COACH ‘EM UP, COACHES OUT

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One of the worst kept secrets surrounding the Mets was the fact that Chip Hale was ready to head back home to Northern California to join his buddy Bob Melvin as bench coach for the A’s. What was surprising was the domino effect Hale’s departure had on the rest of the coaching staff.

Mookie Wilson was let go with the old “we’ll reassign you in the organization” which is like when a cop sucks at fighting crime, the NYPD sticks them in the property clerk’s office. But where does Mookie get reassigned to?  Word is he didn’t work well with Lucas Duada in getting him acclimated to right field and he wasn’t very good at positioning the outfielders or working with base runners  during games. Wilson also hasn’t fared too well as a minor league manager and since he had trouble coaching the outfield with the big club, roving minor league instructor seems out as well. What’s left?

Jon DeBus got the boot from the bullpen it seems because he was a catcher and the club would rather have Buffalo pitching coach Rickey Bones, a former pitcher, in the pen to work with the relievers. DeBus was also in charge of working with Josh Thole and Ronnie Paulino and supposedly wasn’t helping Thole with his defense and was negligent in getting Paulino to show a better work ethic.

It’s a shame that Ken Oberkfell got the ax as Obie did what he was assigned to do, be the yin to Terry Collins’ yang. Obie was brought in the be Collins bench coach because he was calm, cool and collected a contrast to Collins “makes coffee nervous” persona. Obie is one of those good solid baseball men who did everything he was asked by the organization and now is shown the door. I hope he lands with a team that makes the post season and gets to cash one of the nice winner’s checks.

Tim Teufel gets the prize job as 3rd base coach/obligatory 1986 World Champ for 2012. Gotta meet that quota of 86ers ya know.

The job for Collins’ consigliore it seems is between Larry Bowa and Jim Ringgleman. Both are close confidants of Collins but I will be really pissed off if Riggleman gets the job as the Mets should be looking to stay away from quitters.

Once upon a time, Murray Chass was one of the best baseball writers around. His coverage of baseball labor disputes was unparalleled due to his close relationship with former MLBPA President Don Fehr and his mouthpiece Gene Orza but after Chass was let go by the NY Times he became a bitter nasty old man and started a website (he’s refused to call himself what he really is, a blogger) where he could spout his bitter nasty old man bullshit. Today he posted about Jeffey Skill Sets and how he is known around baseball as the most disliked executive in baseball. Of course, Old Man Murray rails for most of the post about the Mets blocking the Highlanders Triple A team from playing in Newark next year (oh yeah I forgot, Chass is an unabashed Highlander ball licker an older version of Ian O’Connor) but at the end of his piece he stated something that I have heard as well so that’s why I’ve included it in my post:

Sandy Alderson, Minaya’s successor, is completing his first season in the job, and I have already heard that he is growing tired of Wilpon’s suffocating presence.

Now if this was just Murray being Murray I’d laugh it off but I have heard the same thing from folks whose take on things around the club I respect and stories they have told me have turned out very reliable. I’ve always said I’m a Mets fan for life but I’ll tell you this, If Sandy Alderson leaves the Mets because of dealing with Jeffey is getting in the way of his work then I’d have to seriously think of stopping my support of the team until a new owner takes over.    

 

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WHAT A GAME THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN

I couldn’t find a picture of THE home run but who could forget the home run off the clock in St. Louis by Straw on October 1, 1995. I thought about that home run after watching last night’s come from behind win. Ahhh what we once had……  

 

Most of the Mets news this morning is of the off the field variety, with some mention of yesterday’s big 9th inning rally. After last night’s game all I could think of if the Mets were in a chase for a post season berth this game would have been labeled one of the all-time great game in Mets history, instead all it gets is an “atta boy”. Sad.

All the Madoff-Skill Sets-Piccard bullshit baffles me as Freddy and Uncle Saul keep going with the “Hey, we were duped too” defense. I find it very hard to believe the story that Freddy and Saul were these two neophyte investors who were blindside by Bernie Madoff. The point that Freddy and Saul say the never even asked what Madoff what he was investing their money in is the “are you fucking kidding me”? moment for me. Am I to believe that at no point in this whole scheme and big returns on their investment, Freddy and Uncle Saul didn’t ask, “Uhmmm Bernie, just where are you investing our money”? Pharmaceuticals? Precious metals? Trafficking of children for sex slaves? I know I hold the Skill Sets in low esteem but even I don’t think they were that stupid not know where their money was going.

