RANTS AND RAVES

Time for a stream of semi-consciousness not all of it Mets related :

I’m as upset as most Mets fans with the inactivity so far by the front office in procurement of players but when you look at the list of free agents still available I’m hoping its Sandy Alderson playing the supply and demand game and not the We’re broke game.  There are still some good players and some serviceable ones still looking for employment and as every day goes by without these players signed to a contract I have to believe it’s a day closer to desperation.

One player on the free agent pitchers list is Scott Kazmir, I’d love to see the Mets offer him a minor league deal and an invite to spring training.

I wish HBO’s Rangers-Flyers 24/7 could go on for the whole season. In the three weeks the show has aired, I’ve gotten a better appreciation for Coach Tortorella and his work as a master motivator. The on ice stuff is unbelievably good as Brad Richards tells Flyers career minor leaguer Tom Sestito, who is going off at the Rangers bench like a fucking moron on how he’s going to beat the shit out of every Ranger, “Wow on day in the NHL, it’s like fuckin’ fantasy camp” or Flyer Coach Peter Laviolette telling Dallas Stars to “go fuck himself” when Ott feels Laviolette disrespects his Stars teammates by using their exit to get to the locker room.  By the way, how did the Islanders ever fire Laviolette?  Oh that’s right, Mike Milburry was in charge.

I guess the euphoria over the NY Knickerbockers has died down a bit after back to back losses to Golden State and the Hollywood Fakers. It’s very hard to win in this league without a true point guard who can distribute the ball and keep Stoudimire and ‘Melo happy with dimes leading to points.  Some scoring off the bench, especially at the 2 guard would be nice as well and of course playing defense, especially in the interior is a must. But we know defense and Coach D’Antoni don’t mix, which is why Jimmy Dolan will regret the day he didn’t can Coach D and hire Mark Jackson .

In my Blue heart of hearts, I believe the NY Football Giants will beat the Dallas Cowgirls on Sunday night and win the NFC East but my stomach is still in knots thinking about the porous Giants secondary getting lit up by Tony Romo.  Just got to hope that JPP gets to Romo early and often.

The question Stephen A. Smith should have asked Rex Ryan was not if he’d take Peyton Manning over Mark Sanchez  but would Coach Big Mouth rather have Cam Newton over Dirty Sanchez? With all the Tebowing going on in the MSM, they have of course missed the obvious that Cam Newton is the NEXT BIG THING in the NFL.

If it weren’t for the assholes who make up the New York Highlander hierarchy, we NY Rangers fans would be getting ready to head to the South Bronx for Rangers-Flyers in the Winter Classic. But instead, the House That AJ Burnett Built will host a small time bullshit college football game. I guess it hasn’t sunk in to the powers that be who run the Bronx Bastards that no one in NYC gives a rat’s ass about college football but I guess they will realize it today when about a quarter of the stadium will have ass’s in the seats as opposed to the full house they would have had if they were hosting the Winter Classic.

Plus you know the NHL wanted the Rangers to play either the Montreal Canadiens or the Toronto Maple Leafs at Highlander Stadium but will settle for Rangers-Flyers in Philly just so the NY fan can bring his deep pockets 90 miles south.

To one and all I want to wish a Happy and most importantly a Healthy New Year.

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SANDY ALDERSON TALKS WITH NY METS BLOGGERS

Last night I had the privilege to be invited to be part of the Mets bloggers Q & A conference call with Mets GM Sandy Alderson. Eric Simon and the staff at Amazin’ Avenue have done another outstanding job of putting together a transcript of the conference call (click the link and read the whole transcript it will be the most informative information you’ll get about the Mets anywhere) and I thank them very much for undertaking the chore of transcribing and crediting each blogger with a link to our sites along with our questions, Thanks again Eric.

A few observations I took from the call:

Alderson is playing his hand in the Jose Reyes sweepstakes like a top poker player. In years past, the Mets were always duped into not just setting the market price on free agents but bidding against themselves. His answer to the question on whether he thought of Reyes as a franchise player was 100 % spot on:

Do I consider him a franchise player? Yes. But a franchise player is only valuable as such if he is contributing to a winning franchise as opposed to simply acting as eye wash for a team that is not very good.

