Could Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan Reunite In Flushing?

 

Welcome to July. Time for some Mets-cellaneous views and opinions as our favorite baseball team closes out yet another losing month:

The angst expressed by some Mets fans and know nothings in the media over Zack Wheelers start yesterday was stunning.  It wasn’t a great start for Wheeler but his problems came from lack of command and poor choice of pitches, two things that can be fixed. Wheeler also altered his delivery which I’m not a big fan of doing this between starts as I’m starting to think there is too much information overload given to Wheeler than just letting him go out there and pitch comfortably.

If you watched Wheeler pitch yesterday and think he’s a bust then you need to stop watching baseball and also stop going on social media with your dumb ass opinions because all you do is embarrass yourself.  Pitchers like Matt Harvey come around once generations so just enjoy watching him pitch and enjoy watching him wear a Mets uniform and stop comparing every young pitcher in the Mets system to him.

My only concerned with Wheeler is that he gets his instructions from Dan Warthen. If Wheeler and the rest of the Mets pitchers can survive the next 3 months of Dandy Dan’s Guide to Pitching, next season should bring a new voice to the Mets pitching staff. I’d have to think that there will be a new manager and coaching staff installed for the Mets 2014 season, and those hiring’s could be the most important free agent hiring’s of the Mets off season.

Last Friday I saw a tweet from 95.7 The Game in San Francisco that Dave Duncan was going to be a guest on their morning show. You can listen to the interview here. As I listened to Duncan speak about pitching I went into full J. Peterman mode, screaming at my computer screen, “NAME YOU’RE PRICE, MAN”!!!!!!!!

Duncan left the Cardinals in 2012 to care for his ailing wife who unfortunately lost her fight with cancer in early June.  From listening to Duncan in that interview it’s clear he still watched what’s going on in MLB and it would not be a reach to say he’d like to get back into the game.

Sandy Alderson had a very successful relationship with Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan back in the late 80’s when Alderson ran the Oakland A’s, winning a World Series title in 1989. Could Alderson place a call to LaRussa and Duncan offering them to get the band back together? As much as LaRussa annoyed me during his St Louis Cardinal days, I would be totally on board bringing LaRusa and Dave Duncan to the Mets. Mets fans have discussed and debated who could be the next Keith Hernandez or the Gary Carter, the player who would bring the Mets back to prominence, maybe Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan in Mets uni’s fit that bill in a supervisory position?

Now I know my whole scenario is pretty much a pipe dream, I mean who am I kidding, Freddy & Jeffy Skill Sets own this team not Mikhail Prokhorov SIGH!

 

Anyone miss Ike Davis? Would a Lucas Duda/Josh Satin platoon at 1B be more productive than trotting out Ike every game? What happens when Ike returns or better yet does Ike return?

A big THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To David Aardsma for hitting Ian Desmond to lead off the 6th inning yesterday.  Finally a pitcher with onions!

And so it goes and so it goes and so it goes and so it goes

Where it’s going no one knows:

The Mets have not had a winning month since June of last year. Here is the W/L record for the Amazin’s from July 201 to June 2013:

July 2012 7-18

Aug 2012 12-16

Sept 2012 11-16

Oct 2012 1-2

Apr 2013 10-15

May 2013 12-15

June 2013 11-15

That comes out to a grand total of 161 games and a 64-97 .397 winning percentage.

Enjoy your Monday!

 

 

 

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OLD MAN CHASS ON BOBBY VALENTINE

Murray Chass The Jack Ass-curotsy of pitchershiteighith.com

I received a link today of a post that Murray Chass (the big dumb ass) wrote about Bobby Valentine and how he can’t stand BV and BV couldn’t stand him either. Chass it seems felt it was his duty to call Larry Lucchino the Red Sox CEO, to find out how the Sox managerial search was going. I guess after screaming at his grand kids and staring out the window for hours making sure no one parked their car in front of his house, Chass decided he needed to know if Bobby Valentine was THE GUY the Sox were ready to hire as their field boss.

From reading the post it’s clear Chass has an agenda, in fact since Chass was canned by the NY Times he’s had a hard on for lot of people and he’s in denial that he has gone from being the National baseball writer for the Old Grey Lady to a blogger . Chass will never identify himself as a blogger but that’s all in the denial side of his old ass life. Anyway, Chass has gone and dug up gossip and innuendo from Valentine’s days as Mets manager using the one player that Valentine really had no use for, Todd Hundley to make his case but back to Chass calling Lucchino. The Sox CEO told Chass that Valentine had a great interview and then wanted to know what Chass thought of BV, I’ll let Chass tell you in his own words his feelings on Bobby V:

I would rather not have people I am interviewing ask me questions. In this instance what I thought about Valentine or any other candidate shouldn’t matter. I am not the one hiring and paying the new manager.

