Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Crazy Man on the Subway Theory: How Having No Defined Budget Can Actually Be an Advantage For The Mets

Today, in a post to his ESPN insider blog, Buster Olney reports that the Mets ownership have never given Minaya a budget to work with this offseason and that because of this the Mets are taking free agents on a case-to-case basis. Up until this point in the offseason the media, players and fans have not had much knowledge of the Mets financial standing, as it seems neither does the team. But now, free agents and other teams either think that the Mets are unable to deal with multiple situations at once or have no budget, and that should be a big hindrance in negotiations, which might explain why everything has been moving so slowly for the Mets this offseason. But maybe this isn't such a bad thing...

My argument is that this COULD be used to the Mets advantage. How? By a little theory, I like to call, "the crazy man on the subway" theory. By this I mean, the fear of the unknown. Everyone fears the crazy man on the subway talking to himself in the corner, being weird and shouting. Now, I'm not suggesting Minaya do the same, but I like the idea that the Mets are now an unknown entity because they are believed to have no set budget, and therefore no set plan, and this makes them unpredictable. The Mets can be the "crazy man on the subway", this offseason, something the Yankees have been doing it for years...

The Yankees are always dangerous in the free agent market because they have an unlimited supply of money and therefore are never counted out on any player, and can never be predicted. The Mets now have a similar opportunity, in that they have an unknown budget. They can, and should, use this to their advantage. The Mets are now known as a team without a budget, which means no one knows exactly how much they can or cannot spend. This makes them just as dangerous in the free agent market as the Yankees are because no one can guess what the Mets are capable of now. They are now legitimately a threat on any and all players because by not having a budget, they can be in on any players they want and use this as leverage in negotiations with other free agents.

I understand that the Mets front office seems to be a bit "all over the place" right now, but maybe this idea of them not having a budget will give them an edge they haven't had since they signed Beltran and Pedro, the ability to scare other teams/players because a general lack of public knowledge of their negotiations, plans, and ultimately, potential restrictions. The Mets should seize this opportunity to be more like the Yankees, and make themselves "the crazy man on the subway".

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