WITH THE NY METS IT’S TEAM FIRST

 

 

I would think by now every player on the Mets has gotten the message, you can be replaced, to that I say, it’s about time.

I know there is a segment of the fan base who get their balls in a uproar when they hear of their favorite player mentioned in trade rumors and we can see by the group whose pissed off that Jose Reyes is now a former Met,  who will miss Reyes by the way not for his baseball prowess but because they love his dreads or he helps them sell t-shirts and don’t have the capacity to look at it as solely the baseball move that it was. It’s the same way some have reacted to the scuttlebutt that Ike Davis and Jon Niese have been dangled as trade bait. I know it’s been awhile since the Mets have had a true general manager running their team but I’ll let you kids in on a secret this is how you run a baseball team.

Now before you call me an asshole (if you haven’t already) let me make it clear that I am not advocating that Ike and Niese be dealt but as a Mets fan you should be encouraged that Sandy Alderson is doing his job in trying to build this wreck of a franchise into a contending team for the long haul.

I get it that the Mets fan base is quite diverse but you can’t keep sucking year after year and keep players just because they were drafted by the organization or have nice dimples you need players who can actually step up and win some baseball games. Give me a flat ass, pimple face baseball player who can get on base, knock in runs or pitch seven innings a start any day of the week.

It’s quite obvious that Alderson feels there is not one player on his current roster he cannot live without and as a fan of the TEAM that should make you happy. When Alderson was first introduced as Mets GM he was asked about relationships with players, he let it known from the jump that he’s not here to be their friend but he would do whatever he could to help them if they needed his assistance.

I’m sure Alderson thinks David Wright is as fine a young man as he’s met in baseball but that won’t stop him for dealing him away for a front line pitching prospect or a top flight center fielder.  It’s not personal its business.

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NEWS AND VIEWS

 

As we wait for Sandy Alderson and his Front Office Posse to check  into the Motel 6 Hilton Anatole in Dallas so they can get some much needed work done to reshape the 2012 Mets, let’s look at a few news items from that last few days:

ITEM: JOSE REYES STILL A FREE AGENT

I would love to hear the conversations between Reyes and his agent on their free agency game plan. So far all we’ve heard is a rumor of an imminent deal with the Fish and nothing more, just a lot of speculation, in fact we’ve heard about this deal for about three weeks now.  As I’ve mentioned before, I love how Alderson is playing is hand here, especially how he told the Mets beat writers all he knows about Reyes right now is what he reads in the papers. This guy is good, very good. If by some chance Reyes comes back to the Mets he may end up paying them to play here.

By the way check out this post from Coop on the Reyes free agent saga at Kiner’s Korner a well worthy read.

ITEM: OMAR MINAYA HIRED BY THE SAN DIEGO PADRES TO WORK IN THE FRONT OFFICE

Congrats to Omar as he was named the SR. VP of Baseball Ops for the San Diego Padres. As a GM and the front office face of a franchise, Minaya was miscast, his perfect role is that of scout and amateur talent evaluator. Safe to say Minaya will never be a big league GM again same as Willie Randolph will never be a big league manager again, the jobs were just too big for both of them.

ITEM: DODGERS SIGN CHRIS CAPUANO TO A 2YR/$10 MIL DEAL

And you want to know why the Dodgers are bankrupt? Thank the baseball gods that Nick Colletti is not the Mets GM.

ITEM: PEDRO MARTINEZ ANNOUCES HIS RETIREMENT FROM BASEBALL

No doubt about it, Pedro is a first ballot Hall Of Famer. I’ve never hide my man crush for Pedro and who could forget his first start with the Mets, Opening Day April 4, 2005 in Cincinnati where he gave up 3 runs in the first inning then settled down to K 12 Red Legs before giving way to the bullpen and suckitude closer Braden Looper losing the game. Then a week later at opening day at Shea Stadium, the fans cheering every time Pedro was shown on the Jumbotron or walked on the field, talk about electric. It’s sad his Mets career wasn’t very fruitful but still Pedro was the man.

 

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SANDY ALDERSON TALKS WITH NY METS BLOGGERS

Last night I had the privilege to be invited to be part of the Mets bloggers Q & A conference call with Mets GM Sandy Alderson. Eric Simon and the staff at Amazin’ Avenue have done another outstanding job of putting together a transcript of the conference call (click the link and read the whole transcript it will be the most informative information you’ll get about the Mets anywhere) and I thank them very much for undertaking the chore of transcribing and crediting each blogger with a link to our sites along with our questions, Thanks again Eric.

A few observations I took from the call:

Alderson is playing his hand in the Jose Reyes sweepstakes like a top poker player. In years past, the Mets were always duped into not just setting the market price on free agents but bidding against themselves. His answer to the question on whether he thought of Reyes as a franchise player was 100 % spot on:

Do I consider him a franchise player? Yes. But a franchise player is only valuable as such if he is contributing to a winning franchise as opposed to simply acting as eye wash for a team that is not very good.