Again, everybody loves Reyes and wants him to be a Met For Life, yet less than 5,000 fans showed up on the final day of the season and what may have been Reyes last game as a Met. That’s why Alderson doesn’t play to the lunatic fringe of Metsfandom and for that I am so grateful.

Alderson got into the business end of running the Mets as Howard Megdal, who should be your go to read with the anything Mets related but most certainly on learning the financial end of what the Skill Sets and the organization are up against in these trying money times with the Mets. It may a bit simplistic on my part but it seems Alderson is saying that he has x-amount of dollars in his budget given to him by ownership and he has to do the best he and his staff can to fill the roster with players good enough to compete and not hurt the bedrock of foundation of the organization, the farm system. There are some (I’d say a minority) of Mets fans who don’t get the fact that finances of this franchise are in a total state of flux but no matter the outcome, it would take either a discovery of oil or gold during the renovation of the Citi Field outfield for the Skill Sets to own this team for the long term.  

I really believe Alderson enjoys doing these Q & A’s with the Mets bloggers more than dealing with the MSM. The first one we did last year lasted about half an hour, then when we met with Alderson face to face at the Mets Holiday Party he joined us in our own little group for more questions and didn‘t seem to be in a hurry to get away from us. Last night he spoke to us for an hour and seemed to enjoy the questions and giving us insight into what he and his staff are doing to making the Mets into a top flight franchise.

His answer to my question was about that, he is hell-bent in turning around the perception of the NY Mets franchise, as much as Alderson feels there has been progress in that direction he knows the only way to advance it is for him to put together a winning team:

{Steve Keane (The Eddie Kranepool Society): Your first year as a Mets general manager, how would you assess your progress that you and your staff have made in the first year with the Mets? What has been the most challenging situation or thing that’s happened with you as the GM of the Mets, and what’s been the biggest surprise on the positive side and on the negative side?

 

Alderson: I look at things in three areas. The organization as a whole, the infrastructure, what’s happening in player development and scouting, and what’s happening at the major league level.

 

Organizationally, I’m very pleased with where we are. We’re not fully where we want to be. In the areas of structure and process and personnel, we’re making a lot of progress. We made some personnel changes last year, we’ve made a few this year. The more important changes organizationally have come in the area of process as we blend the pre-existing staff with newly added staff. From an organizational standpoint, we’ve made some progress.

 

Player-development-wise, we’ve made significant progress, I think our approach to the draft last year was a departure from previous years, and I think at least early returns are that it was a positive change. If you look at our top prospects, we were able to add to that list not only from not only the further development of existing players, but also from the draft as well as the trade, most prominently the trade for Zack Wheeler. I think player-development-wise, the continued development of Matt Harvey and some others, and remember at this time last year, Matt Harvey had never thrown a professional pitch. I think some very positive things are happening at the player development and scouting level.

 

At the major league level, I’m very pleased with Terry Collins last year and I think our major league staff will be even stronger this year than it was. Dave Hudgens did a great job in refocusing our offensive philosophy. I think we’ve made a lot of progress philosophically at least in how we are approaching the game, not just in respect to hitting, but a more aggressive approach, a more accountable approach that Terry has demanded.

 

If you tie those three things together, what I’d hoped to achieve in the first year primarily was to change the perception of the organization. Despite the fact that we didn’t finish over .500, I think overall, the way the team played, some of the other things that happened over the course of the year, did help to change the perception of the organization and its direction and its chances of success in the future.

 

My biggest disappointment going back to last year was just the way we finished the season. We finished poorly, we started poorly. Part of that was attributable to injury, but some of it was a result of weakening the team later for long-term benefit. I think for example, if we’d kept Frankie Rodriguez, we would have finished well over .500. I think that the lack of a closer cost us a number of games.

