Mets Minutia

While I have some quiet time, I figured let me sit down and knock out a post because the next few days will be quite hectic. So in no particular order rhyme or reason here are some of my Mets Musings:

Seriously, how do you put out a holiday video of the best moments of your season and not included R.A. Dickey in it? This beyond petty and stupid it’s indefensible.  No mention of his winning the Cy Young Award, no mention of his back to back 1 hitters (6/13 vs. Tampa and6/18 vs. Baltimore) where he K’s 25 batters in 18 innings, no mention of the great atmosphere at Citi Field on the final home game for his 20th win??????  And you want to know way the vast majority of the Mets fan base scream SELL THE TEAM!!!!!!  Are the Skill Sets this clueless and numb to public perception that they signed off on this video?????

If Sandy Alderson wants to look at Grady Anderson on a minor league or a make good major league deal, I have no problem with that. It’s a low risk/high reward move. Now as for some of the pitchers we hear they are looking at well, that’s another story.

We can scratch Francisco Liriano off the list as he signed a 2yr/$14 mil deal with the Pirates which looks to be a year and about $11mil more than I thought he’d get.  Carl Pavano’s name has been mentioned as well and you could probably get him very cheap and for a guy who would be a 5th starter and place holder for Zack Wheeler he wouldn’t be a bad choice at the right price. Of course we all remember Pavono as a major bust with the Bronx Bastards but he would be coming to the Mets not as a top of the rotation pitcher but as journeyman seat filler.  Pavano is also coming off missing most of last season with a bruised bone in his shoulder that did not require surgery, so I could see offering Pavano a minimum ML contract loaded with tons of incentives.  Aaron Harang makes $7mil for 2013, unless the Dodgers are ready to eat $6 mil of that then he’s a thought but if the Mets can get Chris Capuano back that would be the move. What would it cost player wise in trade is the question and Capuano makes $6mil for the coming season so maybe a B level pitcher and the Dodgers eating at least half the contract would be a nice little re-acquisition by the Mets.

If you have a Hall of Fame vote and you don’t cast a vote for Mike Piazza and then try to write a column where you attempt to justify your non-vote, all you do is prove to your readership that you’re a self-important jerk and you have violated the first rule of reporting, never make yourself the story.

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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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Hip! Hip! R.A. !

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Congratulations to R.A. Dickey on his winning the 2012 NL Cy Young Award. Here is a clip from the film Knuckleballwhere Dickey shows his craft

 

In a perfect world, R.A. Dickey would be a Met 4 Life. For an organization run as bad as a Guy Fieri restaurant that also suffers from public mocking like no other team in town that doesn’t have a bench warming Christian QB, through all that muck and mire there has been one beacon of enlightenment for Mets fans. His name is Robert Allen Dickey.

Dickey’s rough road traveled in his life and baseball career has been rewarded with his being named the 2012 recipient of the NL Cy Young Award. This award does not just legitimize the pitch that made him a star, the knuckleball, but it goes to show how sweat equity in a craft and a belief in one’s self pay off.

You would think the announcement of Dickey winning the Cy Young would set off a huge celebration in the Land of Orange and Blue. Mets fans should be making sure they secure a ticket for April 1st 2013, opening day of the baseball season at Citi Field. Mets fans should have a smile and warm feeling during this off season just thinking about hearing Mets P.A. announcer Alex Anthony make the following proclamation:

“Ladies and Gentlemen….boys and girls ….please direct your attention to the area in front of the pitchers mound where Commissioner Bud Selig has special presentation…..”

At that point the sellout crowd rises as one with a ghost of Shea Stadium roar as Selig with Cy Young plaque in hand presents it to today’s starting pitcher, R.A. Dickey. Dickey tries to say a few words to the fans, a fan base that has fallen in love with not just the pitcher but the man and his life story and his rebirth as a husband, father and baseball player, but he can’t as the crowd of 40,000 Mets fans are serenading him with chants of “R.A DICK-EY, clap clap…clap, clap..clap R.A. DICK-EY, clap, clap….clap, clap, clap…… “What a scene….what pride in being a Mets fan….what…..may…..never….happen…..

I understand that discussing trading Dickey is an option. As you and I think with our hearts, Sandy Alderson thinks with his head and is trying to obtain players who will help turn this team around but who would you get back in trade that would push the Mets to that level and is better than having R.A. Dickey on this team? It’s not like Dickey is looking for a big time deal either, a 3yr/$25-$27 mil deal would be more than suffice for him.  Instead of dealing away a guy like Dickey the Mets need more players like Dickey.

