Coming Up On The 4th of July and We Are In A Pennant Race

 

Looks like the Mets roller-coaster season is rising to the top again with last night’s 3-2 win over the Hollywood Bums.  So far as we near the completion of the first half of the season, Mets fans emotions and view of this team has spun around like a weather vane in a tornado, they put together a nice little win streak and we feel this could the one of those season where the club can grab what looks like a wide open NL East and win the division. Then there are the losing streaks and we’re ready to slump our shoulders and look at each other with that “ I knew it was too good to be true” expression we’ve worn since Mike Vail looked like the second coming of Mickey Mantle until a shattered ankle ended that dream.

But here we are, at the end of June and the Mets are but a mere 3 ½ games out of 1st place. I think most of us are still stunned by that as all winter the number of wins predicted for this Mets team hovered between 75 and 81 with everyone who bleeds blue and orange saying a .500 season would be a dream come true. Has this first half changed your view of that dream?

This is what the summer should be about, your team in contention for a pennant where you’re not just following your team but every team in the division, that’s where we stand now with the Mets especially this weekend. With the Mets and Dodgers playing at 10PM, it sets up perfect for us to follow the Phillies at the Fish and the Nats at the Braves right into Mets (with the Dickster on the bump) Dodgers. Its weekends like this that I pity those who aren’t baseball fans.

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The United Mets of Flushing

 

I didn’t see any of yesterday’s game as it was Mother’s Day and my kids had no sporting events (all through Little League we never scheduled games on Mother’s Day, I can’t say the same for youth soccer my kids regularly played on Mother’s Day making life difficult for a bunch of families, thankfully this season the schedule worked in our favor) but I received updates on my phone, it’s tough to be sitting in a theater during a play to check my phone when it’s vibrating with Mets news especially when my wife is sitting next to me, so it wasn’t until the conclusion of Perfect Crime did I see the carnage in Miami by left by the Mets bullpen.

So instead of a beyond belief 6-0 road trip the Mets head home to Flushing with a 4-2 mark instead. Now we all would have co-signed for that record at the start of the trip but since the two losses were of the blown by bullpen variety, it made for an angry fandom after the game because as I discussed on Saturday, nothing turns a baseball fans red like a blown save to lose a game, in fact Jon Rauch took to Twitter to lay some knowledge on some fans when it came to commitment to winning and having your teammates back. As we saw with the Frank Francisco taking on inept home plate umpire Todd Tichenor, who by the way is in his first season as an everyday MLB umpire, this Mets team has passion and they seem to have enacted the practice of no teammate left behind as Rauch put on display last night. They win as a team and they lose as a team. It seems some Mets fans are not grasping this concept; maybe some of you are pining for the days of “One Met Said” cowardice we’ve seen in the Mets clubhouse during past administrations.  Thankfully those days look to be over.

Now that doesn’t mean Terry Collins will keep the status quo in the bullpen as the manager stated he has “8 options” to use as a game closer and let’s be honest here Mets fans, you can scream and curse Frank Francisco and Manny Acosta for yesterday and Friday but the toughest thing to build in baseball today is a proficient bullpen. Look at the regal Bronx Bastards, they need help in their pen but even with their unlimited financial resources, they can’t go out and buy a closer to replace the Sainted Mariano the Majestic. So TC may have to go with the hot hand to close games or use a combo of Tim Byrdak, Bobby Parnell and Jon Rauch, the three most effective relievers so far, to finish out games.

At the end of last season, Sandy Alderson pointed out that all the blown saves that led to losses at the end of the season were unacceptable and that these types of situation’s can bring down a team. Right now this Mets team is united but you wonder how much that unity can stand if the late game meltdowns continue?

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FREDDY SKILL SETS SEZ: NOT IN MY BACKYARD

Lot’s of talk about the Mets giving the Highlanders the thumbs down on their proposal to bring the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Highlanders to Newark NJ for one season as the clubs stadium gets a much needed overhaul.  The Mets are being made out to be the villians here when they did nothing wrong. As per the agreement with MLB before either the Mets or Highlanders try to do something like this they issue of territorial rights has to be addressed. The Bronx Bastards did just that and the Mets said no.

