Traid Ike ??????

If you are in the Financial district of Manhattan today head on over to the Citi Bank branch at 120 Broadway where you can meet Mets great Mookie Wilson. Mookie will be meeting and greeting Mets fans and signing autographs from 12 Noon to 1:30 Pm at the Citi Bank Branch.

One thing you can say about Mets fans, they are damn entertaining. They bitch and moan about the suckitude of the team but when a player is mentioned as trade bait they filp out. The latest outrage is now word that the club will explore moving Ike Davis in the off season. The reaction from the lunatic fringe of Mets fans was predictable.  

Adam Rubin in his post on ESPN.com wrote that the Mets are playing Lucas Duda at 1st base against lefties because they are looking at using Davis as trade bait to fill one of the numerous holes this team has. Nothing wrong with that. Rubin then mentions that the organization is not happy with Davis’ stubbornness in taking direction from the coaching staff and his nocturnal habits.  Davis’ pig headedness when it comes to listening to coaching direction is not a new murmur, the night time high life is.

Davis has battled a lot of adversity the last two seasons, between his ankle injury costing him a season and his bout with Valley Fever and his awful first half of 2012 season to his credit Davis has bounced back in the second half to the point that he could be a valuable trade chip this winter. Another thing to remember, Sandy Alderson and his baseball operation staff are not emotionally invested in the majority of the players on the Major League level of the organization and would have no problem dealing them off to improve the team. That’s why I feel the Mets will be one of the most active teams in trades this off season because there is no way you can bring back the bulk of this team in 2013 and win.

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METS-CELLANEOUS

For some reason, I have centerfielders on my mind

All’s quiet in Flushing and according to Adam Rubin, it will stay quiet until the team meets in Port St. Lonsome. Seems the Mets are close to reaching their budget ceiling of $90Mil

The only thing that has me thinking the signing of Yu Darvish is a good move is that Nolan Ryan is running the Rangers  and if he didn’t think Darvish was worth it, the Rangers would never have bid over $50 mil to obtain his rights. Imagine having $50 mil to throw around just for a bid on a player? SIGH!  I miss those big market days    

Happy Birthday to David Wright who is 29 years old today and still a Met.  Rumor is he wanted a strawberry shortcake birthday cake but got a cherry filled cake instead #BlameBeltran

Mets Police has his released his Airing of Grievances today after giving out his awards for 2011 (The Mazzilli’s)

Frank Fransisco is officially a Mets after passing his physical two weeks after agreeing to a deal. The hold up was the club was trying to scrape together the co-pay.

The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Jason Kubel to a 2yr/$15 mil contract yesterday. This relegates Gerardo Parra, the 2011 Gold Glove winner, to fourth outfielder status. If I’m the GM of the Mets ( I just play a GM here on the internet) I am on the phone right now with Kevin Towers trying to find a way get Parra to the Mets to play center field.

Finally Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate the holiday

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CRICKETS, CRICKETS, CRICKETS………………….

Remember this? Mex’s power nap!

I don’t know if it’s the calm before the storm or a sign that the Mets will remain dormant in winter time news but there is absolutely  nothing baseball wise coming out a of Flushing. I can get pushing the new uni and all the pomp and circumstance for this season 50th Anniversary but for the love of Casey Stengel is there any baseball news of substance coming from the front office?

Here’s what we’re stuck with today as “Mets news”

Lenny Dykstra fucked up his life and now is in rehab and when he gets out he will be a new man and yada yada yada. You know what, Frank Cashen should be given more credit than he ever has for when you look back at the Mets of the 80’s for all their on field success there were a lot of them who couldn’t handle the fame, fortune and everything that goes with it (I thank you all-Freddie Mercury) . With all the celebrations of the ’86 Mets maybe we should reflect more on this bunch as failures, who if they had any kind of self-control would have won multiple championships.

Adam Rubin writes about the Skill Sets asking for a non-jury trial when their case against the Madoff trustees goes to trial next March.  The judge in the case however ruled in favor of Piccard so the case will be heard by a jury. I agree with Michael Kline who feels the Skill Sets will be hurt by a jury trial as this case is complex and a jury of 12 laypeople may not get the whole understanding of the facts to make a fair judgment.  A jury trial will hurt the Skill Sets for sure.

