By Ed Coleman
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Most Met fans are hoping that they won’t be thinking about Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey in 2011. That they won’t get fooled again. That when they meet the new boss, it won’t be the same as the old boss. The Wilpons said all the right things when they dismissed GM Omar Minaya and Manager Jerry Manuel on Monday. Now we’ll see if the hard lessons have been learned – and whether the heirarchy is indeed good at looking at itself in the mirror.

Fred Wilpon expressed his own feelings and the current state of the Mets franchise about as succinctly as he could when he followed his son Jeff’s opening remarks to the press conference on Monday. Listen…

There were blown playoff spots – each on the last day of the season – in both 2007 and 2008, a 70-92 mark in 2009, which improved slightly to 79-83 this past season. But the Mets were 48-40 at the All-Star break, came back and went 2-9 on a West Coast road trip, and went steadily downhill from there. Jeff Wilpon said the culture just had to change after so much losing. Listen…

That won’t be an easy task. Attendance tumbled by 17.2 % in year 2 at Citi Field, and the fan base overall is to say the least disgruntled. Jeff Wilpon and his staff compiled a list of some 32 potential candidates and proceeded to whittle that down to about 7 who will get the initial interviews. They hope to have a new GM in place by the end of this month, and it will be someone from outside the organization. Listen…

That being said, don’t be surprised if the GM the Mets hire takes interim GM John Ricco under his wing and grooms him to be his eventual successor. The Mets think very highly of Ricco’s organizational skills – as well they should – but it’s just not the right time or place for him at the moment – a very crucial time for this franchise.

So who will the Mets consider for this opening? Well, they will interview young, they will interview old, they will interview in-between. Listen…

Some names are familiar, some are not. There’s Sandy Alderson, former Oakland GM and San Diego CEO; John Hart, former Cleveland and Texas GM; Joe Garagiola Jr., former Arizona GM; also former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes; the White Sox’ Rick Hahn; former Minnesota pitcher Eddie Bane, who suddenly finds himself looking for work after a falling out with Angels GM Tony Reagins, who fired Bane as the Angels’ scouting director; and former Met reliever Jerry DiPoto, who served as Arizona’s interim GM until the hiring of Kevin Towers, who installed DiPoto as scouting director. I’ll throw in a name that hasn’t been mentioned yet – former Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi.

Ricciardi oversaw a Blue Jays organization that certainly held its own in The A.L. East when compared to the much larger budget Yankees and Red Sox. There will probably be some surprises along the way, but the important thing is to get it right – this is one decision the Mets cannot afford to flub.

The new GM, along with ownership, will pick a new manager. Brooklyn manager and former Met Wally Backman will be considered, and the highly-thought-of 3B coach Chip Hale may be as well. Hale and current pitching coach Dan Warthen may very well be retained on the major league staff. Howard Johnson and Randy Niemann – both former Met players – will be with the organization in some capacity. Bench coach Dave Jauss and 1B coach Razor Shines will both likely be gone.

And Omar Minaya is gone as well. Minaya offered no excuses during his departure. He just said – it was time. Listen…

And it’s time for the Mets to do the right thing. Like Nike’s just do it – just get it right. Please.

C U soon

Eddie C.

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