I’m Suffering from MTKL Syndrome

I know I haven’t posted much in the last month or so here, much of that has to do with enjoying the summer with my family as my son goes off to college and my daughter to high school so the family dynamic is changing and it takes a lot of getting used to as my kids get older an much more independent  

But it also has to do with, sitting at my keyboard and trying to find what to write about when it comes to the NY Mets? For the fifth straight season, the Mets are irrelevant in the month of September and will finish with a losing record for five straight seasons as well. Sure there are reasons to be optimistic as the young arms in the bushes seem to be on target to lead this team next season and beyond and the fact that having a tear in his UCL , Matt Harvey is not on life support and if the worst possible scenario is he needs Tommy John surgery, odds are he’ll be back in 2015 better than ever, but what about today and next season?

I admit I’m suffering from MTKL (My Team Keeps Losing) Syndrome. This causes me to be irritable and cranky and wanting for a team that in the words of our fiscally deficient owner Freddy “Skill Sets” Wilpon, “Just play some meaning full games in September”! It’s bad enough playing out this string of games but it worse when you have to sit (squirm?) through a Daisuke Matsusaka start. ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!. If losing isn’t bad enough, a Dice –K start is losing with your arms tied above your head hanging from a cathedral ceiling.  Fucking excruciating.  But as obscene as his last start was to go with the other two insufferable starts, Dice-K will take the hill again in four days. Don’t blame Terry Collins for this,what can he do? This is the best Sandy Alderson can do for him as far as pitcher goes since the Las Vegas 51’s are now in the PCL  playoffs , is scrap heapers like Dice K and Aaron Harrang. It’s a real suck ass situation.

It’s hard for me to start projecting what the Mets will do in the offseason since there are so many other story lines in baseball right now that are more enjoyable and compelling to follow than who will play 1st base next year, how much, if any money the Mets  will spend in free agents and the year Daniel Murphy will be enshrined in the baseball Hall of Fame.

These are all great leads for November but in September, as a baseball fan I’d rather watch what’s going on in Pittsburgh. I’d rather watch the happenings in Oakland where I sit in astonishment every September watching the A’s with far from household names, make that late season surge to the post season. I’m even intrigued on what’s going on in the South Bronx where Joe Girarrdi  is doing one of the great managerial jobs in Yankee history keeping this rag tag cut rate (if $187 Mil payroll can be called cut rate) alive in a pennant race.    

I’d much rather be rooting for the Mets and wishing this series with the Braves was on par with the current A’s-Rangers series going on in Oakland or the Cardinal-Reds series as well but as a baseball fan I just can’t get excited about playing out the string baseball. I’m sick of it and this off season it’s time for Sandy Alderson to hold the Wilpon’s feet to the fire and DEMAND they give him the authority to spend money to improve this team to be a contender in 2014. I’m about at the end of my rope to tell you the truth, I don’t know if I have a 6th losing season left in me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If Fred Wilpon Was Thinking Of Addressing The Crowd On Opening Day, He Better Think Again

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Hat tip to Jeff Pearlman for this link

 

You would think the owner of a team that hasn’t won anything in ages and knows that he presides over a hostile fans base would think twice about taking to the microphone to address a sold out crowd on what was supposed be a night of celebration and have it turn into a fiasco.  No this is not about Freddy or Jeffy Skill Sets as even as clueless as they both are they know and the Mets P.R. staff is savvy enough to know that the club owners are not very popular with the fan base, so you wonder what was the P.R. staff of the Golden State Warriors thinking by letting team owner Joe Lacob speak during Chris Mullin Night in Oakland.

The Warriors fans it seems hates ownership and it may be unfair to Lacob who is the new owner and is trying to fix what previous owner Chris Cohan broke, like firing the iconic Mullin as the teams GM but Lacob, as the video shows, looks totally shocked at the response he received from the fans and was totally unprepared on how to deal with the hostile crowd. Instead of just sticking to the script and getting on with the unveiling of Mullin’s retired jersey in the rafters, Lacob looks like he’s ready to piss his pants, if it weren’t for the great job that Mullin and Rick Barry do in supporting Lacob, I’m sure there would have been a puddle at center court.

After watching that video I wondered if Mets fans would do the same to the Skill Sets. They wouldn’t because I doubt we would get the chance. The Skill Sets know they are personas non grata with the Mets fans and as inept as we all think they are they’re not that out of touch that they don’t understand the shit storm of a reaction they would get if they tried to make a speech at Citi Field.

