Sandy Alderson Finally Makes Some Moves, But Are They The Right Moves ?

 

That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more…..

                                                                                      Popeye

 

You could also hear that quote coming from the Mets GM ‘s suite at Citi Field yesterday as  Sandy Alderson finally made some moves to  at least shake up a team that seems content with losing.  Ike Davis, Mike Baxter and Robert Carson head to Vegas and Rick Ankiel heads to wherever it is baseball players who can’t play baseball anymore go. To say it’s about time is an understatement, to say what took you so long is more precise.

The move to send Davis to Vegas is about a month too late. The only thing that saved Davis from a trip to Sin City was his rebound second half of last year. Alderson and his staff were waiting for the resurrection of Ike to happen like last year but after a while there comes a time the organization goes from believers to doubting Thomas’ and now it’s up to George Greer, the Mets Vegas hitting coach and manager Wally Backman, to work on getting Ike right at the plate and maybe also in the head.

Davis seems to be another Met who may be suffering from a sense of entitlement. It’s something you hear from folks who are around the club that one of the biggest problems with the team and through the organization is this sense of privilege that players who have not earned the right to put on airs are the ones with their noses up and pinky’s out.  This was a problem with the Minaya regime and it seems it’s still a problem under Alderson. Yesterday’s game would have been a great time to send a message that stupidity and carelessness will no longer be tolerated.

In the bottom of the first inning with two outs, and Daniel Murphy at the plate, Jordany Valdespin, I guess not realizing that he was (a) in scoring position already and (b) there were two outs, decides to take off for 3rd base, of course he was thrown out. It’s a stupid play if a 10 year old does and it’s infuriating when a so called big leaguer does it. So at that point I’m thinking as was Ron Darling during the SNY telecast, here is the perfect spot for Terry Collins to declare no more. No more tolerance of stupidity, time to make an example out of Valdespin and remove him from the game. Tell him take a shower ,watch tv,  eat a sandwich I don’t give a rats ass what you do up just get the fuck out of my sight. But no that’s not what happened. Collins did give JV1 a talking to but left him in the game. If this were the minor leagues I would say letting Valedespin get an earful would be fine but this is Major League Baseball where you are supposed to be ready to play at the highest level there is of the game.  Add in that your team has lost 5 of its last 6 games and your last loss was a 20 inning disaster where you went 0 for 19 with RISP  and you have lost 8 of 11 games to the Marlins, a team that is 10-41 when not playing the Mets, a benching of Vladespin was more than justified.

So after another hopeless performance by his team, Alderson made his moves but who would he bring up? Josh Satin, Collin Cowgill and Josh Edgin are now officially New York Mets. What? You’re underwhelmed? Well you should be.

While the critics wail away at Alderson and his staff for not signing free agents (since he is the GM and not the Owner he can only spend what the owner allows him too) and for not trading for top flight major league talent which is hard to do when the rest of baseball knows you are desperate for major league talent and ask for the few precious talented prospects you have in return. It’s not Alderson’s fault that he is fresh out of Beltran’s and Dickey’s to deal for prospects. But why let the facts get in the way of fan stupidity.

Now I’m not saying that Alderson hadn’t made mistakes sure he has, two years in a row the Mets front office has failed to build an efficient bullpen, in fact if the front office just put together a league average bullpen the Mets would be in better shape than they are today. The front office has also failed at finding that diamond in the rough that Alderson’s protégé , Billy Beane has done very successfully in Oakland.   

Of the call ups the Mets have made, I would have been much more enthused if the names would have been Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler and Jack Leatherstrich.

It would be nice to see Flores play 2B and have Daniel Murphy move over to 1st base in Ike’s absence since the Mets feel if they move Lucas Duda to 1st base and then back to left field when Ike returns that Duda would need to visit Dr. Sidney Friedman to help gets his head together.

I’m so tired of hearing that Wheeler is ready, Wheeler is coming, Wheeler, Wheeler , Wheeler…..BRING HIM UP ALREADY!!!!!! The indecision of this organization annoys the living shit out of me sometimes. Make a god damn decision tell Jeremy Hefner it’s not you it’s us and move him to the pen and go with a rotation of Niese, Harvey, Marcum, Wheeler, Gee. You not only bolster the starting rotation but you add a bullpen arm that can give you multiple innings.

Jack “LeatherRocket” Leathersich is a lefty reliever who has striking out hitters at the AA level at a rate of 17 per 9 innings. Why not take a shot and bring this young man up to see what he can do a big league level. I doubt he will be as bad as Robert Carson .

Sometimes this organization is too cautious; instead of being bold and putting the youngsters in a challenging spot.  Let’s see who can swim at the deep end of the pool.   