 

But, the overall perception did change. I think that there is some greater confidence in the future for the Mets and that was an important thing to accomplish. I think the way we finished detracted from that somewhat, I think we were able to move people’s thinking in that direction.}

I’d like to thank Danielle Parillo and Shannon Forde for putting this and all the Mets bloggers event together and of course a big thank you to Sandy Alderson for his time and insight    

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WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT METS FANS, THIS COULD WORK OUT IN OUR FAVOR

So the seal has been lifted from the lawsuit brought by the Madoff victim’s trustee against the Skill Sets and everything they own and I’ll tell you the truth, there is so much rhetoric coming from both sides that if a settlement isn’t reached this could drag on for years. My main concern is how does this affect the NY Mets and the operation of the baseball organization from the minor leagues to the big league to the ability of Sandy Alderson to sign players he believes are worthy of a contract. I feel bad for the innocent folks who were duped by this filthy scumbag Madoff but the biggest investment I make is a $5 Mega-Millions Quick Pick so all this financial shit is lost on me.

But I started thinking about the Skill Sets role in this I saw a pattern of fiscal stupidity with Madoff and the money the team has spent on the Mets. For years Freddy Skill Set was called Freddy Coupons for being a tight wad but in reality he was a big spender. The Mets payroll has always been top 3 in all of baseball. The Skill Sets big problem is they never knew how to spend wisely just as they didn’t invest their money (and other people’s money) correctly.  Think about it, the Mets would over spend on free agents like Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran but they’d never go overboard to on a draft pick. They paid top dollar for performances that players achieved with other teams but not on players who could bring the best of their talents to the Mets.Then went cheap.

The Skill Sets are loyal to a fault and that loyalty has cost them personally and professionally. Bernie Madoff made Freddy and Uncle Saul swoon when he quoted profits of their investment to them, you can picture Freddy and Saul with their puppy dog eyes looking at Madoff and telling him “ooooh Bernie you’re so dreamy”, meanwhile he was fucking them out of all their cash. To make matters worse the Skill Sets turned all their friends, investors and employees on to the Magic of Madoff  which in a way makes me feel some sympathy, as they are now looked upon and as bunch of bumbling idiots by some for not knowing what went on or a bunch of lying thieves to others. Either way it’s not good to be a Wilpon or a Katz today. Now if the court case proves the Sill Sets were a bunch of conniving louts, then I’ll be out with the flame thrower to fry their lying ass, but for now I’ll rail about their incompetence.

The Skill Sets have handled the Mets just like their investments, thinking they were doing the right thing and have it come back and bite them in the ass.  With the exception of Frank Cashen and Sandy Alderson (his resume speaks for itself) the hiring of men to run the baseball operations had been awful.  Not just that, but they always had a tough time of firing guys when it was the appropriate time. Steve Philips was banging secretaries like he was a porn star and when one of them took exception to his advances she cried sexual harassment. What did the Skill Sets do? They fired him for about a day and then brought him back. Omar Minaya the last two seasons was not only incompetent but paranoid as we saw in his presser for the Tony Bernazard termination when he attacked Adam Rubin. Minaya should have been fired on the spot but of course he wasn’t. When Sandy Alderson was hired he tried his best to be diplomatic when asked about Minaya and if he had a position in the org, obviously Alderson wants no part of Omar hanging around and you’d think Minaya would have brains enough to take his $1mil and move on but Freddy Skill Sets loves Omar and wants him around in any some capacity maybe as a playmate for Jeffey.  Even when they do fire people they can’t even do that right as we saw with the Willie Randolph fiasco.  Then when you add in all the bad contracts, the awful job of designing and running Citi Field and the inability to keep Jeffey out of the baseball business is it any wonder Bernie Madoff took them for a bunch of saps?  

Things are starting to look a bit clearer and as Mets fans we may end up the winners in this whole mess.  Bud Selig being up close and personal with the Skill Sets saw the S.S. Skill Sets was ready to hit an iceberg. With the Hollywood Bums also at rock bottom (who knew the McCourt divorce would look like a case on The People’s Court compared the Skill Sets v. Madoff Trustees?) The Used Car Salesman could not let both his flagship NL teams sink. The Mets were a team that spent more money and received less return than any team in baseball. What Selig saw was an organization that was in dire need for structure, for a leader, a man that could not be challenged and who embraced challenge, Sandy Alderson was the only man who could fix this mess.

