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.

 

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Another Great Mets Bloggers Night at Citi Field

Yes that’s Cleon Jones sharing some pizza and great stories from back in the day with Mets Bloggers. Thanks to Shannon Forde and Danielle Parillo for the picture and the great hospitality they shows us last night at Citi Field, The pizza by the way is called the Cleon (patra) Jones from Two Boots it was delicious 

I had a great day/night out a Citi Field last night which the Mets held another of the Mets blogger nights and it was a busy one for sure. I have some audio I’ll be downloading in a few days and I’ll have more to post as well as I’m pressed for time this weekend between baseball games today and tomorrow and Monday and some family stuff to do tonight and of course tomorrow and add in I’ll be at the 92nd Street Y for the announcing of the All Time Mets team to coincide with the 50th Anniversary season.

I’ll just add a few things that I’ll have more to talk about as the week goes on.

I had the pleasure to chat with Sandy Alderson during batting practice and to observe the teams two top draft picks, SS Gavin Cecchini and C Kevin Plawecki . Alderson is very happy that both players were available to the Mets at their turn especially Cecchini who the GM was their #1 target as the not only love his on field ability but he has as the GM put it “off the charts makeup”

I spoke to Plawecki’ parents at the press conference and told them I was excited that their son would play for the Brooklyn Cyclones. I also told his mom and dad, who are staying in town to watch his debut on Monday in Brooklyn, to have Kevin take then to Gargulio’s for dinner and spend some of that bonus money.

If you would have told me back in 1969 when I was an 11 year old watching Cleon Jones catch Davey Johnson’s fly ball for the final out of the World Series that sealed the Mets as World Champions that 43 years later I’d be hangin’ with Cleon and eating pizza at Mets game with him I’d have thought you were on strong narcotics. Well, there we were me, Cleon Jones and Two Boots pizza. WOW!!! Or as Greg Prince said to me “that’s Cleon Freakin’ Jones “

If you were at the game last night and you booed Jason Bay as he came off the field with what we now know is a concussion, you need to stop calling yourself a Mets and you need to take stock of what a low class asshole you are. Bay has been a major disappointment since he signed with the Mets and I understand the frustration fans have as he is the last remnant of the old regime that ran the baseball ops but to boo a guy who gave his body to make a play and a guy who gives 100 % and goes head first into the wall with his history of concussions, is totally classless and you should be ashamed of booing him but then you knuckle draggers have no shame.

I didn’t stay for the Reo Speedwagon concert and if it were 30 years ago I still wouldn’t have stayed for the concert .

 

I am still with 28 (#ImWith28) but I have to say, Daniel Murphy needs a couple of days off. Terry Collins would like to have him stay out of the batting cage as well but that goes against Murph’s work ethic. Collins made mention on how Murph is non-stop at working on his stance and hitting in the cage and viewing video and as much as TC and Dave Hudgens tell him to take it easy a bit that just makes him work even harder. With Justin Turner back from the DL you could see Turner and Jordany Vladespin  give Murph a needed break from 2nd base for a couple of games.

 

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My Day At Highlander Stadium with Terry Collins, Joe Girardi and Dunkin Donuts !

This isn’t the best commercial acting I’ve ever seen but you have to admit, it beats the hell out the SUBWAY ads with Joe Torre and Willie “But it’s toasted Joe “Randolph

Yesterday I was invited to an event at Highlander Stadium by Dunkin Donuts that featured an appearance by Highlander skipper Joe Girardi and our own Terry Collins. This was a much different experience than I’ve had at Citi Field when myself and other Mets bloggers have been invited to participate in the pre and post-game activities that the main stream sports media attend daily.

Before I get to the access I had to the managers, a little about how they do things media wise in the South Bronx. When I arrived at the stadium I headed for Gate 4, the press gate, as I entered there are two x-ray machines just like what you see at the airport. I had to put my knapsack on the conveyor belt so it could be scanned, I didn’t know if this was a routine for everyone or just anyone affiliated with the Mets that had to be screened in such a way, maybe my 50th Anniversary pin set off a red flag. From there I checked in and was told to wait for a member of the Highlander security force who would then escort me to the Audi Club.