Please Sandy gives us something to chew on, a bone, anything………………………..

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TEJEDA AND PITCHING IS THE METS WAY TO GO

Six pitchers to win a nine inning baseball game, welcome to the next re-invention of baseball, courtesy of The Genius.  The biggest impression I have of the post season is that we are now going from having a setup man and closer as your main relievers to having to have at least seven pitchers who can come out of your pen, game in game out.  Before the post season even started, Sandy Alderson made it known that rebuilding his bullpen would be job one.  

The story of Game one changes dramatically if Allen Craig does not come through with that huge pinch hit single to put the Cards ahead 3-2. The second guessers and LaRussa haters (I raise my hand) would have been out in full force. Just goes to show the difference between a genius and an asshole in baseball is a fair ball.

There was a terrific column by Adam Rubin on ESPNNY.com on how the readiness of Ruben Tejada could soften the blow of Jose Reyes leaving for greener (backs) pastures. Rubin quotes Mark Simon, ESPN’s numbers cruncher with stats that show me the Mets would be better off with Reyes leaving and Tejada taking over shortstop and using the money saved on pitching. Defensively you really don’t lose much with Tejeda (according to the metrics the Mets would gain with Tejeda at shortstop) it’s on offense where you lose the most.

“If you look at it from a WAR [wins above replacement] perspective, Reyes was a 6.2 last year via Fangraphs. Tejada was a 1.8,” Simon said. “The question would be: What is Tejada at his best … maybe a 3-WAR player? So there is a drop-off.”

You’d think that a healthy Ike Davis, David Wright (if he’s not dealt) with the fences of Citi Field lower and closers (and painted blue I hope),and a rejuvenated Jason Bay (a guy can dream can’t he) would make up for the offensive slack lost by the dearly departed Reyes   

I think this quote from an NL scout sums it up:

  Said one National League scout: “Tejada is ready to play every day. Save the money and go get some pitching. You’re not winning anything in 2012 anyway. Find out if the kid can do it. He really has improved with the bat and gotten physically stronger. He’s going to need a backup, though, in case he gets hurt or needs a day off”

As Mets fans, we need to root for three more Redbird wins in a row so we can get our off season started, the suspense is killing me.

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FREDDY SKILLS GONE WILD

 

When I turned on my computer this morning there was a e-mail from the New Yorker with a link to a story written by Jeffery Tobin about Freddy Skill Sets and the rise and fall of the Skill Sets financial world. There are quotes it seems from Bernie Madoff, that makes both Freddy and Uncle Saul look like a couple of patsies when it came to finances.

The real bombeshell though is Freddy’s take on some of players, these comments are sure to start a violent shit storm with the Mets fan base.

The piece is long and I’m going to read it now so here’s the link so you can get a gander of it for yourself. Sometime later this morning I’ll be back with some comments but from reading Mets Blog and Adam Rubin’s Mets Blog this morning, losing two of three to the Highlanders will be a fart in the wind after this story gets it fill of eyeballs.

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HEY METS FANS, IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO STOP ALL OF YOUR SOBBING

The best part of the early morning release of Oliver Perez is not just the fact that the ineffective pitcher is mercifully gone but what has to have the Mets fan base giddy on this rainy cold morning is Sandy Alderson is running the baseball operations of the NY Mets. He is the man calling the shots; he put Baby Jeffy in the corner.

For all the gloom and doom financial news about the Skill Sets, the head baseball man in charge went to them and said time to eat $18 mil in contract, and all the Skill Sets could do is stand at attention and say “Sir, yes sir” You can debate that this should have been done before spring training or earlier but the bottom line is the Faces of Failure of the Minaya regime are gone.

With the Phuck Phaces signing Luis Castillo to a minor league deal as insurance in case Chase Utley will not make it to opening day and beyond tells me the Phuck Phace’s may not be the lead pipe cinch to win the NL Pennant most thought they were this winter.

