THE PEOPLE’S “CHERCE”: HOWARD MEGDAL FOR GENERAL MANAGER OF THE NY METS

The fans have spoken and the man they want to run the baseball operations for the New York Mets is Howard Megdal. Howard’s message of LOGIC, TRANSPARENCY  AND PASSION has stuck a cord in the heart of Mets fans. All three facets of Howard’s campaign is the bedrock of what being a Mets fan is all about.

Tomorrow evening at 6:15PM Howard will accept the Mets fans nomination for GM with an acceptance speech at Citi Field, Parking Lot E. After the speech, Howard will present his impressive resume to Jeff and Fred Wilpon and hopefully they will realize that there is only one man to lead this organization out of the malaise it is in that has injured the heart and soul of every Mets fan and that man is Howard Megdal.

Here is the press release detailing Howard’s primary sweep and I would like to thank the readers of The Eddie Kranepool Society for voting 82 % in favor of Megdal to be the next General Manager of the New York Mets.

After receiving thousands of votes over the course of 18 grueling primaries at blogs dedicated to the Mets around the Internet, Howard Megdal will graciously accept the nomination of New York Mets fans to be the next General Manager at 6:15 PM Thursday night in Parking Lot E at Citi Field.

Megdal won every primary he entered, with a vote share of 65 percent or greater in 17 of the 18 contests, and averaged a vote share of greater than 74 percent. Considering that Metsblog currently rates the fan confidence rating in the team at 9 percent, there can be no greater sign that Fred and Jeff Wilpon are listening to the wishes of the fans than by making Howard Megdal the next General Manager of the New York Mets.

“I have been honored and humbled to be chosen by so many fans, motivated by my pillars of LOGIC, TRANSPARENCY and PASSION as guideposts for this baseball team’s future in 2011 and beyond,” Megdal said. “I look forward to speaking with the Wilpons, earning the job that so many fans want me to have, and drying forever my daughter’s baseball-related tears.”

After Megdal concludes his speech detailing his vision for the future of the New York Mets, he will submit his resume to Fred and Jeff Wilpon. T-shirts will be available, and Megdal will answer questions from the press or fans before doing what he loves most—going to watch a Mets game with his wife and daughter.

Howard Megdal writes about and analyzes the team for SNY.tv and Capital New York, has covered it for The New York Observer, and knows the personnel and players, both on the field and off. He write three columns a week for New York Baseball Digest, four pieces for SB Nation New York, and a poem summarizing every single game for AmazinAvenue.com.  He also has a wider-range view of the league and a network of contacts, contributes columns to outlets like ESPN.com and The New York Times, and regularly writes for MLBTradeRumors.com. You can follow him on Twitter @howardmegdal.

He has lived and loved the Mets since he was six years old. When he was 13 years old, his school Principal forced Megdal to spend the day in his office, since the school had declared Phillies Hat Day, and he refused to remove his Starter pinstriped Mets cap. Had he agreed to remove the Mets hat, he would have been set free. But that was too high a price to pay.

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OK, SO NOW WHAT?

Adam Rubin on ESPN NY has a fine column today that sums up the State of the  Mets organization and the non-moves at the trade deadline to a tee. Some excerpts that intrigued me are:

The reality is the Mets are not legitimately in a race right now. They entered Saturday trailing the division-leading Atlanta Braves by 7½ games and trailing the wild card-leading San Francisco Giants by 6½ games. Fifty-nine games remain on the schedule. Four teams, including the hard-charging Philadelphia Phillies, who acquired Roy Oswalt this week, are between the Mets and Giants.

Management can’t come out and say it but they know the Mets have no shot at the post season.  The Mets are what they are, a .500 team that plays like the best team in baseball at home but then plays like the Mets of 1962 on the road, hence the .500 record. Their play this season is a big improvement over last year’s crew who mailed in around this time last year at least this Mets team plays hard.

