Bye Bye Bay-by, Bay-by Good Bye !

So Mets fans are you happy now? We all wanted to be rid of Jason Bay and his unproductive bat and Debbie Downer body language and the Mets have granted us that request. The club sat down with Bay and worked out a deal where Bay gets the full $21 mil he’s owed on his contract. It looks like the club and Bay have structured a deal where some of the $21 mil is deferred, how much that helps the team this off season remains to be seen.

I think by now it’s clear that Sandy Alderson does not deal in emotions when it comes to this team.  We saw it last off season when after approaching  Jose Reyes’ agent during the season to talk contract extension and was told that Reyes would rather test the free agent waters. When the season was over Reyes’ handlers wanted the Mets to make an offer and were told by Alderson that he was not about to set the market price and it would be in Reyes’ best interest to get an offer and get back to him. They did with the only offer out there from the Marlins of 6 years and $106 mil, to which Alderson said, “enjoy South Beach”. It was the right move.

As we have seen with Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez and D.J. Carrasco, Alderson has no problem approaching the Skill Sets with the recommendation of eating salary. Even with all the red ink flooding Citi Field, the move was still made to eat Bay’s remaining contract however it is structured is a positive move.

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The Dog Days Of July ?

 

Remember back about a month ago when the Mets were proving the critics wrong by playing hard nose balls to the wall baseball that translated into winning games and had the beaten down fan base thinking of crisp cool evenings in October at Citi Field ? What happen?
It’s hard to pinpoint but this Mets team that looked to be tougher and more resilient that in the past has lost its mojo. Or has it? Are the Mets like water and have found their level?
The level of frustration with the Mets is not just relegated to the fan base. The more I see Ron Darling on SNY the more frustration with this team I see. Keith Hernandez is almost there but Darling, he’s arrived. It started with watching the Mets relievers just kill the enthusiasm of the season with poor performance and poor performance. It intensified when Andres Torres with a chance to pay back Roger Bernadina for spiking Ruben Tejada bailed out, a play Darling called Torres out on and a few days later was still pissed about the nonpayment by Torres.
My frustration is with Terry Collins and his nightly “we have to give Jason Bay at bats to get him going” Terry, Please stop! My leg is full of piss! I don’t know whose call it is that Bay stays in the lineup, but someone in authority has to say stop already, and I’ll tell you this, Bay has not gotten anything close to venom spewed on Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez by the Mets fan base. What he gets booed? Big deal! Yes, I know Bay is a swell guy and is loved by all who meet him, and I’m not advocating the fan base go all asshole on him but I’m just pointing out the criticism of Bay is tame to what other non-performers in Flushing have endured.
Ike Davis knocks three baseballs out of the park and the Mets still loses. I’m speechless!

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Heave-Ho!! Three In A Row

3-0 is wonderful but I’m not ready to get jiggy with it just yet.  Put aside that the last three days were the best we’ve seen in Flushing in a while there were some subtle changes that I saw with this Mets team the first three games of 2012 that could make this season better than most of us thought.

When Kirk Nieuwenhuis made his Major League debut on Saturday, the Mets fielded a starting nine that was composed of seven home grown players. The only two “outsiders” were Jason Bay (who was a homegrown put once removed so I won’t count him here) and Robert Allen Dickey (a review of his outstanding book will be posted here soon) everyone else were born and raised, New York Mets.

Think back Mets fans to years of when there weren’t any “growing up Mets” in the everyday lineup, just a bunch of mercenary’s who came to Flushing for the Maddoff greenbacks. Winning? Who cares about winning just make sure that big seven figure check is in my hands the 15th and 30th of the month. It was that way of building a team that resulted in losing ways and the fan base having a hard time rooting for the Mets. Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez were as hated as any Mets player not named Vince Coleman, Bobby Bonilia or Richie Hebner. Carlos Beltran, one of the best players to ever wear a Mets uniform, was never embraced by the fan base, some still held a grudge that he contacted the Bronx Bastards before signing a Mets contract on the bottom line and others just never cottoned to the right fielder because he made his bones in Kansas City and Houston. He wasn’t an authentic Met.

