Despite winning their 2nd consecutive game against the Reds earlier today (and breaking an 8 game homerless drought with solo shots by Brian Schnieder and Fernando Tatis), the Mets enter the All-Star break 6 1/2 game behind Philadelphia and have 8 clubs to leapfrog if they intend to capture a Wild Card spot. With a column published prior to Sunday’s 16 hit outburst, the New York Daily News’ John Madden acknowledges the ’09 Mets have been snakebit by a pleathora of injuries, but is quick to add, “what the Wilpons need to start asking themselves is: How come our injuries last so long, and why are there no suitable replacements for any of these guys?”

When Fred Wilpon was in the process of reorganizing the Mets’ baseball operations in the aftermath of the disastrous Steve Phillips regime, he said he wanted to bring in a scouting guru along the lines of Gene Michael and a pitching guru. For the former, he lured Omar Minaya back to the organization and gave him free rein as GM. For the latter he hired Peterson and, for a while, gave him ample latitude to implement his revolutionary pitching philosophies that had helped Oakland lead the league in ERA and fewest injuries.

It didn’t matter that, under Peterson’s tutelage, Maine and Oliver Perez became 15-game winners in ’07 after mediocre or worse careers prior to that. Somehow over the past three years Tony Bernazard (above, right), the vice president of player development – the same player development department that is bereft of talent and universally regarded as the worst in baseball – rose in power and influence with the Wilpons and succeeded in getting Peterson pushed out along with Willie Randolph last year.

What Minaya did do was bring in Ramon Pena, formerly with the Detroit Tigers (where he left under less-than-amicable circumstances), as an assistant to purportedly oversee his Dominican Republic operations.

If I’m the Wilpons, looking out at this unwatchable mess of a team, and hearing all the horror stories of the Triple-A team the Mets have in Buffalo and the absence of any impact position prospects at Double-A Binghamton, I’m asking Minaya, Bernazard and Pena: Where are the players? Somebody has to be held accountable for this.

(ADDENDUM : The above Daily News article was previously attributed to John Harper rather than John Madden.  Let this be a lesson to all of you — blogging while driving a sanitation truck is a very bad idea. My apologies to Harper and Madden for the error.)