The Amazin' Avenue Offseason Plan OF DOOM!
On a day in which the demons we thought had been exorcised return to wrest away all that is good and sugary from our outstretched bowls, I bring you a tale of players past making the mournful march back to the gates of Citi Field. Readers beware, this is not for the faint of heart.
Who are these mere children, barely off their mothers' teats, taking the field in the blue of sorrow, orange of fright, and black of night? Where are the players we cheered and jeered through success and failure, win and felony arrest? Why are there smiles on their faces when each day brings another injury, another loss, and the stench of shame? Throw them out, every last one, and bring back the TRUE Mets.
Josh Thole? That name has the gravitas of a willow leaf, begone dainty backstop! Only one crouching tiger (not of the Detroit variety) has the cojones to man the plate for the Mets, Rod Barajas!
A bruise felled the mighty Ike Davis. A bruise! We need a first baseman filled with hormones that promote growth and healing, we need Mike Jacobs! Pay him the minimum and three quarters of the minimum again to help pay for his legal and medical expenses, for three shall be his lucky number in his third time through the Mets organization.
Why is this base called Second when it is the last we can find a player to fill? How many players must we rotate through this gaping hole in our infield before plugging it with someone who can stand still? And who else could stand still at Second Base better than our last true regular second baseman, Luis Castillo? Pay him the minimum, he received more than his fair share for his absence in 2011.
Jose Reyes and his perpetually injured strings of ham have no place on this team of fearful warriors. To fill his place, one from the socks soaked in the blood of revolutionaries is required. Boston shall be given Josh Thole, Jon Niese, and Daniel Murphy so that Marco Scutaro may be ours once more.
How quickly we cast Ty Wigginton aside when David Wright came of age. This shall be undone! The Rockies may have Wright as compensation and they may pull our Dickey away to join their mile-high club as well. If they require more, then they may help themselves to anyone from the 40-man roster who may not have a spot in 2012, this deal must be made!
After age and injury shamed him into abandoning the field's center, Carlos Beltran was reborn as a right fielder that could not long survive outside the confines of Citi. Return to us and reclaim your glory! Ten Million thanks over each of the next two years will be your reward.
What's this, a Pagan claiming to be an Angel positioned in the center of the field? Blasphemy! Away, false Angel, and do not return this time. Our Center must be a fine catch, and the finest of catches was made by none other than Endy Chavez! Throw him $2 million and he may keep all that lands in his glove.
He of the $18.1 million contract and not even a pittance of the talent to match cannot, nay, SHALL not be moved. The specter of the deposed mighty O is strong with him, no force in Flushing can erase his stain on the roster of the damned.
So many catchers to choose from... How many are named Ramon? Two? Three if you count middle names? I do not! How many true Ramons are estranged from the Mets? Only one, Ramon Castro! With a name reminiscent of punk rockers and dictators, he is sure to strike fear in the hearts of all who face him.
Why pay for a player who is merely a positive presence in the field when you can get one who is also a positive presence in the clubhouse? With Alex Cora, it's like getting two players in one, so he shall be paid the price of two players, with an option that will vest into a second year if he is needed to play during the first.
A bench player's role is to be an agent of confusion, changing the face of the game in ways that keep the opponent on their toes and creating an opening through which we can strike at their very hearts. With a Cora already on our side, the addition of a rhyming Melvin Mora as our second backup infielder will keep the opposing general in a state of perpetual disarray. Cora? Mora? He will not know the deliverer of his doom until it is too late.
Every team needs a wise old sage who has seen much that baseball can offer. With experience on seven other teams in both leagues, few have seen more than Mike Cameron! Let him back up our Center as a piece of living baseball history.
Finally, our bench needs an X-factor. And a backup corner outfielder and first baseman, but the X-factor takes priority. We need not choose between the two when there's Xavier Nady, the only real X-man to be found! With him, our roster of position players is finally whole.
None of the rotation from the dismal 2011 season shall continue service with this team. Cast off your sacred Dickey, cut off your Niese, non-tender your Pelfrey, and eff your Gee. What's that, did I forget Johan Santana? No! He threw nary a pitch in 2011, he may stay.
Livan Hernandez and Bruce Chen were both cast aside only to enjoy moderate success for struggling franchises. Let them enjoy more moderate success for our struggling franchise! They may split $6 million between them.
When it comes to moments in our past that haunt us to this day, few stand out more than the trade of Scott Kazmir for Victor, yes VICTOR, Zambrano. Let us end the curse he has placed on us and finally give him a place in the rotation where he belongs.
No team of the damned could be complete without the most complete and utter failure of the teams of recent years past, Oliver Perez! Let his $1.2 million salary be a reminder of the ransom paid to keep him away in 2011.
Tim Byrdak and D.J. Carrasco are already signed for 2012? Why was I not consulted? They are not worth the trouble of dealing away and their salaries are too great to dispose of with such a strict budget. I will begrudgingly grant them safe haven in Citi, but be warned, they will not be long for this team if the right opportunity presents itself. Be warned!
Ah, when we were winning it was so easy to throw a player under the bus and place all of the blame for failure on him. But where have we gotten to with Guillermo Mota excised from the roster? Bring him back and let his $1.2 million salary be a warning of what awaits the other $1.2 million relievers.
While the 2011 Mets finished in fourth place in the NL East behind the Nationals (the Nationals!), Darren Oliver and Octavio Dotel were bound for the World Series! We don't need players who sit around watching the World Series in their luxurious bachelor pads, we need winners! Or even losers if what they lose is the last game of the season. Clearly these are the key pieces that the Mets have been lacking.
A setup man once for the Mets, and once more he shall be! Heath Bell will be lured back to where he got his start for the princely sum of $22 million over three years.
Such a devoted closer, Francisco Rodriguez can only be removed from the stadium in handcuffs. Even absent almost half of this past season, no other relief pitcher could surpass his greatness. With his vest slain, a new contract will emerge at a vast discount, only 10 million dollars! (Plus a few more years...)
And there you have it, the New York Mets of the Damned!
(Before anyone says anything, yes, I know this doesn't qualify. I already posted an AAOP, and while this one is far superior, it would not be fair to have multiple entries. Now, if you'll excuse me, my throat is sore from all this shouting. Or maybe it's the cold air at night in a house without power...)