IF THE SKILL SETS NEED TO EMBRACE THE FAN BASE, MAKE US YOUR PARTNER

As a guy who has trouble balancing a check book, all this financial talk of the Skill Sets and the financial stability of the franchise has my head aching. What The Skill Sets knew and when they knew it about the Madoff Ponzi scheme is still not known and if an out of court settlement comes about, we may never know but what we do know is the brand of the New York Mets has been tainted.

Maybe this is why the organization has embraced the Mets blogging community, why not go to the folks whose love for the team is undying and let them be involved in events that we never dreamed we’d be a part of. I am very much appreciative of the organization for the opportunity they have given me with access to Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and various players but the folks the organization really needs to reach out to you guys who read this site and other Mets blogs and buy the tickets and watch SNY and buy team merchandise because you are the life blood of the franchise.

The news of the Skill Sets cash call could not come at a worse time. Season ticket sales are down and there doesn’t seem to be a big demand for single game tickets either, those go on sale in March. The biggest argument and it is a very fair criticism, is that the ticket prices are way to high. Now add in the news that the Skill Sets are strapped for cash most fans will feel that by buying a ticket to a Mets game will be paying for the Skill Sets Defense Fund. I’m not saying it is but that’s the perception.

A couple of pluses could come out of this firestorm. Yesterday I attended SABR DAY at Foleys Bar in Manhattan an event that was put together by SABR and Baseball Prospectus. It was a great afternoon of baseball talk with baseball fans and writers. Two of the panelists were Mets play by play man, Gary Cohen and Newsday baseball writer, Ken Davidoff. When the Q & A session began the Skill Sets money woes came up. Cohen didn’t have much to say on the topic and with good reason I guess, but Davidoff claimed that as far as the baseball operation goes it may be good for the team. It seems this had been brewing for some time and Davidoff confirmed what I’ve been told for years and what I’ve written about here, that Jeffey Skill Sets is a big part of the problem. Between Jeffey and Omar they wanted to be friends with everyone from players to front office people and anytime a tough decision had to be made neither man could pull the trigger. The Tony Bernazzard firing is a prime example, the team had to be humiliated by the media before they’d let Bernazard go as he was friends with both Jeffey and Omar. Davidoff stated this will not happen under Sandy Alderson as he will not tolerate it. The panel consensus was by putting Alderson in charge it takes Jeffey out of the baseball ops decision making except on money issues. So if there is a plus out of this fiasco it’s muzzling Jeffey. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard folks who cover the team say “Now there is an adult in charge” well, you’d be looking at a 25 % owner of the Mets.

The Mets will have to really work hard on marketing this team for 2011 and beyond. The best way to start is by ripping out those club seats behind home plate and replace them with seats that honest to goodness baseball fans can purchase. Not only would be good business but it go a long away to getting some positive baseball atmosphere in Citi Field. Every time you tune into a Mets game on TV, those seats are empty because the ticket holders for those seats couldn’t care less about the game going on as long as the free booze and food are flowing in the Delta Club. The organization lowered some ticket prices but they are still ridiculous. The Skill Sets have taken a massive hit on their credibility, if they want to win the fans back they have a lot of wooing to do. This is year three of Citi Field and the place still has no identity. Is it a playground for the well to do? Is it a food court with a ball park attached? How games have you sat in your seats watching a game a looked out toward centerfield marveling at the line of people who stand on line waiting to buy a hamburger? When people would rather wait on a line for a half hour to forty-five minutes for a burger than watch your team, you have a problem.

It’s time Mets ownership comes to the realization that in order to make this franchise great again it has to embrace the working stiff Mets fan. One thing you know about us working stiffs, we are loyal to the team and we show up and support the club in good times and in bad. Not like some rich thieving scumbag who but a knife in the Skill Sets back.  You want to sell 25 % of the club? Just make the real true blue and orange Mets fan feel like you actually care about them and make the Citi Field experience that wants fans to  come back rather than say good riddance and I guarantee you’ll see so much success that this cash call will be just a bad dream.

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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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JUST CALL ME ROSTER-FARIAN

(Twenty)Five to one, baby, one in (twenty) five,
No one here gets out alive now.
You’ll get yours, baby, I’ll get mine,
Gonna make it, baby, if we try.

Ken Davidoff is going to compile his 25 man Mets roster as if opening day was today so I thought I’d post mine here and the caveat is “if today was opening day” so of course this list is subject to change.

