Hey Terry Collins, Only You Can Prevent Clubhouse Fires!

I like Terry Collins. Terry Collins knows more baseball than you, me and anyone else who calls themselves a baseball fan and although he didn’t say it quite the way he should have, he’s right no Mets fans knows what goes on in the teams clubhouse better than he does. But with all that it seems to me, an outsider that the players are running that clubhouse and because of past bad experiences as manager of the Angles and Astros, Collins is too worried about a repeat of those experiences in Anaheim and Houston.  The problem with that is, Nice Guy Terry Collins is going to end up in the same place as an Angry Guy Terry Collins, out of a job.

The Saga of Jordany just won’t go away.  It’s the talk of the town and now it has spread across the nation. In a story in USA Today, LaTroy Hawkins and Marlon Byrd, two players new to the Mets, have called out Valdespin in print for being an obnoxious little shit. What does this have to do with Collins? Well, if I’m the Mets manager I’d call both of these veterans into my office and rip them two new assholes. Valdespin is hated for lack of baseball decorum so why is Hawkins and Byrd treated differently for violating the baseball tenant of what’s said in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse ? This Valdespin situation is been going on too long, you think a Tony LaRussa or Billy Martin would let this go on? These are the kind of situation that Joe Torre was at his best in, making sure little clubhouse fires don’t turn into infernos. Terry Collins is thisclose to having to put out a 3 alarm fire.

So Valdespin flips a bat and embarrasses Jose Contreas and is charged with a capital crime in baseball, but talking about teammates to the press has no repercussions? What a bunch of bullshit. What’s the standard? When does the manager get mad enough to call his team together and read the riot act to shut the fuck up and put all this hate towards Valdespin and aim it at the opposition?     

Sandy Alderson has said on many occasions that the Mets win/loss record would not dictate if Collins gets an extension of his contract. Collins will be judge on the progress the team has made from last year to this year so right now Collins looks like a prime candidate for a 1 bedroom at Del Bocca Vista. If anything this team has regressed badly. Now that’s not all Collins fault, that blame goes more to the front office and ownership that essentially has written off 2013 and has its sights on 2014 and beyond. The problem though that Collins has is the front office wants to see what he can do with the so called talent they have given him. That’s quite a task.

Collins needs to start challenging his players. He has to stop worrying that if he becomes Terry Hard Ass they will revolt instead of their current state of being revolting to watch. Good Guy Terry is not getting much of anything out this group so maybe it’s time to rattle some cages.

Yesterday I attended the Mike Francesa and Bobby Valentine breakfast at the Hard Rock Café. Valentine, an early riser, was at the Hard Rock so early that he came around to each table to chat with the folks in attendance.  I’ve been a Valentine fan for a while and yesterday just enforced my admiration for him. After the program, Valentine hung around and was talking with a few of us who didn’t have to run to work. At one point while having a nice chat on baseball, Valentine said “com’on walk with me while I get something to eat” and as he tried to find some breakfast he never broke stride in our conversation.

Bobby V had some very interesting thoughts on the game:

As a player who was beaned, once right near his eye that a doctor said if it were an inch up, probably would have blinded him, he feels the “unwritten rule” of hitting someone is stupid and should not be tolerated.

When asked about Roger Clemens throwing the bat head of Mike Piazza’ bat at Piazza, Valentine said the team was in shock when happened and after hearing about Clemens using PED’s it all came together to him that Clemens was wound up on something that night. He also said that Bud Selig spoke to both he and Joe Torre letting them know that he didn’t want anything to go one in this series that would embarrass baseball.  So it was quite surprising when Clemens wasn’t discipline or tossed for his actions.

Bobby V could not believe how there was this much fuss over the Vladespin home run pimp job and the fact that it’s still being talk about and how he can’t understand why Valdespin is not in the Mets lineup every day. When Francesa said that Vladespin might not produce a lot if he played every day , Valentine countered with how do we know unless he plays and pointing out that no one else is producing so give him the shot as he can hit, has power, can steal a base so why is he being wasted on the bench?

Valentine is a proponent of sabermetrics and talked about his time as Texas Rangers manger when he had hired Craig Wright as his Sabermetrician  for the Rangers. He spoke about how he also waited on line at bookstores waiting to get the latest copy of The Bill James Abstract on its release day. As much as he used advanced analytics as a manager he said that the statistics are a very good barometer of what a player did in the past but not in predicting the future. Valentine went on to talk about how you could project what a player could do but as we see with many players unforeseen circumstances arise and throw off the statistical projections.

Valentine loved the enthusiasm of the teams that participated in the World Baseball Classic and spoke to people at MLB during the finals in San Francisco about encouraging teams in MLB to not supress players to show the type of emotion that Latin countries and not be so stuffy. Valentine was candid in saying that MLB needs to find a way to get more women and minorities to come out and watch baseball games.

