The NY Mets Search For The Diamond In The Rough

I had quite a busy Mets day yesterday as I resurrected my podcast with the help of Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal and then calling in as guest to the Rising Apple podcast.  In between podcasts, I was fortunate enough to have been invited to a Mets Bloggers conference call with Mets GM Sandy Alderson.

Alderson has been gracious with his time to members of the Mets blogging community and has shown us great respect in regards to our questions and views pertaining to the New York Mets. Alderson has stated to us a couple of occasions how he enjoys the passion we have for the team and time and effort we put in to write and talk about the Mets.  When the Mets and Alderson first started to have these blogger calls the session lasted about 25-40 minutes, last night Alderson stayed on the line with us for about an hour. Name me another team or GM who does that? There aren’t any. As you can see from the transcript, (a great big tip of the Mets cap to Eric Simon and Chris McShane of Amazin Avenue for putting together a transcript of the conference call and while you’re at AA check out Chris’ column on Paul DePodesta and how the team has turned around the player development side of the organization, it’s a great read)

When my turn to speak to Alderson came up, I asked him about the turnover in the roster this past off season and the similarities in the position players he has added.   The players I looked at, Collin Cowgill, Andrew Brown, Brandon Hicks and Jamie Hoffman all poses good walk rates and isolated power percentages. They also have in common the distinction of coming from solid organizations (Cowgill came up through the Oakland A’s system, Brown the Cardinals, Hicks the Braves, Hoffman the Dodgers) when it comes to teaching proper fundamentals in the lower levels of their farm systems. This group also plays the game aggressively as well, on the base paths and on defense.   Here is the Mets GM’s reply to my question:

Well you listed off a lot of positive qualities. And to the extent that the players you mentioned are aggressive defensively, aggressive on the bases, command the strike zone, have some power, can run the bases a little bit. Yes, I would say that these are the kinds of players that we would like to have. Offense plays. You can be a great defender, if you can’t hit you probably can’t play anywhere. I’m not talking about the Mets exclusively. And also, it is possible that there are players that just don’t get an opportunity in certain organizations because they may be deeper at certain positions than they are at others. The minor league free agent market, or the fringe 25 man roster guy, playing for a club with a strong roster, given the opportunity may turn into something valuable. Mike Baxter is another example of this from previous years. Not that Mike has great power, but he’s a very valuable piece and part of the team. There’s no question that we value on base percentage, walk rates, isolated power is important, but as we’ve emphasized with a number of guys here in camp on base percentage, command of the strike zone is important. And look, it’s important on offense, it’s important on the pitching side. If you don’t walk anybody and keep the ball in the ballpark you can win games. Today was a good example of what can happen when you walk seven and give up a number of home runs. The same thing happened yesterday- we out hit the Marlins yesterday 9-5. They beat us because they had 14 total bases on 5 hits and we had, I think, 9 on 9 hits. So right, I think that these are the kinds of players were looking for, that we think can make a contribution at the major league level, and we’re going to find out given some opportunity here in the spring what we have. And, of course, we should have most of them going into the season and so we’ll get a chance to look at them again. You have to look for players wherever you can find them, particularly when you’re weak in that area in your own system.

The players I mentioned are very good complimentary pieces that you need to have on a winning team and as Alderson stated and as we’ve seen firsthand, the skill sets that the players I mention have, are lacking in the organization and as we see Alderson and his baseball ops guys went out looking for this prototype player from different organizations. I think it is also very telling the organization they signed these players from, teams who have rock solid foundation in teaching the right way to play in their minor league systems.

 

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

Sandy Alderson and the Mets Baseball Ops Explain the Facts of Life to Season Ticket Holders

Last night at Citi Field Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, JP Riccardi and John Ricco sat down for a Q & A session with Mets season tickets holders.  Of the season ticket holders in attendance were the first couple of Mets Blogdom Ed Leyro and Taryn Cooper.  On Ed’s Studious Metsimus site he gives a recap of the some of the questions posed to the group and the answers given by the Baseball Ops members assembled. Some of these stood out to me, such as being asked why it’s taking so long for Alderson to make the Mets a contender. And Alderson replied “”We don’t want to be there one year and gone the next.” There is segment of Metsfandom whose craniums are as thick as a milk shake at the Shake Shack. When you inherit a holy mess both personnel and cash flow wise, it’s going to take some time to straighten things out. Alderson and his crew have the Mets on the right path and the impatient Mets fan (who I believe like Chipper Jones said puts a Highlander cap on when the Bronx Bastards play in October)  is either too dense or quite frankly too ignorant to see this. In case you missed it, MLB on its 2013 Prospect Watch ranked three Mets in the top 30 of its top 100 list, Travis d’Aranud  at #6, Zack Wheeler #8 and Noah Syndergaard #29 . Wheeler and d’Aranud will be up by no later than mid-season, Syndergaard in two seasons at least add them to Matt Harvey and you have a nice foundation for the future. Oh yeah I know what you’re saying but the outfield sucks!!!!

