IT’S NOT IF, BUT WHEN DOES DAVID WRIGHT BECOME AN EX-MET

 

David Wright held his Vegas Night charity event in Virginia Beach last night and gave some quotes to the media about the upcoming season.  I don’t know if this means much of anything but Wright it seems, has spent a lot of time back home in Virginia that I can remember in an off season. He was at Citi Field for the unveiling of the new uni’s but since then there hasn’t been much site of Wright around town.

Wright seems already agitated about hearing about trade rumors and being quizzed on a daily basis about his next baseball destination. He’s quoted as seeing Jose Reyes getting grilled about relocation last season and he doesn’t want to go through that. I wonder what that says about Wright? Maybe I’m being too critical of Wright but maybe it’s time he grew up and realized he’s not going to be a Met 4 Life.

Doesn’t Wright see the handwriting on the wall? First, he plays for a team whose owner is like a co-worker who lives pay check to pay check and for a GM who has no emotional ties to him. Just like the GM had none to Jose Reyes. He will make $15 mil this season and has a $16mil team option for 2013 with a club buyout of $1mil. You know how many bargain basement pitchers you can buy for $16 mil?

Wright should take a page from Reyes and Carlos Beltran, especially Beltran who knew his Mets days were numbered and used it as motivation to bounce back and get sent to a contender. Wright needs to get in the same mind set, stop worrying about being traded (for Christ sake Babe Ruth, was dealt away) and not worry about the Mets and just worry about himself.

Between the Wilpon’s money woes and Sandy Alderson’s distain for long term contracts, it’s easy to see that these are the final days of David Wright as a member of the NY Mets. Is it sad? Sure it is. We all wanted to see Wright play his full career as a Met with a couple of championships and Hall of Fame credentials on his resume but neither is going to happen. Maybe the fan base needs to grow up a bit as well.

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IS IT TIME FOR A SHAKE UP?

Is this Mets team what its record says it is? Is this one of the worst teams in baseball?  The manager and the players talked up in spring that the Mets would be a team that would surprise a lot of people but I don’t think they meant it in a negative form.  I bought into it, I thought this was going to be a team that the headlines would be “HOW ‘BOUT THOSE METS”? but the headlines lately have been “HOW ‘BOUT THOSE METS, THEY REALLY SUCK”.

Thursday I was in Philadelphia as a chaperone for my son’s school for a trip to the Franklin Institute. It was beautiful day so for lunch we got sandwiches and sat in the park. My son of course had to bring a Mets drawstring bag and that drew attention from the Phillies fans. But the funny (or tragic really) thing was the Phillies fans felt sorry of us Mets fans. Imagine that.  One by one as we chatted with some folks the question asked over and over was “what the hell has happened to the Mets” Wow you have about 12 hours? The one thing though that each person we talked to mentioned was the Skill Sets and everyone asked the same question, “when are they going to sell” A question we all have been asking.

The bullshit play on the field and the owners problems are two different items. I found that out talking to various people on Wednesday at Citi Field, the players have no idea about the owners money woes and could  care less when told about it. The only way they would care is if their paychecks didn’t clear.

Terry Collins has done a nice job of keeping a stiff upper lip during this awful stretch of baseball and he’s trying to stay positive but there comes a point where he and Sandy Alderson and the baseball ops team might say this isn’t working and blow the place up. The question is when is that time?

If it comes that by the end of the month or early May and the Mets continue on this pace are 8-20 or 12-25 does the fire sale commence? It might even be earlier if the baseball ops feel a bold move must be made. It’s a lead pipe cinch that Carlos Beltran will be dealt and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens sooner but what of Jose Reyes? That is the multi year ,seven figure question.

When talk of Reyes was bantered about on Wednesday between bloggers and main streamers, there was no definite consensus except that there will be a massive fall out from the fan base when Reyes leaves.  To that I say, so what? If Alderson can make a deal say with the Giants and can get back Madison Bumgardner and say second base prospect Charlie Culberson as the focal points of a deal that would a coup for the Mets.