On his year with the Red Sox, Valentine said it was an experience and another “notch on his belt” and not much more. He also said that while he was a fan of Bill James and was looking forward to working with James, he never once heard from him nor was he ever given any statistical reports. Valentine was shaking his head as he told that story.     

 

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Does Anything Surprise You When It Comes To R.A. Dickey ?

As we head into the last game (thankfully) of the 2012 Mets season, we are looking at an off season that could make our heads spin. As we Mets fans question why the manager and his coaching staff gets to come back intact for the 2013 season, I think the answer is clear, Sandy Alderson is holding the players responsible for this lousy season.

All we’ve ever heard as sports fans for lousy teams is you can’t fire all the players so fire the coach or manager, well it seems Alderson is going to reverse that old bromide as it looks like a big majority of the roster will be traded or released.

I side with the majority of Mets fans who can figure out how Dan Warthen gets to come back. It seems as though the starting pitchers, especially R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana, are Warthen allies as is the manager but I doubt you will find and Mets relievers who are members of the Dan Warthen Fan Club.  Granted most of the Mets bullpen problems were caused by sucky relievers but Warthen has to take a hit for not having open lines of communications with his relief pitchers. Terry Collins needs to take some accountability on this as well for not providing any structure with how guys are used and assigning roles. It’s great for us as fans to say it’s a bunch of bullshit that every reliever should be ready when called on but again you need to know your personnel and if they are pining for leadership from the manger and pitching coach then it’s up to them to provide that.

Just when you think R.A. Dickey can’t add to his legacy we find out now that he has pitched much of the season with a torn abdominal muscle that requires surgery. Are you kidding me? Last year Dickey pitched with a plantar fasciitis injury that required him to be shot with pain killers before pitching. And you don’t want to sign this guy to an extension? You’re thinking of trading him? Are you fucking kidding me? Dickey isn’t looking for a big time deal, I would guess if you add two years to his option for next season he’d sign on the bottom line and if you have to give him $20mil for those two years you do it. If the money is that tight with the Skill Sets that you can’t keep a guy who not only excels on the field but is the best representative you have off the field then you deserve every hateful comment that will come your way.

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A Must Listen For Mets Fans, The Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast with Special Guest Eddie Kranepool

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Listen to internet radio with Ivie League Prod on Blog Talk Radio

 

Stop whatever it is you’re doing and tune in to our Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast from last night. Our special guest was Mets great and my all time favorite player Ed Kranepool. Eddie did not hold back on his opinions and told some great stories of his days under Casey Stengel and of course Gil Hodges. Krane also talked about why he felt the Mets never were able to sustain their winning ways after winning in 1969

The best story of the podcast though is Kranepool telling us how he was thisclose to being a big part of a new ownership group who was ready to buy the club from Lorinda de Roulet and who his bombshell choice would have been to manage the Mets.

If you want to hear a no bullshit podcast from passionate Mets fans whose only agenda is rooting for the orange and blue, then Kult of Mets Personalities is the podcast for you

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WE ALL LOVE JOSE REYES, BUT HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH ?

Maybe I’m just getting old and cranky because I couldn’t care less if Jose Reyes is the starting shortstop for the NL in this year’s All-Star came. I really don’t get all the angst coming from Mets fans over Troy Tulowitzki leading the popularity vote that is the All Star starters. In fact do you really give a shit about the All Star game anymore? As a kid, I loved the All Star game because it was a big deal. Both leagues and league presidents made it more than an exhibition game is was a game for the winning league to brag about its superiority but now it just a bullshit exhibition game, that the players find any way they can to avoid playing in or if they are bound to play, leave as soon as they get an at bat or a pitching appearance. The TV ratings are piss poor as well so forgive me if I don’t get all bent out of shape if Jose Reyes is not the starting short stop for the NL , he’ll make the team as the Mets rep so Mets fans find something else to scream about.

Staying with Reyes, as great a season as he’s having  and the overwhelming support that he has from Mets fans who want him to be a Mets 4 Life, let’s be honest with one another, long term contracts hardly ever (maybe never) work out in favor of the team. As a Mets fan and especially if you are a t-shirt wearing, Don’t Trade Reyes protestor who will be miserable if the Mets either trade Reyes or not re-sign him, please tell me what the point of no return is? Do you keep Reyes at any price or do you have a ceiling on years and or money? Knowing that the ownership is swimming in the Red Sea of debt with a major civil suit hanging over their head at what point does it make sense to part with Reyes.

