Mike and I will discuss tonight’s Mets-Astros game, along with will Jose Reyes stay or be dealt, fan grumbling over David Wright and Mike’s view on the the Skill Sets and his thoughts on the new regime of the Mets.
A daily account of the trials and tribulations of the New York Mets. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike and I will discuss tonight’s Mets-Astros game, along with will Jose Reyes stay or be dealt, fan grumbling over David Wright and Mike’s view on the the Skill Sets and his thoughts on the new regime of the Mets.
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I was fortunate to be invited to a conference call last night with Sandy Alderson and my fellow Mets bloggers. This is the second cc Alderson has done with bloggers and he seems genuinely happy to talk to us and values our input about the team. As great as it was talking to the Mets GM, the biggest kick for me was reading all the Tweets from other baseball bloggers who were soooooooooooooo jealous that we were granted access to Alderson and reading how they wish the head of the team they root for would give the same courtesy. Imagine that, the same wise ass’ who like to joke and make sarcastic remarks about the Mets, are envious of Mets bloggers.
I’m slowly getting used to the frank and honest way Alderson does business, whereas in the past, I’ve always felt you had to read between the lines to find the truth out of anything coming out of Flushing , but now it seems we’re getting the straight skinny from the Mets GM.
On the release of Castillo and Perez, Alderson said that to some extent fan sentiment was a factor in releasing both players, more so in Castillo’s case as the front office had hoped that Perez could make some kind of contribution. Alderson felt it was only fair that the new regime look at both players first hand instead of relying on hearsay.
With Emaus winning the 2nd base job, it’s clear his Rule 5 status helped him in winning the job over Justin Turner who had options. Alderson said that Emaus would only make the team as a starting baseman and not a bench player. Alderson said he was happy that Emaus has come around with the bat and has shown signs of being effective turning the DP.
My question to Alderson was about the fight for the last spot in the bullpen, but first I added a bit of editorializing:
“Between the offseason and spring, it seems that there’s a minority in the fan base and a majority of the mainstream media that likes to dwell on the negative things that go on with the organization. They seem not to want to talk about that the team offensively has been terrific this spring, it seems that batters have been taking to Dave Hudgens’s way of hitting, a lot of walks, a lot of doubles, and the defense has been pretty good, too, maybe very good this spring, but the big thing is the pitching. The pitching has been outstanding this spring and hopefully it will carry over to the season. Now you spoke about the bullpen, and you do have decisions to make. How close is it in that seventh spot? It seems that we kind of figured the first six guys are in that pen, and that last spot, that seventh spot, seems to be the one that’s up in the air. How are you going back and forth on that decision?”
Here is Alderson’ reply:
“That’s a very good question. If you look at the guys who are competing for the last two or three spots. You’ve got a young kid, a Rule 5 pick who is untested, who has improved, we think, greatly since the beginning of camp, at least mechanically, has shown a lot of command, has shown good velocity, and we think has real upside. As compared to somebody like Jason Isringhausen, who is a veteran presence and not only because of what he can do on the mound but how he might influence the rest of that bullpen, is an attraction for us. Then you’ve got a couple of guys, [Blaine] Boyer, Manny Acosta, who are very, very close in terms of overall results, but they get there in different ways. Boyer is basically a ground ball pitcher. Acosta has the livelier fastball and is more of a strikeout guy, maybe a little more command, but occasionally gives up a three-run homer as he did yesterday. So not only is it a close competition, but interestingly, each of those guys represents a very different choice beyond how they perform, and that’s what we’re trying to balance right now is the desire to win, the feel-good story of somebody like Jason Isringhausen, who has also performed well, against the potential of somebody like Pedro Beato, and then the two guys that we brought in. And we haven’t resolve those yet. We just had a meeting today with some of the front office people here with the coaches and Terry Collins and we resolved a few things but the bullpen is still unresolved.”
The problem is Boyer ,who has had a great spring, has an out clause in his contract to become a free agent if he doesn’t make the OD 25 man roster. In a perfect world I believe Alderson would take Izzy north and hope Boyer doesn’t get a ML contract from another team and he signs him to a minor league deal. The odds of that are slim.
There were great questions from all who participated and to read the entire transcript check out the post Eric Simon of Amazin’ Avenue put together in detail of the conference call.
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Bob Melvin is sure sounding like a guy who will be gainfully employed as Mets manager :
Bob Melvin, in his own understated way, wants to open the door to the Mets’ clubhouse and give players a swift kick in the pants.
“It’s not a talent problem,” Melvin said yesterday after his second interview with Mets officials for the team’s managerial opening. “It’s the mindset. Get back to the confident mindset this team needs to win and compete in that division.”
“I don’t look at it as a rebuilding process,” he said. “I look at it as we have the pieces with this club to compete, I don’t think there is any doubt about that. Certainly with the payroll this team has, it gives you the resources to compete every year. It’s just getting everybody going in the right direction and getting everybody healthy.”
I have to agree 100% with Melvin on this. I thought Jerry Manuel’ biggest downfall was his lack of leadership and his inability to motivate his players. I’m not talking Knute Rockne “RAH-RAH-RAH WIN ONE FOR THE GIPPER” motivation but the ability to put the right people in the right situation to have them succeed. The Mets were always a three game losing streak from turning tail and retreating, and that’s on the manger. You never got the impression there was any sense of urgency with Manuel, who loved to say “there’s a lot of baseball left” when the team was floundering. “There’s a lot of baseball left”, is baseball speak for “I’ve got no clue on how to right this team” and that’s the mindset that Sandy Alderson was brought in to change.
