It’s Matt Harvey and I’ll Cry If I Want To…………….

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I enjoy participating in the world of social media. I’m on Twitter more hours than I really should be but for the most part it’s a very informative vehicle for breaking news, links to interesting stories and taking in all different views and opinions. What sucks about social media is the segment of participants who turn into your mother, grandmother and  Aunt Sadie, you know the one’s, they tell you how you should react to news or statements that infuriate you or lure you into debate. It used to be a debate was an exchange of views, ideas and opinions that although were different, they were respected. In today’s social media world debate consists of I’m right and you’re an asshole. The news about Matt Harvey was a prime example of this new way of debate.

I saw the news about Matt Harvey’s partially torn Ulnar Collateral ligament when it hit the Twitterverse, Mets Twitter erupted, as you knew it would. How could this have happened?  Who fucked up? Whose head will role because of this? The Wilpon’s are broke,SELL THE TEAM!(that one is universal in times of Mets disaster news) Mets Twitter didn’t care, like a bunch of Third World dictators they wanted a scalp any scalp, didn’t matter.

When the tweets went out for the call of the heads of Terry Collins and Dan Warthen, the pearl clutchers, who I mentioned above, came out in full force. Some were beat writers who sit at press conference after press conference and never ask a pertinent or compelling question.  Maybe that’s the best way these days as we have seen recently with NY Daily News NY Jets beat writer Manish Mehta who has been getting killed for asking the Jets cartoon character of a head coach, Rex Ryan to name his starting quarterback for the first game of the Jets regular season, and when not getting an answer, not letting Ryan off the hook and demanding an answer.  Since when is that wrong? Dick Young must be shaking his pitch fork in hell over this reaction.

Anyway, so Mets fans wanted not just a head on a stick but answers on how or why did this happen to the Heir to The Franchise Throne? The first two heads fans wanted was Collins’ and Warthen’, doesn’t matter if neither guy was directly responsible for Harvey tearing the ligament but because the majority of Mets fans would like to see a change in manager and pitching coach anyway, this was as good as time as any to raise the rhetoric.

I’m as guilty as anyone in this. It’s not that I don’t like Collins or Warthen, its more I feel there needs to be a change not just in body but in philosophy. Collins to me is much more valuable and a better fit as a minor league coordinator than a field manager and since his contract is up after this season as a manager, I would have no problem whatsoever with the Mets reassigning him for next year, but I’d like to reassign him as a Director of Minor League Field Operations.

My beef with Warthen is that I don’t agree with his passive direction to pitching. Warthen loves his pitchers to nibble around the plate and to throw a lot of off speed and breaking balls. Mets pitchers hardly ever throw inside to establish that part of the plate is as much theirs as it is the batters. I also feel both Warthen and Collins are woeful at bullpen management. Pitchers are overused not just in game situation but in preparation to enter a game situation. Too many times relievers warm up, then sit down, the warm up again, and then sit down again. Mets relief pitchers are subject to more wear and tear on their arms warming up than they do in an actual game situation. To analyze Collins in game strategy would take another 1,000 word post.

All this spewing of anger doesn’t mean I hold Collins and Warthen responsible for Matt Harvey‘s injury.   I am confused about Sandy Alderson stating the organization knew that Harvey was complaining about soreness in his forearm but didn’t do anything preventive about that. Also Collins it seems was out of the loop on this vital piece of information as well. There seems to be a fracture in communication here that needs to be addressed.

What also needs to be addressed is the number of injuries the pitchers in the organization have suffered;  Frank Francisco, Jurys Familia, Jeremy Hefner, Jenry Mejia and now Matt Harvey, all out with elbow injuries. If I’m the GM I have to look at this pattern and think about revamping the way the organization handles the care and prevention of these types of injuries. I understand completely that you can do so much prevented care and study on pitchers, even Rick Peterson  who is at the forefront of Pre-habilitation with his use of the facilities at the American Sports Medicine Institute , claims that with all the preventive measures you can take, injuries still happen:

“It’s like driving the speed limit, wearing your seat belt, doing everything right, accidents are still going to happen”

After the initial ranting and raving over the injury to Harvey, seriously how did you expect Mets fans to react to the Harvey bad news? We were programed to thinking 2014 was the breakout season under Sandy Alderson. The only reason to be a bit optimistic was every five days being Matt Harvey Day and then watching Zack Wheeler start to understand what to do on a big league pitchers mound and the fact that enough money was coming off the books this off season for the Mets to be free agent buyers again, pointed to the end of the non-competitive seasons and back to not just respectability but to be one of the teams in baseball to be talked about as World Series contenders; all that was sabotaged by a torn Ulnar Collateral ligament, and you expect me to pause and be reflective? Are you fucking kidding?    

