FOR METS FANS, THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME

Yes, this is a picture of the Greatest Rock N Roll Band of all time!

It’s getting harder to post anything about the Mets because every time I start to write a post this song pops in my head.  Every day, all day it’s Reyes and Wright, Wright and Reyes. Reyes to the Marlins or the Brewers or the Giants anywhere but the Mets. Trade Wright, Pay Wright, Bring the fences in for Wright on and on it’s the Mets fan/media version of waterboarding.

It seems there is a segment of Mets fans out there that cannot see the Shake Shake   for the chop shops, it has not sunk into the skulls of a segment of the Flushing congregation that the family who owns our beloved Mets are close to broke and have no clue how to raise capital to run the franchise nor do they trust anyone outside their inner circle to bring in as partners. The Skill Sets are the Amish of MLB.

It is these same clueless fans who think Sandy Alderson owns the team. It escapes their pea brains that the GM can only spend what is allotted to him in a budget and even if he had an unlimited budget he still would not spend it like a clueless dolt (ladies and gentlemen  how about a hand for Omar Minaya).

The Mets are up shit’s creek for a few reasons, first, Bernie Madoff got caught and the funny money from his Ponzi scheme that fuled the franchise coffers are gone. Second, the legal fees alone are ruining the Skill Sets, sharks lawyers don’t work for free and I’m sure the shysters are livin’ large on the Skill Sets dole, third, The Skill Sets are selfish bastards who should sell the team but are hanging on for their dear self-centered life with an assist from Uncle Bud.  All in all it makes for a huge mess. The mess was inherited by Sandy Alderson, a man who knows how to clean up such messes, the problem is this mess is beyond sweeping and moping it’s a real industrial strength mess that may take a while to clean up.

Mets  fans want to be told that the franchise is in rebuild mode. Well, since some of you can’t figure it out by reading all the clues you’ve been given, I’ll let you in on the Skill Sets dirty little secret, the team is in rebuild mode.

First it will be letting Jose Reyes depart, unless of course he’ll take a 4yr/$75-$80 mil deal. He won’t. Next it will be David Wright departing. The fences of Citi Field were brought in so Wright can get back on the offensive track so he will be quite desirable to other teams come the trade deadline, this is fatting up the hog for slaughter.  Same deal with Johan Santana, Alderson and company are hoping he comes back like the old Johan so maybe there is a team who would take on his bloated contract to make a post season run. In order to deal off Jason Bay it will take a cocktail of strong narcotics or snapshots of a GM mating with an animal to get that done.

Let me give you folks a dose of reality, the Mets will not contend in 2012 in fact 2012 has a chance to be worse than 2011. So you can make your plans now, either hang in and ride out the storm the next season or jump ship and find another team to root for. In fact all you Jose Reyes groupies can flock to the team that he signs with since your allegiance is more to the players than to the team.

Me? I’ll hang with the organization, the same organization I take to task on what seems to be a daily basis but can’t ever think of turning my back on. It’s going to be a long summer at Citi Field but I’ll still be there rooting for whoever puts on the Mets uniform because to me it makes no difference who owns the team. I look at like this, I was here before the Skill Sets and I’ll be here after the Skill Sets but what has me seeing at least a glimmer of light at the end of the Cliff Floyd Tunnel is I believe Sandy Alderson has a plan and he feels the plan will pay off. I guess I need to hang my hopes on something.

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SATURDAY METS MINUTIA

It looks like John Franco wants to get back in uniform with the Mets, no not as a player but as a coach. Franco said in today’s NY Post, that he would love to join the club as a mentor to Bobby Parnell, which I feel would help Parnell immensely and if Franco is sincere as I’m sure he is, instead of telling this to a newspaper reporter, why not approach Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins with this idea.

When Collins was told of Franco’s wish he said “I’ll try and set that up”. One of the things Collins told me during the winter was he told his coaching staff if you see something that you thing in a player or in a way the club is going about it’s business the needs fixing, you should speak up and let’s look at it as a staff. So if John Franco feels he can help Bobby Parnell get his mindset right to be a closer and help him develop an off speed pitch to go with his supersonic fastball, Collins would definitely be on board for that.

I love Howard Johnson, his combination of speed and power makes him one of the best players to wear a Mets uniform, but really HoJo it’s time to shut the fuck up. As Mike Silva tells us, Johnson has taken to Twitter to bash Mets management claiming they are anti-86 Mets.   As Silva points out there are a number of ex-86ers that work for the team, and the Mets gave HoJo a shot at being a manager and he failed and they handed him the job as the big league batting coach and many feel he’s ruined David Wright with his tinkering of his swing. So really HoJo stop the whining you’re starting to sound like a bitter ex-wife.

The Skill Sets are confident they will find at least 20 investors in their Ponzi scheme effort to raise some capital and to keep ownership of the Mets. I’m sure Mortimer and Randolph Duke Freddy and Uncle Saul know what they’re doing, I mean what could go wrong? (BIG EYE ROLL!!!!!!!)

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WELCOME TO BAILOUT BA$EBALL

This matchup used have TV execs salivating, as the baseball teams in the  two biggest television market go head to head in a three game weekend series. The team that abandoned its home for the glitz of Hollyweird against their little half-brother, Sunset Blvd vs. Time Square, Koufax vs. Seaver , Chavez Ravine vs. Ebbets Field Lite,  two of the most valuable franchises in fiefdom of Selig, $2 billion dollars’ worth of baseball teams selling the game on prime time on FOX Game of the Week and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, Cha-Ching-Cha-Ching-Cha-Ching.  