Reports are that now that the Entry Draft is done, Sandy Alderson wants to touch base with Reyes’ reps to see what they are looking for in years and money. The answer they give Alderson will determine if Jose is dealt or kept. Do I want to see him shipped out? No. Do I want him signed to a new deal by the All Star Game? Yes. But if the success of the season and the vision of an eye popping deal in his feature prices Reyes out then Alderson will have no choice but to trade him.

There comes a point where the fan base has to realize that this franchise has money problems and as much as we all wish the Skill Sets would sell and get out of our hair, we have no idea if or when that will happen. Sure most of the media who follow the team and have looked in depth at the Madoff-Piccard mess that has hurt the organization badly feel the Skill Sets are on borrowed time but we also have to come to grips that the team will not give Reyes anything close to a 7yr/$140+ contract. If Reyes’ agent goes in that direction, Alderson will excuse himself and call Brian Sabean and work out a deal. How can you blame him? If the Reyes camp works with Alderson and they can get creative with options and bonuses and deferred money then there is a much better chance of Reyes staying with the Mets.

I believe deep down, Jose wants to stay here, he lives here, and his kids go to school here and he has grown up as a Met. It’s all he knows. So I’m hoping what happens is both sides find some common ground and the team has the funds to make Reyes and Mets fans happy.        

I would stay firm on the length of contract if I were the Mets GM, at 5years. The money, as I said I would get creative but no more than $100-$110 million. Anything more than that in contract length and money would leave me no choice but to deal Reyes as miserable and heartbreaking that would be.

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IS IT TIME FOR A SHAKE UP?

Is this Mets team what its record says it is? Is this one of the worst teams in baseball?  The manager and the players talked up in spring that the Mets would be a team that would surprise a lot of people but I don’t think they meant it in a negative form.  I bought into it, I thought this was going to be a team that the headlines would be “HOW ‘BOUT THOSE METS”? but the headlines lately have been “HOW ‘BOUT THOSE METS, THEY REALLY SUCK”.

Thursday I was in Philadelphia as a chaperone for my son’s school for a trip to the Franklin Institute. It was beautiful day so for lunch we got sandwiches and sat in the park. My son of course had to bring a Mets drawstring bag and that drew attention from the Phillies fans. But the funny (or tragic really) thing was the Phillies fans felt sorry of us Mets fans. Imagine that.  One by one as we chatted with some folks the question asked over and over was “what the hell has happened to the Mets” Wow you have about 12 hours? The one thing though that each person we talked to mentioned was the Skill Sets and everyone asked the same question, “when are they going to sell” A question we all have been asking.

The bullshit play on the field and the owners problems are two different items. I found that out talking to various people on Wednesday at Citi Field, the players have no idea about the owners money woes and could  care less when told about it. The only way they would care is if their paychecks didn’t clear.

Terry Collins has done a nice job of keeping a stiff upper lip during this awful stretch of baseball and he’s trying to stay positive but there comes a point where he and Sandy Alderson and the baseball ops team might say this isn’t working and blow the place up. The question is when is that time?

If it comes that by the end of the month or early May and the Mets continue on this pace are 8-20 or 12-25 does the fire sale commence? It might even be earlier if the baseball ops feel a bold move must be made. It’s a lead pipe cinch that Carlos Beltran will be dealt and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens sooner but what of Jose Reyes? That is the multi year ,seven figure question.

When talk of Reyes was bantered about on Wednesday between bloggers and main streamers, there was no definite consensus except that there will be a massive fall out from the fan base when Reyes leaves.  To that I say, so what? If Alderson can make a deal say with the Giants and can get back Madison Bumgardner and say second base prospect Charlie Culberson as the focal points of a deal that would a coup for the Mets.

This not be taken as an ant-Reyes position as I am a Reyes fan but the fact of the matter is for all the talk I’ve heard about Reyes being the catalyst of the team and as goes Reyes, so goes the Mets, well the team has made the post season once in Reyes nine year Mets career, so maybe it’s time to bury the myth.

So what if the fan base gets piss off by dealing Reyes, it’s not like anyone is flocking to Citi Field to begin with and I doubt if Alderson is looking to sign Reyes to a long term deal  so why not get it over with and make a deal using one of the few trade chips you have. It’s time to do what’s best for the Mets rather than fans.

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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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SANDY ALDERSON NEEDS TO FIX A LEAK

 

So who do you believe Johan Santana and the Mets or the Bergen Record? Hard choice. See I’m skeptical of both of them.  

This past winter Carlos Beltran told a gaggle of Mets bloggers that he felt great his knee felt great and he couldn’t wait to get to training camp. How has that turned out so far?

The one problem that Sandy Alderson needs to fix right away is the leak that’s in the organization. Someone with enough juice on this team told Steve Popper and The Klap the bad news about Santana and they ran with this story. Now the player, pitching coach and GM are all calling BULLSHIT on this report. I call BULLSHIT as well.

