THE SANDY ALDERSON/METS BLOGGERS CONFERENCE CALL

I was fortunate to be invited to a conference call last night with Sandy Alderson and my fellow Mets bloggers. This is the second cc Alderson has done with bloggers and he seems genuinely happy to talk to us and values our input about the team. As great as it was talking to the Mets GM, the biggest kick for me was reading all the Tweets from other baseball bloggers who were soooooooooooooo jealous that we were granted access to Alderson and reading how they wish the head of the team they root for would give the same courtesy. Imagine that, the same wise ass’ who like to joke and make sarcastic remarks about the Mets, are envious of Mets bloggers.

I’m slowly getting used to the frank and honest way Alderson does business, whereas in the past, I’ve always felt you had to read between the lines to find the truth out of anything coming out of Flushing , but now it seems we’re getting the straight skinny from the Mets GM.

On the release of Castillo and Perez, Alderson said that to some extent fan sentiment was a factor in releasing both players, more so in Castillo’s case as the front office had hoped that Perez could make some kind of contribution. Alderson felt it was only fair that the new regime look at both players first hand instead of relying on hearsay.  

With Emaus winning the 2nd base job, it’s clear his Rule 5 status helped him in winning the job over Justin Turner who had options. Alderson said that Emaus would only make the team as a starting baseman and not a bench player.  Alderson said he was happy that Emaus has come around with the bat and has shown signs of being effective turning the DP.

My question to Alderson was about the fight for the last spot in the bullpen, but first I added a bit of editorializing:

“Between the offseason and spring, it seems that there’s a minority in the fan base and a majority of the mainstream media that likes to dwell on the negative things that go on with the organization. They seem not to want to talk about that the team offensively has been terrific this spring, it seems that batters have been taking to Dave Hudgens’s way of hitting, a lot of walks, a lot of doubles, and the defense has been pretty good, too, maybe very good this spring, but the big thing is the pitching. The pitching has been outstanding this spring and hopefully it will carry over to the season. Now you spoke about the bullpen, and you do have decisions to make. How close is it in that seventh spot? It seems that we kind of figured the first six guys are in that pen, and that last spot, that seventh spot, seems to be the one that’s up in the air. How are you going back and forth on that decision?”

Here is Alderson’ reply:

“That’s a very good question. If you look at the guys who are competing for the last two or three spots. You’ve got a young kid, a Rule 5 pick who is untested, who has improved, we think, greatly since the beginning of camp, at least mechanically, has shown a lot of command, has shown good velocity, and we think has real upside. As compared to somebody like Jason Isringhausen, who is a veteran presence and not only because of what he can do on the mound but how he might influence the rest of that bullpen, is an attraction for us. Then you’ve got a couple of guys, [Blaine] Boyer, Manny Acosta, who are very, very close in terms of overall results, but they get there in different ways. Boyer is basically a ground ball pitcher. Acosta has the livelier fastball and is more of a strikeout guy, maybe a little more command, but occasionally gives up a three-run homer as he did yesterday. So not only is it a close competition, but interestingly, each of those guys represents a very different choice beyond how they perform, and that’s what we’re trying to balance right now is the desire to win, the feel-good story of somebody like Jason Isringhausen, who has also performed well, against the potential of somebody like Pedro Beato, and then the two guys that we brought in. And we haven’t resolve those yet. We just had a meeting today with some of the front office people here with the coaches and Terry Collins and we resolved a few things but the bullpen is still unresolved.”

The problem is Boyer ,who has had a great spring, has an out clause in his contract to become a free agent if he doesn’t make the OD 25 man roster. In a perfect world I believe Alderson would take Izzy north and hope Boyer doesn’t get a ML contract from another team and he signs him to a minor league deal. The odds of that are slim.

There were great  questions  from all who participated and to read the entire transcript check out the post Eric Simon of Amazin’ Avenue   put together in detail of the conference call.

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DEAR MAINSTREAM MEDIA, KISS MY BLUE AND ORANGE ASS!

A little Irish greeting to all the  Mets critics on the eve of St Patrick’s Day

There have been some stories the last few days from the dead media (a/k/a newspapers) about ticket sales at Citi Field for single game tickets not being particularly brisk. These newspapers wasted time and money to send reporters to Citi Field to see if anyone was buying Mets tickets. The reporters were SHOCKED that weren’t lines snaking around 126th street with fans holding fists full of cash clamoring for Mets tickets.

The story in this case was not the dearth of ticket buyers at Citi, instead it should have been WHY would people go to Citi to buy tickets? Back before we were unable to “fire through the internet” going to Shea Stadium for ticket day was a happening for some. People enjoyed sleeping in front of Shea to get tickets while freezing and peeing into bottles just for a shot at opening day, Highlander games and gym bag day, I was never one of that ilk.  Back then I’d rather pay a premium for a ticket while sleeping nice and cozy in my own bed, but to each his own.

Why would anyone schlep to Citi for tickets when you can turn on a computer, pick the game you want and print the ticket yourself (yes the $2.50 fee to use your own printer and your own ink is total bullshit)

There just seems to be a MSM conspiracy to kill the Mets any way they can. There are some who follow the team that really hate their job (I’m looking straight at you Andy Martino) and just really hate the Mets (That would be you Klap) that anything they say or write about the team I ignore.

The Mets don’t do enough to fight the perception that they are inept in all facets of the baseball business but most media and general baseball fans that belittle the Mets are out and out assholes. I put them in the same category of people who now participate in the new sport of bashing union workers especially government workers because they think our medical and pension benefits are bankrupting the country. We union workers wish we were living as well as you think we are, the folks who are raping this country’s economy run the financial intuitions that most of our critics work in. But I digress.

Our Mets are far from perfect but we are not a disaster the club is portrayed as.  Yes the owner has fucked up something awful and the financial where with all that the club has enjoyed for years is gone but I bet if the Skill Sets put the For Sale sign up at Citi Field then you’d really see a line forming around Citi Field.

This will all come to a head soon as the Skill Sets will either survive paying off the Madoff trust with either enough dough to keep the Mets or they will get cleaned out where they have to sell the club, SNY and Citi Field to pay off the lawsuit but you what it doesn’t matter to us we’re “Webees” We be here when the Skill Sets got here and We be here when they’re gone.  Mets fans are the one constant in Flushing. As have been and always will.

If it’s the Skill Sets who keep the team or a new owner for the club, there needs to be a plan to fight the negative perception that follows the organization. Does anyone in the Mets front office get pissed off as the fans do? I hope with the new front office this would change because it really bugs the shit out me that the Mets fans, bloggers and Tweeters are the only ones with the guts to fight this perception.

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