As the Highlander constable along with a rep from Dunkin Donuts walked me to the club, the DD rep asked me if I was impressed with the way the suite numbers were named after Highlander players who wore that corresponding number, I just looked at her and said, “I’m here as a Mets blogger so I couldn’t care less” to which she started staring at the carpet like she lost a quarter and the Highlander constable started talking in his wrist. Still the long journey continued until finally we hit Yonkers where I believe the Audi club is located.

There I was surrounded by Dunkin Donuts coffees, both hot and cold and so many donuts that I thought of dialing 911 to alert Mayor Bloomberg of the felonious assault by calorie in progress at the Audi club. I grabbed an iced coffee and headed to the area where the presser was to be held. To my surprise, this wasn’t a bloggers/writers event; it was more of an owner/operator of a Dunkin Donuts event.

As Terry Collins and Joe Girardi are introduced, I see Girardi is wearing his Highlander home jersey, just the jersey not full uni and Collins is wearing his “business casual” sport coat slacks and open collar shirt as he said he knew that a Mets jersey is not a welcome site around here. That kind of pissed me off, I would have loved for him to come in in full uni or at least his Mets warm up and cap just to make a statement and stop giving in to the Mets are the step child bullshit that’s allowed to go unchallenged. It got my blood boiling enough to go on a bit of rant that I thought may have gotten myself an early exit from the event.

There weren’t any main stream media at this unveiling of Collins and Giraridi as spokesmen for Dunkin Donuts ice coffee it seems Girardi reps the iced caramel and Collins the ice moca, and the fact that the team that wins the Subway Series that manager will received a $25,000 donation to their favorite charity. When it was brought up that the teams could split the series 3-3, the DD execs looked confused and a bit embarrassed and gave the” we’ll come up with something” answer. How about giving both managers $25k a piece? For what they charge for a dozen donuts I’m sure it’s doable.

So after a lot of playful banter between the managers, the floor was open to questions. Myself and the few other bloggers (I didn’t see anyone I’ve met before but there was one other Mets blogger there or at least one other person asking Terry Collins questions besides me) were off to each side of Collins and Girardi but we had to fight for Q & A time with the fans in attendance so it was time to get aggressive.

I’ve mentioned a few times here that of all the people I’ve met and had a chance to talk to at Citi Field, Terry Collins is the only one who intimidates me, well after yesterday I think I’m over that. I think it was the location Highlander Stadium and the fact just about everyone in the room was a Highlander supporter, that I started to assert my Mets blogger self.  While most of the questioners were raising their hands to ask questions I had enough and just called out to Collins and have him look my way so I can get some queries in.  I ask about Jason Bay and his availability for last night’s game and Collins told me he’s be in the lineup he wouldn’t tell me where in the lineup as I guess he didn’t spring it on Bay that he was batting 8th  , at 11 Am,  I followed up with where will he play LF or DH and was told LF. I then continued my bogarting of the event by asking about Omar Quintanilla’ fractured  finger and my new obsession, when Ruben Tejada will return as the everyday shortstop. Collins gave a look of “yo ixnay on the injuries-ay” and the rest of the attendees were like yeah enough with the Mets questions. Well too damn bad ! I don’t care about David Robinson or Brent Gardner on the DL or how many home runs Curtis Granderson will hit (Girardi is a baseball manger folks not a goddamn fortune teller) so have some fucking manners, let me get my Mets questions in and then you can go back to your inane Highlander inquires about the style of underwear Derek Jeter wears.

I asked Collins about David Wright and how it seems that now that he is the most tenured Mets player he has taken his leadership in the clubhouse up a notch. Collins agreed saying that his treatment of the young players is fantastic and when other players see his work ethic and preparation they follow suit. I then inquired about Ike Davis and if there was anything he has seen in his last few games that would lead him to believe that Davis is ready to break out of this horrendous start. Collins gave a politicians answer going on how Ike’s teammates are behind him and how he’s working so hard to get back to where the club feels he should be but nothing on if Collins thinks he’s ready to bust out. After watching Ike last night it’s going to be a very hard sell by the front office to keep him on the big league roster. Whatever it is, losing most of the last season to injury or the bout of Valley Fever, Ike’s not right and has become an almost automatic out at the plate.