It’s a shame that Mullin’s night was marred by this display of fan revolt but there is also something refreshing about a fan base that sells out an arena game after game letting an owner have it for not putting a winning team on the court.

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Want To Run The Skill Sets Out Of Town? Let’s Discuss This First.

 

Wherefore art thou Nelly D?  

 

Down in St. Lonesome, it’s a day off for both the big league and minor leaguers but for the Skill Sets it’s far from an off day in fact it’s day one of the most important fortnight of their lives as the Madoff trustees claw back suit finally makes its way to court with jury collection and optimistically, opening arguments.

There has been some speculation that there could be a settlement reached today with the thinking being maybe both sides knowing that they are dealing with a floor amount of $83 mil and a ceiling of $386 mil but if you’re Irv Piccard and the Madoff victims the thought has to go through your mind “will I ever see any money from the Wilpon’s”?

Do the Skill Sets have $83 mil? I have no idea, I do know they don’t have the funds to assemble a decent bench for their baseball team or enough funds to fortify the depth of their starting pitching, so if I had to guess $83 mil might as well be $83 billion.   

I’m with the majority of Mets fans who would rejoice if the Skill Sets were to sell, but the one caveat I throw out there before I donate a bunch of cardboard boxes for the Freddy, Uncle Saul and Jeffy to pack their bags and get out of Flushing is, who is going to buy the team?

If you tell me there is some big fancy Wall Street mogul or one of the Titians of industry that will follow the Nelson Doubleday way of running the team which is to let the baseball operations people run the show and make sure the bartenders have a heavy pour, well then I’m all in.

If you tell me that another member of the lucky sperm club or a guy with money who loves to see his name in the paper and feels he’s a “baseball guy” and wants to run the team his or her way, then maybe keeping the Skill Sets isn’t as bad as it seems. I mean as bad as Jeffy Skill Sets is, he’s not worse than David Samson is he?

See anger over ownership is the same as anger over a manager when the team is going bad, everyone screams fire the manager but when you ask “ok but who is the replacement”, you get crickets.

See if you are going to dump a manager or in this case an owner, you have to have a better replacement ready to take over.

I am certainly no fan of the Wilpon’s, their meddling (Jeffy in particular) in how the team is run is the reason the club is in the mess it’s in right now. They’ve always worried more about winning the back pages of the tabloids in December and January than building a solid foundation to keep the team in contention for years to come. But again is it better to have the Skill Sets as owners or James Dolan? The devil you know is sometimes better than the devil you don’t know.      

 

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Playing Pepper: New York Mets Edition

 

Baseball Bloggers Alliance founding father and Cardinal blogger par excellence Daniel Shoptaw was kind enough to invite myself and other Mets bloggers in the BBA to participate in his Playing Pepper series.

Besides myself the Mets bloggers interviewed for this series were Paul of Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff, Kerel Cooper of On The Black, Jon Preser of The Shea Faithful, Jeff Yurcan of Metsprospectus, Freddy Vasquez of Mets Hot Corner, Jon Lewin of Subway Squawkers, and AC of Mets Public Record.

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THIS ONE GOES OUT TO FREDDY, JEFFY AND UNCLE SAUL

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Whenever I hear this song, I think about the nights I spent at The Ritz, which is now called Webster Hall. We would all go there on Monday nights for Rock N Roll Against Recession. Admission was free, there were live bands and St.Paulie Girls were 2 bucks and the joint was packed

  Circumstance has forced my hand
To be a cut price person in a low budget land
Times are hard but we’ll all survive
I just got to learn to economize

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FREDDY WILPON SPPPPIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

Well, Freddy Skill Sets came pretty close to being truthful with the fan base when he was interviewed by Brain Costa of the WSJ. Fred was in Arizona (wow Bolt goes to Phoenix?) for the quarterly owners meeting.  When asked about his financial struggle and the toll it is taking on him, the Mets organization and its fan base, Freddy Sez:

“How could anybody deny that it’s been a challenging time?” Wilpon said. “But I came from nothing. I meet the challenges. So does Saul and Jeff and our whole family. We’re meeting the challenges and I think we’ll be fine.”