You can clumsily cite principal owner Fred Wilpon and his family supposedly being stingy for such a deal not materializing, but that would be misguided — even if ownership isn’t blameless. The bottom line is the payroll is still hovering around $130 million this season.

The better answer: If GM Omar Minaya had shown restraint in his other salary commitments — say, not giving Luis Castillo four years and $25 million or Oliver Perez three years and $36 million or guaranteeing seven years to Carlos Beltran — he likely would have had the flexibility to pull off an Oswalt-type trade now.

It’s far more about no discipline than no money.

That does not absolve the Wilpons.

Forget the Perez and Castillo contracts, the one deal Mets will be screaming about will be the Francisco Rodriguez deal, look it over if you dare but I must put a disclaimer that if you are pegnant suffer from high blood pressure or have a sleeping disorder, check with your doctor before viewing the details of K-Rod’s deal

Minaya’s stated plan when he took over as GM in September 2004 was to offset the draft picks forfeited for signing free agents by owning the international market. It sounded good, too. After all, how could a Dominican-born GM walk into any household in that country, throw around dollars and fail to persuade the teenager to sign with the Mets?

The problem? Ownership never threw around the money. After signing Martinez for $1.3 million in 2005, Minaya’s first full season as Mets GM, the organization did not have another seven-figure signing bonus for an international teenager until signing 16-year-old pitcher Juan Urbina, Ugueth’s son, last year.

The Mets knew Venezuelan Jesus Montero, who was coveted in trade proposals involving the Yankees in recent days, was a superior catching prospect to Francisco Peña, Tony’s son. Yet the Mets signed Peña in 2006 because he cost $750,000. The Yankees paid $2 million for Montero.

My question here is whose fault is it? Omar’s or the Skill Sets for the inability to not get any thing done in the International market? You would think having a Latino GM would place the Mets way ahead of other teams but as we learned when they were in pursuit of Carlos Delgado as a free agent, Scareface Bernazard was a little to “street” for Delgado so  I wonder how many more families were turnoff by the Mets resident hoodlum?

The Mets have not been blame-free in their draft conduct from an ownership perspective, either. With apologies to Chris Carter, the Mets essentially gave Billy Wagner  to the Red Sox last season for nothing, in essence to save $3.3 million (Wagner’s $2.3 million remaining salary and a $1 million buyout). As a result, when Wagner signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves last offseason, the Red Sox — not the Mets — got two first-round picks as compensation for losing Wagner, which they used on Ball State’s Kolbrin Vitek and Middle Tennessee State’s Bryce Brentz. (Remember those names a few years from now.

This is why Omar needs to be relived of his GM duties and the baseball ops needs a complete overhaul. Unlike any time in baseball, teams a coveting receiving draft picks for aging ball players. The new wave in baseball is to get younger and more athletic as the ban on PED’s is changing the game back to where pitching, defense and youth as the way to go. That’s not Omar’s bag, he’s still into old and ineffective which unfortunately describes Omar himself.

(Fred) Wilpon was sued Friday by the widow of a former employee of Wilpon-owned Sterling Equities. The federal suit alleges Wilpon bears fiduciary responsibility for investing his employees’ 401(k) funds in Bernard Madoff-operated funds. Sterling Equities called the suit baseless, but the potential liability — coupled with the Wilpon family’s own losses in the Ponzi scheme — has to create some hesitance to freely spend.

Yet even if the Madoff ordeal never occurred, it would be perfectly reasonable to expect the Mets to act conservatively from a financial perspective. Attendance is likely to plummet at Citi Field the rest of the season. A further erosion in the season-ticket base is expected heading into 2011.

You knew this was coming and the question is if Freddy Skill Sets loses this suit, which I believe is a class action suit among the Sterling Equities employees, and it cost him hundreds of million’s of dollars to pay, will he have to sell the Mets? I believe Freddy when he says he wants the Mets to be in his family for generations to come, but it may come to a head when he has to either sell or take on a partner. The Mara family owned the NY Football Giants on their own for years and years but when Tim Mara died his estate put his shares up for bid, that’s when the Tisch family got their half, so it’s possible the Skill Sets sell 49% of the team and keep the other 51 % controlling interest for as long as they can.