The last question of the session came from a Highlander blogger I believe (I’m kicking myself in the ass for not asking his name and who what site he wrote for) who asked Joe Girardi if he could do something to help the Highlander Bloggers  get access to the team. Girardi had no idea what he was talking about he told the blogger he has no control over who what or where when it comes to media access. At that point I had to give the Mets props and tell the audience that the Mets have been very gracious in letting me and other bloggers have access to Collins and his players and how fortunate we are that they give us the opportunity. Up yours NY Highlanders brass!!!

When the Q & A broke up, the Highlander blogger came over to me and said how he wished the Highlander’s would follow the Mets line of working with the bloggers. I said to him “The Highlanders are run by a bunch stuffed shirt tight asses who have no use for social media” I guess I said that a bit too loud as the Highlander constable started to walk towards me, I just put up my hand and said “it’s fine, I’ll show myself out” with that I grabbed another free iced coffee and head for the downtown 4 train. My work there was done.

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It Must Be Raindrops, So Many Raindrops

I have to agree 1,000 % with two prestigious members of the Mets blogger-ari, Greg Prince of Faith and Fear in Flushing and Shannon of The Mets Police as they took the NY Mets to the wood shed for the spanking their deserved  on the teams handling of yesterday’s rain out.

Yesterday’s game was no run of the mill April game, it was Tome Seaver Bobblehead Day. Seaver is now and ever shall be THE FRANCHISE , so when the date was announced that his head and famous delivery would be honored with plaster and a springy thing in his neck, many Mets fans jumped on that date to buy tickets, in fact I bet for most it would be their first outing to Citi Field for the season and in this time of trying extra hard to sell tickets, yesterday would have been the day to put out the good dishes and make sure everyone had a smile on their face to sell the Citi Field experience. Instead, the Mets are left with a lot of disgruntled customers who may feel it’s not worth the effort to head to Citi Field.

This is why I hate to buy tickets in advance because when I do and you have a weather situation like yesterday it makes for a tension convention of a day. You wake up early and it’s raining your family peppers you with question if the game is still on like it’s my call. Nothing is worse than fighting the traffic on the Gowanus and BQE to go to Flushing and pay $20 to park a car and then find out no game today. So add that $20 to the toll I have to pay to cross Verrazano-City Government Extortion Bridge and with gas at over $4 a gallon and the aggravation of driving back home with no plan B for the day, sometimes it better to not buy tickets in advance but just wait until day of game to buy them and print them out at home and go on your merry way.

Mets management has to do a better job of calling games early enough as to not inconvenience fans/customers because its days like yesterday that will keep fans away more than the play on the field.

The thing I love about Twitter is the way some folks on their take shit so seriously. While I’m waiting for my assignment for the day, I see this tweet and felt I just had to answer it in a way to stir some shit up. I love the response but even better was this response, so of course I had to counter that. This is like my new life’s work anyone dissing the Mets who is not a member of the Church of Blue and Orange gets called out.  Yeah I’m a little bit out of my mind.

 

 

 

 

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Last Night’s Loss Still Stings

Photo of great catch by Capt. Kirk from the NY Daily News

There are days the Mets fan base annoys and puzzles me and then there are days I can see they get it, today they get. From reading through my Twitter timeline it seems the majority of Mets fans agree, last night’s loss was the toughest of the season to take.

What has made my day is that Mets blogger extraordinaire, Metstradamus wrote a post on last night’s game that is exactly how I feel, so like a hobo hoping on box car for free ride, if you read Metstradamus post twice, you will get his take and mine on last night’s game.

I will add it was nice to see the maturation of Jon Niese on the mound last night. Niese tried to muscle the ball the first three innings going heavily with his fastball and not keeping the ball down. In the 4th he started to get a good feel for his curve ball and cutter and then pitched more effectively.