The Daily Snooze says today the Mets will look at exercising Terry Collins 2013 contract option at the end of the season, as I believe they should. There will also be a discussion on the status of coaching staff and it seems that even with Collins coming out saying he would love to have the whole staff back, Chip Hale may migrate to Oakland to join Bob Melvin and Old School Dan Warthen could be done as pitching coach. It would be a loss to lose Hale, as he’s a very good 3rd base coach and a hard worker but losing Warthen seems like no great shakes, in fact it’s time for Warthen to go and get a new voice for the pitching staff that ranks last in just about every statistical pitching category.

How about the last minute desperation from the Red Sox as they tried to get Chris Capuano in a deal? Seems the Sox didn’t make enough of a tribute to Sandy Alderson to make this deal or it could be Alderson has plans to bring Cap back as either a spot starter/long man role in the Darren Oliver mold for the Mets next season. It could also be that the deal breaker was Alderson’ insistence that Theo Epstein had to take Ryota Igarashi on the deal

Last home stand of the season starts today, I’m going to Wednesday’s game, the season finale because it’s the last game of the year and as bad as the season is ending, comes November and December when it’s cold, snowy and downright miserable, you’ll be wishing you were at the ball park instead of the business end of a snow shovel.

 

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METS FANS “MANAGING” TO STAY SANE

In a story today in the New York Post, Davey Johnson is quoted as saying that Terry Collins would be the right choice by the Mets to be the next manager.  As much as Johnson loves Wally Backman, it’s his opinion that Collins’ experience as the Mets Minor League Coordinator would help with the organization making a determination as to which farm hands are of immediate help to the big league club.

On the same day of this story comes word that Scouting Director Rudy Terrasas will be reassigned in the organization. So if Collins does get the job then the message sent will be that main job by this front office is to rebuild the farm system and the way they draft talent. Even if Bob Melvin gets the job I think the rebuilding of the farm system will still be the Alderson mission statement with Collins staying with the organization and working with DePo in such a capacity.

That’s why as Mets fans you need to forget about any big splash signings of free agents and unless Alderson is bowled over with a great return on a trade, the best moves you can hope for this off season would be the release of Ollie Perez (and the more he’s sucks in winter ball the better the chance that Alderson tells the Skill Sets “EAT THE CONTRACT “) and Luis Castillo. I’m fine with that.

There is a segment of Mets fans who feel the Mets should have gone after Dan Uggla. That would be fine if the Mets were a player or two away from being a contender but they’re not, so Uggla is not the answer.

This doesn’t mean the winter will be boring around here, just the opposite. This will be the most interesting hot stove since 1980 when Frank Cashen came aboard and was handed a mess to clean up and clean it up he did. Let’s hope history repeats itself.

Hojo’s Mojo at Mets Merized Online posts that the Sports Pope broke from his Pop Warner persona this morning to report that the Texas Rangers have inquired about Carlos Beltran and are willing to take on $10-$12 mil of his contract. If this is true, the Mets have to make this deal. Even if you get back a couple of prospects just the fact you’re freeing up $6-$8 mil dollars to spend on much needed pitching would push me to make this deal.

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WHAT ABOUT BOB ?

Bob Melvin is sure sounding like a guy who will be gainfully employed as Mets manager :

Bob Melvin, in his own understated way, wants to open the door to the Mets’ clubhouse and give players a swift kick in the pants.

“It’s not a talent problem,” Melvin said yesterday after his second interview with Mets officials for the team’s managerial opening. “It’s the mindset. Get back to the confident mindset this team needs to win and compete in that division.”

“I don’t look at it as a rebuilding process,” he said. “I look at it as we have the pieces with this club to compete, I don’t think there is any doubt about that. Certainly with the payroll this team has, it gives you the resources to compete every year. It’s just getting everybody going in the right direction and getting everybody healthy.”

I have to agree 100% with Melvin on this. I thought Jerry Manuel’ biggest downfall was his lack of leadership and his inability to motivate his players.  I’m not talking Knute Rockne “RAH-RAH-RAH WIN ONE FOR THE GIPPER” motivation but the ability to put the right people in the right situation to have them succeed.  The Mets were always a three game losing streak from turning tail and retreating, and that’s on the manger.  You never got the impression there was any sense of urgency with Manuel, who loved to say “there’s a lot of baseball left” when the team was floundering. “There’s a lot of baseball left”, is baseball speak for “I’ve got no clue on how to right this team” and that’s the mindset that Sandy Alderson was brought in to change.

