Opening Day…….Are We There Yet ?

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Have  I lost my mind? Nope it’s time to make a BOLD move and by trading for Jimmy Rollins is as BOLD a move as you can make. See my rational below.  

It’s been pretty lackluster spring training for the Mets. Aside from watching the bumper crops of young pitching prosper and which organization is going to hand over a big league shortstop, the position battles we anticipated just haven’t happened.

The first baseman fight to the finish between Ike Davis and the new and improved Body by Lake Michigan, Lucas Duda has been non-existent. Both players have gone down with injury for most of the spring with Ike dragging a walking boot around to ease his calf injury and Duda resting a cranky hamstring.  So instead of who has the best at bats winning the first base job, the player who can walk to the batter box without a medical appliance will win that job.

We were all sold a bill of goods about the shortstop position as well. Ruben Tejada was also sent to Michigan boot camp and so far it seems like that was a big waste of time and money. Tejeda looks as bad as he did last season even with Grandpa Terry telling him how marvelous he is. While Grandpa Terry is trying to inflate Tejada’s self-esteem, Big Daddy Sandy is dangling young virile pitchers to any team with a shortstop who can move laterally and at least bat .250

The best move to fill the shortstop spot would be to sign Stephen Drew but Drew doesn’t want to play baseball he wants to be paid millions and then play baseball. It’s easy to kill Drew’s agent Scott Boras but doesn’t the agent work for the player? If Drew really had the hot desire to play baseball he would have told Agent Boras to get him the best deal out there.  There is no market for Drew except for one team, our beloved Mets, so if the GM should offer a face saving 1 yr for $14 mil to Drew/Boras and if they balk, lose their number. Then go into the contacts on your phone and dial Ruben Armaro Jr. and ask what it would take to deal Jimmy Rollins to the Mets.

Yeah you read that right, I want to bring Jimmy Rollins to the Mets as their everyday shortstop. I could care less that he’s a Phillie and that he’s rub our noses in the big stink of defeat for years, that’s exactly why I want him on the Mets. We need an everyday bad ass and since our every fifth day bad ass, Matt Harvey is out for the season. With  Rollins we get an everyday shortstop who has been told by his rookie manager that “he ain’t the ballplayer he used to be” and will be doing everything he can to prove him wrong.

Rollins makes $11 mil for this season and has very reachable clause in his deal to guarantee him $11 mil for 2015. That’s $22 mil the geriatric Phillies could use to get a player or two under 35 years old.  Since our owners declare they have cash to spend why not spend it on a guy who has a World Series ring an MVP and a prickly attitude?

I’m not saying I’d expect the Jimmy Rollins of 2007 his MVP year but if the Mets get Jimmy Rollins of the 2012 vintage it would make the season a lot more interesting .

Now for all of you, who are against this move remember not a single young stud pitcher will be moved in this transaction. That alone should get you on board the J-Roll Train.

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CARLOS BELTRAN HAS LEFT, BUT THE METS HAVE ARRIVED

The sad part of the Mets career of Carlos Beltran was just when he was enjoying being a NY Met and having the fan base sing praise and glory to his name, it was time to go. Just when he felt secure that the front office and the field manager were 100 % behind him and treated him with the respect he deserved, it was time to go.  With all the retrospect of Beltran’s career as a Met and with all the high (and deserved) praise that Beltran has received this season the bottom line is, it was time to go.  

Beltran lived up to the hype and money of his 7 year deal. I love the irony displayed by many in the fan base, the same ones who vilified Beltran for taking a third strike in the 2006 NLCS (forgetting he hit .296/.387/.667 with 3 home runs against the Cardinals in that series) and labeled him soft even after the horrific collision he had with Mike Cameron in San Diego on August 11th 2005 and returned to action on August  17th , just missing six games.

Beltran was not betrayed just by the fans but by ownership and the previous front office as well. When it came to handling the serious knee injuries he suffered, the training staff, GM and owner botched things so badly that Beltran felt he had to go and get his knees worked on his own. When he found a doctor who told him he needed surgery and he needed it now, Beltran and his agent Scott Boras went through all the proper channels to get medical clearance from the Mets doctors (who get wrongfully maligned) and the trainer and GM to get the right insurance papers signed, it was the GM (who has always been portrayed as a standup guy but really wasn’t) that tried to spin it as Beltran going rogue.

