In an interview on WFAN earlier today, former Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca had some choice words when discussing his former team. While discussing the upcoming Belmont Stakes, conversation drifted to Lo Duca's time with the Mets, and his thoughts on the team were decidedly unflattering.
His critique began with the current crop of Mets catchers, asserting that he could "hit better left-handed than the schmucks they've got there now." Hitting right-handed in 2007, Lo Duca posted a 74 wRC+, so his statement is more than a bit far-fetched. A catcher who was well below average with the bat in his final season with the Mets probably shouldn't be casting aspersions on the Mets' current catching corps.
When asked about the Mets' precipitous decline after the 2006 season, Lo Duca had no problem deciding where to place the blame. He said of then-general manager Omar Minaya:
"They stuck their hopes in a guy who, let's be honest, had no clue what was going on. None. The guy was an idiot. And he ended up making the franchise go backwards. Where the Mets have always made the mistake is they've always settled for mediocrity."
Lo Duca wasn't done critiquing Minaya, asking "How did that guy have his job for that long?" He expressed displeasure at the fact that Minaya appeared to not be aware of Lo Duca's age and that he did not receive a call after the 2007 season. While many of Lo Duca's complaints about the Minaya regime closely resembled common complaints made by Mets fans everywhere, it seemed at times that Paul's criticism of the team stemmed at least in part from disappointment that they did not maintain his services after 2007.
When the interview moved on to discussions of Citi Field, Lo Duca said what many Mets fans have long thought about the park. He questioned the choice of dimensions for the park, specifically with regards to their effect on David Wright. He complained that "they go build this ballpark that’s mammoth, and your franchise player (David Wright) is a hitting star who has four home runs!" He further posited that free-agent hitters will not want to play in the park because of it's large dimensions. He also echoed a common complaint about Citi, that it lacked the unique character that defined Shea Stadium.
Given the vitriolic and occasionally hyperbolic nature of his comments, it's hard not to view them as being told through the lens of a player who felt slighted by a team he helped take into the playoffs.