Metscellaneous

 

Before I get started with some Mets-cellaneous items, a moment of silence please to remember both Earl Weaver and Stan Musial two baseball titans who passed away this past Saturday.

 

 

I would like to congratulate David Wright on the announcement of his engagement to his long time squeeze Molly Beers. I’ll be checking the mail for my wedding invitation

The Bitter Bill got to meet R.A. Dickey last Saturday night at the New York Baseball Writers dinner and found out what everyone who has had the pleasure of meeting and talking to R.A. discovered, he’s not only a gentleman but one of the most interesting people you’ll ever run into in your life.  

It took me awhile to wrangle this but I am proud to announce I was able to purchase the sponsorship of Ed Kranepool’s player page on Baseball-Reference.  The other pages I sponsor are, Ken Boswell, Duffy Dyer, Jay Hook, 1947 NY Giants, and 1977 NY Mets. It’s the least I can do for all the info I pluck from the Baseball-Reference site.

So Sandy Alderson made a funny at the baseball writer’s dinner:

There’s been a lot of talk about our outfield. And I want you to know that I’m in serious discussions with several outfielders I met on the Internet. There’s one I really like. He says he played at Stanford.’’

 and some folks are upset that he made a joke about the Mets outfield situation. Really? Seriously? Lighten up!

The San Francisco Giants honored their New York roots this past weekend by bringing not only the 2012 World Series trophy to town but the great Willie Mays as well.  By the way, with all the debate over retiring numbers that we Mets fans seem to love argue about, how a dialog about retiring #24 to honor the greatest player in baseball history?

You should also read this column by George Vecsey on the Giants World Series trophy tour of NY.  I let out a big “SIGH” when I was done reading.

Oh the Cubs had a FanFest over the weekend. Tip O’ the Mets cap to Mets Police for the linkage and for putting me in a more pissed off mood about the baseball team I love.

Hey look whose back, Perpetual Pedro all recovered from shoulder problems and full of Highlander bucks has come home albeit with a minor league deal. Feliciano will join Robert Carson, Josh Edgin, Darin Gorski, Aaron Laffey, and post-op Tim Brydak as the Mets attempt to form the first all left handed bullpen in history of baseball.

My podcast mate on Mets Kult of Personalities Tayrn Cooper, has penned a guest column on Jeff Pearlman’s website, taking up the cause for Mike Piazza’ enshrinement into the Hall of Fame and calling out the voters for short sightedness in not voting Piazza in his first year of eligibility. Pearlman will also be guest on Coops Gall For All Seasons Podcast this week 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

Matt Harvey Is No Punter

 

 

 

Maybe all is not gloom and doom with the Mets as we see not only is David Wright ready to hit St. Lonesome but Matt Harvey can’t wait to get to camp as well. Harvey says all the right things in this story about competing this year and not using the coming season as a warm up for 2014. That’s why it would seem in Terry Collins best interest for this team to not only get off to a good start but show more fight than in past years  or Wally Backman will be large and in charge by Memorial Day.

It’s bad enough the Mets have not had a FanFest or Winter Caravan in a while but to add insult to injury, the former New York Giants are bringing their World Series trophy they won last year as the San Francisco Giants, back to their homeland this coming Saturday at Finnerty’s Bar at 2nd Avenue between E 13 St and E 14 St.  When the Giants won the World Series in 2010, Managing General Partner, Peter Magowan   a born and raised New Yorker and NY Giants fan, felt it would be a nice gesture to bring the World Series trophy back to his and his baseball teams hometown. Magowan is not with the club anymore but the tradition lives on.  Is anyone in Flushing paying attention????????

Give the Mets credit though as they have not forgotten that there are still victims of Hurricane Sandy who are still hurting. Tomorrow from 1PM to 2PM Daniel Murphy will be at the Church of the Nazarene 1414 Central Avenue in Far Rockaway to distribute food and supplies along with New York Cares Volunteers to residents still trying to rebuild their homes and their lives since the storm.

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

Double Trouble

The Mets dropping a duce last night against the Giants gave me a Willie McCovey flashback and also made me think of my dad. My dad was a big, big Giants fan, even followed them when they left for SF but as many Giants and Dodger fans did, he switched to the Mets when they were born, but early in his Metsfandom he still had a soft spot for his Giants. It wasn’t until McCovey, my dad pronounced his name “McCoooovey” in his Irish brogue  , started to hammer Mets pitching that my dad became a full fledged Mets fan as he would call out after Stretch socked another home run over the Shea Stadium wall, “Ah fer Christ sake, that damn McCoooovey, he owns the Mets”   

 

Losing both games of a double header is bad, but losing both games of a double header on a day that’s grey, cold and damp makes close to unbearable. I give my fellow Mets fans a big tip of my Mets cap for going out to Citi Field yesterday for the rain out aided double dip and if you stayed for both games, then the Mets owe you a ticket for another game this season (preferably one in July or August when hand warmers and blankets aren’t needed) and a medal, something like the victors of the two games in one day San Francisco Giants used to give fans at Candle Stick Park, the Croix de Candlestick.    