 

STARTING PITHCERS (5)

 

Johan Santana

Mike Pelfrey

Oliver Perez

John Maine

Tim Redding

 

The first four spots are locks the fifth spot I give to Redding not on merit but on the fact that he has a $2mil contract and that Freddy Garcia can be left in extended spring training. Livan Hernandez is an option which would shift Redding to the bullpen which is something I would be against doing but it would be the option the Mets would make if they had to finalize the roster today. Don’t forget the Jeri-Curl shadow of Petey lurking in the background and Joh Niese becomes the Bison Ace

 

RELIVERS (6)

 

Frankie Rodriguez

J.J. Putz

Sean Green

Pedro Feliciano

Ron Villone

Brian Stokes

 

The last spot goes to Stokes but I hope the Mets can work out something with the Angels to keep Darren O’Day and let him go to Buffalo. Mat DeSalvo has looked good this early spring but he’s a NRI so he’s have to be real charming to take at spot off the 40 man roster.

 

CATCHER (2)

 

Brian Schneider

Ramon Castro

 

The Pudge to Mets talk is still strong as Rodriguez has looked good in the WBC and has made it no secret he’d love to be a Met. Two things could either happen here. The Mets find someone to take Castro and his $2 mil salary and in turn they sign Pudge or this is the swift kick in his fat lazy ass that Shriek needs desperately

 

INFIELD (6)

 

Carlos Delgado

Luis Castillo

Jose Reyes

David Wright

Alex Cora

Fernando Tatis

 

Tatis is valuable not just for his righty bat but for his swingman status from infield to outfield. Cora will spell both Reyes and Castillo and could become a major payer for the team this season as I get the feeling that J-Man will being giving both Reyes and Wright more days off during July and August.

 

OUTFIELD (6)

 

Daniel Murphy

Carlos Beltran

Ryan Church

Jeremy Reed

Bobby Kielty

 

This will be interesting to watch. J-Man has taken a shine to Kielty and I’ve been a fan of his as well he has that “somethin’ somethin’ that you like in a ball player. The problem here is Marlon Anderson and his contract. Anderson is guaranteed  $1.5 mil for 2009 and pre-Madoff that would be chump change now that Omar is on a strict budget this salary will be tough to swallow as Anderson at that price (or any price to be honest) is untradable

 

   

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JOSE REYES IS “THE MAN”

As sick and tired as I am of the Alex Rodriguez Steroid Family Reunion and all the rehashed stories and the weeping willows who are worried about “The Records” during this scandalous time, I am more worn out about “who is the team to beat” bullshit between the Mets and Quakers. For the Mets, stop saying we are the team to beat because you haven’t done anything that needs beating. To the Phillies, get over your New York envy, no matter how much Extenze you folks ingest you’re still from Philadelphia and we here in NYC live in the greatest city on the planet and mine is bigger than yours. But you have something we don’t and that’s the 2008 World Series Trophy. So what we have is a stalemate. You have no response when I tell you my city is better than your city and I have to clam up when you tell me my team choked. So let’s bury the hatchet Phillie fans but not in each others back.

 

So far Jerry Manuel’ psychological warfare has proven positive as Jose Reyes reacted to vacating the leadoff spot like a professional and an adult and Gimp Castillo says he feels good as new and he worked hard all winter at the Mets Academy in the DR (hopefully not Rodriguez family members were around the compound) and wants to prove to Mets fans that he is worth the dough the Mets are paying him. Ken Davidoff asks the question, “Will you boo Luis Castillo on opening day”? I know I won’t as I’ve said I’m not a boo-er, that’s why I love blogging saves me the exertions of screaming and booing and it’s much cheaper than therapy.

 

Matt Cerrone is in Pt St Lonesome and this morning he was at the local Dunkin’ Dounts when you do you think was behind him in line but none other than Jeffey Skill Set. I guess the Madoff Scandal is worse than we thought, Jeffey slumming in DD’s with the great unwashed” (not you Matt, I know you’re cleaner than the Bd. of Health, you’re at the Double D because you are a man of the people and yes those Waffle sandwiches are to die for)    

 

Ken Davidoff has a Jan Brady complex scenario with the Mets as it pertains to co-existing in this town with the Highlanders. It crossed my mind with all the Alex Rodriguez hula-baloo; imagine if the Mets had signed Manny Ramirez on the day Rodriguez held his presser? The WFAN transmitter would have blown up. I would have typed up a post that would make War and Peace look like a novella. The Mets would have sold so many tickets that could have saved money on their phone bill from calling me asking me to buy a seasons ticket every other day. In other words the Mets would have set this town on fire but like Davidoff said that would be more Marcia than Jan.

 

Bart Hubbuch has pics of the patch that will be on the caps the Mets will wear this season. It’s not the best shot of the patches but from the view Hubbuch gives us it’s about 1,000,000 better than that generic patch on the uni sleeve.

 

Don’t forget tonight is Pro Baseball Central at 9PM EST with our guests Rich Coutinho of 1050 ESPN Radio and Martin Gandy of the Atlanta Braves blog Talking-Chop. You can join in the conversation as well at (646) 595-4462        

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