The whole interview process for a new GM was a facade; it wasn’t up to the Skill Sets to hire Alderson it was up to Alderson if he wanted the assignment. I’m sure the first thing Alderson told Freddy and Uncle Saul was “The kid’s got to go” meaning Jeffey, and I’m sure without that, Alderson doesn’t take the job. That my fellow Mets fans could be the best thing to happen to the Mets since General Eckert void Tom Seaver’s contract with the Atlanta Braves and in a special draft pull the Mets name out of a hat.  

If I could give the Skill Sets a little advice, it’s time to lay low fella’s. You’ve put word out on the street that the team is up for partial sale so sit back in your palatial estate (while you still have them) and work out a plan of your finances. The one good thing you have going on in your life right now is Sandy Alderson is running your baseball team. Leave him and his lieutenants handle the baseball operations   while you huddle with your lawyers. Stay away from going to St. Lonesome. Stay away from opening day. In fact just stay the fuck away from the Mets altogether!!!!!

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“GM’S MEET, SANDY’S LISTENIN’, A BEAUTIFUL SITE, MAKE A TRADE EVERY NIGHT, WALKIN’ IN A WINTER MEETINGS WONDERLAND”

From the looks of things, Sandy Alderson and his staff seem anxious to get to Orlando and baseball’s Winter Meetings but  he won’t be bringing home any high end gifts to Mets fans. There will be no diamond studded Mickey Mouse watches coming our way, maybe a sweatshirt or t-shirt or two, nothing extravagant but more sensible.

No doubt the Mets will float the names Beltran, Reyes and Rodriquez during the cocktail parties and lobby loitering they will be doing so who knows, maybe the foundation for a blockbuster will be laid down but it seems like the Mets will wait until all the big pieces land before looking at the C and D list of free agents.

I like the honesty of Sandy Alderson when he states the fact that this team as is will be “competitive” and refrains from blowing smoke up the fan base’ ass that this team is a pennant contender. If that bothers you then you as a Mets fan need to grow up and realize the days of hearing fairy tales from the GM’s office are over.  I like the fact that this front office doesn’t listen to the fan base when it comes to personnel decisions. That was the big failure of the last regime, they tried too hard to keeps us happy, well fuck our happiness, just give me competence and a couple of nice t-shirts.

Alderson will meet with Omar Minaya to see where his standing is in the organization. I’ve almost forgotten that Minaya was not fired but re-assigned in his job duties but it he has options and quite frankly I think this sit down is more of how to pay Omar a buyout than a job offer.

Unless some GM loses his mind or gets a serious load on and makes an offer to Alderson for Ollie Perez, it looks as though OP will make it to St. Lonesome so the GM can observe him in order to make a decision to keep him or dump him. I guess Alderson’ thinks is I’m going to have to pay this scrub anyway  might as well see if he has any redeeming features  before  I decide his fate.

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METS FANS “MANAGING” TO STAY SANE

In a story today in the New York Post, Davey Johnson is quoted as saying that Terry Collins would be the right choice by the Mets to be the next manager.  As much as Johnson loves Wally Backman, it’s his opinion that Collins’ experience as the Mets Minor League Coordinator would help with the organization making a determination as to which farm hands are of immediate help to the big league club.

On the same day of this story comes word that Scouting Director Rudy Terrasas will be reassigned in the organization. So if Collins does get the job then the message sent will be that main job by this front office is to rebuild the farm system and the way they draft talent. Even if Bob Melvin gets the job I think the rebuilding of the farm system will still be the Alderson mission statement with Collins staying with the organization and working with DePo in such a capacity.

That’s why as Mets fans you need to forget about any big splash signings of free agents and unless Alderson is bowled over with a great return on a trade, the best moves you can hope for this off season would be the release of Ollie Perez (and the more he’s sucks in winter ball the better the chance that Alderson tells the Skill Sets “EAT THE CONTRACT “) and Luis Castillo. I’m fine with that.

There is a segment of Mets fans who feel the Mets should have gone after Dan Uggla. That would be fine if the Mets were a player or two away from being a contender but they’re not, so Uggla is not the answer.

This doesn’t mean the winter will be boring around here, just the opposite. This will be the most interesting hot stove since 1980 when Frank Cashen came aboard and was handed a mess to clean up and clean it up he did. Let’s hope history repeats itself.