 

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Is There More To the David Howard Departure from the Mets Than Meets The Eye?

With the ominous dark cloud of injuries and lack of overall pizazz that engulfs the 2013 version of the NY Mets, I should be concerned with the product that I and all Mets fans will be observing for better or worse this season but the thing that has me most intrigued about the New York Mets is why did David Howard leave the organization to head Madison Square Garden Sports?

When I heard that Howard was leaving the Mets to run the Garden sports properties I was taken by surprise to say the least. Howard has been a Mets exec for 20 years and in the last few years since the Madoff debacle, he has been the public face of the Mets Ivory Tower. Howard was outstanding at being the top talking head of ownership but then again following the awful displays of public speaking from Omar Minaya, Jeffy Wilpon and the rants of Freddy Skill Sets, those are not tough acts to follow, But Howard was the perfect front man for the club as he’s intelligent, articulate and able to spin the Mets angel better than any Capitol Hill spokesman.

I could be taking this whole departure way out of context; Howard could be leaving for a better position and more money. He could be leaving the Mets just because 20 years in one spot is a long time and he could want a new challenge.  But this being the Wilpon Mets, I always have the hint of disaster in the back of my mind.

Does Dave Howard know something is around the corner that could cripple the franchise again?  Does he see that Freddy Skill Sets crowing about all the cash he will have at his disposal after Michael Bourn signed with the Cleveland Indians as a heap of horseshit being that there is debt on the team, ballpark and a re-finance of SNY that could take a large chunk out of the organization’s ass?  Could it be he’s tired of going public about the ridiculous ticket and concession prices the Mets charge and just can’t put a happy face on a team that has a load of opening day tickets still available?  On a bit of a side note about ticket prices and concessions, the Boston Red Sox, one of the best baseball franchises in MLB, will see their 793 home sellout streak end the first week of the season. To counter that the Red Sox, THE BOSTON RED SOX!!!! Will cut the concession prices on food (buy 1 hot dog get 1 free) drink (5 bucks for a beer , 2 bucks for a hot chocolate ) and start 11 of the first 17 home games before 7PM so the cranks of Fenway don’t freeze their arses off in the April chill. Hello?????? Anyone home in the Flushing home office??????

Back to Dave Howard leaving, I wouldn’t question Howard leaving for MSG as nothing more than a corporate transfer going from one board room to another for a loftier title and higher pay but after reading that at least three other front office honchos will take over Howard’s tasks, it makes me think the club was caught off guard. Being that Howard was a 20 year employee of the organization wouldn’t you think that he would have gone to the Skill Sets and explain to them that he needed a new challenge a fresh start and the opportunity to run all the functions of the Gardens sports properties except for drafting, trading and constructing team rosters was too good to pass up, but before I leave I will help any way I can with finding my successor and showing he or she the ropes. That didn’t happen. We have a group of executives from different units reporting to, and this is where I come close to soiling myself, Jeffy Skill Sets. That is what has me the most frightened.

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Mets Minutia

Every year we brace ourselves here in NYC when September 11th shows up on our calendar. For many of us the events of that day never leave our minds and for some it’s a reminder of how that day has changed the way we live our lives , it’s also the day that we have to argue should the Mets wear first responders caps during the game or not. To tell you the truth, I’m tired of the argument in fact it just goes to show you what a mess the Mets organization is that they can’t even figure out how to do something so simple and admirable  as wearing the caps of the FDNY, NYPD and PAPD  could be and how beholden they are to the Commissioner for keeping the Wilpon’s in business that they won’t make waves and not dare MLB to punish them for wearing the caps. What is even sadder is that I expect this from the Mets as they are good at rolling over and playing dead. It’s a sad commentary on this organization that by not showing any defiance’s over this issue is just business as usual in Flushing.