The outcry you hear most is that the Mets are being petty and by not allowing the Highlanders to let their Triple A team play in Newark is not in best interests of the City of Newark or baseball fans. That is pure out and out bullshit. I’ve been in Newark many more times that the folks who are crying about this so called injustice and I can tell you no Highlanders fans from Basking Ridge, or Bernardsville are coming into Brick City to see the Triple A Highlanders.  I’ve been to Riverfront Stadium in the past and found it to be a nice ballpark but in recent years the park has not been kept up and lacking in any positive atmosphere to the point I really have no desire to go from Staten Island to Newark (about a 20-30 min ride) to watch a ball game. In fact the same conditions can be found in the Ball Park at St. George where the SI Highlanders play. The Newark Bears have fallen on hard times and it has nothing to do with the city but with poor management and the fractured economy as well.

Throughout this whole Mets bashing argument there has been no mention of the fans of Scranton/Wilkes Barre, who I doubt will make the trip to Newark to watch their team play. I would guess there are colleges that have baseball fields in the Scranton area that could be converted into a temporary home for the Triple A Highlanders like what was done back in 1999 for the SI Highlanders, turning the College of Staten Island baseball field into a temporary home until the St. George park was built.  

As Mets fans, we all know that is the shoe was on the other foot, Highlander President Randy Levine would have to told Freddy Skill Sets to kiss his ass. That’s the Highlander way. So now that it’s Freddy who gives the Highlanders his ass to kiss, he’s a bad guy. As much as I’ve killed the Skill Sets over the years here, I’ve got their broke ass backs on this one.

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SEPTEMBER SWOON

Well if it’s September it must be Mets Free Fall.  Just like white shoes and straw hats, the NY Mets go out of style come Labor Day.

The last three September’s have become Nightmare on 126th St & Roosevelt as Freddy Skill Sets worst nightmare has come true, the lack of meaningful baseball games played in Flushing. It’s why the organization has had to pull gimmicks out it’s ass to find a way to coax fans to Citi Field. From 2009 to last night the Mets are 26-44 in the month that baseball fans pay the most attention to, the month when the teams that are ready to prove they are worthy World Series contenders, the month we used to look at once tickets went on sale and made sure we secured tickets to the Braves series, the Phillies series now we look forward to Cult Movie Night or Thumb Suckers Awareness Night or a Celebrations of the People of the Aleutian Islands .

So let’s bring everyone back from this year because it’s just a matter of time before Mike Pelfrey turns into Don Drysdale and David Wright will turn into George Brett and Johan Santana will be the first pitcher to ever comeback from shoulder surgery to win the Cy Young Award and Bobby Parnell will become a gritty, gutty closer by growing a Fu Manchu moustache, and of course Jose Reyes will resign and the Mets will add a Santeria High Priest to exorcise the demons out of Reyes’ hamstrings.

Now that the chase for .500 looks unattainable maybe we should root for more loses to get a better pick in the 2012 Entry Draft.

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MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE

Famous Last Words

One  of the great topics for debate when it comes to team sports is how much does team chemistry play in making a difference between a winning or losing team.  There are many who believe team chemistry is a bunch of bullshit and it’s mostly those in the sabermetric segment of baseball fans who take this position and feel that folks like me who believe in this part of the game are relics of the past and that whether you’re BFF’s with teammates or a big time snob, as long as you produce on the field that’s what counts. In some ways they’re right, Jeff Francouer had a million dollar smile and a ten cent approach at the plate while he was with the Mets.  Barry Bonds was one miserable prick in the Giants clubhouse but he is still considered one the best baseball players of all time (I’ll leave the PED discussion for another time) but there is still something about having a group of people who have the same goal, winning and will do whatever has to be done to achieve that goal. When you have that collective mind set, I feel you have a greater shot of being a winning team than if you have a team that is just a collection of talent who worry about their 2 for 4 day and their statistical resume than winning games.

I bring this up because of four teams I’ve watched over the last month or so, two teams that have that “team chemistry” one that doesn’t and one I think will have it.

