DIARY OF A MAD METS BLOGGER

 

 

Last night I tuned into the Mets post game show right in the middle of a Bobby Ojeda rant. It seems Bobby O feels the Mets should  (if I heard this right) forget about re-signing Jose Reyes to a big contract and instead focus on obtaining pitching both starting and relievers that the team sorely lacks. With Reyes latest revelation that his hammy is still tight and the comments by Ojeda, where I was once sure the Mets and Reyes would find a way to make a deal, I’m not as optimistic now and I’m kind of leaning in Bobby O’s direction.

There is not a stronger lighting rod subject among Mets fans that the status of Reyes and David Wright. Even in the MSM and amongst the bloggers, if you take the names of Reyes and Wright in vain, expect a shit storm of negative comments to come your way. We love them same as we love R.A. Dickey and Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans and every single prospect from Bingamton down to Kingsport. There is no in between with Mets fans toward Mets players we either love you or loath you.

But we are also sick of losing, of being mocked and for being treated like this is the worst organization in baseball. With all the mismanagement and gullible owners, this organization is not the disaster it’s portrayed to be. But maybe there comes a time where a GM has to make the decision that the fan base will not only be unhappy with but claim they will secede from the fan base, maybe Sandy Alderson should tell Reyes and his reps that the two draft picks the Mets get are worth more than five years of sore hammy’s and second division finishes. Maybe Alderson has to make it known that Wright can be had in the right deal? Maybe it’s time to blow this up and stop fooling ourselves the Mets will contend ion 2012. For what , the top pick in the armature draft in 2013? Surely not a pennant.

All you hear is fans saying “if Reyes is not re-signed I’ll never set foot in Citi Field again” Same thing if Wright is dealt. But these same “fans” stay away because the team falls out of contention but the middle of August. Ok which is it?

Fans are not going to Mets games now as it is, when you have to have a night for cancer awareness, Star Wars, a salute to the Philippines and set aside a section for people to come knit, yes I said KNIT then your problems are deep and need a serious attention.

This is not at all a rant against Reyes or Wright as they are not at all to blame for the last few years of dreck in Flushing, but if your team has awful pitching and defense and a stagnant offense is it worth it to have a $20 mil a year shortstop with sore hamstrings and a $15 mil 3rd baseman you has lost his way offensively and defensively?  If you say yes, then get your Darth Vader suit and knitting needles ready for 2012 and beyond.

Here it is September when pennant races should be the topic of conversation but we as Mets fans have a Star Wars night and old ladies knitting in the ¼ filled stands. Well, I’m fucking sick of it and another thing ,what the hell is Terry Collins thinking having Willie Harris bunting with Angel Pagan on 1st with no outs in the 6th inning of a 2-2 game? Are you serious? That was right out the Jerry Manuel Too Cool For Baseball School Handbook.  Agggggggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrr who cares. Knit one, Pearl two.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

HEADIN’ TO CITI

I’m looking forward to getting out to Citi Field this evening to watch R.A Dickey battle Aaron Harang and the Pads as it’s been awhile since I’ve been out there. Between work, vacations and baseball coaching obligations (our season ended by the way with my team losing in the Championship Series 2 games to 1, we finished in 1st place but giving up 4 and 5 out innings in the final round killed us) and the team on a long road trip, a trip to Flushing has been long overdue, I’m pumped up to get  out there tonight.

Seems the MSM is as usual a little late in picking up the fact that Mets fans really like this team. Better late than never I guess. One quote in this piece by Larry Brooks in the Post today made me smile when I read it, it comes from Ginger Turner:

“I don’t know why anyone would have thought our team would throw in the towel or give up,” Justin Turner told The Post. “That’s kind of a slap in the face to the guys who are here.

“Players get traded and players get hurt. That’s part of baseball. We’ve got 25 guys in here busting their butts to try to win games and who believe in ourselves and our team.”

