NY Mets News and Views

 

NEWS: Mets Still Dangling R.A. Dickey as Trade Bait

VIEW: Sandy Alderson knows his team is dire need of a front line catcher and at least one power hitting corner outfielder. Two get either prize possession will not be easy since he is working with a lack of trade chips and money, so what’s a GM to do? In Alderson’s case it seems he’s using Dickey as bait to lure in the sharks just to see how hungry they are. Reports from Nashville have the Mets talking to about eight teams about Dickey. Some are serious some are just bullshiters, the Red Sox and Blue Jays seem to be the most interested and have the most to give back in trade.

The Jays and Red Sox are flush with catchers, a position that Mets lack major league talent at (sorry Josh Thole) and outfield help again a deficient part of the Mets player personal roster.  Alderson is not going to give Dickey away and in fact he may not be giving Dickey away at all. Like I mentioned above, Dickey could be the bait to get the sharks out in the open to make his pitch for big time talent back in trade. I see where Alderson has asked the Red Sox for their two top prospects, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and center fielder Jackie Bradley. Bogaerts is shortstop that has power on offense and great range on defense. Bradley has great instincts in the field and covers a ton of ground in the outfield, gets on base by any means necessary and has (cover your eyes sabrmetricans) outstanding make up and is an on field leader.  Seems to me it would take more than a 38 year old knuckleballer to pry two gems like that, so maybe if Alderson switched the bait from Dickey to Jon Niese he could land these two trophy pieces?

Could this be the Mets GM plan? Lure teams with Dickey, ask for a major package in return, get rebuffed and then use Niese as the trade chip?    

 

NEWS: Angel Pagan Re-Ups with Giants for 4 Years $40 mil

VIEW: How Brian Sabean has two World Series rings is astonishing. I guess getting Shane Victorino to the Mets is now out of the question as his asking price has to be the same as Pagan’s if not more. FUCK!

NEWS: Jordany Valdespin Suspended For Insubordination From Winter League Team

VIEW: Enough is enough with Valde, he’s not talented enough to get away with acting like an asshole. I’m sure any deal that Mets make this off season Valdespin will be a throw in and if no other team wants him he’ll be assigned to Las Vegas or better yet given his release. If I know anything about how Alderson runs his team it’s he doesn’t put up with guys like Valdespin.

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REMEMBERING GARY CARTER

What a great touch last night by SNY to show Gary Carter’s first game as a Met ( a game I attended), opening day 1985. That game brought back a flood of memories about the era in Mets history and Carter’s legacy as a NY Met.

I was at Madison Square Garden on the night of December 10th , 1984 watching the NY Rangers play the LA Kings,  between periods I strolled down to the concourse to grab a beer (my drinking days) and call Sports Phone  (once upon a time this great new service came out called SportsPhone known by its great jingle  “get all the sports scores in-stan-leeee dial 976-1313) to get some out of town NHL and NBA scores (this was also my gambling days, oh and along with the beer in my hand and the phone receiver to my ear there was a cigarette dangling from the corner of my mouth, yes I’d indulged in all sorts of vice back in the day, that why I loved the 1970’s and 80’s) came a voice on the other end of the line telling me that the New York Mets have acquired Gary Carter from the Montreal Expos for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham and Floyd Youmans. HOLLLLLLYYYYY SHIT!

As I made my way back up to Section 432, it seemed all the other degenerates checking scores and their bets, heard the Mets news as well as the Garden was buzzing. There was great debate amongst myself and my friends over this deal. At the time it looked like Frank Cashen gave up a King’s ransom for Carter. Brooks was coming off a nice season with 16HR and 73 RBI, Fitzgerald, Wininngham and Youmans were top prospects in what was at the time a fruitful Mets farm system, but hey we got Gary Carter, add him to Keith Hernandez and the two kids, Gooden and Strawberry and god damn, the Mets are going to kick some serious ass in 1984, and they did, going from 68-94 in 1983 to 90-72 in 1984 finishing 6 ½ games back of the division champion Chicago Cubs (somewhere in my basement is my florescent yellow CUBS BUSTERS t-shirt that had the bear cub in a circle with a red line through it, yeah baby THE MAGIC WAS BACK AT SHEA)

So many on the field memories, pop into my head when thinking of Gary Carter but so do many off the field ones as well.

I got married in 1986 (same year I dropped two bad habits, gambling and smoking, drinking would come ten years later) the last of four kids to leave the nice secure nest my parent had made for us. Most weeknights, I’d come from work have dinner with my parents (dinner always on the table when I got home, told you it tough leaving my happy habitat) and afterwards, head to the living room with my dad to watch Mets baseball.  My mother, a woman surrounded by sons, nephews and cousins who were sports fanatics, a woman who washed more uniforms than any clubhouse person, never cared for sports, that is until I move out of the house. The sight of my old man sitting with no one to talk about the games with, she decided it was time to take up watching sports particularly Mets baseball.  Not only did she start watching Mets games, she now wanted to go to Mets games, WHAT? “Ma, you want to go to Shea”  “Oh yes, I want to go see Gary Carter” So we took her to see “her guy” Gary Carter.

