Could Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan Reunite In Flushing?

 

Welcome to July. Time for some Mets-cellaneous views and opinions as our favorite baseball team closes out yet another losing month:

The angst expressed by some Mets fans and know nothings in the media over Zack Wheelers start yesterday was stunning.  It wasn’t a great start for Wheeler but his problems came from lack of command and poor choice of pitches, two things that can be fixed. Wheeler also altered his delivery which I’m not a big fan of doing this between starts as I’m starting to think there is too much information overload given to Wheeler than just letting him go out there and pitch comfortably.

If you watched Wheeler pitch yesterday and think he’s a bust then you need to stop watching baseball and also stop going on social media with your dumb ass opinions because all you do is embarrass yourself.  Pitchers like Matt Harvey come around once generations so just enjoy watching him pitch and enjoy watching him wear a Mets uniform and stop comparing every young pitcher in the Mets system to him.

My only concerned with Wheeler is that he gets his instructions from Dan Warthen. If Wheeler and the rest of the Mets pitchers can survive the next 3 months of Dandy Dan’s Guide to Pitching, next season should bring a new voice to the Mets pitching staff. I’d have to think that there will be a new manager and coaching staff installed for the Mets 2014 season, and those hiring’s could be the most important free agent hiring’s of the Mets off season.

Last Friday I saw a tweet from 95.7 The Game in San Francisco that Dave Duncan was going to be a guest on their morning show. You can listen to the interview here. As I listened to Duncan speak about pitching I went into full J. Peterman mode, screaming at my computer screen, “NAME YOU’RE PRICE, MAN”!!!!!!!!

Duncan left the Cardinals in 2012 to care for his ailing wife who unfortunately lost her fight with cancer in early June.  From listening to Duncan in that interview it’s clear he still watched what’s going on in MLB and it would not be a reach to say he’d like to get back into the game.

Sandy Alderson had a very successful relationship with Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan back in the late 80’s when Alderson ran the Oakland A’s, winning a World Series title in 1989. Could Alderson place a call to LaRussa and Duncan offering them to get the band back together? As much as LaRussa annoyed me during his St Louis Cardinal days, I would be totally on board bringing LaRusa and Dave Duncan to the Mets. Mets fans have discussed and debated who could be the next Keith Hernandez or the Gary Carter, the player who would bring the Mets back to prominence, maybe Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan in Mets uni’s fit that bill in a supervisory position?

Now I know my whole scenario is pretty much a pipe dream, I mean who am I kidding, Freddy & Jeffy Skill Sets own this team not Mikhail Prokhorov SIGH!

 

Anyone miss Ike Davis? Would a Lucas Duda/Josh Satin platoon at 1B be more productive than trotting out Ike every game? What happens when Ike returns or better yet does Ike return?

A big THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To David Aardsma for hitting Ian Desmond to lead off the 6th inning yesterday.  Finally a pitcher with onions!

And so it goes and so it goes and so it goes and so it goes

Where it’s going no one knows:

The Mets have not had a winning month since June of last year. Here is the W/L record for the Amazin’s from July 201 to June 2013:

July 2012 7-18

Aug 2012 12-16

Sept 2012 11-16

Oct 2012 1-2

Apr 2013 10-15

May 2013 12-15

June 2013 11-15

That comes out to a grand total of 161 games and a 64-97 .397 winning percentage.

Enjoy your Monday!

 

 

 

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Is Terry Collins On A Short Leash ?

 

 

So let me start out by welcoming everyone back to the newly redesigned Eddie Kranepool Society and to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2013 and to give a big thanks to Joe McDonald for this fantastic new layout of the blog. I haven’t posted here in a few days as the holidays were very hectic in a good way by spending a lot of time with family and friends, so it was good to step away from the keyboard for a while.  

I didn’t step away from reading all the sports news though, even while we were getting set to head out for some New Year’s Eve revelry in the Pocono Mountains (it’s as far from the madding crowds of Time Square as you can get. I still don’t understand why people love to stand in the freezing cold to watch that ball drop, in fact I don’t know any native New Yorker who has ever ventured out there, but I digress) as my iPad was burning up with stories of 7 NFL coaches given their pink slips.  Some like Andy Reid in Philly and Lovie Smith in Chicago were very successful but they’re message was growing stale and it was time in the eyes of ownership to get a new voice and a new way of doing business in to run their teams.

Just a week before the Brooklyn Nets fired their head coach Avery Johnson, who just came off winning Coach of the Month honors. As puzzling as that is, how about Mike Brown of the Lakers getting the boot after 5 games this season? WHOA! Some owners mean business. Here is what Prokhorov had to say when he canned Johnson:  

“I think we have very talented players but they are capable of much more than what we have seen in the recent weeks,” Prokhorov said. “I respect Avery and really I wish him well, but sometimes chemistry just isn’t right. It happens.

