Will Resilient Mets Help Their Manager Get A Contract Extension?

 

So did you stay up for the whole game last night? I lasted as long as Matt Harvey, after the 7th inning I went to bed since it was 12:30 AM and I had to wake up at 5AM it seemed like a good time for nap before getting ready for the day ahead.  The Met win in 16 innings ended about 90 minutes before I hit the shower to ready myself to take on the world where I heard Marc Ernay break the news to me on 1010 WINS that the Mets had won in 16 innings.  This may not be a Mets team that will contend for a post season spot but there is no doubt they are the most resilient Mets team we’ve seen in a long time and it’s that resiliency that could get Terry Collins a contract extension.

I go back and forth on Collins. I don’t think he’s a very good tactician especially late in games and he and Dan Warthen have no set bullpen assignments which makes the relievers nuts. But he has the players ear and respect in the clubhouse and he’s surprisingly good with the media and if you think that’s no big deal go speak to Mr. John Tortorella of Vancouver B.C. about his tenure as NY Rangers head coach.

What will be interesting to watch is if this Mets team does the opposite of Mets teams of the past few seasons and finishes strong in the second half is that enough to give Collins a contract extension?

Sandy Alderson has said that wins and losses will not be the determining factor in bringing Collins back in 2014, if in Alderson’s eyes the club has made progress on the field that would weigh in favor of an extension of Collins contract.  So if the team keeps playing as well as it has and keeps bouncing back from defeats that in seasons past would have had a negative effect on them for a week or two, then it would be quite difficult not to bring Collins back for at least another season.

Collins should also hope that Tony LaRussa is enjoying retirement because if he’s not and itching to get back into the game, things could get very interesting around here comes the off season.

About last night’s game, it seems that Matt Harvey may be experiencing  the same lofty fan expectations that Dwight Gooden had to endure, every start has to be a near no hitter with a dozen or so strikeouts and zero base on balls and of course a complete game shutout. Gooden talks about this in his book how he would hold a team to five hits or so with a couple of walks and five or six strikeouts in seven innings and have fans and media feel let down. Are we approaching that train of thought with Matt Harvey?

Harvey threw 40 % of his total pitches (121) in the first two innings of this game, dividing his 50 pitches in half each inning. His K/BB break down in the first two innings was 33/17. He made one bad pitch, leaving a fastball up to Buster Posey on a 3-1 count that Posey turned on and deposited into the left field stands for a two run home run and just one walk, to Andres Torres in the 2nd where ball four was a strike as home plate ump Adam Hamari was inconsistent in his calls all night. What more can you expect from your Ace?

And let’s not go after Collins for letting Harvey start the 7th inning, he was still throwing his fastball in the mid to upper 90’s and he was throwing strikes and showed no sign of fatigue. After pitching in the heat and humidity in his last few starts, the cool San Francisco evening air looked to rejuvenate Harvey if anything.

My only concern with Harvey is his off the field rise of stardom. I don’t begrudge Harvey of any of the fruits of his fame; I just worry about too much, too fast. On the mound Harvey is in control and takes care of business so well that he’s not just a Mets phenom but a baseball one as well. I just worry about the off field Harvey interfering with the on field Harvey. I hope my worry is much ado about nothing.

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Dispatches From Mets Holiday Party

I’m back from covering the Mets holiday party where the club invited about a 100 kids from P.S. 43 and The Scholars Academy both in Far Rockaway to meet Santa (John Franco) Claus and his Elf’s R.A. Dickey and Ike Davis. Also on hand was Mets GM Sandy Alderson.

After spending time with the children and giving out gifts the players and the GM were available for some Q & A time.  After spending some time with all three I have some observations:

R.A. Dickey looked and sounded puzzled, hurt and a bit defiant when he spoke of his situation now with the club. From the way I see it, the Mets first priority with Dickey is to trade him and they are waiting out teams that are interested in trade to offer more in return to the Mets than has been offered now. How long this plays out is anyone’s guess right now but make no mistake for the Mets this is a stone cold baseball business decision and honestly I hate it and from listening to Dickey this morning he understands it’s business but he’s not happy with the way it’s played out so far either.

