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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Matt Harvey Is No Punter

 

 

 

Maybe all is not gloom and doom with the Mets as we see not only is David Wright ready to hit St. Lonesome but Matt Harvey can’t wait to get to camp as well. Harvey says all the right things in this story about competing this year and not using the coming season as a warm up for 2014. That’s why it would seem in Terry Collins best interest for this team to not only get off to a good start but show more fight than in past years  or Wally Backman will be large and in charge by Memorial Day.

It’s bad enough the Mets have not had a FanFest or Winter Caravan in a while but to add insult to injury, the former New York Giants are bringing their World Series trophy they won last year as the San Francisco Giants, back to their homeland this coming Saturday at Finnerty’s Bar at 2nd Avenue between E 13 St and E 14 St.  When the Giants won the World Series in 2010, Managing General Partner, Peter Magowan   a born and raised New Yorker and NY Giants fan, felt it would be a nice gesture to bring the World Series trophy back to his and his baseball teams hometown. Magowan is not with the club anymore but the tradition lives on.  Is anyone in Flushing paying attention????????

Give the Mets credit though as they have not forgotten that there are still victims of Hurricane Sandy who are still hurting. Tomorrow from 1PM to 2PM Daniel Murphy will be at the Church of the Nazarene 1414 Central Avenue in Far Rockaway to distribute food and supplies along with New York Cares Volunteers to residents still trying to rebuild their homes and their lives since the storm.

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Mets-scellaneous

I’ve got to tip my Mets cap to Tim McCarver for stepping up for Shannon Forde during Game 1 of the World Sereis with his Stand Up For Cancer shout out. Remember to vist Hope Shines For Shannon  

So whatever mechanical adjustment Madison Bumgarner made (he wouldn’t share his thoughts with Erin Andrews after the game as Bumgarner seems to be like the rest of us, wondering why Andrews has been asking to FOX’s  World Series coverage) it sure helped him gain command of his slider as that pitch gave the Tigers fits last night.

As far as Jim Leyland’s playing his infield at double play depth in the 7th inning, I agree that he made a mistake in judgment there, that situation called for infield in play get the out at home . If it were one inning earlier then Leyland would have better argument for playing for double play.

Same with Gene Lamont sending Prince Fielder home from 1 st base on Delmon Young’s double in the 2nd inning. The only thing I could think that ran through Lamont’s mind is the fact that Buster Posey has been told by the Giants not to block the player anymore and the sight of a freight train sized Fielder would reinforce that line of thinking but if Fielder had made his slide a bit more outside of home plate he may have gotten a hand across the plate before Posey’s tag.

Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins were in Las Vegas to officially announce the Las Vegas 51’s as the Mets newest Triple A team.  Alderson was up front saying that the marriage between the Mets and Las Vegas was made out of necessity  but he hope that it’s fruitful for both sides. Honestly I can’t see this affiliation lasting for that the two season deal both sides agree to. Having your Triple A team stationed on the other side of the country is truly one big pain in the ass.

By the way, maybe some in the Mets fan base have overstated how great a manager that Wally Backman has become. With no interviews for the few openings we’ve seen so far, and no prospects of any in the near future, Backman has agreed to be the skipper of the 51’s for 2013. Still, it’s safe to say if the Mets have a rerun of last season, or the season before that or the season before that…..Wally Ball could be at Citi Field in 2013.

I don’t know what has me more in panic mode Hurricane Sandy or the fact that David Wright and R.A. Dickey have not signed contract extensions yet?

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Carlos Beltran Turns Heel

He used to be a “baby face” but after he turned in Andres Torres for missing 1st base, Beltran is now a “heel”

The story today would have been much bigger if the Mets were fighting for a post season berth, but still the appeal at first base yesterday that Andres Torres missed the bag on his way to lead off double putting the tying run on 2nd base was an absolute joke on a number of ends.

From the replay, it looks as if Torres heel hit the bag which is why first base umpire David Rackley, a rookie umpire by the way, call was puzzling to begin with. I wonder if the game was at Citi Field would have made the same call, and how about Carlos Beltran making the call on the appeal????  

