The NY Mets Search For The Diamond In The Rough

I had quite a busy Mets day yesterday as I resurrected my podcast with the help of Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal and then calling in as guest to the Rising Apple podcast.  In between podcasts, I was fortunate enough to have been invited to a Mets Bloggers conference call with Mets GM Sandy Alderson.

Alderson has been gracious with his time to members of the Mets blogging community and has shown us great respect in regards to our questions and views pertaining to the New York Mets. Alderson has stated to us a couple of occasions how he enjoys the passion we have for the team and time and effort we put in to write and talk about the Mets.  When the Mets and Alderson first started to have these blogger calls the session lasted about 25-40 minutes, last night Alderson stayed on the line with us for about an hour. Name me another team or GM who does that? There aren’t any. As you can see from the transcript, (a great big tip of the Mets cap to Eric Simon and Chris McShane of Amazin Avenue for putting together a transcript of the conference call and while you’re at AA check out Chris’ column on Paul DePodesta and how the team has turned around the player development side of the organization, it’s a great read)

When my turn to speak to Alderson came up, I asked him about the turnover in the roster this past off season and the similarities in the position players he has added.   The players I looked at, Collin Cowgill, Andrew Brown, Brandon Hicks and Jamie Hoffman all poses good walk rates and isolated power percentages. They also have in common the distinction of coming from solid organizations (Cowgill came up through the Oakland A’s system, Brown the Cardinals, Hicks the Braves, Hoffman the Dodgers) when it comes to teaching proper fundamentals in the lower levels of their farm systems. This group also plays the game aggressively as well, on the base paths and on defense.   Here is the Mets GM’s reply to my question:

Well you listed off a lot of positive qualities. And to the extent that the players you mentioned are aggressive defensively, aggressive on the bases, command the strike zone, have some power, can run the bases a little bit. Yes, I would say that these are the kinds of players that we would like to have. Offense plays. You can be a great defender, if you can’t hit you probably can’t play anywhere. I’m not talking about the Mets exclusively. And also, it is possible that there are players that just don’t get an opportunity in certain organizations because they may be deeper at certain positions than they are at others. The minor league free agent market, or the fringe 25 man roster guy, playing for a club with a strong roster, given the opportunity may turn into something valuable. Mike Baxter is another example of this from previous years. Not that Mike has great power, but he’s a very valuable piece and part of the team. There’s no question that we value on base percentage, walk rates, isolated power is important, but as we’ve emphasized with a number of guys here in camp on base percentage, command of the strike zone is important. And look, it’s important on offense, it’s important on the pitching side. If you don’t walk anybody and keep the ball in the ballpark you can win games. Today was a good example of what can happen when you walk seven and give up a number of home runs. The same thing happened yesterday- we out hit the Marlins yesterday 9-5. They beat us because they had 14 total bases on 5 hits and we had, I think, 9 on 9 hits. So right, I think that these are the kinds of players were looking for, that we think can make a contribution at the major league level, and we’re going to find out given some opportunity here in the spring what we have. And, of course, we should have most of them going into the season and so we’ll get a chance to look at them again. You have to look for players wherever you can find them, particularly when you’re weak in that area in your own system.

The players I mentioned are very good complimentary pieces that you need to have on a winning team and as Alderson stated and as we’ve seen firsthand, the skill sets that the players I mention have, are lacking in the organization and as we see Alderson and his baseball ops guys went out looking for this prototype player from different organizations. I think it is also very telling the organization they signed these players from, teams who have rock solid foundation in teaching the right way to play in their minor league systems.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Baseball Is Fundamental

If you’re going to lose three straight in the South Bronx, at least get blown out in all three so it doesn’t hurt Mets fans so much. Friday night was easier to take than the last two losses as we can expect Johan Santana to bounce back and pitch well but in the Saturday and Sunday losses to the Highlanders the two big deficiencies of this Mets team were highlighted for all to see, the inability to execute the fundamentals of baseball and a bullpen that doesn’t know how to pitch.

The lack of “fundi’s” were on full display yesterday. I know Andy Pettite has been gone for a year but everyone knows he has one of the greatest move to first base in the history of baseball. The Mets who are now a station to station base running team decide yesterday was the day to get aggressive on the base paths and it bit them in the ass as David Wright and Scott Hariston were picked off, with Hairston looking like deer on back road upset in the dead of winter look as Petitte ran right at him to get him out.