My friend and podcasting colleague Mike Silva, made a bet with Highlander windbag announcer Michael Kay that the Mets would win 60+ games this season. Kay said the Mets were so bad that 60 wins would be a stretch. So Silva bet Kay that if the Mets win 60 games, Kay would have to wear and be photographed in a Mets jersey. If Sliva were to lose the wager, he would have to write a column on how great an announcer/talk show host Kay is, which by the way is like trying to write a column on how classy the Kardashian’s are. So the Mets have gone above and beyond the 60 win mark which means Kay must pay his debt but wait it seems that Kay is ready to add to his impressive character traits of insufferable, incompetent, uniformed and downright annoying to listen to with tag of being a welsher , in fact Mike Silva has reached out to Kay to be a guest on our Sunday night podcast, so far Kay has not responded to the request. My advice to Kay is honor your bet or as soon as Silva gives the word, I’ll go Dog The Bounty Hunter on your ass.

The NY Times has published an editorial on R.A. Dickey and his amazing 2012 season.

Andy McCullough has a piece about the possibility of trading Jon Niese over the winter. Now before you overreact, read the article then think for a moment……….it’s not a bad idea.

Chipper Jones reflects on playing in NYC and the high level of respect he has for the town. He also mentions some of his favorite moments here as well, quite surprising. Sorry I can’t be a Chipper hater.

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Want To Run The Skill Sets Out Of Town? Let’s Discuss This First.

 

Wherefore art thou Nelly D?  

 

Down in St. Lonesome, it’s a day off for both the big league and minor leaguers but for the Skill Sets it’s far from an off day in fact it’s day one of the most important fortnight of their lives as the Madoff trustees claw back suit finally makes its way to court with jury collection and optimistically, opening arguments.

There has been some speculation that there could be a settlement reached today with the thinking being maybe both sides knowing that they are dealing with a floor amount of $83 mil and a ceiling of $386 mil but if you’re Irv Piccard and the Madoff victims the thought has to go through your mind “will I ever see any money from the Wilpon’s”?

Do the Skill Sets have $83 mil? I have no idea, I do know they don’t have the funds to assemble a decent bench for their baseball team or enough funds to fortify the depth of their starting pitching, so if I had to guess $83 mil might as well be $83 billion.   

I’m with the majority of Mets fans who would rejoice if the Skill Sets were to sell, but the one caveat I throw out there before I donate a bunch of cardboard boxes for the Freddy, Uncle Saul and Jeffy to pack their bags and get out of Flushing is, who is going to buy the team?

If you tell me there is some big fancy Wall Street mogul or one of the Titians of industry that will follow the Nelson Doubleday way of running the team which is to let the baseball operations people run the show and make sure the bartenders have a heavy pour, well then I’m all in.

If you tell me that another member of the lucky sperm club or a guy with money who loves to see his name in the paper and feels he’s a “baseball guy” and wants to run the team his or her way, then maybe keeping the Skill Sets isn’t as bad as it seems. I mean as bad as Jeffy Skill Sets is, he’s not worse than David Samson is he?

See anger over ownership is the same as anger over a manager when the team is going bad, everyone screams fire the manager but when you ask “ok but who is the replacement”, you get crickets.

See if you are going to dump a manager or in this case an owner, you have to have a better replacement ready to take over.

I am certainly no fan of the Wilpon’s, their meddling (Jeffy in particular) in how the team is run is the reason the club is in the mess it’s in right now. They’ve always worried more about winning the back pages of the tabloids in December and January than building a solid foundation to keep the team in contention for years to come. But again is it better to have the Skill Sets as owners or James Dolan? The devil you know is sometimes better than the devil you don’t know.      

 

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BED SHEET, PAINT AND A GOOD ATTITUDE IS ALL YOU NEED FOR BANNER DAY

Mark it down on your calendar May 27th it will be Banner Day at Citi Field and before you read anything else today you MUST read Mets Police posting today on what Banner Day means and how you should properly behavior on this day.

Yeah, Yeah I know the owners suck, team sucks, Citi Field sucks yada, yada and more endless yada. That’s why it is time for you to stop all of your sobbing (right Ray?) and get involved in something that is fun and a big part of the fabric of what it is to be a Mets fan.

