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

Checkout The Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast from 8-21-12

<

Listen to internet radio with Ivie League Prod on Blog Talk Radio

 

 

Last night on Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast, I went on a bit of rant over my distaste for the way the Mets have been playing this second half. Last night’s game may have been mine and Terry Collins breaking point as the phrase “given up” was used in how this team approached last night’s game.

Part of my rant was my opinion that Wally Backman may have to take over as manager of the Mets in 2013. In no way am I going in the Collins Must Go direction as the last two seasons I’ve grown to respect Collins a lot for his work ethic and for taking bullets for his players (sometimes too many bullets) but in my opinion I’d like to see Collins given a position in the player development department, maybe as the head of minor league instruction with an extra year on his current contract and a bump in (combat) pay. I just feel at this point in the organization rebuild, with Sandy Alderson committed to build this team through the minor league system why not bring in the guy that the majority of the young players have dealt with and that’s Wally Backman.  The players who are the future of the Mets have all played under Backman whether it was at Brooklyn or Binghamton or Buffalo so why not have him tutor them at the big league level as well.

Again this is no knock on Terry Collins who has vindicated himself for his past failures as a big league manager but this organization needs a major wake up call. In a perfect world The Skill Sets would sell the team to Mikhail “The Big Man” Prokhorov  who would tell Sandy Alderson here is your checkbook there is $500 million go buy some players, but that’s not happening. Something has got to give here; you cannot bring back the same group that’s here now back next season that goes from coaches and players. Right now on the current roster the only players I’d keep would be Wright, Tejada, Niese, Dickey, Santana, Harvey, Rauch, Parnell and Edgin, everyone else can shipped out, released, bought out eradicated  whatever.

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

GOBBLE GOBBLE

 

I thought I’d look at some of the Mets news of the day before I start reading more into the new CBA that seems to have those who follow amateur baseball and player development up in arms with how many restrictions there will be on clubs when it comes to drafting players from the June entry draft and players from the International player pool.

It figures when the Mets have made it their mission statement to invest in the draft and in cultivating home grown talent that these new restrictive rules go into effect.

If we see Adam Lowden roaming the outfield of Citi Field in 2012, it won’t be a good sign.

Jose Reyes finished 11th in MVP voting, to me that does not translate into a 6yr/$120 mil player

Jerry Seinfeld just got a dog and he named him Jose after Jose Reyes, he’s a cute little dog but he’s no Shamsky. By the way why can’t celebrity Mets fans like Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Matthew Broderick, Ray Romano, Kevin James, Chris Rock to name a few form a syndicate and buy out the Skill Sets?

That’s it for today and until Friday unless Bernie Madoff sends Freddy Skill Sets a note from the big house on where he buried the missing millions he pilfered (I have a vision of the boardwalk at Brighton Beach as a starting point) and the Mets announce the signing of Reyes,  Albert Pujols , Mark Buehrle and C.J. Wilson if not enjoy your Thanksgiving, put your worrying about the Mets on the back burner and look around the table at dinner and give thanks for those who are with you and remember those who aren’t.

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

COM’ON JOSE SIGN WITH THE FISH ALREADY SO WE CAN GET ON WITH OUR OFF SEASON

Photo from Bleacher Report

 

From watching Sandy Alderson with Kevin Burkhardt  on Mets Hot Stove, I come to the conclusion that when he took the job last year and looked over the landscape of the organization , he couldn’t believe the mess it was in. One of the things he spoke about last year that had me singing his praise was putting together a uniform system of teaching the Mets farm hands the right way to play baseball. One of the glaring weaknesses we saw last year from the major league team was the lack of understanding baseball fundamentals and baseball instinct.   Alderson realized that the way the Mets were conducting player development was so deficient that a major changes had to be made.

Fast forward to this off season.  Alderson has just finished his first season as the Mets baseball boss and what he saw up close and personal is what shapes his thinking for this off season. He saw a team that when hit by injury was deficient in depth at the Triple A level, sure some of the call ups played above and beyond and the team for the majority of the season was known as hard working and never giving up, a testament to the manager (who lit into his team when they slacked off, again something we haven’t seen here in years), but Alderson saw that there is no New York quick fix here, this rebuilding of the Mets will take some time.