    

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Sandy Sez

Mets GM Sandy Alderson was on with Mike Francesa yesterday to answer some questions about where the 2013 Mets currently stand. The team stands in the same spot as it stood since the R.A. Dickey deal, stalled. The picture Alderson gave of this upcoming Mets team was not very rosy but seriously what did you expect?  Some of you in the fan base love having smoke blown up your ass, all you want to hear is positives and unfortunately for you the GM is not the smoke blowin’ type. Others are shocked; SHOCKED when the Alderson is candid and tells you the truth, that the outfield is not one he wants to put on the field and that he is having a hard time constructing a bullpen that doesn’t contend for the worst in baseball. He also is on the level when he tells you there isn’t much out there in either trade or free agency that would make a whole helluva lot of difference so why just spend precious Skill Sets Bucks to prove that he has precious Sill Sets Bucks to spend.

Let’s look at some of the highlights from Alderson’ call with ’ ZAUN:

On what his ball club looks like right now and how he’ll improve it going forward Alderson said:

Well I’d say right now it’s an incomplete. But there’s still time in the semester, to give an educational metaphor. We’ve been watching the market, we know what’s available, we’ve known what’s available. We reconvene and review periodically, meaning every couple of days. There are a number of things that we’re currently involved in pursuing. But we’re hopeful we’ll have some additions before spring training starts, and I expect that we will have some additions, but at this point to say we’ve been patient is probably an understatement but that’s what we’ve been.

I get the idea that Alderson would have loved to have made further renovations to this roster but the over value of many of this year’s uninspiring free agent class and unreasonable trade options have hinder that plan.  Would Alderson like to trade for Justin Upton? Sure. Would he deal away Zack Wheeler for him? Hell no. Would he like to bring in a veteran outfielder? Of course. But  would he go 3years/$39mil (Shane Victorino to the Red Sox) or even 3 years/$26 mil (Cody Ross to the D’Backs) ? Nope, and if he did you know you’d scream holy hell.

On Travis d’Arnaud making the club’s opening day roster:

Yeah, I think it would be unfair given his situation, the level of his development to say, look, he can’t make the team out of spring training, but we had a somewhat open situation with Matt Harvey last year, too, and he had a fairly good spring training, and yet he opened the season at the minor league level. I just don’t want to rule anything out. At the same time, I don’t want to create false expectations on the part of our fans or any sense of pressure on Travis himself. But look, he hasn’t played since last June, he was out all the second half of last season with the knee injury. He would have been in the big leagues last year had he not been injured. Had he not been injured and played last year, I doubt he would have been available to us in a trade. So you take the good with the bad. But as far as Opening Day is concerned, he could be with us, but we do have a very capable veteran in John Buck as well.      

Ok now Alderson is blowing smoke up your ass. d’Arnaud only breaks camp with the team if Buck gets hurt, otherwise his arbitrational clock is more important than early season big league at bats. Last season’s knee injury and lack of playing in the second half of last season will come in handy to justify this decision.

The next topic to come up from ‘ZAUN was the outfield:

Well, the outfield is not a strength at this point, there’s no question about that. There’s a need for an upgrade at almost every one of those positions. Some of it could come internally. We may see Lucas Duda substantially improve defensively and offensively.

Or we may not see Lucas Duda substantially improve defensively and offensively. Duda is a liability in the outfield and would be a perfect DH if he could…you…know….HIT! Is it me or does Duda also strike you as a guy you makes playing baseball a chore?

Alderson then laid out what the outfield could look like on opening day:

We’re looking at him(Duda) in left. Center field right now is probably [Kirk] Nieuwenhuis and a player we obtained from the A’s, Colin Cowgill, who I think will be an interesting player to watch in spring training.

Ah yes Colin Cowgill. I too am interested in seeing Cowgill play as he looks to be the player that Mets have been waiting for the Alderson regime to bring in, the under the radar AAA to AAAA player who gets a chance to play regularly and makes an a strong contribution.  From looking at Cowgill’s minor league numbers he’s shown the ability to get on base, to steal a base and not get caught hit with a bit of power and his defense is a major plus and he bats right handed. Cowgill is an upgrade over Scott Hairstion and speaking of Scott Hairstion he is the exchange between ‘Zaun (‘Zaun is a play on the name of Francesa’s show Mike’s On but when the singers of his theme song make it sound like “MIKE ZAUN”) and Alderson:

 Francesa: You expect to have a Hairston back or another player in the mix before the season starts?

