from those we keep around to maintain the illusion that we utilize advanced statistical analysis.
Baumer/Malcolm: Don't you see the danger, Omar, inherent in what you're doing here? Sabermetric analysis is invaluable and the number of teams embracing it is increasing. It's here to stay. Couple it with a strong scouting department and you have the makings of a sturdy organization.
The problem with the ~89 win team you've created is that you didn't have to work very hard to put it together. You paid the most money for Carlos Beltran. Someone else drafted David Wright. Even your crowning achievement, Johan Santana, would not be here if you weren't a big market GM dealing with a small market GM desperate to get something, anything, for his soon-to-bolt ace. Without a $140 million payroll, what would this team look like? You've failed to surround your superstar players with a competent supporting cast. Meanwhile, the team owner couldn't care less - he's more concerned with packaging the Mets brand on a plastic lunchbox and selling it. Who am I to throw stones - he's a businessman like any other. However, why any owner would arm his GM with the highest payroll in the league and seemingly not care about seeing the team competently run is baffling. Also, please don't fire me Mr. Wilpon.
Minaya/Hammond: You don't give us our due credit. In this offseason alone, we signed the single-season saves leader, re-signed a young lefty fireballer with loads of upside, and shipped out some spare parts for a second closer in J.J. Putz.
Baumer/Malcolm: You were so preoccupied with covering your own behind that you didn't realize simply overhauling the bullpen was not enough. Scott Boras can say that Ollie Perez is the next Sandy Koufax, and at the same time he laughs behind our back at the legal extortion of $36 million he pulled on us. The boys at Mama's of Corona gave you the thumbs up for signing Frankie Rodriguez, but you know what Omar? They are not employed by a big market MLB team. They are not expected to effectively allocate resources to improve a top-heavy team desperate for solid position players. They work at Mama's of Corona. You do realize Frankie will likely be paid $17.5 million to pitch for the Mets in 2012, right?
Minaya/Hammond: Adam Dunn! Adam Dunn is the darling of this sabermatic world - if I signed a team full of Adam Dunns, you wouldn't be saying any of this and we'd set a new record for strikeouts!
Baumer/Malcolm: Hold on Omar, Dunn is a good player who is undervalued by traditionalists and now properly valued by the saber-inclined. I don't want a team of Dunns, but he is relatively inexpensive and would be a much better option than Murphy and Tatis. He'll probably walk more times this season than Jeff Francoeur* will in his career. This isn't some pseudo-science, this sabermetrics. Bunting, fielding percentage, batting Paul Loduca 2nd - these things had their time but are now all but extinct. Objective analysis "selected" them for extinction. A little roster creativity is all I ask. Maybe we should look at Ryan Langerhans, a major league caliber outfielder stuck in the minors. Endy Chavez is more valuable than even you realize, and you were his #1 fan. Josh Willingham would be a nice right-handed bat in the lineup, and the Nationals got him for a pittance.
Minaya/Hammond: I don't understand this attitude, especially from someone I expected to be loyal. How can you question our sound methods? How soon you forget the 2006 playoff appearance.
Baumer/Malcolm: Your sound methods? What you call sound methods, I call an affront to Mets fans everywhere.
Wilpon/Gennaro: Please - let's hear from someone else. John Ricco, what do you think?
Ricco/Grant: The baseball world has just changed so radically. This organization is running to catch-up, and we're not alone in that regard. But look-
He leans forward, a look of true concern on his face.
We've missed the playoffs by the thinnest of margins the last couple seasons, and a main reason why is our top-heavy roster. Maybe we could use some of these sabermetric principles to improve and find players to support the big guys. Jayson Werth. Nick Swisher. David DeJesus. These types.
Minaya/Hammond: I don't believe it. I expected you to come down here and defend me from these characters and the only one I've got on my side is the Dodger-loving owner?!
Wilpon/Gennaro: Thank you.
* - The original post made no mention of Jeff Francoeur. However, per the Site Bot's new policy, this sentence was a required addition.