Where to begin in the dissection of last night, well for one it seems Miguel Batista needs to become a full time author  and he can start with penning a mystery as to why he was brought back to the Mets in the first place. The game he pitched against the Reds on the last day of the season has become folklore. What’s forgotten is the weather for that game was worse than last nights, both teams were ready to go home from the time they reported to the ballpark (some more than others , Hey it’s Jose, here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?) especially the visiting Redlegs   but it was that game that garnered Batista a contract for 2012.

It’s tough to win games when your 4-5-6 hitters can’t drive home a run to save their lives. Ike Davis (.148 4/27 w/RISP) Jason Bay (.071 1/14) and Lucas Duda (.077 1/13) are stone cold rally killers. There’s not much that can be done with Bay, to quote the great Mike Francesa “Bay is Bay” and Duda’s has stated to show some signs of life of late but how do you solve a problem like Ike Davis?  His ankle is not the cause and it doesn’t seem his Valley Fever is to blame either for his anemic bat so what is it that has Ike off his game?  Talking heads Keith Hernandez (who has a sweeter gig than Mex ? He worked just the first game of the doubleheader leaving Gary Cohen and Ron Darling to man the TV booth for a 7 hour day. Keith is the Paulie Walnuts of SNY, he shows up takes a seat and pulls out his sun reflector and works on his tan) and Bobby Ojeda have talked about the way Davis has lowered his hand (almost Roy White-ish ) and is late in getting the bat head out in front of the ball. That explains why when he’s not striking out; Davis is hitting ground balls to 2nd base.  I’m sure Ike and Dave Hudgens sit down every afternoon and go over at bat after at bat on the video screen but does it get to the point with Ike, that maybe a trip to Buffalo is needed to work out his problems ? Before you go all ape shit on me, this thought crossed my mind this morning when I read that the Atlanta Braves sent Jair Jurrjens  to Triple A, isn’t Ike the hitting equivalent of Jurrgens ?  I’m not advocating sending Ike down today but if this trend of bad AB’s continues for the next 25-30 plate appearances, it should become an option.

On the bright side, Bobby Parnell seems to have found his niche as a late inning but not the closer, reliever.

I’m pretty sure the uproar over the video tribute the Mets have planned for Jose Reyes tonight will last longer than the tribute itself.  It’s still confusing to me that many of the same folks that paraded around Citi Field screaming “Don’t Trade Reyes” are the ones outraged over the Mets tip of the hat to the former shortstop.  To those still kicking up a tantrum over this issue, look at it like getting a shot at the doctor’s office, it will hurt for a second and in a minute it will all be over, and if you don’t cry you may get a lollipop.

 

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

WHO NEEDS 2? NY METS SINGLE GAME TIX GO ON SALE MARCH 5TH

 

News from the Mets today as single game tickets for all games at Citi Field will go on sale Monday March 5th at 10AM on Mets.com and at (718) 507-TIXX.

Tomorrow the Mets will put on sale three news ticket packages at 10AM on Mets.com and at (718) 507-TIXX.  Here are the details of these packages:

6-Game Marquee Flex Pack

Fans can secure tickets to Opening Day (April 5) or one of the Subway Series games at Citi Field (June 22-24) before individual game tickets go on sale.  Choose Opening Day or one of the Subway Series games at the regular price, then select five other games at a savings off the established box office price.

6-Game Value Flex Pack

The price of a ticket in this pack starts at $9 per game or $54 per pack for any six games other than Opening Day or the Subway Series. Quantities are limited with availability in select sections of Baseline Box, Caesars Box, and Promenade Reserved seating categories.

Mr. Met Dash Pack

For three or more Mr. Met Dash games, every regularly priced adult ticket purchased through this special pack can add up to three children 12 and under for $10 each per game.  Kids can run the bases after the game during the Mr. Met Dash on the following Sundays: April 22, May 6, June 17, July 8, August 12, and August 26.

Last week, the Mets launched the Banner Day Pack to mark the return of the longtime Mets tradition on Sunday, May 27 against the San Diego Padres.  The five-game pack starts at $50 and also includes games against the San Francisco Giants (Saturday, April 21), Cincinnati Reds (Friday, June 15) and Miami Marlins (Thursday, August 9 and Friday, September 21).

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

ANDRES TORRES OVER COCO CRISP, NY METS GOT THE BETTER DEAL

 

 

When the Mets off season got under way one of the position I wanted to see an upgraded was center field. I had seen enough of Angel Pagan and it seems Sandy Alderson felt the same way. I was intrigued by Coco Crisp thinking he would be a nice cheap alternative to man the less spacious tundra of the center of the Citi Field outfield.  Alderson felt the better man for the job was Andres Torres, a great glove less than potent bat outfielder who came with RHP Ramon Ramirez to the Mets from the Giants for Angel Pagan.