On the other hand, Lucchino asked a reasonable question, and the primary problem I had with it was whether I should offer some vague, non-committal comment or answer honestly. Of course, I chose honesty because I expect honest answers from the people I question.

“I have found him to be the most disliked man in baseball,” I said. And I added, “He doesn’t like me and I don’t like him.”

I didn’t offer any details, but if Lucchino wants to know why I made those statements, I will enlighten him here, which is a more appropriate place for a reporter or columnist than the telephone.

One thing we know about Valentine is there is no middle ground when it pertains to how people feel about him. I admit to be being a big fan of his but I can see how his personality could grate on one’s nerves if you had to deal with him on an everyday basis but what I take issue with Chass is his view of Valentine is personal not business.  No place in his column does Chass give Valentine credit for being an outstanding bench manager.  You can hate the guys guts but you lose credibility when he don’t acknowledge that Valentine gets more out of what he’s given than anyone in baseball.   

Chass really embarrasses himself when he critiques Valentine’s managerial record by harping on the fact his teams never had a first place finish:

Valentine undoubtedly talks a good game; that’s why ESPN hired him. But ESPN doesn’t have to worry about a won-lost record. While it’s a fact that Valentine managed the Mets to two consecutive wild-card berths in 1999 and 2000 and the World Series in 2000, it’s also a fact that in 14 years with the Rangers and the Mets he never managed a team that finished in first place.

 

Presumably, the Red Sox, who have not participated in post-season games the last two years, have studied Valentine’s history (and not just tested his knowledge of Jamesian sabermetrics) and know that he ranks third in history among managers who have managed the most games without finishing in first place.

 

Valentine took over a Mets team in 1996 that had stopped to listening to Dallas Green whose method of motivation was to scream at his players “to look in the mirror” and man up. Valentine’s main strength was getting the most out of his 25 man roster but he had to deal with a few clubhouse lawyers who became very comfortable living the high life in the Shea Stadium clubhouse one in particular was Todd Hundley. I’ll get to Hundley in a minute, Chass just kind of glosses over the fact the Valentine won a pennant with the Mets and if not for the shit the bed performance by Kenny Rogers would have had back to back pennants under his belt. Someday Chass should let us know what he thinks of Bobby Cox whose teams finished in first place 14 times but has one World Series flag to fly? What about the greatest manager to ever put a pen to a lineup card Tony LaRussa, winning a World Series with a wild card team?  What Chass doesn’t get is all you have to do is get in the tournament, who cares how you got there? I’m sure there isn’t a Cardinals fan out there complaining how their favorite team got to post season as they are reveling in their successful post season tour.

Back to Todd Hundley, it was no secret back then that Valentine wasn’t a fan of Hundley and Hundley felt the same about BV.  Hundley talks about his relationship with Valentine:

 In Hundley’s view, the problem with Valentine began when the manager appeared to be jealous of the player’s standing with the fans. ”He comes into a whole new situation and goes right after I guess the most popular guy,” Hundley said. ”It’s not my fault I’m the most popular guy.”

Hundley was especially upset at the timing of Valentine’s comments on his sleep habits because his mother was being treated for cancer and his wife was pregnant.

”I’m talking to my mom while she’s going through chemotherapy,” Hundley said, ”and I’m helping my wife with taking care of our two kids and he’s saying I’m out and about.”   

 

It’s true that Valentine gave a”wink-wink, nod-nod” statement about Hundley not getting enough sleep which was Valentine speak for Hundley being a hard partying guy. I have no proof that he was or wasn’t but I’m sure it was the manager sending a message to a player and the player reacted negatively. If it’s true that Hundley wasn’t getting sleep due to worrying about his mom and wife then Valentine was dead wrong to bring that up but what we saw with Hundley was he was not a true team player. When Mike Piazza was brought over from the Marlins it was Hundley who was affected the most and it hurt Hundley to no end that Piazza was coming to the Mets and was the new starting catcher. Hundley felt he was the most popular Met (I think Bernard Gilkey, Lance Johnson and of course Edgardo Alfonso were right there as popular Mets) but now with a super star like Piazza on the team he had to take a back seat in fact he had to find a whole new place to play, as Hundley was exiled to left field.  That’s when Hundley ceased being a Met. His play on the outfield was one of indifference; you knew his Mets days were over. Was Valentine the reason? Maybe part of it but the mostly it was the acquisition of Piazza that was Hundley’s problem.