Can’t you tell that Turner is new around here? Maybe it because the last two season the team has laid down and played dead but thankfully those days are gone. Did you see Terry Collins jumping up and down in the dugout the other night after Lucas Duda’ game winning single? That is passion.

Good news on Johan Santana as it “only” fatigue in the shoulder not anything structural that’s derailed is rehab from shoulder surgery.

Great story in the Times today (guess they had to make up for Jim Luttrells’ hack piece the other day) on Mike Baxter who will get a start in the outfield today. I love the part about Baxter organizing the purchase of championships rings for his Archbishop Molloy team and that legendary coach, Tom Curran still wears his every day. That is impressive.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

A BLOGGERS PARADISE

I was fortunate to be one of the bloggers  invited  to attend the Mets Holiday Party  yesterday and it was quite the experience.

From the time I arrived at the frozen tundra of Flushing (it was a bit surreal as I was the only passenger getting off at the Citi Field-Willets Pt. stop on the 7 train and the wind was whipping and there was still wisps of snow on the platform. Then walking out of the station there was not a soul around the ball park.  It felt like the kind of dream I’ve had after one too many late night slices of pepperoni pizza before going to bed) and walked into the Seaver entrance of the ball park, I had a very awkward feeling. The guard at the door asked me if I was “media” or a guest.  I immediately turned into Ralph Kramden “Aaaaaa Humm-a-na-Hummm-a-ana, I don’t know” and with that I shoved a copy of the e mail of my invite at him. The guard made a call and told me to have a seat and when the check in begins, look for your name on the “media list”. Say that again but a bit slower? Sure enough on the “media list” we’re my name and my site along with other bloggers.  After checking in, I walked to the elevator with Sweeney Murti, the Highlander beat man for WFAN. When I asked what he was doing here ( like I’m now the keeper of who belongs and who doesn’t) he told me he was covering this for the MLB Network (oh ok permission to come on board the ship) Knowing that he has mentioned he’s a one time Phillies fan, I asked him about the Cliff Lee signing and if he was happy or sad since he covers the Highlanders. It was here where I realized how much difference there is between the MSM and bloggers, Murti told be it didn’t matter to him as he has not rooting interest either way.  It finally hit me, this is the man’s job. It doesn’t matter who wins or losses or who’s a nice guy or who’s a prick, he just covers the Highlanders as that’s his assignment. WFAN could tell him tomorrow that they are going to switch it up and have Ed Coleman cover the Highlanders and him cover the Mets and it would not phase Murti in the slightest.

There’s the difference, as a blogger I have an emotional attachment to the New York Mets.  There isn’t any objectivity here. There is anger some (most) times and sarcasm and general wise ass-ness here but it stays within the Mets fandom. We can call the owner names and curse the OP and Castillo contracts for burdening the organization but if someone outside the “family” says anything we get our backs up and we stick up for the team and the organization. Now the last few years, this has been quite difficult. So my trek to Flushing yesterday was as much a fact finding mission to see what this new regime will do to cleanse the sins of the past administration as it was to try to find out if the team is headed in the right direction.

As our little group of bloggers stood around basically trying to figure out where to stand, where to leave our coats, and where the bathrooms were, we were saved by Danielle Parillo of the Mets P.R. who gave us the itinerary for the day (and for that I am grateful, Danielle) we were led to the media area and split into three groups, print, TV and bloggers. Yes, we had our own section. After the GM, MGR and players were done with the first two groups they were led to the bloggers section.

Sandy Alderson was the first to meet with us, we introduced ourselves and shook hands with the GM and then began the Q & A.  It’s hard not to be impressed by Alderson. I perceive him as a man of cool and confidence, I don’t think much rattles this man. Each question was met with direct eye contact with the inquirer and there were no one or two word answers.  The main questions were of course about pitching , Alderson made it known that was his main concern as well. He is not going to sign a pitcher just because his name is familiar with fans; this front office will do its due diligence from scouting reports to in depth analytical study on pitchers to find the right fit. Alderson’ personality is the polar opposite of most Mets fans, he’s patient.