Yes, this is a rebuild, from the way the organization is viewed by outsiders (if Alderson could just get the Skill Sets to go underground for say the next 10 years that would be major plus in rebuilding the brand)and the way it’s looked at by other players and front office types throughout baseball.  The later has improved a lot under Alderson, the former, well, that will take more time.

When Burkhardt asked about signing Reyes, and the fact that the majority of Mets fans are clamoring for him to be resign by any means necessary, Alderson explained how this is not going to happen, a six year deal for Reyes would be a disaster for the organization. I loved Burkhardt’s  follow up question where he brought up that Alderson mentioned that the release of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo had to do somewhat with fan sentiment, Alderson explained, while the voice of the people played a bit of a part, it was more the poor performance of both players that led to them becoming ex-Mets.

Now Reyes not returning will not be due to poor performance by him but by poor performance of the team and the fact that the Mets are at least two seasons away from being a pennant winning factor.  You don’t need someone to tell you that Mets fans, in your heart of hearts you know it. So to give Reyes a long term deal and tie up money that will be better spent on getting the part or parts needed to put the club over the top in 2013 or 2014 is a better investment. I agree 100 %.

There are still some of us among the Mets faithful that want to spend and spend and spend. First, it’s hard to spend what you don’t have.  The ownership is doesn’t have the money to throw around as in years past and that may be the best piece of news this off season. I guess once the Mets season ends some of you stop watching baseball because if you did you’d realize that you can win with a $90-$100 mil payroll, you just have to know how to spend your money wisely. Alderson does and he will but it won’t happen overnight. Just stay patience and let him and his staff do its work, the man’s track record shows this could work in positive way.

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

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.

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

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.

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

WELCOME TO THE WILPON EMPLOYMENT AGENCY

Give the Skill Sets some credit here as they are going full bore in the interview process for a new GM. There doesn’t seem to be a bad choice here as the caliber of candidates are quite impressive. As much as I’ve taken a seat on the Sandy Alderson bandwagon, I could just as easily hop of and get on the cross-town  Rick Hahn Express as well.  You also have to feel good as a Mets fan that they are talking to Logan White of the Dodgers, who supposedly has a deal in place with LA but with the Feuding McCourt’s tearing apart the franchise, the Mets, amazingly enough, look like the more stable organization and quite possibly White would join the team as an executive in charge of scouting and player development which along with a hire of either Alderson or Hahn, would push the respect meter to a point we haven’t seen in Flushing since the Frank Cashen days.

Seems an Alderson run team would allow the Skill Sets to hire Wally Backman as long as Backman realizes he’s there to carry out the Alderson Plan. As we’ve seen with Alderson’ run with the A’s and Padres, the manager is more like a shift supervisor who enforces company policy.

No matter who is hired as the new man in charge of baseball ops, it will be no longer be business as usual in Queens.

Adam Rubin has a great preview of Mets farmhands now competing in the Arizona Fall League. Brad Holt who I thought  was going to be a big time pitcher for the Mets when I saw him pitch in Brooklyn a few years back, is trying to redeem himself in the eyes of the organization and CF’er Kirk Nieuwenhuis are two of the players for Mets fans to keep an eye on.

A lot of talk before last night’s Rays-Rangers Game 5 was about the looseness of the Rays players seems the Rangers took advantage of that attitude by going all out aggressive on the base paths against Tampa.

So we have the Highlanders v. Rangers and Phuck Phaces v. Fuck Yeahs in the LCS. The Highlanders own the Rangers so it is with a great sense of urgency, that the Rangers play the same aggressive style in Game 1 against CC and his battery mate the defensively challenged Dumbo Posada. A Game 1 loss will send Highlander fans into a pure panic, and isn’t that we haters of Bronx Bastards live for?