Without a doubt Valentine is a very polarizing person, but he has a track record of turning teams around when he occupies the mangers office. I’m not sure that Valentine is the guy to run the Red Sox bench as I feel their problems run a lot deeper in that clubhouse but you know the Red Sox will be prepared and they will be interesting.  Valentine vs. the Boston Media will a show all by itself.

 

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OLLIE PEREZ, THE TRIBE HAS SPOKEN!

Yesterday I pulled a Mike Francesa as I was “In da cawh” listening to Howie and Wayne doing the Mets game on radio. I don’t listen to the Mets radio team very much as I’m either glued to the TV or at the game (I’m not one to listen to the game when I’m there I never understood that as everything you need to know is right in front of you) so I tend to forget how much Howie is one of us. Gary Cohen, of course is one of us as well and he sometime shows his frustration during a telecast or two but Howie was beside himself watching Ollie Perez throw a baseball yesterday (I refuse to call what he did pitching)

It was very cold and very windy yesterday and Howie and Wayne made a point to let us know how much the elements plus Perez’ inability to throw a strike, was putting the Mets defense in an uncomfortable spot. Howie painted a picture of infielders walking around the dirt between pitches to keep warm and to kill the boredom of long counts and walks, and of Ike Davis sticking both hands under his arms to stay warm. Both announcers made it known that the were fed up watching and detailing the play by play of another start of suckitude by Perez. From the derisive cheers when an actual strike was tossed by OP, I’d say the paying customers felt the same way. So what to do with Ollie Perez.

Well, forget about The Skill Sets releasing OP, not with a $12 mil salary for this season and (GULP!) next and there is no one in the baseball world stupid enough to take on that contract since the only dumb ass that would pay Perez that kind of money is already his employer. The easiest move is to replace OP with either Hisanori Takahashi or Raul Valdes in the rotation and move OP to the pen. The best move would be to just put Perez on waivers, let him go unclaimed and then assign him to Buffalo. That move would work if we knew when Ryota Igarhashi is coming back from a hammy strain but there’s been no info on his progress.

Whatever way it’s handled, nothing with Perez falls in the Mets favor. Management talks about “it’s all about winning” well, if that’s the case prove it, put Perez on waivers, when he clears, assign him to Buffalo. It’s the only way, Perez just sucks the life out of the team, the fans and the announcers. He has GOT TO GO!!!!!!

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WHEN JOSE COMES HOME, SO GOOD, HE’S THE PRIDE OF THE NEGHIBORHOOD

 16 days until pitchers and catchers

I’m a bit cranky this morning so bare with me. Last night I had to run to my local Walgreens’s on Hylan Blvd to pick up a prescription and I got stuck on the checkout line behind Staten Island Chuck who was buying hair gel and a bottle of Brut cologne. Chuck was hoping to get a part on Jersey Shore after his cameo today at the SI Zoo (by the way Chuck didn’t see his shadow so it will be an early spring )

Then this morning, the Dunkin Donuts I stop at every morning on Chambers St has changed up the counter personnel and I’m not very happy about that. My two Hindu Princesses are no longer at this location (seems the guy who owns the Chamber St DD has a few of them around the city and has moved my two favorite ladies further uptown) and have been replaced with a couple of Latina’s with bad attitudes. My order is not complicated, XL coffee just milk, and I use a DD debit card to pay for it and NO I don’t want any fucking donuts with that!!!!!   

Reading that Jose Reyes is ready for take off, takes a bit of the edge off the JJ Putz allegations of ineptness in the Mets front office from yesterday, and I was enjoying Kevin Kernan’s article until I got to this paragraph:

  Mets GM Omar Minaya watched Reyes work out last week and was thrilled. Executive VP David Howard was at yesterday’s session, and after watching Reyes blaze down the exact same kind of track that is used in Olympic races, noted, “Mets fans have forgotten how good he is.”

This fucking David Howard is turning into the reincarnation of M. Donald Grant. Why is the Executive of Business Operation watching a workout of a player? Shouldn’t Omar and John Rico and Wayne Krivisy and Jerry Manuel, be the guys making the evaluation of Reyes along with Ray Ramirez and his staff? What’s next for David Howard, overseeing the chop meat at the Shake Shack? No Shyster Dave, we have not forgotten how good Reyes is. Dumb ass !