Terry Collins was next to talk to us and if anything the man is intense. It is going to be quite intriguing to see how his high energy” if you’re not part of the solution your part of the problem” style will play in the Mets clubhouse. I explained to him my biggest grip with the team and organization over the last few years  was the “woe is us” attitude from the ownership to the front office to manger, coaches and players where losing was accepted and injuries were used as a crutch. Collins let me know that this will not happen with this team, those days are over. He also said that this will be addressed on day one of spring training.  As with Alderson, the Ollie Castillo question came up and Collins gave the same answer as the GM that both these guys won’t stay on the roster if they cannot produce.  Collins also said that Ollie is on the list of starting pitchers come spring, so if anything the Ollie Castillo question will not be answered until the end of March. Patients Mets fans, patients.

Ike Davis was the first player to talk to us, when asked about Dave Hudgens the new hitting coach, Davis said he was thrilled as Hudgens is an “ASU (Arizona State University) guy and he also very happy that Ken Oberfell will be on the big league staff telling us that playing in Buffalo for Obie was the best baseball experience he’s had.

Carlos Beltran came by and the first impression I got meeting him in person for the first time, was how big he is. He’s very broad in the chest and shoulders so you can see where his gets his power from. He told us his knee feels great and that his has been working out and is ready for spring training. He said the Mets have told him that he is the centerfielder and that he is happy about that but if there is someone in the organization that the club feels is better suited for the position, he has no problem moving to right field. I get the sense that he wants to show he’s a team guy but I can tell he wants to show the skeptics he can still man the middle of the outfield. I asked him, since the knee is feeling better will we see the speed come back, he joked and said that at soon to be 34 years old he can’t run like when he was 24 and then asked me if I can still run when I was 24 (I was the oldest of the group) I laughed and said “I can’t run like I did when I was 44”, we laughed and Carlos said “I’m only kidding with you” like I’d take offense? We bonded Beltran and I get that contract extension ready Sandy!

Jason Bay says he is headache free and has no signs or symptoms from his concussion. He looks fit.  Last season is still gnawing on him and spring training can’t come soon enough to suit him. I asked him how do the players stay below the noise and by that  I mean the extensive media coverage, the talk radio loudmouths, the many bloggers and playing in a city where baseball season is 24/7/365. Bay said that playing in Boston helps with that but he said coming from Pittsburgh to Boston was a definite shock. He said that as professionals they can’t let the outside forces take away their focus.

After entertaining the kids by playing Santa Claus (Marty Noble who was attendance really should have donned that Santa suit he has the physic for the job) David Wright came over to us. I remarked to him “is there anything you won’t do for this organization”? He gave me that patented D-Wright smile and said he will do whatever it takes to help this organization. From talking to Wright, the impression I got was, he’s happy about the regime change. He didn’t say anything specific but the word he used a lot in our conversation was “discipline”.  This is something that Matt Cerrone spoke about on my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN show last night, the players in the last few years have felt this sense of entitlement like they didn’t have to prove anything to anyone and that playing for the Mets was like a Supreme Court appointment. That is over and done.   When asked about meeting Sandy Alderson, Wright  again mentioned the discipline aspect of Alderson and how much he respected his baseball resume and just as important his dedicated service to the country. Wright told the group,he sees a lot of his father, a police officer, in Alderson.  Wright also spoke of Collins and again this is just me speculating, I don’t think David was a big fan of Jerry Manuel . Wright mentioned how Collins is a motivator and will instill (that word again ) discipline. My take is that the clubhouse has been dominated by a bunch of players who feel they are on scholarship when all they are, are walk-ons.  From listening to Wright it seems it the Mets were overdue for this change in management.

For more on the day at Citi Field with the Mets check out the great job that Rob Castellano of Amazin’ Avenue did in putting together a great video recap of the interviews.