You’ve seen how many Mets fans were upset over Jose Reyes leaving the Mets to join the Fish and their Commie-loving manager Ozzie “Little El Jefe” Guillen, as the crying was over the Reyes being a Met his whole baseball life.  That’s why this 2012 Mets team is the kind of team we’ve always wanted, players who have come up the minor leagues ranks together, a team that truly likes one and other and is cohesive bunch with an all for one, one for all mindset.

I know there are some who feel the word “chemistry” is not just over used but meaningless when it comes to sports teams, and I totally disagree with that mindset. The fact that the majority of this Mets team has rode buses together, shared some really bad fast food at all hours of the night and grew up in the system is not something to discard. Think of how it felt to be Kirk Nieuwenhuis, you’re called up to the big leagues, your dream come true and sure your nervous but when you walk into the clubhouse there are so many familiar faces, guys who’ve played with in the minors who you know and trust will make your transition from prospect to big leaguer so much smoother than if there were a bunch of grizzled red ass vets (ask Gregg Jefferies or Lastings Milledge what that was like) who see you as a threat to their jobs.

It’s why this Mets team will be one of the easiest Mets teams to root for in awhile. Of course we know as great as a 3-0 record is, they could drop 2 of the nest three or 4 of the next 6, but watching this team play these three games and how they interact together as a team, the bad stretches that every team goes through in a grueling 162 season may not be as catastrophic as in years past, because these Mets have each other’s backs.

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WEDNESDAY METS-CELLANIE

Time for some Metscellaneous:

I thought Terry Collins struck the right cord with his State of the Team address yesterday, why strive for mediocrity and why put that type of thinking in his players heads. Collins has to make this team believe they can play with any team in baseball, that’s his job and his players have to know that they are being held accountable.

All I know about Johan Santana status so far is what I read from the folks in St. Lonesome covering the team, and it’s great that TC feels Santana will be his opening day starter but I’ll stick with my Memorial Day weekend target date for Santana.

Ruben Tejada will report to camp by Saturday, he would have been in camp already but he had visa problems. Every year there is always a player (Ronnie Paulino last year) who has issues with their papers to play baseball in this country. You would think this would be #1 on their to do list in the off season.

Charlie Samuels is an A-1 scumbag who got off rather easy from ripping off the Mets for the years he did. Samuels was fined and given probation but no jail time for stealing Mets uniforms and other items that he got autographed and held on to, to supplement his retirement fund, plus he has to make financial restitution to the Mets, and the State and City of New York. Samuels worked for the Mets for 34 years which means he started back in the Payson/DeRoulet era and now is banned from Citi Field, MCU Park and Digital Domain Park as well.  Good riddance Charlie, and shove those black jerseys and caps up your arse.

The Mets are one of the teams that Scott Kazmir has on his list of teams he’d like to sign with. Sorry Scott your ship has sailed and we have no place for an Oliver Perez wanna be.

Check out this outstanding job by Rob Castellano putting together Mets Jeopardy

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TRADE DAVID WRIGHT? IT’S NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION

The word that David Wright was put on waivers and claimed by the Colorado Rockies is no big deal. For now.

Every team puts its players on waivers and when they are claimed either work out a deal or pull them back. Wright was pulled back but that doesn’t mean that Sandy Alderson won’t call Dan O’Dowd during the off season to talk trade.

Why not? Look, we all love D-Wright and this is no indictment on Wright but this team has some huge holes, pitching and defense to name two in general and these deficiencies  have to be address this off season or August/September 2012 will be a mirror image of August/September 2011.

The difference between the second half of this season as opposed to the last two seasons is this team still plays to win unlike the last two Mets teams of 2009 and 2010 and that is a compliment to the manager who deserves to have his 2013 option guaranteed after the season.

