YOUR MOMENT OF ALDERSON ZEN

I think we all need to take a big deep breath. This Skill Sets Cash Call has gotten the fan base acting like a bunch of blue and orange Chicken Little’s.  The skies of Flushing may look dark and ominous but it’s not falling. This may in fact, be the best thing that could happen to the Mets.

There seems to be a misunderstanding in the fan base that thinks spending lots of money equals championships, if that’s the case, how come there are only two World Series trophy’s on display at the Mets Hall of Fame? No one was better at pissing away the Skill Sets cash than Omar Minaya but his administration had no structure or foresight  or the balls to tell Jeffey stay out the baseball operations way. The minor league system, the life blood of any organization, has been run about as well as Mayor Bloomberg’s snow removal system. The biggest indictment of the failure of the Mets system is the image still burned in my memory of Fernando Martinez in his first day as a major leaguer, failing to run out a ball hit in front of home plate. At that point, F-Mart should have been taken to La Guardia Airport and sent back to Buffalo and then the whole minor league system should have been bulldozed and built back from the ground up. It didn’t because there was no one in charge with balls or brains to fix it. Until now.

The best move in the last couple of days by the Mets (besides signing R.A. Dickey and Angel Pagan clearing the arbitration eligible list) was hearing Sandy Alderson in his straight shooter way, talk to us like intelligent adults. There was no spin or sleight of hand like we’re used to, there was a right between the eyes shot of reality (Adam Rubin’ transcript of the Alderson conference call is required reading for the Mets masses)

“First of all, I want to emphasize that the plan that we have pursued the last couple of months was limited by only one fact, and that was the level of the existing payroll. Our payroll going into the season will be somewhere between $140 million and $150 million. I think that is significantly higher than we’d like to be on an annual basis — a product of adding some additional players that we felt the roster needed as well as some existing commitments. The plan and the approach that I’ve taken over the last two months has not been affected at all by any other outside factors.

 

“From my standpoint, when I took this position, when I interviewed and took this position, I was of course aware of the pre-existing involvement of the Wilpons and the Mets with Bernie Madoff. I wasn’t privy to all of the detail, nor am I or most of us at this point privy to all that detail. And I wouldn’t expect to be. At the same time, none of that has affected what I have done over the last two months. I don’t expect that it will have any impact on what I do over the next several months, including into the 2012 offseason.”

Gone are the days of wasting money on has beens and underachievers as bench players just because they are your friends or are good at playing Hearts. Why give a 35 year old utility infielder $2mil when you can use a minor leaguer for $450K or a journeyman for a make good deal where performance equals a pay raise? We’re not used to such competence around here and I guess it takes time to understand, there is spending money and there is spending money wisely.

Alderson also showed his leadership qualities by turning negative news into a positive when asked if he was worried about having the cash resources going forward:

No. I mean, obviously there’s a certain level of ambiguity surrounding this news. But from my standpoint, the facts are as they currently exist. And to some extent the decision to find a minority partner or some other source of recapitalizing the franchise is positive news from my standpoint. If there was an initial problem before, that can only be positive from my standpoint.”

There seems to be a panic by a small group of Mets fans about the future of Jose Reyes and his tenure with the Mets. From hearing Alderson address this it will be Reyes performance and his contract demands that will dictate if he stays a Met for years to come. Ken Davidoff of Newsday has said of Pee Wee Cashman, that he is “a stone cold killer” in the way he deal s with players as we’ve seen with Derek Jeter and the Rafael Soriano signing. I would say Alderson is a more of a calculated assassin.  Alderson will do what’s best for the Mets not Reyes and for that Mets should be grateful.  Alderson is not going to make the Mets a small market team he is going to make then a more efficient organization when it comes to handing out long term deals.  Anyone have a problem with that?

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WHAT’S THE MATTER STEVE PHILLIPS? ARE YA YELLA?

Howard Megdal has challenged Steve Phillips to a debate on  what makes a good General Manager but Phillips has declined the invitation to meet with Megdal and discuss baseball management issues in a public forum. Part of me understands why Phillips is dodging Megdal, it’s a no win situation for him. Philips is seriously lacking in the “skill sets” needed to take on a man of Howard Megdal’ stature. Howard is a straight shooter when it comes to his idea of running a baseball team whereas Phillips, as we have seen with his “I’d trade Stephen Strasburg for Roy Oswalt” declaration on the Pompous Ass radio show, isn’t capable of running a t-ball team and add in his skirt chasing behavior he is now radioactive when it comes to prospective employers  in MLB.