Back when I started doing this blog eight years ago, I was envious of the bloggers at a now defunct site Elephants in Oakland who wrote about the Oakland A’s as they were given an audience with Billy Beane.  As we all know the A’s under Alderson and Beane were the most progressive of front offices. The same thing when Theo Epstein  took over the Red Sox and Paul DePodesta ran the Dodgers. Here I was as a Mets fan stuck with Joe McIllvaine a GM who much better fitted for a head scout or head of minor league development, Al “The Empty Suit” Harrazin, Steve “Lively Libido” Phillips, Jim “Never Had A Chance” Duquette and Omar “See Joe Mcillvaine Description” Minaya running my favorite team, turning a blind eye to present and future of baseball management.  When I knew that the Minaya regime was ready for over throw, the first name on my wish list was Sandy Alderson and ownership came to its senses and hired him and not only Alderson but his top lieutenants Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi. To the average everyday Mets fan, who gets his Mets news from fish wraps and entertainers on talk radio, they don’t get the excitement of this new regime that resonates from those of us who sit on our laptops all day wondering you will manger Appalachian League Kingsport Mets but in due time they will.  All the bitching and moaning about not signing a big ticket free agent is off base, this front office may be the best free agent signings in Mets history.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

THE SANDY ALDERSON CONFERENCE CALL

Just finished up the conference call with Sandy Alderson and here are a few observations:

From a bloggers stand point Alderson treated us with a lot of respect and said he will try to meet with us in this forum as often as he can, which is smart as he is bringing his message to the fans and not to some wind bag on talk radio or MSM-types with hidden agendas.

I asked him about the urgency of putting together the starting pitching staff and Alderson agreed that it is a top priority. The FO is not looking at guys who will pitch for low salary but he is looking at low risk/high reward types. More to the fact, he is looking at doctors reports on pitchers (obviously Chris Young and Jeff Francis) He will not sit back and wait to see who falls in his lap and by the end of the month he hopes to have acquired some arms for the rotation.

Alderson understands the frustration and the passion of the fan base and he enjoys the feedback from the Mets fans. He seems to be tired of all the Moneyball questions and said if ownership wanted him to run team as a small market club he would not have taken the job. He is well aware that this is the major of major markets which reads to me that Alderson will run the Mets similar to how the Red Sox are run.

The best part of the conference call was when Alderson addressed the minor league system and how he wants it run. He hit on every issue I have screamed about here for years. The minor league managers and coaches will hold to strict set of guidelines on how to play the game, this way as the minor leaguers move up the ladder, there are no surprises. Everything you worked on and learned in Rookie Ball will be implemented in A, AA and AAA. Alderson then said that everyone players, coaches, mangers, instructors etc. will be given field manuals on how the Mets Way will be followed. Excuse me I think I need a moment (Deeeeeeeeep Breeeeeeeeeeeath) I’m sorry, I’m just so happy!!!!!!

The naming of the coaching staff is being held up due to administrative paper work but it seems all the names we’ve heard, Obie as bench coach, Mookie at 1st base, Chip Hale at 3rd, Warthen PC, Dave Hudgens hitting coach and Jon Debus as bullpen coach. Official announcement will be made Monday or Tuesday.

For a more in depth view of the call check out Mets Blog.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

MANAGERIAL ROULETTE

Now that the GM is in place, the next move to be made for field manager. Besides bombarding Sandy Alderson with inquires about his A’s team and PED usage, the next big discussion by the MSM will be who and how Alderson will pick a manager. There seems to be no shortage of candidates. Let’s look over a few of the candidates:

Wally Backman- The fans choice to be manager is Backman. But is this a wise choice? Fans love the fact that Backman has a Mets championship ring and has a Billy Martin feel to him. Fans love Backman so much that they disregard the baggage he brings with him. His stewardship of the Brooklyn Cyclones was a positive for Wally and when asked about the Mets job he made it clear that he would work with the GM and carry out the organizations plan. Backman doesn’t just pine to be a big league manger he wants to be the Mets manager. He will definitely get an interview but I’m not sure he’ll get the job.