The reaction or non-reaction by Torres and first base coach Tom Goodwin was more troublesome to me than the call by Rackley, Torres didn’t flip out and neither did Goodwin, even if he did miss the bag, that was a crucial moment in the game, a game that Colin McHugh struggled in  and a game, the play out the string Mets, showed some fight in coming back from a 4-0 deficit on home runs from Kelly Shoppach and Daniel Murphy , you would think either player or coach would have gone ballistic? At least Terry Collins came out to fight the call.

I hope Terry Collins has seen the light and lets Kelly Shoppach catch every non-R.A. Dickey start.

Welcome back Wally Backman. Backman along with seven of his Bison (OF’er Fred Lewis, LHP Justin Hampson, RHP Elvin Rameirz , RHP Jenrry Mejia, RHP Jeury’s Familia, pain in the ass Jordany Valdespin, and last and least C Mike Nickeas) have been added to the Mets roster for the last month of the season .

I was out at MCU Park last night, sitting in the intermittent drizzle to watch the Brooklyn Cyclones get within one win of making the NY-Penn League post season as the Wild Card team.  A few observations:

RHP Luis Cessa pitched a fantastic game, he game within one out of a complete game victory, something quite rare in low A. Cesa only K’d two batters but he got a lot of ground ball outs.

MCU Park has to be one of tougher parks to hit home runs out of. Yesterday the wind was blowing in briskly from the Atlantic Ocean, so anything up in the air wasn’t going out of the park. In fact there was a ball hit high in the air that Lowell 3rd baseman called for at his position but ended up running down the line and making the play at home plate. That’s brisk baby.

RF Miakis De La Cruz made a sensational throw from the right field corner to nail a Lowell runner at the plate. By the way Kevin Plawecki did a great job blocking the plate.

Speaking of Plawecki, he had 3 hits and a Rib Eye Steak in the game, not that there is much competition but Plawecki has to be the best catcher in the Mets org not named Kelly Shoppach.

Brandon Nimo had a hit and looked very smooth in CF on the night that his poster was the Cyclone giveaway.

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Checkout The Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast from 8-21-12

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Listen to internet radio with Ivie League Prod on Blog Talk Radio

 

 

Last night on Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast, I went on a bit of rant over my distaste for the way the Mets have been playing this second half. Last night’s game may have been mine and Terry Collins breaking point as the phrase “given up” was used in how this team approached last night’s game.

Part of my rant was my opinion that Wally Backman may have to take over as manager of the Mets in 2013. In no way am I going in the Collins Must Go direction as the last two seasons I’ve grown to respect Collins a lot for his work ethic and for taking bullets for his players (sometimes too many bullets) but in my opinion I’d like to see Collins given a position in the player development department, maybe as the head of minor league instruction with an extra year on his current contract and a bump in (combat) pay. I just feel at this point in the organization rebuild, with Sandy Alderson committed to build this team through the minor league system why not bring in the guy that the majority of the young players have dealt with and that’s Wally Backman.  The players who are the future of the Mets have all played under Backman whether it was at Brooklyn or Binghamton or Buffalo so why not have him tutor them at the big league level as well.

Again this is no knock on Terry Collins who has vindicated himself for his past failures as a big league manager but this organization needs a major wake up call. In a perfect world The Skill Sets would sell the team to Mikhail “The Big Man” Prokhorov  who would tell Sandy Alderson here is your checkbook there is $500 million go buy some players, but that’s not happening. Something has got to give here; you cannot bring back the same group that’s here now back next season that goes from coaches and players. Right now on the current roster the only players I’d keep would be Wright, Tejada, Niese, Dickey, Santana, Harvey, Rauch, Parnell and Edgin, everyone else can shipped out, released, bought out eradicated  whatever.

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While You Were Whining About No Traids, The Mets Are A Win Away From Going 5-3 So Far On This Road Trip

So the Mets are a win away from closing out a 5-3 West Coast road trip. Not bad for a team that most Mets fans felt threw in the towel because the GM failed to make a trade deadline deal.

Chris Young goes for the Mets and hopefully he can bounce back from his poor showing in his last start against the Snakes.  A win today would be a huge boost to the team after such a dismal start to the second half. Again the resilience of this team is to be admired.

