COM’ON JOSE SIGN WITH THE FISH ALREADY SO WE CAN GET ON WITH OUR OFF SEASON

Photo from Bleacher Report

 

From watching Sandy Alderson with Kevin Burkhardt  on Mets Hot Stove, I come to the conclusion that when he took the job last year and looked over the landscape of the organization , he couldn’t believe the mess it was in. One of the things he spoke about last year that had me singing his praise was putting together a uniform system of teaching the Mets farm hands the right way to play baseball. One of the glaring weaknesses we saw last year from the major league team was the lack of understanding baseball fundamentals and baseball instinct.   Alderson realized that the way the Mets were conducting player development was so deficient that a major changes had to be made.

Fast forward to this off season.  Alderson has just finished his first season as the Mets baseball boss and what he saw up close and personal is what shapes his thinking for this off season. He saw a team that when hit by injury was deficient in depth at the Triple A level, sure some of the call ups played above and beyond and the team for the majority of the season was known as hard working and never giving up, a testament to the manager (who lit into his team when they slacked off, again something we haven’t seen here in years), but Alderson saw that there is no New York quick fix here, this rebuilding of the Mets will take some time.

Yes, this is a rebuild, from the way the organization is viewed by outsiders (if Alderson could just get the Skill Sets to go underground for say the next 10 years that would be major plus in rebuilding the brand)and the way it’s looked at by other players and front office types throughout baseball.  The later has improved a lot under Alderson, the former, well, that will take more time.

When Burkhardt asked about signing Reyes, and the fact that the majority of Mets fans are clamoring for him to be resign by any means necessary, Alderson explained how this is not going to happen, a six year deal for Reyes would be a disaster for the organization. I loved Burkhardt’s  follow up question where he brought up that Alderson mentioned that the release of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo had to do somewhat with fan sentiment, Alderson explained, while the voice of the people played a bit of a part, it was more the poor performance of both players that led to them becoming ex-Mets.

Now Reyes not returning will not be due to poor performance by him but by poor performance of the team and the fact that the Mets are at least two seasons away from being a pennant winning factor.  You don’t need someone to tell you that Mets fans, in your heart of hearts you know it. So to give Reyes a long term deal and tie up money that will be better spent on getting the part or parts needed to put the club over the top in 2013 or 2014 is a better investment. I agree 100 %.

There are still some of us among the Mets faithful that want to spend and spend and spend. First, it’s hard to spend what you don’t have.  The ownership is doesn’t have the money to throw around as in years past and that may be the best piece of news this off season. I guess once the Mets season ends some of you stop watching baseball because if you did you’d realize that you can win with a $90-$100 mil payroll, you just have to know how to spend your money wisely. Alderson does and he will but it won’t happen overnight. Just stay patience and let him and his staff do its work, the man’s track record shows this could work in positive way.

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“SUFFERIN’ SUCOTASH”

It was nice to see Terry Collins get pissed off last night even if it wasn’t a total tirade I mean the way Collins acted at his post-game presser was the kind of demeanor Earl Weaver had ordering breakfast, but it was nice to see a Mets manager show passion instead of the “hey, shit happens” attitude of Jerry Manuel and the deer in the headlights way of Willie Randolph.

Collins said there will be changes, but really what changes can be made? The easiest move would be to release Willie Harris as he has lived up to his rep as a Mets killer even while wearing the Mets colors. Harris made a grave mistake when he said he pined for the days of the camaraderie of the Nationals clubhouse. He should have been cut that day.  It’s bad enough that Harris can’t hit for shit, his baseball IQ is as minuscule as his OPS. Not getting the force at third base and not knowing to go home on a sharp groundball with the bags juiced are the stupid baseball plays that have been tolerated around here for too many years. Good bye Willie Harris.

If Collins really wanted to send a message he’d go to Sandy Alderson and ask for Lucas Duda or F-Mart to come back up and make left field a platoon with either player and Jason Bay. Remember when we heard player salary wouldn’t be taken into account when making on field personal decisions? Well it’s time for Bay to grab some pine and if he has a problem with that either have his agent find a team to take him off the Mets hands or work out a buyout. I’ve seen enough of Bay, nice guy but he’s spooked by Citi Field to the point that he stands so far off the plate he might as well try to hit from the dugout steps.

Not much you can do with the bullpen. As Bobby O said last night, this runs in cycles, the pen has gone from sugar to shit the last couple of weeks so hopefully they can sweeten themselves in the right direction. At this point though, you could send Bobby Parnell back to Buffalo as he’s closer to driving a UPS truck as he is to being the closer of the future. It’s one thing to throw 95+ mph but to throw that hard and straight over the plate you get your tits lit up in the big leagues. Problem is who comes up? Manny Acosta has been great out of the Bison pen and John Lujan, who looked good in spring training, would be a nice candidate but really Alderson is at the bottom of the minor league pitching barrel.    

