06.29.09

What Happened To Omar’s Dominican Pipeline?

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Fashion at 10:30 am by

Beyond the sheer embarrassment of Francisco Rodriguez gifting Mariano Rivera with his first career RBI on the same night the Yankees’ talismanic reliever earned his 500th career save, the Bombers’ Subway Sweep only emphasized the Amazingly Disableds’ inability to field a competitive starting nine. The New York Daily News’ John Harper breaks little new ground in reminding us the Mets’ farm system is largely devoid of blue chip prospects or Stupor Joe McEwing-esque supersubs, he does raise a salient point, ie. Omar Minaya’s “failure to cash in on the Pedro Martinez signing 5 years ago.”

At the time Minaya essentially said he was willing to overpay for Pedro, in the form of $52 million over four years, because of the dividends it would provide, because every kid in the Dominican Republic would want to sign with the Mets.

Since then, however, the only such signings of significance appear to be Fernando Martinez, 19-year-old shortstop Ruben Tejada and 17-year-old shortstop Wilmer Flores. That’s not exactly a pipeline of talent.

Scouts and executives in other organizations aren’t sure if the blame lies in a lack of scouting acumen or the Mets’ reluctance to spend on international signings, but they too expected the Pedro Martinez signing to have more of a ripple effect.

“By now I thought their system would be loaded with good (Latin) players,” one major league scouting director said recently. “But for whatever reason, it hasn’t happened.”

The same baseball people say the Mets do have attractive prospects at the lower levels of their minor-league system, Flores especially, and righthander Brad Holt, their first-round supplemental pick a year ago who was recently promoted to Double-A.

Either one would get the attention of a team looking to make a trade, but considering how few such prospects the Mets have, it hardly seems worth it to include them in quick-fix deals for someone like Adam Dunn, Nick Johnson or Aubrey Huff – or even Mark DeRosa, who was traded from the Indians to the Cardinals on Saturday.

Aside from the specifics of last night’s debacle, Faith & Fear In Flushing‘s Jason Fry notes an abundance of weird Mets jerseys and tees in the Citi Field stands. with one sartorial choice in particular making a deep impression :

BURGOS 40? Really? With all the others, you can at least think of a point in time during which someone might have gotten a little too excited and headed to Modell’s. McReynolds was a capable player until he got done eating half of Arkansas, Miller was feisty and gritty if not particularly talented, and Roger Cedeno was decent everywhere except the outfield for a couple of months. Heck, even Jae Seo had a good game or two. But Ambiorix Burgos, owner of one win as a New York Met? Ambiorix Burgos who got hurt and then made news during his rehab from Tommy John surgery first by assaulting his girlfriend and then by being charged with hit-and-run in a case in which two women died? (And who then turned himself in to Dominican Republic officials wearing White Sox gear?) You’re a Mets fan, and this is a shirt you a) actually bought; b) kept through all that; and c) decided to wear to show your bona fides against the Yankees?

There’s only one explanation for the wearers of SEO and CEDENO and BURGOS shirts: These people are plants, Yankee fans sent to Citi Field in disguise to make us look bad. Which is unsportsmanlike and not terribly necessary: This weekend, the people down there on the field wearing Mets uniforms with their actual names on them had that covered.

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