Sandy Alderson and his staff have a lot of work to do this off season with re-signing Jose Reyes a top priority. As we see, this is a much different team without Reyes not just his bat and defense but his personality as well ignites this team.

Alderson has no allegiance to any of the players on this roster but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know that Reyes and Wright are fan favorites same as he knew the venom the fan base spewed at Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, which is why he will try very hard to sign Jose Reyes and I’m sure he doesn’t want to deal off Wright but he knows it’s his job to make this team better and if dealing Wright makes the team better then he’ll trade him.

This off season will be about acquiring pitching, pitching and more pitching as well as finding players who can play defense. You can be feisty and hustle and play balls to the wall baseball but if you can’t pitch or defend then you are a second division team and if dealing David Wright brings back some pitching I can see Alderson pulling the trigger.

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IN THE METS CLUBHOUSE IT’S ALL PRESENT ARE NOW ACCOUNTABLE

It’s nice that the teammates Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez have left behind in the Mets clubhouse have nothing but high praise and fond memories of their released comrades but as has happened in the Mets clubhouse over the last few years, the big picture is out of focus, it is no longer business as usual as the new front office has made it known accountability is back in Flushing.

Maybe that’s why Jose Reyes is a bit stunned by the event of the past few days. He’s never seen anything like it before in his 8 years as a Met. There has never been accountability in the clubhouse, the former GM and managers made excuses the way parents do for their delinquent kids. Thankfully those days are over. Last year the Mets put up a sign in the clubhouse proclaiming Prevention and Recovery in dealing with injuries, this year’s motto should be “Produce or Get Cut Loose”

Enough of the negativity here are some positive vibes as we stand one week away from opening day 2011:

The Mets pitching staff overall has been terrific this spring, pitching to a 3.87 ERA (good for 5th best in the NL) It helps that the defense has been tight, committing just 22 errors.

As a team,  the Mets have hit at a .267 clip, drilling 53 doubles and more importantly 83 walks good for 3rd most in the NL.

Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy lead the team in Rib-Eye Steaks with 10 apiece

Scott Hairston is hitting a blistering .425/.500/.725

When Chin-Lung Hu was obtained from the Dodgers he was known as great glove shaky bat but so far this spring he’s gotten 10 hits in 34 AB’s of the 10 hits 3 were doubles plus he stolen 2 bases.

Chris Young and Chris Capuano have been more than effective this spring. Young has thrown 20.1 innings with a 1.33 ERA and a miniscule 0.89 WHIP. Capuano has pitched 10.2 innings with a tidy 1.03 WHIP and just two walks.  

Last night I was a guest on the Who’s On First: The Seamheads . Com Radio Hour for a panel discussion to make our picks for division winners, wild card, pennant and World Series winners along with league MVP’s and Cy Young Award winners. It’s would be well worth your while to check out the podcast as there were some real out on a limb picks by the panel with great  analysis to back them up.

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HEY METS FANS, IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO STOP ALL OF YOUR SOBBING

The best part of the early morning release of Oliver Perez is not just the fact that the ineffective pitcher is mercifully gone but what has to have the Mets fan base giddy on this rainy cold morning is Sandy Alderson is running the baseball operations of the NY Mets. He is the man calling the shots; he put Baby Jeffy in the corner.

For all the gloom and doom financial news about the Skill Sets, the head baseball man in charge went to them and said time to eat $18 mil in contract, and all the Skill Sets could do is stand at attention and say “Sir, yes sir” You can debate that this should have been done before spring training or earlier but the bottom line is the Faces of Failure of the Minaya regime are gone.

With the Phuck Phaces signing Luis Castillo to a minor league deal as insurance in case Chase Utley will not make it to opening day and beyond tells me the Phuck Phace’s may not be the lead pipe cinch to win the NL Pennant most thought they were this winter.

Adam Rubin has a great Ollie Perez retrospective. It wasn’t  always days of suckitude with OP but his Mets career did end badly for all sides.

