Sandy Alderson Finally Makes Some Moves, But Are They The Right Moves ?

 

That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more…..

                                                                                      Popeye

 

You could also hear that quote coming from the Mets GM ‘s suite at Citi Field yesterday as  Sandy Alderson finally made some moves to  at least shake up a team that seems content with losing.  Ike Davis, Mike Baxter and Robert Carson head to Vegas and Rick Ankiel heads to wherever it is baseball players who can’t play baseball anymore go. To say it’s about time is an understatement, to say what took you so long is more precise.

The move to send Davis to Vegas is about a month too late. The only thing that saved Davis from a trip to Sin City was his rebound second half of last year. Alderson and his staff were waiting for the resurrection of Ike to happen like last year but after a while there comes a time the organization goes from believers to doubting Thomas’ and now it’s up to George Greer, the Mets Vegas hitting coach and manager Wally Backman, to work on getting Ike right at the plate and maybe also in the head.

Davis seems to be another Met who may be suffering from a sense of entitlement. It’s something you hear from folks who are around the club that one of the biggest problems with the team and through the organization is this sense of privilege that players who have not earned the right to put on airs are the ones with their noses up and pinky’s out.  This was a problem with the Minaya regime and it seems it’s still a problem under Alderson. Yesterday’s game would have been a great time to send a message that stupidity and carelessness will no longer be tolerated.

In the bottom of the first inning with two outs, and Daniel Murphy at the plate, Jordany Valdespin, I guess not realizing that he was (a) in scoring position already and (b) there were two outs, decides to take off for 3rd base, of course he was thrown out. It’s a stupid play if a 10 year old does and it’s infuriating when a so called big leaguer does it. So at that point I’m thinking as was Ron Darling during the SNY telecast, here is the perfect spot for Terry Collins to declare no more. No more tolerance of stupidity, time to make an example out of Valdespin and remove him from the game. Tell him take a shower ,watch tv,  eat a sandwich I don’t give a rats ass what you do up just get the fuck out of my sight. But no that’s not what happened. Collins did give JV1 a talking to but left him in the game. If this were the minor leagues I would say letting Valedespin get an earful would be fine but this is Major League Baseball where you are supposed to be ready to play at the highest level there is of the game.  Add in that your team has lost 5 of its last 6 games and your last loss was a 20 inning disaster where you went 0 for 19 with RISP  and you have lost 8 of 11 games to the Marlins, a team that is 10-41 when not playing the Mets, a benching of Vladespin was more than justified.

So after another hopeless performance by his team, Alderson made his moves but who would he bring up? Josh Satin, Collin Cowgill and Josh Edgin are now officially New York Mets. What? You’re underwhelmed? Well you should be.

While the critics wail away at Alderson and his staff for not signing free agents (since he is the GM and not the Owner he can only spend what the owner allows him too) and for not trading for top flight major league talent which is hard to do when the rest of baseball knows you are desperate for major league talent and ask for the few precious talented prospects you have in return. It’s not Alderson’s fault that he is fresh out of Beltran’s and Dickey’s to deal for prospects. But why let the facts get in the way of fan stupidity.

Now I’m not saying that Alderson hadn’t made mistakes sure he has, two years in a row the Mets front office has failed to build an efficient bullpen, in fact if the front office just put together a league average bullpen the Mets would be in better shape than they are today. The front office has also failed at finding that diamond in the rough that Alderson’s protégé , Billy Beane has done very successfully in Oakland.   

Of the call ups the Mets have made, I would have been much more enthused if the names would have been Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler and Jack Leatherstrich.

It would be nice to see Flores play 2B and have Daniel Murphy move over to 1st base in Ike’s absence since the Mets feel if they move Lucas Duda to 1st base and then back to left field when Ike returns that Duda would need to visit Dr. Sidney Friedman to help gets his head together.

I’m so tired of hearing that Wheeler is ready, Wheeler is coming, Wheeler, Wheeler , Wheeler…..BRING HIM UP ALREADY!!!!!! The indecision of this organization annoys the living shit out of me sometimes. Make a god damn decision tell Jeremy Hefner it’s not you it’s us and move him to the pen and go with a rotation of Niese, Harvey, Marcum, Wheeler, Gee. You not only bolster the starting rotation but you add a bullpen arm that can give you multiple innings.

