Bye Bye Bay-by, Bay-by Good Bye !

So Mets fans are you happy now? We all wanted to be rid of Jason Bay and his unproductive bat and Debbie Downer body language and the Mets have granted us that request. The club sat down with Bay and worked out a deal where Bay gets the full $21 mil he’s owed on his contract. It looks like the club and Bay have structured a deal where some of the $21 mil is deferred, how much that helps the team this off season remains to be seen.

I think by now it’s clear that Sandy Alderson does not deal in emotions when it comes to this team.  We saw it last off season when after approaching  Jose Reyes’ agent during the season to talk contract extension and was told that Reyes would rather test the free agent waters. When the season was over Reyes’ handlers wanted the Mets to make an offer and were told by Alderson that he was not about to set the market price and it would be in Reyes’ best interest to get an offer and get back to him. They did with the only offer out there from the Marlins of 6 years and $106 mil, to which Alderson said, “enjoy South Beach”. It was the right move.

As we have seen with Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez and D.J. Carrasco, Alderson has no problem approaching the Skill Sets with the recommendation of eating salary. Even with all the red ink flooding Citi Field, the move was still made to eat Bay’s remaining contract however it is structured is a positive move.

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The Dog Days Of July ?

 

Remember back about a month ago when the Mets were proving the critics wrong by playing hard nose balls to the wall baseball that translated into winning games and had the beaten down fan base thinking of crisp cool evenings in October at Citi Field ? What happen?
It’s hard to pinpoint but this Mets team that looked to be tougher and more resilient that in the past has lost its mojo. Or has it? Are the Mets like water and have found their level?
The level of frustration with the Mets is not just relegated to the fan base. The more I see Ron Darling on SNY the more frustration with this team I see. Keith Hernandez is almost there but Darling, he’s arrived. It started with watching the Mets relievers just kill the enthusiasm of the season with poor performance and poor performance. It intensified when Andres Torres with a chance to pay back Roger Bernadina for spiking Ruben Tejada bailed out, a play Darling called Torres out on and a few days later was still pissed about the nonpayment by Torres.
My frustration is with Terry Collins and his nightly “we have to give Jason Bay at bats to get him going” Terry, Please stop! My leg is full of piss! I don’t know whose call it is that Bay stays in the lineup, but someone in authority has to say stop already, and I’ll tell you this, Bay has not gotten anything close to venom spewed on Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez by the Mets fan base. What he gets booed? Big deal! Yes, I know Bay is a swell guy and is loved by all who meet him, and I’m not advocating the fan base go all asshole on him but I’m just pointing out the criticism of Bay is tame to what other non-performers in Flushing have endured.
Ike Davis knocks three baseballs out of the park and the Mets still loses. I’m speechless!

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Heave-Ho!! Three In A Row

3-0 is wonderful but I’m not ready to get jiggy with it just yet.  Put aside that the last three days were the best we’ve seen in Flushing in a while there were some subtle changes that I saw with this Mets team the first three games of 2012 that could make this season better than most of us thought.

When Kirk Nieuwenhuis made his Major League debut on Saturday, the Mets fielded a starting nine that was composed of seven home grown players. The only two “outsiders” were Jason Bay (who was a homegrown put once removed so I won’t count him here) and Robert Allen Dickey (a review of his outstanding book will be posted here soon) everyone else were born and raised, New York Mets.

Think back Mets fans to years of when there weren’t any “growing up Mets” in the everyday lineup, just a bunch of mercenary’s who came to Flushing for the Maddoff greenbacks. Winning? Who cares about winning just make sure that big seven figure check is in my hands the 15th and 30th of the month. It was that way of building a team that resulted in losing ways and the fan base having a hard time rooting for the Mets. Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez were as hated as any Mets player not named Vince Coleman, Bobby Bonilia or Richie Hebner. Carlos Beltran, one of the best players to ever wear a Mets uniform, was never embraced by the fan base, some still held a grudge that he contacted the Bronx Bastards before signing a Mets contract on the bottom line and others just never cottoned to the right fielder because he made his bones in Kansas City and Houston. He wasn’t an authentic Met.