Hojo’s Mojo at Mets Merized Online posts that the Sports Pope broke from his Pop Warner persona this morning to report that the Texas Rangers have inquired about Carlos Beltran and are willing to take on $10-$12 mil of his contract. If this is true, the Mets have to make this deal. Even if you get back a couple of prospects just the fact you’re freeing up $6-$8 mil dollars to spend on much needed pitching would push me to make this deal.

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STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES BUT THE METS WILL NEVER HURT ME

My biggest problem with Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel is neither of these two challenge any of their players publicly. I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do but desperate times call for desperate measures.   The cool, calm way is just not working and Jerry trying not to throw anyone under a bus in the press isn’t working  either, so maybe it’s time for some tough love and start calling guys out by name.  If your Manuel, you know your job is on the line and if these underachievers don’t kick it in gear soon, you’ll be out of a job and maybe that’s what Manuel wants. Maybe J-Man has had it with this team and organization that he can just play out the next month and a half get released and go home?  It could be the players are taking their cue from their skipper. That’s why Jerry Manuel has got to go. Let Dave Jauss finish out the season but a message needs to be sent this isn’t a fucking country club and no one is set for life in Flushing.

Same with Minaya, how does he stay so calm? At some point shouldn’t he address the team and read the riot act? Doesn’t it bother him that just about every Mets fan thinks he’s a shit ass GM that only knows how to throw money at free agents and sign over the hill players?  Does he enjoy being in charge of a team that is made the punch line of jokes in all of baseball?

What about the owner? Does Jeffey Skill Sets enjoy be called a douchebag by me and other fans? Doesn’t get he ever get pissed that he is portrayed as a buffoon and spoiled little rich kid that evey Mets fan wants to punch in the face?

Is there anyone associated with this organization that ever gets mad? Besides Crazy Freddie? If ownership had a quarter of the passion and fight of it’s fan base, this team wouldn’t be in the sad position it’s in now.

You know what makes it worse? The Phillies and Red Sox have been decimated by injuries but both teams are still in the think of a pennant race. You know why? Because their players have boulders for balls unlike our Mets who I hate to say it, are cowards and I can call them cowards and losers and any other name I want and any of the MSM can show this post to the players, GM, or owner and they won’t do a damn thing about it.

Hey Omar, Hey Jerry, Hey Jeff, Hey David Wright any of you guys feel froggy, then leap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I HATE TO WISH TIME AWAY, BUT I CAN’T WAIT FOR OPENING DAY!

The Brooklyn Met Fan says we should not rush to judgment on Dwight Gooden’s latest arrest for DWI, BMF says that the story of what really happened will come out but Gooden is listening to attorney’s and not making a statement as of yet. As I posted in the comments section of BMF’s site, as most readers here know, I’m a big Gooden fan and having met him a few times he was just a great guy but when you drive while intoxicated I have a huge problem with you.

In much better news, Jose Reyes is back in St. Lonesome and it seems just his presences in the locker room has amped up the team. What Jerry Manuel has to watch for is Reyes trying to get two weeks of lost time into two days. Reyes is adamant about being in the Opening Day lineup, we all hope he is.

Mike Silva has posted a story on the old Mayor’s Trophy games between the Mets and Yankees which I never remember being a big deal.

Josh Levitt of Jorge Says No fame has started up another site, MLBfreeagency.com the site as you’d imagine will focus on current and up coming free agents and all around good baseball talk. It’s well worth your while to check it out and bookmark the site.

Johnny Maestro, one of he great Rock and Rollers of the 60’s first with The Crest’s (16 Candles) and then with the Brooklyn Bridge (The Worst That Could Happen “Girl, I heard your getting married/heard your getting married/you know that’s not my scene” )

Whose music was a stable of NYC, especially Brooklyn, died yesterday at the age of 70. R.I.P. Johnny

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HOT FUN IN THE SUM-MER TIME

8 days until pitchers and catchers

If you haven’t seen the video of Keith Hernandez working with Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans at first base, click here. Again my opinion on Murphy is certainly biased but if the other 24 players on the Mets roster that comes North has the same desire and work ethic as Murph, things may be a lot better than we think this summer at $iti Field. At the end of the video Hernandez tells Murphy and Evans that if they ever need him for anything to tell Jay Horowitz and he will drive up to St Lonesome to lend a hand.