This isn’t hard. Players play. Coaches coach. Owners own. Fans bitch. VP of Business Ops handles the clubs business. What Howard should be doing is busting the balls of the guy who owns SpongeTech

Jarrod Washburn has taken out a restraining order against the Mets from ever contacting him.

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RANTINGS OF AN ANGRY METS FANS

If you like coming to this site and root for the day that my head will explode, well this may be your lucky day. As the great Frank Costanza said “I HAVE A LOT OF ISSUES WITH YOU PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ISSUE 1: How the hell can any of you, my fellow Mets fans, see anything positive in acquiring Gary Mathews Jr. and don’t tell that I’m overacting negatively to this deal, if I want to fucking rant about a broken down valise of a ball player who sucks so badddddddddddddlllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyy the Angels lined is fucking pockets with $20 FUCKING million dollars to get rid of him, I’ll rant and I’ll rant hard and I’ll rant all night long. And of course the Mets were the only dumb ass’ in baseball that would take him on.

I’m not pissed with GMJ (as we Tiwits from the Twitterland call him) and yeah he’s just going to a spare part being paid spare change but don’t you Polly-Wilpons see that this guy is could be taking up one of 25 valuable roster spots on this team? I hate to wish bad on someone, as we all know God don’t like ugly, but you have to hope that GMJ sucks so bad in spring that the Mets release him.

And to all of “Angel Pagan is an All Star” worshipers you need to get over that as well. I don’t want to attack Pagan who is a good player but some of you Mets fans have built this guy up to the point if I were Pagan’s agent I’d bring in your Tweets and message boards posting to make his case in arbitration.

Back to GMJ (take a Dramamine because this is going to be one rocky post, I’m going all over the road here ) this poor bastard is not even an average Major player anymore. Check this out from Ball Busters blog:

{After the Mets completed their trade for Gary Matthews Jr. on Friday, committing about $2.5 million and a middle reliever to land him, one talent evaluator dug into his team’s scouting reports, wondering if maybe his general impression that Matthews was a player in decline was wrong.

The reports for his team were clear: Matthews is a player to be avoided. Slow bat. Declining range. And above all else, a player who wants to be a regular and will be an unhappy distraction in your clubhouse when he’s not in the lineup every day.

Said an executive with another team of the Mets’ efforts to acquire Matthews, which have been extensive, including the discussion of one possible four-team deal this winter: “Baffling.”

His OPS the past three seasons: .742, .675 and .697; the last number ranked 90th among 104 outfielders with at least 300 plate appearances. His slugging percentage of .361 ranked 96th among 104 outfielders with at least 300 plate appearances. He is now 35 years old.

I asked a scout with a team not involved in this deal for his observations on Matthews’ play. His response:

“I still see Matthews as an expensive extra outfielder. The Angels knew they were fooled by his Texas numbers before they went after Hunter. He should still be able to play center field while Beltran is out, but he hasn’t shown any sock since he was outed for receiving shipments of HGH a couple years ago. His bat has been dragging through the zone the last couple years. Nevertheless, he should benefit from getting more consistent at-bats in NY than he had been getting in Anaheim.”

His defense? Well, Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Information sent along his year-by-year UZR/150 ratings from FanGraphs. Let’s just say there’s a trend in the numbers:

  • 2002: 23.8 (1st among 107 outfielders with at least 500-plus innings)
  • 2003: 6.6 (33rd of 105)
  • 2004: 21.3 (9th of 107)
  • 2005: 18.7 (15th of 112)
  • 2006: 1.0 (46th of 108)
  • 2007: -12.2 (88th of 108)
  • 2008: -13.7 (94th of 112)
  • 2009: -24.6 (109th of 115)

The winter’s market has had other guys who could have fit the role of extra outfielder. Randy Winn. Jeremy Reed. Endy Chavez, who reportedly is making progress in his rehabilitation.

To sum up the view of Matthews within the game: He can’t hit for average, can’t hit for power, his defense ranks statistically among the worst outfielders in the majors and, to top it off, rival scouts have been reporting that in recent years he has been a clubhouse negative.

If Matthews were a free agent, he would be a player who might get a $500,000 non-guaranteed minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. And yet the Mets opted to commit $2.5 million and to trade a serviceable pitcher in Brian Stokes to get a player whose effectiveness might have ended years ago.