You’ve seen how many Mets fans were upset over Jose Reyes leaving the Mets to join the Fish and their Commie-loving manager Ozzie “Little El Jefe” Guillen, as the crying was over the Reyes being a Met his whole baseball life.  That’s why this 2012 Mets team is the kind of team we’ve always wanted, players who have come up the minor leagues ranks together, a team that truly likes one and other and is cohesive bunch with an all for one, one for all mindset.

I know there are some who feel the word “chemistry” is not just over used but meaningless when it comes to sports teams, and I totally disagree with that mindset. The fact that the majority of this Mets team has rode buses together, shared some really bad fast food at all hours of the night and grew up in the system is not something to discard. Think of how it felt to be Kirk Nieuwenhuis, you’re called up to the big leagues, your dream come true and sure your nervous but when you walk into the clubhouse there are so many familiar faces, guys who’ve played with in the minors who you know and trust will make your transition from prospect to big leaguer so much smoother than if there were a bunch of grizzled red ass vets (ask Gregg Jefferies or Lastings Milledge what that was like) who see you as a threat to their jobs.

It’s why this Mets team will be one of the easiest Mets teams to root for in awhile. Of course we know as great as a 3-0 record is, they could drop 2 of the nest three or 4 of the next 6, but watching this team play these three games and how they interact together as a team, the bad stretches that every team goes through in a grueling 162 season may not be as catastrophic as in years past, because these Mets have each other’s backs.

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TRADE DAVID WRIGHT? IT’S NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION

The word that David Wright was put on waivers and claimed by the Colorado Rockies is no big deal. For now.

Every team puts its players on waivers and when they are claimed either work out a deal or pull them back. Wright was pulled back but that doesn’t mean that Sandy Alderson won’t call Dan O’Dowd during the off season to talk trade.

Why not? Look, we all love D-Wright and this is no indictment on Wright but this team has some huge holes, pitching and defense to name two in general and these deficiencies  have to be address this off season or August/September 2012 will be a mirror image of August/September 2011.

The difference between the second half of this season as opposed to the last two seasons is this team still plays to win unlike the last two Mets teams of 2009 and 2010 and that is a compliment to the manager who deserves to have his 2013 option guaranteed after the season.

Sandy Alderson and his staff have a lot of work to do this off season with re-signing Jose Reyes a top priority. As we see, this is a much different team without Reyes not just his bat and defense but his personality as well ignites this team.

Alderson has no allegiance to any of the players on this roster but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know that Reyes and Wright are fan favorites same as he knew the venom the fan base spewed at Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, which is why he will try very hard to sign Jose Reyes and I’m sure he doesn’t want to deal off Wright but he knows it’s his job to make this team better and if dealing Wright makes the team better then he’ll trade him.

This off season will be about acquiring pitching, pitching and more pitching as well as finding players who can play defense. You can be feisty and hustle and play balls to the wall baseball but if you can’t pitch or defend then you are a second division team and if dealing David Wright brings back some pitching I can see Alderson pulling the trigger.

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TONIGHT AT CITI FIELD IT’S “DON’T TRADE REYES” NIGHT

When I was first notified of this event I thought it was stupid. Why? Because it’s pretty obvious that Mets fans don’t want Reyes going anywhere and I don’t think Sandy Alderson wants him to go anywhere and no matter how much you stomp your feet and scream that won’t put funds in the in Mets empty coffers.

But my view of this event has changed and I now feel this is a great time an opportunity for Mets fans to show the new minority owner that Reyes (and David Wright) needs to be A Met 4 Life.  Frankly I would love to protest the keeping of Reyes by having a mass walkout of Citi Field during the bottom of the 5th inning of a game, just to show the Skill Sets and Minority Einhorn, what the ball park will look like next year without our beloved shortstop.