You have to feel for Terry Collins. He’s trying so hard to stay confident with his Buffalo Soldiers and maybe they are just not up to the task. No matter what level of baseball you’re talking about, if you give the opposition 4, 5, 6 outs in an inning you will lose the majority of your games no matter what. Then add in an impotent offense that can’t get past 3 runs in a game, well then you have nights like last night. Collins’ Buffalo Soldiers are starting to crumble as badly as Saddam Hussein Republican Guard. I hope Collins has a better luck than ol’ Saddam

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TODAY IS BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE DAY

Today is Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) Day, and as a member from the beginning of the Alliance and the NY NL Chapter President, I’d like to tell you about the BBA.

The BBA was founded in 2009 by Daniel Shoptaw, who blogs about the St. Louis Cardinals at his C70 at the Bat site. Daniel had e-mailed me about the BBA and asked if would like to join up and I immediately said yes. What I liked about the BBA was it was a place for someone like me who is passionate about my team to meet up with other passionate baseball fans who are also bloggers.  My membership in the BBA has been a tremendous help in doing my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN radio show and in hosting the BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE BASEBALL TALK SHOW on Blog Talk Radio, as I can always find a blogger to come on and talk about their team when they are facing the NY Mets, to give me a fans/bloggers eye view of ups and downs of their team, which helps myself and my listeners get a better idea of the opponent facing the Mets in that series.

Besides the BBA Talk Radio show, we also vote on season ending awards in the same fashion as the Baseball Writers of America, in fact they seem a bit worried about our views as they issued a cease and desist letter for the BBA not use the terms they use for their award. We wear that C & D as a badge of accomplishment.

The BBA is 230 members strong, with chapters which are history oriented, cover fantasy baseball, the analytical part of baseball and those who cover general baseball news and views. The majority of the membership though is of team specific sites and I am very proud to say that the New York Mets have the highest number of bloggers in the BBA at 19.

So I’d like for you to take a little time today and visit our BBA site and also check out our broadcasts on Blog Talk Radio.    

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WELCOME TO STORYTIME WITH GARY, KEITH AND RON

 

As stated here and on other sites, the repartee of Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Burkhardt have helped take the edge off another unfulfilling season by the NY Mets. Last night was no exception.

Just as I was ready to switch over to the Rays-Jays game, Gary Cohen brought up the comments by Wally Backman about the Mets managerial job. Wally kind of hinted that some of the moves that Jerry Manuel has made this season are not particularly the same ones he would have made as Mets manager. No one is better than setting up his partners like Cohen and this subject got Hernandez and Darling going and we were off to the drag races.

Darling seemed offended by Wally’ statement saying there should be some sort of code of conduct between mangers. Hernandez then added it wasn’t such a bad thing like when Gary Carter practically put his thump and pinky to his ear during an interview and mouthed ‘Call me Jeff” into the camera. Darling agreed and you can just tell that back in the day, Kid Carter was a handful in the clubhouse. Hernandez then went on to let us know that Wally likes to talk. He mentioned that when the Mets were to play the Astros in Game 5 of the 1986 NLCS Backman was crowing in the clubhouse how the Mets were going to win that game. Hernandez said he went over to Backman and told him to keep quiet, and reminded him that Nolan Ryan was pitching (against Dwight Gooden in one of the great post season match ups as Ryan K’d 12 and walked just 1 in 9 inns while Doc pitched 10 innings and got a ton of ground ball outs as the Mets won the game in 12 innings on a Gary Carter single scoring guess who? Wally Backman) to which Backman replied in his Wally Way “Who gives a fuck”!

