I don’t want to pretend I saw this day coming years ago but I always thought the Mets took the coward’s way out when, faced with the task of choosing a new closer they simply threw the most money at the biggest name out there and considered it done.
It was after all the most defensible position they could have taken. Having a Brand Name out there in the bullpen takes a lot of pressure off the manager by avoiding the kind of Quarterback Controversy the so-called bullpen-by-committee invites; and it certainly fits the bill for a Win Now team, which the Mets are forever convinced they are.
With that said, in a matter of taste I’d have preferred to see them try something a little more creative. They certainly could have handed the closer’s role to Aaron Heilman and saw what happened. Braden Looper should have taught them that anyone with a decent arm can fake it as a closer, as he did in 2004; instead they got spooked by Looper’s rotten 2005 – injury related of course – and went out and gave way too much job security to Billy Wagner, who, it should be noted wore out his welcome with two previous employers and continues to talk like a player confident he’ll outlast his manager.
And he will!
That said if you haven’t picked up a copy of MBTN for your Dad yet what are you waiting for. Do what Neil Best tells you to do!