Dispatches From Mets Holiday Party

I’m back from covering the Mets holiday party where the club invited about a 100 kids from P.S. 43 and The Scholars Academy both in Far Rockaway to meet Santa (John Franco) Claus and his Elf’s R.A. Dickey and Ike Davis. Also on hand was Mets GM Sandy Alderson.

After spending time with the children and giving out gifts the players and the GM were available for some Q & A time.  After spending some time with all three I have some observations:

R.A. Dickey looked and sounded puzzled, hurt and a bit defiant when he spoke of his situation now with the club. From the way I see it, the Mets first priority with Dickey is to trade him and they are waiting out teams that are interested in trade to offer more in return to the Mets than has been offered now. How long this plays out is anyone’s guess right now but make no mistake for the Mets this is a stone cold baseball business decision and honestly I hate it and from listening to Dickey this morning he understands it’s business but he’s not happy with the way it’s played out so far either.

Dickey also declared that once the season starts he will not negotiate a contract extension, nor should he.  I don’t know which end of the organization is playing by these hardball rules whether its Sandy Alderson looking to fill the massive gaps in personnel this team has or if it’s The Skill Sets looking to nickel and dime the 2012 Cy Young Award winner. If it’s the baseball ops guys being hard ass’s I can understand it, that doesn’t mean I like but if it’s  Jeffey trying to win at a negotiation, then I’ll be totally outraged.

What Dickey is asking is not just more than fair; I believe he’s selling himself short. Dickey’s agent has proposed a 2 year extension for $28 mil, how in the hell is that excessive? Dickey should have proposed a deal well north of $30 mil for 2 years. As much as I want to believe it’s the Skills Sets acting like hard ass’s here I feel it’s more Alderson and his baseball ops who are dragging this out to see if they can get a trading partner who will send back quality and quantity in a trade.  The worst part of this situation is it’s starting to get ugly and could breakout in a lot of nasty if not rectified soon.

It was Ike Davis’ turn to meet with us and as down and dourer as Dickey was Davis was very upbeat and effervescent.  It could be that Davis is 100 % healthy as he said he just had his lungs x-rayed and they are clear so he has no more effects from Valley Fever and his ankle is a good as ever. He was very happy that Wright received his contract extension and he hoped that something can work out with R.A. Dickey staying with the Mets.  You can check out the conversation with Ike by clicking here

Sandy Alderson made his way into the press area and I don’t hide the fact that I’m an Alderson fan. I think he has a plan to rebuild this organization (even though he’s not allowed to utter the dreaded “R” word because it gives any Mets fans a case of the vapors) but I think the reason I admire him is every time I talk to him he comes off very cool and collected. You can’t make him flinch. There is no emotion in how he is running the baseball operation of this organization in that way he’s the anti-Omar.

Alderson was bombarded as expected with question on R.A. Dickey and his status with the Mets. Alderson gave a name, rank and serial number answer saying that he is still speaking to clubs about dealing R.A. and at the same time looking to negotiate contract extention as he said the situation is the same as it was last week. The contrast in Alderson talking about this situation and Dickey talking about it are quite a contrast. Dickey’s answers were of an emotional nature whereas Alderson was from the business end. Alderson has no problem trading R.A. Dickey but he wants a solid return back, he’s not going to give him away.  If he can’t find the right trade for Dickey I think he’ll sweeten the extension offer and get Dickey under contract for an additional two years.

Alderson claims there is money to spend but he’s not going to spend just to spend, he doesn’t seem to care about winning the back pages of the tabloids in December. The impression I was left with is Alderson will not be the first to blink. He’s not tipping his hand on who he’s looking at to sign or trade for.

I’m as confused and frustrated as any Mets fan, in fact coming back for Citi Field today with Ed Marcus we were both in such deep discussion about what we just heard from the Mets GM we kind of forgot what a pain in the ass traffic jam we were stuck in trying to get back to Staten Island.  No matter if you like or dislike Alderson you have to admit he’s one shrewd dude. Now if nothing changes personnel wise between now and spring training I may have to alter my view but I’m trying to stay patient which is very hard for me to do but I’m trying my best.

To hear my chat with Sandy Alderson click here.

To hear the total media Q & A click here.

 

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WHAT ABOUT JERRY GROTE?

 

I don’t give a rats ass about the numbers and Hall of Fame credentials Pepsodent smile and all that, my favorite Mets catcher of all time is was and may forever be Jerry Grote. Not even close. Go ahead flame my ass about this I don’t give a fuck you hear me all you Piazza and Carter fans.  My guy Grote was the original Captain Red Ass.  Nobody fired a ball back to a pitcher (including The Franchise) with purpose like Grote did.  Add in the fact that he wore a wool baseballall cap with the bill turned up (no protective helmet for him) that my young whipper snappers readers was a man’s catcher.

So why the “Get off my lawn” diatribe you wonder? Well the good folks at The Hardball Time have an outstanding post on the comparison between Mike Piazza, Pudge Rodriguez and <head bowed> Johnny Bench that fired my middle aged ass up this morning

For all my love of Grote I also have a deep respect and admiration for JB. In fact last time I was up in Cooperstown I bought a Reds t-shirt with BENCH 5 on the back. Check out the posting as it breaks down all three’s offensive and defensive numbers   

Still, the guy I want behinf the plate for my team is Jerry Grote.  Now GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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MORE HARDBALL PRESENTS THE S I 25

The guys at More Hardball have come up with a 25 man roster of current ML’ers who have graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and it is an impressive roster of talent. Just one Met made it, Johna Santana.

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SCREW THAT GROUNDHOG, THE METS TELLS US SPRING IS HERE!

Looks like Omar saw his shadow yesterday and declared winter is over with the signing of Ollie P to a 3yr/$36 mil deal. The best part of that deal is the 3 yrs forget the money part it’s the years that are key as Ollie/Boras were looking for at least 5 years but had to settle in at 3.

 

Add to that news that Manny/Boras have turned down the Dodgers latest proposal of 1 yr/$25 mil deal which means the Manny to the Mets talk will never die as you have figure that Boras had to talk  Manny with Omar. He had to right? RIGHT?

 

More Mets news today as the off season levee has broken. It looks like the deal with Citigroup for the new Pleasure Palace is under fire and Citi Group may look to void the deal due to pressure from Congress. Is the karma changing in Flushing? Will we see the ball park named after Gil Hodges or will it keep the Shea name atop the façade?

 

Mike Silva has a great post on New York Baseball Digest on how the Mets strive to be good and not great and as I commented on Mike’s post as long as the Skill Sets strive to be just good me and the rest of the Mets bloggers will continue to fight them to strive to be great. That doesn’t mean to spend like our neighbors in the Bronx but to have a plan stick to it and make any necessary move to attain greatness. Signing Manny would work well to achieve that goal. The Skill Sets remind me of the landlords I deal with who get violations on their buildings and cry to the court that they have no money to make the necessary repairs to meet the city code. Usually these buildings have address on Park Ave and Central Park West and are worth umpteen millions of dollars and just like with the Skill Sets I give them a big yawn when they cry to me about how hungry they are when they have not just loves of bread under their arms but the whole damn bakery.

 

Joel Sherman in his HARDBALL blog talks up Ty Wiggington who makes so much sense for the Mets it’s guaranteed the Mets won’t sign him.

 

Excuse me now while I pry my eyes out with a fork. 

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