I am going all out to root for the Giants as I’m thinking of making a little shrine with my Jim Ray Hart bat, Will Clark baseball cards, and my photos of John McGraw. Game 1 Saturday is a must watch for all baseball fans with Halliday and The Freak hooking up.

Taryn Cooper has her last post of the season up at her My Summer Family site and she is also stepping away from the everyday grind of Mets blogging, which is a major loss to Metsfandom.  Hopefully we can meet up at MSG Coop, to root for our Broadway Blueshirts.

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

NOW THE SKILL SETS HAVE TO BACK THERE WORDS

So the inevitable happened this afternoon at $iti Field when Freddy and Jeffey Skill Sets put the fan base out of it’s misery by firing Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel. First off, can the MSM put the violins away and give Mets fans a break about the termination of both of these men?  I’ve never seen the media make a fuss over auto workers or teachers losing their jobs like they are about Minaya and Manuel. Minaya is leaving with a $2.5 mil golden parachute and by the way, it looks like Minaya is totally gone from the organization as he stated in his only as Omar can way, that he was offered a position in the org but turned it down as he feels a new GM should pick his own front office. He didn’t rule out a return to the Mets in some capacity but he is free to find employment elsewhere.

Minaya will find a job as a scout or player development person and by the way, I have never seen a guy so happy to get the ax like Minaya, he kept making the goofy grin after answering questions that quite frankly has me wondering if he is either relieved to the get the hell out Flushing or he’s an idiot.

Manuel will be fine as well, he will get a coaching job at a nice Christian school where he can play his Gandhi act with some Evangelical baseball players and they all go out and win one for the Baby Jesus.

With all the tweets I’ve seen on Twitter about telling fans to remember that “these are two good men who lost their jobs” and yada, yada, yada. Spare me the nice guy bullshit.  I’m sick and tired of the lets’ play nice mentality of this organization. Enough of Jeffey and Freddy,  who spewed the same old line of horseshit about how they love this franchise and how Freddy Skill Sets hurts after every defeat, wah, wah, wah cry me a fucking river. I’m sick and tired of talk, as the old saying goes ,if bullshit was electricity, the Mets would be a fucking powerhouse.  Give me a guy like Bill Belichick who is hated by the media because he’s a world class prick, but he is a championship winning world class prick.

Jeffey, Freddy, Uncle Saul and Dave the Shyster, you have no idea how much pain me and my brothers and sisters in Mets fandom feel.  You don’t wear Mets caps or Mets jerseys or jackets and have people say “you’re brave to wear that” I’m not brave you asshole, I’m loyal.  No matter how bad this team is and how badly the $iti Field personnel treat me and the constant urge to stalk Jeffey Skill Sets just to smack the shit out of him, I stick with this team though thick and thin and as a guy rooting for the Mets for 46 years there’s been a whole lot of thin but I still buy tickets, I still wear my Mets regalia with pride and I still stick up for this team when it’s attack by other fans.  I can bitch and moan about this team and organization every day at this site but I still count the days until spring training and the day tickets go on sale and make sure I secure my tickets for opening day. All I ask in return is for the ownership to make an effort to bring in a front office and players who have as much pride in the New York Mets as this fan base does.

I hope the Skill Sets were sincere in the message they portrayed today, that they want a solid GM who is progressive in his approach to building a baseball team. Minaya is a dinosaur whose way of running a baseball team is way in the past; it’s time to get this organization into the 21st century and use statistics along with scouting to build a solid organization. No more throwing money at players where you’re the only bidder in the auction. No more throwing millions at 30+ year old players who are as washed up as hypodermic needles on the Coney Island sand, no more turning the other cheek , time to step up for your teammates. The next 3-4 weeks may be the most critical in the history of the Mets franchise, let’s just hope we are not here this time three years from now regurgitating all this “we want to win” mantra. Please Skill Sets I’m begging you ,hire a Baseball Czar and let the man/woman whomever, run the baseball ops as they see fit.  Actions speak louder than words Freddy prove me wrong about you and your dopey son, please prove me wrong.

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.