Two years ago, Mets GM Omar Minaya went to Anaheim California to deliver Willie Randolph and Rick Peterson a pink slip. Randolph deserved better; if the Mets wanted to fire him, they should have done it that Sunday after the Mets split a double-header with the Texas Rangers at Shea Stadium.

Plus, Randolph brought the Mets out of the doldrums of the Art Howe years, taking the Mets to within one inning of the 2006 World Series.

Two years later, we see little difference in the work of the Minaya/Manuel administration.

In fact, times have gotten worse, not better.

If Omar’s outburst directed at Adam Ruben didn’t raise red flags, if Omar’s rather inactive offseason didn’t raise a red flag, than a 19-20 club that is tied for last in the NL East should be the cherry on top.

One would think.

Blame Jerry Manuel for batting Jose Reyes third. Blame Jerry Manuel for sticking with Oliver Perez and John Maine for far too long. You can blame Manuel for just about anything, but one thing you can’t blame him for is the fact that he has found ways to get some fight out of this undermanned team, a team he never put together.

In fact, like the photo above, Minaya has been virtually unseen all season. In fact I can’t remember him doing a public interview since that infamous November afternoon when he appeared on Mike’d Up with Dave Howard and Wilpon at his flank.

Minaya has failed. He thought he found gold when he acquired John Maine and Oliver Perez in 2006. Both pitched well that year, but as time has worn on it was fools gold! We have found out why the Orioles and Pirates were so willing to let those two go.

He thought he had enough pitching for the 2010 season, so he refused to even think about signing Jon Garland or Randy Wolf on the cheap. Both Garland (4-2, 1.88 ERA) and Wolf (3-3, 4.66 ERA) are pitching well for the Padres and Brewers respectively. And dare I say, Omar and the Wilpon’s refused to throw some $80 million at John Lackey, a bull dog who would have fit nicely behind Johan Santana? Lackey is 4-2 with a 4.86 ERA for the dreadful Boston Red Sox.

But these recent failures are not the only Minaya mistakes. Luis Castillo and his lackluster style of play, dropped pop ups and mediocre hitting was enough for Minaya to give him a four-year contract worth $6.25 million per year!! And there was a better second baseman on the market at the time of the deal in Orlando Hudson, who has stated in the past he wanted to be a Met.

Pedro Martinez? That worked out…for one season. The remaining three years with Pedro were marred by injuries and a Pedro who was a shell of his former self. That’s the way to spend $53 million isn’t it?

Even the minor league system is still thin. Yes, there are some promising prospects: Ike Davis, Jon Niese, Jenrry Mejia, Ruben Tejada, and Wilmer Flores, but Fernando Martinez has lost value due to injuries, and Bobby Parnell became a bust faster than you can say “go.” Three of these top prospects are already in the majors, which is a plus, but more has to be on the way if the Mets want to build a successful franchise for years to come—the development isn’t there.

Being a GM is not easy. One day you look like a genius, the next, a buffoon.

Nobody questioned Minaya in 2005 when he brought in Martinez and Carlos Beltran, and followed that up with Billy Wagner, Paul LoDuca, and Carlos Delgado in 2006. He was regarded as the genius, the savior, the man who knew more than Steve Phillips. Yet, the opposite has been proven true ever since.

Minaya should not be allowed to survive another manager; he must go, and go now.

John Ricco, the assistant GM, is not the answer; the last time the Mets promoted from within Jim Duquette proved to be more of a novice than Phillips. For the stench to completely abate, the Mets would have to blow every last one out of that office.

J.P. Ricciardi, formally of the Blue Jays, and Kevin Towers, formally of the Padres, are out there waiting for another top GM job.

Ricciardi was born in Massachusetts; he knows what the atmosphere of baseball in the North East is all about, having worked in the AL East. He played in the Mets’ minor league system, before joining revered A’s GM Billy Beane in Oakland as his assistant.

Ricciardi went to Toronto in 2002 and built a feisty team with the likes of Roy Halladay, Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, Aaron Hill, and Adam Lind. They could never really compete in the AL East because of the powerhouse Yankees and Red Sox, and never really had much revenue to stay competitive over the long haul. Yet, if Ricciardi had the payroll like the Mets, imagine what he could do?

Want another reason to think about Ricciardi with the Mets…he works on Baseball Tonight on ESPN, and shares the desk with some guy named Bobby Valentine.

Towers built a World Series contender in San Diego in 1998. His Padres had a lot of bumpy years ever since, a lot of that due to low revenue and time for its prospects to develop; Towers got the axe after another bad season in 2009.

Towers spent 14 years in San Diego, and is widely considered a guy with an eye for young talent, and an overall good guy. He found a star in Adrian Gonzalez and managed to keep him San Diego, in spite of constant trade rumors. Kevin Kouzmanoff, who leads the Oakland A’s in RBI this season, was a Towers draft pick in San Diego. Towers even got a steal when he acquired reliever Heath Bell from the Mets to be his closer.

Currently Towers is a scout in the Yankees orgainization—if an opportunity knocks to run a wealthier franchise like the Mets, Towers may jump at it.

So, whatever that 90 minute meeting was really about between the Mets brain trust, the next time it happens, Wilpon must make sure that Minaya packs up shop, before any Met coach ever does.

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