Adam Rubin has a great Ollie Perez retrospective. It wasn’t  always days of suckitude with OP but his Mets career did end badly for all sides.

The feel good story of spring, the return of Izzy, has his a bump as Isringhausen is taking anti-inflamitories  for his surgically repaired elbow

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FIRST CUTS NOT THE DEEPEST

As usual Adam Rubin gets the drop on the rest of the Mets beat writers by posting the first cuts of Mets camp. No surprises except maybe for F-Mart being on the list this early. I guess it means Lucas Duda gets the shot at RF if Carlos Beltran can’t make it for opening day.

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THE LAST TEMPTATION OF OLLIE

If reports are true, Ollie Perez is pitching for his Mets life this afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Lonesome. Terry Collins is saying that this isn’t true that Ollie will pitch again after this start, but if he has a typical OP start, command issues, lack of zip on fastball, tons of walks then what’s the sense of giving him another start ? At some point you have to stop wasting your time with OP.

The Mets money woes may not be as dire as we think. The Skill Sets spent $15K on dirt. DIRT!!! But it seems like $15K spent wisely.

Ed Marcus posts up #6 in his all time Mets list. He was baseball’s Marlboro Man and one of my favorite Mets of all time and now he entertains us on TV. Just be careful if he asks you to help him move.

Adam Rubin posted his idea of what the Mets 25 man roster will look like on opening day. He has both Perez and Castillo off the team which is fine by me. He has Taylor Buchholz in the pen but notes that Jason Isringhausen is still in the mix and could grab Buchholz spot. Nick Evans is not on Rubin’s roster either and that is upsetting as Evans has worked hard to get back to the big league level but he’d have to beat out Chin-lung Hu or Willie Harris for a spot and I don’t see him beating either players out. There has to be a team that could use a good righty bat who can play both corner infield positions?

Dwight Gooden’s life just gets sadder and sadder. He has now agreed to become a sideshow act for Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab show on VH1. The show is like a junk yard for D list celeb’s that have their lives have swirled out of control. How in the world did Doc become a D-Lister? That is as crushing as his fight with drug and alcohol addiction.

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VALENTINES DAY TURNS TO APRIL FOOLS DAY

Looks like you take a day off around here; it takes a while to catch up. Yesterday my wife and I renewed our wedding vows, as the church we were married in Regina Pacis in Bensonhurst, held a day for all couples married at that church to come back and renew their vows with a football wedding reception to follow.  It was a load of fun and we met people we hadn’t seen in a while and my kids were subjected to “Brooklyn is the greatest place on earth” stories for the millionth time. By the way, that’s how I get my kids to do their homework, when they are watching TV I go into the living room and say “You know when I was a kid……………..” and they run to their rooms. Works every time.

After a terrific weekend I turn on my computer and I see this:

What I read was “The Mets today Released Ollie Perez” not “all stories talking about Perez MUST CEASE UNTIL OLLIE IS RELEASED.”

This was my response to Sherman’s tweet.

By the way, Ollie is in camp and by the look on Terry Collins from this post from Adam Rubin it looks like he saying “Shit, I thought I locked all the doors”

Daniel Murphy is in camp and has told Terry Collins he is here to do whatever is asked from him to help this team win. Get ready for a lot of Murphy love from me.

I’m being very cautious on Terry Collins. I’ve spoken to him twice this post season and he’s intense and comes off as a real live and die by baseball, kind of guy.  He has spoken extensively about preparation all winter and running his camp with order and efficiency. When I spoke to young guys like Josh Thole, Bobby Parnell and Dillion Gee they all dealt with Collins as Mets Minor League Coordinator and they all are glad he is their manager at the big league level. R.A. Dickey and Mike Pelfrey both mentioned “energy” when asked about Collins. Pelf told us that even during lunch with Collins, that the manager spent the whole time diagraming defensive positioning on cut off throws from the outfield and on what pitchers are responsible for on defense and where they should be in different situations. Pelfrey marveled at Collins’ energy and passion. All that is great but the fact is he quit two of the three managerial jobs he had and that’s a huge caveat to me.