Getting everybody going in the right direction and getting everybody healthy.” The two words that stand out to me in that quote are direction and healthy. The biggest problem the last front office regime had was a lack of organizational direction. Omar talked “pitching, defense and athleticism” but never went out and traded, signed or drafted with that mindset. There was no organizational structure in the minor league system and First Year Entry Draft would have been better served by using copies of Baseball America to draft players, but that way of doing business is over.
I feel there is a large segment of Mets fans that would bitch and moan even if John McGraw, Branch Rickey and Ed Barrow were all reincarnated and brought into the Mets organization. You want to get me excited over a manager? Then name Christina Hendricks the Mets field boss (WHOA!!!!!!!! Is it hot in here or is it Christina???????????)
The foundation of the Mets organization has a huge crack in it and the basement has very bad water damage until the farm system and mindset of how the Mets do business gets fixed and back on solid ground, it doesn’t matter who sits in the manager’s office. If it sounds like I’m drinking the Sandy Alderson Kool –Aid, you’re damn right I am, the man has a proven track record of building a strong foundation he’s Tom Silva and Norm Abram all in one package. So Mets fans give the man a little room to operate and if Wally Backman is not named manager then buy this DVD and get over it.
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Happy Thanksgiving to one and all and let me say how thankful I am to all of you who come to this site and read my posts and more important comment on them as well. I’m also thankful to the Mets bloggers who link to my site and also link to my posts, it’s so great to be a part of a passionate fan base that loves it’s team and doesn’t let inept management destroy their passion.
Andrew Vazzano of The Ropolitans has a posting that asks “What three Mets past or present would you invite to Thanksgiving dinner”? My three are Ed Kranepool (of course) Tom Seaver and Jerry Grote. After we got through discussing hitting and the art of pitching I’d unveil my plan to over throw the Skill Sets regime and save our Mets.
We’re so sorry but we haven’t heard a thing all day,
We’re so sorry, uncle albert, Elmer
But if anything should happen
We’ll be sure to give a ring.
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As I watched the Frankie Rodriguez (Frankie will be the name he goes by here) Â press conference I should have felt happy and excited but all I could think about was the presser was held in the Bunch of Broke Assâ€™ (Citigroup) Headquarters and the owner of our team is very close to be an Old Â Broke Ass and there is his son who could be a Dumb Broke Ass and all I could do was laugh and think that makes me A Dumb Mets Blogger Broke Ass and that led me to shout as the Great Â Joe Bada Bing Benigno would say â€œOH THE PAINâ€
The more the Skill Sets say the Mets are not effected by his getting duped by his buddy Bernie Maddoff the more I worry because as we all know â€œDonâ€™t Worryâ€ is doing 10 to 15 in Sing-Sing.
So now that everyone took their bows at the Bunch of Broke Assâ€™ Building today and we all patted Omar on the back for a job well done whatâ€™s the next move? It better be for Derek Lowe and one more veteran pitcher. If itâ€™s Lowe and OP even better. But you know what I donâ€™t think the Mets are signing either one of them because I think this Madoff scandal is bigger and more damaging to the Skill Sets than they are letting on. The company line is â€œthings are fine, no effect on the teams financesâ€ but if thatâ€™s so prove it. The Mets money woes go deeper than Bernie Madoff. Every deal the Skill Sets are in has turned to shit. They start a TV Network and I guess it makes money but for the most part itâ€™s unwatchable. There is not one show on SNY I have any desire to take my finger and press the channel on my remote to. Then there is the deal with Citigroup and that name on the ball park marquee. The place hasnâ€™t open yet and it has failure written all over it. Now the Madoff cluster fuck; it just adds to failure after failure by the Skill Sets regime.Â
Remember boys and girls, if it werenâ€™t for Nellie D when he was an equal partner in the team you would not be prancing along in your 31 PIAZZA jerseys as he made the push to acquire Mike Piazza and Doubleday also had no fear of the Highlanders as he knew that between he and Freddy Skill Sets that could buy and sell the Bronx Robber Barron, Nellie D was the aggressive owner who loved to make a back page splash.Â
I guess what I â€˜m getting to is maybe with all these bad investments and bad karma itâ€™s time for the Skill Sets to sell the team. If not outright maybe they need to sell parts of the team and put together a Board of Directors that are not family or cronies. Get some people on board that can bring the franchise forward. As much as I hate to get into a â€œkeeping up with the Highlandersâ€ mind set I want someone in this organization that has some creativity and foresight to market the team as it should â€œThe Flagship Team of the National Leagueâ€ For years NYC was an NL town. The Highlanders had fans but didnâ€™t â€˜t draw as many to the ballpark as the Dodgers, Giants or Mets, but the last decade or so thatâ€™s changed and the Mets have just say back and taken it under the Skill Sets leadership. Maybe now is time for a change just like in the White House maybe after almost 30 years of owning the team it may be time for the Skill Sets to get out.
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I knew the rip off of the Skill Sets (along with other unlucky bastards) would get murkier as the NY Times lays out the fact that Freddy Skill Sets not only lost a lot of his personal Â dough but he has investors he has to pay out from his Sterling Equities corporation and one of the guys with a debt due is none other than Nellie D former Skill Sets partner in the Mets. Could it be that Nellie (Make mine a) Doubleday gets back in the baseball business as part owner of the Mets? I doubt it as DD is up there in age but what is intriguing to me is he despises Jeffy Skill Sets immensely so maybe he finds a way to get back in the game or have one of his operatives get into Citi Field and concoct an over throw of the Skill Set regime. I feel bad for Freddy but the idea of seeing Jeffy squirm brings me joy.
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Covering the New York Mets since 2003, The Eddie Kranepool Society gives daily coverage of the Amazins from a very irreverent perspective. Contact me at email@example.com