Dickey also declared that once the season starts he will not negotiate a contract extension, nor should he.  I don’t know which end of the organization is playing by these hardball rules whether its Sandy Alderson looking to fill the massive gaps in personnel this team has or if it’s The Skill Sets looking to nickel and dime the 2012 Cy Young Award winner. If it’s the baseball ops guys being hard ass’s I can understand it, that doesn’t mean I like but if it’s  Jeffey trying to win at a negotiation, then I’ll be totally outraged.

What Dickey is asking is not just more than fair; I believe he’s selling himself short. Dickey’s agent has proposed a 2 year extension for $28 mil, how in the hell is that excessive? Dickey should have proposed a deal well north of $30 mil for 2 years. As much as I want to believe it’s the Skills Sets acting like hard ass’s here I feel it’s more Alderson and his baseball ops who are dragging this out to see if they can get a trading partner who will send back quality and quantity in a trade.  The worst part of this situation is it’s starting to get ugly and could breakout in a lot of nasty if not rectified soon.

It was Ike Davis’ turn to meet with us and as down and dourer as Dickey was Davis was very upbeat and effervescent.  It could be that Davis is 100 % healthy as he said he just had his lungs x-rayed and they are clear so he has no more effects from Valley Fever and his ankle is a good as ever. He was very happy that Wright received his contract extension and he hoped that something can work out with R.A. Dickey staying with the Mets.  You can check out the conversation with Ike by clicking here

Sandy Alderson made his way into the press area and I don’t hide the fact that I’m an Alderson fan. I think he has a plan to rebuild this organization (even though he’s not allowed to utter the dreaded “R” word because it gives any Mets fans a case of the vapors) but I think the reason I admire him is every time I talk to him he comes off very cool and collected. You can’t make him flinch. There is no emotion in how he is running the baseball operation of this organization in that way he’s the anti-Omar.

Alderson was bombarded as expected with question on R.A. Dickey and his status with the Mets. Alderson gave a name, rank and serial number answer saying that he is still speaking to clubs about dealing R.A. and at the same time looking to negotiate contract extention as he said the situation is the same as it was last week. The contrast in Alderson talking about this situation and Dickey talking about it are quite a contrast. Dickey’s answers were of an emotional nature whereas Alderson was from the business end. Alderson has no problem trading R.A. Dickey but he wants a solid return back, he’s not going to give him away.  If he can’t find the right trade for Dickey I think he’ll sweeten the extension offer and get Dickey under contract for an additional two years.

Alderson claims there is money to spend but he’s not going to spend just to spend, he doesn’t seem to care about winning the back pages of the tabloids in December. The impression I was left with is Alderson will not be the first to blink. He’s not tipping his hand on who he’s looking at to sign or trade for.

I’m as confused and frustrated as any Mets fan, in fact coming back for Citi Field today with Ed Marcus we were both in such deep discussion about what we just heard from the Mets GM we kind of forgot what a pain in the ass traffic jam we were stuck in trying to get back to Staten Island.  No matter if you like or dislike Alderson you have to admit he’s one shrewd dude. Now if nothing changes personnel wise between now and spring training I may have to alter my view but I’m trying to stay patient which is very hard for me to do but I’m trying my best.

To hear my chat with Sandy Alderson click here.

To hear the total media Q & A click here.