After reading that Crisp re-signed with the A’s for 2yrs/$14 mil, a year and cash figure that quite frankly stunned me, I went over to Fan Graphs to look at a comparison of both players. 

There isn’t that much of a difference offensively between the two players that would make one about $5 mil better than the other. Crisp will make $7mil a year while Torres made $2.2 mil last year and is under team control for two more seasons.  So even with a raise to say, $3mil for Torres, having him over Crisp in the Mets outfield is major plus for the Mets.

Crisp, 32 years old, has a lifetime .264/.314/.379 with an ISO of .115 in 583 plate appearances.  Torres, 34 years old has a lifetime .221/.312/.330 with an ISO of .109 in 398 plate appearances. We are not talking offensive juggernauts here. Crisp is more the base stealer than Torres swiping 49 bags in his big league career to 19 for Torres. Both players walks rates are close Crisp take a base on balls 7.0% of his plate appearances to Torres’ 10.6 % rate. Torres K’s too much at 23.9 % while Crisp is more disciplined at 11.1 %. 

Back in 2010, Torres had a fine season putting up a line of .268/.343/.479 with 16 HR 43 2B and 63 RBI for the World Champion San Francisco Giants. The last real good offensive season that Crisp has had was back in 2005. So the odds are much better of Torres giving the Mets a bounce back season than Crisp putting up big numbers.

Crsip’ defense has been in decline the last couple of years whereas Torres has continued to play a stellar centerfielder.

So for a difference of say $5mil, who made the better deal, Billy Beane by signing Crisp or Sandy Alderson dealing for Torres? It looks like advantage Alderson to me especially is Ramirez is a decent reliever then this deal could be a huge positive for the Mets.

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 CALL TO THE BULLPEN RADIO SHOW TONIGHT AT 10PM ET ON BLOG TALK RADIO

Join me tonight at 10PM ET for THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio . My guest will be Julian Levine writer of the San Francisco Giants site, Splashing Pumpkin. Julian and I will be talking about the Giants run to the post season and their great weekend in San Diego as well as the race in the NL West between the Giants, Padres and Rockies. We will also be monitoring the Giants-Dodgers game tonight as well.

If you can’t join us live you can always listen to the podcast right here at Kranepool Society (lower left side bar) or at the show page at Blog Talk Radio and also as a download on iTunes

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

OK, SO NOW WHAT?

Adam Rubin on ESPN NY has a fine column today that sums up the State of the  Mets organization and the non-moves at the trade deadline to a tee. Some excerpts that intrigued me are:

The reality is the Mets are not legitimately in a race right now. They entered Saturday trailing the division-leading Atlanta Braves by 7½ games and trailing the wild card-leading San Francisco Giants by 6½ games. Fifty-nine games remain on the schedule. Four teams, including the hard-charging Philadelphia Phillies, who acquired Roy Oswalt this week, are between the Mets and Giants.

Management can’t come out and say it but they know the Mets have no shot at the post season.  The Mets are what they are, a .500 team that plays like the best team in baseball at home but then plays like the Mets of 1962 on the road, hence the .500 record. Their play this season is a big improvement over last year’s crew who mailed in around this time last year at least this Mets team plays hard.

You can clumsily cite principal owner Fred Wilpon and his family supposedly being stingy for such a deal not materializing, but that would be misguided — even if ownership isn’t blameless. The bottom line is the payroll is still hovering around $130 million this season.

The better answer: If GM Omar Minaya had shown restraint in his other salary commitments — say, not giving Luis Castillo four years and $25 million or Oliver Perez three years and $36 million or guaranteeing seven years to Carlos Beltran — he likely would have had the flexibility to pull off an Oswalt-type trade now.

It’s far more about no discipline than no money.

That does not absolve the Wilpons.

Forget the Perez and Castillo contracts, the one deal Mets will be screaming about will be the Francisco Rodriguez deal, look it over if you dare but I must put a disclaimer that if you are pegnant suffer from high blood pressure or have a sleeping disorder, check with your doctor before viewing the details of K-Rod’s deal

Minaya’s stated plan when he took over as GM in September 2004 was to offset the draft picks forfeited for signing free agents by owning the international market. It sounded good, too. After all, how could a Dominican-born GM walk into any household in that country, throw around dollars and fail to persuade the teenager to sign with the Mets?

The problem? Ownership never threw around the money. After signing Martinez for $1.3 million in 2005, Minaya’s first full season as Mets GM, the organization did not have another seven-figure signing bonus for an international teenager until signing 16-year-old pitcher Juan Urbina, Ugueth’s son, last year.