After reading Andy Martino’s terrific piece in the NY Daily News yesterday, I’m hoping Collins is right that he has learned from all the stops and has changed for the better. Collins mentor is Jim Leyland and he realizes he made some bad mistakes in communication with his players, that times have changed and he needed to change with the times and that this is his last shot at managerial redemption.

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YOUR MOMENT OF ALDERSON ZEN

I think we all need to take a big deep breath. This Skill Sets Cash Call has gotten the fan base acting like a bunch of blue and orange Chicken Little’s.  The skies of Flushing may look dark and ominous but it’s not falling. This may in fact, be the best thing that could happen to the Mets.

There seems to be a misunderstanding in the fan base that thinks spending lots of money equals championships, if that’s the case, how come there are only two World Series trophy’s on display at the Mets Hall of Fame? No one was better at pissing away the Skill Sets cash than Omar Minaya but his administration had no structure or foresight  or the balls to tell Jeffey stay out the baseball operations way. The minor league system, the life blood of any organization, has been run about as well as Mayor Bloomberg’s snow removal system. The biggest indictment of the failure of the Mets system is the image still burned in my memory of Fernando Martinez in his first day as a major leaguer, failing to run out a ball hit in front of home plate. At that point, F-Mart should have been taken to La Guardia Airport and sent back to Buffalo and then the whole minor league system should have been bulldozed and built back from the ground up. It didn’t because there was no one in charge with balls or brains to fix it. Until now.

The best move in the last couple of days by the Mets (besides signing R.A. Dickey and Angel Pagan clearing the arbitration eligible list) was hearing Sandy Alderson in his straight shooter way, talk to us like intelligent adults. There was no spin or sleight of hand like we’re used to, there was a right between the eyes shot of reality (Adam Rubin’ transcript of the Alderson conference call is required reading for the Mets masses)

“First of all, I want to emphasize that the plan that we have pursued the last couple of months was limited by only one fact, and that was the level of the existing payroll. Our payroll going into the season will be somewhere between $140 million and $150 million. I think that is significantly higher than we’d like to be on an annual basis — a product of adding some additional players that we felt the roster needed as well as some existing commitments. The plan and the approach that I’ve taken over the last two months has not been affected at all by any other outside factors.

 

“From my standpoint, when I took this position, when I interviewed and took this position, I was of course aware of the pre-existing involvement of the Wilpons and the Mets with Bernie Madoff. I wasn’t privy to all of the detail, nor am I or most of us at this point privy to all that detail. And I wouldn’t expect to be. At the same time, none of that has affected what I have done over the last two months. I don’t expect that it will have any impact on what I do over the next several months, including into the 2012 offseason.”

Gone are the days of wasting money on has beens and underachievers as bench players just because they are your friends or are good at playing Hearts. Why give a 35 year old utility infielder $2mil when you can use a minor leaguer for $450K or a journeyman for a make good deal where performance equals a pay raise? We’re not used to such competence around here and I guess it takes time to understand, there is spending money and there is spending money wisely.

Alderson also showed his leadership qualities by turning negative news into a positive when asked if he was worried about having the cash resources going forward:

No. I mean, obviously there’s a certain level of ambiguity surrounding this news. But from my standpoint, the facts are as they currently exist. And to some extent the decision to find a minority partner or some other source of recapitalizing the franchise is positive news from my standpoint. If there was an initial problem before, that can only be positive from my standpoint.”

There seems to be a panic by a small group of Mets fans about the future of Jose Reyes and his tenure with the Mets. From hearing Alderson address this it will be Reyes performance and his contract demands that will dictate if he stays a Met for years to come. Ken Davidoff of Newsday has said of Pee Wee Cashman, that he is “a stone cold killer” in the way he deal s with players as we’ve seen with Derek Jeter and the Rafael Soriano signing. I would say Alderson is a more of a calculated assassin.  Alderson will do what’s best for the Mets not Reyes and for that Mets should be grateful.  Alderson is not going to make the Mets a small market team he is going to make then a more efficient organization when it comes to handing out long term deals.  Anyone have a problem with that?

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