This is not about God. It's about Theo Epstein. But if the Mets somehow manage to hire Theo away from the Cubs when his current contract expires, that would feel like divine intervention.
Though the Mets organization is notable for its inability to plan ahead, they should all be thinking right now about Theo and 2021. Once Sandy Alderson had to step aside to struggle with cancer, the Mets made the non-decision to put the future of the franchise in the hands of three men and let them decide among themselves. That flies in the face of the most basic principle of management: Fix responsibility. If three guys are responsible, then nobody is responsible.
It's not that I dislike or disrespect any of the three members of this Minaya à trois, as WFAN's Chris Carlin dubbed them. That Francophone nickname works because one of the trio is Omar Minaya. I have always been a fan of Omar, and I'm happy he's back with the team, primarily to find good players in Latin America. John Ricco and J.P. Ricciardi are also professional baseball men with excellent resumes. The problem is that they're already with the organization. They're not bringing fresh eyes to this abominable situation, which finds the Mets dueling daily with the Marlins for last place in the National League East.
What the Mets really need is an outsider with a stellar record of turning bad teams into good ones—in big, baseball-besotted cities. That's where Theo comes in. He has already worked two baseball miracles: turning baseball dross into World Series gold in both Boston and Chicago. If he were to perform the same miracle in the greatest city in the world and make the Mets into champions, he would be assured of a place in Valhalla, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
The problem with that dream is the Cubs. At the end of 2016, they signed Theo to a five-year contract extension. So he won't be available to anyone else until the end of 2021—unless, of course, the Cubs revert to form and start losing as regularly as, say, the Mets. But that's not going to happen.
So Mets ownership needs to begin planning for 2021. The first step they should take is this: Whoever ends up as the next GM, whether it's one of the Minaya à trois or someone from outside, they must sign him (or her) to a contract that expires no later than the end of 2021. That would give them at least a chance at signing Theo. That one signing alone would do more to excite the team's fan base than almost anything else they could do. If the team continues to play the way it has, large numbers of fans are likely to show up disguised as empty seats. Of course, the Mets get so much of their revenue from television that declining attendance is not as pivotal as it was a few decades ago. Still, an empty stadium is not pretty.
So, come on, Fred and Jeff Wilpon, give us some reason to hope. Study some Theo-logy and figure out a way.
First in my class in Officer Candidate School. Late to the conclusion that our attitude toward the military is idolatrous.