Jack “LeatherRocket” Leathersich is a lefty reliever who has striking out hitters at the AA level at a rate of 17 per 9 innings. Why not take a shot and bring this young man up to see what he can do a big league level. I doubt he will be as bad as Robert Carson .

Sometimes this organization is too cautious; instead of being bold and putting the youngsters in a challenging spot.  Let’s see who can swim at the deep end of the pool.   

    

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The NY Mets Search For The Diamond In The Rough

I had quite a busy Mets day yesterday as I resurrected my podcast with the help of Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal and then calling in as guest to the Rising Apple podcast.  In between podcasts, I was fortunate enough to have been invited to a Mets Bloggers conference call with Mets GM Sandy Alderson.

Alderson has been gracious with his time to members of the Mets blogging community and has shown us great respect in regards to our questions and views pertaining to the New York Mets. Alderson has stated to us a couple of occasions how he enjoys the passion we have for the team and time and effort we put in to write and talk about the Mets.  When the Mets and Alderson first started to have these blogger calls the session lasted about 25-40 minutes, last night Alderson stayed on the line with us for about an hour. Name me another team or GM who does that? There aren’t any. As you can see from the transcript, (a great big tip of the Mets cap to Eric Simon and Chris McShane of Amazin Avenue for putting together a transcript of the conference call and while you’re at AA check out Chris’ column on Paul DePodesta and how the team has turned around the player development side of the organization, it’s a great read)

When my turn to speak to Alderson came up, I asked him about the turnover in the roster this past off season and the similarities in the position players he has added.   The players I looked at, Collin Cowgill, Andrew Brown, Brandon Hicks and Jamie Hoffman all poses good walk rates and isolated power percentages. They also have in common the distinction of coming from solid organizations (Cowgill came up through the Oakland A’s system, Brown the Cardinals, Hicks the Braves, Hoffman the Dodgers) when it comes to teaching proper fundamentals in the lower levels of their farm systems. This group also plays the game aggressively as well, on the base paths and on defense.   Here is the Mets GM’s reply to my question:

Well you listed off a lot of positive qualities. And to the extent that the players you mentioned are aggressive defensively, aggressive on the bases, command the strike zone, have some power, can run the bases a little bit. Yes, I would say that these are the kinds of players that we would like to have. Offense plays. You can be a great defender, if you can’t hit you probably can’t play anywhere. I’m not talking about the Mets exclusively. And also, it is possible that there are players that just don’t get an opportunity in certain organizations because they may be deeper at certain positions than they are at others. The minor league free agent market, or the fringe 25 man roster guy, playing for a club with a strong roster, given the opportunity may turn into something valuable. Mike Baxter is another example of this from previous years. Not that Mike has great power, but he’s a very valuable piece and part of the team. There’s no question that we value on base percentage, walk rates, isolated power is important, but as we’ve emphasized with a number of guys here in camp on base percentage, command of the strike zone is important. And look, it’s important on offense, it’s important on the pitching side. If you don’t walk anybody and keep the ball in the ballpark you can win games. Today was a good example of what can happen when you walk seven and give up a number of home runs. The same thing happened yesterday- we out hit the Marlins yesterday 9-5. They beat us because they had 14 total bases on 5 hits and we had, I think, 9 on 9 hits. So right, I think that these are the kinds of players were looking for, that we think can make a contribution at the major league level, and we’re going to find out given some opportunity here in the spring what we have. And, of course, we should have most of them going into the season and so we’ll get a chance to look at them again. You have to look for players wherever you can find them, particularly when you’re weak in that area in your own system.

The players I mentioned are very good complimentary pieces that you need to have on a winning team and as Alderson stated and as we’ve seen firsthand, the skill sets that the players I mention have, are lacking in the organization and as we see Alderson and his baseball ops guys went out looking for this prototype player from different organizations. I think it is also very telling the organization they signed these players from, teams who have rock solid foundation in teaching the right way to play in their minor league systems.