I really wish Terry Collins would stop talking about Andres Torres getting the centerfield job back when he returns from the DL. Torres is not even a league average player, so TC and the Mets have to stop acting like there are brining Willie Mays back, Torres had one solid year, he’s 33 years old and he’s not the future of the NY Mets, Kirk Nieuwenhuis is.  The young core of this team is what gives me hope that the future is bright for the Mets. I don’t expect Nieuwenhuis to keep hitting at a .371 clip but I’d rather he’d stay up here go through a dry spell at the plate and learn how to battle through in the big leagues.

It’s easy to dump on Jason Bay for striking out in a big spot but as per the Pitch f/x of his 10th inning at bat against Clay Hensley, the real villain of that AB was home plate ump Kerwin Danley.

Don’t forget tonight is the World Premier of Knuckleball! At the Tribeca Film Festival with a free showing of the film at the Tribeca Drive-In  (World Financial Center Plaza, West Street between Vesey and Liberty Streets) the festivities kick off at 6PM with the film showing at 8PM

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R.A. Dickey Profile In Courage

Of all the things that have happened to me since I started blogging about my beloved NY Mets, the club reaching out to myself and fellow bloggers, granting us access to the team and front office folks has to be the best and most rewarding part of covering the team. If you’ve read my posts from the times I’ve been out to Citi or to any other baseball event where I’ve had the honor of speaking to R.A. Dickey, you know my respect and awe for the man, well if the excerpts of his new book “Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball are any indication how the rest of the book will read, my admiration for Dickey will be off the charts.

It takes a certain kind of courage to come out and bare your soul to the masses as Dickey has done in the excerpts he read yesterday.  If a positive comes out of Dickey’s revelation of sexual abuse as a child and thoughts of suicide as an adult, is the Mets follow through with the promise they made last year of coming out with a PSA on bullying and teen aged suicides. No team in sports has a better spokesperson than R.A. Dickey, the organization shouldn’t pass up this great opportunity to educate the masses.

The blogger-ratzi was invited to Citi Field this past Monday night for a noshing on the newest food offerings at the ball park this season ( I was invited but had to decline the invite since this nasty head cold I have has now made its way to my chest making me more miserable than a normal day, a trip to the doctor is on tap for this afternoon) you can read the reviews from Faith and Fear in Flushing, Mets Police, On The Black, Optimistic Mets Fan  and top Mets foodie Ted Berg .

Great news by the Mets that the family of Gary Carter will be throwing out the first pitch next Thursday at opening day. Shannon of Mets Police has an interesting thought on a surprise that could happen on Thursday.

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Playing Pepper: New York Mets Edition

 

Baseball Bloggers Alliance founding father and Cardinal blogger par excellence Daniel Shoptaw was kind enough to invite myself and other Mets bloggers in the BBA to participate in his Playing Pepper series.

Besides myself the Mets bloggers interviewed for this series were Paul of Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff, Kerel Cooper of On The Black, Jon Preser of The Shea Faithful, Jeff Yurcan of Metsprospectus, Freddy Vasquez of Mets Hot Corner, Jon Lewin of Subway Squawkers, and AC of Mets Public Record.

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NY METS EMBARASS THEMSELVES ONCE AGAIN

Just when you thought you’ve seen it or heard it all when it comes to how the Mets do business comes word that team has denied Journal News Mets blogger Howard Megdal’ request for a media credential for the upcoming season. Megdal’s crime? Telling the truth.

According to Megdal, the Mets VP of Media Relations Jay Horowitz reason for reneging on the credential  was that “they don’t like his reporting” Megdal has tried to get a further explanation from the club but so far his request has fallen on deaf ears.

When the Mets claim that they don’t like the way Megdal reports they mean they don’t like the truth of their financial difficulties being made public. Megdal has written a book, Wilpon’s Folly” that looks in depth how the Wilpon’s have gotten themselves into a mess of debt that they may not be able to get out of, that could cost them ownership of the Mets.  It bothers the Mets greatly that Megdal, through hard work and dogged investigating, has laid out in full view, how the Wilpon’s were duped by Bernie Madoff and swindled out of the family fortune. What’s most bothersome about the Wilpon’s is they have not been forthright in telling how this great swindle has affected the operation of the Mets and Megdal with his thorough investigative work has uncovered the truth.