 

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Mets Management Should Show R.A. Dickey More Respect

Yesterday on SNY I watched the coronation of David Wright as The Franchise II (Wright would have to win a couple of MVP’s and some World Series Championships before I’d even consider him as The Franchise) Everyone was yucking it up on the SNY set about Wright having a “Burger and a Beer” with Jeffey Skill Sets in Miami after the last game of the most recent second half collapse to end a season. Between Jonas Schwartz and Ed Coleman you would think that was the equivalent of Camp David Accords of 1978. Sure it’s nice that Jeffy wants to be BFF’s with Wright and as we know from our long time Jeffey viewing, he acts like a teenybopper at a Justin Bieber concert when he’s around ball players. So it makes me wonder, why Jeffey not only hasn’t invited R.A. Dickey out for a little nosh but seems be a hard ass with the knuckleballing CY Young Winner.

Take a gander at this quote from The Little Emperor about Dickey’s status with the Mets:

 

At Wednesday’s news conference at the Opryland Hotel to announce David Wright’s eight-year contract extension, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon reiterated earlier comments that the Mets were willing to allow Dickey to simply play out next season on the pre-existing $5 million club option, and become a free agent.

“We’re in the process now,” Wilpon said. “It’s a negotiation. They want more than we’re willing to give right now. We want to do it for less than they want to accept right now. Somewhere in between there’s probably a deal to be done. If not, he’ll be a great bargain at $5 million playing out next season for us.”

 

Pretty condescending comment if you ask me.  If the reports we are getting are correct, Dickey is not asking to break the bank, in fact his offer of 2yrs/$30mil is a somewhat low if you ask me. As much as Wright is the bright shinny face of The Franchise, Dickey is the team’s heart, soul and inspiration and the holder of a post season award, something Wright does not possess. So why the hard line and disrespect for Dickey?  I think if you caught Sandy Alderson in a candid moment he tell you he’d love to send Jeffey to Langley and let Saul Berenson handle him  CIA style as Jeffey doesn’t make his job any easier.

Alderson does not want to go into the season with Dickey as a lame duck, he either wants to deal him for a rewarding return or sign him to an extension. It serves the Mets no purpose to start the season with Dickey not under contract for more than the season, his trade value will never be higher than it is now. Logic says Alderson is waiting for Zack Greinke to sign somewhere, in hopes that the runner-ups panic and over pay for Dickey. If the return is not to his liking then I’m sure Alderson and Dickey’s people sit down and settle on a contract extension. This plan is not very difficult to decipher except of course for Jeffey.

Let’s face if Jeffey and Dickey sat down to talk it would be kind of awkward. Dickey reads books, Jeffey colors in books. Dickey is charismatic; Jeffey takes the air out of a room. Jeffey like to hang around with jocks he loves being one of the guys where Dickey would rather visit a museum than a country club. Jeffey doesn’t grasp what he has in R.A. Dickey, He doesn’t comprehend that Mets fans have not just embraced a baseball player but a man that they look up to and admire. I’ve always agreed with Charles Barkley when he said “I am not a role model” athletes shouldn’t be looked at that way as most have been given privileges and perks that other’s more worthy never get  but R.A. Dickey is THE exception to that. Dickey has fought and worked to reach this point in his baseball and personal life to where he not only can provide big for his family but to reach out to others with charity. That’s the part that seems to be lost on Jeffey Skill Sets.  

If Sandy Alderson deals Dickey and gets back some pieces that will be of value to the Mets and help curtail this endless spiral of losing and giving up then that’s fine but if Dickey plays out this season and walks because Jeffey Wilpon thinks a 2yr/$30 mil extension is too much for one of the most honorable men to ever don a Mets uniform, then it may be time for me to reflect if all this support I give to this team is worth it.

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Bye Bye Bay-by, Bay-by Good Bye !

So Mets fans are you happy now? We all wanted to be rid of Jason Bay and his unproductive bat and Debbie Downer body language and the Mets have granted us that request. The club sat down with Bay and worked out a deal where Bay gets the full $21 mil he’s owed on his contract. It looks like the club and Bay have structured a deal where some of the $21 mil is deferred, how much that helps the team this off season remains to be seen.

