Want To Run The Skill Sets Out Of Town? Let’s Discuss This First.

 

Wherefore art thou Nelly D?  

 

Down in St. Lonesome, it’s a day off for both the big league and minor leaguers but for the Skill Sets it’s far from an off day in fact it’s day one of the most important fortnight of their lives as the Madoff trustees claw back suit finally makes its way to court with jury collection and optimistically, opening arguments.

There has been some speculation that there could be a settlement reached today with the thinking being maybe both sides knowing that they are dealing with a floor amount of $83 mil and a ceiling of $386 mil but if you’re Irv Piccard and the Madoff victims the thought has to go through your mind “will I ever see any money from the Wilpon’s”?

Do the Skill Sets have $83 mil? I have no idea, I do know they don’t have the funds to assemble a decent bench for their baseball team or enough funds to fortify the depth of their starting pitching, so if I had to guess $83 mil might as well be $83 billion.   

I’m with the majority of Mets fans who would rejoice if the Skill Sets were to sell, but the one caveat I throw out there before I donate a bunch of cardboard boxes for the Freddy, Uncle Saul and Jeffy to pack their bags and get out of Flushing is, who is going to buy the team?

If you tell me there is some big fancy Wall Street mogul or one of the Titians of industry that will follow the Nelson Doubleday way of running the team which is to let the baseball operations people run the show and make sure the bartenders have a heavy pour, well then I’m all in.

If you tell me that another member of the lucky sperm club or a guy with money who loves to see his name in the paper and feels he’s a “baseball guy” and wants to run the team his or her way, then maybe keeping the Skill Sets isn’t as bad as it seems. I mean as bad as Jeffy Skill Sets is, he’s not worse than David Samson is he?

See anger over ownership is the same as anger over a manager when the team is going bad, everyone screams fire the manager but when you ask “ok but who is the replacement”, you get crickets.

See if you are going to dump a manager or in this case an owner, you have to have a better replacement ready to take over.

I am certainly no fan of the Wilpon’s, their meddling (Jeffy in particular) in how the team is run is the reason the club is in the mess it’s in right now. They’ve always worried more about winning the back pages of the tabloids in December and January than building a solid foundation to keep the team in contention for years to come. But again is it better to have the Skill Sets as owners or James Dolan? The devil you know is sometimes better than the devil you don’t know.      

 

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THIS ONE GOES OUT TO FREDDY, JEFFY AND UNCLE SAUL

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Whenever I hear this song, I think about the nights I spent at The Ritz, which is now called Webster Hall. We would all go there on Monday nights for Rock N Roll Against Recession. Admission was free, there were live bands and St.Paulie Girls were 2 bucks and the joint was packed

  Circumstance has forced my hand
To be a cut price person in a low budget land
Times are hard but we’ll all survive
I just got to learn to economize

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GOT TIME FOR A QUICKIE ?

Lots of work to do today, which sucks for me, the King of All Procrastinators, so let me hit ya’ up quick here this morning:

Sandy Alderson as the whole free world knows by now is on Twitter (MetsGM) which shows how progressive things are getting with the front office. I’ve tried to let Alderson know that mongos likehttps://twitter.com/#!/gregpomesand @BayonneMetsFan are to be blocked although he may get a good laugh at their stupidity.

Howard Megdal has a piece on Capital New York site about a woman named Noreen Harrington, who to warned the Skill Sets that something was rotten on the Gold Coast of Long Island with Bernie Madoff but was scolded by Uncle Saul to zip it, of course Uncle Saul has no recollection of meeting with Ms. Harington about this. As Howard points out too many “I don’t recall” from the defense in the Trustee case could sway the jury to Irv Piccard’s side. As someone who has served on two juries in my life, Howard is 100 % on the money (no pun intended) juries want facts and any hesitation in testimony or poor preparation by a witness could sink a case fast. Uncle Saul better bring his “A” game to this trail.

Looks like Mets minor leaguers Dock Doyle and Scott Moviel went one toke over the line and it’ll cost them 50 games suspension.

That’s it for now, I want to get this work done before 2PM whenhttps://twitter.com/#!/JedSmedpresents #MetsHashTags on Twitter, fun for the whole family.

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FREDDY WILPON SPPPPIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

Well, Freddy Skill Sets came pretty close to being truthful with the fan base when he was interviewed by Brain Costa of the WSJ. Fred was in Arizona (wow Bolt goes to Phoenix?) for the quarterly owners meeting.  When asked about his financial struggle and the toll it is taking on him, the Mets organization and its fan base, Freddy Sez:

“How could anybody deny that it’s been a challenging time?” Wilpon said. “But I came from nothing. I meet the challenges. So does Saul and Jeff and our whole family. We’re meeting the challenges and I think we’ll be fine.”