Chip Hale-Very well regarded in baseball and was a bright spot on the 2010 coaching staff. An organization favorite, Hale comes from a strong fundamentals background with the Twins. I don’t know how much Alderson knows of Hale but the Skill Sets like him

Ken Oberkfell-A loyal organization man. Has success in the Mets system and in the Winter Leagues. The thing is I don’t know if Alderson wants to go with an organizational guy or bring in his own man.

Terry Collins-Well regarded as a coach and met with Alderson when he worked in the Mets Dominican Academy and has managerial experience. If not manager, Collins could find himself as Mets bench coach.

Lee Mazzilli- This one I don’t get at all. Supporters say he got a raw deal in Baltimore under the Angelos reign of terror. Still I don’t get this one at all.

Clint Hurdle- Had a nice little run in Denver and he seems to be media friendly and now that he’s on the Texas staff he has some exposure.

Bob Melvin-Uhhhhhhh NO!

Now you have to figure Alderson has a list of candidates from his days in the A’s and Padres front office and the big relief I have is the confidence that Alderson will make the right choice who ever he chooses. When was the last time we could say that about a Mets GM?

I’m a Backman supporter as I saw him in action this summer in Brooklyn and his teams were very aggressive offensively kind of like what we’ve seen from the Texas Rangers this post season. Backman had the rep of protecting his players which in turn garners respect of his players giving him a good handle on the clubhouse. The bigger issue with Backman would be how he handles the media. For all the fun and games of Jerry Manuel’ pre and post game pressers he really told us nothing. But he had a nice smile and made people happy just like Jeff Francoeur another Flushing failure.

If Oberfell got the job I’d be on board with that as well. Talk about paying your dues, Obie has done that with the Mets and he shouldn’t be overlooked for the job. Same for Chip Hale. I love the fact that Hale has a Minnesota pedigree and I’d have to believe he would be a manager that would stress the fundi’s big time and also play an aggressive brand of ball.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR THE HEAD ?

It’s that time again when my head is so full of shit…..errrrr I mean minutia that I have to do a purge, a cleansing of the mind if you will, so as always this becomes a bumpy ride with a lot of detours so as the late great Bob Murphy would say “fasten your seat belts”

Does anyone really care what Tiger Woods has to say today? And why does the MSM feel they need an explanation for Woods dirty deeds? They only people Le Tigre` should make amends with is his wife, family and most importantly his sponsors who I’d say Woods fears the most at pissing off. Sure Tiger makes a bundle on the PGA Tour but his empire was built on his ability to hawk products and that has been severely damaged and his imagine is most likely beyond repair. Besides, nothing gets settle with the Mr. and Mrs. Woods until they both appear on Oprah. I could care less who Tiger was knockin’ boots with but I will say this, if he were my son in law or brother in law, he’d be doing this presser today with a wired jaw.

No training and medical staff has ever been under more scrutiny like the Mets staff, seriously can you name the trainer or team doctor of any other team in sports? So much as the focus this spring is on the players, there is as much or even more focus on the medical and training staff. With that, the staff has come up with a slogan “Prevention & Recovery”, it seems there are signs with this motto all over the St. Lonesome complex. It means that the med/training staff has made a conscience effort to do everything in their power to keep the players on the field and out of the MRI tube. The staff will focus more on stretching and agility exercises and working on areas that are more conducive to playing baseball and less emphasis on weight training. I’ll take this as a huge positive as it shows the organization detects a big flaw in the training program and they made a big adjustment. See I can be optimistic……..some…………what………….      

When I first heard that Eddie House was going to the Knicks for Nate Robinson as a C’s fan I was pissed, because I’m a big Eddie H fan but after thinking it over this deal could be the big jolt the team needs. Robinson is younger than House and can be a instant offense guy that House used to be and that’s the big issued here because as much of a House fan I am, the old shooting guard ain’t what he used to be. With Nate Robinson on board the Celtics now become the most entertaining team in the Association. Adding Robinson’s personality to KG, Perk, PP, RONDO and Big Baby could just energizes the Celtics to Banner 18.