“I think the main question is why we were unable to bounce back and to play like champions.”

I bring all these coaching changes up because as I sat in the sauna over the weekend (some sight eh?) I thought about Terry Collins and wondered just how long does he have to keep his job as Mets manager in 2013?

Oh I know what your muttering to yourself about my sanity and what an asshole I am (for some that was even before reading this post) I totally understand that the talent level of the Mets entering the 2013 season is not pennant race quality but before you flame away on me ask yourself this, “Has Terry Collins made a positive impact on this team” Sadly I say NO!

I have been a proponent of Collins from the day he was hired. I felt then and still do that Collins is an outstanding baseball instructor and he would make the Mets better fundamentally and more professional. I still think he is a top notch instructor but I feel he’s failed on the other two skill sets I felt he was bringing to the job. Not only that, it seems to me the Mets clubhouse is lacking in discipline as we have seen the last two seasons under Collins leadership the team has folded it’s tent after the All Star break.  The 2009 and 2010 version of the NY Mets gave up in the second halves of the seasons as well, and Jerry Manuel was run out of town, justifiably so. So what’s the difference between Terry Collins and Jerry Manuel?

Collins came to the Mets manager’s job with a soiled reputation as a non-communicator in his past three managerial jobs.  The stories out of Anaheim were about player revolt and in Houston; Collins Astros teams were involved in a civil war between hitters and pitchers. There have been rumblings about the Mets relievers feeling a disconnect between the manager, pitching coach and themselves.  

Collins lost me the night of September 20 th of last season when the Mets were destroyed by the Phillies at Citi Field by a score of 16-1 and visibly upset Collins sat for his post-game presser ready to explode, and when asked by Kevin Burkhardt if the team had quit, Collins deservedly threw them under the bus by telling Burkhart to go ask them. Word was many players were upset with the manager for hinting that the team had packed it in and instead of Collins challenging his detractors, he apologized. I took that as a sign of insecurity by the Mets skipper and he should have stuck to his guns as the team did respond to being called out by actually playing its best baseball of the second half in winning 7 of the next 8 games.

With every second half sleep walk defeat by the Mets, Collins would go into Rick Kotite mode in his post-game pow-wow to the point that it was offensive to me as a Mets fan. I was so tired of hearing that the team played hard and that Collins had seen some positives, all he did was make me think he still had Anaheim on his mind and was afraid to speak out and show anger thinking that media and fans would say he was melting down again.  

Collins enters 2013 without a contract extension and quite frankly I feel he’s only back for this coming season because the Skill Sets don’t want to pay two guys for the same job. When the season ended in 2012, I thought there was a chance that Collins would be re-assigned to either a front office position or back to where his strength is, working with minor leaguers, but Sandy Alderson has kept him on board for the coming season but for how much of the season?  Personnel aside, if the Mets start off badly and show the same listless way of playing baseball as they did in the last couple of second halves of the season, many Mets fans will get their wish of seeing Wally Backman manger the Mets . As Prokhorov said, “sometimes the chemistry just isn’t right, it happens”

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WHAT A GAME THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN

I couldn’t find a picture of THE home run but who could forget the home run off the clock in St. Louis by Straw on October 1, 1995. I thought about that home run after watching last night’s come from behind win. Ahhh what we once had……  

 

Most of the Mets news this morning is of the off the field variety, with some mention of yesterday’s big 9th inning rally. After last night’s game all I could think of if the Mets were in a chase for a post season berth this game would have been labeled one of the all-time great game in Mets history, instead all it gets is an “atta boy”. Sad.

All the Madoff-Skill Sets-Piccard bullshit baffles me as Freddy and Uncle Saul keep going with the “Hey, we were duped too” defense. I find it very hard to believe the story that Freddy and Saul were these two neophyte investors who were blindside by Bernie Madoff. The point that Freddy and Saul say the never even asked what Madoff what he was investing their money in is the “are you fucking kidding me”? moment for me. Am I to believe that at no point in this whole scheme and big returns on their investment, Freddy and Uncle Saul didn’t ask, “Uhmmm Bernie, just where are you investing our money”? Pharmaceuticals? Precious metals? Trafficking of children for sex slaves? I know I hold the Skill Sets in low esteem but even I don’t think they were that stupid not know where their money was going.

The Daily Snooze says today the Mets will look at exercising Terry Collins 2013 contract option at the end of the season, as I believe they should. There will also be a discussion on the status of coaching staff and it seems that even with Collins coming out saying he would love to have the whole staff back, Chip Hale may migrate to Oakland to join Bob Melvin and Old School Dan Warthen could be done as pitching coach. It would be a loss to lose Hale, as he’s a very good 3rd base coach and a hard worker but losing Warthen seems like no great shakes, in fact it’s time for Warthen to go and get a new voice for the pitching staff that ranks last in just about every statistical pitching category.

