NY Mets Need Johan Santana Ready, But Not For Opening Day

 

The NY Mets hired a new Strength and Conditioning coach for 2013, his name is Jim Malone. Malone was hired in early November in an effort to upgrade the way the players in the organization physically conditions themselves for the 2013 season and beyond, especially when little nagging aches and pains have some guys taking time off due to soreness not injury, you would also think his first duties as the S&C coach would be to meet with Johan Santana and oversee a workout plan for him after the abrupt end of his season. I mean, it stands to reason right that Santana’s health would be of optimum importance to the Mets?

I don’t just look at Santana as the Ace of this Mets staff, I also look at him as Sandy Alderson’s prime blue ribbon steer, the one commodity that Alderson has left to sell off for some much needed calf’s to restock the Mets farm. Santana should have been given the best feed and a comprehensive workout program that would strengthen his surgically repaired shoulder and his endurance. He was given none of that by the Mets, and now Alderson is surprised that Johan Santana cannot make the proclamation that 99.9 % of players make when they report to spring camp that “he is in the best shape of his life”.

Talk about not doing due diligence, how in the world did the Mets not monitor the lefties off season workout activities?  I would think that every player in the organization sits down with the training staff and strength and conditioning staff and charts out a winter routine to make sure guys report to St. Lonesome in tip top shape. This isn’t reserve clause era baseball anymore where players have to take jobs selling insurance or laying brick, the biggest job most players have is staying out of their wives way, so I’m sure vast majority of baseball players hit the gym in the winter time, because as I said in the above paragraph all we here from players today at reporting time is they are “in the best shape of their lives”.

All the talk now is about getting Santana ready for an opening day start at Citi Field. Seriously, that should not be the top priority, no the Mets need for Santana to work at getting that left shoulder strong and if that means he doesn’t come up North until the beginning of May then so be it. Santana’s value to the Mets isn’t what he brings in his starts, no, his importance to the Mets is what he can bring back in trade.

Johan Santana is the last of the high priced players of the Omar Minaya era and the last real trade chip Sandy Alderson has left that isn’t named Harvey or Wheeler, if he is healthy.  Right now the Mets need Santana and Malone to sit down and work out a conditioning plan that gets him back on the mound with a strong left wing that throws strikes. If it takes the next 4 weeks of spring and a DL stint and a couple of rehab starts in Las Vegas then so be it.

This is not to disparage Santana or to call him out for not working out this winter, not at all. Santana when healthy was a force with the Mets  a guy who not just competed but rose to challenges  when faced with them.  Of course there was last years no hitter which will leave Santana (and Mike Baxter) mark on Mets history.  His first year with the Mets on July 27th 2008, a day after the Mets used every pitcher on the roster in a 14 inning loss to the Cardinals; Santana pitched a complete game and beat the Cards 9-1. Then on September 27th Santana beat the Marlins 3 hit shutout on 3 days rest to keep the Mets playoff chances alive. Oh yeah he did that with a torn meniscus in his knee as well.

Santana is as tough as a two dollar steak, coming back from the meniscus tear, elbow chips and reconstructive shoulder surgery. No question Santana will now work to get back into the rotation but now in the last year of his contract with the Mets, the cold reality is, he’s a short timer.  The question Mets fans should have about Santana isn’t if he will make the opening day start, it should be can Sandy Alderson move Santana to a contending team for a blue chip outfield prospect by the July trade deadline.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Sandy Alderson Blinked

 

You know who I feel bad for in this whole Michael Bourn saga? The young man the Mets draft with the 11th pick in the entry draft because if he doesn’t turn into the next coming of Willie Mays or Walter Johnson he will be scared for life.

So the Mets finally free up money to make not only a competitive offer but an offer that Bourn was eager to sign, if the reports are accurate, that Bourn’s first choice was the New York Mets. So a bit of a silver lining for Mets fans to embrace here that the Mets were in position to make an offer on a free agent and the free agent wanted to be a Met. The only thing it seems between Bourn flying around Citi Field as a Met or going elsewhere was that priceless 11th pick and Scott Boras doing his Scott Boras thing, taking his clients best offer and trying to get an even better best offer.  Remember his midnight phone call to Pee Wee Cashman when Carols Beltran was to become a Met where he all but begged Pee Wee to match the Mets offer. While it seems that the Mets and Bourn were just a signature away, Boras came back with an offer from the Cleveland Indians that matched the Mets offer and went one better with a 5th year option based on goals reached in that 4th year . Did that scare off Sandy Alderson?  Did it piss him off that maybe he was being played by Boras? Could be a little of both.