 

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Time To Play Mets Wheel of Bullpen Fortune

 

While Mets fandom awaits a decision on whether Michael Bourn will be patrolling centerfield of Citi Field, leading off and becoming the catalyst for the Mets offense, we also await the official announcement of Brandon Lyon becoming a Met and another contestant on Wheel of Mets Bullpen.

Counting Lyons, I’m looking at 11 candidates for 6 or maybe 7 spots in the Mets pen, a bullpen that I feel was the biggest reason for the second half collapse the Mets found them in last season. When you have a relief core that allows close to 32 % of inherited runners to touch home plate and also finds themselves in 55 save opportunities and blowing 19 of those precious assignments, will break the spirit of even the most strong willed teams so when you have a team like the Mets that doesn’t exactly ooze self-esteem and pluck, the ineffective pen was more a kick in the gut than uplifting last season. Sandy Alderson realizes this as well and has gone out this offseason to assemble relievers to come to Port St. Lonesome to engage in a big time completion to come North and become a strength for the Mets instead of last year’s failure.

Building a bullpen can be a bit of a crapshoot and last year one of the players Alderson went out on a limb on was closer Frank Francisco, signing the volatile reliever for 2yrs/$12mil, a signing I’m sure the Mets GM would love to take back . Between nagging injuries and ineffectiveness it was a lost season for Francisco. Although Francisco did save 23 games in 26 opportunities, when he entered games with runners on base his percentage of inherited runners left on base was a woeful 67.2 % and he’d shoot himself in the foot many time with walks as well.

With the imminent signing of Brandon Lyons, the back end of the Mets pen should be improved over last year (in the words of Sandy Alderson when asked about whether the pen will be better in 2013 said “how could it be worse?”)  And what we will see in the camp is a good old fashion open completion for not just bullpen spots but for the very important back end of the pen spots.  So looking at the very early morning line let’s see who could or should emerge as the core of the Mets bullpen in 2013.

The guys I look for to make the move to be the 7th inning, 8th inning and closer are Francisco, Bobby Parnell, Brandon Lyon, Josh Edgin, and Scott Atchison.  All five look to be Mets for 2013 but who of these 5 will step up to grab the closers job? I don’t see Bobby Parnell getting the job as he is much more effective in innings 6 thru 8 and last year he started to lose a little bit of velocity on his fastball and he has tried to make his curve to be more effective. Edgin has been on a fast track to the big leagues on the strength of using a hard fastball and effective slider that helped the stout lefty rack up K’s at a 10.53 per 9 IP.  Scott Atchinson may be the find of the off season. He was the one bright spot in the train wreck that was the 2012 Boston Red Sox. Atchinson relies on a solid cutter that he has under great command and last season he stranded 85 % of the runners on base that he inherited which is why I can’t wait to see him pitch this spring. Brandon Lyon could be the guy that takes on Frank Frank for the coveted closers role. The Mets will be banking on getting Lyon back to his effective D’Backs and Tigers days to solidify the back end of the pen and hope that the blown saves and late inning bullpen meltdowns are a thing of the past.

Jureys Familia and Jenry Mejia are two wildcards in the bullpen completion. Should either or both work as relievers or starters? There are varied opinions on the direction of both pitchers and it could boil down to how each are used this spring and if either pitchers shows more at one spot than the other. I could see Familia sticking as reliever more than Mejia who has a starter’s mentality and is also at a point in his career that the Mets love to find pitchers at, second year after Tommy John surgery.

LaTroy Hawkins comes to camp as a guy whose has seen a lot of big league baseball and could be more of an asset as a sounding board for the younger relievers that his work on the mound. Hawkins looks to be a 6th inning guy or a guy to give a break to an overused reliever that is if it makes the team.

It’s Robert Carson’ job to lose as the LOOGY especially with Pedro Feliciano back from rotator cuff surgery (2nd year after surgery seems to be the Mets pattern of obtaining pitching) and Tim Byrdak back in a minor league deal off of last season’s shoulder surgery.