“I think we’ll be fine”? Really?  How so Freddy ? What’ch ya keepin’ on the down low from us? The new minority shares are a band aid on a gaping wound but you know what, maybe the Skill Sets luck is changing as his Guardian Angel, Bud Selig is staying on for 2 more years as baseball czar and Wilpon enabler and as always has Freddy’s back:

“He’s been a great owner,” Selig said. “Loves his team. He’s everything you’d want in a local owner. He’s had some economic problems, not caused by himself, and I have a lot of faith in him that he’s working his way through them.”

And he’s oh, so good,

And he’s oh, so fine,

And he’s oh, so healthy,

In his body and his mind.

He’s a well respected man about town,

Doing the best things so conservatively.

Then Freddy was asked about Jose Reyes and his thoughts on Reyes:

“Reyes was 17 years old when I met him,” Wilpon said. “He spoke pretty good English at that time, too. He said to me, ‘Can you give me some advice?’ I said, ‘Yeah, never wipe that smile off your face.'”

Humm, “never wipe that smile off your face” looks like Freddy eats at Wo Hop like I do. Thankfully for Reyes’ sake Freddy didn’t hit him up with “Kid, I know a guy who can make you rich beyond belief”

Here is a nice picture on a rainy, windy, cold New York afternoon

Years before we would get to the 50th Anniversary of the NY Mets, Dana Brand was all pumped up about putting together a symposium at Hofstra University where he taught, on the history of the Mets. As you all know Dana passed away last year but his dream of having a conference at Hofstra will become a reality on April 26-28. Please check out all the details here and hopefully we can all meet up at Hofstra that weekend and celebrate not just the legacy of the NY Mets but of Dana Brand as well.

Steve Popper, the Mets beat writer for the Bergen Record is leaving the Mets beat and will become the Records man at MSG following the NY Knickerbockers. Not only is this a big loss for Mets fans but a huge loss for Mets bloggers like myself and other bloggers who have had the privilege of meeting Steve at various team functions. Many of the beat writers and media folk won’t even give us a response to a hello but Popper (as well as Adam Rubin and Kevin Kernan ) has always been friendly to us and has been gracious in sharing his thoughts with us about the Mets. Good luck Steve and thanks.

 

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WHAT A GAME THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN

I couldn’t find a picture of THE home run but who could forget the home run off the clock in St. Louis by Straw on October 1, 1995. I thought about that home run after watching last night’s come from behind win. Ahhh what we once had……  

 

Most of the Mets news this morning is of the off the field variety, with some mention of yesterday’s big 9th inning rally. After last night’s game all I could think of if the Mets were in a chase for a post season berth this game would have been labeled one of the all-time great game in Mets history, instead all it gets is an “atta boy”. Sad.

All the Madoff-Skill Sets-Piccard bullshit baffles me as Freddy and Uncle Saul keep going with the “Hey, we were duped too” defense. I find it very hard to believe the story that Freddy and Saul were these two neophyte investors who were blindside by Bernie Madoff. The point that Freddy and Saul say the never even asked what Madoff what he was investing their money in is the “are you fucking kidding me”? moment for me. Am I to believe that at no point in this whole scheme and big returns on their investment, Freddy and Uncle Saul didn’t ask, “Uhmmm Bernie, just where are you investing our money”? Pharmaceuticals? Precious metals? Trafficking of children for sex slaves? I know I hold the Skill Sets in low esteem but even I don’t think they were that stupid not know where their money was going.

The Daily Snooze says today the Mets will look at exercising Terry Collins 2013 contract option at the end of the season, as I believe they should. There will also be a discussion on the status of coaching staff and it seems that even with Collins coming out saying he would love to have the whole staff back, Chip Hale may migrate to Oakland to join Bob Melvin and Old School Dan Warthen could be done as pitching coach. It would be a loss to lose Hale, as he’s a very good 3rd base coach and a hard worker but losing Warthen seems like no great shakes, in fact it’s time for Warthen to go and get a new voice for the pitching staff that ranks last in just about every statistical pitching category.

How about the last minute desperation from the Red Sox as they tried to get Chris Capuano in a deal? Seems the Sox didn’t make enough of a tribute to Sandy Alderson to make this deal or it could be Alderson has plans to bring Cap back as either a spot starter/long man role in the Darren Oliver mold for the Mets next season. It could also be that the deal breaker was Alderson’ insistence that Theo Epstein had to take Ryota Igarashi on the deal

Last home stand of the season starts today, I’m going to Wednesday’s game, the season finale because it’s the last game of the year and as bad as the season is ending, comes November and December when it’s cold, snowy and downright miserable, you’ll be wishing you were at the ball park instead of the business end of a snow shovel.