Very strange.}

I threw up twice while reading that.  I don’t care if GMJ was PAYING the Mets to let him play, the guy is 35 years old, not very productive on offense and his defense has decline sharply every year. Yes, I know this just a temporary move until Carlos Beltran comes back and you may be right that I should save my anger with the Mets for more important fuck ups (I’ll get to one more in a sec) but I’m mad because is GMJ the only type of player the Mets can attract ? Think about it, they have tried to give away Luis Castillo who is ten times a better player than GMJ but with a $12 million dollar nut,  they can’t find a taker. The mere fact that the Artie Moreno would pay over $20 million dollars (just about the Pirates and Marlins total payrolls) to ship Mathews sorry ass out of Anaheim should have all Mets fans up in arms.

The one bright spot in this muck is Omar Minaya coming out and saying that the centerfield job is not Angel Pagans it’s an open competition, which of course I applaud. But it better not be just a two man event with Pagan and GMJ.

Issue 2:  First let me clean the spittle off my screen here as I was screaming as I wrote that last section of this post.

As you know I’ve been clamoring for the Mets to host a Fan Fest during the winter at $iti Field. I bring this up today for two reasons one, the Baltimore Orioles are having theirs today at Camden Yards and from reading the tweets from Orioles Prospects, the place is full of fans and players signing autographs and spreading good cheer. So on a beautiful sunny day in NYC what am I doing? Ranting like a fucking lunatic when I’d rather be at $iti Field and a Mets Fan Fest, which is where all of us Mets fans should be. But you’d have to have forward thinking management to do this instead of the Skill Sets whose version of customer service is out of the Henry Hill School of Business Management : “FUCK YOU, PAY ME!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Another reason why today would have been a great day for Mets-Fest is you could have tied in raising money for Haiti along with pushing your product. Charge everyone 20 bucks to come to the ball park with proceeds going to UNICEF for relief aid to Haiti. I bet there are tons of giveaways that weren’t distributed during the season, you could sell raffle tickets for them and for other used items like bats, batting gloves and the like and use that money for charity as well. I’m not saying the Mets are not charitable, in fact one of Freddy Skill Sets admirable traits is his generosity to charities but  not only would a Mets-Fest raise a ton of money for a good cause, it would also give the Mets some badly needed positive press.

End of rant……….a Jehovah’s Witness is ringing my bell time for an ass kicking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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GEE I WISH I THOUGHT OF THAT, WAIT A MINUTE I DID

Joel Sherman at the NY Post thinks it would a good idea if the Mets hooked up with the White Sox in a deal for closer Bobby Jenks. Yes that is the same Bobby Jenks I called on Omar to pursue about three weeks ago. I give Sherman credit for putting this out on a Wednesday when that’s my day to take care of things around the house so blogging takes a back seat with me. Also Joel if you need ideas for your column just e mail me and we can work out a payment schedule like stand up comics do for jokes from other comics even though I just some dumb ass blogger (not in my basement today but in my dining room and I’m full dressed as I post this). You might as well take my trade scenario the whole way and throw AJ Pierzynski in the deal as well.

I’ll let this one go for free but if you steal my Matt Capps/John Grabow deal then I’m taking you in front of the hottest judge on TV for justice.

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THE NEW YORK METS SLOGAN FOR 2009: BRING THE HATE!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can add any vile and nasty words you want to that slogan as well. If Warlord Jerry and Omar Minaya have any motivational brains they will use the hatred that seems to be universal around baseball to help bond the ’09 team.

I totally confess to be the world’s biggest sore loser. As much as I hate the NY Islanders I always admired Isles goalie Billy Smith who never joined the hand shake line during the Stanley Cup playoffs as he said “why shake hands with a guy who is trying to take bread off my table”? Well said. 

This “We Hate You” mantra that has been vented toward the Mets needs to be embraced by the owner, the GM, the Manager, the fans, and most importantly the players. What all this “hate” tells me is the NL has no respect for the Mets because the see them as a “me” and not a “we” team. J-Man touched on that when he was given the total reigns of the clubhouse and it’s up to him to drive this Bring the Hate message to his players. It’s is up to Omar to bring in players who take offense to being hated. This team of 2008 took the hate in stride. Remember the Elijah Dukes incident with Mike Pelfrey? It was good that Brian Schiender stepped between Dukes and Big Pelf but being that there is a history of disrespect between the Nats and Mets, Schiender should have Varetek-ed Dukes. By Vartek-ed I mean how Jason Vartek smacked the shit out of A-Rod as he was tired of his bullshit. That’s what a team does. Is this neanderthal macho dumb ass thinking?  Of course it is.  But this turn the other cheek bullshit ain’t working in Flushing.

So line up you fucking haters and takes us on. BRING THE HATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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