The feel good story of spring, the return of Izzy, has his a bump as Isringhausen is taking anti-inflamitories  for his surgically repaired elbow

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THERE WAS NO ULTERIOR MOTIVE IN THE RELEASE OF LUIS CASTILLO

I’ve been away from the laptop most of the weekend as my wife and I took off to Atlantic City for the weekend to celebrate our 25th Anniversary.  Before our kids were born, we would venture to AC quite often , we’d see a show, do some gambling, have a few cocktails and have quite a good time.

When our kids were born, that put a end to our weekend getaways alone and going out drinking ( my wife of course couldn’t drink while she was pregnant so when we’d go out during those nine months I felt guilty having a drink while she sipped ginger ale so I joined her in having a soft drink with dinner. Funny thing is after our son was born, neither one of us wanted to drink anymore, one more thing to thank my kids for) after our kids were born we traded trips to AC and Vegas for jaunts to Sesame Place and Disney World after spending our first weekend in AC in seventeen years, we had a great time (after 25 years of marriage we still love each other’s company )but I’ll tell you this, it’s amazing how you change when you have kids, we miss Sesame Place more than we miss Atlantic City.

On the way down the Garden State Parkway, I heard the news that Luis Castillo was released by the Mets, no shocker there. What was surprising was Sandy Alderson citing among other reasons for Castillo’s release, the fact that the fans detested him. Not that Alderson was wrong in that easement; it was just something I didn’t think I’d here from the GM.

Why did Mets fans root for the day that Castillo (and shortly, like tomorrow, the release of Oliver Perez)  would be an ex-Met? Because the feeling amongst the majority was LC was here due to the $6mil owed him on his contract. Alderson stated that contract status would not be what keeps a player on this Mets team, and he should be applauded for sticking to that promise. Mets fans also see that Castillo is nowhere close to the player who helped the Marlins win a World Series, he’s 34 years old, with sore feet and achy knees that have hampered his range in the field and has led him to become a hitting into the “6-4-3 DP” machine. His days as an everyday player are over. Even if the Mets kept him and played him at 2nd base everyday to start the season, he’d be broken down by Memorial Day. It’s sad that age and history have caught up to Castillo that led to his demise and it also didn’t help that he has had a hard time coping with that reality.

Did the fact that Castillo is a Latino have anything to do with the fans wishing him gone? Perhaps. I’m sure there are some Mets fans that held his ethnicity against him but I would hope that they are in the minority. The Mets beat writer for the NY Daily News has this strange obsession with race and the Mets. Early in spring training he wrote about the lack of minorities on the Mets coaching staff. Then he tried to portray adding Mookie Wilson to the staff as a token gesture. All that did was solidify my thinking that the writer is a talentless hack, lacking knowledge of Mets history and Mets fans as Mookie Wilson is one of the most popular Mets of all time.

See the race card is like a fire alarm, use it too many times in situation where it’s not warranted, it acts like a false alarm, and people never know when it’s the real thing. The Daily News beat man has been irresponsible in his reporting and on Twitter when it comes to the Mets  and comes off as a guy who hates his job, which is for him to deal with just don’t drag Mets fans into your world of despair.

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DOES ALDERSON HAVE AN OLLIE PLAN?

There has to be a reason why Sandy Alderson is keeping Oliver Perez around.  I haven’t look in detail to the Sunday night Mets bowling league but I know lefties (as I am of that ilk) possess a natural curve when they  bowl so Ollie may be better at getting the 7-10 spilt than inducing the 6-4-3 double play? I mean there has to be a valid explanation on why OP has not been DFA’d.

One theory is that since he doesn’t draw a paycheck until opening day and now that he has proven he’s not starter worthy, a trip to the pen is not really taking innings away from a pitcher that needs work. I’m sure any appearance that Perez makes will be in a split squad game away from St. Lonesome. By keeping him around, Alderson could be waiting until the last possible day to cut Ollie hoping that a team suffering a pitching injury will be soooooooooo desperate they take Ollie off his hands for 50 cents on the dollar. Okay that’s a long shot.