This not be taken as an ant-Reyes position as I am a Reyes fan but the fact of the matter is for all the talk I’ve heard about Reyes being the catalyst of the team and as goes Reyes, so goes the Mets, well the team has made the post season once in Reyes nine year Mets career, so maybe it’s time to bury the myth.

So what if the fan base gets piss off by dealing Reyes, it’s not like anyone is flocking to Citi Field to begin with and I doubt if Alderson is looking to sign Reyes to a long term deal  so why not get it over with and make a deal using one of the few trade chips you have. It’s time to do what’s best for the Mets rather than fans.

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THE LAST TEMPTATION OF OLLIE

If reports are true, Ollie Perez is pitching for his Mets life this afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Lonesome. Terry Collins is saying that this isn’t true that Ollie will pitch again after this start, but if he has a typical OP start, command issues, lack of zip on fastball, tons of walks then what’s the sense of giving him another start ? At some point you have to stop wasting your time with OP.

The Mets money woes may not be as dire as we think. The Skill Sets spent $15K on dirt. DIRT!!! But it seems like $15K spent wisely.

Ed Marcus posts up #6 in his all time Mets list. He was baseball’s Marlboro Man and one of my favorite Mets of all time and now he entertains us on TV. Just be careful if he asks you to help him move.

Adam Rubin posted his idea of what the Mets 25 man roster will look like on opening day. He has both Perez and Castillo off the team which is fine by me. He has Taylor Buchholz in the pen but notes that Jason Isringhausen is still in the mix and could grab Buchholz spot. Nick Evans is not on Rubin’s roster either and that is upsetting as Evans has worked hard to get back to the big league level but he’d have to beat out Chin-lung Hu or Willie Harris for a spot and I don’t see him beating either players out. There has to be a team that could use a good righty bat who can play both corner infield positions?

Dwight Gooden’s life just gets sadder and sadder. He has now agreed to become a sideshow act for Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab show on VH1. The show is like a junk yard for D list celeb’s that have their lives have swirled out of control. How in the world did Doc become a D-Lister? That is as crushing as his fight with drug and alcohol addiction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THE SKILL SETS ARE NOT EATING GOVERMENT CHEESE, AT LEAST NOT YET

 

 

Low budget sure keeps me on my toes
I count every penny and I watch where it goes
Were all on our uppers were all going skint
I used to smoke cigars but now I suck polo mints

 

 

A lot of times I can be very dense (hard to believe I know) like when putting together Ikea furniture or stuffing too many clothes in the washing machine and now I can add to the list, under estimating the Bernie Madoff rip off on the Skill Sets. The reason I’ve looked at this situation in a different light is due to my favorite ESPN.com writer Bill Simmons who has a column up on the NBA that brings out the leagues money woes. If someone were to write a No Benjamins Assciation about MLB (Money Left Behind) the Mets would play the lead in the story.

 

If it were just a weak economy the Mets would have a dented piggy bank but the Madoff rip off has put a torpedo blast in the bow of the SS Skill Set.

 

Why is Manny not a Met? Money, the lack there of is why. It has nothing to do with attitude or fitting in with the team as Manny would be fine on both points. It’s money. In fact you won’t see another Big Ticket free agent signed by the Mets for a long time and I bet they are now putting money aside for when Jose Reyes and David Wright come up for new contracts in 2012 and 2014 respectively and thankfully Johan Santana became a Met last year as if the same scenario was playing out this season he would never be in Orange and Blue.

 

 

With all the talk about the inefficiency of the 5th starter spot and how Petey is looking rejuvenated unless he signs for $1 mil Petey’s not coming back here. Same with Pudge Rodriguez he’s not coming here either and it’s not so much the talent equation but the money situation.   

