I Have No Fear Of The Beard

 

So we get word that Sandy Alderson headed to the West Coast to watch former Giants closer, Brian Wilson show that his right elbow is sound after his second Tommy John surgery. So what’s the first thing Mets fans say? Oh his shtick won’t go over well in NY. Are you kidding me? If Wilson can bounce back to his pre-TJ ways he can wear a tutu and Jimmy Choo’s what difference would it make?

To say the Mets bullpen sucked last year would be a compliment. The pen was beyond suck, more like the Mets relief core sucked the life out of the team and the season with late inning collapses and blown saves.  While many wring their hands over the outfield and debate whether the players slated to man the lush lawn of the Citi Field outfield could possibly be the least talented trio in Mets history, there has been a memory lapse that the Mets relief pitchers were a disgrace to pinstriped, snow white, road gray or hideous black uniform.  

Wilson has all the attributes Sandy Alderson likes  in a player, shunned from his former team, coming off injury, and will work for a pay for performance contract. The last one is what Alderson is banking on. Alderson would love to sign Wilson to a minor league deal with a make good bump in pay if he makes the club out of spring training. I doubt Wilson and his agent will accept that.  If Alderson feels that Wilson is close to being ready for opening day and if his velocity has returned to somewhere near the mid-90 mph he was at in 2010, why not make an offer of 1 year +an option for 2014 with a base salary of say, $2.5 mil with incentives to go up to about $4mil (if he makes those incentives it means he’s not only pitched great but the Mets are winning games as well) which would tie into health and performance.  Oh and let’s not worry about Frankie Frisco’s fragile ego because if Wilson is signed he will be the closer and FF goes to set up with Bobby Parnell and Josh Edgin working the lefty/right 7th inning tandem, you’ve jump up your bullpen status from blood suckers to much improved with this move.

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Mets Fans Are On The Outside Looking In

While the Twitter-verse is blowing up over the Rays-Royals deal after just toweling off over Zack Grienke signing a 6 year $147 with the Los Angeles Dodgers (seriously are we sure the Dodgers weren’t bought by the U.S .Congress?) we Mets fans are like a bunch of street urchins staring at the bakery window praying that we can fill our empty belly’s with a day old bun.

The news out of Mets camp is about banners and bobble heads and circus coming to Citi Field instead of big strapping power hitting outfielders joining the big league club or the stay of execution of a Cy Young Winning knuckleballer and a couple of reliable relief pitchers.  It’s great that the Mets are putting tickets on sale earlier than usual but in all honestly before I buy a ticket for the performance I need to know who’s in the cast?  I’d love to go see Macbeth but with Pauly Shore playing the Scottish Lord I’d pass.   

I am trying to remain patient but as the days go on without any type of player movement, I’m leaning toward the Yogi-isim of “it gets late early” which will soon lead me to my favorite axiom “shit or get off the pot”.  I really, really want to participate in the season of Mets in 2013, I have my discretionary income sitting in an empty Chock Full O’ Nuts can waiting to purchase tickets. I want to go to all the  Tchotchke Days, I want to sit in Section 514 of the Promenade Infield with my scorebook on a warm summer day, I live for these kind of moments, and all I ask of the Mets is to make an effort to put out a team on the field that I can root for.  I just do not want to see a team where the majority of the roster is made up of players who rolled over and played dead for last four late summers. I’m not asking much and I’m willing to pay in U.S. currency for it.

So many people are killing Dayton Moore today for trading off Wil Myers Baseball Americas Minor League Player of the Year and P Jake Ordorizzi the #1 and # 3 prospects in the Royals system along with two other lower ranked prospects  for pitchers ” Big Game” James Shields and Wade Davis. For all the heat Moore is taking, I have to give him props for having the balls to be bold. He’s not standing by he’s taking a shot by adding a consistent top of the rotation starter in Shields and a reliable reliever in Davis.

If we have learned anything from the last couple of post seasons, the team that is playing at its best in August and September are the teams that make the big post season runs. Teams like the Mets who think the season ends at the All Star Break each season are left to lament how to get better. It’s December 10th and right now the Mets are not any better than they were when the season ended. So far it’s “it gets late early “but we’re not far from “shit or get off the pot”

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Does Anything Surprise You When It Comes To R.A. Dickey ?

As we head into the last game (thankfully) of the 2012 Mets season, we are looking at an off season that could make our heads spin. As we Mets fans question why the manager and his coaching staff gets to come back intact for the 2013 season, I think the answer is clear, Sandy Alderson is holding the players responsible for this lousy season.

All we’ve ever heard as sports fans for lousy teams is you can’t fire all the players so fire the coach or manager, well it seems Alderson is going to reverse that old bromide as it looks like a big majority of the roster will be traded or released.