I think by now it’s clear that Sandy Alderson does not deal in emotions when it comes to this team.  We saw it last off season when after approaching  Jose Reyes’ agent during the season to talk contract extension and was told that Reyes would rather test the free agent waters. When the season was over Reyes’ handlers wanted the Mets to make an offer and were told by Alderson that he was not about to set the market price and it would be in Reyes’ best interest to get an offer and get back to him. They did with the only offer out there from the Marlins of 6 years and $106 mil, to which Alderson said, “enjoy South Beach”. It was the right move.

As we have seen with Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez and D.J. Carrasco, Alderson has no problem approaching the Skill Sets with the recommendation of eating salary. Even with all the red ink flooding Citi Field, the move was still made to eat Bay’s remaining contract however it is structured is a positive move.

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Sandy Alderson’s Mets Honeymoon Ends Wednesday Night

This winter will be more of an inferno than a hot stove for the Mets and it will be the defining off season for the Sandy Alderson regime. From reading Mets news this morning the hottest topic of the winter will be what becomes of David Wright and from where I sit I’d say we are looking at Wright becoming an ex-Met by the new year than a long term Met with a contract extension.

I’ve gone through this exercise before, it may be best for both the Mets and Wright to separate, this isn’t to say I want Wright to go, not at all, if he signed a long term contract to be a Met For Life that’s fine with me and if he and Sandy Alderson can agree on terms that are beneficial to the team and Wright well, hallelujah but the odds of that happening are as slim as Tom “The Blade” Hall in the stretch position.

What Alderson has to worry about is getting back players of value for Wright if he and Team DW are so far apart in negotiation that he has to think about moving him, if he lets Wright walk a la Jose Reyes, I’m heading for the nearest fallout shelter because it will Mets fan Armageddon in Flushing.

At some point we in the fan base have to make up our minds do we want a winning team or do we want this bunch of great guys to hang around and win 70-75 games every year?  There are some in the fan base who treat the Mets as a Lifetime Network movie, they get all emotional when players they love are mentioned as trade bait (or should I say traid bate ?) You can’t keep everybody. One of Frank Cashen’s successful management moves was to shuffle the roster even when coming off a successful season.  Cashen was drawn and quartered for not giving in to Ray Knight’s contract demands after the 1986 World Series in which Knight was the MVP of the series. As it turned out, Cashen made the correct move in letting Knight walk.  Alderson will make the same decision on Wright and do what is best for the New York Mets.  If Wright leaves there will be outrage and nastiness not seen in these parts since June 15th 1977, unless of course the Mets win the 2013 or 2014 World Series, then it will be David Who?

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Yes Fred and Jeff Wilpon Mets Fans CAN Handle The Truth!

I was all set to put up a post this morning but we had a bit of a situation at work that required an all hands on deck approach so that settled that for me.

One of the items I wanted to touch on was the anger that is building within the fan base. It seems the frustrations of another meaningless second half, this one coming on the heels of an optimistic first half, and the uncertainty of what the 2013 payroll will be are the main culprits in this uprising. The good news for Mets management is that there still is a pulse, a passion in Mets fans to get their dander up. But how long does the passion last until it turns to apathy?

I have no idea what the Skill Sets financial situation is and I’m sure they are not looking to share those details with me or anyone else not involved in the baseball operations of the Mets. I’m pretty sure there is still tremendous debt both on the ballpark, the team and SNY plus legal fees that have to be paid. So the question is what will be left to procure talent to make the 2013 Mets a contending team?

I’m not optimistic that there will be enough funds to sign a solid power hitting outfielder while releasing a very highly paid and unfortunately useless left fielder in Jason Bay. What will happen with David Wright this offseason, will he and the Mets come to an agreement on a contract extension that will keep him in a Mets uniform for the rest of his career? Again not knowing the financials I think the Skill Sets will find a way to extend Wright 5 yrs at $100 mil but the question is will Wright want to stay here?