I hope all you red-ass Mets fans know that any derogatory signs or banners you feel is your right to bring to Citi Field that day will never make it on to the field and before you kill the Mets for screening the banners that will be on display think about what’s worse screening banners or being refused access to use the rest room during God Bless America?

How great is it to be Steve Cohen? Cohen is a true hedge fund impresario. He is in the running for ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers but he also is buying a minority stake in the Mets. It’s a win-win all around for Cohen, if he gets the Dodgers, he becomes sole owner, if he loses out on the Dodgers, he’ll still have his wallet in the door to be sole owner of Mets. In fact I wouldn’t be shocked if Bud Selig is working a backroom deal with Cohen, Wilpon and MLB to drive up the sale price of the Dodgers with Cohen getting a bigger piece of the Mets, still a minority share but more that 10-20% with the agreement that is the Wilpon’s have to sell they sell outright to Cohen.

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INTERVIEWS WITH R.A DICKEY, DANIEL MURPHY AND CARLOS DELGADO AT THE THURMAN MUNSON DINNER

Last night I attended the media hour before the Thurman Munson Dinner to benefit AHRC of New York. Among the many guest invited to the event were Mets Daniel Murphy and R.A. Dickey and a surprise guest that I chatted with, former Met Carlos Delgado.

In talking to Murphy he has to be the most optimistic person of Irish ancestry I’ve ever met.  As you can hear in this clip, Murphy feels the Mets can contend in the NL East and beyond.  He also speaks of the work he has to do in order to play 2nd base this season and the fact that he has been working out with the cooperation of the fine weather in his hometown of Jacksonville Florida .

After Murphy, R.A. Dickey was made available to us for a Q & A session and of course R.A. was in fine form with thoughtful answers about his climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, his hope that Johan Santana can come back and reclaim his spot as Ace of the pitching staff and his pragmatic view of the upcoming season for the Mets in a very tough NL East as you can here is this clip and this clip.

After talking to both Dickey and Murphy, I thought about all the angst and anger of Mets fans over this off season towards ownership of the team. I thought about all those who say they won’t come out to Citi Field as they feel it’s a show of support of the Wilpon’s.  To those fans I say, I feel sorry for you. While talking to Dickey and to Murphy , the thought came to me that I can’t wait for the season to begin because I can’t wait to root for both these guys as they are more than worthy of positive support.

Murph is the guy who blocks out the negativity. When the media scrum dispersed from the group Q & A, I was lucky enough to hang around and got to talk to him one on one (I turned off the recorder because I just wanted to have casual conversation) and one topic we discussed was the negativity of the organization from a segment of the media and the fan base and does that negativity ever creep into the clubhouse. He told me it doesn’t because the manager, who I believe Murph has tremendous respect for, would never allow it and he also felt that the guys in the clubhouse are united in such a way that “woes is us” would never make it past the outside clubhouse door.

From Dickey I get a guy who is very confident in his ability and seems to have grown as a big league pitcher but the days of struggle are always in the forefront of his mind. Where Murph seems to be the half full guy, I wouldn’t say that Dickey is a glass half empty guy but more of a realist who has been around a while and knows the score.

A pleasant surprise of the evening was running into Carlos Delgado who looks in great shape (dare I say The best shape of his life?) and was quite gracious in giving me a portions of his time to talk about the Mets of the present and his experience as a Met and playing in New York in this clip.

When I was done talking to Murphy and Dickey I went over to the refreshment table to grab a bottle of water, it was there I met up with legendary  St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca, who was on hand to present an award to Chris Mullin at the dinner. Again I didn’t have my recorder on as my conversation with the Coach was more a casual deal than an interview.  He told me about having dinner with John Franco on Monday night and how happy he was that the Mets will honor him on June 3 with induction into the Mets Hall of Fame. It was easy to see the love and pride Carnesecca has for Franco, the coach then asked me if I thought Franco would get into Cooperstown, I was as diplomatic as could be in saying it would be very tough. I went on to tell the coach about my wedding day and how happy I was there was a TV in the limousine, as I’m seen and heard in our wedding video wanting to watch St. Johns-Auburn second round NCAA Tournament game.  Carnesecca laughed and then said “Jesus, you remember that game”? He then asked me to sit down with him and talk about basketball. That was quite an honor.