“I think we’ll be fine”? Really?  How so Freddy ? What’ch ya keepin’ on the down low from us? The new minority shares are a band aid on a gaping wound but you know what, maybe the Skill Sets luck is changing as his Guardian Angel, Bud Selig is staying on for 2 more years as baseball czar and Wilpon enabler and as always has Freddy’s back:

“He’s been a great owner,” Selig said. “Loves his team. He’s everything you’d want in a local owner. He’s had some economic problems, not caused by himself, and I have a lot of faith in him that he’s working his way through them.”

And he’s oh, so good,

And he’s oh, so fine,

And he’s oh, so healthy,

In his body and his mind.

He’s a well respected man about town,

Doing the best things so conservatively.

Then Freddy was asked about Jose Reyes and his thoughts on Reyes:

“Reyes was 17 years old when I met him,” Wilpon said. “He spoke pretty good English at that time, too. He said to me, ‘Can you give me some advice?’ I said, ‘Yeah, never wipe that smile off your face.'”

Humm, “never wipe that smile off your face” looks like Freddy eats at Wo Hop like I do. Thankfully for Reyes’ sake Freddy didn’t hit him up with “Kid, I know a guy who can make you rich beyond belief”

Here is a nice picture on a rainy, windy, cold New York afternoon

Years before we would get to the 50th Anniversary of the NY Mets, Dana Brand was all pumped up about putting together a symposium at Hofstra University where he taught, on the history of the Mets. As you all know Dana passed away last year but his dream of having a conference at Hofstra will become a reality on April 26-28. Please check out all the details here and hopefully we can all meet up at Hofstra that weekend and celebrate not just the legacy of the NY Mets but of Dana Brand as well.

Steve Popper, the Mets beat writer for the Bergen Record is leaving the Mets beat and will become the Records man at MSG following the NY Knickerbockers. Not only is this a big loss for Mets fans but a huge loss for Mets bloggers like myself and other bloggers who have had the privilege of meeting Steve at various team functions. Many of the beat writers and media folk won’t even give us a response to a hello but Popper (as well as Adam Rubin and Kevin Kernan ) has always been friendly to us and has been gracious in sharing his thoughts with us about the Mets. Good luck Steve and thanks.

 

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WHAT A GAME THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN

I couldn’t find a picture of THE home run but who could forget the home run off the clock in St. Louis by Straw on October 1, 1995. I thought about that home run after watching last night’s come from behind win. Ahhh what we once had……  

 

Most of the Mets news this morning is of the off the field variety, with some mention of yesterday’s big 9th inning rally. After last night’s game all I could think of if the Mets were in a chase for a post season berth this game would have been labeled one of the all-time great game in Mets history, instead all it gets is an “atta boy”. Sad.

All the Madoff-Skill Sets-Piccard bullshit baffles me as Freddy and Uncle Saul keep going with the “Hey, we were duped too” defense. I find it very hard to believe the story that Freddy and Saul were these two neophyte investors who were blindside by Bernie Madoff. The point that Freddy and Saul say the never even asked what Madoff what he was investing their money in is the “are you fucking kidding me”? moment for me. Am I to believe that at no point in this whole scheme and big returns on their investment, Freddy and Uncle Saul didn’t ask, “Uhmmm Bernie, just where are you investing our money”? Pharmaceuticals? Precious metals? Trafficking of children for sex slaves? I know I hold the Skill Sets in low esteem but even I don’t think they were that stupid not know where their money was going.

The Daily Snooze says today the Mets will look at exercising Terry Collins 2013 contract option at the end of the season, as I believe they should. There will also be a discussion on the status of coaching staff and it seems that even with Collins coming out saying he would love to have the whole staff back, Chip Hale may migrate to Oakland to join Bob Melvin and Old School Dan Warthen could be done as pitching coach. It would be a loss to lose Hale, as he’s a very good 3rd base coach and a hard worker but losing Warthen seems like no great shakes, in fact it’s time for Warthen to go and get a new voice for the pitching staff that ranks last in just about every statistical pitching category.

How about the last minute desperation from the Red Sox as they tried to get Chris Capuano in a deal? Seems the Sox didn’t make enough of a tribute to Sandy Alderson to make this deal or it could be Alderson has plans to bring Cap back as either a spot starter/long man role in the Darren Oliver mold for the Mets next season. It could also be that the deal breaker was Alderson’ insistence that Theo Epstein had to take Ryota Igarashi on the deal

Last home stand of the season starts today, I’m going to Wednesday’s game, the season finale because it’s the last game of the year and as bad as the season is ending, comes November and December when it’s cold, snowy and downright miserable, you’ll be wishing you were at the ball park instead of the business end of a snow shovel.

 

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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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DON’T WORRY, FREDDY SKILL SETS AND UNCLE SAUL HAVE A PLAN…….. “GULP”!