So Jordany Valdespin got his first taste of veteran wrath yesterday in San Fran. Seems Mets have a rule that collared shirts must be worn on the road. JV1 must have thought that rule wasn’t meant for him so he wore a white t-shirt to the ballpark. Someone in the clubhouse decided it was time for a little rough justice and the Valdy’ tee was destroyed. I love the fact that whoever gave out the punishment wrote El Hombre on the shirt because Valdespin does walk around like he is “THE MAN” and I bet he embraces that nickname unlike the original El Hombre who despises it.  Seems after first getting pissed off, Valdy realized the error in his ways and laughed it off to the point he wore the shirt during batting practice.

The big knock on Valdespin is his maturity in fact it was such a problem in Binghamton that Wally Backman told the Mets brass that if Valdy kept it up he was going to ring his neck.  Valdespin still irks some in the Mets clubhouse but hopefully yesterday was just another chapter in the Big League Education of Jordany Vladespin.

So the hot rumor is the Mets offered Jason Bay to the Fish for Heath Bell and John Buck. All three stink and all three are overpaid but all three are in dire need of change of scenery. I voted in favor of this deal as I’d wager that Bell will bounce back from this season of suckitude much more than Bay by the way, have you ever seen a player with as bad of body language as Bay recently?  I actually feel sorry for him as he knows he’s at the end of the line not just with Mets but with playing major league baseball, and Buck as bad as he’s been this year would automatically become the best catcher in the Mets organization. Not saying much I know.   

When you look at the money involved in this deal starting in 2013 Bay would cost $19 mil while Bell and Buck are due $24 mil. I can’t see the Mets making this deal man for man, they would insist in the Fish sending both players to them along with a check for the $5 mil difference.      

Anyway the deal never happened but the end of the line for Bay is close like this weekend close. The Mets won’t cut Bay this season but this off season they will either sit down with him to work out a buy out or they will try very hard to trade him. Bet on the buyout release.

A Wall-Mart next to Citi Field? Forget that. Now a Costco with their $1.50 hot dog/soda combo? OH HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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My Recap of The NY Mets All-Time Team Annoucement Show

Last night I attended the naming of the All Time Mets team at the 92nd St Y. The venue was terrific as was the host for the evening, Kevin Burkhardt  Mets voices Gary Cohen and Howie Rose who joined Burkhardt on stage to talk about voting for the team and to greet and interview the honorees who attended the event.

Although the show was announced as a sellout, there were many seats in the first three or five rows that were empty. Since this show was being recorded to be shown on SNY this Thursday night, a frantic SNY director was offering seat upgrades galore so there would not be any empty seats shown on TV. The Mets should implement this exercise at Citi Field.

For the most part the results of the voting went the way you’d expect, so let’s look at the nominees and the winners:

First Base nominees :

Ed Kranepool, Keith Hernandez, John Olerud, Dave Kingman

Of course my heart says Kranepool and Olerud was a great all around player but a short tenure as a Met and Kingman? I’d rather have seen Willie Montanez nominated. The winner of course was Keith Hernandez, who came on stage and as you might suspect, was quite engaging. His story on coming to Mets and why he stayed are classic. I won’t spoil the show for you folks so I won’t relay any of the stories but I’ll tell you this it’s a must see program.

2nd Base nominees:

Edgardo Alfonzo, Felix Milian, Doug Flynn, Wally Backman

No secret I love Howie and Gary not only because they are great announcers but they are also my contemporaries as a Mets fan.  After the nominees were announced, Howie mentioned Ron Hunt and how he was as worthy of being on that list with the other nominees. Gary then spoke about watching Milian and how he held the Mets record for hits in a season for the longest time. The winner here was no surprise, Fonzi.

Shortstop nominees:

Bud Harrelson, Raphael Santana, Rey Ordonez, Jose Reyes

Reyes is the winner but Gary told the audience how Harrelson was his favorite Mets player of all time and it took all his resolve to vote with his head and no his heart. By the way the voters were Howie and Gary along with Mike Vaccaro of the NY Post, Mike Lupica of the Daily News and Marty Noble of MLB.com

3rd base nominees:

Charley Smith, Roy Staiger, Lenny Randle, Felix Mantila

Do I really have to tell you who won this one?