Two things here, one what the hell took so long for the Mets to utilize Mex in this capacity and two, if Mike Piazza never asked Hernandez’ advice when the Mets were looking for him to make the transition for catcher to first baseman, then he’s a bigger asshole than I think he is.

Nice to see Mike Jacobs back in the org. I hope he likes chicken wings.

The biggest problem I have with Mets management is not so much with it’s ineptness of its baseball ops but more with its dishonestly. When it comes to the teams finances someone is lying  either the media or the team and most likely it’s the team.  With the management not being aggressive on free agents and not making deals that would make the team better by taking on pitchers like Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, or Gil Meche, who have big contracts that teams would love to get out from under, it proves that the coffers of the Skill Sets are not as robust as they claim.

It seems that’s the only reason Omar and Jerry Manuel are still here, it’s more of a “it’s cheaper to keep ‘em” scenario than a performance  factor. The Skill Sets can’t afford to pay Minaya and go out and hire a top of the line GM, so what we get is lots of layers of front office types that makes dealing with the Mets tedious and exhausting.

Everyday there are more and more stories about the teams finances and I’m sure there will be more and more of the cash flow stories throughout the season.  All it will take is for one snitch to blab the inside scoop on what’s going on in the back rooms of $iti Field to bring this to light.

Perfect example of the Mets money woes, Chein- Ming Wang is ready to sign with the Washington Nationals who are putting together a nice team for 2010.

Just sit back and listen to this song and enjoy your snow day!

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BLOGGING CALLED ON ACCOUNT OF LACK OF INTREST

 

 

I don’t know about you but I’m getting a massive headache trying to decipher what the hell the Mets plan is for the off season.

 

Omar has gone on TV and print preaching pitching and defense and I scream at the TV YES OMAR YES! !!!  then I read the tons of minutia coming out of Indianapolis and everything about the Mets is contradictory.

 

The Mets are hot for Matt Holiday and John Lackey,

 

Then we hear, the Mets won’t be spending on big ticket free agents.

 

Luis Castillo has been offered to every team but Miguel’s Taqueria softball team. If you can’t move Castillo then you have to buy out his contract. I’m not a big Castillo fan and I would love to see him moved but you have to admit the way the Mets are treating him sucks. If my job treated me like this I’d at the union hall filing a fucking grievance. Either trade the man or grow a pair of balls Jeffey and buy him out you little shit.

 

Last night I watched Mets Hot Stove and the great Bobby Ojeda when asked by Kevin Burkhart what the Mets biggest need is this off season, Bobby O said “pitching, pitching and more pitching. Then when the cut to Indianapolis, and Chris Carlin interviewed Bobby Cox who was asked about his suplus of starting pitching. Cox said “you hate to move a starter because you never have enough pitching” Now they know that, I know that, you know that, all of baseball knows that. Do the Mets know that?

 

The last time I was this discouraged as a Mets fan, Lorinda de Roulet were trying to figure out how to clean baseballs and Bebe and Whitney de Roulet were strutting their debutant ass’s through out Shea trying out as ball washers.

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MR. RICCO TO LEAD THE METS ?

 

This has been a hot rumor for awhile but now our man on the inside, Adam Rubin has put it out there that Asst’ GM John Ricco looks to be the next man to run the Mets as it looks like Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel as well as the coaching staff are as good as gone too.

Ricco is the new breed of GM who has a grasp on stats and can speak in public without stumbling. No offense to Omar but it looks like Jeffey was as embarrassed by Omar’ public speaking as much as we was that Tony B was running wild.

Read the article and see if you get the same feeling I get that the Skill Sets are strapped for dough and will use the  $30 mil to pay off players and Omar and Manuel and not on free agents.

I feel bas for Jerry Manuel as he does not deserve to get fired but there needs to be a purge, a cleansing if you will of the organization and unfortunately Manuel has to go as well.

John Ricco GM. Bobby Valentine MGR. I can get aboard that bandwaggon.

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