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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DO THE MATH, WE GONE!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay now that the Mets have absolutely no chance of the post season as they were mathematically eliminated from the 2010 post season, can we put the 2011 plan in motion?

I am sick and tired of all the rumor and innuendo about Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel’s job situation if both of them are getting the boot then boot them out today.  It’s obvious that Manuel is a done and it should be even more obvious that Minaya is as well. There is no reason to keep Jerry Manuel around, let him go home, let Dave Jauss run the team for the next two weeks and start taking interviews for the job of Mets manager in 2011.

Same for Minaya, either fired him or put out a press release that he will be reassigned to VP of Scouting and Player Personnel. It’s the petty himming and hawing bullshit that pisses me off with this organization, time to fucking man up there Jeffey Skill Sets and take charge. Think of this as your second Bar Mitzvah, “today you are a baseball man”

Peter Gammons is still spouting off about Bobby Valentine being the organization choice to manage the Mets. I don’t want to go all in on this Valentine Returns talk because I don’t want to be crushed if it doesn’t happen. Right now guys like Gammons and the other baseball yenta Jon Heyman are giving me a bad case of Blue and Orange balls.

I would be one happy Mets fan if Valentine was brought back not only as manager but in a capacity of a decision maker on player trades and acquisitions. You could name John Ricco the GM and let him be the paper pusher as that seems to be his strength and also the team spokesman with the proviso that he ever utters the term “at the end of day” he has to have his nipples twisted.

If you have a plan Jeffey start putting it in place.  Top candidates are starting to find employment so put down the Nintendo DS and tell your little buddies no more play dates this week you have a lot of work to do young man get to it  and start making moves. As of today it’s 2011 on my Mets calendar.

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“COME WATCH CRAZY JERRY MANUEL HIS IN GAME DECSION ARE IN-SAAAAAAAA-NE

Unfortunately last night, Doug Glanville had a family emergency to tend to and had to cancel his appearance with me on This Call To The Bullpen but we are both working on finding another day for Doug to come on the program to talk about his book The Game From Where I Stand (Henry Holt/Times Books) and we hope to have that hashed out in a few days. So I had to decide, cancel the show or just go on and rant for an hour and the hour rant won out. So if you want to hear me talk about Jerry Manuel, playing games that count in Puerto Rico, Bobby Valentine and Wally Backman, then check out last nights This Call To The Bullpen.

don’t forget to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN shop at Cafe Press

It’s game like last night that stirs the demons of my Mets soul. I want nothing more than to stand on Broadway decked out in every piece of Met clothing I own and celebrate the ticker tape parade that no other city in the world gives to his championship sports teams. What has me conflicted is, if that happens, then Jerry Manuel will be the Mets manager for a minimum of three more years. Last nights game showed just about ever deficiency in Manuel’ game. Stephen Hanks of Mets Merized Online lays each and every flaw (save maybe for number one and the author agrees that my be picking at nits as well) from not running for Rod Barajas and even the pinch hitting for Ruben Tejeda but the big one for me was using Frankie Rodriguez in the 8th inning last which goes with Manuel’ “throw a reliever against the wall and see what sticks” bullpen management.

We are starting to get inundated with Cliff Lee rumors, not just every day but just about every hour. I don’t think there is a Mets fan out there who doesn’t want Lee on the team, as his presence alone will make the Phuck Phaces and Squaws go “GULP”. But at what price would you pay for this rental Ace? At this point there is no way you can trade Angel Pagan. Saying that, when Carlos Beltran does come back, Beltran is THE CENTERFIELDER and he is the centerfielder until he shows he physically can’t play the position any longer. However, Beltran will not be out there day after day so Pagan gets say two days a week in CF, then another couple in the corners with more time in RF. Beltran is not a corner outfield and there is a huge difference between playing CF from playing a corner outfield spot as we saw with the horrific collision between Mike Cameron and Carlos Beltran back in San Diego a few years ago. Pagan has played corner outfield so the transition is easier for him.

The price on Roy Oswalt may not be too high but Drayton McClain is an Al Davis clone. He wants to shed payroll but he hates to part with his good ol’ boys like Oswalt and Lance Berkman, even when both player say it’s best for the organization to trade both of them.

The most intriguing move would be to get Carlos Zambrano as the Cubs would move the high strung Z and take players non grata, Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. The problem is when all the contracts change hands it could cost the Mets $18 mil for Z . Ted Lilly is attractive as well after pitching a great game last night so there are some options for the Mets (Jeffey Skill Sets and John Ricco that is I still say Ricco is running the baseball ops with Jeffey and Omar has been relegated to high paid scout)

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BOBBY V TO MANAGE “”BAWLMER”?