So if I had to put out an early projection of the Mets bullpen I’d rank thusly:

CL Francisco/Lyon

SU Parnell

SU Edgin

SU Atchison

RP Carson

RP Familia/Hawkins

Whoever is not named closer moves to set up role and to tell you the truth; the Mets have the makings of a pretty decent bullpen. Hopefully between Terry Collins, Dan Warthen and Ricky Bones can work this pen correctly unlike last season when there was a communication breakdown between the relievers and the Manager and Pitching Coach. That’s a post for another day.

 

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Sandy Sez

Mets GM Sandy Alderson was on with Mike Francesa yesterday to answer some questions about where the 2013 Mets currently stand. The team stands in the same spot as it stood since the R.A. Dickey deal, stalled. The picture Alderson gave of this upcoming Mets team was not very rosy but seriously what did you expect?  Some of you in the fan base love having smoke blown up your ass, all you want to hear is positives and unfortunately for you the GM is not the smoke blowin’ type. Others are shocked; SHOCKED when the Alderson is candid and tells you the truth, that the outfield is not one he wants to put on the field and that he is having a hard time constructing a bullpen that doesn’t contend for the worst in baseball. He also is on the level when he tells you there isn’t much out there in either trade or free agency that would make a whole helluva lot of difference so why just spend precious Skill Sets Bucks to prove that he has precious Sill Sets Bucks to spend.

Let’s look at some of the highlights from Alderson’ call with ’ ZAUN:

On what his ball club looks like right now and how he’ll improve it going forward Alderson said:

Well I’d say right now it’s an incomplete. But there’s still time in the semester, to give an educational metaphor. We’ve been watching the market, we know what’s available, we’ve known what’s available. We reconvene and review periodically, meaning every couple of days. There are a number of things that we’re currently involved in pursuing. But we’re hopeful we’ll have some additions before spring training starts, and I expect that we will have some additions, but at this point to say we’ve been patient is probably an understatement but that’s what we’ve been.

I get the idea that Alderson would have loved to have made further renovations to this roster but the over value of many of this year’s uninspiring free agent class and unreasonable trade options have hinder that plan.  Would Alderson like to trade for Justin Upton? Sure. Would he deal away Zack Wheeler for him? Hell no. Would he like to bring in a veteran outfielder? Of course. But  would he go 3years/$39mil (Shane Victorino to the Red Sox) or even 3 years/$26 mil (Cody Ross to the D’Backs) ? Nope, and if he did you know you’d scream holy hell.

On Travis d’Arnaud making the club’s opening day roster:

Yeah, I think it would be unfair given his situation, the level of his development to say, look, he can’t make the team out of spring training, but we had a somewhat open situation with Matt Harvey last year, too, and he had a fairly good spring training, and yet he opened the season at the minor league level. I just don’t want to rule anything out. At the same time, I don’t want to create false expectations on the part of our fans or any sense of pressure on Travis himself. But look, he hasn’t played since last June, he was out all the second half of last season with the knee injury. He would have been in the big leagues last year had he not been injured. Had he not been injured and played last year, I doubt he would have been available to us in a trade. So you take the good with the bad. But as far as Opening Day is concerned, he could be with us, but we do have a very capable veteran in John Buck as well.      

Ok now Alderson is blowing smoke up your ass. d’Arnaud only breaks camp with the team if Buck gets hurt, otherwise his arbitrational clock is more important than early season big league at bats. Last season’s knee injury and lack of playing in the second half of last season will come in handy to justify this decision.

The next topic to come up from ‘ZAUN was the outfield:

Well, the outfield is not a strength at this point, there’s no question about that. There’s a need for an upgrade at almost every one of those positions. Some of it could come internally. We may see Lucas Duda substantially improve defensively and offensively.

Or we may not see Lucas Duda substantially improve defensively and offensively. Duda is a liability in the outfield and would be a perfect DH if he could…you…know….HIT! Is it me or does Duda also strike you as a guy you makes playing baseball a chore?

Alderson then laid out what the outfield could look like on opening day:

We’re looking at him(Duda) in left. Center field right now is probably [Kirk] Nieuwenhuis and a player we obtained from the A’s, Colin Cowgill, who I think will be an interesting player to watch in spring training.