From there the SNY camera got a glimpse of Roger McDowell on the Braves bench and Hernandez had us all gather around the 50’’ Sony HD TV to hear the how Roger McDowell hated Gregg Jefferies guts. Keith brought up, as he has a many occasion (you get the feeling that Richie Hebner would be given a warmer welcome into the Mets Alumni than Gregg Jefferies ) how Jefferies was the only player on the team to have his own private bag for his bats, and Keith blamed Charlie Samuels for that as Darling added “you blame Charlie for everything” and the trio of announcers had a good laugh. Hernandez continued on how this burned the other players ass’s and McDowell had had enough of this little prima donna getting preferential treatment and proceeded to take  Jeffries bats and tossed them from the bag out into the parking lot at Shea. That yarn brought back memories of when Soldier of Fortune aficionado Randy Myers and McDowell took Jefferies bats and sawed them in half. I have mentioned here a few times  when John Franco joined the Mets in 1990 he tried very hard to get Jefferies to understand he needs to be more of a “we” guy than the me guy he was and to that end Franco invited Jeffieries for a night on the town in Bay Ridge Brooklyn. Franco was an acquaintance of a few of my friends so I’ve gotten to meet him on a few occasion so when he walked into the club where my buddies and I were hanging out, with Jefferies, we thought we were set for a pretty good night of partying. Well, after just about an hour at the club (The Penthouse for all you old disco types from Brooklyn out there) Jefferies was hitting on every woman in the place and nearly got the living shit kick out of him for it. Lucky for him the bouncers at the club were teammates of ours from our Staten Island Touch Tackle League team (Someday I’ll tell the story of when I ran down former Notre Dame and Pittsburgh Steelers QB Terry Hannraty  for a sack, the highlight of my journeyman athletic career) so Jefferies was spared a Bay Ridge beat down. Also that was the last time Franco ever invited Jefferies out for even a cup of coffee. When I was managing teams in Staten Island Little League, Franco’ son JJ was in the league and John would come watch him play when he could, When I saw him one evening at the complex I went to say hi and he said “Geez I see you everywhere around the Island (Franco lived just a few block from me on Staten Island) I laughed and then I asked him if he still kept in touch with Jefferies, Franco looked at me and said “Holy shit your were there too”?

Wow talk about making a short story long, anyway, Hernandez went on about the last game of the 1989 season when McDowell then a Phillie, and Jefferies fought as the last out of the game and season was recorded. The story in the NY Times paints a very ugly picture of that season and gives us a glimpse of the turmoil that the 90’s would bring. This quote from Phillies manager Nick Leyva sums up the feeling for Gregg Jeffries around baseball:

Nick Leyva, Philadelphia’s manager, defended McDowell by saying that Jefferies is not popular among his own teammates, then Leyva said, ”There were 30 guys on our side rooting for Roger and 20 guys on their side rooting for Roger.”

As a Mets fan, the one thing you should be rooting for right now is tonight’s game is a blow out early, maybe story time with Keith and Ron will talk about the nights at Rusty Staub’ restaurant on the East Side, that will be better than Taxi Cab Confessions.

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OVER THE BIG PELF RAINBOW

Through all the anger and despair of another lost season in Flushing sometimes you have to step back and look at some positives, though there aren’t many but one is the resurgence of Big Pelf.  Pelfrey’s season is a microcosm of the Mets this year, more ups and downs than an elevator shaft at the Empire State Building.

Pelf had a great start to the season and then was just average in May and June and down right awful in July and now has bounced back to this April quality this month of August.  So how did Big Pelf turn his season around?

For one thing Pelfrey is back to throwing strikes and using his two seamer  with authority. It seems any problems Pelf has it always comes down to confidence in his pitches and this year it’s taken him a while to master that two seam fastball which is a new pitch added to his arsenal. It seems that pitch eluded him for the month of July and one thing we know for sure about Big Pelf is for a big strapping guy, he can be quite fragile emotionally. Maybe the July meltdown and the fact that he now realizes his problems are in his head and not his arm will be the turning point to his career. There is too much talent here for Pelfrey not to become a stud pitcher.

I watched just bits and pieces of last night’s game as I was more involved in the Red Sox-Rays game but I did see that Jerry Manuel brought Bobby Parnell in to pitch the 9th inning last night but then let Takahashi finish the game. Parnell  K’d Hunter Pence then gave up a single to Carlos Lee who took second on Pagan’s double then after Chris Johnson singled Manuel decides it’s time to become Tony LaRussa and over manage by bringing in Takahashi. Why not see if Parnell can get out the jam ? I can see the point of not wanting to lose this game and get Pelfrey a another win but I’d would think with Parnell having been pitching well in this spot of late and with Parnell looking to fill the void at closer why not let him finish? Even if he gives up a hit and the lead and blows the save, at least you can see how he responds to that as closers have to have short memories in order to succeed. You could lose this battle but win the war if Parnell shows the guts to forget it and comeback strong in his next outing. He could also strikeout the next two batters and have his confidence sore from that experience as well. Maybe that was too much for Jerry Manuel to think about .