Who knew that not sucking enough in 2012 would hurt the Mets for 2013? Maybe going on a bit of tear after the 16-1 embarrassing loss to the Phillies wasn’t the best thing that could have happened late last season.  The big question I have is why did it take the Mets this long to contest the clause in the CBA on compensation for the inability to sign a draft pick? When going over the CBA didn’t anyone, not just the Mets but any team, look at that clause and say, “something is wrong here”. It’s ridiculous that the Pittsburgh Pirates get rewarded for incompetence and not doing their due diligence in know what it would take to sign RHP Mark Appel last season.   I’m not taking the Mets and Sandy Alderson off the hook here either they totally dropped the ball on this, even without the Bourn signing shouldn’t the Mets GM have been fighting  to get to the 10th pick anyway since the Mets had the 10th worst record in baseball?

All through this Bourn saga, I’ve wavered back and forth and now that it’s done and Bourn is not a Met because of this 11th pick and more importantly the slot money the Mets would lose. I’m pissed off that Alderson couldn’t finish the deal with Bourn/Boras.

That fact that Bourn, if he signed with the Mets would have been the second best  everyday player on the team, he also would have added speed at the leadoff spot, a bonafide top notch centerfielder and most important the message that the Mets are back in the baseball business. All of these factors in my opinion outweigh a draft pick and a couple of million dollars of slot money. Signing Bourn would have boosted the fan base moral and made the baseball establishment sit up and take notice.

Bourn to the Mets would have capped off a fantastic off season for Alderson. He signed David Wright to 8 year deal, he dumped Jason Bay and he show his onions trading R.A. Dickey in turn making the Mets future look brighter. That’s what has me puzzled over not signing Bourn. Why not sign him and then go to the MLBPA and argue the stupidity of the compensation rule. If you have the balls to trade not only a reigning CY Young Award winner but also one of the most popular Mets players in recent history, why lose your courage over a draft pick? Roll the fucking dice.

Alderson made a terrific offer to Bourn/Boras who in turn said I see your offer of 4 years and raise you a vesting option on a 5th. Alderson looked at his cards showing an 11th round pick on a player who odds are will never make an impact on the Mets, and the slot money, which I believe is more important to Alderson that the pick itself and said I’m out. That’s what has me mad as hell, Alderson found a strange time to lose his nerve. He should have matched the Indians offer. He’d have been a hero today. I hope to hell he has another plan up his sleeve if not he should lay low and stop with the wise ass jokes , I’m really not in the mood.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Mets-cetra

 

As the equipment truck heads down I-95 towards St. Lonesome there is a few pieces of Mets information in the news today, so let’s take a look-see shall we?

According to the NY Post, Fred Wilpon and Uncle Saul Katz would like to build a casino on the soon to be re-developed Iron Triangle. Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.  The one think the Mets have going for them in this new scheme business venture is that Governor Cuomo is a proponent of having casinos in New York State but mostly he wants them upstate New York and not in the NYC limits. This reminds me of the time years ago the urban legend around Brooklyn was that Frank Sinatra was buying up a whole bunch of real estate because casino gambling was coming to Coney Island. Of course that never happened. Neither will Willets Point Casino. The part of the story that made me choke on my bagel was that the city has “handed” the Wilpon’s 23 acres of NYC real estate back in 2011 that they have turned into park spaces. Nice of the Bloomberg administration to be giving away land maybe folks in Staten Island, Rockaways and Breezy Point can get a nice gift like that.

Are the decision makers in the MLB Commissioners office on vacation or just asleep?   Can someone give a ruling on whether the Mets can have their 11th pick in the Entry Level draft protected or not so the club can get down to business and sign Michael Bourn. The Pirates are being reward for not doing their due diligence on Mark Appel  taking the RHP with the 8th pick in the last year draft and having the pitcher turn down $3.8 mil to go back for his senior season at Stanford.  It’s not just the draft pick that concerns the Mets it’s the slotting money that the club would lose that has them in the conundrum they’re in concerning Bourn.  Not an easy decision for Sandy Alderson.