Ah yes Colin Cowgill. I too am interested in seeing Cowgill play as he looks to be the player that Mets have been waiting for the Alderson regime to bring in, the under the radar AAA to AAAA player who gets a chance to play regularly and makes an a strong contribution.  From looking at Cowgill’s minor league numbers he’s shown the ability to get on base, to steal a base and not get caught hit with a bit of power and his defense is a major plus and he bats right handed. Cowgill is an upgrade over Scott Hairstion and speaking of Scott Hairstion he is the exchange between ‘Zaun (‘Zaun is a play on the name of Francesa’s show Mike’s On but when the singers of his theme song make it sound like “MIKE ZAUN”) and Alderson:

 Francesa: You expect to have a Hairston back or another player in the mix before the season starts?

Alderson: Oh, we’re working on it. Yeah. And I think there’s been speculation about Scott. I think that…

Francesa: That he asked for too much money…

Alderson: You know, money’s always an issue and I wouldn’t deny that, but it’s also a question of playing time and he wants to play — we understand that — and one of the things that exists for us right now, the dynamic is, that in order for us to sign Scott we want to be able to commit a certain amount of playing time. This is where you balance two or three things going on at the same time. If one or two other things were to happen, it might affect his playing time. So it’s not just about the money, it’s also about playing time and what we can readily commit to Scott.

Francesa: You want to see what you can pull off before you commit to him?

Alderson: [Pause] … Uhh, yeah.

Francesa: Okay, that’s fair. I think that’s fair. I mean, it is fair. I mean, so it’s not a case of it just being a price, it’s also a situation of a couple other things actually can still happen or not.

Alderson: Yeah, absolutely.       

Trying to read between the lines here, it seems Alderson is waiting and hoping that some GM out there (Kevin Towers) panics and will trade from an over stocked outfield for some fringe prospects.   It goes back to the Upton talk I think Alderson believes he still has a shot at Upton and at his price but it’s going to take some more time and some more patience’s to pull it off. Even if it’s not Upton he gets it, seems before he commits those precious Skill Sets Bucks to Hairston, he leaves no options uncovered. No one is giving Scott Hairston 2ys/$8mil.

Alderson goes on in the rest of the interview to talk about how he sees both Johan Santana and Dillon Gee bouncing back from injury, how he hopes the younger bullpen arms he has will make an impact, how he has an eye on 2014 but his ‘dominant eye” is on 2013, and how he’s not happy with the way the Mets have finished that lase few seasons.

Big tip of the Mets cap to Amazin’ Avenue and Eric Simon and Steve Flanagan who posted a transcript of Francesa and Alderson’s conversation. Great job guys !  

 

 

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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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NY Mets News and Views

 

NEWS: Mets Still Dangling R.A. Dickey as Trade Bait

VIEW: Sandy Alderson knows his team is dire need of a front line catcher and at least one power hitting corner outfielder. Two get either prize possession will not be easy since he is working with a lack of trade chips and money, so what’s a GM to do? In Alderson’s case it seems he’s using Dickey as bait to lure in the sharks just to see how hungry they are. Reports from Nashville have the Mets talking to about eight teams about Dickey. Some are serious some are just bullshiters, the Red Sox and Blue Jays seem to be the most interested and have the most to give back in trade.

The Jays and Red Sox are flush with catchers, a position that Mets lack major league talent at (sorry Josh Thole) and outfield help again a deficient part of the Mets player personal roster.  Alderson is not going to give Dickey away and in fact he may not be giving Dickey away at all. Like I mentioned above, Dickey could be the bait to get the sharks out in the open to make his pitch for big time talent back in trade. I see where Alderson has asked the Red Sox for their two top prospects, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and center fielder Jackie Bradley. Bogaerts is shortstop that has power on offense and great range on defense. Bradley has great instincts in the field and covers a ton of ground in the outfield, gets on base by any means necessary and has (cover your eyes sabrmetricans) outstanding make up and is an on field leader.  Seems to me it would take more than a 38 year old knuckleballer to pry two gems like that, so maybe if Alderson switched the bait from Dickey to Jon Niese he could land these two trophy pieces?

