METS BLOGGERS Q & A WITH METS VP OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT/AMATEUR SCOUTING, PAUL DE PODESTA

Last night I had the privilege to be invited to a Mets bloggers conference call with New York Mets V.P. of Player Development and Amateur Scouting, Paul DePodesta. The conference call was to start at 6:30PM and the problem I had was I had a game at that time with my Babe Ruth League team. Thankfully I have a great bench coach to run the dugout and make moves and one of the parents who is a coach as well helped out while I headed to the car to call in on the conference call, by the way, we won 5-4 to keep our first place lead at two games.  

When I do one of these calls I always like to write down about 5 or 6 questions just in case someone asks a similar question. For this call I had 8 questions for DePodesta, but when it came to my turn I decided to go with this:

“Looking at the recent draft, the breakdown of picks was nearly even between pitchers and position players. Was that the plan going into the draft? Looking at the complete draft, it seemed like there were clusters of picks that went especially towards pitching. Was this done because they were the best pick available at that time, or was this something that was planned ahead — targeting pitching especially towards the middle and late rounds of the draft?”

DePo’s response was:

“To answer the first question about the 50/50 split — to be honest I didn’t even know that, so that wasn’t necessarily our plan going in. I think that’s generally how it falls, even with our rosters. Most of our minor league clubs are going to be about 50/50 between pitchers and position players. In terms of clustering some of the picks around a certain position or around pitching, that certainly was planned. We felt there was a particular depth – an unusual depth – of pitching in this year’s draft. There were some moments where we wanted to take position players, where we felt like if we were going to get the position player we wanted we needed to take them now. And after that we felt there was going to be a pool of pitching to choose from. We attacked that pool aggressively and when that pool was exhausted we re-evaluated where we were and went back to some position players. One of the things you’ll probably see is that rounds two through five were all college pitching. Once we got to round ten it was mainly high school pitching. That was certainly a calculated decision made before the draft.”

The one thing you read about this past entry draft was it that it was deep in pitching and the Mets took advantage of that depth.

I was going to ask about how the negotiations were going with Brandon Nimmo and if we will see Michael Fulmer, Cory Mazzoni or Jack Leathersich on the MCU Park mound this summer. I really wanted to ask if the team has thought about hiring Rick Peterson as a system wide pitching czar using Peterson’s expertise in the physics of pitching and his working relationship with Dr. Glenn Fleisig of American Sports Medicine Institute. To me this is a perfect match since Peterson, Sandy Alderson and DePodesta all have a working relationship going back to their Oakland days.

I’m pretty sure I can speak for all the Mets bloggers who have been invited to these conference calls and to the events at Citi Field that we have gotten more insight into how this organization operates and are thank full for the opportunities the Mets have given us. The new front office has a great deal of respect for us and for the Mets fans and they seem to enjoy these conference calls as much as we do.

A big thank you to Shannon Forde and Danielle Parillo of the Mets for arranging the calls and events at Citi Field.

Thanks also to Michael Baron of Mets Blog and James Kannengieser and Alex Nelson of Amazin’ Avenue for putting together transcripts of the conference call.

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ALL BASEBALL ALL THE TIME

No blogging yesterday as it was a full day of practice for my Babe Ruth league team. The league had told me during the winter that our season would not start until mid-May, as many of the kids play High School baseball but last week they switched it up and said we are starting right away. Our first game is Monday so it’s been a scramble of sorts to get my pitching in order and all the administrative stuff like uniforms and contacting parents with schedules and location sot pick up uniforms.

Then with that I have two podcasts to do this week. The first will be on Tuesday night at 11PM ET as me and Adam Bernacchio of The Ghost of Moonlight Graham will host the Baseball Bloggers Alliance show BBA Baseball Talk.

Then on Wednesday night at 10PM ET I will be hosting my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN show on Blogtalk Radio and one of my guest will be the founder of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and Cardinal blogger at C70 At The Bat, Daniel Shoptaw, we will discuss the weekend series between the Mets and Cardinals in St. Louis.

Now today as much as I would love to write some Mets stuff, I’m heading to a birthday party for my 1year old Great niece in 10 minutes, if I’m not totally exhausted by this evening I mat have a Mets write up tonight, if not tomorrow for sure.

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NON METS: THIS SCARES ME TO DEATH

A non-Mets but a baseball story here. I just read where a woman from Staten Island sued the New Springville Little League and Little League International because her son, aged 12 at the time torn up his knee sliding into second base. Her claim was the coaches were negligent in teaching her son how to slide properly.

 

The first thing I want to know about the child is was he overweight. I’m not picking on the kid if he was fat I’m asking because in 10 years of Little League coaching I’ve had 10,11 and 12 year olds that were so over weight we didn’t have baseball pants to fit them or shirts. I had a 12 year old who wore a 40 waist pants and XXL shirt (his parents thought it was so cute that Big Mike was playing ball even if he couldn’t run, catch or swing a bat without weezing) so maybe this young man was a bit to heavy and that led to his injury.