Alderson has let it be known in interview after interview that yes, the outfield is a problem spot and yes, I could have spent money to find a bonafide ML outfielder but he wasn’t happy with the sticker price, something he also admitted he has to get over:

  “We understand what the market dictates and we have to be prepared to exist in that market,” said Alderson, who indicated there is an urgency to winning, and that he has not set out on a 10-year plan

Seems Alderson felt there were a couple or three players out there he could have signed but was unwilling to match the price set by the market. I wonder if he could have a do over, if he’d been a little more aggressive in bidding for Ryan Ludwick, Cody Ross or even Reed Johnson as any of those three would be the Mets top outfielder and none of them broke the bank in their newly signed deals. Ross was a player I wanted badly on the Mets as he hits with some pop from the right side of the plate and would have been a big upgrade in right field.  To be fair here as well, there was not much else to choose from in the outfield free agent pool since there was no way in hell Josh Hamilton or Nick Swisher were going to be Mets, nor should they have been and my other wish list outfielder Shane Victorino got a year a couple of million dollars more than I thought he would from Boston and even though he’s born and bred  Phuck Phace  I’d have taken a run at him. Would you be happy with a Duda, Victorino, Ross/Baxter outfield? I would.

The best part of all this is in 11 days Mets pitchers and catchers will report to Port St Lonesome and 5 days after that the full squad will be there and then we can see for ourselves what we have in store in 2013 with our own eyes (and the eyes of those covering the camp) and be done with all this off season speculation.

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

Always Put Off To Tomorrow, What You Can Do Today

I admit I have some bad traits not many I want to get into here but two I will talk about is my inability to organize and that I am a world class procrastinator.  I think my lack of organizing skill comes from my hatred for the telephone. I rarely answer the phone at home (thank you FiOS for the ability to have caller ID come up in HD on my TV giving me The Power of Francesa to hand wave those interrupting my ball game watching) which runs in all the males of my family, if it weren’t for our spouses we would never speak to one another, that goes for texts as well, in fact if it weren’t for the women in my life I don’t think I’d do much communicating.   

I admit that I relay on the ladies of my life for more of my daily routine than I should. I went from a mother who took care of me to a wife who takes care of me to a daughter who fawns over me to the ladies I work with who help me all day every day with work. I love women. The dilemma I have though now is the ladies of my life don’t know much about baseball.

See for the first time in 12 years of coaching youth baseball, I have to register my team, collect registrations fees from them and recruit players to fill out my roster and order uniforms. This has become an unorganized procrastinator’s nightmare.  Well, not a total nightmare as I have designated my son as my Paul DePodesta, not only as my right hand man but my starting 2nd baseman and 2 hole hitter (he’s cut from the Alderson/Dave Hudgens cloth, work the count and a walk is as good as a hit, he’s so good at it, that when we get certain umpires who do the plate they will give him benefit of the doubt when he takes a 2 strike pitch) he does all my contacting of the players via Facebook and text for me but I shouldn’t really burden him with my tasks as he’s preparing to take the SAT’s and that’s more important than putting a baseball team together but he’s such a good son he knows when dad is in distress.

So I’m hoping today to get my shit together and find out how many definites I have to play and figure out the cost per player and give the league the dates we want to play. In fact I should have started on this already and had it all done but first I had to read the game stories on last night’s Rangers-Senators game (no panic in this Rangers fan but I will say this the Rangers need to put the Sens away when they have a lead, stay aggressive in the offensive end. Last night the Blueshirts looked exhausted in the 3rd period that worries me a bit but coming back to MSG should revitalize them.) then read the Mets stories (more on them in a minute) and last but not least the hanging on in procrastinators nirvana, Twitter.

But before I really, really go and push myself to get this work done, a few words on the Mets:

The true test of the mettle of this team will come now that they lost this series to the Braves and their two best pitchers got pounded. With the Giants coming in for 4 games (coming off a classic 1-0 old time pitcher duel last night as Cliff Lee want 10 innings and Matt Cain 9 scoreless) Jon Niese gets to match up with Barry Zito, I like the matchup in the Mets favor.

Terry Collins has said that Kirk Nieuwenhuis will start tomorrow night against the lefty Zito.  TC had also mentioned that when Andres` Torres is of sound mind and calf muscle, he will return as the starting CF and Capt Kirk will go back to Buffalo. Yeah right! With a .375/.444/.531 batting line the only way Capt Kirk is going back to Buffalo is when they retire his number.