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IT’S NOT IF, BUT WHEN DOES DAVID WRIGHT BECOME AN EX-MET

 

David Wright held his Vegas Night charity event in Virginia Beach last night and gave some quotes to the media about the upcoming season.  I don’t know if this means much of anything but Wright it seems, has spent a lot of time back home in Virginia that I can remember in an off season. He was at Citi Field for the unveiling of the new uni’s but since then there hasn’t been much site of Wright around town.

Wright seems already agitated about hearing about trade rumors and being quizzed on a daily basis about his next baseball destination. He’s quoted as seeing Jose Reyes getting grilled about relocation last season and he doesn’t want to go through that. I wonder what that says about Wright? Maybe I’m being too critical of Wright but maybe it’s time he grew up and realized he’s not going to be a Met 4 Life.

Doesn’t Wright see the handwriting on the wall? First, he plays for a team whose owner is like a co-worker who lives pay check to pay check and for a GM who has no emotional ties to him. Just like the GM had none to Jose Reyes. He will make $15 mil this season and has a $16mil team option for 2013 with a club buyout of $1mil. You know how many bargain basement pitchers you can buy for $16 mil?

Wright should take a page from Reyes and Carlos Beltran, especially Beltran who knew his Mets days were numbered and used it as motivation to bounce back and get sent to a contender. Wright needs to get in the same mind set, stop worrying about being traded (for Christ sake Babe Ruth, was dealt away) and not worry about the Mets and just worry about himself.

Between the Wilpon’s money woes and Sandy Alderson’s distain for long term contracts, it’s easy to see that these are the final days of David Wright as a member of the NY Mets. Is it sad? Sure it is. We all wanted to see Wright play his full career as a Met with a couple of championships and Hall of Fame credentials on his resume but neither is going to happen. Maybe the fan base needs to grow up a bit as well.

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FREDDY WILPON SPPPPIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

Well, Freddy Skill Sets came pretty close to being truthful with the fan base when he was interviewed by Brain Costa of the WSJ. Fred was in Arizona (wow Bolt goes to Phoenix?) for the quarterly owners meeting.  When asked about his financial struggle and the toll it is taking on him, the Mets organization and its fan base, Freddy Sez:

“How could anybody deny that it’s been a challenging time?” Wilpon said. “But I came from nothing. I meet the challenges. So does Saul and Jeff and our whole family. We’re meeting the challenges and I think we’ll be fine.”

“I think we’ll be fine”? Really?  How so Freddy ? What’ch ya keepin’ on the down low from us? The new minority shares are a band aid on a gaping wound but you know what, maybe the Skill Sets luck is changing as his Guardian Angel, Bud Selig is staying on for 2 more years as baseball czar and Wilpon enabler and as always has Freddy’s back:

“He’s been a great owner,” Selig said. “Loves his team. He’s everything you’d want in a local owner. He’s had some economic problems, not caused by himself, and I have a lot of faith in him that he’s working his way through them.”

And he’s oh, so good,

And he’s oh, so fine,

And he’s oh, so healthy,

In his body and his mind.

He’s a well respected man about town,

Doing the best things so conservatively.

Then Freddy was asked about Jose Reyes and his thoughts on Reyes:

“Reyes was 17 years old when I met him,” Wilpon said. “He spoke pretty good English at that time, too. He said to me, ‘Can you give me some advice?’ I said, ‘Yeah, never wipe that smile off your face.’”

Humm, “never wipe that smile off your face” looks like Freddy eats at Wo Hop like I do. Thankfully for Reyes’ sake Freddy didn’t hit him up with “Kid, I know a guy who can make you rich beyond belief”

Here is a nice picture on a rainy, windy, cold New York afternoon

Years before we would get to the 50th Anniversary of the NY Mets, Dana Brand was all pumped up about putting together a symposium at Hofstra University where he taught, on the history of the Mets. As you all know Dana passed away last year but his dream of having a conference at Hofstra will become a reality on April 26-28. Please check out all the details here and hopefully we can all meet up at Hofstra that weekend and celebrate not just the legacy of the NY Mets but of Dana Brand as well.

