Leandro Aragoncillo (Google him.)
And now, Doug Mientkiewicz.
The evidence...from the Star Tribune:
"I don't why they would pick up my option, but if they do, I might quit...I'm serious. I don't want to be back there...I always thought Minnesota was a great place to play. After a year with the Mets, an organization that doesn't have a clue, I know that for sure."There's every chance that Mientkiewicz might be right. This organization might not have a clue. They certainly didn't have a clue before October of 2004. (Don't say you weren't warned.)
And it speaks to a bigger problem that the Mets have had over the early part of this decade, and still hovers right now: The Mets are still in a mode where they have to overpay to get great players. The Yankees can advertise that they are the Yankees and that they're in the playoffs every season. The Cubs can advertise their rabid fan base and Wrigley Field. The Red Sox can also advertise their ballpark and their fan base. The Twins can't overpay to get players, but they have an organizational plan where players will take less money to stay there rather than take less money to leaver wherever they are to go there. The Braves can also boast an organization in perfect array.
The Mets? Until they can consistently show a commitment to winning and a solid organizational plan, they have to overpay for free agents and hope that they work out...which 99% of them haven't.
Now in Mientkiewicz's case, you most certainly can chalk it up to sour grapes because he hit a buck nothing over a good portion of the season. But he was contrite about it early in the season. So something must have changed at some point in terms of communication to change his mind on the Mets. Either that, or he saved his venom for now, after he knows that he's gone. But I hate to break this to all of you, but the Mets still, even after an 83 win season, might be an organization that doesn not have a clue. This off-season will tell us more.
But let's not lose sight of the most important aspect of the departure of Minky:
It means that of all things, a quote might be the final straw for the removal of the Doug Mientkiewicz quotebook from this website.
I may have to replace it with my second idea: "Steve Trachsel's Recipe du Jour"
In case this is the last time, here for posterity, are the rest of the quotes:
"Even when you strike out you're in the middle of controversy."--to A.J. Pierzynski, basically telling him he struck out.
"I knew it was going to happen, as soon as we fell out of the race. This ain't my first rodeo."--on mistaking Mike Jacobs for cattle.
"I feel a little quicker."--on his theory that haircuts, not proper conditioning, will increase your foot speed.
"David Wright never should put clippers in his hands again."--basically calling David Wright a homicidal maniac.
"He totally better take me (to the ESPY's) because if that's not the play of the year, I'll protest. He better not have a girlfriend by then."--professing his love for David Wright (and his barehanded catch).
"I'm sick to my stomach about it...I told them that if they sent me down, I'm not coming back."--on a potential rehab assignment, obviously believing someone in Port St. Lucie has a contract out on his head.
“We’re trying to win games here...Would I like to be in there every day? Yeah, of course. Everybody would. But that’s why it’s called a team and not the New York Mientkiewiczs."--realizing that Mientkiewiczs would be too long for the front of the uniform, although M-E-T-S is in the name.
"He misinterpreted what I said. But I should have been thrown out before that."--on getting thrown out of a game in Colorado
"When you haven't been on base twice since spring training, you should have fresh legs."--on slumps and physical fitness
"The only bad thing that happened is that I didn't get thrown out a window when the tire blew. I told them, 'You guys are nuts. See what happens when you ride with me? You're lucky it didn't flip and do like six cartwheels.'" -- on the minivan he was riding in blowing a tire in Atlanta, with Heath Bell in the car.
"My wife dropped this on me last night: she said, 'You are a good player; hopefully someday you'll show these people you can play. You're a much better player than this. I'm tired of watching this.' It kind of hits home when your significant other says that."--on the secret to a healthy marriage
"You can't scoreboard-watch in June or you'll lose your mind."--on mental health
"All I ever heard was I got brought here for defense, and it’s kind of hard to help the team defensively if I’m not playing. The offense is struggling. Someone has to take the heat. I guess it’s me."--on the spectre of Brian Daubach
"His stuff is disgusting."--on Victor Zambrano
"I thought I was hitting ninth today."--on being dropped to eighth in the batting order during a prolonged slump
"A guy tonight screamed, 'Mientkiewicz, you suck.' I had to turn around and agree with him. I said, 'You're absolutely right, sir. I feel I owe you. I should pay you the admission you paid.'"
--on heckler etiquette
"A healthy one without my brain, how about that?"--on his preference regarding the gender of his future child
"Put 'I suck' with a big picture of my face on it."--on his slump
"You play somebody that many times, you're bound to have something happen. I think you've seen more guys getting hit, more guys having trouble because of the fact you see somebody so many times. There's a reason probably why marriages fail so much, because you see each other so much."--on whether 19 games a year is too much between division rivals.
"When you have your fourth and fifth guys out of the lineup, it's hard. Then you end up with Doug Mientkiewicz as your cleanup guy."--Mets manager Willie Randolph, on Doug Mientkiewicz and his career .405 SLG hitting cleanup