I can’t get too angry over losing 2 of 3 to the Braves but I’m a little uncomfortable with using the weather as an excuse for the loss. I understand R.A. Dickey saying his throwing of the knuckleball was like throw a “wet water balloon” but TC saying it wasn’t up to him to play, the conditions as I watched on TV weren’t that bad, it didn’t hurt the Braves hitter that’s for sure.

David Wright is playing some of the best baseball of his career right now and it’s great to see but let’s take it easy on the contract extension talk. I hope Wright has a tremendous season and I’m rooting hard for him, if has a big year,  his contract will take care of itself.

That’s it I got to get this baseball stuff done…..oooooh look The People’s Court is on……I love me some Judge Milian.

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

TRUST OUR SCOUTS

All I know about Brandon Nimmo is what I‘ve read. He comes from Wyoming which is a state that doesn’t have High School baseball ( The population of the state of Wyoming is the same as Staten Island’s minus the Mob Wives)  so he had to play American Legion ball which, in the case of young men of Wyoming, is their high school team.  It seem that besides a headline writers dream last name, he’s athletic and has a quick bat, a strong arm and at 6’2 “185lbs so at 17 years old he should fill out another couple of inches and maybe 25-30 lbs.  He has speed even though he has had knee surgery and the Mets will have to go over slot to sign him.

I also know the Mets VP of Player Development, Paul DePodesta and Scouting Director, Chad MacDonald and his staff have followed Nimmo very, very closely and extensively and are confident that this young man will project into a solid major league corner outfielder with power, speed and a great throwing arm. All of this is pure speculation and DePo and MacDonald would be the first ones to tell you that. But they felt with the hours and hours of work and study and checking and cross-checking they have done on this prospect, will pay off in the years to come.

What we as Mets fans have is someone to watch grow over the next three-four years and to root for to make it to the big league’s as a Met and be that impact player, the front office feels he can be.

We don’t really need to analyze the picks the Mets make or speculate on whether they drafted a guy to early or too late because quite frankly, what the hell do we know about these players? The MLB Entry Draft is unlike the NFL or NBA Draft, we’ve seen (for the most part) the players who make the jump from college to pros and in those two sports, your first round pick better make a contribution to your team or you as GM or Player Personnel Director won’t be in the War Room much longer.

So let’s start off small here and hope that Nimmo and the Mets compensation pick RHP Michael Fulmer sign with the team (both players have commitments to University of Arkansas ) and head to the Gulf Coast League. On second thought, that’s not a small item, let’s hope Sandy Alderson can get the Skill Sets and Minority Einhorn to pony up the dough to sign these two kids, otherwise all DePo will have to show for his first draft for the Mets is a lot of frequent flyer miles.   

MLB either has to jazz up the telecast of this draft or scrap it altogether. What a bore. My wife sat on the couch next to me reading while I watched it drone on and on and said “I know you love baseball but my god how can you watch this”?  There was absolutely no juice, no bling, no posse and the only bad suit in the place belonged to Bud Selig. Just  dreadful.

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

HEY KIDS, THE BAND IS GETTING BACK TOGETHER!!!!!!

SNY is announcing that Paul DePodesta (DePo) has joined the New York Mets front office as Vice President of Player Development and Amature Scouting .

Seriously Mets fans did you ever think we’d see the day when out beloved baseball team would enter (GULP!) the 21st Century. Yeah, Omar Minaya is going to stay on in the organization HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!  

So what do we call this new SUPERGROUP of baseball minds running the Mets ? The Traveling Alderson’s ? Those Crooked Skill Sets? How about the JUSTICE LEAGUE of FLUSHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think Mike Francesa just shat his pants!

So does this mean Terry Collins will be the Mgr.

I ain’t bored anymore folks!

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

THIS IS THE DAWNING OF THE AGE OF SANDY ALDERSON

Take out that Mets jacket.  Bend the brim of your Mets cap. Start putting some cash away to buy tickets to the 2011 season, my fellow Mets fans  WE ARE BACK!!!!!!!!

Our suffering summer has been replaced by a spectacular autumn. This has been the best October the Mets have had in 24 years.  First the Highlanders and Phuck Phaces went down in flames.  Then the cretins of the Mall of the South Bronx have been exposed by Mrs. Cliff Lee who was subjected to taunts, thrown objects and general fan disobedience to the point that Pee Wee Cashman better rethink putting all his eggs in a Cliff Lee free agent basket. Then the news today that CC Sabathia’s knees have given up holding up all that girth to the point his meniscus ripped, you had to wonder if the baseball gods decided that we Mets fans have had enough penance and are now due a reward.

