SANDY ALDERSON PART DEUX AND OTHER MINUTIA

How lucky are the NY Highlanders? If it weren’t for Ron Washington not going with his best relievers in Game 1, we could be seeing the Bronx Bastards down 2 games to none and facing Cliff Lee with AJ Burnett  going in a do or die Game 4? Oh well, I’ll be rooting hard for Cliff Lee to continue his magic and I’ll keep my Pete Broberg baseball card close by as well.

As the Phuck Phaces evened their series with the Giants, Phuck Phace Phans celebrated by acting like assholes by beating the shit out of each other. The disturbing part of the video is not the front running drunks acting the way front running drunks do, but check out the guy holding the little girl, now that’s a royal asshole.

Sandy Alderson will be back at $iti Field for a second interview, this time with Freddy Skill Sets and Uncle Saul. I guess Freddy wasn’t kidding about not having and office at $iti since Alderson was there last week and Freddy and Saul couldn’t meet with them then? Freddy and Uncle Saul should demand that Jeffey move all the beer cans and soda bottles he’s collected all season and cash in the nickels so they can have a bit of space for them to call home.

Ok, can we wave the “must interview a minority” rule with the Mets ? The Tigers refused the Mets request to meet with Asst. GM  Al Avila, who by the way has a good rep as a talent evaluator. If any team in baseball has gone above and beyond with minority hires it’s the NY Mets .

Looks as though the Mets and Francisco Rodriguez will avoid speaking to an arbitrator and will settle their contract differences between themselves.  Most likely outcome is Rodriguez will forfeit the cash owed while on restricted list for his full guaranteed contract and his back breaking team option in 2011. That option kicks in if Rodriguez finishes 55 games next season. Let’s see if the new man in charge has the stones tell K-Rod he’s not the closer anymore this way it will be easier to keep him above that 55 game landmark.

Oh I forget, Freddy’s Dead, not our Freddy but Freddy Sez of the Mall of the South Bronx fame. Freddy will be buried in a casket made by T-Fal and the Highlanders will wear frying pan patches on their uniforms. First the Voice of God, then the Bronx Robber Baron and now Freddy, will Freddy’s monument be made out of Teflon?

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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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BOOK REVIEW: EVALUATING BASEBALL’S MANAGERS-CHRIS JAFFE

 

In most sports, the person in charge of the team is called Coach. Coaches are a combination of motivator, evaluator and tactician. Football coaches run “Programs”, Basketball and Hockey coaches have “Systems” but what do Baseball Managers have? Well, they “manage”.

 

Baseball managers do more managing of personalities and keeping players happy than doing much tactical maneuvers. Sure they have to know when to go to the bullpen and when to go to the bench but it’s not like they are re-inventing the game or spending nights pouring over film to get an edge on their opponent. In baseball, your edge is your next days starting pitcher.

 

In his book “Evaluating Baseball’s Managers” (MacFarland) Chris Jaffe writes the ultimate book on the effect of baseball managers on their team’s success and failure. Jaffe uses a combination of statistics and in depth analysis to examine the role of mangers through out the history of baseball.

 

Jaffe takes each team in MLB and focuses on the role of managers who have worked in full seasons for their team. Jaffe was kind enough to send me an excerpt of the Mets managers in the book.

 

Jaffe makes the case for Casey Stengel never having players of talent until he was hired by the Yankees. Before his success in the Bronx, Stengel struggled in the NL with Brooklyn and Boston, to the point where he went to the Pacific League to run the Oakland Oaks to redeem himself.  Gil Hodges falls in a similar category as Stengel where he didn’t have much talent with the Washington Senators but was perfect for an up and coming young Mets team. Davey Johnson is portrayed as an underrated skipper and Bobby Valentine being the most active manager as it pertains to in game moves and the use of his 25 man roster. Jaffe makes the case that Art Howe and the Mets were not and should not have been a match as Howe was more suited to running a club of younger players and also suffered the stigma of being portrayed as a puppet of Billy Beane as seen through the pages of Moneyball.

 

Jaffe has taken on a subject that has not been fully represented. This book will appeal to both the stat head and the fan of the written word.

 

After reading the excerpt on the Mets managers, I look forward to picking up a copy of Evaluating Baseball Mangers just for the sections on Joe McCarthy, Connie Mack and the immortal John McGraw.

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HERE LIES OMAR MINAYA, HE COULDN’T GET IT DONE

If you needed any more evidence on why Omar Minaya needs to be relieved of his duties as VP/GM of the New York Mets, look no further than the Gary Sheffield  situation from yesterday and I guess I see what most of you anti-Omar guys have seen, he hasn’t a clue on how to run a baseball team. Minaya may be a very good talent evaluator but as an executive and a spokesman for the flagship team of the National League is a big failure.

