So Where Was I ?

Oh hi there. Did you miss me? Well after a two week vacation and going back to work and trying to catch up with work that sat on my desk for those 2 weeks and then have my work computer infected with a virus that had me running to our main office with it and the OIT guys giving me a laptop to use and then running back to the office to try to make up the lost time by eating a footlong Subway sandwich and enter work into the laptop at the same time, (big breath taken here) I couldn’t find time to put up a post here on Kranepool.  But with today as an off day before I get back to the deluge of work, I thought this would a good time to throw out some random thoughts on our ever growing to love NY Mets.

Jarred Diamond of The Wall Street Journal had a great piece on Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada who both lost their starting jobs with the big league team after suffering injuries.  It is nice to see the organization making players accountable and having this “if you can play, you can stay attitude”.  I thought it was telling of the mindset of Duda when he says he would embrace being a DH, which is the perfect position for him; as for Tejada until he learns to work harder and also learn the difference to being hurt than being injured he’ll be on the outs with the front office.  That may be harsh criticism but sometimes the truth hurts.

Joe D over at Mets Minors has a post on Cuban 1st baseman/defector Jose Abreu, who is getting his Caribbean residency in order so he can become a free agent. Joe writes about how this right handed hitting slugger could be the player the Mets need to go after. I agree 100 %. Not only would Abreu be the power hitter that Sandy Alderson has craved but going after Abreu would make the Wilpon’s put up or shut up when it comes to Freddy  and Jeffy Skill Sets  braggadocio over having money to spend. Mets fans should be following the courting of Abreu very, very closely.

I don’t know if the bridge has been burned and I can’t believe I’m thinking about this but would/could the Mets bring Jose Reyes back to Flushing? The money owed is steep with Reyes having four years and $82 million left on his deal (with a $22 mil team option in 2018 with a $4mil buyout ) but if the Jays would eat about $20mil and the organization and willing to bury the hatchet , a reunion is something to think about isn’t it?

Don’t get upset over the Un-Harvey like Matt Harvey start last night, even #41 had an off night.

Can we get confirmation that John Buck’s wife is indeed pregnant?   

Let’s hope that Wilmer “Flo” Flores ankle injury is not serious enough to land him on the DL but if it is for the love of God Terry Collins do not replace him with Justin Turner. Put Josh Satin at 3rd and play Ike every day at 1st and leave it at that. I know Turner is the son Collins never had but please just keep him as a bat off the bench and a fill in.

In our last podcast of The Kult of Mets Personalities, we discussed Daniel Murphy and his future as a Met. I suspect the #Imwith28 crowd will be calling for my head.

 

 

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The NY Mets Search For The Diamond In The Rough

I had quite a busy Mets day yesterday as I resurrected my podcast with the help of Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal and then calling in as guest to the Rising Apple podcast.  In between podcasts, I was fortunate enough to have been invited to a Mets Bloggers conference call with Mets GM Sandy Alderson.

Alderson has been gracious with his time to members of the Mets blogging community and has shown us great respect in regards to our questions and views pertaining to the New York Mets. Alderson has stated to us a couple of occasions how he enjoys the passion we have for the team and time and effort we put in to write and talk about the Mets.  When the Mets and Alderson first started to have these blogger calls the session lasted about 25-40 minutes, last night Alderson stayed on the line with us for about an hour. Name me another team or GM who does that? There aren’t any. As you can see from the transcript, (a great big tip of the Mets cap to Eric Simon and Chris McShane of Amazin Avenue for putting together a transcript of the conference call and while you’re at AA check out Chris’ column on Paul DePodesta and how the team has turned around the player development side of the organization, it’s a great read)

When my turn to speak to Alderson came up, I asked him about the turnover in the roster this past off season and the similarities in the position players he has added.   The players I looked at, Collin Cowgill, Andrew Brown, Brandon Hicks and Jamie Hoffman all poses good walk rates and isolated power percentages. They also have in common the distinction of coming from solid organizations (Cowgill came up through the Oakland A’s system, Brown the Cardinals, Hicks the Braves, Hoffman the Dodgers) when it comes to teaching proper fundamentals in the lower levels of their farm systems. This group also plays the game aggressively as well, on the base paths and on defense.   Here is the Mets GM’s reply to my question:

Well you listed off a lot of positive qualities. And to the extent that the players you mentioned are aggressive defensively, aggressive on the bases, command the strike zone, have some power, can run the bases a little bit. Yes, I would say that these are the kinds of players that we would like to have. Offense plays. You can be a great defender, if you can’t hit you probably can’t play anywhere. I’m not talking about the Mets exclusively. And also, it is possible that there are players that just don’t get an opportunity in certain organizations because they may be deeper at certain positions than they are at others. The minor league free agent market, or the fringe 25 man roster guy, playing for a club with a strong roster, given the opportunity may turn into something valuable. Mike Baxter is another example of this from previous years. Not that Mike has great power, but he’s a very valuable piece and part of the team. There’s no question that we value on base percentage, walk rates, isolated power is important, but as we’ve emphasized with a number of guys here in camp on base percentage, command of the strike zone is important. And look, it’s important on offense, it’s important on the pitching side. If you don’t walk anybody and keep the ball in the ballpark you can win games. Today was a good example of what can happen when you walk seven and give up a number of home runs. The same thing happened yesterday- we out hit the Marlins yesterday 9-5. They beat us because they had 14 total bases on 5 hits and we had, I think, 9 on 9 hits. So right, I think that these are the kinds of players were looking for, that we think can make a contribution at the major league level, and we’re going to find out given some opportunity here in the spring what we have. And, of course, we should have most of them going into the season and so we’ll get a chance to look at them again. You have to look for players wherever you can find them, particularly when you’re weak in that area in your own system.

The players I mentioned are very good complimentary pieces that you need to have on a winning team and as Alderson stated and as we’ve seen firsthand, the skill sets that the players I mention have, are lacking in the organization and as we see Alderson and his baseball ops guys went out looking for this prototype player from different organizations. I think it is also very telling the organization they signed these players from, teams who have rock solid foundation in teaching the right way to play in their minor league systems.

 

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Checkout My Kranepool Society Podcast from 2-27-13

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Listen to internet radio with Kranepool Society Podcast on Blog Talk Radio

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On the latest edition of The Kranepool Society Podcast my guest is Jared Diamond, NY Mets beat writer for the Wall Street Journal

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CHECK OUT GARY CARTER ON KULT OF METS PERSONALITIES ON BLOGTALK RADIO

The folks at Kiners Korner have a podcast on Blog Talk Radio titled Kult of Mets Personalities. There latest podcast features Brian Costa the Mets beat writer for The Wall Street Journal and Former Mets great and Baseball Hall of Famer, Gary Carter.

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