"St. Louis is always tough. If we can win two out of three, that will be outstanding. If we win one, I'll take it."
Move over, Knute Rockne.
Mets fans may be upset that the team lost the series even though they got a good start from Oliver Perez, held Albert Pujols to two hits over three games and watched Jerry Manuel outmanage Tony La Russa in Saturday's marathon victory. For Minaya, though, it's time to whistle a happy tune and celebrate the fact that the team reached the exceedingly low bar he set for them. Or is he?
The man who was so happy to wallow in mediocrity on Friday changed his tune by Sunday when he cut opening day cleanup hitter Mike Jacobs and started the wheels in motion to bring Ike Davis up to the big leagues. That's not the move of a man trying to win one out of every three games. It's the move of a man desperate to start winning often enough to quell calls for his head to be placed on a pike at the bottom of the stairs leading from the 7 train outside Citi Field.
It would be hard to find anyone who argues against getting Davis in the lineup at the expense of Jacobs or Fernando Tatis, but, if anything, the move is further evidence that Minaya is in way over his head at this point. Davis was deemed unfit for big league action on April 5th but he's ready to hit the lineup two weeks later? It's hard to sell this as the smooth workings of an organization that has both hands on the wheel.
Maybe Davis is ready, maybe he isn't. The answer is beside the point because the answer, whatever it turns out to be, was exactly the same two weeks ago. Minaya's refusal to accept that is part and parcel of the same conflicted messages he and the organization send out at every turn. Are they trying to win now or is this year about building something for the future? Is there actually a master plan somewhere in the office or does Minaya just spin a big wheel of fortune every morning and do whatever it says?
It feels like the latter most of the time, which means that there's a good chance that one day brings the news that Minaya has traded Johan Santana for the right to control all Arby's franchises in Queens. The wheel wants what it wants and Minaya is powerless to resist its whims.