Could this be the Mets GM plan? Lure teams with Dickey, ask for a major package in return, get rebuffed and then use Niese as the trade chip?    

 

NEWS: Angel Pagan Re-Ups with Giants for 4 Years $40 mil

VIEW: How Brian Sabean has two World Series rings is astonishing. I guess getting Shane Victorino to the Mets is now out of the question as his asking price has to be the same as Pagan’s if not more. FUCK!

NEWS: Jordany Valdespin Suspended For Insubordination From Winter League Team

VIEW: Enough is enough with Valde, he’s not talented enough to get away with acting like an asshole. I’m sure any deal that Mets make this off season Valdespin will be a throw in and if no other team wants him he’ll be assigned to Las Vegas or better yet given his release. If I know anything about how Alderson runs his team it’s he doesn’t put up with guys like Valdespin.

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The Wright Move

Even the self-hating Mets fans are happy today. Happy that David Wright will be a Met for the next 8 seasons and beyond taking the reins from Tom Seaver as the Mets Ambassador of Goodwill   . If you want to bitch and moan about length of contract or the amount of money that’s your prerogative, but for me today is to sit back and smile and enjoy that Wright will continue his career as a Met and hopefully more moves will be made to get this team back into the post season.

So far Sandy Alderson has rid the club of the albatross that was Jason Bay (the Alderson bashers never mention that he has had no problem getting ownership to cut all the deadwood he has inherited ) and re-signed Wright and seems he’s also on the verge of finalizing a deal with R.A. Dickey. For some, his moves aren’t coming fast enough but it looks as if his plan is in motion. Hopefully we will hear more news out of Nashville next week with either the Mets landing a catcher and power hitting outfielder or at least laying the ground work to obtain those two vital pieces for the team.  

Alderson’s work is far from done as positive as it is to have Wright signed long term, he still needs to be protected in the lineup to be effective and I’m sure Alderson knows that and has sat with Wright to explain what he is working on doing to bring that to fruition.  Sure Wright took the money and security but I’m sure if he didn’t hear a positive outlook from the Mets GM he wouldn’t have signed this deal so quickly.  

By the way, I have to tip my Mets cap to Ed Coleman who broke this story early this morning. I’ve been a critic of Coleman’s but I have to give credit where it’s due.

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Who Needs TRAIDS ? It’s Matt Harvey Day

I’m positive that the Mets front office would love to make a deal or two or three today, Trade Deadline Day, (I was very close to taking the day off from work by claiming today as a religious holiday) but the Mets baseball ops know this team needs a ton of work to become a pennant contender and none of the roster restoration that’s needed can be accomplished today.

The Mets outfield is a disgrace, as is the catching position along with the bullpen and depth at starting pitcher, but still the lunatic fringe of Metsfandom scream for Sandy Alderson to make a TRIAD!!!!!!!! Everyone is tickled that Zack Wheeler has zoomed up the prospect charts to the point he will be promoted to Buffalo this weekend and a September call up to the big club is not out of the question. What the loonies kind of forget is it took dealing Carlos Beltran to get Wheeler. The only player the Mets poses that would bring backing anything to close to a Wheeler-like prospect is David Wright and he’s not going anywhere.

There are some, who think that Scott Hairston can bring back a big return prospect wise in a deal.  Hairston is outstanding when matched up against left handed pitching and he plays a plausible outfield, so if you were the Mets GM and listed Hairston for sale what do you think you’d get back in return?  B or C level prospect or a C and a D? Well, then why trade him? As it stands now, Hairston is the best outfield option the Mets have and with Jordany Valdespin as his lefty platoon partner to go with the platoon in left of Bay-Baxter, that is the Mets best chance to salvage any positive outfield production. I’d rather sit tight and keep Hairston than roll the dice on some kid from A ball.

The fact that the Mets are in a transition period is tough for many of the fan base to grasp. The Alderson Plan is to rebuild the organization via the Entry Draft and building a strong minor league system.  There is no reverse in this plan. What makes it more difficult to stay the course with this way of doing baseball business, is the part of the fan base than is in dire need of immediate gratification, who feels the lack of a TRAID is sign of failure, thankfully the Mets front office laughs off the Mong Mets Fans who think this way.