Getting everybody going in the right direction and getting everybody healthy.” The two words that stand out to me in that quote are direction and healthy. The biggest problem the last front office regime had was a lack of organizational direction. Omar talked “pitching, defense and athleticism” but never went out and traded, signed or drafted with that mindset. There was no organizational structure in the minor league system and First Year Entry Draft would have been better served by using copies of Baseball America to draft players, but that way of doing business is over.

I feel there is a large segment of Mets fans that would bitch and moan even if John McGraw, Branch Rickey and Ed Barrow were all reincarnated and brought into the Mets organization. You want to get me excited over a manager? Then name Christina Hendricks the Mets field boss (WHOA!!!!!!!! Is it hot in here or is it Christina???????????)

The foundation of the Mets organization has a huge crack in it and the basement has very bad water damage until the farm system and mindset of how the Mets do business gets fixed and back on solid ground, it doesn’t matter who sits in the manager’s office.   If it sounds like I’m drinking the Sandy Alderson Kool –Aid, you’re damn right I am, the man has a proven track record of building a strong foundation he’s Tom Silva and Norm Abram all in one package. So Mets fans give the man a little room to operate and if Wally Backman is not named manager then buy this DVD and get over it.

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THE METS MANAGERS LIST IS TRIMING ITSELF

Before we get on to anything here today, I must convey my most heartfelt condolence to Sandy Alderson and his family on the passing of his father John, who was killed by a car Saturday night in St. Petersburg while crossing a street. From all the stories I’ve read John Alderson was a ‘young” 87 years old and to be taken from his family like this is a tragedy.  

I guess Clint Hurdle went for the sure thing instead of playing the longshot by taking the Pirates job. Or maybe Hurdle knows something we don’t on who the next Mets manager will be. By the way, if Wally Backman was such a slam dunk as a major league manager how come no other major league team looking for a manager requested Backman come in for an interview? I’m just asking?

(UPDATE: Now I see why Hurdle took the Bucs job and I think you’ll agree with me I hope he’s a success in the Steel City)

So it looks like a two man race between Terry Collins and Bob Melvin and I agree neither guy stirs my passions but I’m willing to let this play out and see if it works. It also looks as if Chip Hale and Tim Teufel  could get coaching spots with the Mets with Backman taking over the helm at Bingo or Buffalo.

Can we just trade F-Mart for a bunch of bats, uniforms and helmets that seem to have gone missing the last few years in Flushing? The one time phenom  was to start yesterday in a Dominican League game but missed his start due to car troubles. No bullshit. CAR TROUBLES!!!! After the news got out about this the team and F-Mart tried to cover his ass by saying there was a miscommunication about his reporting date. Yeah right. I guess Omar Minaya has found a job in the DR running a team as this kind of cover up stinks of the Omar regime.

Speaking of Charlie Samuels, as bad as it is for him to get fired by the Mets and to be looking at criminal charges being filed against him, the worst part could be if convicted and sentenced to do time, Charlie would have to wear orange every day. Maybe Samuels could share a cell with Bernie Madoff in the Crimes Against The Skill Sets wing of prison

Adam Rubin has a long Q & A with David Wright getting his take on the past and present of the club.

I wish the Mets had a guy like Amare Stoudemire the last few years who would call out his underachieving teammates like Amare did last night. Could be Stoudemire is pissed that LeBron and D-Wade picked Chris Bosh over him to a BFF?

NON-METS: I see where the Fishsticks have fired coach Scott Gordon as the team is doing a swirlie of their season with a 10 game losing streak. Gordon should be relieved to be relieved of his coaching duties. Isn’t it time Gary Betmann and the hierarchy of the NHL seriously think about contracting the Icelanders and a few other teams from the league? The Icelanders play in a dump of an arena (the place is filthy and many of the seats are broken and ripped) and only sell tickets when the regal Rangers come to Uniondale. Take the Isles, Blue Jackets, Panthers, Coyotes, Lighting, Predators and Thrashers and either contract them or merge them a la the Minnesota North Stars/Cleveland Barrons in 1978 and make two teams and put one in Winnipeg and the other in Quebec City.

