GET YOUR NY METS TICKETS WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 29TH WITH A SPECIAL METS BLOGGERS PRE-SALE

The New York Mets have teamed up with some of your favorite Mets blogs to offer our readers a special ticket pre sale this Wednesday February 29th starting at 10 AM and concluding on Thursday March 1st at 11:59PM

To get in on this special pre-sale, just logon to Mets.com/blogs, click  on the BUY TICKETS button and enter the special pre-sale code: HODGES

Tickets for opening day against the Atlanta Braves on April 5th and the Subway Series for June 22-24 are included in this pre-sale

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NY NL CHAPTER OF THE BBA WILLIE MAYS AWARD BALLOT

In a unanimous vote the NY NL Chapter of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has selected Atlanta Braves RHP Craig Kimbrel as it choice for the 2011 NL Willie Mays Award for Rookie of the Year.

The chapter vote was as follows:

1. Craig Kimbrel

2. Freddie Freeman

3. (tie 1 vote each) Danny Espinosa, Jose Altuve, Vance Worley, Brandon Belt, Lucas Duda

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LET’S START THE SPRING OFF RIGHT, AND CUT OLLIE PEREZ AND LUIS CASTILLO

Most jobs are not that much different from sports teams when it comes to problem players/workers. There are always coaches/supervisors who feel they can take someone else’s problem or malcontent and turn them into a productive member of the organization.  But then there are exceptions and if this case with the Mets that exception is Oliver Perez.

In today’s NY Post, Kevin Kernan writes about OP not joining the early campers club in St Lonesome. So here we are on the eve of the official opening of camp and Oliver Perez is the lead in a Mets story and of course it’s of a negative nature. Everything  is of a negative nature when it comes to Perez.

It all started on July 30,2006. The Mets had just finished a sweep of the Atlanta Braves on the road to bring their record to 63-41 and a hard to believe 13 ½ game lead in the NL East. Mets management and fans had visions of the post season and of parades and tons of World Series memorabilia for us to waste our discretionary income on.  Man, we Mets fans were living the high baseball life until Duaner Sanchez decided he just HAD to have some rice and beans when he hit Miami, so he hopped in a cab with some friends and a drunk driver crashed into the cab and Dirty Duaner wrecked his shoulder and the Mets season. With the trade deadline that day, Omar Minaya in a state of panic dealt of productive Xavier Nady to the Pirates for Roberto Hernandez who would fill nicely in the bullpen. In order to get Hernandez though, the Mets had to take Perez as well.

Perez had his good moments like game 4 of the 2006 NLCS and was very good in 2007 but injuries and ineffectiveness took it’s toll on Perez’ velocity on his fastball and the bad Ollie from Pittsburgh came back to haunt the Mets.  The big debate after the 2008 season was should the Mets re-sign Perez or go for Derek Lowe.  Another deal gone wrong.

Perez, as well as Luis Castillo, are the remains of the failure of Omar Minaya. The more Mets fans see both these players the more they are reminded of the failures of the last administration.  If the Alderson regime is serious about a change in philosophy and in restoring responsibility and accountability back to the franchise, they need to give both Perez and Castillo their release. Both players are untradeable and there is no way in the world either player is making this team.

The organization is having a tough time business wise. Even without the Wilponzi scandal, the Mets would have a tough time selling tickets and finding people to believe the organization is moving forward.  The Mets can come up with exotic ticket plans but the bottom line is if you want the fans believe that winning is paramount and that is not business as usual when it comes to player development and competing for jobs, send them a sign, tell Ollie and Luis to stay home and let them know check is in the mail.

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ANNOUCING THE NY NL CHAPTER OF THE BBA VOTING FOR THE 2010 BBA WILLIE MAYS AWARD

As NY NL Chapter President of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I am proud to present our vote for the Willie Mays Award given to the  outstanding rookie of the National League in 2010:

1st Place- Buster Posey, San Fransisco Giants

2nd Place-Jason Heywood, Atlanta Braves

3rd Place-Ike Davis,  New York Mets

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THE NY NL CHAPTER OF THE BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES ITS CHOICE FOR NL CONNIE MACK AWARD

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance is ready to announce it’s first post season award, the Connie Mack Award for manager of the year in the NL and AL. As the NY NL Chapter President, I am proud to announce our vote:

1st Place- Dusty Baker, Cincinnati Reds

2nd Place-Bruce Bochy, San Fransisco Giants

3rd Place-Bobby Cox, Atlanta Braves

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OK, SO NOW WHAT?