Catcher nominees:

Jerry Grote, Gary Carter, Todd Hundley, Mike Piazza

This is where my middle aged head and heart becomes very stubborn.  I am a Jerry Grote fan then, now and always, so if I was on the voting committee I’d vote Grote and then leave the room. The winner was Mike Piazza who should be the next Mets player enshrined on Cooperstown. Now all of the players named to the Mets All-Time team were present at the event except for the one’s still active that sent their thanks and humble acceptance via video message, the only no show in person or on video was Piazza. I’ve not seen or heard a reason why Piazza didn’t show or at least send a video but as many of you know I am not a Mike Piazza fan and its things like this (and other’s) as to why I’m not.

Left Field nominees:

Cleon Jones, George Foster, Kevin McReynolds, Cliff Floyd

The winner was Cleon Jones. As I posted on Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Cleon this past Friday night at Citi Field so I was very happy he was named to the Mets All Time Team as the left fielder. Gary Cohen spoke of McReynolds as one of the most talented players to ever wear a Mets uni but his personality convened a guy who wished he was someplace else. Cohen was 100 % on point. The baseball cliché of the “5 Tool Player” fits McReynolds to a tee, but K-Mac had two huge flaws, he played the game like it was a job he didn’t enjoy and he hated NYC. That was a real shame as if he had a bit of passion for the game and opened his mind to what the city and region had to offer he may have been one of the best players in Mets history.

Center Field nominees:

Tommy Agee, Mookie Wilson, Lenny Dysktra, Carlos Beltran

If Beltran never signed with the Mets, this would have been a very interesting category as I bet they would have nominated Lee Mazzilli at which point I’d have gotten violently ill. Thank you Carlos. By the way, Beltran sent a video thanking the voters and fans for this great honor and he also wished he could have been healthier during his Mets career. Beltran is one of those players who won’t be recognized for his contributions until he retires . He’s kind of a Phil Simms of the Mets

Right Field nominees:

Ron Swoboda, Rusty Staub, Bobby Bonilla, Darryl Strawberry

Mets fans are not shy about showing their emotions. When Bonilla’s name was announced there was a loud grown of disgust from the crowd. It got me to think, who is the most hated Met of all time? Bonilla is right there along with Jeff Kent who was also a  world class asshole, Richie Hebner or Armando Beneitez  and I guess I’d put McReynolds on that list as well. Oh yeah Straw was the pick.

Right Handed Reliever:

Skip Lockwood, Neil Allen, Armando Benitez, Roger McDowell

I think Kevin Burkhardt was slightly embarrassed when he read Benitez’ name as I thought the crowd was going to burst into a BULLSHIT chant. Gary Cohen represented for us old guys when he spoke of how good a reliever Lockwood was but then he spoiled it by trying to justify Benitez on the list. The winner was McDowell who sent a nice video acceptance but no hot foot.

Left Handed Reliever nominees:

John Franco, Tug McGraw, Jesse Orossco, Randy Myers

When I saw the nominees I was hoping for either Tug or Jesse but I thought this was going to go to Franco. I was pleasantly surprised when it was announced that Tug McGraw was the winner. Tim McGraw sent a video of thanks and Tug’s son Mark and his brother Hank were both there to accept in Tug’s behave and Hank’s stories was outstanding.

Left Handed Starting Pitcher nominees:

Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, Sid Fernandez, Al Leiter

Had to be Koos.  Matlack, El Sid and Leiter were worthy Mets but Koos was as strong and as tough as any pitcher of his era as a Met. Koos was also a guy who earned the rep as a big game pitcher

Right Handed Starting Pitcher nominees:

Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, David Cone

He was then, he is now, and he will always be THE FRANCHISE. It’s a shame they didn’t just do this as the All-Time Mets pitching rotation so Doc could have gotten the acclaim he deserves but it’s hard when you are in the same category as THE FRANCHISE! Seaver was in excellent form, as funny and animated as I’ve seen him in a long time. Seaver knows he was great and he knows he is still the greatest player in the history of this franchise and as he gets older he has taken on that role with a lot of pride. I know how much he loves taking care of his vineyard and how he loves to be home on the West Coast but I just wish he come around Citi Field more often like how Ralph Kiner is doing now. I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel knowing I watched Seaver pitch, same with Doc when both pitchers took the mound, it was a special event.