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FRIDAY NEWS AND VIEWS

 

NEWS: CHARLIE SAMULES BET ON BASEBALL, STOLE FROM METS

And we thought it was just Ollie Perez as the biggest thief with the Mets. I have to say the Samuels revelations are SHOCKING!!! This is a guy who is revered throughout all facets of the Mets organization so I’m sure there are a lot of blank stares after reading the stories on his stealing from the club.  Maybe it was the fact that the Mets paid him a mere $80K a year to run the clubhouse and be the traveling secretary (Where have you gone Lou Niss?) that led Charlie to a life of larceny. Give Samuels some credit here; it seems he reported all his ill gotten gains as his tax returns show an income of $600K. By the way the NY Daily News “investigative team” was all over this story and of course they had to add in the fact that no PED use were involved here because the Daily News “I-Team” is a one trick pony when in comes to in depth investigation on shit no one cares about. If the Daily News would put some of that investigative work into things that actual effect New Yorkers, like the thieving fucks at the MTA and the  Circus of Assholes a/ka the State Senate in Albany, their rag would be worth plopping down four-bits for.

NEWS: METS PICK UP JOSE REYES OPTION FOR 2011

What to do with Jose Reyes? This will be one of the biggest decisions of the Sandy Alderson regime. The part about taking the option for next season at $11 Mil was easy, what will be difficult is whether or not to sign Jose to a long term deal before the start the season. As Mets fans we are in uncharted waters as Alderson and his staff have no allegiance to any of the players in this organization so I’m sure the Mets will look at Reyes analytically to determine if he’s worth the years and money to keep him a Met.

NEWS: METS MANAGERIAL INTERVIEWS

Sandy Alderson met with Dave Jauss and Bob Melvin yesterday to interview them for the opening of Mets manager. This weekend will be the biggie as The People’s Choice, Wally Backman, The Dark Horse, Chip Hale and Organizational Man; Terry Collins will present their resumes to the GM. Even if neither of these gents gets the job, all three could still remain in the organization and maybe that will be what the bulk of the interview will entail. Ken Oberkfell and Tim Tuefel will get the call next week and that should end the in house candidates and after the open competitive part of the process is done, my guess is by the time you’re biting into your Thanksgiving Day drumstick, a new Mets manager will be in place.  

As I was writing this I thought who in fact is the front runner and to tell you the truth I have no idea. If I had to rank them in order my guess would be:

Chip Hale

Bob Melvin

Ken Oberkfell

Wally Backman

Clint Hurdle

As I say I’m just guessing.

NEWS: ALDERSON ASKS PADRES PERMISSION TO SPEAK TO PAUL DePODESTA TO JOIN METS FRONT OFFICE

It’s hard to believe but the Mets are one hire away from becoming hip n happinin’. What’s next buying office space in Williamsburg? 

NEWS: R.I.P. SPARKY ANDERSON

Hard not to feel sad hearing the news of the passing of Sparky Anderson who was the true definition of a “baseball man” Having watched his Big Red Machine come into Shea Stadium and smack the Mets around in the 1970’s I grew to admire Anderson and his Reds, same with the Tigers and the “Bless You Boys” of 1984. Anderson earned the name Captain Hook by utilizing his bullpen on an every game basis with great relievers like Clay Carroll, Will McEnaney and Rawley Eastwick and the way he’d jump out of the dugout clutching his right or left arm was pure show biz.

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PUT YOUR FAITH IN SANDY METS FANS

Still going over the aftermath of Adam Rubin’ remarks about Wally Backman’ having no shot of getting the Mets managers job that he made on his ESPN chat and on my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN show last night.

There has been lot’s of debate on the ethics of Rubin, some are upset in the pro-Backman crowd and feel  Rubin is out to get Backman and some are upset with the tactics Rubin took in reporting this. The thing is, Rubin didn’t come out with a column to dish dirt on Backman, he was asked about Wally’s chances of being named the manager in a chat and stated there were things he heard about Backman via a source with the Mets and he feels he won’t get the job. I asked Rubin about this and I took away from the conversation that this has to do more with on the field doings than off.

As Mets fans we have to put our trust in Sandy Alderson  that he will hire the man he feels is the right man for the job.  I mentioned how I was afraid of a Bob Melvin hire thinking this would be Art Howe Redux, but Rubin stated that Melvin is no way an Art Howe clone.