According to this story in the Baltimore Sun, Bobby Valentine is scheduled to get an interview with Orioles President Andy MacPhail for the job of manager.  I have no idea why BV would want this job as Peter Angelos has destroyed what was one of the finest franchises in baseball. With the Stephen Strasbug in DC now and Bryce Harper not far behind, the O’s will be the second team in the area very soon. I figure this is Valentines’ way of letting everyone know he’s interested in getting back in the dugout.

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TIME TO STEP UP JEFFEY, SHOW US YOU’RE IN IT TO WIN IT

Here we go again. Just when it looked like the season was slipping away the message out of $iti Field is “not so fast my pessimistic Mets fan” this could be the start of an exciting summer.

I want to dance up and down and shoot middle fingers at the rest of the NL but I can’t because this team still has needs and I’m not confident that ownership will provide it.

It’s safe to assume that Jeffey Skill Sets is calling all the shots around here that Omar Minaya not only is under a gag order when it comes to speaking in public but his ability to make baseball moves has been clamped down as well. In a way Omar and Oliver Perez have a lot in common both have been rendered insignificant.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying this recent run of winning and solid baseball being played by the Mets but as Bobby Valentine says “you’re only as good as your next day starting pitcher” so today we’re in good shape with Big Pelf and tomorrow Johan Santana against the Brewski’s looks great as well, but when does the clock strike twelve on R.A. Dickey and the mystery fifth starter (playing the role of Jon Niese this weekend will be Fernando Nieve)?

At this point as much as I feel, along with what looks like the majority of Mets fans, that Jenry Mejia should have been working on his starting pitcher apprenticeship in the minors, at this point now let him stay with the big club as a reliever. Mejia seems to be settling in role of late inning man and the rest of the pen has been solid now that Igarashi is back so adding a solid starting pitcher should be paramount to management to go out and get.

So who is out there? As much as Roy Oswalt would be a huge acquisition between the money and cost in personnel and trying to get a deal done with Drayton McClain is almost impossible, I doubt that Oswalt will be Queens bound. Cliff Lee as a rental could be cost prohibitive as well.  If the front office could land Kevin Millwood, Mark Buehrle, or even Jake Westbrook it make a huge difference in solidifying the rotation and sending a message to the players and fan base that there is a real commitment to winning.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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WOULD BOBBY VALENTINE COME BACK TO THE METS? HE WON’T RULE IT OUT

Bobby Valentine was at an event at the Japan Society in Manhattan last week and as always with Bobby V, gave some provocative answers during a Q & A session. When asked about a return to manage the Mets BV had this to say:

 Valentine fielded questions about managing the Metsagain (“It’s not as though you don’t go back to the girl that dumped you, but it takes a little while, it takes a little convincing . . .”) and what the Mets need to do to be successful in the 2010 season (“They need to stay healthy, but I like their talent.”)

So Bobby wants to be wooed a bit by the Mets, if that’s the case Freddy Skill Sets should be jumping in limo with Jay Horowitz driving, with flowers, chocolates and champagne, ready to pitch his best woo.

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BOOK REVIEW: EVALUATING BASEBALL’S MANAGERS-CHRIS JAFFE

 

In most sports, the person in charge of the team is called Coach. Coaches are a combination of motivator, evaluator and tactician. Football coaches run “Programs”, Basketball and Hockey coaches have “Systems” but what do Baseball Managers have? Well, they “manage”.

 

Baseball managers do more managing of personalities and keeping players happy than doing much tactical maneuvers. Sure they have to know when to go to the bullpen and when to go to the bench but it’s not like they are re-inventing the game or spending nights pouring over film to get an edge on their opponent. In baseball, your edge is your next days starting pitcher.

 

In his book “Evaluating Baseball’s Managers” (MacFarland) Chris Jaffe writes the ultimate book on the effect of baseball managers on their team’s success and failure. Jaffe uses a combination of statistics and in depth analysis to examine the role of mangers through out the history of baseball.

 

Jaffe takes each team in MLB and focuses on the role of managers who have worked in full seasons for their team. Jaffe was kind enough to send me an excerpt of the Mets managers in the book.

 

Jaffe makes the case for Casey Stengel never having players of talent until he was hired by the Yankees. Before his success in the Bronx, Stengel struggled in the NL with Brooklyn and Boston, to the point where he went to the Pacific League to run the Oakland Oaks to redeem himself.  Gil Hodges falls in a similar category as Stengel where he didn’t have much talent with the Washington Senators but was perfect for an up and coming young Mets team. Davey Johnson is portrayed as an underrated skipper and Bobby Valentine being the most active manager as it pertains to in game moves and the use of his 25 man roster. Jaffe makes the case that Art Howe and the Mets were not and should not have been a match as Howe was more suited to running a club of younger players and also suffered the stigma of being portrayed as a puppet of Billy Beane as seen through the pages of Moneyball.