I’ve always felt that Beltran had this reserved way about him due to his mistrust and mistreatment by the former GM, managers and the owner. It wasn’t until Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins showed him the veteran respect he had earned that he felt more like a vital part of the team. In return, Beltran was able to be as productive as he was as he knew the days of bullshit artists running the team were over.  

Alderson and Collins saw just how hard Beltran worked to get back in shape to get back on the playing field. Collins saw Beltran strap on that knee brace game after game and fighting the manager whenever he wanted to give him a day off. It’s a simple situation, when players see a manager have their back, they will run through hot coals for him or in Beltran’s case thank him for his trust and belief in him by being the star baseball player that he is.

Sandy Alderson did what he had to do, at the age of 34, on the last year of his deal and with a knee that will never get better and a team while playing good and inspired baseball that will not be a post season participant, trading Beltran to a team in the post season hunt made tons of sense. The fact that Alderson got back exactly what he wanted in Zack Wheeler, a top pitching prospect, makes it all the better.

We will all miss Beltran and his familiar “El Esta Aqui” walk up song but don’t feel sorry for Beltran. He joins a team on which he will make a difference and a team that has strong pitching that is built for the post season. Hopefully the Giants repeat and Beltran gets a World Series ring.

As for Mets fans, anyone who feels this team is not worthy of buying a ticket to watch at Citi Field or to follow on SNY and WFAN, just admit to yourself you’re not a Mets fan. How could you call yourself a Mets fan and not be thrilled with the play of this 2011 edition?  The last two seasons the cry from Metsaptania was “play the kids, play the kids, we want the kids” Well, the kids are here and the kids are all right. Sure not being in a pennant race sucks but when you have a team that plays hard, never quits, handles adversity great, you should be proud of that team. Stop listening and reading the NYC MSM who for some reason (ownership maybe?) tries to focus on the blemishes of this team. Those same media types will be jumping on the Mets bandwagon in the next year or two when the Mets are fighting for a post season berth. This Beltran deal hurts the MSM because it was a positive for the Mets and finally not since Frank Cashen and his bow tie ran this club has a GM made as much an impact as Sandy Alderson has on the Mets. Don’t forget Terry Collins as well, who has not only shown that a man can learn from his past failures but he has shut up the We Want Wally Backman Teabaggers as well. As much as I was a Backman fan, there is no way he could have done any better than Collins has done this year.

There is a bit of a 1984 feeling around Flushing these days and if next year has a 1985 feeling, well, all you folks not going to Citi Field will be shit out of luck next year when Citi Field will be THE place to be and your ass can’t find a seat to sit in.

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TENDER OR NON-TENDER, THAT IS THE QUESTION ?

As we await the non-tender floodgates to open, the Mets have four players who fit the offer/non-offer list so let’s see who stays and who goes:

John Maine-I think we all agree the days of Maine are done in Queens. Maine did himself no favor by hiding his injuries and less than honest with the coaching staff and front office. With Old School Dan Werthan staying on as the Pitching Czar and the fact that Old School can’t stand the sight of Maine then add in his arbitration price could go to $4mil, it’s safe to say we can add John Maine to that long list of former Mets

R.A. Dickey-Look, we all love Dickey wait that didn’t come out right, We all love R.A. and he was a revelation both on the mound and in the clubhouse as Dickey was the only player when interviewed that I paid attention to as he would always say something of substance. But (and you knew the BUT was coming) let’s not go crazy with talk of multi-year deals for R.A.  I’d go 1yr plus an option $1.5 mil which is about double what he made last year.

Angel Pagan-Now Pagan is a different story. Pagan not only took his offensive game to a higher level but right now he’s the best centerfielder on the Mets roster. Pagan went from being a baseball dunderhead in 2009 to arguably the Mets MVP last season (Yes I know David Wright had a great offensive year but the case can be made that the best all-around season by a Met last year was Pagan) Angel made $1.45 mil last season and it would be hard for the Mets to win an arbitration case but what price is right for Pagan? 2yrs/$4.5-5mil?

Sean Green-We’re tendering him a contract, why?

Mike Pelfrey-Ahhhhhh Big Pelf.  The sticking point he is Pelf’s agent, Scott Boras.  Pelf cannot test the free agent waters until 2014, so the Mets hold the hammer on him as well. Pelfrey has made some coin off his ML contract he signed when drafted in 2005 to the tune of a shade under $5mil so this negotiation should be quite interesting. As the Mets hold all the cards they don’t have to offer a multi year deal but figure with Boras as his agent, I’m sure he will make up one of those elaborate books to present at the arbitration hearing to make Big Pelf look like Cy Young .

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