 

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HIT? NO, I’LL FOLD

“Perception is reality in our game and the perception I have right now is we’ve folded it up,” Collins said in a passionate postgame news conference. “You want to see intenseness? You want to see me be intense? You guys are going to see it. I won’t play that game. You come and play the game right. I don’t care what the situation is. I don’t care about anything but playing the game correctly. That’s all I care about. Our fans should be upset. I don’t blame them one bit.”

Those are the words of Mets manager Terry Collins, who kind of erupted after the Mets latest loss yesterday. The Washington Nationals, a team that could become a big thorn in the Mets side the next few years, came into Citi Field with nothing to play for except that they are a professional baseball team that gets paid a lot of money to compete and they are managed by Davey Johnson, who actually won a championship in blue and orange clothing and was raised in Baltimore under Earl Weaver during the halcyon days of the Orioles of the 1970’s

As I was getting ready to do this post I read Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Digest and he hits on all the same points I was ready to lay out here so thank you Mike you’ve saved me from another 1,000 post on the demise of the Mets. Silva’s analysis of David Wright is 100 % spot on:

Although David wants to win and tries hard, he continues to allow his surroundings to get the better of him. When the team goes bad he doesn’t rise above it; he becomes part of the problem instead of the solution. He needs to realize that behavior gets him the same treatment as the other 24 players; $14 million dollar salary and All Star resume be damned. I wouldn’t trade Wright coming off this type of season, but he needs to be told that 2012 is his last chance to turn his Mets career around and show the organization he is closer to the player we saw from 2005-2008.”

You know, we all killed Freddy Skill Sets when he said that Wright was a good kid and a good ballplayer but not a guy who carries the team, and guess what? Freddy was on target. Wright is a good baseball player who would thrive on a team that has outstanding players. He’s more a supporting actor than a leading man. Quite frankly, I don’t know what value he has in the trade market over the winter but I would think Sandy Alderson will find out.

Speaking of the GM, he’s been mighty quiet during this tailspin, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Is he sitting back taking notes of who has “folded up” to decide who stays and who goes?  Most likely.

So tonight let’s see if the manager is serious or just giving lip service.  I’d sit Wright and Pagan and if Bay can’t go please, enough of Willie Harris all he’s good at is preparing whip cream pies, put Nick Evans in LF and let Josh Satin play 1B. I know there isn’t much to choose from but the mangers best friend is the bench when he wants to get his message across.

 

 

 

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SATURDAY METS MINUTIA

It looks like John Franco wants to get back in uniform with the Mets, no not as a player but as a coach. Franco said in today’s NY Post, that he would love to join the club as a mentor to Bobby Parnell, which I feel would help Parnell immensely and if Franco is sincere as I’m sure he is, instead of telling this to a newspaper reporter, why not approach Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins with this idea.

When Collins was told of Franco’s wish he said “I’ll try and set that up”. One of the things Collins told me during the winter was he told his coaching staff if you see something that you thing in a player or in a way the club is going about it’s business the needs fixing, you should speak up and let’s look at it as a staff. So if John Franco feels he can help Bobby Parnell get his mindset right to be a closer and help him develop an off speed pitch to go with his supersonic fastball, Collins would definitely be on board for that.

I love Howard Johnson, his combination of speed and power makes him one of the best players to wear a Mets uniform, but really HoJo it’s time to shut the fuck up. As Mike Silva tells us, Johnson has taken to Twitter to bash Mets management claiming they are anti-86 Mets.   As Silva points out there are a number of ex-86ers that work for the team, and the Mets gave HoJo a shot at being a manager and he failed and they handed him the job as the big league batting coach and many feel he’s ruined David Wright with his tinkering of his swing. So really HoJo stop the whining you’re starting to sound like a bitter ex-wife.

The Skill Sets are confident they will find at least 20 investors in their Ponzi scheme effort to raise some capital and to keep ownership of the Mets. I’m sure Mortimer and Randolph Duke Freddy and Uncle Saul know what they’re doing, I mean what could go wrong? (BIG EYE ROLL!!!!!!!)

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CHECK OUT GARY FINKLER’S 7TH INNING SKETCH SITE

Click right now on this link to Gary’s 7th Inning  Sketch site as this guy has a great combination of being a talented artist and having knowing the pulse of the sports world.

I love this cartoon of Reyes and Freddy Skill Sets that would make a great t-shirt

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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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