I’m a Boston Celtics fan and if there is a team that thrives on chemistry and is the best case study on the subject it’s the C’s. For the bulk of his career, Paul Pierce was the best the Celtics had to offer but as the losses piled up with exception of a trip to the NBA Finals in 2001, Pierce was ready to bolt Boston until GM Danny Ainge made two deals that put the Celtics back into the forefront of the NBA,  obtaining Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. All three players were All-Stars and future Hall of Famers as well; this melding of talent would either be a big success or a major failure. It’s been a rousing success. All three superstars under the direction of Head Coach Doc Rivers have checked their egos at the locker room door and preached the value of teamwork to their teammates. Ainge also added a great supporting cast who all have the same team first mind set. Garnett uses the term “Ubuntu” which loosely translated from African culture means a sense of community. Yes it helps greatly that the team employs four players who are all time greats and one in Rajon Rando who will be in that same group when his career is over. When you watch the C’s play you know right away what the mission statement is, to win Banner 18 and to do it by any means necessary.

A team that is nowhere near having Ubuntu are the NY Knicks. Here is a team that is just a red hot mess.  The best guy in the entire Knicks organization is the GM Donny Walsh, who took over a disaster of a team, got them below the salary cap for the first since the inception of the cap, who then went out an acquired two superstar players and has made The Garden the mecca of basketball once again. For his hard work and dedication what did Walsh get in return, a knife in his back wielded by the clueless owner of the team Jim Dolan. The head coach Mike D’Antoni preaches offense, offense and more offense with his “7 seconds or less” fast break style. A style that will never win without the player’s ability to play even plausible defense, which the Knicks don’t do.  But the biggest problem with the Knicks is they have two superstars who don’t seem to know how to mesh. Amare Stoudemire was THE show for the bulk of the season with the Knicks. He was the focal point of everything from merchandising to promotion of the team, he was anointed the next great Knickerbocker. As the team had early success the chant of M-V-P cascaded from the fans at MSG, they loved their Amare. But wait, all of a sudden another superstar joined the team, this player was born in Red Hook Brooklyn but raised in Baltimore MD and won a National Championship with Syracuse and did everything in his power to be a Knick. Move over Amare make way for Carmelo Anthony.

Both these star players said all the right things at the ‘Melo presser (the same cannot be said of Dopey Dolan) and the first few games, the duo had Knick fans thinking it was 1970 all over again. But as the season has gone on, we see that both players are still trying to figure out who gets the ball when the game is on the line and how to get the rest of the roster to raise their game and guts to do what it takes to win games. We have seen ‘Melo glare at teammates who haven’t gotten the ball to him in crunch time and we’ve seen Stoudemire wonder what happened to the team he was the leader of and the coach trying to figure out how to appease two big egos. I guess you could say the Knicks lack “team chemistry”

Now the other tenant of MSG , is the exact opposite of their basketball cohabitants.  For long time NY Rangers fans like myself , the best trait of this Ranger team is they never quit and even in losses, it’s hard to get mad as they  are what hockey folks like to say a “lunch pail team” . Not only are they a hard working bunch but for the most part the Rangers roster is mostly home grown.  Ryan Callahan is the captain in waiting along with Brandon Dubinsky, Mark Stahl, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan  and King Henrik Lundquist  are all setting the tone for big run to the playoffs. No matter what happens in the playoffs, as Ranger fans we have to be pleased that the foundation of the team that will be a Cup contender for awhile has been set.  There is a very good blend of veteran and young players on this Ranger team. When you see teams like the Rangers play as hard as they do, as a fan your proud to say you root for that team. With the NY Rangers you have team and fan chemistry.

That brings me to the NY Mets. If your sole knowledge of the Mets was obtained through the NY beat writers, sports columnists and Twitter, you’d get the impression that this was the worst team in baseball. But if you watch the games and possess an open mind ,you’d come to the realization that the Mets are a pretty good ball club. Are they a World Series contender? Not this year. Will they be better than last year? No question in my mind they will.

There is a lot of familiarity with the players on the roster, most have played together either in the big leagues or in the Mets minor league system. R.A. Dickey had mentioned this during the off season that many of the guys on this team know each other very well. Dickey also mentioned that a baseball clubhouse is just like any work place, some of guys you’re close with and other guys not as close but when you put the same uniform you have that in common and that’s what’s important.