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HAPPY TO SAY I STILL HAVE SOME MEANINGFUL BASEBALL GAMES TO PLAY

I’m proud to report that our 13 year old Babe Ruth team is still alive in the playoffs after a fine 13-6 win in a double elimination game. It was so nice to see our big gun mix his fastball and change up for strikes and keeping his walk total at a minimum. After 5 innings he started to tire and I had to make a decision to ride him two more innings or take him out and go to the pen. I opted for the pen and maybe it was my infielders not getting much work and the game going on for two and half hours, they were a little sloppy late but in the end made the plays when needed so we live to see another day. As for my big pep talk, after a 20 minute warm up I went to exchange line ups and go over ground rules, I had the team assemble in the outfield and on my way out to meet them I was going over my speech I looked at the kids sitting in a circle laughing and joking with each other and decided to scrap the speech as it would do more harm than good. It’s an amazing bunch of kids as the take they wins and losses the same, in fact their biggest conceren is what we are going eat after a game. Isn’t it great to be a kid?

 

 

40 years ago today I was sitting in my living room with my parents waiting for the event of a lifetime, man walking on the moon. I was 11 years old and from what I can remember, the lunar module landed in the late afternoon but Neil Armstrong didn’t step on the moon surface until night time (10 PM ) I do remember my father waking me up to see this as I fell asleep on the couch as he didn’t want me to miss this unbelievable piece of history. No one could believe what they were seeing and the thing a lot of people feared was the astronauts getting stranded on the moon. In fact President Nixon had a speech already to address this if it happened.

I’m really sad to hear of the passing of Frank McCourt whose life story laid out in Angela’s Ashes is just one of greatest books ever written. I had the pleasure of meeting Frank and Malachy McCourt as they did their show “A Couple of Blaguards” and it was a thrill and privilege to meet him and I’m honored to be known as a “blaguard” myslef .

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I’M SURE RAMON MARTINEZ STAYED CLEAR OF JOHAN SANTANA

I’m sure Johan Santana would love to join Jerry Manuel in a tag team against Omar Minaya and Tony Bernazard to find out why the front office has it’s head up it’s ass over brining in a shortstop either Ruben Tejada, Jose Coronado from the minors or going out and getting a middle infielder and stop the embarrassment that is Ramon Martinez. It’s not Martinez fault he is should not be on a major league roster. If the Mets would have put Jose Reyes on the DL on the 14th when he first felt the pain in his calf, he may have recuperated and would be ready to go this week but the way the Mets have dicked around with Reyes he’ll most likely end up on the DL now and would make a month he’s be out. I can’t understand for the life of me how Omar and his grew have no grasp whatsoever on injuries and how much they bungle call ups from the minors.

Kevin Youkils is lucky he didn‘t get more than hit in the elbow last night. Remember last season before Manny Ramirez was shipped out of Boston he kicked Youks ass as he got tired of him throwing his helmet after making an out in the Red Sox dugout.

Next on the walking wounded list is Ryan Church you claims to have teak a hammy so now the Mets will play two position players down.

Bravo Gary Cohen and I think I speak for the vast majority of Mets fans who HATE hearing Sweet Caroline at $iti Field. Please Gary you are the one with the ear of the nit wits in management. Your our only hope.

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DARLINING YOU GOT TO LET ME KNOW, SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

I love nothing better than going to a sporting event. I don’t just go to games; I always keep score at baseball games. I love to keep track of line changes at hockey games. I keep track of the time and score at basketball games when the starters come out and the bench guys come in.

 

When I go to any sporting event I get there hours before the start as I love watching warm ups. There is nothing better than watching batting practice. My family can’t understand this how I can sit in ballpark and watch guys hit a baseball and field fly balls. There are still the few die hards that line up at ball parks and arenas like me for the gates to open but I think these days it’s becoming a lost art.

 

My wife was stunned this past winter when I turned down tickets to see the New York Football Giants play the Iggles at the Medowlands. I turned it down because I weighed the pros and cons and the cons won. The pros were a day with friends, watching my favorite football team in person, getting a better idea of various formations on offense and defense and having a general good time. The cons, it’s cold, too much down time with game stoppage and TV timeouts, and sitting in insufferable traffic. Then when you add in at home you have your own HDTV, no lines for the bathroom, attendants (children) and a big comfy chair when you think about it you have be nuts to go to the game.

 

I bring this up because I saw to day that STUBHUB has a ton of tickets on it’s site for the exhibition games this weekend between the Mets and Red Sox. The strange thing is these games SOLD OUT in 45 minutes or so we were told. It looks like the bulk of the tickets went to the secondary market, you know the new business that used to be called scalpers.

 

It will be a trend to watch this season with both the Mets and Highlanders to see if fans after their first trip to the new ballparks get that “been there, done that feeling” and pass up paying big money to go to a game to spend big money.