I side with the majority of Mets fans who can figure out how Dan Warthen gets to come back. It seems as though the starting pitchers, especially R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana, are Warthen allies as is the manager but I doubt you will find and Mets relievers who are members of the Dan Warthen Fan Club.  Granted most of the Mets bullpen problems were caused by sucky relievers but Warthen has to take a hit for not having open lines of communications with his relief pitchers. Terry Collins needs to take some accountability on this as well for not providing any structure with how guys are used and assigning roles. It’s great for us as fans to say it’s a bunch of bullshit that every reliever should be ready when called on but again you need to know your personnel and if they are pining for leadership from the manger and pitching coach then it’s up to them to provide that.

Just when you think R.A. Dickey can’t add to his legacy we find out now that he has pitched much of the season with a torn abdominal muscle that requires surgery. Are you kidding me? Last year Dickey pitched with a plantar fasciitis injury that required him to be shot with pain killers before pitching. And you don’t want to sign this guy to an extension? You’re thinking of trading him? Are you fucking kidding me? Dickey isn’t looking for a big time deal, I would guess if you add two years to his option for next season he’d sign on the bottom line and if you have to give him $20mil for those two years you do it. If the money is that tight with the Skill Sets that you can’t keep a guy who not only excels on the field but is the best representative you have off the field then you deserve every hateful comment that will come your way.

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A Good Reliever Is Hard To Find

Maybe the Mets should bring back the bullpen carts from the 1970’s could be Mets relievers are exhausted from running in from the pen

 

Watching the implosion of the Mets bullpen has pissed me off as it has you but fact is, this bullpen has sucked all year.  If I can take the Mets to task for anything to do with this pungent pen, it waited too long to fix it, the trade deadline may be to make your move.

We’ve heard all the names from Huston Street, Jonathan Broxton, Grant Balfour and Frankie Rodriguez as relievers the Mets have or should target as Mets fans feel anyone other than relievers who wear a Mets uni will pull a Mighty Mouse and save the day.  Not one of those pitchers is guaranteed to be any better than who the Mets are currently employing as relief pitchers and none of them will come for free.   Take K-Rod for instance, he’s owed about $4mil for the rest of the season and before the All Star break he could have been had for a next to nothing just by picking up the rest of the money on his contract. Now, it will be a bit tougher since he has taken over the closer role from John Axford. You could probably get Axford for nothing but the idea here is to improve the bullpen and Axford is far from an improvement.

Huston Street would be a fine addition to the Mets pen and if Alderson could get him plus LHP Joe Thatcher in a deal, that would be a huge upgrade. Street is owed $3+ mil for rest of 2012 with a $9 mil option for 2013 but the club can invoke a $500K buy out. Thatcher is an arbitration eligible player who  signed for $700 K for the year, so the money commitment to both player would be less than $4mil, if the money is prohibitive to the Skill Sets then just shut the franchise down but I have to think they could scrape some of Bill Maher’s minority money along with the other silent partners who bought in to pay for this bullpen upgrade. So what would the coast be in players? I have no idea but I know the Mets baseball ops has a big commitment to rebuilding the minor league system  and they will not over pay in players to get a two month pitcher rental. 

The Rockies have a pair of relievers, RHP Matt Belisle and RHP Rafael Betancourt who I’d think you’d be able to obtain for a C level prospect or two. Belisle has stranded 79 % of the runners he has inherited which is one of the huge holes in the Mets bullpen, the ability of relievers to come in and get big outs with runners on base, and his walk rate of 1.5/9 IP is fabulous. The money a club would take on is about $1.8 mil for the rest of this season and in 2013 Belisle is owed $4.1 mil, so again the more money a club would agree to take on the less you would have to give up for Belisle or for Betancourt who has a stupid contract that pays the 36 year old right hander $4 mil for 2012 and $4.25 for 2013. The Rox would have to eat a lot of dead presidents to deal him.

RHP Shawn Camp of the Cubs would be a fine addition since he hardly makes any money (baseball wise that is) at $550K. Camp’s 80 % LOB number is what got my attention but I would bet he will be used as a tag team partner of either Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster when Theo Epstein decided to deal either or both starters.

Former Met right handed pitcher Darren O’Day could be on the Mets radar as he has a 87 % success rate when dealing with inherited runners but even though the Birds are double digits behind the Highlanders in the AL East race, they are just a half game off a Wild Card berth so I’d look at the O’s as buyers not sellers so O’Day may be off limits.

Trying to build up this Mets bullpen is not going to be easy. I have no idea how much money the Skill Sets have allotted to upgrade this team at the trade deadline. It would behoove the Mets owners to show the fan base they are back in the game by taking on additional salary, if they don’t they will be torn apart by the fan base and they will deserve every bit it of nastiness that will be hurled at them.

The Skill Sets can’t expect Mets fan to care until they see ownership cares, your move Freddy.

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