But on the other hand, Phillips would learn a thing or three from Megdal which would be helpful if he did want to get back into baseball.

For once in your life Steve Phillips MAN UP and take Howard Megdal’ challenge !!!!!!!!

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METS ARE IN FULL GANGSTA’ MODE

As we get ourselves ready for the big three game series with the Cheesesteakers let’s take a look at some of the Mets news of the day:

 

John Harper has become the P.R. agent for Warlord Jerry as he has for the second day in row wrote a story giving us the feel that Randolph was out of touch with his players and didn’t know what buttons to push to motivate his team. Also there are more quotes from Tony Bernazard who is taking on a much more public persona. Now I don’t know if that is for the better but if you think this turnaround is not in part due to the change on manager your, delusional. The players like Delgado and Reyes won’t come out and say it but Ron Darling had no problem on the post game show last night saying that the Mets clubhouse is a much more relaxed place with J-Man. The facial hair ban, the music ban and not having the ability to interact with his players led to the charge that Randolph didn’t have the feel or pulse of his clubhouse which is one of the biggest thing a manager needs to be successful. The x’s and o’s are not as big as some of us think but the ability to connect with your players is something Randolph via his Highlander training couldn’t do. After awhile Rick Peterson couldn’t do it either. What you hear about J-Man is that he is a straight shooter that we tells his players up front what their role will be and what he is doing. He looks them in the eye and let’s them know the deal which it seem is something Randolph and a hard time doing. J-Man is as cool as the other side of the pillow whereas Willie was in meltdown mode as we saw with his race comments and ripping SNY coverage sent a message to his team that he was losing it.

 

So Mets fans instead of ripping Tony Bernazard you should be praising him for being adamant in his stance that a managerial change had to be made. Omar wanted to be more patient but it looks as if Jeffey Skill Set was siding with TB but Full Autonomy Omar wanted to keep his guy Randolph as he felt is was his failure that Randolph wasn’t working out but TB prevailed and that makes me think that’s why the Randolph axing was handled so badly.

 

When the off season comes at what point do the Mets drop out of the Oliver Perez Sweepstakes?  Does OP let that dictator of an agent Scott Boras sell his service to the highest bidder or does OP uses his brains and works out a deal with the Mets and stays where he’s comfortable? Remember OP was a throw in the Roberto Hernandez deal and was a mess when he arrived in NY. But with extensive work by Rick Peterson, Dan Warthen and Randy Neiman Perez has emerged as a top line starter. Sure he is still an enigma especially when he gives up walks after walk but still LHP like OP are a valuable commodity. So if you’re the Mets what is your first offer? He’s not getting Ace money or even #2 starter money so I’d start off with a 3yr/$36mil which of course Boras will be insulted by. My counter would be still 3 yrs but sweeten up the money to $37.5 mil with incentives that boost it over $40mil. Now Boras will want at least 5 yrs I figure but I don’t see the Mets going for 5 yrs with OP but then again he is only 27 years old but 5 yrs to a pitcher who is not a 1 or a 2 is tough pill to swallow. So how about a 4 year deal for $40mil with incentives that could bring the deal to $50mil total with a mutual option for a fifth year. If OP produces in those four years he could again be a free agent at the age of 31 and if he doesn’t produce, well at least he’ll have a very nice nest egg to fall back on.

 

Check out Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Digest not just for his great interviews and all around insight on baseball but he has a great piece on the Ford C Frick Award and is looking to get out the vote for our own Gary Cohen.

 

The Brooklyn Cyclones are taking a page out of the parent club’s book as they are making a surge to the NY-Penn League playoffs.

 

Where O’ where has Aaron Heilman gone? O’ where O’ where can he be?  Right now the pecking order of the pen in the late innings is the hybrid Felicano/Smith, Brian Stokes as the set up and Luis Ayala as the closer. Billy Wags could be back next week and if healthy goes back to closer and that drops each releiver down a peg.    

   

 

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