Should Mets Start Rebuilding?

Business concerns may force certain decisions

The doom and gloom from their lost weekend in Philadelphia has followed the Mets back to New York in the form of an article in the New York Times. Ken Belson raises the idea of waving the white flag for 2009, tearing the team apart and starting construction for a contender in the future.

It's an appealing thought to some fans, if only because it takes the attention away from the depressing present to a hopeful future. Those fans may not be the same ones who are buying tickets to Citi Field, however. Belson quotes several economic analysts who predict a major drop in sales and attendance from games if the Mets did take a rebuilding turn, something that would be very poorly timed with a new stadium that has a lot of debt to pay off over the next few years.

Ignoring those very real financial concerns for the moment, though, would Omar Minaya really be the guy you want leading a teardown and renovation? His tenure has been marked by some high-profile successes, see Francisco Rodriguez and Johan Santana, but the problem has been his inability to build beyond the marquee names.

This Mets season has been washed away by his failure to construct a strong organization beyond the bold names at the top of the list. The Mets haven't drafted particularly well, they don't have a particularly rich farm system and they haven't uncovered too many diamonds in the rough on Minaya's watch. Rebuilding takes all three of those things, which would seem to make Minaya a poor choice if that's the route the team chooses to go.

Let's get back to that financial question, now. The Mets don't appear to be in any great position to contend in 2010 as currently constructed. Would ticket buyers really be more interested in watching another top-heavy team that can't withstand adversity than a team with a plan pointing to a brighter future?

Minaya has been very nimble at sidestepping blame for what's happened to the Mets over the last three years. At some point, though, the Mets to consider how much longer Minaya gets to keep his job even if the rebuilding train never pulls into the 7 station next to Citi Field.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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