One thing I do believe in all this is why the rush to get Santana back in the rotation? Where are the Mets going that Santana needs to accelerate his rehab? Why not just let him work on his rehab try to get that shoulder stronger and healthier and look towards 2012? Even then who knows what kind of pitcher Santana will be. His last two seasons have been halted by injury; his velocity has decreased on his fastball which affects his changeup greatly. With two full seasons and a buyout left in his contract, it would be best to point at 2012 for Johan’s return than this summer. This type of surgery is tough to come back from as we see with Mark Prior and Chen Ming- Wang who have not come close to getting back in the baseball swing of things. So maybe slow and steady is best for this race.

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FLUSHING’S MOST WANTED

Psssst….check it out, check it out Black Mets jersey’s and caps……check it out, check it out…..I got PIAZZA, REYES, RODRIGUEZ, WRIGHT……check it out…………………OH SHIT THE COPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Its almost getting to the point where I’m sympathetic of the plight of the Skill Sets.  It’s bad enough that Bernie Madoff fucked them over but how about their beloved pasty face clubbie Charlie Samuels and the way he took the owners trust and as in turned robbed the team blind?

With all the stories during the off season into spring training about the Madoff scandal and the fall out of the words of the Trustees of the victims of the scandal the Samuels’ saga has gone unnoticed until the last couple of days as the NYPD and Queens DA’s office have descended on St. Lonesome to get some answers and to build a case against Samuels.

The cops are talking to players especially Frankie Rodriguez who was so close to Samuels, he slept on his sofa during when he was bounced out of his home after his assault charge, and to Mike Piazza who also confided  with Samuels.

While the cops are in Florida getting statements, cops here in NYC are trying to match the stolen property from the Mets clubhouse to memorabilia dealers in the area to solidify their case against Samuels  .

This will be just one more bullshit distraction that seems to follow this organization.  If the Skill Sets can save their ownership of the team I hope they learn a lesson from all this and stop being so naïve and start running the Mets like a business instead of some mom and pop candy store

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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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…..AND THAT CONCLUDES ANOTHER NY METS BASEBALL SEASON

It was a move long overdue. In fact give John Ricco credit for getting a live body for Jeff Francoeur  but the organization shouldn’t have stopped there. It’s quite clear that again for the third season in a row the Mets have rolled over and died. How Jerry Manuel gets to fill out a lineup card today for the Mets is a smack in our Mets fan faces. Sure it doesn’t matter anymore this season but by firing Manuel and Omar Minaya today would send a message that a tidal wave of changes are coming. But I have absolutely no confidence that inept bullshit ownership has the balls to do this.

A real owner who owned this close to one BILLION dollar company would go into that clubhouse and rip the living shit out of this team. But that won’t happen.  The only passion comes from the fan base. It’s not just a matter of screaming and yelling in fact screaming and yelling wouldn’t have any effect on this team anyway. If the owner would just go into that clubhouse and tell this team the truth that they are an embarrassment and what has him baffled is they don’t seem to mind that they are saddled with this label. The owner would also be of the right to let them know that this little Country Club mentality that has infected the clubhouse will be dismantled. The owner should then go on about how there will be a new GM and manager next year and if this new management team says to me that (pointing at players) you, you or you need to go, then you got to go. The owner should also stress that his office is closed to any player who has a baseball related issue, all of those inquires must go through chain of command from manager to general manager. If you have a personal or family issue as the owner, he should let them know he will help him as best he can.

As fans we can talk about who to cut, who to trade for, who to sign as a free agent but all that talk is a waste of words and oxygen unless ownership either cleans out the front office and makes a concerted effort to change the perception that the organization is clueless, leaderless and headed on the fast track to nowhere.

By a show of hands, how many of you Mets fans out there are still wearing your Mets gear in public?  Not many I see. I can’t blame you as it wears you down to wear your WRIGHT 5 or REYES 7 and have to answer inane question after inane question about the team. I don’t know about you but I’m worn out from answering question after question about why this organization is so bad and can’t get out of its own way.  All I can tell them is “Blogging about the Mets ain’t easy “

All you need to know about the player’s view of the team is in this Tweet from Steve Popper. First Rod Barajas now Francoeur, if the players don’t want to be here then why should I buy a ticket or watch SNY or wear drape myself in Mets regalia? Why do I feel the chasm between the team and fan base exists because the Mets fans take this much more personally than the players do? Did you see the smile on Francoeur’ face last night when he spoke to the media about being sent to Arlington? When was the last you smiled as a Mets fan?

I’ve seen some of the Tweets of Mets fan who are actually upset that Jeff Francoeur was dealt to the Texas, are you fucking kidding me?

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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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