 

When you think about it for what you pay for tickets to a game plus food, souviners and other incidentals (it’s always those damn incidentals that will get you) and gas and tolls is it worth it? With the state of the economy, if you are fortunate enough to have discretionary funds put aside do you spend it on a day at the old ball game or a weekend at the shore?        

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THE METS ARE MARCHING HOME AGAIN HURRAH, HURRAH!

 

 

As great as it was to watch are darling boy, D-Wright get an opposite field base hit to beat Puerto Rico, it all went to shit with the news that he fouled a ball off his big toe in game that meant NOTHING!!!!!! To make it worse, Wright is the lone 3rd baseman left on Team America so he stayed in the game –clearly in pain- and has made it known that no matter what the Mets say, he will play this weekend in the semi-finals, even with only nine toes. Add that to OP and his mid season pitch count and that the returning Puerto Ricans and Dominicans are exhausted from this bullshit tournament, we of the Flushing Faithful are holding our breath that the Mets won’t have to add injury to the list of enemies to start the season.

 

You know you’re a red neck when…………………..

 

Anyone have Mackey Sasser’ phone number?

 

The Mets do not want to see Billy Wagner ever again. Forget about him coming back in September to fortified the bullpen it’s not happening. Remember how Wagner bitched and moaned about coming into non-save situations and not starting innings and not coming in for 4 outs saves so where exactly does he fit in here? He’s not going to close or set up a save hell, he isn’t even going to be the bridge to the set up man (that looks to be Bobby Parnell) so he doesn’t fit here anymore. It’s not personal, it’s business.

 

Au revior Chief, unfortunately your time has come as Livan Hernandez has won the 5th starter spot in the Mets rotation. The back ups for the starting rotation are Tim Redding, Jon Niese, and Nelson Figueroa and if it goes any deeper than that it won’t matter anymore as we will all be looking for the start of NFL training camp if it comes to that.

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RANDOM ACT OF BLOGGING THE MONDAY AFTERNOON EDTION

It’s good to see D-Wright is mad, I mean really, really mad:

 

{“I don’t like those guys,” Wright said. “I know they don’t like us. There are guys that I respect on that team. I respect them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to be friends with them. My whole career, I’ve tried to stay away from that. I’ll shake somebody’s hand and say hello, but I’m not going to be buddy-buddy with anyone before the game.

 

“I’m not a big fan of the teams in our division just because we play them so much. I would hope as a competitor that you would have that edge, that you would have a genuine interest to go out there and beat them by as much as you can}

 

Okay, it’s a start. I don’t figure Wright to take on my Braveheart mentality when it comes to our division rivals although I’d love it if he did but what I found interesting was the “I’ll shake somebody’s hand and say hello but I’m not going to be buddy-buddy with anyone before the game” quote. If you watch the Mets during warm ups it seems the players love to hug and kibitz with some players on the opposing team, and with the risk of being called a racist, it’s mostly the Latin players who do this. I don’t ever see D-Wright calling them out for doing that. In fact it was one of the pet peeves that Willie Randolph had when Omar and Tony B would be on the field before a game against the Nats and showing Manny Acta much love.

 

Saw this on Metsblog, seems Omar and Co. are not too crazy about the Brian Schneider/Ramon Castro catching tandem and an upgrade behind the plate is on the off season to do list.

 

New York Magazine is celebrating its 40th Anniversary and the editors asked some sportswriters who they thought were the Top 10 NY Athletes of the last 40 years. Each writer gave some excellent choices (check out Selena Roberts who went off on a whole different tangent) I made my own list and it was very tough to limit it to 10 but here are my Top 10 NYC Athletes from 1968-2008:

 

 

1.      Tom Seaver-He is the reason why we care about the Mets

 

2.      Joe Namath- Even though I’m not a Jets fan I was and still am a huge Joe Willie fan. 

 

3.      Lawrence Taylor-The greatest defensive football player ever and second only to Jim Brown as the greatest football player ever.

 

4.      Willis Reed-Game 7 1970 NBA Finals I still get goose bumps when I see videos of Reed limping on to the court

 

5.      Walt Clyde Frazier-Always the coolest guy in the room and what gets lost in the Reed scenario is Clyde lighting up the Lakers for 36 pts and 19 dimes.

 

6.      Mark Messier-The Captain Always The Captain

 

7.      Reggie Jackson-If there was a guy born to play in NYC it was Reggie

 

8.      Mariano Rivera-Yes it kills me but what’s fair is fair he is the greatest reliever in history

 

9.      Dwight Gooden-Every home start was an event must see baseball

 

10.  Pele-If you weren’t around during the days of the New York Cosmos this choice may not make sense to you but think of Pele like you would of Babe Ruth.

 

 

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