I have to give Freddy Skill Sets credit when he was approached by David Lennon of Newsday during an infrequent walk on the field during BP, that he made no comment and kept walking briskly away as the media took off after him for a quote and all they got was a cloud of dust and the reply of “Ask Sandy”.

I guess after the Gucci loafer in mouth quotes Freddy gave to Jeffery Toobin last year in the New Yorker article, he’s learned his lesson to keep your head down and walk fast when discovered by reporters. Even at the All Star Game presser, Freddy was not in attendance and Jeffy gave just a brief speech.

As I’ve said, I have no idea what the financial situation is with the Skill Sets and how it effects the off season game plan but I do know this after the October 3 game against the Fish, the topic of conversation for the next four months will be money and how much the Wilpons have to invest in their team.

The only thing I’ve ever wanted from the Skill Sets is honesty and for some reason they have a tough time with that concept. Just level with your fan/customer base about what the game plan is going forth for 2013 and beyond. That’s all we’re asking, honesty and transparency two very good traits to possess. I’ve said for the longest time if Freddy came out and said “we are still trying to recover monetarily from the Madoff scandal and now that the trial has been settled we are trying to regroup financially both personally and professionally. “ Com’on try it Freddy and Jeffy just be honest with your fans/customers THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREEE !!!!!! and buy you some much needed good will as well.

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JIM LEYLAND, HERO TO ALL MIDDLE AGED MEN

One of the pluses when I turned 50 years old was it was the first time in my life I didn’t give a flyin’ fuck what anyone thought about me. It’s a great feeling to have the burden of acceptance lifted from one’s shoulders.  You reach that point in life where you make a decision that you feel is right and if anyone else doesn’t like it well, too bad.  That’s why I had to smile at Jim Leyland letting the media know why he told them ahead of time that he would not use Joquin Benoit or Jose Valverde in yesterday’s win or go home Game 5:

“Well, it’s what we said before the game. So it gave everybody a chance to get all their second-guessing ready about it,” Leyland said. “That’s just the way it had to be today. We talked about it before the game and we did exactly what we felt we had to do to give ourselves any chance to win the series.”

In other words, Leyland let all the wash women (a/k/a the main stream media)write up their “kill Leyland” stories ahead of time. Unfortunately for them Justin Verlander stepped up like a Cy Young/MVP and Phil Coke proved himself as a big time pitcher in relief. The game went just as Leyland planned and if it didn’t, well you can kiss his ass.

Looks as though Bob Geren will get the job as Terry Collins’ consigliore over Jim Riggleman. Neither one of the candidates, in my opinion, are anything to get excited over, in fact I feel they both suck. Riggleman walked out on his team because he didn’t get a contract extension and GM Mike Rizzo didn’t talk to him much. Geren was hated by his players in Oakland to where Houston Street said he was the worst person he ever met in baseball. Perfect. Looks as though Geren’s  Oakland pedigree got him the job. If the report is correct that Collins wanted Riggleman but the front office wanted Geren, will Collins and the players look at Geren as an Alderson snitch? I would.

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GO METS! SIS-BOOM-BAH!

As first reported by Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest, LOOGY Deluxe Tim Byrdak has signed a contract extension with the Mets for next season. Seems Sandy Alderson would like to keep two lefties in the pen and so far Little LOOGY Danny (Give me a LOOGY with Hair, long beautiful Hair, shining, gleaming…..)Herrera is making his bid to be Byrdak’s stablemate.

Between having John Franco babysit Bobby Parnell and now having Terry Collins breakdown of Dillion Gee’s pitch selection and approach, it seems like Dan Warthen is on shaky ground when it comes to his job security for next season, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a return of The Jacket to Flushing.

How much does the stellar play of Ruben Tejeda play into the Mets maybe not going all out to re-sign Jose Reyes?  I’m sure he will never admit it but I’d bet Sandy Alderson is praying that some dumb owner offers Reyes a ridiculous contract that he can’t match so he can use the $18-$20 mil on pitching.