I thought about that all the way on my commute home last night, then I listened to all the tributes for Carter and I really felt overwhelmed, Gary Carter was much more than a baseball player, he was as inspirational as anyone who has ever hit this city. To hear Keith Hernandez weep when talking about Carter was heartbreaking. Listening to Ron Darling speak of Carter you could tell he held him in such high regard. Then I heard Doc Gooden, who told the story of how Carter would come to the Smithers Institute where he was residing to combat his drug and alcohol addiction, on Sunday’s after home games to make sure Gooden was okay. Strawberry may have given Carter the best compliment anyone can give to another human being when he said that Carter “lived his life the way I wish I could have”.

Carter was at times mocked for his goody-goody ways, which some felt were phony but as they got to know him they found out his love of family, baseball and God was genuine. I found it stunning that those four players who played hard and partied even harder in their youth and would ridicule Carter for his clean living ways back then, now in their middle age wish they could have had the life that Gary Carter had. Don’t you wish we all could be remembered that way?

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“CLOWNS TO THE LEFT OF ME, JOKERS TO THE RIGHT, HERE I AM, STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU “

22 days until pitchers and catchers

As a Mets fan, I’m starting to feel like a weary traveler standing at the airport luggage carrousel waiting for my bags, and my bags have gotten lost.

Pitchers have gone around the free agent carrousel and the Mets just stand there waiting and waiting and waiting to the point where they are the lone team standing around with nothing to show.

Ben Sheets for $10 mil is a very steep price to pay but give the A’s and Billy Beane credit for taking a chance with Sheets. Beane is taking a shot that of the three things that can happen with Sheets, if  two of the scenarios work in the A’s favor, Beane and the A’s come out a winner.  He can stay healthy and become the Ace of a very young and potentially strong starting rotation and the A’s can be big time contenders in the NL West, or he can stay healthy and the rest of the team not play up to expectation and fall out the race where by Beane can flip Sheets for a couple of top prospects, or the worst case scenario, Sheets breaks down like a ’76 Pinto and the A’s are stuck with an expensive invalid.

But then again, Beane and the A’s management are competent and have watched Sheets throw and checked his medical reports and have given him a full medical by doctors who have cleared Sheets good to go, so with the odds in his favor Beane decides to spend Lew Wolf’s money and go for a post season berth.

Jeffey Skill Sets on the other hand, will take the money saved on buying much cheaper baseball labor to build an extension of his Hamptons mansion.

At some point one of our fine beat reporters in this town should really try to get through the Wall of Horowitz and get a sit down interview with Jeffey Skill Sets to get answers on how he feels that the baseball team he runs is the laughingstock of the industry.  The Mets have gone from an organization where every player agent made sure that the Mets were involved with their client during free agency to an organization that has become Plan Z (welcome Jason Bay) The Mets wanted John Lackey but John Lackey wanted no part of the Mets.  A pitcher coming from the American League refused to even talk to a team in the NL, that plays in a pitchers ball park, in the greatest city in the world, for a team with a big income. Stunning.

Jason Marquis begged the Mets to sign him but the Mets treated him like he had cooties. Bengi Molina? He’s a Met the MSM told us, it’s just a matter of finding a pen with ink in it. Molina is back with the Giants.  Randy Wolf? Never called Flushing.  “Mr. Minaya, Joel Piniero on line 1” WHO? Responds Omar. Jon Garland? No! Chone Figgins? No! Orlando Hudson? No! Aroldis Chapman? No! If he were 45 years old then YES! Russell Branyan? No! and on and on and on…………………………

This perception of the Mets is not a figment of Mets fans imaginations, it’s real, the baseball world shakes its head and says “How the fuck?” We can rant all day and night about Omar Minaya and Fire Omar, and Omar this and Omar that. Get over your Omar hate, this is beyond Omar. Omar Minaya is a bit player in the Mets moves these days.  If Omar were the baseball boss, Molina and Piniero would be Mets and Carlos Delgado would have a 5 year deal. But nothing gets done until Jeffey Poo says it’s done. That’s why we’re fucked.

I give Johan Santana a ton of credit not just for showing up at the mini camp but for coming on WFAN with Joe Bada Bing and Tinkerbell and being positive and optimistic about this team. The right man in charge could play this “the whole world thinks you guys suck” as a rallying cry but the guy that would play that angle perfectly has to prove himself on Coney Island this summer, while Cool Breeze Jerry works on his lounge act in Flushing.