Again, everybody loves Reyes and wants him to be a Met For Life, yet less than 5,000 fans showed up on the final day of the season and what may have been Reyes last game as a Met. That’s why Alderson doesn’t play to the lunatic fringe of Metsfandom and for that I am so grateful.

Alderson got into the business end of running the Mets as Howard Megdal, who should be your go to read with the anything Mets related but most certainly on learning the financial end of what the Skill Sets and the organization are up against in these trying money times with the Mets. It may a bit simplistic on my part but it seems Alderson is saying that he has x-amount of dollars in his budget given to him by ownership and he has to do the best he and his staff can to fill the roster with players good enough to compete and not hurt the bedrock of foundation of the organization, the farm system. There are some (I’d say a minority) of Mets fans who don’t get the fact that finances of this franchise are in a total state of flux but no matter the outcome, it would take either a discovery of oil or gold during the renovation of the Citi Field outfield for the Skill Sets to own this team for the long term.  

I really believe Alderson enjoys doing these Q & A’s with the Mets bloggers more than dealing with the MSM. The first one we did last year lasted about half an hour, then when we met with Alderson face to face at the Mets Holiday Party he joined us in our own little group for more questions and didn‘t seem to be in a hurry to get away from us. Last night he spoke to us for an hour and seemed to enjoy the questions and giving us insight into what he and his staff are doing to making the Mets into a top flight franchise.

His answer to my question was about that, he is hell-bent in turning around the perception of the NY Mets franchise, as much as Alderson feels there has been progress in that direction he knows the only way to advance it is for him to put together a winning team:

{Steve Keane (The Eddie Kranepool Society): Your first year as a Mets general manager, how would you assess your progress that you and your staff have made in the first year with the Mets? What has been the most challenging situation or thing that’s happened with you as the GM of the Mets, and what’s been the biggest surprise on the positive side and on the negative side?

 

Alderson: I look at things in three areas. The organization as a whole, the infrastructure, what’s happening in player development and scouting, and what’s happening at the major league level.

 

Organizationally, I’m very pleased with where we are. We’re not fully where we want to be. In the areas of structure and process and personnel, we’re making a lot of progress. We made some personnel changes last year, we’ve made a few this year. The more important changes organizationally have come in the area of process as we blend the pre-existing staff with newly added staff. From an organizational standpoint, we’ve made some progress.

 

Player-development-wise, we’ve made significant progress, I think our approach to the draft last year was a departure from previous years, and I think at least early returns are that it was a positive change. If you look at our top prospects, we were able to add to that list not only from not only the further development of existing players, but also from the draft as well as the trade, most prominently the trade for Zack Wheeler. I think player-development-wise, the continued development of Matt Harvey and some others, and remember at this time last year, Matt Harvey had never thrown a professional pitch. I think some very positive things are happening at the player development and scouting level.

 

At the major league level, I’m very pleased with Terry Collins last year and I think our major league staff will be even stronger this year than it was. Dave Hudgens did a great job in refocusing our offensive philosophy. I think we’ve made a lot of progress philosophically at least in how we are approaching the game, not just in respect to hitting, but a more aggressive approach, a more accountable approach that Terry has demanded.

 

If you tie those three things together, what I’d hoped to achieve in the first year primarily was to change the perception of the organization. Despite the fact that we didn’t finish over .500, I think overall, the way the team played, some of the other things that happened over the course of the year, did help to change the perception of the organization and its direction and its chances of success in the future.

 

My biggest disappointment going back to last year was just the way we finished the season. We finished poorly, we started poorly. Part of that was attributable to injury, but some of it was a result of weakening the team later for long-term benefit. I think for example, if we’d kept Frankie Rodriguez, we would have finished well over .500. I think that the lack of a closer cost us a number of games.

 

But, the overall perception did change. I think that there is some greater confidence in the future for the Mets and that was an important thing to accomplish. I think the way we finished detracted from that somewhat, I think we were able to move people’s thinking in that direction.}

I’d like to thank Danielle Parillo and Shannon Forde for putting this and all the Mets bloggers event together and of course a big thank you to Sandy Alderson for his time and insight    

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THE ALDERSON TAPES

I was so pissed that I missed hearing Sandy Alderson on the SNY telecast last night. But, thanks to Chris McShane at Amazin’ Avenue who transcribed the whole interview Alderson did with Gary Cohen and Ron Darling, I’m caught up with what the Mets GM is looking to accomplish going forward with the team. What has me puzzled is the Mets fan/blogger fixation on what Alderson said about changing the dimensions and height of the Cit Field outfield wall, from reading the McShane’s transcript of the conversation, that was the least interesting feature to me.