Then there were the errors. Wright was charged with a throwing error which was followed by the first Russell Martin homer to cut the Mets lead to 3-2 and before that Omar Quintanilla’s error allowed Jeter to go to second and that opened the flood gates for Bobby Parnell because no one in that Mets bullpen ever picks up a teammate.  So from a 3-0 lead the Mets are now down 4-3 heading to the 9th inning. Lucas Duda and Ike (That’s Right) Davis hits a game tying double and the Met tie the game at 4. Now’s the time to get that go ahead run over to 3rd base with Quintanilla with a sac bunt but of course he doesn’t execute the bunt because just like last year no one on the Mets can lay down a bunt, Q then hits a bullshit roller to short and Jayson Nix throws to 3rd to get Ike who runs like he’s pulling a frost free refrigerator, again poor execution.  Murph hits for Valdespin and gets a base hit with would have scored Ike had he stayed a 2nd base, so now it’s Q on 3rd 1 out and contact hitter Josh Thole up. A base hit would be great but fly ball to one of those noodle armed Highlander outfielders would suffice.  Thole works the count to 3-2 and leaves the bat on his shoulder to take a called third strike, then has the balls to argue the call with home plate Mike Muchlinski, are you kidding? SWING THE BAT!!!!!

So the Mets fight back to tie the score at 4 and in comes Jon Rau………………………game over 5-4 Highlanders on a Russell Martin home run.

Off to Tampa. Ya Gotta Believe!!!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

ANOTHER INSTINCTIVELY BAD GAME BY THE NY METS

So the doctors said David Wright could resume baseball activity in six weeks. The Mets thought that meant six weeks from the time the injury occurred. But the doctors say no, six weeks from the time of the diagnosis. What we have here is a breakdown of  communication  (just like in season’s past which was supposed to end with Sandy Alderson as boss) or Alderson was using Abbot and Costello math.

Either way when the worst news of the night isn’t the fact that  the team has become the first team in the history of MLB to lose six games at home while having a lead after seven innings but that your nice kid somewhat of a superstar third baseman has suffered the first major injury of his career and won’t be back until maybe after the All-Star break well, “you’re snake bitten baby”

Gary Cohen said last night, there are reasons the Mets blow these leads late in the game and it’s the difference between good teams and bad teams. It may be a cliché but it’s true the little mistakes add up to turn wins into losses. Whether it’s Daniel Murphy’ lack of instinct on the base paths, or Izzy coming in a game with two outs and walking a struggling Dan Uggla, Josh Thole unable to stop a pitch in the dirt (again) and Jose Reyes picking the worst time ever to make an error, it all adds up to failure.

Terry Collins was quite calm after the game. Maybe he’s come to the realization there are some things a manger can’t dictate,  like instinct .

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

WELCOME TO THE WILPON EMPLOYMENT AGENCY

Give the Skill Sets some credit here as they are going full bore in the interview process for a new GM. There doesn’t seem to be a bad choice here as the caliber of candidates are quite impressive. As much as I’ve taken a seat on the Sandy Alderson bandwagon, I could just as easily hop of and get on the cross-town  Rick Hahn Express as well.  You also have to feel good as a Mets fan that they are talking to Logan White of the Dodgers, who supposedly has a deal in place with LA but with the Feuding McCourt’s tearing apart the franchise, the Mets, amazingly enough, look like the more stable organization and quite possibly White would join the team as an executive in charge of scouting and player development which along with a hire of either Alderson or Hahn, would push the respect meter to a point we haven’t seen in Flushing since the Frank Cashen days.

Seems an Alderson run team would allow the Skill Sets to hire Wally Backman as long as Backman realizes he’s there to carry out the Alderson Plan. As we’ve seen with Alderson’ run with the A’s and Padres, the manager is more like a shift supervisor who enforces company policy.

No matter who is hired as the new man in charge of baseball ops, it will be no longer be business as usual in Queens.

Adam Rubin has a great preview of Mets farmhands now competing in the Arizona Fall League. Brad Holt who I thought  was going to be a big time pitcher for the Mets when I saw him pitch in Brooklyn a few years back, is trying to redeem himself in the eyes of the organization and CF’er Kirk Nieuwenhuis are two of the players for Mets fans to keep an eye on.

A lot of talk before last night’s Rays-Rangers Game 5 was about the looseness of the Rays players seems the Rangers took advantage of that attitude by going all out aggressive on the base paths against Tampa.