I swear to Henry Chadwick that I hope I’m wrong that Wright and Reyes explode with career years and Daniel Murphy hits like I believe he can and that Bay and Frenchy  prove to be “corner-stones”, and Beltran comes back like a track star that hits 30 HR’s  and Big Pelf pounds that strikezone like a blacksmith and this team is not just competitive but contends for the NL East crown.

As negative as I’ve been all winter and I’m sure other Mets fans will say the same thing, none of us wants to go through another summer like last year.  As I look down the line on the big decision makers though in this organization though, it is very hard to get enthused.  Jeffey is clueless and Omar is ball-less, and the manager couldn’t care less.

All I have is my ace pitcher preaching to me like Bob Marley, I hope he’s right. It’s hard to find Three Little Birds when it’s so damn cold outside

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“LET’S LOCK THE DOOR AND THROW AWAY THE KEY”

 

I did not see last nights Mets-Brewski game as I was attending the Staten Island Highlanders-Aberdeen Iron Birds game that was delayed 1 hour due to daily rain event here in NYC, but before the game I was a guest on Mike Silva’ NY Baseball Digest radio program, where Mike and I discussed the state of the Mets and what direction we felt this team should take. We both agreed that Mets fans have to relax a bit with their yelping for Omar Minaya to make a knee jerk trade as it’s not about trading, in fact this would be the worst time to make a deal of top prospects for a D-list of players that some fans think will lift this team. But one of the things we discussed was a Tweet I read from ESPN1050 that the had info that Jerry Manuel was told by the front office to knock off the rhetoric about injuries and calling out the front office to make a deal that has added gasoline to the fans/media bon fire this by the way I brought up yesterday and I agree with management telling Manuel to zip it.

Well it seems J-Man has gotten the message loud and clear as he closed the doors to his clubhouse after the game (another suggestion I brought up) and from the sound of it, reversed his sermon and told his team to stop looking for outside help and look at each other. Manuel tried to stem the tide of individualism that seems to have crept into his clubhouse and from this vantage point it looks like Manuel’ job is on the line. Not for this season but for next.

I don’t think it’s the fact that the team is losing but the way they lose that has them being mocked and laughed at throughout baseball and has caused embarassment to all who root for the Mets. The Mets players are lucky I’m not the team owner because I would have closed the club house door with a handful of player release forms in my hand and tell the players that the forms are loaded and “I’m not afraid to use them”

The last time the Mets had a month like this June was back in September 2003 when the Walking Cadaver Art Howe was in charge and “battling” all the way to a 7-19 record. That was the Met team with such notables as Jason “Goggles” Phillips, Vane Wilson, Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Danny Garcia and The Brothers Glavine. Another fact that gave me a “WOW” moment was that Pedro Feliciano is the only player to play for both losing Mets squads. Felicano has been a Met for 6 years AMAZING!!

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IF YOU STAYED IN A HOLLIDAY INN LAST NIGHT, COULD YOU PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT JOSE REYES LEG?

You think J-Man was doing a rain dance yesterday? If a team ever needed time to step back and access itself it’s the Mets. The good news yesterday was Carlos Beltran abdicating the porcelain throne to going back to being the everyday centerfielder. The bad news was Jose Reyes took himself out of an extended spring game (how long are these extended spring games and who plays in them besides the handicapped major leaguer ?)

 

Then to top of the day, the Atlanta Braves send a message that they ain’t going anywhere by pulling off a deal for Nate McClouth and telling Titan Tom Glavine to go home and make brownies.

 

The Reyes situation is a puzzling. I never question a guy who says he’s hurt but at some point, which hopefully is today when Reyes comes back to NY to see the quacks, a determination needs to be made on how this injury affects the team for the rest of the season. If this is going to be a chronic problem all season, then I’d expect Omar to quietly but out feelers for a shortstop (Miguel Tejda?) who is major league caliber. It’s ok that Omar has found some putty players like Wilson Valdez, Ramon Martinez, and Angel Pagan (before his yearly injury) but the fairy dust wears off quick with players like this. The Braves see this and look at the NL East landscape and say why not us? So out goes Titan Tom Glavine and in comes the young stud Tommy Hanson. As for us? Welcome the newest dumpster dive prize, Emil Brown.

 

Heads up news from upstate, top prospects RHP’s Bradley Holt and Jennry Meija have been promotes to Bingo and both will start this weekend. Keep you eye on Holt as he may just bypass Buffalo and go right to Flushing to offset the suckitude of Tim Redding.

 

Tonight on PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL we will discuss today’s Mets-Bucos game, the injury epidemic with the Mets and a look around the minor league system. We will be joined by Bert Sugar, who will be talking about his new book, Bert Sugar’s Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America’s Greatest Game, (Running Press) You can listen live at Blog Talk Radio or listen to the podcast at PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL.   

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CHECK OUT INFIELD CHATTER

a new site that covers Mets and all baseball is INFIELD CHATTER, stop by and check it out as there is a great free agent primer post and word the Braves not looking to trade top prospects for Jake Peavy

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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.

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