Steve Popper, the Mets beat writer for the Bergen Record is leaving the Mets beat and will become the Records man at MSG following the NY Knickerbockers. Not only is this a big loss for Mets fans but a huge loss for Mets bloggers like myself and other bloggers who have had the privilege of meeting Steve at various team functions. Many of the beat writers and media folk won’t even give us a response to a hello but Popper (as well as Adam Rubin and Kevin Kernan ) has always been friendly to us and has been gracious in sharing his thoughts with us about the Mets. Good luck Steve and thanks.

 

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A VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE FOR THE WILPON’S

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and enjoyed the extra day off yesterday to recuperate or to return gifts at the mall. I’m still fighting off fatigue this morning, my first day back to work in 3 days, from the holiday and from a huge sports weekend.

It all started for me on Friday night as I attended the Rangers-Flyers game at a jammed packed Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are playing their best hockey in years and with a win last night against the Icelanders have the best record in the NHL Eastern Conference. The Garden rocked like it hasn’t in many years and Rangers fans have fallen in love with this team made up of mainly homegrown players with top notch free agent signings (Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards) that have made the Garden faithful cautiously optimistic  for a deep Stanley Cup run.

Then on Saturday, I was in front of my TV totally engrossed in the Giants-Jets battle in the Meadowlands. The Jets got the ball first and tore through the Giants soft as a marshmallow defense for a touchdown and I thought the G-Men were going to ruin my Christmas but thanks to Brian Shottenheimer and Roarin’ Rex Ryan who forgot that Mark Sanchez and not Joe Namath was QB’ing there team. It was a 99 yard TD from Eli Manning to the newest Giants star Victor Cruz (my family did not appreciate my Cruz Salsa dance I performed in the living room after Cruz crossed the end zone) that changed the whole game and put Rex and Shotty into a panic giving the Giants a big win. As the game ended two guys who are more similar than they realize, Rex Ryan and Brandon Jacobs, traded insults instead of holiday greetings. I now had two of the three wins I wanted for Christmas.

On Christmas day while everyone wanted to open presents and eat and eat and eat, I watched the clock hit high noon and screamed out ‘WELCOME BACK NBA!!!!!” I was thisclose to going on Stub Hub and grabbing a couple of tickets for the game at MSG between the Knicks and Celtics as I try to never miss a chance to see my C’s when they come to town. However it is not in my nature to get into a screaming match on the Baby Jesus Birthday with my wife so I as much as my finger was twitching to click on “BUY”, I stepped away from the computer and went back upstairs to spread holiday cheer and make sure I secured the TV for 12:00. My favorite Celtic player is Rajon Rondo, in fact of all the teams I root for Rondo and Henrik Lundqvist are neck and neck for the title of my favorite player of any team I root for (Eli Manning would be my favorite Giant as for the Mets…hummmm… I’ll get back to you on that….) and to watch that performance by Rondo against the Knicks, made me even more joyous that Danny Anige didn’t deal him off for Chris Paul.

Last night after another Rangers win and sitting with my family and reflecting on a having just a great holiday weekend, I looked around the room at our Christmas tree and the stockings hanging from the mantle and back to reality I returned. First I stared at my Mets Christmas stocking, then I studied the various Mets ornaments on the tree, Mr. Met, 1986 World Champions, David Wright and on the top of one of the dining room chairs, my Mets Christmas hat. It hit me and hit me hard, it’s quite likely that the Mets will not bring me the joy and excitement in 162 games, that the three other sports teams I root for gave me in a weekend.   Quite depressing.

It got me thinking, I cannot be the only one who feels this way. How many of you are multiple sports fans?  I then started to think about the men who own the teams I root for and how different the all are.

The Rangers are owned by Cablevision and Jim Dolan is in charge of both the Rangers and Knicks. Thankfully for Rangers fans, Dolan hates hockey, he loves the revenue it brings in but he leaves the hockey folks alone and for that we Ranger fans are grateful. One thing about Dolan, he has no problem spending money and if Slats Sather feels a player (Gaborik, Richards) is worth the dough and fits the salary cap he always gets the green light to spend.

The NY Football Giants are owned by both the Mara and Tisch families but John Mara is the man who makes the decisions for the team.  Mara is what you want in a team owner, his family is football royalty, he has a presences in the league that is second only to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , and he’s all about winning.