Adam Rubin on ESPN NY has a fine column today that sums up the State of the  Mets organization and the non-moves at the trade deadline to a tee. Some excerpts that intrigued me are:

The reality is the Mets are not legitimately in a race right now. They entered Saturday trailing the division-leading Atlanta Braves by 7½ games and trailing the wild card-leading San Francisco Giants by 6½ games. Fifty-nine games remain on the schedule. Four teams, including the hard-charging Philadelphia Phillies, who acquired Roy Oswalt this week, are between the Mets and Giants.

Management can’t come out and say it but they know the Mets have no shot at the post season.  The Mets are what they are, a .500 team that plays like the best team in baseball at home but then plays like the Mets of 1962 on the road, hence the .500 record. Their play this season is a big improvement over last year’s crew who mailed in around this time last year at least this Mets team plays hard.

You can clumsily cite principal owner Fred Wilpon and his family supposedly being stingy for such a deal not materializing, but that would be misguided — even if ownership isn’t blameless. The bottom line is the payroll is still hovering around $130 million this season.

The better answer: If GM Omar Minaya had shown restraint in his other salary commitments — say, not giving Luis Castillo four years and $25 million or Oliver Perez three years and $36 million or guaranteeing seven years to Carlos Beltran — he likely would have had the flexibility to pull off an Oswalt-type trade now.

It’s far more about no discipline than no money.

That does not absolve the Wilpons.

Forget the Perez and Castillo contracts, the one deal Mets will be screaming about will be the Francisco Rodriguez deal, look it over if you dare but I must put a disclaimer that if you are pegnant suffer from high blood pressure or have a sleeping disorder, check with your doctor before viewing the details of K-Rod’s deal

Minaya’s stated plan when he took over as GM in September 2004 was to offset the draft picks forfeited for signing free agents by owning the international market. It sounded good, too. After all, how could a Dominican-born GM walk into any household in that country, throw around dollars and fail to persuade the teenager to sign with the Mets?

The problem? Ownership never threw around the money. After signing Martinez for $1.3 million in 2005, Minaya’s first full season as Mets GM, the organization did not have another seven-figure signing bonus for an international teenager until signing 16-year-old pitcher Juan Urbina, Ugueth’s son, last year.

The Mets knew Venezuelan Jesus Montero, who was coveted in trade proposals involving the Yankees in recent days, was a superior catching prospect to Francisco Peña, Tony’s son. Yet the Mets signed Peña in 2006 because he cost $750,000. The Yankees paid $2 million for Montero.

My question here is whose fault is it? Omar’s or the Skill Sets for the inability to not get any thing done in the International market? You would think having a Latino GM would place the Mets way ahead of other teams but as we learned when they were in pursuit of Carlos Delgado as a free agent, Scareface Bernazard was a little to “street” for Delgado so  I wonder how many more families were turnoff by the Mets resident hoodlum?

The Mets have not been blame-free in their draft conduct from an ownership perspective, either. With apologies to Chris Carter, the Mets essentially gave Billy Wagner  to the Red Sox last season for nothing, in essence to save $3.3 million (Wagner’s $2.3 million remaining salary and a $1 million buyout). As a result, when Wagner signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves last offseason, the Red Sox — not the Mets — got two first-round picks as compensation for losing Wagner, which they used on Ball State’s Kolbrin Vitek and Middle Tennessee State’s Bryce Brentz. (Remember those names a few years from now.

This is why Omar needs to be relived of his GM duties and the baseball ops needs a complete overhaul. Unlike any time in baseball, teams a coveting receiving draft picks for aging ball players. The new wave in baseball is to get younger and more athletic as the ban on PED’s is changing the game back to where pitching, defense and youth as the way to go. That’s not Omar’s bag, he’s still into old and ineffective which unfortunately describes Omar himself.

(Fred) Wilpon was sued Friday by the widow of a former employee of Wilpon-owned Sterling Equities. The federal suit alleges Wilpon bears fiduciary responsibility for investing his employees’ 401(k) funds in Bernard Madoff-operated funds. Sterling Equities called the suit baseless, but the potential liability — coupled with the Wilpon family’s own losses in the Ponzi scheme — has to create some hesitance to freely spend.

Yet even if the Madoff ordeal never occurred, it would be perfectly reasonable to expect the Mets to act conservatively from a financial perspective. Attendance is likely to plummet at Citi Field the rest of the season. A further erosion in the season-ticket base is expected heading into 2011.