To call Megdal a blogger is like calling Martin Scorsese a guy who makes movies, Megdal is an accomplished author and freelance writer who has been credentialed by all the pro sports team in the area and his work has been published on ESPN.com, New York Times and MLB Trade Rumors.  I could see if Megdal wrote a book that was not factual and that the Wilpons could prove it but he hasn’t and they can’t so they’ve decided to go take the bully route and not allow Howard to have a credential thus not allowing him to enhance his livelihood. See Megdal does not do this for fun, this is his job, it’s how he puts food on his table and because he did what no other writer had the guts to do, and give Mets fans and the other readers the truth behind the crumbling Wilpon Empire he’s being punished.

I do not believe this edict came from anyone in the media or public relations department; it had to come from only one place, the owner’s office. The folks who work in the Mets PR department know how badly they need sell this product that is Mets baseball. The fan base not only has disdain for this ownership but distrust as well, banning Megdal from obtaining a media credential is not only petty, it’s stupid. Beyond his talents as a writer, Megdal is as passionate a Mets fan as there is which makes this even more of an underhanded nasty move by the club.  He’s not a go for free guy, no; he’s a paying customer and a frequent customer of the Mets product I might add.

The Wilpon’s just don’t get it, if they would have come out and told  the truth from day one about getting had by Madoff and that it would affect the operation of the team to where they’d have to adjust the way they do business, Mets fans would have embraced them. There is no more forgiving fan base than Mets fans. Ask Keith Hernandez about the standing ovation he received after he testified in the Pittsburgh drug trials? Or ask Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry about the way Mets fans treated them after their bouts with drugs and alcohol. Mets fans and Mets bloggers are good people and should be treated with more respect by this ownership, none more than Howard Megdal.

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MY HATRED FOR BILL CONLIN GOES BACK A WAYS

I’m sure many of you have read the stories concerning former Philadelphia Inquirer baseball writer Bill Conlin and the sickening accusation that he sexually abused children, some who were his niece and nephew, over 40 years ago. It’s so sad that these people have had to carry this burden around with them for all these years and now due to the statute of limitations, Conlin cannot be arrested and prosecuted for the alleged crime he committed which is a shame.    

I bring up Conlin here because I got an e mail to moderate a comment on this sight from a poster named Edgy DC who found a post I wrote here back in November 2007 about a feud I had with Conlin back then via e mail.  Check out the post from November 23, 2007 where I discussed with Conlin that a Phillies blogger wrote about how he felt David Wright was more deserving of the NL MVP award than Jimmy Rollins. The back and forth I have with Conlin is pretty comical but with the severity of the allegation against Conlin now, I feel bad I didn’t wait for outside Shea Stadium and beat the living shit out of him.    

Big thank you to Edgy DC for finding this post and linking it back

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SANDY ALDERSON TALKS WITH NY METS BLOGGERS

Last night I had the privilege to be invited to be part of the Mets bloggers Q & A conference call with Mets GM Sandy Alderson. Eric Simon and the staff at Amazin’ Avenue have done another outstanding job of putting together a transcript of the conference call (click the link and read the whole transcript it will be the most informative information you’ll get about the Mets anywhere) and I thank them very much for undertaking the chore of transcribing and crediting each blogger with a link to our sites along with our questions, Thanks again Eric.

A few observations I took from the call:

Alderson is playing his hand in the Jose Reyes sweepstakes like a top poker player. In years past, the Mets were always duped into not just setting the market price on free agents but bidding against themselves. His answer to the question on whether he thought of Reyes as a franchise player was 100 % spot on:

Do I consider him a franchise player? Yes. But a franchise player is only valuable as such if he is contributing to a winning franchise as opposed to simply acting as eye wash for a team that is not very good.