The knee jerk reaction from fans is that Sheff is an ingrate and should kiss the ground that $iti Field was built on that the Mets took him in but the reality is both sides needed each other.

Sure Sheffield, no matter what, was going to paid $14 mil bucks whether he played baseball this season or watched on TV from a hammock at his Tampa estate but take into consideration that Sheff is a border line Hall of Famer and one of the top players of his era and as much as cashing checks would soothe the hurt of being dumped by the Tigers it was still an embarrassment to be told “we will pay you NOT to play” Not only was his pride and ego bruised he was told “you stink, get lost”

Now along come the Mets who sign Sheffield to a bargain price of $440K and most fans thought “oh shit, here he comes the malcontent he’s going to mess the chemistry of the team” and all he did was be the consummate pro. He played through hurting legs when the team was short of sluggers he went out and played a better than average left field. Sheffield produced more than anyone could have hope for. So with the Mets clearly out of contention the logical move would be to put him on waivers, see who bites and if someone does,

make a deal. General Managing 101. Minaya got two bites, the Giants and allegedly the Marlins. The Giants were ready to deal but if the reports are true Minaya asked for a top prospect for Sheff. Now we don’t know who he asked Brian Sabean for but Omar could not a cajones to ask for LHP Madison Bumgrner or C Buster Poesy but I would think any prospect would be fine return for Sheff plus you’d be rewarding Sheffield for his service when it was needed the most by the Mets.

But of course, Omar couldn’t get it done. It seems that sums up the last three years of Omar’s reign as GM “Couldn’t get it done” It’s a lot easier to throw millions of dollars at players even fans with a rudimentary knowledge of baseball know who the super stars are but it takes a real savvy GM to deal off the Gary Sheffield’s and bring back a youngster with upside.

Hopefully Minaya won’t screw over Billy Wagner now that Wags has proven to the baseball world he is of sound elbow and body. Wagner’s hard work should be rewarded and not wasted in this embarrassing organization.

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OF COURSE I’M HAPPY, CAN’T YOU TELL?

Obviously I’m extremely happy with the win last night especially with Livan Hernandez pitching like a prehistoric pitcher actually finishing a game, who does he thinks he is Roy Halliday? But we all need to remember that the opponent was one of the worst baseball teams to call it’s self a major league team since the Mets played in the Polo Grounds. I really didn’t want to piss on the parade here as I really enjoyed watching Livan Hernandez pitch as he couldn’t break a pane of glass with his fastball but his breaking ball had so much movement it looked like the ball was made of J-ELLO so it was a real pleasure watching that performance but it was the Nationals.

Hard to rate the first appearance of Fernando Martinez as the kid went from Buffalo to a plane trip to NYC to $iti Field in a matter of hours so you can just imagine the type of out of body experience he was going through but at least we know that he will be stationed in right field for at least the next two weeks so we can gauge him better by then.

From what I ‘ve read about Wilson Valdez he is all glove no stick which is fine as the Mets need to shore up the middle of the infield and all he cost was money. Being that it’s Johan against the Nationals tonight does Valdez get the start over Ramon Martinez tonight? I’d say so.

I better see Daniel Murphy at first base tonight. The kid can’t get out of his slump sitting on the bench.

Ollie Perez did nothing in Buffalo last night that would rush his return back to Flushing. The one thing in OP’s favor is that Tim Redding has been underwhelming to say the least .Interesting that the Mets have not announced the starting pitcher for Sunday game in Florida as with the day off Thursday they could skip Redding and go with Livan.

Great post by Ken Davidoff on his evaluation of Omar Minaya. I don’t want to say Minaya is an enigma but my mood on him changes almost weekly. Omar handling the DL infuriates me. Omar the talent evaluator is a plus in my book. Omar the public speaker makes my ears bleed. Omar the dumpster diver is without peer. When it comes time to seal the big deal, even the most anti Omar detractors will agree he has always closed the deal which brings me back to Daniel Murphy.

I really like Murphy and I want him to show what’s in that bat of his and the fact that he looks so comfortable at first base has me hoping he will break out with some big hits . J-Man and Omar need to sit down and decide to either let Murphy play everyday at first for the next two three weeks and then decide if he stays at the big league level or goes to Buffalo. As I say I like Murphy a lot but this is the big leagues and if it’s a question of the league having caught up to Murphy or the fact that he has been scared by playing left field then the brain trust has to make the determination if Murphy is THE GUY for first base or if he’s not and go out and make a deal for a big bat.

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