I have no idea what kind of scheme Mortimer and Randolph Duke Freddy Skill Sets and Uncle Saul have up their sleeve but I’m sure it’s destined to fail.  I don’t know if it’s some boost of confidence that the Madoff fiasco won’t hurt them as much as first thought, or they sold off some real estate from their Sterling Equities properties, or they finally realized that David Einhorn was ready to pay them $200 mil to be a minority owner but read the fine print that tilted everything in favor of Einhorn taking total control of the franchise, but something has stopped the Skill Sets from checking that box that says I agree to the terms of this contract.

What does this all mean? I have no clue and we won’t have a clue until the season ends and Sandy Alderson sits down with Jose Reyes’ representatives to talk contract. Just when I thought the Mets had the upper hand in the Reyes negotiations, the advantage has swayed back to Team Jose.  All the talk of finding more investors at a $15-$20 mil price tag to make up for the money the Skill Sets told Einhorn to put back in his pocket, better be used in part to re-sign Reyes or it won’t matter which uncle, aunt or next door neighbor ponies up the dough, the Skill Sets have put the bulls eye right between their eyes with the fan base.  If the Jose Reyes signs with another team at a price and contract terms that are not outlandish, you might as well as turn Citi Field into a permanent soccer pitch.

I have ZERO faith that Freddy and Uncle Saul have a plan to save the franchise, this latest scheme of selling more shares in the team has FAIL written all over it, especially when the say they will sell to “friends and family” isn’t that how they got into this mess in the first place?

The clandestine ways of this ownership is why there is such a disconnect with them and the fan base.  I believe nothing that comes out of the mouth of Freddy Skill Sets and his incompetent son.  I’m sure I’m not alone.

What really sucks about this whole ownership in an uproar news, is the focus had finally shifted from the owner’s box to the dugout.  The recent winning streak after such a poor showing against the Phuck Phaces shows that Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins have changed the culture of the clubhouse. The malcontents and slackers who Omar Minaya protected instead of eradicating are gone and players who are committed to winning have been replaced. Sure the record is not pretty but that will come, the biggest obstacle with this team was the acceptance of being lazy and just not being committed to winning baseball games that had been festering like an untreated infection, is gone and that is the biggest story of this season.

Who wasn’t excited by Chris Capuano start last week? Who doesn’t enjoy watching R.A. Dickey pitch and then hear his post game comments?  Who isn’t excited watching Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada? Who can’t wait to see Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, and Zack Wheeler make their way to Citi Field? Let’s just hope that the Skill Sets, as is their way, don’t fuck this up.

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FREDDY SKILLS GONE WILD

 

When I turned on my computer this morning there was a e-mail from the New Yorker with a link to a story written by Jeffery Tobin about Freddy Skill Sets and the rise and fall of the Skill Sets financial world. There are quotes it seems from Bernie Madoff, that makes both Freddy and Uncle Saul look like a couple of patsies when it came to finances.

The real bombeshell though is Freddy’s take on some of players, these comments are sure to start a violent shit storm with the Mets fan base.

The piece is long and I’m going to read it now so here’s the link so you can get a gander of it for yourself. Sometime later this morning I’ll be back with some comments but from reading Mets Blog and Adam Rubin’s Mets Blog this morning, losing two of three to the Highlanders will be a fart in the wind after this story gets it fill of eyeballs.

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THE 2011 METS: NOW WITH MORE MUCK AND MORE MIRE

Another day another story of the Skill Sets getting duped in another hocus-pocus financial scheme. The NY Times has a story on Freddy Skill Sets and Uncle Saul getting involved with a guy named Samuel Israel III in a hedge fund that went sour and ended costing Freddy and Saul $13 mil to get out of hot water. I swear, I my take a leave of absence from my job to write a screen play for a movie about the Skill Sets and their financial hanky panky.

Of course when you go public with news that part of your team is up for sale, you get every Tom, Dick and Civil Rights leader coming out of the woodwork saying they want in. They all want in at 20-25 % AND want a say in what goes on in the comings and goings of the team. Remember what I told you about the devil you know.

Oh yeah, as a real co-winky dink, MLB has award the 2013 All Star Game to the Mets.  The Used Car Salesman will help the Skill Sets by any means necessary as he faces a real shit storm here with the Mets taking on water and the battling McCourt’s  in LA tarnishing his two top NL franchises.

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THIS SKILL SETS MESS IS ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE

My old man had a saying for times like these “Sometimes the Divil (devil) ya know, is better than the Divil ya don’t know”

While some of us in the Mets flock are rejoicing in the sudden financial troubles of the Skill Sets, and from reading various stories this morning it looks as though this 25 % sell off could turn out to be a lock, stock and barrel affair. You gets control of the team could either be a boon or our worst nightmare. If Irving Picard can prove all of alliagations in court about what the Skill Sets and Uncle Saul knew and when they knew it, then there will be an under new management sign out on the Citi Field concourse.

I’ll get into who would be good and bad candidates later as right now I’m off to Foley’s for SABR DAY

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