Landing a big-time ace would help allay Mets' doubts
The date was Sept. 13, back when life was still plush for the Mets. They had a seven-game lead over the Phillies with 17 to go, on final approach to the postseason -- heck, the World Series -- with no reason to believe their world would soon disintegrate. Three months later, the Mets are still recovering from the worst collapse in regular season history. They're not even the favorites in the East anymore, let alone the National League's best team.
|• Ace starter: During the heart of N.Y.'s collapse (last seven games of season), its starter's ERA was 8.64. • Bullpen help: Mets relievers had a 4.03 ERA in '07 after posting a 3.28 ERA in '06. • Catcher: Among those who played 75 percent of their games at catcher and had 300-plus PAs in '07, Brian Schneider ranked tied for 24th (out of 29) in both batting average (.235) and home runs (6). • Right field: On the bright side, Ryan Church is a .340 career hitter at Shea Stadium. Only Hideki Matsui (.420) and Albert Pujols (.354) have higher career BAs at Shea among active players with a minimum of 50 at-bats.|
Right now, you have to pick the Phillies [to win the East], because they're the champs. But I still like our club.
--Mets GM Omar Minaya
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