I know I’m putting too much faith in Minority Einhorn to stepped up and kick some Wilpon ass but I have to believe the Stealth Bomber GM (Sandy Alderson) will have a big say in this as well.  Alderson chucked Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo not only because they sucked but he felt negative fan sentiment was so strong, it was the right thing to do. Now with that same Mets fan passion in a positive way, Alderson seems to have gotten the message that he needs to be as creative as possible in keeping Reyes a Met. If he doesn’t then the message will be sent to the Mets fan base, WE DON”T WANT YOU EITHER!

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DON’T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY

Don’t sleep in the subway, darling

Don’t stand in the pouring rain
Don’t sleep in the subway, darling
The night is long
Forget your foolish pride
Nothing is wrong
Now, you’re beside me again

So here we are arriving yet again for another Subway Series that has surpassed his expiration date a while ago.  As Mets fans, we have to endure anther three days of watching Luis Castillo drop a pop up and Rogers Clemens take off Mike Piazza’ head because we live in a city where the main stream media, both print and electronic have thrown in the towel on creativity and substance.

In reading some of these stories this morning about both teams you’d think the Highlanders were having some kind of special season, maybe they are in a negative kind of way. The Mets on the other hand are mocked because they have suffered a series of injuries that have forced the club to go with players summoned from their Triple A team in Buffalo. Why this is supposed to be embarrassing is beyond my comprehension, shouldn’t it be a positive that the club has lost Johan Santana and then Chris Young to shoulder surgery, Ike Davis to a sprained ankle, David Wright to a stress fracture in his back, Pedro Beato to tendonitis, and Angel Pagan to the chic aliment of sore oblique muscle and still play winning baseball (17-11) after a horrendous start of the season?  So the players that have been brought in to replace the injured have stepped up in such a way that the team is playing as good as any team in baseball. Isn’t the mark of a good team that they have guys who step up when other guys go down with injury?   

It’s ok to say that Terry Collins is doing a fine job as manager. It’s ok to say that slowly but surely Sandy Alderson is changing the culture of the organization. It’s ok to go to Citi Field and root for this team.

Are there any Mets fans who feel the Highlanders are “rivals” to the Mets? Because they’re not. The Highlanders are more of a nuisance than anything and their fans a very good source of comedy relief. Yesterday after the Mets win, I left the radio when the Sports Bloviator came on. I was in the midst of writing up a bunch of paper work so I left him on. Boy, am I glad I did. When he went to the phones, he took calls from Highlander fans in a rage over Joe Girardi taking out Bartolo Colon and replacing him with Mariano Rivera.  I cannot believe I just typed that last sentence and Francesa couldn’t believe these callers were saying these words of blasphemy.  

It’s the same attitude many Highlander fans have with Derek Jeter. Mets fans have a higher regard for Frank Taveras than the Highlander fan has for El Capitan. Why? Beats me, some things just can’t be explained.

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IN THE METS CLUBHOUSE IT’S ALL PRESENT ARE NOW ACCOUNTABLE

It’s nice that the teammates Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez have left behind in the Mets clubhouse have nothing but high praise and fond memories of their released comrades but as has happened in the Mets clubhouse over the last few years, the big picture is out of focus, it is no longer business as usual as the new front office has made it known accountability is back in Flushing.

Maybe that’s why Jose Reyes is a bit stunned by the event of the past few days. He’s never seen anything like it before in his 8 years as a Met. There has never been accountability in the clubhouse, the former GM and managers made excuses the way parents do for their delinquent kids. Thankfully those days are over. Last year the Mets put up a sign in the clubhouse proclaiming Prevention and Recovery in dealing with injuries, this year’s motto should be “Produce or Get Cut Loose”

Enough of the negativity here are some positive vibes as we stand one week away from opening day 2011:

The Mets pitching staff overall has been terrific this spring, pitching to a 3.87 ERA (good for 5th best in the NL) It helps that the defense has been tight, committing just 22 errors.