Yet even if the Madoff ordeal never occurred, it would be perfectly reasonable to expect the Mets to act conservatively from a financial perspective. Attendance is likely to plummet at Citi Field the rest of the season. A further erosion in the season-ticket base is expected heading into 2011.

The one MAJOR move the Skill Sets must make for next season is dropping the ridiculous pricing tiers that are an extreme point of contention with Mets fans. The whole Platinum, Gold, Silver, Value scale would work if the team was a contender every year and seats at Citi Field were in demand but the organization has none of these going for them. They tried going the corporate route and it hasn’t worked. Now they need to try and win back the fan base, the blue collar core who frequented Shea Stadium who stick by you through thick and thin. The Skill Sets have had their fling with the Metro area elite and must now realize it’s time to get the REAL Mets fan back to support the team.  The Mets fan has the upper hand here and now Freddy, Jeffey and Uncle Saul have to come to us with hat in hand, and ask for our hard earned dough. They have never gotten it though their thick skulls that Mets fans are not about the Championships (although we all want to win one or ten of them) but we’re all about playing hard and playing with pride. That’s the one saving grace with the 2010 Mets team they have that quality.

Next year the Skill Sets need to let fans pick their own ticket packages and also set aside seats in the promenade for 5 bucks a piece. They could also sell a “roaming ticket” no seat but you can walk around and stand in centerfield or down each base line sort of a standing room ticket, they need to be creative to win fans back in 2011, time to turn on the Skill Sets charm fella’s

Manager Jerry Manuel, asked if the inaction was a signal the front office was content with the team as presently constituted or if it was an indication the team is not really in the race, wisely did not want to touch the issue.

“That’s a tricky question,” Manuel said. “Trying to catch me, huh?”

Minaya did acknowledge the standings were a factor.

“That played something into it,” the GM said. “When you look at the standings, you just have to be careful.”

I can’t wait until October 4th for the press conference announcing Wally Backman as the Mets manager for 2011

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DELIVER US FROM EVIL, FRED WILPON!

11 days until pitchers and catchers

Yesterday I hopped over to Mid-Town Manhattan (where miraculously  there was no snow on the ground when I left about four inches of the white stuff on my walkway in Staten Island) to attend a meeting of the Casey Stengel Chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR). It was there that I met up with Dana Brand who was one of the guest speakers at the event.

As I greeted Dana I asked him “So are you ready for pitchers and catchers” ? He gave me that look you give the dentist when he says “would you like Novocain or gas”?  Dana was not the only Mets fan in attendance that had that same queasy feeling bout the 2010 Mets season.

I never thought it could happen but the Wilpon’s have now displaced the Dolan’s of MSG as the worst owners of a NYC franchise.  I thought I despised Jeffey Skill Sets more than most but after talking to the Mets fans yesterday, I see I have competition.

By this time in the winter, as a baseball fan ,Super Bowl Sunday signals the home stretch of winter and knowing that spring training is around the corner. Usually for Mets fans we start to think of April and opening day, and opening day is usually cold. But we never cared about the cold. We wore Mets sweatshirts under our Mets jackets and figured our Mets gloves and the knit Mets hat we got last season on Fan Apprecitaion Day would shied us from the elements. We were just happy to have a ticket and a seat to root for our favorite baseball team. But from what I’ve read and heard from Mets fans this winter,  I have a feeling opening day at $iti Field will not be a hot ticket, in fact I figure the longer you hold out the better your chance to get a prime seat for below cost.

Where and when did this all go wrong? I’m starting to think the demolition of Shea Stadium will become our Curse of the Bambino, or Billy Goat.