One of the biggest failures of the past front office staff was they let the clubhouse become fractured. The last two mangers seemed to polarize the clubhouse and that led to cliques forming between the players.  You can see this spring that the new regime realizes this has been a problem with the Mets as Terry Collins instituted the Sunday night bowling parties to try to form a bond within the team.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying if the whole team sat around singing Kumbaya  it will make the Mets a World Series winner, but if the TC and Sandy Alderson can change the climate of that clubhouse and Collins can get the team to buy into a team first mentality, that will be half the battle in getting the Mets winning games. I feel the seeds of that way of thinking have been planted. If the players realize that no matter how much money or how much time you’ve spent as a Met , means nothing  if you don’t produce something positive to the club, you’ll be gone.

Think about it, the past administration went out and brought in talented players at big money contracts and what do they have to show for it? A division championship and two players calling out their teammates for not stepping up and talking to the media (the infamous “they speak English you know” from Bill Wagner and Red Ass LoDuca towards their Latino teammates)   I think this will be a much better clubhouse and a much better Met team than most think. I can’t wait until a week from tomorrow and I really am excited for April 8th and the home opener. Forget about the mess the owners are in, forget about the nay sayers in media worrying about who the Mets fans are going to boo next. I’m not saying we should become a bunch of Pollyanna’s , but this Mets team looks like one we should be rooting for.

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DEAR MAINSTREAM MEDIA, KISS MY BLUE AND ORANGE ASS!

A little Irish greeting to all the  Mets critics on the eve of St Patrick’s Day

There have been some stories the last few days from the dead media (a/k/a newspapers) about ticket sales at Citi Field for single game tickets not being particularly brisk. These newspapers wasted time and money to send reporters to Citi Field to see if anyone was buying Mets tickets. The reporters were SHOCKED that weren’t lines snaking around 126th street with fans holding fists full of cash clamoring for Mets tickets.

The story in this case was not the dearth of ticket buyers at Citi, instead it should have been WHY would people go to Citi to buy tickets? Back before we were unable to “fire through the internet” going to Shea Stadium for ticket day was a happening for some. People enjoyed sleeping in front of Shea to get tickets while freezing and peeing into bottles just for a shot at opening day, Highlander games and gym bag day, I was never one of that ilk.  Back then I’d rather pay a premium for a ticket while sleeping nice and cozy in my own bed, but to each his own.

Why would anyone schlep to Citi for tickets when you can turn on a computer, pick the game you want and print the ticket yourself (yes the $2.50 fee to use your own printer and your own ink is total bullshit)

There just seems to be a MSM conspiracy to kill the Mets any way they can. There are some who follow the team that really hate their job (I’m looking straight at you Andy Martino) and just really hate the Mets (That would be you Klap) that anything they say or write about the team I ignore.

The Mets don’t do enough to fight the perception that they are inept in all facets of the baseball business but most media and general baseball fans that belittle the Mets are out and out assholes. I put them in the same category of people who now participate in the new sport of bashing union workers especially government workers because they think our medical and pension benefits are bankrupting the country. We union workers wish we were living as well as you think we are, the folks who are raping this country’s economy run the financial intuitions that most of our critics work in. But I digress.

Our Mets are far from perfect but we are not a disaster the club is portrayed as.  Yes the owner has fucked up something awful and the financial where with all that the club has enjoyed for years is gone but I bet if the Skill Sets put the For Sale sign up at Citi Field then you’d really see a line forming around Citi Field.

This will all come to a head soon as the Skill Sets will either survive paying off the Madoff trust with either enough dough to keep the Mets or they will get cleaned out where they have to sell the club, SNY and Citi Field to pay off the lawsuit but you what it doesn’t matter to us we’re “Webees” We be here when the Skill Sets got here and We be here when they’re gone.  Mets fans are the one constant in Flushing. As have been and always will.

If it’s the Skill Sets who keep the team or a new owner for the club, there needs to be a plan to fight the negative perception that follows the organization. Does anyone in the Mets front office get pissed off as the fans do? I hope with the new front office this would change because it really bugs the shit out me that the Mets fans, bloggers and Tweeters are the only ones with the guts to fight this perception.