Manager nominees:

Casey Stengel, Gill Hodges, Davey Johnson, Bobby Valentine

How the hell did they get this wrong? Believe me I love Davey and I will never have a bad word to say about him but how could you not name Gil Hodges as the All-Time Mets Manager? When Seaver came out on stage his jovial mood changed when he started speaking about Hodges. Seaver was choked with emotion and said he knew he start crying once he started talking about Hodges and when he said how he wished “Gil was here with me right now” I have to say my eyes were a bit runny as well. It’s tough enough dealing with the disrespect Hodges gets from the Baseball Hall of Fame voters but to be snub like this for a Mets voting committee is even more disturbing.

 

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We All Like Ike But……………

 

I’ve been away from my duties here at Kranepool Society for a couple of days, so I’ve got a lot to catch up on:

Anthony McCarron writes about David Wright today in the NY Daily News on how the Mets have for the first time in his close to 8 year career, become HIS team. Wright has always been deferential to vets like Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran and made a concerted effort to share the spotlight with Jose Reyes but now that they are dearly departed it’s finally David Wright’s team and though he would never say it, he has to be thrilled to death that it is.

Wright is not the rah-rah fiery type, although he did show that side of him after the Carrasco-Braun hit by pitch affair, Wright shows the leadership a young team like the Mets needs. When a 7+ year vet is the first to report to spring training and the first one to the ball park and the last one to leave, plays through pain and never skirts from his responsibility to speak to the media win or lose, it sets the tone to the rest of the team that Wright’s Way is the Mets Way. One doesn’t need a long term history lesson to see that this Mets clubhouse is more professional and more cohesive than we’ve seen in a long time and it bodes well for the future of this franchise.

Credit for the professional turnaround has to go to Terry Collins as well. Think back to when TC was hired as Mets manager, we all had our doubts due to his previous track record as the manager but it’s a real testament to Collins that he re-invented himself at an age when most folks are rock solid set in their ways.  Most Mets fans clamored for Wally Backman to run this team and while I’m a Wally fan, I can’t see anyone else but Terry Collins running this team for the next two seasons at least. If anyone deserves a hike in pay and a two year extension of his contract it’s Terry Collins.

Boy if I could take anything back that I’ve written on this site, it may be what I posted the other day about moving Scott Hairston to make room for Jason Bay when he comes back from his rib injury. I’ve taken what Hairston brings to this team for granted and if anything having Mike Baxter and Hairston on the bench for the Mets is a great strength.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ bat has cooled off, as to be expected but his strikeout rate has to give the front office some concern that the word has gotten out to throw Kirk a steady diet of breaking balls, so a trip back upstate may not be the worst thing in the world for Nieuwenhuis who seems to have the mindset to take a demotion not as a negative but a chance to work on his deficiency of hitting breaking pitches as his ticket back to the big leagues for good.

The one thing that could keep Captain Kirk with the Mets is the fact that it is now not if Ike Davis should be sent to Buffalo it’s more like a lock he’s going once Bay comes back.  The Marlins just sent their struggling 1st baseman Gaby Sanchez to Triple A to work his way back to being the All-Star he was last year. The Mets just cannot afford to play Ike every day with zero production and a stint in Buffalo should not be taken as a punishment but as an opportunity for Ike to get his groove back.