I think we just need to sit tight Mets fans and be patient.

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LET THE MANGERIAL BEAUTY PAGENT BEGIN

Now that the Mets have a GM in place and ready to roll, the next step seems to be hiring a manager (although Sandy Alderson seems to want his Cabinet in place first as we hear his wish list of Lieutenants include J.P. Riccardi, Paul DiPodesta and Grady Fuson all outstanding candidates) and from looking around the Mets blogisphere there is great discussion on who that hire should be.

There are Wally Backman supporters as well as Backman detractors. There are folks pushing a Chip Hale regime (which I’m starting to sway over to) and there are Lee Mazzilli fans as well (which I can not fathom) then there is a candidate that we can agree on none of us want (Bob Melvin) and one the majority of us want (Bobby Valentine) but that won’t happen either.

So who do you support as the next field boss of the NY Mets? Alderson said all the right things on Friday about finding a man to fit this job. He acknowledged that a guy like Art Howe is totally wrong for this team and this city. He likes the fiery kick ass type (don’t we all?) but at the same time he has to be on board with the organizational philosophy and be that philosophy’s messenger. The manger must have the savvy to handle the pressure of the day in day out media, which I feel will be a huge issue in the interview process as Alderson saw first hand the amount of media that covers baseball in this town on Friday. With all that, the manager must have the respect and attention of his players and the ability to keep an even personality through goods times and bad and to instill confidence in his team. That to me was Jerry Manuel’s biggest failure as Mets manager. The stars of this team have a low level of self esteem and were too high after wins and too dejected after losses, so the next manger has to be a part-time psychologists as well. It’s not a job for a rank amateur.

John Gibbons saw that and removed his name from consideration. Bobby Valentine would be perfect for the job but there is just too much ego for him to succeed under this regime. I really hope that Alderson doesn’t ruin the honeymoon by even thinking about Bob Melvin, a younger version of Art Howe who would be eaten alive by the MSM, bloggers and this knee jerk fan base. So who does it leave?

I was a gung ho Backman guy but I can see the point to the anti-Backman crowd as to the overload of hero worship that goes toward anyone who played for the 1986 World Champion Mets. I’m as much to blame for that as anyone; it was great time to be a Mets fan. Al of us from that era thought this was beginning of a Mets Dynasty. It never happened. No need for revisionist history here. What makes us fans that are Ga-Ga over the 86ers is the fact that we want to relive the 80’s again especially my shoulder length hair (did I just type that out loud?) when the Mets were Kings and maybe we think a Backman managerial stewardship would do that? There is no job Backman wants more than the Mets managers job and it’s problems from his personal life that have kept him from a big league job but after watching him in Brooklyn last year it will be interesting to see how well he interviews for the job.

As I said I was a strong Backman supporter but lately I’m more and more intrigued by both Ken Oberfell and Chip Hale. Just like Backman these men have paid their dues in baseball. Both men have won at all levels of the game. Both are strong in the fundamentals department and have the respect of their players. Now do they have the ability to deal with the day to day bullshit that comes with the job, well unless Sandy Alderson would like to invite me to join him in the interview process, I don’t know.

Terry Collins is another candidate I’ve heard mentioned but he might be better suited for player development role. Clint Hurdle’s name has come up as well and he would fit the personality part of the job but he seems to be a long shot in my book.

The best part of this whole procedure of hiring a manager is that I have total confidence in the man doing the hiring. I haven’t had this much confidence in a Mets GM since Frank Cashen ran the club and wait didn’t he run the club in 1986?

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MANAGERIAL ROULETTE

Now that the GM is in place, the next move to be made for field manager. Besides bombarding Sandy Alderson with inquires about his A’s team and PED usage, the next big discussion by the MSM will be who and how Alderson will pick a manager. There seems to be no shortage of candidates. Let’s look over a few of the candidates:

Wally Backman- The fans choice to be manager is Backman. But is this a wise choice? Fans love the fact that Backman has a Mets championship ring and has a Billy Martin feel to him. Fans love Backman so much that they disregard the baggage he brings with him. His stewardship of the Brooklyn Cyclones was a positive for Wally and when asked about the Mets job he made it clear that he would work with the GM and carry out the organizations plan. Backman doesn’t just pine to be a big league manger he wants to be the Mets manager. He will definitely get an interview but I’m not sure he’ll get the job.

