While Met Blog’s Matthew Cerrone collects a handful of reports claiming former Padres/A’s architect Sandy Alderson is on the Mets’ shortlist to replace Omar Minaya, SNY’s Ron Darling surmises the not-so-Amazin’ state of things in a Q&A state of things with the New York Times’ Stuart Miller. Amongst the highlights I’m leaving out ; Darling lives adjacent to Brooklyn’s McCarren Park, and colleague Keith Hernandez “loves to gamble” on football.

Q : What about next year and beyond?

A: I think they™re handcuffed for next season because of the salaries on the books. They can™t give young players like Nick Evans and Lucas Duda that much time because they™re set in the outfield. What they need is a game plan. The Mets play in one of the few ballparks where you have to account for it when planning your team. You need pitchers who throw strikes and guys who can catch the ball and play smart.

When was the last time you head someone say: œI know what it means to wear a Mets uniform. I know how to play the Mets way? They need to teach smart baseball and good defense so when you get to the big leagues, you know what is expected of you.
Right now the Mets can look at the players you have as they move up to each level and try to build a perennial winner in a few years, or you can try to piecemeal it together, trying to find the elixir in the free-agent market.

They™re not going to pay Cliff Lee. And starting pitching is not one of their problem areas. They™re set in the infield, except at second base; Luis Castillo™s salary is the one I think they™ll have to eat. Another question is whether Josh Thole is ready. I think they need to get a veteran who can help teach him but also who can play 50 games. And they need middle-relief help and to figure out what is happening with [Francisco] Rodriguez.

Hopefully, after what has happened in the last four years ” can you believe it has been four years? ” they are trending toward having a game plan. If you told the fans what you were doing and communicated with them, you could revitalize and energize the fan base.