You knew this was coming and the question is if Freddy Skill Sets loses this suit, which I believe is a class action suit among the Sterling Equities employees, and it cost him hundreds of million’s of dollars to pay, will he have to sell the Mets? I believe Freddy when he says he wants the Mets to be in his family for generations to come, but it may come to a head when he has to either sell or take on a partner. The Mara family owned the NY Football Giants on their own for years and years but when Tim Mara died his estate put his shares up for bid, that’s when the Tisch family got their half, so it’s possible the Skill Sets sell 49% of the team and keep the other 51 % controlling interest for as long as they can.

Yet even if the Madoff ordeal never occurred, it would be perfectly reasonable to expect the Mets to act conservatively from a financial perspective. Attendance is likely to plummet at Citi Field the rest of the season. A further erosion in the season-ticket base is expected heading into 2011.

The one MAJOR move the Skill Sets must make for next season is dropping the ridiculous pricing tiers that are an extreme point of contention with Mets fans. The whole Platinum, Gold, Silver, Value scale would work if the team was a contender every year and seats at Citi Field were in demand but the organization has none of these going for them. They tried going the corporate route and it hasn’t worked. Now they need to try and win back the fan base, the blue collar core who frequented Shea Stadium who stick by you through thick and thin. The Skill Sets have had their fling with the Metro area elite and must now realize it’s time to get the REAL Mets fan back to support the team.  The Mets fan has the upper hand here and now Freddy, Jeffey and Uncle Saul have to come to us with hat in hand, and ask for our hard earned dough. They have never gotten it though their thick skulls that Mets fans are not about the Championships (although we all want to win one or ten of them) but we’re all about playing hard and playing with pride. That’s the one saving grace with the 2010 Mets team they have that quality.

Next year the Skill Sets need to let fans pick their own ticket packages and also set aside seats in the promenade for 5 bucks a piece. They could also sell a “roaming ticket” no seat but you can walk around and stand in centerfield or down each base line sort of a standing room ticket, they need to be creative to win fans back in 2011, time to turn on the Skill Sets charm fella’s

Manager Jerry Manuel, asked if the inaction was a signal the front office was content with the team as presently constituted or if it was an indication the team is not really in the race, wisely did not want to touch the issue.

“That’s a tricky question,” Manuel said. “Trying to catch me, huh?”

Minaya did acknowledge the standings were a factor.

“That played something into it,” the GM said. “When you look at the standings, you just have to be careful.”

I can’t wait until October 4th for the press conference announcing Wally Backman as the Mets manager for 2011

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LeBRON? CLIFF LEE? FUGITABOUTIT! IT’S METS-BRAVES AT CITI FIELD!

You can excuse Mets fans for not getting all wrapped up in King Narcissism’ defection to South Beach as we have the most important 3 game series of the season starting tonight against our old nemesis the Atlanta Braves. But first a few words on LeBron.

LeBron James is the basketball equivalent of Alex Rodriguez, phenomenal talent but not a leader and not the type of player to carry a team or make his teammates better. LBJ will never be put in the pantheon of players like Bill Russell, Magic, Bird, or Kareem he proved that in Game 5 of the East Semi-Finals against the Celtics.

After losing to the C’s who were supposed to be too old and too broken down to beat the Cavs, LBJ, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, plotted a way to join forces. Bosh and Wade let it be known there was no way in hell they’d play in Cleveland. Chicago could not pay all three, neither could the Knicks, the only place that could handle all three monetarily was Miami, so that’s where the three ended up.

The fans of Cleveland have a right to be pissed as LBJ was not just a Cav but he is a born and bred Ohioan but he couldn’t take the pressure of being the “Man”. Same reason why he wanted no part of NYC, too much pressure. In South Beach, the pressure is on Pat Reilly, who has three superstars and no other players. The Heat, after dealing off Michael Beasley to Minnesota has to find 10 or 11 players at bargain basement price to build around the 3 stars. That’s why calling the Heat the favorite to win the NBA Championship in 2011 is so premature.  In fact even though my Celtics are old and hurt, I can guarantee you this is the exact motivation the Celtics needed to come in to camp with the goal of kicking the living shit out of Miami.

LeBron James can never call himself “King James” ever again hell he is not even a Duke or Earl, he’s more of Surf. As much as this kills me to say, he will never be the Black Mamba either.

Looks like Cliff Lee is headed to NY but the wrong side of town and let’s face it, this is where Lee wanted to go and he’ll most like sign a long termer with the Bronx Bastards. What has me nervous is after this deal is complete the Highlanders are talking about sending Javier Vasquez to the Phuck Phaces for Jayson Werth.