As a team,  the Mets have hit at a .267 clip, drilling 53 doubles and more importantly 83 walks good for 3rd most in the NL.

Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy lead the team in Rib-Eye Steaks with 10 apiece

Scott Hairston is hitting a blistering .425/.500/.725

When Chin-Lung Hu was obtained from the Dodgers he was known as great glove shaky bat but so far this spring he’s gotten 10 hits in 34 AB’s of the 10 hits 3 were doubles plus he stolen 2 bases.

Chris Young and Chris Capuano have been more than effective this spring. Young has thrown 20.1 innings with a 1.33 ERA and a miniscule 0.89 WHIP. Capuano has pitched 10.2 innings with a tidy 1.03 WHIP and just two walks.  

Last night I was a guest on the Who’s On First: The Seamheads . Com Radio Hour for a panel discussion to make our picks for division winners, wild card, pennant and World Series winners along with league MVP’s and Cy Young Award winners. It’s would be well worth your while to check out the podcast as there were some real out on a limb picks by the panel with great  analysis to back them up.

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HEY METS FANS, IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO STOP ALL OF YOUR SOBBING

The best part of the early morning release of Oliver Perez is not just the fact that the ineffective pitcher is mercifully gone but what has to have the Mets fan base giddy on this rainy cold morning is Sandy Alderson is running the baseball operations of the NY Mets. He is the man calling the shots; he put Baby Jeffy in the corner.

For all the gloom and doom financial news about the Skill Sets, the head baseball man in charge went to them and said time to eat $18 mil in contract, and all the Skill Sets could do is stand at attention and say “Sir, yes sir” You can debate that this should have been done before spring training or earlier but the bottom line is the Faces of Failure of the Minaya regime are gone.

With the Phuck Phaces signing Luis Castillo to a minor league deal as insurance in case Chase Utley will not make it to opening day and beyond tells me the Phuck Phace’s may not be the lead pipe cinch to win the NL Pennant most thought they were this winter.

Adam Rubin has a great Ollie Perez retrospective. It wasn’t  always days of suckitude with OP but his Mets career did end badly for all sides.

The feel good story of spring, the return of Izzy, has his a bump as Isringhausen is taking anti-inflamitories  for his surgically repaired elbow

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THERE WAS NO ULTERIOR MOTIVE IN THE RELEASE OF LUIS CASTILLO

I’ve been away from the laptop most of the weekend as my wife and I took off to Atlantic City for the weekend to celebrate our 25th Anniversary.  Before our kids were born, we would venture to AC quite often , we’d see a show, do some gambling, have a few cocktails and have quite a good time.

When our kids were born, that put a end to our weekend getaways alone and going out drinking ( my wife of course couldn’t drink while she was pregnant so when we’d go out during those nine months I felt guilty having a drink while she sipped ginger ale so I joined her in having a soft drink with dinner. Funny thing is after our son was born, neither one of us wanted to drink anymore, one more thing to thank my kids for) after our kids were born we traded trips to AC and Vegas for jaunts to Sesame Place and Disney World after spending our first weekend in AC in seventeen years, we had a great time (after 25 years of marriage we still love each other’s company )but I’ll tell you this, it’s amazing how you change when you have kids, we miss Sesame Place more than we miss Atlantic City.

On the way down the Garden State Parkway, I heard the news that Luis Castillo was released by the Mets, no shocker there. What was surprising was Sandy Alderson citing among other reasons for Castillo’s release, the fact that the fans detested him. Not that Alderson was wrong in that easement; it was just something I didn’t think I’d here from the GM.