The adults of the Skill Sets family have taken to bring back credibility, accountability and authority by naming Sandy Alderson as the new GM of the New York Mets. The pride in Flushing has returned.

Maybe I’m going a bit overboard on the Alderson hiring but I can’t hide my giddiness. Sandy Alderson was the name that first popped into my head when it was a fait accompli that Omar Minaya was done as the baseball boss. It just made so much sense to hire Alderson, the man had everything that was needed to bring back the respect this organization has lacked for years.

There is a segment of Mets fans who wanted the young hipster type of GM and I’d have had no problem with that but in Alderson you get the Mr. Myiagi of baseball execs. Alderson was baseball analytical before baseball analytical was cool. Billy Beane, Theo Epstein and Paul DePodesta (a name to keep an eye on Mets fans as he could be brought in to the Alderson Cabinet) all learned the trade from Alderson.

This hiring also sends word to fan base that the days of Little Jeffey meddling in adult decisions are over. A man of Alderson’ resume and stature in baseball did not take this job to have a no nothing like Jeffey lurk over his shoulder. This is Freddy and Uncle Saul putting Jeffey in the time out chair.

It looks as if Friday will be the day that Alderson will enjoy his day in the sun at Citi Field for his inaugural presser and I can’t wait to hear what his plan of attack is. It’s nice to have a guy in charge that has a plan, we haven’t had that around here since the days of Frank Cashen.

The biggest decision Alderson will have will be to name a manager. A majority of Mets fans want Wally Backman to get the job and I would count myself as a Backman supporter.  From reading this post from Mike Silva’ NY Baseball Digest, Backman could be exactly the guy Alderson is looking for. Backman has no problem being a manager that carries out the organizational orders from the GM. From reading the quotes in Silva’s post, Backman to me, looks like a strong choice for manager.

That discussion will be now on the front burner and I have a ton of faith that whoever Alderson picks he will do his due diligence on that choice. It’s so nice to have someone in charge that makes me feel optimistic that the Mets will be back as one the best teams in baseball.

By Friday the weather in NYC will be what it should be; autumnal so it would be nice is all Mets fans wear their Mets jackets or sweatshirts to celebrate the new day dawning in Flushing as the Alderson Era begins.

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

FORGET TONY B AND OMAR, FIRE JEFFEY!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Another day in Metsville where the suckitude off the field over shadows the suckitude on the field. As I type this, Tony Bernazard is still employed by the Mets and that is troubling. More troubling is that Omar Minaya is acting like these aligactons against Bernazard are fresh and he is ‘investigating” them. If that’s true Minaya should be fired on the spot as well.

 

I’ve defended Minaya here at this site while ducking the lings and arrows of the FIRE MINAYA brigade but as this Bernazard scandal unfolds it looks like Omar is either clueless of what is going on under his stewardship as the Mets top baseball man or he is a lying sack of shit. Either way due to the facts coming out that Omar has let this loose cannon Tony B run roughshod through the organization Minaya and Bernazard should both be fired like yesterday.

 

Not to rehash my post from yesterday but Bernazard was very smart to buddy up to Jeffey Skill Set but at some point Freddy Skill Set has to tear himself away from his personal pity party of getting fleeced by Bernie Madoff and along with Uncle Saul Katz take over control of the Mets organization before it burns to the ground. All Freddie has to do is look across his estate at his neighbor Charlie Dolan who gave his incompetent son the keys to the World’s Most Famous Arena and turned into the World’s Largest Shit Hole.

 

If Freddy doesn’t take the reins and grab control of the team and re-assigns Jeffey to the corporate wing of the organization, we Mets fans will be looking at the baseball version of the New York Knickerbockers. Freddy and Uncle Saul have to have an intervention with the little jock sniffer Jeffey and remove him from anything to do with the baseball operation. Then the must go in and rip apart the infrastructure of the team’s front office and start over.

 

Freddy needs to go after men like Larry Beinfest, Logan White of the Dodgers, Grady Fuson  and Paul DePodesta of the Padres, Abe Flores, the Angels Director of Player Development, or Jed Hoyer VP and Asst GM of the Red Sox. There are really good, smart baseball people out there and as this organization looks right now, if Freddy must make the ultimate decision to remove his son from any and all baseball decisions and make it known throughout baseball that this is such, what better situation for an aspiring GM would it be to run the NY Mets, to be the man who took the franchise out of the gutter and back to prominence.

 

Please Freddy and Uncle Saul, I come to you with Mets cap in hand SAVE OUR TEAM SAVE OUR FRANCHISE, REMOVE JEFFEY FROM ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE BASEBALL OPERATION IIIIIIIIIII”MMMMMMMMMM BBBBBBBEEEEEEEEGGGGGGGGGGGIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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.