It seems like everyone has an opinion on what's wrong with the New York Mets these days. A lot of suggestions have been flying around social media about how to improve the struggling franchise, including everything from acquiring more hitters to building a better bullpen and even moving Citi Field's fences in again. Former Met catcher Paul Lo Duca has a more radical solution in mind. Lo Duca told SNY's Daily News Live on Friday that he feels the Mets should completely start over, and to do that they may need to deal third baseman David Wright.
Lo Duca pulled no punches in his interview, and was critical of the team's direction over the last eight years. Lo Duca said, "The Mets need to go back to square one, go back to their roots, go back to younger players. If that means to trade David, that means to trade David." Lo Duca went on to add "I love the guy. But they built a ballpark that's not for him and that's your franchise player." Lo Duca believes that the Mets have the makings of a dominant young pitching staff on the way, and should focus on supporting that group with young players instead of bringing in over the hill veterans to do the job.
Lo Duca also blasted the way the team's front office has handled the team for the last eight years, particularly under Omar Minaya's regime. In a separate interview with WFAN's Joe Beningo and Evan Roberts, Lo Duca called the former GM " an idiot" who set the franchise back years. Lo Duca also feels that the team has settled for mediocrity instead of striving for excellence, a complaint many fans have voiced over the last few years. Lo Duca wasn't done, also telling Joe and Evan that he could hit better left handed than any of the Mets' current catchers.
Part of these complaints are likely sour grapes from being unceremoniously dumped by the Mets after the 2007 season, but Lo Duca does raise valid points. The Mets did build a ballpark that doesn't play to their best hitter's strengths, so the Mets could have explored dealing Wright to try and bolster the rebuilding effort. There are more than baseball reasons that factor into the Wright decision, however, and the fact that he has a multi-year contract indicates Wright isn't going anywhere.
Lo Duca also is correct in the fact that the Mets have been willing to settle for mediocrity over the past few years. The Mets have sent teams north on Opening Day that have glaring holes in their lineup and pitching staff, and have made no visible effort to improve those areas. Lo Duca, a Brooklyn native, is a Mets fan and is voicing the frustrations that a lot of fans share towards the team. The Mets appear to at least have half of Lo Duca's goal in mind, as they have improved their farm system under Sandy Alderson's watch. The Mets, however, haven't made that commitment to excellence that the great franchises in this sport have.
Do you agree with Lo Duca that the Mets should "start over"? Would you trade David Wright as a part of that effort? Let us know what you think in the comments.Tags: Baseball, David Wright, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Omar Minaya, Paul Lo Duca