Jerry Manuel will make his first spring statement today. There are a few Manuel stories in the fish wraps today bottom line is the J-Man Comedy Tour will be canceled if the Mets have a bad first month of the season, and that’s no joke!

“YOU KNOW WHO I AM ? LOOK AT ME BITCHES!!!!! YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I’M JOHAN SANTANA!!!! THE BEST THERE IS, THE BEST THERE WAS, THE BEST THERE EVER WILL BE!!!! (Thanks for the loan Brett Hit Man Hart)

It’s Here! It’s Here! No not the new phone book but something better, The Bloomberg Sports Statistical and Analytical Tool to help you win your Fantasy League.  The Draft Kit is available for $19.95 and gives you updated player info throughout spring training, interactive draft tools, multi-stat comparisons and a whole lot more. The In-Season Tool gives you all that plus up to the minute player updates with stats and news for $24.95 or get both for $31.95. If you’re a serious fantasy player you should check out this product.

Hummmmmmmmm Jeff Francoeur……..very interesting this Frenchy character………..

I am half way through reading Willie Mays, The Life, The Legend by James Hirsch (Simon and Schuster) and I’m enjoying every page. I‘ve always liked Mays and I remember when he came back to the Mets even though he was not even half the player/immortal he was (I’m up to Mays and the Giants playing there last season in NYC and Leo Durocher leaving the team and the rough transition that Mays had from Durcoher to Bill Rigney and dealing with the deterioration of the Giants on and off the field) and so far in my reading, I’m still trying to get over the naive Willie Mays who was babied by Leo Durocher and coddled by Horace Stoneham. The early chapters are fascinating and Hirsch’s writing is compelling as he shows Mays going from a high school kid to a Negro League star and then barnstorming the South to being signed by the Giants as a 19 year old and the whirlwind move from being a Minneapolis Miller to a New York Giant.

Rod Barajas, yes we are waiting with baited breathe for a decision on whether Rod Barajas wants the Mets minor league deal or return to the Blue Jays with a minor league deal. I’m sorry but I have some paint I have to watch dry.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh I feel better now

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

WHAT ELSE WENT INTO DWIGHT FREENEY’S ANKEL ?

I have a quick question for the class. Last night Colts DL Dwight Freeney played with ligament damage in his ankle. All week the pundits and gamblers were so concerned about the status of Freeny as he is the Colts top pass rusher and one of the best D-Linemen in the game.

Now Freeney claims he rehabbed this injury all week and had it wrapped up tight to start the game. I’m sure it took more than a “tape job” to get him fit to fight in Super Bowl XLIV.

Why hasn’t any one in the MSM or any talking head raised the subject of what else did it take to get Dwight Freeny on the football field. Was he given an injection of a pain killer? Was he administered an anti inflammatory drug? Not just Freeny, but how many other players on the Saints and Colts were shot up with some sort of chemical/drug in order to perform in last nights game?

Personally, I couldn’t care less what these players were taking but I bring it up because baseball has supposedly become tainted due to performance enhancing drugs and a guy like Mark McGwire is treated like he has renounced his American citizenship and joined Al-Queda. Such hypocrisy!   

Wasn’t Freeny’s performance enhanced by whatever pharmaceutical was administered to him? But he is considered a warrior while baseball players are called to testify to Congress and are followed by Federal Keystone Kops, a huge waste of taxpayer cash. I guess they must the Feds are bigger NFL fans.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

WHO WANTS STEW?

With this Arctic blast coming through NYC, what could be better than a big bowl of stew. Big League Stew that is.  Duk over at BLS has put up a one stop shopping list of bloggers and MSM types who cover the Mets and yours truly and my fellow Mets bloggers are listed there so click and enjoy.  A nice crusty piece of sourdough bread goes good with that.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.