I’m not saying reducing the height of the Great Wall of Flushing or bringing in the right/center Mo Zone is not good thing, in fact I’m all for it but Alderson’s insights on player personnel and his approach to the off season was much more newsworthy.

To me more important than wall renovations is what is the GM’s plan of attack for re-signing Jose Reyes. It seems like Alderson has a preempted strike ready to fire as he has tabbed October as Jose Reyes Month. I get the vibe that he has an offer already to be presented a figure in years and money that he won’t go over. Alderson has made it known he will not get into a bidding war over Reyes. He has been nothing but complimentary of the shortstop as has Terry Collins, who is on record as saying he can’t fathom the Mets without Reyes or David Wright for that matter which I’m sure is the company line. I’m interested in this negotiation to see if Reyes takes a little less money or years to stay with the only organization he’s ever played for or does he move on and take the best deal out there. I still think that while Alderson will make a very good offer to Reyes, he won’t be heartbroken if another team comes in and blows the Mets deal out of the water. No question he wants Reyes back but he won’t break the Skill Sets fragile bank account to sign him.

One of Alderson’s concerns was rushing pitchers to the big leagues but also doing a balancing act getting some of the minor league arms a bit of a push to move them along. Under Omar MInaya’s regime the club loved drafting collage pitchers to where a team like St. Lucie is overstocked with 24 and 25 year olds which it sounds like is very frustrating to Alderson. When you’re that age and still pitching in A ball, you’re at the shit or get off the pot stage of your career.

Alderson sounds like a Mets fan when he talks about the bullpen and how blowing late game leads, a la Bobby Parnell, takes the heart out of everyone when it’s on an almost daily basis. Safe to say, Alderson has seen enough of Parnell closing to know he needs to put finding a closer on the top of his shopping list. Also clearly stated, he will go outside the organization to find one.  Looking at guys like Greg Holland of the Royals, Mike Adams of the Rangers, Rafael Betancourt of the Rockies and Sean Marshall of the Cubs there are some interesting options for Alderson out there.

Alderson is happy with the number of innings his starters have given him but now he wants them to improve the quality of those innings. I believe that Jon Niese and Dillon Gee will and of course R.A. Dickey will give a quality start just about every time out but we still have no idea what Johan Santana will give you on the mound next year and of course there is the elephant in the room known as Mike Pelfrey. From Alderson’s comment it seems that Pelf will be back next season but in what capacity?

What we have Mets fans is one busy and interesting winter coming up ahead of us and the brain trust of our team. Right now is the lull where the team plays out the string as October on will be the most interesting time for the Mets since before the All Star break.

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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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MORE ON ALDERSON

Just  a few more comments on last nights conference call with Sandy Alderson, a doff of my Mets cap and a bow to the guys at Amazin’ Avenue for transcribing the entire call, thank you guys.

Last year at this time I was quite disgusted with the Mets front office, the manager, players and the owner. After listening to Alderson last night my attitude has done the ol’ 180 degree spin.  He took over an organization that had some huge cracks in its foundation and as any home owner knows cracks in the foundation spell disaster.  Alderson is not just going to patch the foundation of the Mets, he is going to rebuild it so it’s rock solid.

The Tea Party segment of the Mets fans base are clueless in their negativity on the direction of the team. For all of you dolts who are calling talk radio and ranting how you’re not going to buy tickets or Met merchandise, I guess you were happy with the past administration (for now on the past GM name will not appear on this site ever again) and maybe if the former GM get another job running a team (doubt it) you can switch your rooting interest.

Howard Megdal ran a campaign for GM this past summer on a platform of Logic, Transparency and Passion well we didn’t get Howard as Mets GM but Sandy Alderson has embraced those three characteristics very well.

So all you disgruntled so-called Mets it’s fine that you stay away from Citi Field but when the ship gets back on course don’t be a hypocrite and jump on the band wagon, use your heads and jump on now.

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YOU BETTER READ THIS POST SITTING DOWN

This evening, Mets GM Sandy Alderson will sit down for a conference call to take questions from some Mets bloggers. It just so happens that yours truly was invited to participate in this conference call.

Remember back on November 4th how I ranted about not being asked to contribute to the last bloggers conference call and I also made this statement:

I have found out from some very good sources that I have as much chance of being invited to a bloggers event at Citi Field as Keith Olbermann has of being the keynote speaker at the Tea Party Convention.

Well guess what? The devil wears North Face.  Not only was I asked to join the conference call but I have been invited (and I’ve accepted graciously) to attend the Mets Holiday party at Citi Field. Some law enforcement buddies of mine have offered me their Kevlar vest for the occasion. 

First thing I’ll do when I arrive at the festivities is check for plastic drop cloths on the floor as I don’t want to wind up like my buddy in the picture above, Tommy DeVito.  It should be an interesting afternoon.