 

 

 

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TIME FOR THE SKILL SETS TO SELL THE METS

As I watched the Frankie Rodriguez (Frankie will be the name he goes by here)  press conference I should have felt happy and excited but all I could think about was the presser was held in the Bunch of Broke Ass’ (Citigroup) Headquarters and the owner of our team is very close to be an Old  Broke Ass and there is his son who could be a Dumb Broke Ass and all I could do was laugh and think that makes me A Dumb Mets Blogger Broke Ass and that led me to shout as the Great  Joe Bada Bing Benigno would say “OH THE PAIN”

 

The more the Skill Sets say the Mets are not effected by his getting duped by his buddy Bernie Maddoff the more I worry because as we all know “Don’t Worry” is doing 10 to 15 in Sing-Sing.

 

So now that everyone took their bows at the Bunch of Broke Ass’ Building today and we all patted Omar on the back for a job well done what’s the next move? It better be for Derek Lowe and one more veteran pitcher. If it’s Lowe and OP even better. But you know what I don’t think the Mets are signing either one of them because I think this Madoff scandal is bigger and more damaging to the Skill Sets than they are letting on. The company line is “things are fine, no effect on the teams finances” but if that’s so prove it. The Mets money woes go deeper than Bernie Madoff. Every deal the Skill Sets are in has turned to shit. They start a TV Network and I guess it makes money but for the most part it’s unwatchable. There is not one show on SNY I have any desire to take my finger and press the channel on my remote to. Then there is the deal with Citigroup and that name on the ball park marquee. The place hasn’t open yet and it has failure written all over it. Now the Madoff cluster fuck; it just adds to failure after failure by the Skill Sets regime. 

 

Remember boys and girls, if it weren’t for Nellie D when he was an equal partner in the team you would not be prancing along in your 31 PIAZZA jerseys as he made the push to acquire Mike Piazza and Doubleday also had no fear of the Highlanders as he knew that between he and Freddy Skill Sets that could buy and sell the Bronx Robber Barron, Nellie D was the aggressive owner who loved to make a back page splash. 

 

I guess what I ‘m getting to is maybe with all these bad investments and bad karma it’s time for the Skill Sets to sell the team. If not outright maybe they need to sell parts of the team and put together a Board of Directors that are not family or cronies. Get some people on board that can bring the franchise forward. As much as I hate to get into a “keeping up with the Highlanders” mind set I want someone in this organization that has some creativity and foresight to market the team as it should “The Flagship Team of the National League” For years NYC was an NL town. The Highlanders had fans but didn’t ‘t draw as many to the ballpark as the Dodgers, Giants or Mets, but the last decade or so that’s changed and the Mets have just say back and taken it under the Skill Sets leadership. Maybe now is time for a change just like in the White House maybe after almost 30 years of owning the team it may be time for the Skill Sets to get out.

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NO CELEBRATION YET

The champagne is chilled but the Land of Blue and Orange is not popping corks yet even though word out of Las Vegas is the Mets will sign Francisco Rodriguez to a 3yr/$37 mil which is a far cry from Agent Kinzer’ pie in the sky 5/$75 mil he threw out pre-rescission. What we’re seeing is the economy is not just effecting the financial insttutions, auto industry or your own budget but the money crunch is hitting the sports world as well.

 

At this point no one can predict how the money woes will affect the rest of this baseball off season as not only are teams wary about signing free agents to big money and for long term deals but as the Omar Minya is finding out it’s very difficult to dump bad contracts.

 

It’s not just baseball that’s feeling the pinch. The WNBA Houston Comets are ready to be disbanded. The Arena Football League is talking about suspending operations for a year. The NHL just had a Governors meeting where they had some economists lay out the doomsday scenario for the league.

 

While the new ball park and the TV network should keep teams like the Mets and Highlanders with steady revenue for this coming season, what happens for 2010 when the suites are up for renewal and there is no corporation to renew the lease? Even with a new play pen, it will very interesting to see if fans have to change their game going habits? If you went to say 10 games a season do you cut down to 6 or 4 or none? No one can predict what will happen we just have to sit back an observe and see how the financial trouble play out.

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