So we have the Highlanders v. Rangers and Phuck Phaces v. Fuck Yeahs in the LCS. The Highlanders own the Rangers so it is with a great sense of urgency, that the Rangers play the same aggressive style in Game 1 against CC and his battery mate the defensively challenged Dumbo Posada. A Game 1 loss will send Highlander fans into a pure panic, and isn’t that we haters of Bronx Bastards live for?

I am going all out to root for the Giants as I’m thinking of making a little shrine with my Jim Ray Hart bat, Will Clark baseball cards, and my photos of John McGraw. Game 1 Saturday is a must watch for all baseball fans with Halliday and The Freak hooking up.

Taryn Cooper has her last post of the season up at her My Summer Family site and she is also stepping away from the everyday grind of Mets blogging, which is a major loss to Metsfandom.  Hopefully we can meet up at MSG Coop, to root for our Broadway Blueshirts.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

BUS STOP WET DAY SHE’S THERE PLEASE SHARE MY UMBRELLA

 

It’s been a very busy morning so this will be a short post. I hate weather like today as we have a 5:30 game and it’s either going to rain this afternoon or this evening and I have to plan to go home early or stay at work so I’m very indecisive on what to do kind of like the Mets on the base paths.

Big Pelf was the pitcher we all thought we’d grow up to be yesterday. He got ahead with his sinker and used an effective spilt as well. It also helps it have a craftsman behind the plate like Henry Blanco. What we need now is consistency from Big Mike.

This whole Reyes in the third spot is just Jerry Manuel standing on a trap door waiting for it to open. I love how J-Man tells the press he advised Reyes to stay with his game when the move is made and not try to be a power hitter. What the hell is your 3 hitter anyway? He’s your best bat and one of your best power bats which is why D-Wright is the best option at the 3 spot. The problem with the lineup is both Mike Jacobs and Fernando Tatis suck and Ike Davis is playing for Buffalo. I know there are some who think Davis needs more time at Triple A but when you take into account his fine spring plus he went to one of the finest baseball schools-Arizona St.-in the country and his dad was a major leaguer so he knows the life better than most, that baseball pedigree tells me the risk of bringing up and under cooked Davis is better than a burnt Mike Jacobs or Fernando Tatis.

The Wee-Fellow at the Daily News has for the most part become an irrelevant writer in this town but he is still the house organ for the Skill Sets which leads me to believe the Skill Sets some how collaborated with him on this Bobby Valentine homecoming story to reclaim the Mets managers office.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THOSE AWFUL NATS

  Give credit to Tim Redding last night, with most of management and Mets Fans looking to send his ass packing he rebounded with a strong performance. Sure it was against the lowly Nats  but with his job on the line he stepped up.

Of all the injuries the one that hurts the least (no pun intended) is losing J J Putz. With Bobby Parnell, a rejuvenated Sean Green, Brain Stokes and Pedro Feliciano to go with Frankie Rodriguez the bullpen is robust and is a big reason not to give up the ship.

With all the injuries the Mets will have to reinvent themselves into a team of strong pitching and they must play stellar defense and keep the mistakes at a minimum especially on the base paths.  There are good aggressive plays that sometimes bite you in the ass like David Wright taking a chance on going to third on the botched pickoff play in the 6th that took a solid throw by A-Hern to get him. Then there are just bad base running plays like Carlos Beltran in the 1st trying to get to third with no outs on a hit and Wright trying to steal 3rd with no outs in the 10 th.  You can get away with mistakes against the awful Nats but with the schedule that is coming up against the top teams in baseball it helps best if your head is not up your ass.

So Adam LaRoche thinks it was “classless” of Carlos Beltran to say the Pirates are not a good team and the Mets should be embarrassed to lose three straight to them.  When your organization has not had a winning record in 17 seasons and you trade away an outfield of Jason Bay, Nate McClouth and Xavier Nady and get next to nothing of substance in return, I think your anger should be toward the management of your team and not the opposition who is just echoing what all of baseball knows that the Pittsburgh Pirates are a joke.

LaRoche may get a chance to tell Beltran what he thinks as he may get lucky and get traded to the Mets. I wouldn’t mind getting LaRoche and Jack Wilson to play first and short for the Mets and I bet it wouldn’t cost much either.