My next question would be is the child a special education student? Many parents never tell coaches that their child suffers from ADD or ADHD. I am not an educator or a psychiatrist so when I yell at a kid for not paying attention or not looking at me when I’m speaking, it’s because I think the kid is a goof off, if I know in advance that the kid has issues I’d approach him a different way but Little League is forbidden to ask if a child has behavioral problems. That is a huge issue. I’ve had many kids like that, in fact one kid was just a real nasty sort and one day at practice when he was tired of hearing me tell him to catch the ball with two hands he told me to go fuck myself. My son heard this and was ready to beat the kid to a pulp. Finally when the mother told me he didn’t take his “meds” that day I realized the kid was sick.

I volunteer for lot’s of things because I believe in giving back. No one grew up in a better environment than me and I tried to give that to my own kids. I always feel for children who come from homes where it’s not ideal and I’ve always felt that sports is a way of showing kids that teamwork and pulling for one and other is a life lesson and for the most part kids are great it’s the parents that suck.

One thing Little League needs to do is run coaching seminars in the winter to help ladies and gentlemen who would like to volunteer and either don’t know the rules or they are intimidated by other coaches. I’ve had teams where I needed two other people to help me and it was hard between the apathetic parents (the majority unfortunately ) and the ones who feel they are limited in what they know or can do about the sport. If the parents had some guidance the program works a lot smoothly.

I hope this woman will be happy with the money she gets (I know the ambulance chaser who took the case will put his take to good use <sarcastic>) and maybe her conscience won’t bother her when she passes the New Springville Little League field when it’s gates are locked and the grounds are full of weeds and the kids who’s could have made great friends and learned that there are people who not only are there to teach you to play baseball but to listen to your problems and try to help you are all gone but then again when you sue a local Little League you have no conscience.

I wanted to hurl when I read this. Although having served on jury duty on Staten Island I’m not surprised. To be quite honest, when I was on a panel for a civil case involved the MTA and a woman who fell on a bus the answers by the folks on the panel to the attorneys questions were embarrassing. Some woman claimed she couldn’t serve on the jury because she had to be home every day at 4PM to make dinner fro her husband. Another man said he lived in Totenville and coming downtown was a “pain in the ass” for him. So this moronic verdict is not shocking. 

A non-Mets but a baseball story here. I just read where a woman from Staten Island sued the New Springville Little League and Little League International because her son, aged 12 at the time torn up his knee sliding into second base. Her claim was the coaches were negligent in teaching her son how to slide properly.

 

 

I wanted to hurl when I read this. Although having served on jury duty on Staten Island I’m not surprised. To be quite honest, when I was on a panel for a civil case involved the MTA and a woman who fell on a bus the answers by the folks on the panel to the attorneys questions were embarrassing. Some woman claimed she couldn’t serve on the jury because she had to be home every day at 4PM to make dinner fro her husband. Another man said he lived in Totenville and coming downtown was a “pain in the ass” for him. So this moronic verdict is not shocking.

The first thing I want to know about the child is was he overweight. I’m not picking on the kid if he was fat I’m asking because in 10 years of Little League coaching I’ve had 10,11 and 12 year olds that were so over weight we didn’t have baseball pants to fit them or shirts. I had a 12 year old who wore a 40 waist pants and XXL shirt (his parents thought it was so cute that Big Mike was playing ball even if he couldn’t run, catch or swing a bat without weezing) so maybe this young man was a bit to heavy and that led to his injury.

My next question would be is the child a special education student? Many parents never tell coaches that their child suffers from ADD or ADHD. I am not an educator or a psychiatrist so when I yell at a kid for not paying attention or not looking at me when I’m speaking, it’s because I think the kid is a goof off, if I know in advance that the kid has issues I’d approach him a different way but Little League is forbidden to ask if a child has behavioral problems. That is a huge issue. I’ve had many kids like that, in fact one kid was just a real nasty sort and one day at practice when he was tired of hearing me tell him to catch the ball with two hands he told me to go fuck myself. My son heard this and was ready to beat the kid to a pulp. Finally when the mother told me he didn’t take his “meds” that day I realized the kid was sick.

I volunteer for lot’s of things because I believe in giving back. No one grew up in a better environment than me and I tried to give that to my own kids. I always feel for children who come from homes where it’s not ideal and I’ve always felt that sports is a way of showing kids that teamwork and pulling for one and other is a life lesson and for the most part kids are great it’s the parents that suck.

One thing Little League needs to do is run coaching seminars in the winter to help ladies and gentlemen who would like to volunteer and either don’t know the rules or they are intimidated by other coaches. I’ve had teams where I needed two other people to help me and it was hard between the apathetic parents (the majority unfortunately ) and the ones who feel they are limited in what they know or can do about the sport. If the parents had some guidance the program works a lot smoothly.

I hope this woman will be happy with the money she gets (I know the ambulance chaser who took the case will put his take to good use <sarcastic>) and maybe her conscience won’t bother her when she passes the New Springville Little League field when it’s gates are locked and the grounds are full of weeds and the kids who’s could have made great friends and learned that there are people who not only are there to teach you to play baseball but to listen to your problems and try to help you are all gone but then again when you sue a local Little League you have no conscience.

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