Here is a player who in 2010 played with a plantar fasciitis injury and took pain killer injections on his day to pitch. Last season he played with a torn stomach muscle that he waited until the season was over to get surgery on.  You can’t put a price tag on a will like that.

The Mets love to monitor social media and I’m sure they were all over Twitter and Facebook last night so that means they saw the reaction of the fan base to the announcement of Dickey winning the Cy Young. The Mets brass was in attendance for the last game of the 2011 season at Citi Field when Mets fans skipped school and work and any other responsibilities they had in life to come see a second division team close out another lack luster season that featured the now annual second half collapse only because R.A. Dickey was pitching for his 20th win. Those new to the organization BS (Before Shea) were stunned by the support and the atmosphere Mets fan displayed that day. If the organization wants to keep that fan feeling and want to give as David Howard calls them “the dormant Mets fan” a reason to buy a ticket to a game at Citi Field, they will extend Dickey’s deal and reap the benefits.  Unless Alderson can get back Mike Trout the best move is to not move R.A. Dickey.  

 

 

 

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Baseball Fever: Catch It!

Putting my Mets fandom on the side for the moment (although I am wearing my Mets cap & sweatshirt today) yesterday was a baseball fans paradise. Four games, four series, some great games, one not so great game but even a bad baseball game is better than no baseball games, am I right?

Some observations:

The Strasburg Shutdown will haunt Mike Rizzo all winter if the Nationals do not advance at least to the NLCS. How much do the Nationals miss their ace since both Jordan Zimmerman and Edward Jackson have not come up big in games 2 and 3? Leo Mazzone didn’t hold back in his criticism of the Nationals not just shutting down Strasburg but the way they did it with so much pomp and circumstance. I wonder if Rizzo when staring into his morning oatmeal regrets how he and the organization went about handling Strasburg. Maybe a skipped start or reassignment to the bullpen was the better move and maybe Rizzo is finally coming to the realization that the postseason is a privilege not a birth right unless of course you were born in the South Bronx.

I have made it known here that I am a big Tim Lincecum fan and I’ve been as stumped as everyone why The Freak lost his mojo this season. As much as deep down Lincecum was seething over being demoted to bullpen duty, he didn’t sulk, didn’t throw a tantrum and said all the right things but make no mistake when you are a two time Cy Young Award winner and a wear a World Series ring, you have that certain something that separates also ran’s from champions . Lincecum stepped up like a champ yesterday as a Bruce Bochy’s stomach was doing flips every time Barry Zito delivered a pitch until he couldn’t take it anymore and lifted the sorry lefty. After great relief work by George Kontos and Jose Mijares it was time for The Freak to come in and step up. Not only did Lincecum step up, he dominated. That’s what winning players do.

As pissed off as I am over Raul Ibanez becoming the next fairy tale hero of Highlander lore, you can’t help but smirk a bit at the busted ass luck of the NY Highlanders. The last innings of the Highlanders-O’s game is the essence of how great a game baseball is. Joe Girardi made the biggest move of his managerial career in pulling the hitter formerly known as Alex Rodriguez in favor of Ibanez. Rodriguez made a wonderful grandstand move jumping up and down as if he was really thrilled for Ibanez. A-Rod said all the right rehearsed lines after the game talking up team before me and how he’s matured and is all about winning and a lot of other happy horse shit. There is no way in hell when Rodriguez went home last night and stared at his I AM CENTAUR mural above his bed that he didn’t shed a tear and spend a sleepless night trying to figure out where it has all gone wrong.  A-Rod is the Anti-Freak/      

I’ve loved watching the Oakland A’s games this year, especially the games at the Coliseum.  I have no answer why the A’s fans don’t come out in force all season as they do in the post season but I’ll say this, for all the fan bases involved in this post season , they are the most vocal and creative of them all. Every crowd shot you see is of fans deck out in A’s clothing, with banners and signs and beating drums and tom-toms, can you imagine trying to get a drum into Citi Field or Highlander Stadium? Imagine real live working class baseball fans left to be baseball fans? I lasted until the 7th inning on this game since it was after midnight and I had to get up at 5:15 this morning for work. Add to that I had watched baseball from 1PM that afternoon, I didn’t need to count rosin bags to fall asleep. It wasn’t until I turned on 101WINS while shaving that the great Mark Ernay relayed the news that the A’s came back from 3-1 down to win 4-3. Before leaving for work I just had to take a peek at the highlights on my At Bat app to see Coco Crisp come through with the game winning hit, the 15th time the A’s have walked off with a victory. The A’s get to live another day for a Game 5 showdown with Justin Verlander. Don’t count these A’s out as you can see from this quote from Josh Reddick, the A’s have a winning attitude:

“We’ve heard a lot of people say we’re not smart enough to know when to lose a game like most people do,” said Josh Reddick, who started the rally with a single. “We’ve been battling till the 27th out all year and we’re not going to stop now.”

WOW! Battling till the 27th out, what an outstanding concept are you listening Sandy? Terry? Anyone?

 

 

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Random Thoughts Post Season Edition

Mets news? What Mets news? This is what happens during the MLB post season as the Commissioner’s office like for it teams not participating in the post season to lay low on news of their own. Sure it looks like the Cleveland Indians get a pass by hiring Terry Francona as their manger and knowing the kinship the Skill Sets have with The Used Car Salesman they have carte blanch as well. But with the Skill Sets looking to re-finance their massive debt of the team via its 65 % share of SNY we will have to wait a while to see if David Wright will be a Met for at least then next 6 years and if R.A. Dickey will receive his Cy Young Award as a NY Met as well.

So until then here are some random observations:

After listening to Sandy Alderson on with Mike Francesa earlier this week, it safe to say that Alderson is looking to add power, power and more power to his lineup. I would love to see him swing a deal with Toronto to add C J.P. Arencibia and CF Colby Rasmus to the Mets. I bet the price wouldn’t be that prohibitive to get both.  You fill two big holes with both players and I bet it wouldn’t take Jon Niese to get them either. Maybe Mejia, Familia and Duda ?

I’m pretty bummed that the two teams I’ve wanted to make it to the World Series, the Oakland A’s and SF Giants are both in big time trouble in a 2-0 hole in both their series.  Got to tip your Mets cap to the Reds for bouncing back after their Ace Johnny Cueto came out of game one with back spasms after one hitter.  Reliever Sam LeCure stepped up big time with a 1.2 relief stint that allowed Matt Laos to get up and warmed up to go 4 solid innings as to not tax the Reds relief corps. This is what I mean about teams like the Mets who accept failure and teams like the Reds that do what it takes to win.

I can’t believe some folks are still talking about the infield fly rule call in the Braves-Cards knockout game. The Braves are using Sam Holbrook’s bad judgment as a crutch for dropping this game. Did Holbrook make the wrong call? No. Did he stretch the interpretation of the infield fly rule? Yes. The infield fly rule is all about the umpire’s judgment and in Holbrooks judgment as bad as it may have been, Cards shortstop Pete Kozma was able to get in position to make a routine play on the fly ball hit by Anderlin Simons. The rule is in place to protect the runner from deception of a fielder dropping a routine fly ball in an attempt to get a double play, as the rule states batter is out, runners advance at their own risk. In the Braves case the runners Dan Uggla on 2nd and David Ross on 1st both advanced at that risk as the ball dropped between Kozma and LF’er Matt Holliday. So the Cardinals got the worst end of the play, not the Braves.  By the way once the infield fly rule is called it doesn’t matter which fielder makes the catch so again it would have been a more favorable outcome for the Cardinals if Matt Holliday made the catch since he was coming in on the ball which would have prevented Uggla from advancing to 3rd base. I love baseball!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This kills me but I have to give the Highlanders and C.C. Sabathia their due this morning. Sabathia put on a clinic on how to pound the ball low in the strike zone.

 

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R.A. Dickey Deserves Your Support

 

I know many of you have sworn off the Mets for the rest of this season due to poor play, rotten second half or your distain for ownership but if you are true blue and orange Mets fan and can get out of work or play hooky from school, you have to be at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon to root on R.A. Dickey to win number 20.

We can all hope that Dickey wins the CY Young Award that he so richly deserves but the voting for that is out of our hands as fans. What we do control is the ability to put aside our angst and anger over this season and seasons past and how we all wish the For Sale sign would go up at 126 St and Roosevelt Avenue, but if anyone has made be a Mets fan worth its while to cheer, it’s been R.A. Dickey.