Chip Hale-Very well regarded in baseball and was a bright spot on the 2010 coaching staff. An organization favorite, Hale comes from a strong fundamentals background with the Twins. I don’t know how much Alderson knows of Hale but the Skill Sets like him

Ken Oberkfell-A loyal organization man. Has success in the Mets system and in the Winter Leagues. The thing is I don’t know if Alderson wants to go with an organizational guy or bring in his own man.

Terry Collins-Well regarded as a coach and met with Alderson when he worked in the Mets Dominican Academy and has managerial experience. If not manager, Collins could find himself as Mets bench coach.

Lee Mazzilli- This one I don’t get at all. Supporters say he got a raw deal in Baltimore under the Angelos reign of terror. Still I don’t get this one at all.

Clint Hurdle- Had a nice little run in Denver and he seems to be media friendly and now that he’s on the Texas staff he has some exposure.

Bob Melvin-Uhhhhhhh NO!

Now you have to figure Alderson has a list of candidates from his days in the A’s and Padres front office and the big relief I have is the confidence that Alderson will make the right choice who ever he chooses. When was the last time we could say that about a Mets GM?

I’m a Backman supporter as I saw him in action this summer in Brooklyn and his teams were very aggressive offensively kind of like what we’ve seen from the Texas Rangers this post season. Backman had the rep of protecting his players which in turn garners respect of his players giving him a good handle on the clubhouse. The bigger issue with Backman would be how he handles the media. For all the fun and games of Jerry Manuel’ pre and post game pressers he really told us nothing. But he had a nice smile and made people happy just like Jeff Francoeur another Flushing failure.

If Oberfell got the job I’d be on board with that as well. Talk about paying your dues, Obie has done that with the Mets and he shouldn’t be overlooked for the job. Same for Chip Hale. I love the fact that Hale has a Minnesota pedigree and I’d have to believe he would be a manager that would stress the fundi’s big time and also play an aggressive brand of ball.

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ZZZzzzzzz WHAT? THE METS LOST? UHH THANKS! ZZZzzzzzz

With all the talk of canning Jerry Manuel, isn’t that just a smoke screen to cover up the inactivity of the Mets front office? I use the term “front office” instead of just signaling out Omar Minaya who in my opinion has been de-nutted by ownership. If Omar was axed today, it wouldn’t bother me in the least, same with the manager, but until someone on the inside tells us the story of who is actually making the personnel decisions around here, I have to put all the blame on the Skill Sets for the team not making moves to show the players and the fans they want to win.

Mets fans are in a much better position than the players, who have no choice but to show up every day, the fans, they can go spend their time and money someplace else. That’s the beauty of living in NYC, plenty of options here to spend those discretionary funds.

So fine you fire J-Man, who is coming in Bob Melvin? I have no clue what Bob Melvin can do to shake this up. If you make a change why not give Ken Oberkfell the job, and let him bring Ricky Bones with him to be the pitching coach. Obbie has been a loyal Skill Sets solider and Bones has plenty of knowledge of the younger arms in the system  as he like Obbie has been in the org for awhile, so that  would seem to be the move to make.

Look in a perfect world, I’d want the return of Bobby Valentine as my first choice. BV seems to like being on the tele but the allure of running a big league team and his return as a long lost hero would be just the thing to make BV say yes to the job but the Skill Sets are so stupid that they can not comprehend that by offering a sweet deal to Bobby V it would rejuvenate the team and the fan base. If the Mets announced today that BV will be the new manager I’d guarantee they phone and internet lines at the $iti Field ticket office would be overloaded. The only guy right now that can knock LeBron James watch over the back page is Bobby Valentine.

What about Kid Carter? Sure he went about things the wrong way when Willie Randolph was ready for the firing squard but I’m not mad at him. His personality and his stature as a former Met with a World Sereis ring and a plaque in the Hall of Fame gives him instant cred in the clubhouse and with the fan base.

Until the Skill Sets get it through their numb skulls that the fan base is now leaning toward apathy and have voiced their displeasure with the way this team operates by coming down with a chronic case of alligator arms when it comes to buying tickets, they need a big splash to reinvigorate things in Flushing, if not the only lines on 126th and Roosevelt will be for a tire change or a new car radiator.

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