When a team opens a new ballpark, the fan base is usually fired up about the new home and the great amenities so you’d think as Mets fans we’d be happy about all there is at $iti Field. But the more I talk to Mets fans and the more I think about it, maybe we should have stayed at Shea. Shea was a pitchers park and no one screamed to pull in it’s fences. But after one season at $tit, the cry is, “the outfield fence is too high” “the ball doesn’t carry” “the fences need to come in” what we’re really saying is “this place sucks, we want our Shea Stadium back”. Face it Mets fans we hate change and we hate $iti Field.

Now I ‘d say it’s mostly us old timey Mets fans that hate change and I know I’m of that crowd, it surprises me that I’m like that with the Mets as I embrace progress with everything else in my world. I guess I need one small part of the old world to stay with me. I still want pinstripe unis with no name on the back and blue caps with and orange NY. I want organ music instead of ear splitting pop shit, and this from a guy who still listens to Black Sabbath albums with the volume on 10 but at a baseball game I want to here the Mexican Hat dance played on a Thomas organ. I don’t want to be told to “Clap my hands” I’m not a idiot I know when to clap and when to cheer and when to say “AH SHIT!!”. I want my teams National League heritage to be displayed and educate fans of where we came from how our lineage evolved from the days of John McGraw and Mel Ott and Carl Hubble to Bobby Thomson and Willie Mays along with Zack Wheat and Joe Medwick and Dolph Camli and Jackie Ribinson and Duke Synder. NYC was always an NL town until now that the Wilpon’s let that distinction slip away and for that they should be ashamed of themselves.

Jeff Wilpon has not only surpassed Jim Dolan as the most spoil son of a rich man in NY sports but he is close to reaching M. Donald Grant status as a franchise killer. But we shouldn’t put the blame all on young Jeffey, I put  90% of the fiasco that is now the NY Mets on Fred Wilpon. Freddy has the power to tell sonny boy, “I’m sorry but you are in way over your head here my boy, it’s time for me to find a real baseball man to run this franchise and bring it back to respectability and to being a championship baseball team”. If Fred Wilpon does not step up and do what is right for the NY Mets franchise, he will become as hated here as much as Walter O’Malley. The only difference is Mets fans might be wishing he move himself and team someplace else.

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TOUGHEST POST TO WRITE EVER

My hands are clammy and my heart is racing a bit as I type this so just bare with me for a moment as this is extremely difficult for me to say, <clears throat, loosens neck mussels> Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon, Saul Katz and Omar Minaya, I-I-I <clears throat again> I apologize for writing vile and nasty things about you for not going after Manny Ramirez. You guys were right and I (along with all the other WE WANT MANNY Mets fans) were wrong.

 

After Manny turned down the Dodgers offer last night, I must say I was stunned. I took a long hard look at Manny and Scott Boras and got past the outstanding right hand bat, the charismatic personality that is Manny Being Manny, the winning records of the teams he has been a member of, the dreds and I saw the Manny that Theo, Larry Lu and John Henry saw, a fucking imbecile.

 

It’s not just Manny but obviously Scott Boras has lost his mind as well. Where does Team Manny think another offer is coming from? San Francisco? Why? Why should Brain Sabean and Larry Baer do better than the Dodgers 2yr/$45 mil deal? Say they went 2yr/$50mil guaranteed are the Dodgers going to top that? No and why in the world would the Giants even make an offer now when they haven’t does so already?

 

It seems like Frank McCourt is dazed and confused over the negotiations:

 

 “We love Manny Ramirez,” said Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt, “And we want Manny back, but we feel we are negotiating against ourselves. When his agent finds those ‘serious offers’ from other clubs, we’ll be happy to re-start the negotiations.

 

“Even with an economy that has substantially eroded since last November, out of respect for Manny and his talents, we actually improved our offer.

 

“So now, we start from scratch.”

 

 

It kills me to say the Mets were right in not going after Manny, I wanted him here baddddddddddddly but after seeing him turn down a deal with the only team that had any interest in him I guess he really is Mindless Manny

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