I can’t wait to get to Citi Field on Thursday for maybe the second time this year we will have a Mets Moment at Ball Park worth cheering about. If there is one player on this Mets team that is deserving of the fan support we Mets fans a famous for its R.A. Dickey.

Face it, you’re sick of being a depressed Mets fan , you’re sick of hearing about the teams finances, you’re sick of the loss after loss second half  so Thursday is your chance to go to Citi Field with a genuine purpose to root for the Mets, so that R.A. Dicey not only gets his 20th win but to show our appreciation for him and what he has done this season. The Man deserves it.

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SEPTEMBER SWOON

Well if it’s September it must be Mets Free Fall.  Just like white shoes and straw hats, the NY Mets go out of style come Labor Day.

The last three September’s have become Nightmare on 126th St & Roosevelt as Freddy Skill Sets worst nightmare has come true, the lack of meaningful baseball games played in Flushing. It’s why the organization has had to pull gimmicks out it’s ass to find a way to coax fans to Citi Field. From 2009 to last night the Mets are 26-44 in the month that baseball fans pay the most attention to, the month when the teams that are ready to prove they are worthy World Series contenders, the month we used to look at once tickets went on sale and made sure we secured tickets to the Braves series, the Phillies series now we look forward to Cult Movie Night or Thumb Suckers Awareness Night or a Celebrations of the People of the Aleutian Islands .

So let’s bring everyone back from this year because it’s just a matter of time before Mike Pelfrey turns into Don Drysdale and David Wright will turn into George Brett and Johan Santana will be the first pitcher to ever comeback from shoulder surgery to win the Cy Young Award and Bobby Parnell will become a gritty, gutty closer by growing a Fu Manchu moustache, and of course Jose Reyes will resign and the Mets will add a Santeria High Priest to exorcise the demons out of Reyes’ hamstrings.

Now that the chase for .500 looks unattainable maybe we should root for more loses to get a better pick in the 2012 Entry Draft.

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AH…….JUST A LAZY DAY IN PORT ST LONESOME

Blue Sky, sunshine, what a day to take a walk in the park.
Ice cream, daydream till the sky becomes a blanket of stars.
What a day for pick-in’ daisies and lots of red balloons.
And what a day for hold in’ hands and being with you.

Lot’s of stories coming out of Camp Kumbaya where everybody is in “great shape” and ready to fulfill everyone’s expectation of championship baseball. Ah yes, Port St. Lonesome in March, where Johan Santana wins 20 games and the Cy Young Award. Where Big Pelf steps up to throw 200 innings and win 17 games. Where Oliver Perez and John Maine form the best 3-4 spots in any rotation in baseball. Where David Wright, with hard work and a new physique will return to 30 HR’s 100+ RBI. Where Jason Bay and Jeff Francouer prosper on the field and off it as both BAY 44 and FRANCOUER 12 jersey’s can not be produced fast enough by little girls in some third world country to meet the demand of the Mets fans filling $iti Field to capacity every night. Where Daniel Murphy leads the NL in batting with a .350 average and 40 doubles and 20 HR’s. Where Kelvin Escobar and Francisco Rodriguez form the most intimidating late inning relievers in baseball. Where……..what?…….what do you mean both guys haven’t pitched yet this spring?………..Escobar isn’t healthy and Rodriguez has pink eye?…….How do you know Rodriguez has pink eye? He was diagnosised  by who? ED COLEMAN?????? But Escobar is fine isn’t he????????? He’s not?

NO NO PLEASE DON”T SAY IT…….. PLEASE DON”T SAY SAME OLD METS!!!!! WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

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LEE TO CHEESESTEAKS

JP Riccaridi has been left out to dry by Ruben Armaro Jr as the Amaro deals with the Tribe to grab Cliff Lee the reiging CY Young Award winner in the AL and holds on to Kyle Drabek and J A Happ.

Omar if you can swing a deal for Roy Halliday all is forgiven in fact I’ll kick Adam Rubin’ ass for you if you make the deal

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EVEN IN NOVEMBER, THE METS BULLPEN BLOWS ANOTHER SAVE

You could say with a half descent bullpen behind him, there would have been a first time press conference at $iti Field today to announce Johan Santana as the 2008 NL Cy Young Award winner but instead the award goes to the Frisco Phenom Tim Lincecum and it’s hard to argue the choice. I know it really doesn’t matter who comes in 2nd or 3rd in these awards contests but how could 9 voters not give Santana either a 2nd or 3rd place vote?

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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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