I really, really, really like Johan Santana but can he stop with the” I want play in the WBC” proclamations?  How about getting in shape and being ready for opening day for the team that PAYS you?  I get all this Nationalism and stuff but Santana finished the season on the disabled list so the Mets are within their rights under the CBA to tell Santana no way and I would bet that Sandy Alderson will stick to that. This is Santana’s last year (months?) as a Met so what’s he gonna do? Besides the Mets need for Santana to show some positive starts so he can be used as trade bait in July.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

THE HURT LOCKER-ROOM

You think Jack LaLane ever pulled or strained an oblique muscle? Helllllllllllllllll No!  

 

As much as we would like to have someone’s head on a platter when it comes to the rash of muscle injuries that have plagued the Mets, it seems the real culprit here is the culture of the weight room and maybe the laziness of the players for not doing their due diligence when it comes to stretching and preparing to play baseball.

The Mets strength and conditioning coach is Brad Andress. Andress has an impressive resume where he began his career with the Tigers from 1990 to 1999, he then moved on to the Colorado Rockies for nine seasons. Andress also was a member of the 1982 Penn State football team that won the National Championship in 1982. Andress joined the Mets last season. It would be a bit extreme to blame him solely for the epidemic of oblique muscle pulls and strains that have hit the Mets as this is not just a Mets problem but it seems to be a baseball problem .

I don’t think there is anyone of my generation who didn’t hear all through high school that weight lifting was bad for you as a baseball player. It was drummed into us that weight lifting would make you stiff and inflexible and hamper your ability to swing a bat properly.  As years have gone on we have seen baseball players not only embrace the weight room but adding supplements as well to bulk them up to the point they looked more liked contestants in a body building competition than ballplayers.

With the ban on PED’s and the now in place blood testing for HGH, maybe it’s time to go back in time and shut down the weight rooms or at least monitor the work the players do with weight training and go back to focusing on flexibility and working more of a callisthenic exercise routine?

Something has to change with the way baseball players are training because whatever they’re doing now is not working.

David Wright is headed to NYC for and ultra sound test and a cortisone shot. Tim Byrdak will join him to have his knee checked out which must be in bad shape if he’s being sent to NYC to have it examined. This is why the Mets are thisclose to singing CJ Nitkowski to a minor league deal as the other two lefties that had a shot at pitching out of the Mets bullpen Robert Carson and Danny Herrera have been hobbled by injury as well.

Capt. Kirk has had a set back as well from, (what else?)  a strained oblique muscle. With Scott Hairston out with (what else?) the same injury but more severe and Jason Bay lost in the batter’s box, there could not be worse time for Nieuwenhuis to go down with injury.

Lucas Duda and Danny Herrera seem to be ready to get back in action as both boarded the bus for Lakeland and today’s game against the Tigers so that’s a bit of good news. But Reese Havens is still out with back troubles, I’m very close to leaping off the Reese Havens bandwagon.

If anyone cares here’s my Final Four picks:

Baylor

Florida

Ohio St

Kansas

Florida over Baylor

Ohio State over Kansas

Florida over Ohio St

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

IN ALDERSON WE TRUST I THINK?

I know we of the Blue and Orange persuasion are not patience but to get bent out of shape over the lack of moves made by Sandy Alderson so far this off season is really off base and this is coming from a guy who is not known as patient. To fillip your Mets cap over Jonathan Broxton signing with the KC Royals is very shortsighted and again this coming from a guy who wanted to see a back end of a bullpen of Broxton and Joe Nathan.  The Texas Rangers really over paid for Nathan and his Tommy John repaired elbow and his diminishing WAR at 2yr/$14 mil as did the Royals taking on Frenchy’s new BFF at a $4mil tab for the sore armed Broxton.   As much as I would have like to take a flyer on both Nathan and Broxton it wouldn’t be worth it at the price. Sandy Alderson felt the same way.

We all know that relievers are as unpredictable as a house full of Kardashians, that’s why instead of being so damn jumpy, Mets fans need to sit back a bit and let this off season play out. If I could give Alderson some advice I’d feel out the Royals about a deal for Greg Holland and talk to Texas about a deal for arbitration eligible reliever Mike Adams.  I’m sure Alderson will speak with Chisox about a deal for Matt Thornton who would fit nicely as well in Flushing pen. There are options out there for the Mets fans and Alderson and his staff know it and have a plan of attack.

Let’s just stay calm and let the man do his due diligence and if on reporting day at St. Lonesome this team is not improved on the overrated “paper”, then we can have a mass melt down, this is not pie in sky horseshit and I understand that the fan base is not in a positive frame of mind, and believe me I don’t fault you for that, but let’s just see what this front office has up its sleeve before we light the torches and converge on 126th St and Roosevelt Ave.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.