I may have to designate a search and rescue team to come look for me on Tuesday afternoon.

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“COME HEAR UNCLE SAUL’S BAND, PLAYING TO THE TIDE”

So now that our weekend of fun (no Highlanders or Phuck Phaces in the World Series) and we await what I think will be a terrific World Series, it’s time to look at what is taking so long for the Skill Sets to figure out who will be the next leader of the baseball operations.

On Mets Minor League Blog, they feel it’s up to Uncle Saul as to who will get the GM job. Freddy Skill Sets is in the pro-Alderson camp, while Jeffey is leaning towards Josh Byrnes due to both of them being similar age. It’s this kind of bullshit that brings out the nastiness in me when it comes to Jeffey, he’s done this with players (Al Leiter, John Franco and Tom Glavine) he did it with Omar and with John Ricco as well. Doesn’t this little shit have friends of his own? But then again who would want to be friends with this dolt? So the third and final vote comes down to Uncle Saul Katz. Whoever Uncle Saul picks most likely will be the next American Idol Mets GM. Why do I have the feeling the Skill Sets will fuck this up?

If Jeffey Skill Sets sent me e-mails like Metstadaums has on his site, I would be waiting with heighten anticipation to receive them.  

Metszilla has a link to a 2008 interview that Sandy Alderson did with the site Ducksnorts when he was in charge of the Padres. It is a fascinating read.

Sometimes I just can’t figure out our fan base. Daniel Murphy is back playing after a devastating knee injury. He’s playing 2nd bas in the Dominican League and from some of the stuff I read on Twitter you’d think that Murphy is solely responsible for the suckitude of the franchise. Am I saying that Murph is the answer at 2nd base ? No. But I see no reason why he and Nick Evans can’t be viable bench pieces next season. What I can’t understand is, Murphy is the kind of player most Mets fans feel the team needs. He shows up to spring training with the pitchers and catcher. He will play any place the manager asks him. He plays that balls to wall hustle that it seems the majority of the fan base is clamoring for, so tell me all you Murphy haters out there, what is it that bothers you about him? I know he’s a player without a position but as a sub or spot starter, I feel Murphy would make a solid contribution to this team. The comments section is now open for all of you to let me know how much of an asshole I am over this.

Tomorrow night on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN on BLOG TALK RADIO my guest will be Ed Marcus a/k/a Rusty Jr of The Real Dirty Mets blog. Ed and I will discuss the hunt of a new Mets GM and all things Mets. That’s tomorrow Tuesday October 26th at 10PM ET on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN.   

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THANKS FOR NOTHING TWINKIES

You know what? I’m glad Terry Ryan said he wasn’t interested in interviewing for the Mets GM job, I’d want nothing to do with anyone from the Minnesota Twins organization.  It’s one thing to lose a series to the Bronx Bastards but the Twinkies laid down like dogs. No fight whatsoever.

If your a Twins fan and what I’m saying here pisses you off and you say that my Mets suck , so who am I to call out a team for failure, remember this, the Mets at least split their six game this season with the Highlanders and there are only two teams the Pinstriped Pricks  fear the Mets and the Red Sox.

Oh so Phil Hughes is now a great pitcher after last night’s performance. As I said in the comments section to our resident Highlander contributor, Michael all Highlander fans were shitting themselves silly over their starting rotation and now after playing a team that gave up, they think they have three Cy Young candidates. They’ve all but forgotten their bastard child AJ Burnett, who will have to pitch in the ALCS  and kicked to the curb Javier Lopez, who is awaiting deportation to the National League.

Oh yeah I got my Highlander Hate on in full glory!!!!!

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STILL IN LIMBO

So I’m still a man without a home, a work home that is as the renovation of my office is taking on a rebuilding of London after WWII feel to it, but I figured give a little bit of an opinion of the last few days as per the Mets GM search and the post season:

It looks like Sandy Alderson is very much interested in running the Mets baseball ops and I as giddy as a character on GLEE if he gets the job. The fact that John Ricco was retained by the Skill Sets bodes well for Alderson coming on board and grooming Ricco to learn the GM the right way.  

Look I’m not happy with the Phuck Phaces domination of the Reds and Halladay’s no hitter, but I have to give him his due, that was one of the greatest pitched games I have ever seen from a guy not named Seaver.

Is it worse to not make the playoffs where at least you know your team needs to make some big changes or is it better to win your division but get your ass kicked in three games like the Twins? Just once I’d like to see the Twins step up in a post season match up vs. the Highlanders.

Same with the Rays, this is not the way to get folks to come out and support you

My boy Tim Lincecum was down right nasty last night as he dominated the Tomahawkers. Anyone for a NLCS Lincecum v. Halladay? Fuck Yeah!!!!

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Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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