I’m a fan of Daniel Murphy but let’s face facts the Mets are dire need of a power bat and if Murphy who has looked great at first base isn’t going to hit then he needs to go to Buffalo so Omar can add a power bat at that possession. It’s not personal Danny Boy its business.

Watching and listening to Tom Glavine bitch and moan about his release by the Braves is more embarrassing than annoying although I find myself yelling “grows some balls” at the TV when MLB Network shows Glavine’ presser.

There is nothing better than MLB Extra Innings. Not only do you get to see every baseball game but when the Dodgers are home or west of the Mississippi River you get to hear Vin Scully. I’ve forgiven Scully for his bias against the Mets in the 1986 World Series and as I watched last night as the Phillies and Pedro Feliz gave the Dodgers a win it was this from Scully that made the game worth watching:

  

It’s about quarter of nine in Los Angeles. That makes it about quarter of six on the beaches at Normandy, in France. And 1944, June the sixth, tomorrow, that was the invasion of Europe.

We heard the names: Sword, Gold, Juno, Utah and Omaha. Those were the names of the beaches as the British, Canadians and the United States invaded Europe.

 Let’s go back to this one.

 At quarter of six on the beaches of Normandy sixty-five years ago, something like forty thousand fell in the invasion that was called Operation Overlord. The bloodiest beach was Omaha.

And then of course there was that area called Pointe du Hoc. You probably saw that in the movie The Guns of Navarone, where the GIs had to try and climb thirty-foot cliffs and the Germans were on top of the cliffs shooting down at them

So, do us older guys a favor. If you have children, would you please take time out tomorrow and tell them the sacrifice that was made sixty-five years ago?

 Freedom is not free. Boy, a lot of fellas gave their lives so that we could be sitting here watching a baseball game.

Please don’t forget it.

      

Thanks to Sons of Steve Garvey to this  

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

THIS RIDE IS MAKING ME SICK

Well I see the roller-coaster is still running strong. Win one, lose one. Last night was the same up and down ride. Petey started rocky then found the low strike zone and induced ground ball outs. That was good. D-Wright sucked in the field and on the base paths. Yeah that’s right I wrote D-Wright sucked last night, I’m allowed to. That doesn’t mean I’ve fallen out of my man crush on Sugar pants (My WRIGHT 5 jersey is on a hanger awaiting my appearance at Shea on Saturday night) but the facts are he made an awful error at third and an inexcusable base running mistake by not knowing how many outs there were. If Carlos Beltran did that there would have been an opening at WFAN as Joe (Bada Bing, Bada Boom) who have had an aneurism but for the Golden Boy we look away. Not right, right Wright?. If Warlord Jerry feels David needs a day off then just give him one. I admit that as the “team leader” it nice to defer to him but if J-Man feels he needs a mental health day then give him one this afternoon

 

The Mets should be embarrassed by the on going Ryan Church concussion episode as they really have failed Church from the first time he suffered a concussion in spring training to his second one in Atlanta. Just by doing a Google search of “concussion experts” I found a page to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine page where the deal in the treatment and study of brain trauma. Also I found a story on former SF Giants catcher Mike Matheny who suffered a concussion in a home plate collision and then suffered from more problems from taking fouls balls of his mask behind the plate. In the article Dr. Micky Collins has a quote that I feel sums up the Church case to a tee:

 

“With a single concussion, you’re going to recover“,  The problem is when you have a  concussion and undergo these chemical changes, you’re a lot more vulnerable if you have second  before the first is recovered”

 

Shame on the Mets for not doing their homework on this matter.

 

Daniel (Oh Danny Boy) Murphy is making his presences felt early in his call up to the point where he and Dan Evans will form a platoon in LF with Fernando Tatis playing RF it looks like and Endy Chavez doing what Endy Chavez is equip to do be a fourth outfielder and defensive specialist.

 

Thank God the Rockies signed Livan Hernandez because I’m sure Omar had him penciled in for Saturday nights start.

 

Speaking of which don’t give me Claudio Vargas or Brian Stokes or Nelly Figs. No give me Jon Neise  and let me see the future.

 

Word is Scott Schoeneweis and Dirty Duaner have both cleared waivers and that Brian Giles was claimed off the wire to a team with no name (M-E-T-S ?) I wouldn’t mind taking a flier on Giles for Schoeneweis.

 

Once I figure out what bag my camera is in I’ll post some picks from Fenway but now I intend to relax and watch Johan Santana try to salvage this series from the Pads.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.