Again, everybody loves Reyes and wants him to be a Met For Life, yet less than 5,000 fans showed up on the final day of the season and what may have been Reyes last game as a Met. That’s why Alderson doesn’t play to the lunatic fringe of Metsfandom and for that I am so grateful.

Alderson got into the business end of running the Mets as Howard Megdal, who should be your go to read with the anything Mets related but most certainly on learning the financial end of what the Skill Sets and the organization are up against in these trying money times with the Mets. It may a bit simplistic on my part but it seems Alderson is saying that he has x-amount of dollars in his budget given to him by ownership and he has to do the best he and his staff can to fill the roster with players good enough to compete and not hurt the bedrock of foundation of the organization, the farm system. There are some (I’d say a minority) of Mets fans who don’t get the fact that finances of this franchise are in a total state of flux but no matter the outcome, it would take either a discovery of oil or gold during the renovation of the Citi Field outfield for the Skill Sets to own this team for the long term.  

I really believe Alderson enjoys doing these Q & A’s with the Mets bloggers more than dealing with the MSM. The first one we did last year lasted about half an hour, then when we met with Alderson face to face at the Mets Holiday Party he joined us in our own little group for more questions and didn‘t seem to be in a hurry to get away from us. Last night he spoke to us for an hour and seemed to enjoy the questions and giving us insight into what he and his staff are doing to making the Mets into a top flight franchise.

His answer to my question was about that, he is hell-bent in turning around the perception of the NY Mets franchise, as much as Alderson feels there has been progress in that direction he knows the only way to advance it is for him to put together a winning team:

{Steve Keane (The Eddie Kranepool Society): Your first year as a Mets general manager, how would you assess your progress that you and your staff have made in the first year with the Mets? What has been the most challenging situation or thing that’s happened with you as the GM of the Mets, and what’s been the biggest surprise on the positive side and on the negative side?

 

Alderson: I look at things in three areas. The organization as a whole, the infrastructure, what’s happening in player development and scouting, and what’s happening at the major league level.

 

Organizationally, I’m very pleased with where we are. We’re not fully where we want to be. In the areas of structure and process and personnel, we’re making a lot of progress. We made some personnel changes last year, we’ve made a few this year. The more important changes organizationally have come in the area of process as we blend the pre-existing staff with newly added staff. From an organizational standpoint, we’ve made some progress.

 

Player-development-wise, we’ve made significant progress, I think our approach to the draft last year was a departure from previous years, and I think at least early returns are that it was a positive change. If you look at our top prospects, we were able to add to that list not only from not only the further development of existing players, but also from the draft as well as the trade, most prominently the trade for Zack Wheeler. I think player-development-wise, the continued development of Matt Harvey and some others, and remember at this time last year, Matt Harvey had never thrown a professional pitch. I think some very positive things are happening at the player development and scouting level.

 

At the major league level, I’m very pleased with Terry Collins last year and I think our major league staff will be even stronger this year than it was. Dave Hudgens did a great job in refocusing our offensive philosophy. I think we’ve made a lot of progress philosophically at least in how we are approaching the game, not just in respect to hitting, but a more aggressive approach, a more accountable approach that Terry has demanded.

 

If you tie those three things together, what I’d hoped to achieve in the first year primarily was to change the perception of the organization. Despite the fact that we didn’t finish over .500, I think overall, the way the team played, some of the other things that happened over the course of the year, did help to change the perception of the organization and its direction and its chances of success in the future.

 

My biggest disappointment going back to last year was just the way we finished the season. We finished poorly, we started poorly. Part of that was attributable to injury, but some of it was a result of weakening the team later for long-term benefit. I think for example, if we’d kept Frankie Rodriguez, we would have finished well over .500. I think that the lack of a closer cost us a number of games.

 

But, the overall perception did change. I think that there is some greater confidence in the future for the Mets and that was an important thing to accomplish. I think the way we finished detracted from that somewhat, I think we were able to move people’s thinking in that direction.}

I’d like to thank Danielle Parillo and Shannon Forde for putting this and all the Mets bloggers event together and of course a big thank you to Sandy Alderson for his time and insight    

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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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