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MLB, NY METS AND SUSAN G. KOMEN GO TO BAT FOR BREAST CANCER AWARNESS

Please check out this press release from the NY Mets:

HONORARY BAT GIRL CONTEST OPEN FOR METS FANS

TO SHARE THEIR “GOING TO BAT AGAINST BREAST CANCER” STORIES

 

Submission Entry Period for Chance to be Honored On-Field at Citi Field

During Mother’s Day Celebrations Open Now Through April 1 at HonoraryBatGirl.com

 

 

FLUSHING, N.Y., February 17, 2011 – Major League Baseball® and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, launched the 2011 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, a campaign to recognize baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and have demonstrated a commitment to eradicating the disease. Mets fans ages 18 and older can go online at www.honorarybatgirl.com to share inspirational stories about themselves or loved ones who are “Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer.”

 

During MLB’s annual Mother’s Day national day of recognition, one Honorary Bat Girl representing the Mets will take part in pre-game activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony at Citi Field and receive pink MLB merchandise and two tickets to the game. Entries may be submitted at www.honorarybatgirl.com, a Web site powered by MLB.com, and will be accepted until the submission period closes on Thursday, April 14.

 

A celebrity panel of judges will help select the winning submissions based on the following criteria: originality, quality of writing, demonstration of commitment to breast cancer awareness and public appeal as determined by online fan votes.

 

During the nine-week online submission period, fans can share stories of inspiration and hope, how they or loved ones are supporting the fight against breast cancer and why they want to be an Honorary Bat Girl for their favorite MLB Club. Testimonials can be submitted by breast cancer survivors, advocates and supporters of the cause.

 

The program was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative celebrated on Mother’s Day. In two years, nearly 2,000 testimonials have been submitted and more than six million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a joint partnership between MLB, its licensed partners and Susan G. Komen for the Cure to raise awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

 

On Mother’s Day, May 8, hundreds of MLB players are expected to use pink bats by Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. To further demonstrate their support for the breast cancer cause, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative dugout lineup cards also will be pink. Game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother’s Day games will be auctioned exclusively MLB.com at a later date to raise addi

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IF THE SKILL SETS NEED TO EMBRACE THE FAN BASE, MAKE US YOUR PARTNER

As a guy who has trouble balancing a check book, all this financial talk of the Skill Sets and the financial stability of the franchise has my head aching. What The Skill Sets knew and when they knew it about the Madoff Ponzi scheme is still not known and if an out of court settlement comes about, we may never know but what we do know is the brand of the New York Mets has been tainted.

Maybe this is why the organization has embraced the Mets blogging community, why not go to the folks whose love for the team is undying and let them be involved in events that we never dreamed we’d be a part of. I am very much appreciative of the organization for the opportunity they have given me with access to Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and various players but the folks the organization really needs to reach out to you guys who read this site and other Mets blogs and buy the tickets and watch SNY and buy team merchandise because you are the life blood of the franchise.

The news of the Skill Sets cash call could not come at a worse time. Season ticket sales are down and there doesn’t seem to be a big demand for single game tickets either, those go on sale in March. The biggest argument and it is a very fair criticism, is that the ticket prices are way to high. Now add in the news that the Skill Sets are strapped for cash most fans will feel that by buying a ticket to a Mets game will be paying for the Skill Sets Defense Fund. I’m not saying it is but that’s the perception.