Oh how the times, they are a changin’ both teams have gone from gold bullion to junk bonds by two owners who have made a total mess of each franchise, the Dodgers owned by a guy from Boston who made his money in the parking garage business, the Mets, a real estate developer . The Mets owner got fucked over by a guy he thought was a great friend but was a no good thief. The Dodger owner fucked over his team by taking the profits and pissing them away. The Dodger owner then accused his wife of fucking her bodyguard and then filed for divorce and the court hearing exposed both the owner and his soon to be ex-wife to be baseballs version of Bonnie and Clyde. The Mets owner went to his brother in law, who is the partner in the team, with concern about that friend of theirs who is investing the team’s money. The brother in law said “Don’t worry” and you’d thing the Mets owner, with Bensonhurst roots would remember the old neighborhood proverb “Don’t worry is doing 10-15 in Sing Sing” alas they were swindled and not only that, they were named in a law suit to recover the ill-gotten gains they received from the Ponzi scheme their friend was running.

So tonight starts a three game series with two teams that no one ever thought would be on the MLB dole, both teams have become welfare teams, the Dodgers so broke, that MLB has taken over control of the operation, the Mets are not to the point of the Dodgers where they can’t pay out paychecks but they are in such bad shape that they may have to trade their 27 year old shortstop instead of paying him a competitive wage.

Both teams need new owners, new blood and most important, a steady cash flow to bring them back to respectability. I could not care less about the Dodgers finding new stewards, in fact part of me is happy as hell they are going through this tough time as its deserved payback for leaving the Boro of Churches. The Mets situation however is no joke, for me and all my fellow Mets fans the current state of the franchise is downright travesty.

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IF THE SKILL SETS NEED TO EMBRACE THE FAN BASE, MAKE US YOUR PARTNER

As a guy who has trouble balancing a check book, all this financial talk of the Skill Sets and the financial stability of the franchise has my head aching. What The Skill Sets knew and when they knew it about the Madoff Ponzi scheme is still not known and if an out of court settlement comes about, we may never know but what we do know is the brand of the New York Mets has been tainted.

Maybe this is why the organization has embraced the Mets blogging community, why not go to the folks whose love for the team is undying and let them be involved in events that we never dreamed we’d be a part of. I am very much appreciative of the organization for the opportunity they have given me with access to Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and various players but the folks the organization really needs to reach out to you guys who read this site and other Mets blogs and buy the tickets and watch SNY and buy team merchandise because you are the life blood of the franchise.

The news of the Skill Sets cash call could not come at a worse time. Season ticket sales are down and there doesn’t seem to be a big demand for single game tickets either, those go on sale in March. The biggest argument and it is a very fair criticism, is that the ticket prices are way to high. Now add in the news that the Skill Sets are strapped for cash most fans will feel that by buying a ticket to a Mets game will be paying for the Skill Sets Defense Fund. I’m not saying it is but that’s the perception.

A couple of pluses could come out of this firestorm. Yesterday I attended SABR DAY at Foleys Bar in Manhattan an event that was put together by SABR and Baseball Prospectus. It was a great afternoon of baseball talk with baseball fans and writers. Two of the panelists were Mets play by play man, Gary Cohen and Newsday baseball writer, Ken Davidoff. When the Q & A session began the Skill Sets money woes came up. Cohen didn’t have much to say on the topic and with good reason I guess, but Davidoff claimed that as far as the baseball operation goes it may be good for the team. It seems this had been brewing for some time and Davidoff confirmed what I’ve been told for years and what I’ve written about here, that Jeffey Skill Sets is a big part of the problem. Between Jeffey and Omar they wanted to be friends with everyone from players to front office people and anytime a tough decision had to be made neither man could pull the trigger. The Tony Bernazzard firing is a prime example, the team had to be humiliated by the media before they’d let Bernazard go as he was friends with both Jeffey and Omar. Davidoff stated this will not happen under Sandy Alderson as he will not tolerate it. The panel consensus was by putting Alderson in charge it takes Jeffey out of the baseball ops decision making except on money issues. So if there is a plus out of this fiasco it’s muzzling Jeffey. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard folks who cover the team say “Now there is an adult in charge” well, you’d be looking at a 25 % owner of the Mets.

The Mets will have to really work hard on marketing this team for 2011 and beyond. The best way to start is by ripping out those club seats behind home plate and replace them with seats that honest to goodness baseball fans can purchase. Not only would be good business but it go a long away to getting some positive baseball atmosphere in Citi Field. Every time you tune into a Mets game on TV, those seats are empty because the ticket holders for those seats couldn’t care less about the game going on as long as the free booze and food are flowing in the Delta Club. The organization lowered some ticket prices but they are still ridiculous. The Skill Sets have taken a massive hit on their credibility, if they want to win the fans back they have a lot of wooing to do. This is year three of Citi Field and the place still has no identity. Is it a playground for the well to do? Is it a food court with a ball park attached? How games have you sat in your seats watching a game a looked out toward centerfield marveling at the line of people who stand on line waiting to buy a hamburger? When people would rather wait on a line for a half hour to forty-five minutes for a burger than watch your team, you have a problem.

It’s time Mets ownership comes to the realization that in order to make this franchise great again it has to embrace the working stiff Mets fan. One thing you know about us working stiffs, we are loyal to the team and we show up and support the club in good times and in bad. Not like some rich thieving scumbag who but a knife in the Skill Sets back.  You want to sell 25 % of the club? Just make the real true blue and orange Mets fan feel like you actually care about them and make the Citi Field experience that wants fans to  come back rather than say good riddance and I guarantee you’ll see so much success that this cash call will be just a bad dream.

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