The second theory, and I have not seen or heard this one any place so I will claim it as my own, Alderson/Collins give Perez a shot as a reliever. Perez shits the bed as usual. Alderson/Collins have a heart to heart with OP and Scott Boras with Alderson holding two pieces of paper in his hand, one is his release, the other an agreement to a minor league assignment. Alderson makes it known that he has no problem signing off on the DFA along with a $12 mil severance check but he is willing to allow Perez to save some face and show that he wants to work his way back to the big leagues by either staying in extended spring training using a sudden (wink, wink) injury or going outright to Triple A a la Steve Trachsel, thus putting all the pressure on Perez and Boras.

Alderson is a smart man; he knows OP has no shot of being a reliever so why not give him one last shot at redemption of taking the demotion that he should have agreed to last season. I mean really, how great is a Buffalo Bison-Scranton Wilkes Barre Yankees Kai Igawa v. Ollie Perez matchup?

As long as OP is not on the 25 roster come April 1 its fine by me. I can see Perez now agreeing to a minor league assignment. Alderson has given Perez every chance to show he’s not the suck ass pitcher we all think he is and Perez has not shown one iota of hope that he can pitch competitively in the big leagues. I can see Alderson laying this all out to Ollie and Boras, in fact how great would it be if Alderson made up one of those leather bound books that Boras makes up for his clients when they are free agents. Alderson could call it the Book of Suck.

Can’t you see Alderson telling Perez. “I’ve done everything you requested when you came to camp, you asked for a shot at the starting rotation, and you failed. You asked to go to the bullpen and that was a disaster as well.  I’ve held back the fans and media and taken the slings and arrows shot at you and what did I get back? A big bucket of suck.  So look me in the eye Ollie and tell me why the hell should I even give a shit about you”?

Enjoy Buffalo OP!

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I GUESS CIVIL SERVICE JOBS PAY BETTER IN CONNECTICUT THAN IN NEW YORK

So Bobby Valentine is trying to put together a group to buy the Mets or at least a minority share. I doubt that BV has the coin to pull this off but he what he does have is the “it” factor and the ability to front the franchise in a positive way unlike Freddy, Jeffey and Uncle Saul who infuriated the fan base. If he can get some deep pocketed investors to join him and let him be the out front guy, it could be interesting

 With the passing of Duke Snider yesterday, lost in the days news was the untimely passing of former Met Greg Goosen. Last night the Mets 1965 Yearbook played on SNY and there was Goosen shown as one of the up and coming young stars of the Mets along with “Robust” Ron Swoboda, Johnny Lewis and Ed Kranepool. Goosen was also a key figure in Jim Bouton’ classic book,  BALL FOUR. One story, when Goosen was a teammate of Bouton’s on the 1969 Seattle Pilots on a bus ride passing an old building  that had an inscription” Erected in 1883″, to that Goosen replied “that’s some long errection. R.I.P. Greg.”

Sniff, Snifff what kind of smoke is that, that Chipper Jones is blowing up the Mets ass? Hickory? Mesquite?

On my last visit to Citi Field, I wrote about Josh Thole being a good guy and helping me get access onto the media scrum by moving a chair and taking my backpack for me now if that weren’t enough to endear Thole to me it was announced that he will be the Mets union rep this year. So now Thole and I are Union brothers in arms. Sorry all you wanna be union busters!!!!!!!!

How in the world could anyone watch the Academy Awards when the Knicks-Heat game was on at same time? I’m not even a Knicks fan but I was glued to that game. As a basketball fan it’s good to see the Knicks and St Johns back on the right track and have the city talking basketball again.

Oliver Perez still sucks.

Mets and Nats today in St Lonesome. Big Pelf makes spring debut, Dan Murphy plays 3rd base, F-Mart DH, Castillo gets another start at 2nd Base

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