The Mets knew Venezuelan Jesus Montero, who was coveted in trade proposals involving the Yankees in recent days, was a superior catching prospect to Francisco Peña, Tony’s son. Yet the Mets signed Peña in 2006 because he cost $750,000. The Yankees paid $2 million for Montero.

My question here is whose fault is it? Omar’s or the Skill Sets for the inability to not get any thing done in the International market? You would think having a Latino GM would place the Mets way ahead of other teams but as we learned when they were in pursuit of Carlos Delgado as a free agent, Scareface Bernazard was a little to “street” for Delgado so  I wonder how many more families were turnoff by the Mets resident hoodlum?

The Mets have not been blame-free in their draft conduct from an ownership perspective, either. With apologies to Chris Carter, the Mets essentially gave Billy Wagner  to the Red Sox last season for nothing, in essence to save $3.3 million (Wagner’s $2.3 million remaining salary and a $1 million buyout). As a result, when Wagner signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves last offseason, the Red Sox — not the Mets — got two first-round picks as compensation for losing Wagner, which they used on Ball State’s Kolbrin Vitek and Middle Tennessee State’s Bryce Brentz. (Remember those names a few years from now.

This is why Omar needs to be relived of his GM duties and the baseball ops needs a complete overhaul. Unlike any time in baseball, teams a coveting receiving draft picks for aging ball players. The new wave in baseball is to get younger and more athletic as the ban on PED’s is changing the game back to where pitching, defense and youth as the way to go. That’s not Omar’s bag, he’s still into old and ineffective which unfortunately describes Omar himself.

(Fred) Wilpon was sued Friday by the widow of a former employee of Wilpon-owned Sterling Equities. The federal suit alleges Wilpon bears fiduciary responsibility for investing his employees’ 401(k) funds in Bernard Madoff-operated funds. Sterling Equities called the suit baseless, but the potential liability — coupled with the Wilpon family’s own losses in the Ponzi scheme — has to create some hesitance to freely spend.

Yet even if the Madoff ordeal never occurred, it would be perfectly reasonable to expect the Mets to act conservatively from a financial perspective. Attendance is likely to plummet at Citi Field the rest of the season. A further erosion in the season-ticket base is expected heading into 2011.

You knew this was coming and the question is if Freddy Skill Sets loses this suit, which I believe is a class action suit among the Sterling Equities employees, and it cost him hundreds of million’s of dollars to pay, will he have to sell the Mets? I believe Freddy when he says he wants the Mets to be in his family for generations to come, but it may come to a head when he has to either sell or take on a partner. The Mara family owned the NY Football Giants on their own for years and years but when Tim Mara died his estate put his shares up for bid, that’s when the Tisch family got their half, so it’s possible the Skill Sets sell 49% of the team and keep the other 51 % controlling interest for as long as they can.

Yet even if the Madoff ordeal never occurred, it would be perfectly reasonable to expect the Mets to act conservatively from a financial perspective. Attendance is likely to plummet at Citi Field the rest of the season. A further erosion in the season-ticket base is expected heading into 2011.

The one MAJOR move the Skill Sets must make for next season is dropping the ridiculous pricing tiers that are an extreme point of contention with Mets fans. The whole Platinum, Gold, Silver, Value scale would work if the team was a contender every year and seats at Citi Field were in demand but the organization has none of these going for them. They tried going the corporate route and it hasn’t worked. Now they need to try and win back the fan base, the blue collar core who frequented Shea Stadium who stick by you through thick and thin. The Skill Sets have had their fling with the Metro area elite and must now realize it’s time to get the REAL Mets fan back to support the team.  The Mets fan has the upper hand here and now Freddy, Jeffey and Uncle Saul have to come to us with hat in hand, and ask for our hard earned dough. They have never gotten it though their thick skulls that Mets fans are not about the Championships (although we all want to win one or ten of them) but we’re all about playing hard and playing with pride. That’s the one saving grace with the 2010 Mets team they have that quality.

Next year the Skill Sets need to let fans pick their own ticket packages and also set aside seats in the promenade for 5 bucks a piece. They could also sell a “roaming ticket” no seat but you can walk around and stand in centerfield or down each base line sort of a standing room ticket, they need to be creative to win fans back in 2011, time to turn on the Skill Sets charm fella’s

Manager Jerry Manuel, asked if the inaction was a signal the front office was content with the team as presently constituted or if it was an indication the team is not really in the race, wisely did not want to touch the issue.

“That’s a tricky question,” Manuel said. “Trying to catch me, huh?”

Minaya did acknowledge the standings were a factor.

“That played something into it,” the GM said. “When you look at the standings, you just have to be careful.”

I can’t wait until October 4th for the press conference announcing Wally Backman as the Mets manager for 2011

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.