Why did Mets fans root for the day that Castillo (and shortly, like tomorrow, the release of Oliver Perez)  would be an ex-Met? Because the feeling amongst the majority was LC was here due to the $6mil owed him on his contract. Alderson stated that contract status would not be what keeps a player on this Mets team, and he should be applauded for sticking to that promise. Mets fans also see that Castillo is nowhere close to the player who helped the Marlins win a World Series, he’s 34 years old, with sore feet and achy knees that have hampered his range in the field and has led him to become a hitting into the “6-4-3 DP” machine. His days as an everyday player are over. Even if the Mets kept him and played him at 2nd base everyday to start the season, he’d be broken down by Memorial Day. It’s sad that age and history have caught up to Castillo that led to his demise and it also didn’t help that he has had a hard time coping with that reality.

Did the fact that Castillo is a Latino have anything to do with the fans wishing him gone? Perhaps. I’m sure there are some Mets fans that held his ethnicity against him but I would hope that they are in the minority. The Mets beat writer for the NY Daily News has this strange obsession with race and the Mets. Early in spring training he wrote about the lack of minorities on the Mets coaching staff. Then he tried to portray adding Mookie Wilson to the staff as a token gesture. All that did was solidify my thinking that the writer is a talentless hack, lacking knowledge of Mets history and Mets fans as Mookie Wilson is one of the most popular Mets of all time.

See the race card is like a fire alarm, use it too many times in situation where it’s not warranted, it acts like a false alarm, and people never know when it’s the real thing. The Daily News beat man has been irresponsible in his reporting and on Twitter when it comes to the Mets  and comes off as a guy who hates his job, which is for him to deal with just don’t drag Mets fans into your world of despair.

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SLOPPY SECONDS

No sports team in NYC has the amount of drama than the NY Mets.  Every statement or move made by the team is dissected and debated and met with skepticism. A simple report stating that shoulder surgery outpatient John Santana, has a bit of discomfort in his repaired shoulder is met with fans crying about the new front office covering up the severity of the pitchers injury and not being up front about his recovery. WHEW!!! And this is only March!!!! Hopefully this is just a symptom of the dog days of spring training as we near the two week mark to opening day when the real fun around here will start.

So with the Santana news subsiding a bit, another controversial story grabbed Mets fans by their blue and orange collar (this is why a day off in spring training is bad thing in St Lonesome) as the NY Post reports that Terry Collins will name Luis Hernandez the Mets opening day 2nd baseman.

This report has been met with a collective head scratching by the fan base as the move to Hernandez really makes no sense except when you really think about it, the message being sent is the Mets have no second baseman.

While Hernandez is a fine glove man he possesses none of the characteristics of an Alderson player by getting on base via walks or having some power, so his being ordained the 2nd baseman is hard to swallow.

Daniel Murphy, works his ass off trying to play whatever position he’s asked to by the organization. Unfortunately, that hard work on defense has not translated into Murph being a very good 2nd baseman. Murph will make the team as a super sub/lefty bat off the bench.

Justin Turner has the Scarlet letter “O” planted on him the “O” standing for options to the minors. Turner  and Brad Emaus fit the mold of the player this front offices fancies solid on base numbers, pop in the bat as well and ready and able to field the position.

That leaves Luis Castillo last and least as the second sack option.  As much as Castillo has hit very well this spring, the manager is fed up with his piss poor attitude in the clubhouse. Instead of sulking like the overpaid has been that he is, if Castillo embraced the competition at the position and fought for his job, most likely it would have been his but at this point in his Mets career he has earned the right to be known as an ex-Met.

Who knows maybe the opening day  2nd baseman isn’t even in Mets camp ?

My guess is Brad Emaus gets the opening day job with Murphy playing when fly ball pitcher takes the mound. Justin Turner gets optioned to Buffalo, Luis Hernandez goes on waivers and does not get claimed and is signed by Mets to minor league deal. Castillo gets his $6 mil severance pay and sits on his front porch sulking when the mail man is late with the check.

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