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Being Beltran

 

Carlos Beltran, another former Mets fan lighting rod returns to Flushing for the first time since he was traded to the Giants last summer and his return has stirred Mets fans passions. I never could understand the ire of Mets fans toward Beltran. Yes I know that called 3rd strike from Adam Wainright (tonight’s Cards starting pitcher by the way) has stuck in many a Mets fan craw but what the critics forget is Beltran  made a major contribution in that series hitting at .296/.387/.667 clip with 3 HR’s. It just added to his outstanding season, one of the best season ever by a Mets player where Beltran bashed 41 HR’s drove in 144 runs and complied a robust .982 OPS, good for a 4th place finish in the MVP voting plus a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award as well.

I’ve always felt Beltran’s disconnect with the Mets fan base was due to his mistrust of the front office that was in place during the bulk of Beltran’s tenure as a Met. It’s quite interesting that the front office had Latino‘s in top management positions, yet they did not mesh well with two of the best players on the team Beltran and Carlos Delgado, both men who are held in high esteem in the Latin community. Beltran never had a great relationship with Omar Minaya as proven with the botched medical care the Mets GM presided over when Beltran had to go on his own to Colorado to see a specialist to deal with his deep bone bruise in his knee and Beltran has said on many occasions that he never felt respected by the club. It wasn’t until Terry Collins took over as manager of the Mets that Beltran felt comfortable and respected as a Met.  I have no doubt that Beltran’s Mets career would be looked at in a much more positive light if Terry Collins was his manager from day one.

Beltran was never a problem or embarrassment to this organization. The P.R. debacle of the missed trip to Walter Reed Hospital was handled terribly by the Mets.  That and the medical mess ups really made Beltran become withdrawn. The Mets should have been in front of the missed trip to Walter Reed by explaining  that Beltran’s return to Puerto Rico to open a school he helped build was scheduled long before the Walter Reed trip was planned. A player should have the confront knowing that the organization has his back and would have a simple explanation instead of adding to the cluster fuck the Walter Reed trip became. Never would something like this happen today with this administration running the Mets.

Mets fans hold a grudge as well against Beltran because of the rumor that his agent Scott Boras called the Highlanders while negotiating with the Mets, offering Beltran’s service to the Bronx Bastards for less money.  It irked me too. But when you look at the seven year career Beltran had with the Mets he had one of the greatest careers of any Met in history.

If fans want to boo Beltran tonight that’s their prerogative but before they do I would hope they look at Beltran’s career numbers with the Mets and remember that he also would buy a suit for every minor leaguer who came up to the team so they had clothes to wear on the road and that he had David Wright and Jose Reyes join him at his home in the winter to workout with him when he first joined the club. Unfortunately to the narrow minded, none that means anything and for that you can’t blame Beltran.

 

 

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Win A Ticket to Baseball Prospectus Visits Citi Field June 2nd 2012

 

The good folks over at Baseball Prospectus have set up, in conjunction with the New York Mets, a Baseball Prospectus Day at Citi Field on Saturday June 2 as the Mets take on the St. Louis Cardinals.

 The day will consist of a meet and greet with some of the fine writers at BP and the opportunity to participate in a Q & A session with Mets GM Sandy Alderson, along with a ticket to the game (sitting in the area by the Home Run Apple I guess section 140 or 141) and a $15 coupon that can be used towards the purchase of a Baseball Prospectus Premium subscription or a subscription renewal. You get all this for the reasonable price of $45.01.

All the festivities get started at 2PM and game time is set for 4:10PM

Baseball Prospectus has authorized me to give away 2 free tickets to this event, so let’s have a little contest to give away the tickets. The first two readers who e mail me at sinymets@aol.com with the correct answer to the following question will win a ticket. 2 tickets 2 winners, got it? Okay here we go:

Give me the name of the pitcher who holds the NY Mets record for the most innings pitched in a game in a relief role.

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Tickets

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