How about the last minute desperation from the Red Sox as they tried to get Chris Capuano in a deal? Seems the Sox didn’t make enough of a tribute to Sandy Alderson to make this deal or it could be Alderson has plans to bring Cap back as either a spot starter/long man role in the Darren Oliver mold for the Mets next season. It could also be that the deal breaker was Alderson’ insistence that Theo Epstein had to take Ryota Igarashi on the deal

Last home stand of the season starts today, I’m going to Wednesday’s game, the season finale because it’s the last game of the year and as bad as the season is ending, comes November and December when it’s cold, snowy and downright miserable, you’ll be wishing you were at the ball park instead of the business end of a snow shovel.

 

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THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING US

We Mets fans are a very impatient bunch, there are some in the fan base that want the GM job announced and the man for the job to get on with bringing us a championship caliber baseball team NOW!!!!!

I have news for y’all, no matter who gets the job, it’s going to take awhile before we see the seeds of a plan bloom.

The best thing about these interviews/auditions is it will bring a new voice from outside the organization who has no personal ties to anyone from executive to players.  I’ve always felt one of Omar Minaya’s biggest flaws was employing friends (Tony Bernazard) and being pals with players (Alex Cora). The Mets need a guy to come in and tear down that awful wallpaper and toss at the comfortable but falling apart reclining chair and not have a bit of guilt or emotion in doing so.

I will side with the nervous Nellies in our Metsfandom who feel if Sandy Alderson is THE guy for the job and the Skill Sets feel he is THE guy, then hire him. I feel  it’s Alderson’s job, he wants the job, he has the track record to do the job, so give him the damn job already. The only reason I think the Mets are going with more interviews is to find a scouting and player development director as well.

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YOU WANT TO SHAKE THINGS UP? THEN LET’S REALLY SHAKE IT UP!

The starting pitching sucks except of the Almighty Johan. The starting eight are as timid as a bunch of pussy cats. The bench players don’t really fit. The new ballpark doesn’t feel like home yet and the fan base is slowly slipping into “don’t give a fuck” mode so what are the Mets contemplating to wake up this dead team? Fire the coaching staff. UGHHHHHHHH!

 

What do the coaches have to do with any of this? It’s the old chicken shit/chicken salad refrain as much as I’ve backed Omar Minaya and still think he has done some good here if this were The Apprentice board room and I’m Donald Trump I might have to say:

 

 “Omar, you know you’re a great guy and you’ve done some really, really good work here. You’ve built up the farm system and for the most part your deals and signing have been terrific but the bottom line is this team is broken and some of the parts have been here too long and there is not sense of urgency when times are tough as there are no real alternatives for the problem areas,. The fans are looking for some one to show some leadership qualities and telling them it’s early and at the end of the day it will work out just doesn’t cut it here anymore. Omar you know I love you and you’re a great great guy but you’re the GM and the team you are in charge hasn’t shown it is making any progess,   so Omar as much as I hate to do this I have to say, YOU’RE FIRED”

 

Maybe all you Omar haters are right maybe it’s time for a new voice in this organization but who? Who would you bring in to run the Mets? Is it too early to think this way? Not really. This isn’t a three week knee jerk reaction here this is a two year and three week reaction as the Mets we see today are the same listless, uninspired lot the we lived with in September 2007 and September 2008.

 

Omar fired Willie Randolph and hired Jerry Manuel. I get a strong feeling that Omar and Manuel are not on the same page as far as personnel goes but they’re not even reading the same book.  Manuel for the most part has played the loyal employee but as the losses pile up and the bad pitching and listless play in the field mount up it won’t be long before J-Man goes Gangsta’ on the front office. What are they going to do fire him? HA!

 

Sure it would send a message to send Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey down to Buffalo (down to Buffalo? That makes no sense unless you’re Canadian) and moving Wright to the 5 hole is a start and I know we are not to take David Wright’s name in vain but maybe he needs to be in a less pressurized spot in the order so as to get max performance out of him? This team is very hard to figure out some days they play with passion but most days they’re as limp as overcooked linguini. It doesn’t seem like the manager is getting much help from the front office so he may have to take matters into his own hands. We are seeing some signs of that by his calling for an eighth reliever due to the incompetence of the rotation and the fact that he announced yesterday that both Gary Sheffield and Fernando Tatis will play tonight, meaning that Murphy and Church take a seat which is stunning to me. But I think this J-Man exposing the flaws of the roster he was given as he tires to mix and match a lineup.

 

When Gary Sheffield was signed I was for it as low risk move that could pay off well it’s not paying off and after further review Sheffield really doesn’t fit with the Mets. If Omar demotes Jeremy Reed in order to bring in the eighth reliever and doesn’t release Sheffield that would be a travesty.

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