 

Jaffe has taken on a subject that has not been fully represented. This book will appeal to both the stat head and the fan of the written word.

 

After reading the excerpt on the Mets managers, I look forward to picking up a copy of Evaluating Baseball Mangers just for the sections on Joe McCarthy, Connie Mack and the immortal John McGraw.

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BROKESTERS R US

Been away for a couple a days so trying to get on track with some Mets news and other minutia:

NEWS: FREDDY SKILL SETS METS ARE NOT FOR SALE!

You know what,  if this is true then Bernie Madoff did a real half assed job of stealing. If you’re going to rip off rich people then damn it leave them fucking destitute. First I’m calling bullshit to all this “the Skill Sets are in good shape financially and the Mets are not for sale” Yeah right, that’s why they are selling off players and taking back cash like they were empty Budweiser cans. That’s why they would rather trade off Billy Wagner as to not have him take arbitration and then get stuck with him for millions of dollars. That’s why the payroll will go DOWN next season. That’s why Omar Minaya is now a “cheaper to keep her” rather than divorce her GM and the whole inept front office will be back for the same reason. Hire Bobby Valentine? Are you nuts? He would want to be paid in American currency not Mr. Mets bucks. So you will get another season of Jerry Manuel’ stand up act and the Bingo Traveling All Stars in 2010. Oh yeah , please get your season ticket renewals in soon or Freddy Skill Sets will have to hitch hike home from Aspen.

NEWS: JOSE REYES MAY NEED SURGERY

The shocking part of this story is the Mets medical staff found out now and not the night before opening day 2010. Around here that’s called progress.

NEWS: HIGHLANDERS CLAIM CHRIS CARTER FROM RED SOX WHO WAS HEADED TO THE METS

Look, it was the right move for the Highlanders as it forces the Red Sox to keep Carter on the 40 man roster and not free up a space for another pitcher (Paul Byrd?) but it’s still a scumbag move by the home office of scumbags, the Highlanders. It doesn’t change the Billy Wagner deal but it does hurt the Mets as they wanted to see what they have in Carter as either a first baseman or an outfielder. I’m sure Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan just became big Highlander fans.

NEWS: PAT MISCH IMPRESSIVE IN FIRST START AS A MET

Finally a bright light in this dismal season as Pat Misch pitched a beauty at Wrigley yesterday. Misch pounded the shit out the strike zone and got groundball out after groundball out. He only struck out two batters but he threw strikes and pitched to contact and let his fielders do the work, outstanding job. But of course this being the Mets of 2009 a good job gone bad is the norm but it’s tough to get on Brain Stokes who has be terrific at the back end of the pen that last few weeks but I guess when you’re used nearly everyday this will happen.

NEWS: DJ AM THROWS OUT FIRST PITCH AT METS GAME, FOUND DEAD A WEEK LATER

I’m starting to wonder why friends are offering me Mets ticket for free.

NEWS: SCOTT KAZMIR WEARS A HALO

So now what do I do with my RAYS KAZMIR 19 t-shirt? I’m thinking of having a week where I wear all the shirts and jerseys of players no longer on those teams. For the Mets I have ALOMAR 12, VAUGHN 42, ALPHONSO 13. Then I have Giants jersey SHOCKEY 80 Rangers JAGER 68 it’s like my own little old timers day.

The trade of Kazmir is not a shock as the rumblings have been there that Kaz and pitching coach Jim Hickey did not see eye to eye and that was proven when Kaz went to Rick Peterson for help after his shoulder injury. No one claimed Kazmir as his contract and injury record make it a prohibited claim but that never stops Artie Moreno of the Angels, now there is an owner committed to winning.

NEWS: METS STILL IN THE BRYCE HAPER SWEEPSTAKES

Well, maybe. The Mets are 12 games behind the Nats for the worst record in baseball and 11 back of KC for the next spot. After that there are seven teams all jockeying for a spot in the 2010 First Year Player Draft Jamboree. I don’t see either Washington or KC giving the big bucks to Harper. The one team that would worry me is Baltimore who if the standings finish like they are today, would pick 3rd and might meet the demands of Harper. So we have to root for more loses Mets fans so new owner Jay-Z can make his big splash at his new job of Mets CEO.

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