A couple of pluses could come out of this firestorm. Yesterday I attended SABR DAY at Foleys Bar in Manhattan an event that was put together by SABR and Baseball Prospectus. It was a great afternoon of baseball talk with baseball fans and writers. Two of the panelists were Mets play by play man, Gary Cohen and Newsday baseball writer, Ken Davidoff. When the Q & A session began the Skill Sets money woes came up. Cohen didn’t have much to say on the topic and with good reason I guess, but Davidoff claimed that as far as the baseball operation goes it may be good for the team. It seems this had been brewing for some time and Davidoff confirmed what I’ve been told for years and what I’ve written about here, that Jeffey Skill Sets is a big part of the problem. Between Jeffey and Omar they wanted to be friends with everyone from players to front office people and anytime a tough decision had to be made neither man could pull the trigger. The Tony Bernazzard firing is a prime example, the team had to be humiliated by the media before they’d let Bernazard go as he was friends with both Jeffey and Omar. Davidoff stated this will not happen under Sandy Alderson as he will not tolerate it. The panel consensus was by putting Alderson in charge it takes Jeffey out of the baseball ops decision making except on money issues. So if there is a plus out of this fiasco it’s muzzling Jeffey. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard folks who cover the team say “Now there is an adult in charge” well, you’d be looking at a 25 % owner of the Mets.

The Mets will have to really work hard on marketing this team for 2011 and beyond. The best way to start is by ripping out those club seats behind home plate and replace them with seats that honest to goodness baseball fans can purchase. Not only would be good business but it go a long away to getting some positive baseball atmosphere in Citi Field. Every time you tune into a Mets game on TV, those seats are empty because the ticket holders for those seats couldn’t care less about the game going on as long as the free booze and food are flowing in the Delta Club. The organization lowered some ticket prices but they are still ridiculous. The Skill Sets have taken a massive hit on their credibility, if they want to win the fans back they have a lot of wooing to do. This is year three of Citi Field and the place still has no identity. Is it a playground for the well to do? Is it a food court with a ball park attached? How games have you sat in your seats watching a game a looked out toward centerfield marveling at the line of people who stand on line waiting to buy a hamburger? When people would rather wait on a line for a half hour to forty-five minutes for a burger than watch your team, you have a problem.

It’s time Mets ownership comes to the realization that in order to make this franchise great again it has to embrace the working stiff Mets fan. One thing you know about us working stiffs, we are loyal to the team and we show up and support the club in good times and in bad. Not like some rich thieving scumbag who but a knife in the Skill Sets back.  You want to sell 25 % of the club? Just make the real true blue and orange Mets fan feel like you actually care about them and make the Citi Field experience that wants fans to  come back rather than say good riddance and I guarantee you’ll see so much success that this cash call will be just a bad dream.

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OKAY BACK TO WORK!

For most people the holiday season is over but for baseball fans we are anticipating our holiday season, the day pitchers and catchers start stretching out hammys and arms in what is really (no offense to those who like to use rodents as weather prognosticators) the first sign that daylight will be longer and temperatures higher, spring training.  As Mets fans we are entering a new era in the history of the franchise with Team Alderson running the Baseball Ops and I don’t know about you but I’m still trying to figure out the direction in which we’re headed.

Alderson has a lot of Clint Eastwood movie role qualities, he seems to never get rattled or sweat. In fact I bet if Alderson were advising Mayor MoneyBags during the worst snow removal operation, we would not have had the disaster, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the late 1970’s when John Lindsay forgot that Queens was not part of Nassau County. The problem we have here though, the Mets fan base is the exact opposite of the front office.

The NY Jets fan base has bought in to Rex Ryan’ bravado and bluster. Knicks fans are starting to boast about having a top 10 NBA team. NY Rangers fans are looking with admiration of their team as it has become a real blue collar bunch that works it’s ass off. Even NY Giants fans are still believers in their head coach (some, not all I know. Even though I’m not a big Coughlin fan I agree with John Mara bringing him back next season. I bet he gets a one year extension and then retires)   I just wonder if Mets fans will ever take on the persona of Sandy Alderson ?

Most of us Mets fans are feeling very antsy about the pitching staff, there are two starting spots open along with at least three spots in the bullpen, and just a few shekel’s available in the Skill Sets budget to fill the spots.  There are also six bench spots that have to be filled as well and all I keep thinking is “How is Sandy going to do this”? Not only how but how and make this team competitive?

Adam Rubin did a whole roster breakdown and of the starting eight, only second base is an open competition. The outfield is set with Bay, Beltran, Pagan so the only question here is who will play centerfield and who will be in right? Talking to Carlos Beltran, he feels fine and looks fit but the biggest obstacle I see is that big bulky brace he will have to wear for as long as he plays baseball.  I got the impression from Terry Collins, that Beltran will be given every chance to win the CF job but if he and his staff feels he’s not up to it, he’ll be the RF’er with Pagan taking over CF. What choice does Beltran have if this move is made? None.