Alderson: Oh, we’re working on it. Yeah. And I think there’s been speculation about Scott. I think that…

Francesa: That he asked for too much money…

Alderson: You know, money’s always an issue and I wouldn’t deny that, but it’s also a question of playing time and he wants to play — we understand that — and one of the things that exists for us right now, the dynamic is, that in order for us to sign Scott we want to be able to commit a certain amount of playing time. This is where you balance two or three things going on at the same time. If one or two other things were to happen, it might affect his playing time. So it’s not just about the money, it’s also about playing time and what we can readily commit to Scott.

Francesa: You want to see what you can pull off before you commit to him?

Alderson: [Pause] … Uhh, yeah.

Francesa: Okay, that’s fair. I think that’s fair. I mean, it is fair. I mean, so it’s not a case of it just being a price, it’s also a situation of a couple other things actually can still happen or not.

Alderson: Yeah, absolutely.       

Trying to read between the lines here, it seems Alderson is waiting and hoping that some GM out there (Kevin Towers) panics and will trade from an over stocked outfield for some fringe prospects.   It goes back to the Upton talk I think Alderson believes he still has a shot at Upton and at his price but it’s going to take some more time and some more patience’s to pull it off. Even if it’s not Upton he gets it, seems before he commits those precious Skill Sets Bucks to Hairston, he leaves no options uncovered. No one is giving Scott Hairston 2ys/$8mil.

Alderson goes on in the rest of the interview to talk about how he sees both Johan Santana and Dillon Gee bouncing back from injury, how he hopes the younger bullpen arms he has will make an impact, how he has an eye on 2014 but his ‘dominant eye” is on 2013, and how he’s not happy with the way the Mets have finished that lase few seasons.

Big tip of the Mets cap to Amazin’ Avenue and Eric Simon and Steve Flanagan who posted a transcript of Francesa and Alderson’s conversation. Great job guys !  

 

 

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OH THOSE METS, THEY NICKLE AND DIME YOU TO DEATH !

The Mets are now Team Woolworth (the original 5 & 10) now that they have lost 10 of the last 15 games. It gets worse as the last five series the Mets have played they have won just one against the Nats (up your ass Highlander fans) and to make matters worse in the last 30 games the Mets are 14-16 the picture of mediocrity. And if not for the grace of the Red Sox and Blue Jays beating up on the Phillies the Mets would be closer to last than first place and that’s the problem. Not only are the Mets just a mere 3 games out of first place in the NL East and a game and a half out of a wild card spot so what’s a very average team to do?

 

First, shut the fuck up about injuries. In public anyway.  I hate to be redundant here but does Omar and the rest of the short bus management team have a plan? If they do can we here about it or see it in action because right now I don’t if the organization is pro active or just sitting with a pat hand? Do they have a handle on the rehab of the injured players and a time table for their return? I doubt it very much. Just reading the reports from St. Lonesome on John Maine makes you shake your head and wonder what the fuck is going on here? 

 

If they are pro active it’s going to be tough to land what they need, a starting pitcher and a big bat as just about every team other than the Nats, A’s and maybe the Indians could be ready to deal right now.  So if you want Adam Dunn, Nick Johnson, Matt Holiday or Victor Martinez they could be had but ask yourself this, what do the Mets have that they can get back what they need ?

 

I tell you this if anyone wants Fernando Martinez they can have him. To say I’ve not been impressed is an understatement. F-Mart is like the girl you chased throughout high school to go out with you and when you finally land that date you find her company is underwhelming. The biggest factor in the kids favor is, he is only 20 years old and has time to blossom but after this audition in the big leagues he looks like Alex Ochoa to me.

 

So would you trade Bobby Parnell? As good as Parnell had been we have to remember he’s a reliever and it’s suspect if he will ever be more than a reliever and that’s not a knock as it take at least three pitchers to finish a game and Parnell has closer potential so I would be ready to deal Parnell. Ryan Church? Who wants him? Daniel Murphy? A little tougher to deal but if I go with my head and not my heart he’s not untouchable. In fact is there really an untouchable in the farm system? Is there a player who the Mets feel could not be used in a deal? Besides Bradley Holt I can’t see any.

 

So if I’m Omar Minaya I’d be ready to strike now that the Phillies are wounded and playing uninspiring baseball (Mets bloggers favorite Marco Scutaro walked in the 6th inning of yesterday’s Jays-Phillies game and ran to first and kept running as no one was covering 2nd base and was credited with a stolen base. Larry Anderson on Philies radio flipped out calling out Ol’ Cholly to reams his team after the game ) before Ruben Amaro goes out and fortifies his team.

 

J-Man is a cool cat but how would I love to see him go all Dennis Green or Jim Mora during one of press conferences. I’m going to the WFAN  Breakfast with Jerry Manuel at the Hard Rock Café on Tuesday I hope to get J-Man’s ear for a minute or two. Should be fun!

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