Mets look like they will add a much needed right handed bat for the Braves series and he is a familiar face.

 Don’t forget to check out my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN store at Cafe Press

This is the statement weekend for the Mets, anything less than 2 of 3 is a failure. KICK SOME BRAVO ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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THOSE WERE THE DAYS MY FRIEND, WE THOUGHT THEY’D NEVER END

I don’t know about you but I had a very strange feeling watching the 4thinning of last nights Mets-Braves game. Here were the Mets putting an ass whipping on Derek Lowe and the hated Atlanta Braves and I should have been doing the Snoopy dance but it had no real big effect on me.  Sure, it was a pleasure watching hit after hit (although I shook my head as Daniel Murphy made two of the three outs in the inning) but instead of being thrilled at the site of pinstriped Mets (have you noticed it has been a while since the Mets have worn the funeral black shirts? Has someone threaten Charlie Samuels with an ass kicking if they see black again? I sure hope so) crossing home plate eight times. I was more stunned that this expansion like lineup was even competitive.

A few years ago, Braves-Mets at Flushing would be a night of passion, now, eh I didn’t even want a cigarette when the inning ended.

Please, please Bobby Ojeda stop I’m begging you TO STOP with the happy horseshit recaps after games. Stop acting like the Mets should be given some Medal of Honor for playing hard and trying to compete. All you are doing is embarrassing yourself by drinking the Skill Sets Kool-Aid. I know you desperately want to be the team pitching coach but don’t lower yourself to be a court jester.

Soon to be GM of the Mets, John Ricco is accompanying Jeffey Skill Sets on his tour of the farm system. The last stop was in Bingo and Matt Cerrone has a link to a storywhere Ricco talks of the big teams injuries effecting the farmers. If I’m Omar I’d take my dry cleaning to a one-hour martinizer.

The Los Angles Angels Who Really Play in Anaheim had NINE .300 or better hitters in their lineup last night. Oh yeah, I’m on that Angels bandwagon baby!!!!!

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IF YOU STAYED IN A HOLLIDAY INN LAST NIGHT, COULD YOU PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT JOSE REYES LEG?

You think J-Man was doing a rain dance yesterday? If a team ever needed time to step back and access itself it’s the Mets. The good news yesterday was Carlos Beltran abdicating the porcelain throne to going back to being the everyday centerfielder. The bad news was Jose Reyes took himself out of an extended spring game (how long are these extended spring games and who plays in them besides the handicapped major leaguer ?)

 

Then to top of the day, the Atlanta Braves send a message that they ain’t going anywhere by pulling off a deal for Nate McClouth and telling Titan Tom Glavine to go home and make brownies.

 

The Reyes situation is a puzzling. I never question a guy who says he’s hurt but at some point, which hopefully is today when Reyes comes back to NY to see the quacks, a determination needs to be made on how this injury affects the team for the rest of the season. If this is going to be a chronic problem all season, then I’d expect Omar to quietly but out feelers for a shortstop (Miguel Tejda?) who is major league caliber. It’s ok that Omar has found some putty players like Wilson Valdez, Ramon Martinez, and Angel Pagan (before his yearly injury) but the fairy dust wears off quick with players like this. The Braves see this and look at the NL East landscape and say why not us? So out goes Titan Tom Glavine and in comes the young stud Tommy Hanson. As for us? Welcome the newest dumpster dive prize, Emil Brown.

 

Heads up news from upstate, top prospects RHP’s Bradley Holt and Jennry Meija have been promotes to Bingo and both will start this weekend. Keep you eye on Holt as he may just bypass Buffalo and go right to Flushing to offset the suckitude of Tim Redding.

 

Tonight on PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL we will discuss today’s Mets-Bucos game, the injury epidemic with the Mets and a look around the minor league system. We will be joined by Bert Sugar, who will be talking about his new book, Bert Sugar’s Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America’s Greatest Game, (Running Press) You can listen live at Blog Talk Radio or listen to the podcast at PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL.   

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PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL THIS THURSDAY NIGHT AT 9PM EST

Just a reminder, that this Thursday night on Pro Baseball Central at 9PM EST we will have as our guests Paul Coutinho of 1050 ESPN Radio from Pt St. Lucie and Martin Gandy of the Atlanta Braves blog Talking Chop. So join us and join in by calling in at (646) 595-4462 on Pro Baseball Central.  

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Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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