The second base quagmire is most compelling. If Luis Castillo can’t beat out the competition he’ll be given his release. The feeling I get is Alderson hopes he craps out so he can release him. Castillo fits on this team about as well as a eunuch in whorehouse.  I’m very interested in seeing Brad Emaus play as I think he’s the guy the front office wants to win the second base job. Dan Murphy will get reps at second as well but he looks to be more a utility guy and lefty bat off the bench. Same with Nick Evans as his righty counterpart who can spell both David Wright and Ike Davis and maybe play a corner spot in the outfield as well.

That still leaves about four spots to fill the bench. One player who won’t be a benchmark is Lucas Duda and that’s a good thing. Duda needs to play every day and that can only happen in Buffalo. It’s a win-win for the Mets, if Duda hits like last year, he’s prime trade bait or he is the first call up if the any of the three starting OF’ers go down injured.  How about signing Andruw Jones as a fourth outfielder? Maybe the longer he’s unemployed, the easier he could be to sign for an incentive laden contract.

The storyline that will be most prominent in 2011 will be what becomes of Jose Reyes beyond this season. I’d say it’s a given that no matter how well he plays, this is Carlos Beltran’ last season as a Met, in fact we could be talking months as Alderson will have to decide if it’s worth trading Beltran for prospects or taking the draft pick? With Reyes it’s a lot more difficult decision. What Jose Reyes will we see in 2011? If it’s the Reyes of the last two seasons, where injury and production limit his playing time, then no way you go long term, in fact if 2011 is a carbon copy of 2010, then Reyes will be an ex-Met but if he bounces back and has a 2008 type season, then Sandy Alderson will have a real tough decision to make. Let’s hope Reyes has a 2008 type season as that would mean not only seeing how Alderson handles a tough decision but I’m sure the Mets will have  better season than most fans think they’ll have.

The Francisco Rodriguez saga will be compelling as well. What happens if Rodriguez is closing in on the magic 55 games finished and the Mets are out of contention? Do the Mets hold him back and damn the consequences of a grievance? What if everything starts to fall into place and this team is still in post season hunt?  It’s the $17.5 mil dollar question.

I’m getting mighty itchy for some positive Mets news. This front office is keeping its plans very close to the vest and all the leaks in the organization seemed to have been plugged so we sit here waiting for a moves to be made so we can analyze and try to track how this team will go forward.  Please Sandy, throws us a bone!

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TODAY IS BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE DAY

Today is Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) Day, and as a member from the beginning of the Alliance and the NY NL Chapter President, I’d like to tell you about the BBA.

The BBA was founded in 2009 by Daniel Shoptaw, who blogs about the St. Louis Cardinals at his C70 at the Bat site. Daniel had e-mailed me about the BBA and asked if would like to join up and I immediately said yes. What I liked about the BBA was it was a place for someone like me who is passionate about my team to meet up with other passionate baseball fans who are also bloggers.  My membership in the BBA has been a tremendous help in doing my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN radio show and in hosting the BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE BASEBALL TALK SHOW on Blog Talk Radio, as I can always find a blogger to come on and talk about their team when they are facing the NY Mets, to give me a fans/bloggers eye view of ups and downs of their team, which helps myself and my listeners get a better idea of the opponent facing the Mets in that series.

Besides the BBA Talk Radio show, we also vote on season ending awards in the same fashion as the Baseball Writers of America, in fact they seem a bit worried about our views as they issued a cease and desist letter for the BBA not use the terms they use for their award. We wear that C & D as a badge of accomplishment.

The BBA is 230 members strong, with chapters which are history oriented, cover fantasy baseball, the analytical part of baseball and those who cover general baseball news and views. The majority of the membership though is of team specific sites and I am very proud to say that the New York Mets have the highest number of bloggers in the BBA at 19.

So I’d like for you to take a little time today and visit our BBA site and also check out our broadcasts on Blog Talk Radio.    

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