It’s amazing that the sports media dickheads in NYC who have been given the assignment to cover the NY Rangers during their playoff run are so lazy and so lacking in talent that they can’t see what this team is built on hard work, commitment to the team and the mindset that everyone is responsible for their actions on the ice and if you fuck up, you ride the pine. Doesn’t matter if you’re a multimillionaire all-star or a kid fresh off a college campus if you make a mistake that hurts the team you sit, you stew and you make damn sure you don’t do it again. It’s the same with some of these idiots who now question the Rangers commitment to blocking shots, guess what assholes, how do you think this team has gotten to where it is? Oh and for all the fawning you schmucks have been doing over Marty Brodeur, stop acting like lemmings calling him the greatest goaltender in hockey history, just because you’ve heard some of your overheated brethren say it. Sure it’s easy to look at his career stats and says he’s the best ever and I am by no means saying he isn’t a Hall of Famer but to say he’s the best ever is a slight to Jacques Plante, Terry Sawchuck, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy. Take some time to read up on those four before you give Marty the crown of greatest ever and remember as good as Brodeur is, he’s no KING!

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CAMP FIRE

That is the patch the Mets will wear this season in remembrance of Gary Carter. I’d still like to see all uniform personnel wear CARTER 8 uni tops for a game and auction them off for charity


You can’t have it both ways. You can’t be a Mets fan who feels Terry Collins is being a hard ass to Ruben Tejada for not getting to camp early and then complain that the team isn’t very good.

Collins is stressing to his team that they have to work harder than anyone else and be  focused better than anyone else if they are to succeed this season. You can see from the early interviews of TC down in St. Lonesome that he wants his team to stick it up all the naysayer’s asses and show that the Mets are a winning baseball team.

The maturation of Matt Harvey continues to be an early training camp story line. As Josh Thole has raved about Harvey’s pitch repertoire, the manager and coaches, especially Wally Backman, have raved about his willingness to get their advice on what he needs to do to reach the big league level. Sandy Alderson is on the record as saying Harvey will not break camp with the Mets but Harvey is determined to make that a difficult decision, it’s hard to get giddy over Matt Harvey.

Same for Jeurys Familia who along with Harvey was profiled in the NY Daily News today as two guys who are competing for a job in the big leagues but have grown close as teammates and hope to join the big league club together at some point this season.

It’s so early in spring training but from reading stories about the mood of the camp and camaraderie  of the players, the Mets are staring to give me a feeling that they could be baseball version of the New York Rangers.

If Jason Bay struggles against right handed pitching as he did last season, the more reason to root for Kirk Nieuwenhuis to make the team as a platoon partner for Bay in LF. No one in the front office will say it but I bet the leash on Bay is short this season especially if he struggles against rhp.

 

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WINNING UGLY, BETTER THAN LOSING PRETTY

Back in 1983, Tony LaRussa led a band of Chicago White Sox to the AL West Division title that were so disrespected, many opponents said of them they were Winning Ugly,  many of the East Coast sports writers felt if they played in the AL East they’d be a 2nd division club. In 2011, LaRussa is still managing and still winning and in taking the NL Pennant last night in Milwaukee, he still has his team Winning Ugly.  I’m not a fan of LaRussa as he comes off as believing the baseball Hall of Fame should have been built in his hometown of Tampa FL since it was he who invented baseball, but last night for the first time I really felt bad for him during this ugly Game 6. You could see the frustration on his face as he watched Edwin Jackson piss away a 5-1 lead in the second inning, and he had to go to his bullpen much sooner than he had hoped. If we learn anything from this post season it’s even the top echelon teams in baseball have woeful starting pitching so in order to win you need a well-stocked bullpen, something that Sandy Alderson has alluded to in his state of the Mets press conference at the end of this season.       

One more note on that 1983 White Sox team, Jerry Koosman was a stalwart of that pitching staff winning 11 games and saving 2. Many around that team felt the season turned around when GM Roland Hemond sent 2B Tony Bernazard (Yes THAT Tony Bernazard) to Seattle for 2B Julio Cruz.

Check out Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Digest as he has an interview he conducted with Bobby Valentine who is plugging a movie he was an executive producer on called “Peltotero” which follows tow Dominican teen agers as they pursue a career in the big leagues.  By the way, I agree with Mike’s thinking on Jose Reyes, and I bet that’s the path Alderson will take with Reyes’ contract negotiations as well. He will not get in a bidding war for the shortstop.

WOW now I know why I had such a great night sleep, Wally Backman has decided to stay in the Mets organization. A Festivius miracle I tell ya!

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