What a schizo team we root for. They lose four games at home to the Nats and look like they packed it in for the year. The manager calls his team out saying they “folded up” and says “the fans are right to be angry”  So they go into Atlanta, usually a house of horrors for the Mets and take 2 of 3 from a Braves team that needed to win these three games to keep the Cardinals and Giants off their heels. Amazing Mets indeed.

This is beyond disturbing!

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NOT A METS FAN? I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU

Some people just don’t get it. You can’t really explain it to them because their capacity to comprehend is inadequate. No matter how much detail you go into and try to show the beauty, the hurt, the unpredictability, the euphoria, and the heartbreak, they just don’t get it. What am I talking about? What makes a Mets fan, a Mets fan?

Last night would make for a great visual into why we as Mets fans love this team. Yesterday afternoon if Mike Baxter rang my door bell and introduced himself, I’d close the door on him like he was trying to convert me to Jehovah Witness, after last night, I want to hang out in Whitestone with the Baxter family. Are you kidding me? Kid grows up a Mets fan in Queens, leads Archbishop Molloy to a championship, bangs around the minors for seven seasons, put on waivers and picked up by the hometown team , first game hit a double (generous scoring sure) in front of family and friends who cannot contain their excitement , what a story. That’s what rooting for the NY Mets is about, there is always a story.

Of course there are not just non-believers out there but those who feel it’s cool to mock us and the team we root for. The latest in this line of unimaginative assholes is Jim Luttrell of the NY Times, who doesn’t understand why Mets fans would go to any more games this season at Citi Field. In a post at Faith and Fear in Flushing, Jason Fry gives those of Luttrell’s ilk a lesson on why we root for this team. I hope someone reads this article to Luttrell even though he won’t understand it.

http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com/2011/08/09/mets-1-new-york-times-0/comment-page-1

Ed Marcus (a/k/a Rusty Jr ) makes the case over at The Real Dirty Mets blog that Terry Collins should receive a contract extension. Collins has just next year left on his deal and I would be shocked if he wasn’t awarded a one year extension this off season.   He’s earned it. http://sportspyder.com/teams/new-york-mets/articles/4522980

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………….AND WE’RE BACK………..

The site was having problems this morning and I’m blaming Jeffey Skill Sets and some Wilpon sabatogie for that but a big thanks to Sports Media Mogul Joe McDonald for fixing whatever it was that messed the place up.

 

As we approach the 24th hour since the M. Donald Minaya disgraceful presser the debate still rages on about the direction this team is going.  I’m not sure Minaya was working alone in his attack on Adam Rubin since Rubin stated he had spoke to Jeffey Skill Sets about getting into baseball and not Omar, it just smells of a set up to me.

 

In one way Omar was slick in calling out Rubin during the press conference as it took away the fact that Tony Bernazard would still have a job today if not for the daily stories on Bernazard’ behavior that were painting him as one nasty bastard and made the organization look bad.

 

What I don’t get is why the hell do the Mets ever let Minaya speak at these things? Listening to him stumble and stammer makes me so uncomfortable listening to him. If Minaya survives this off season and his contract extension kicks in, the Skill Sets should send Omar for some public speaking courses or bring in someone to work with him to help him speak in front of the cameras. The New York Mets for all their faults and ineptsness is still a billion dollar corporation and should not have as it’s spokesman a guy who has a problem putting a sentence together.

 

By the way the Mets won a game in big time fashion with Fernando Tatis hitting a grand slam on a 0-2 pitch that any other day would be the big story but as usual front office stupidity reigns again.

 

I’m going to the game tonight (as bad as the team is I love spending my birthday watching baseball) and I think I may go real early and call out Jeffey Skill Sets kind of like Steven Segal in Out For Justice as Det. Gino Felino went looking for Richie Madano in this scene. So if your at $ti Field tonight and you hear someone yelling “Yo Jeffey, Com’on out Jeffey” come by and say hi.

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