The Celtics are owned by a syndicate but the managing partner and NBA Governor is Wyc Grousbeck. Grousbeck has brought back the history and mystique of the Celtics. Just about every game at the TD Garden, there are numerous Celtics of the past attending the game.  I’ve mentioned before that I had the pleasure of meeting Grousbeck a few times at MSG and not only had great conversations with him but he even let me try on the 2008 Championship ring. Now that’s an owner. Which brings me to the Skill Sets.

No matter how bad a season any of those three teams have, I’ve always been confident that the ownership of those teams will pull out all stops to make the teams better. I never, ever get that feeling with the Wilpon’s.   Even when they were flush with In Bernie We Trust currency, I’ve never had confidence that they would just supply the resources to the men running the team to make baseball decisions that would make the Mets better.  It was never the Wilpon’s allowing the baseball people make baseball decision it was always, sure you can visit Player A to talk contract, but you have to take Jeff with you.  Now I cannot say for certain that the other owners I’ve named are not meddlesome (especially Dolan but he is more hands on with the Knicks than Rangers) but if they have it’s never been brought out like it has with Jeff Wilpon. Whether it was flying to meet Mike Cameron on the Mets private jet to get him to sign as a free agent, or being golf buddies with Tom Glavine and Al Leiter or just  forcing himself on the baseball operations when he had no baseball knowledge  what so ever.

With all the money woes the Wilpon’s have the one good thing has been that Sandy Alderson has run the baseball ops as he wants and with no money to spend ,Jeff has been a non-factor in player moves, which would be a positive if the Mets had money to spend.

Yesterday the Chicago Cubs signed RHP Andy Sonnestine and RHP Manny Corpas to non-guaranteed deals. The Mets with the lack of depth in the pitching department both on the big league and Triple A level should have been in on both these chuckers. I know neither Sonnestine nor Corpas are enough to really get Mets fans hot and bothered about but it just shows how the cash situation is so bad with the Mets that they can’t even bid on two arms like this.

The angst of the Mets fan is not towards the players or the front office; it’s all on the owners. Mets fans who decide to not go to Citi Field or watch games on SNY or buy Met merchandise will do so because of their anger at the Wilpon’s for not falling on the sword and doing the right thing by selling the team. No matter what happens on the field this coming season, this team will be followed by the Wilpon black cloud all season long unless the financial situation reaches to catastrophic proportions and Fred, Jeff and Uncle Saul are thrown out on their ass .  What sucks most of all, many Mets fans that I talk to don’t want to talk actual baseball, they all want to talk about the Wilpon’s selling the team. That is the number one subject on the Mets fans mind, not will Wright and Bay rebound or will Santana bounce back or will Ike have the breakout season, nope, it’s when the fuck are the Wilpon’s selling the team and that won’t end until the Skill Sets are gone. It’s shame for them , a shame for Mets fans and a shame for baseball.

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A DAY IN THE LIFE

I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh

You know what I want for Christmas? Just one day of positive stories about the Mets. I just want to read that they are in final negotiation with a player that has potential to be the missing piece to making the team a serious pennant contender or that if you are thinking of going to a Mets game at Citi Field you better get your tickets now as it looks like every Mets game this summer will be a must see or that Baseball America has rated the New York Mets their Organization of the Year or that Kevin Burkhardt has been named as Howie Rose’ partner on the Mets games on WFAN More on that below). Just something I can smile about. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every morning I turn on my computer and say out loud, “Can’t wait to see what happy horseshit the Mets are up to today” it’s become my morning mantra. Well, today if Mets horseshit were dollar bills the Wilpon’s worries would be over.

First there was the story in the NY Times about what you get as a $20 mil minority investor in the NY Mets. I have to say after reading some of these “perks” I’m not rushing out to sell a kidney to raise cash to get these lucrative advantages of ownership:

Access to Mr. Met, the team mascot, although the degree of access is not entirely spelled out. It definitely means you, as a part-owner, can schmooze with Mr. Met at Citi Field. It’s less clear whether you could get him to come to your child’s birthday party without a fee.

I love Mr. Met but to tell you the truth he’s not a great conversationalist, he never has anything to say, kinda like Ed Coleman’s Mets Reports on WFAN

A formal business card, complete with the prominent designation: “Owner”.

Only if I can get a business card with a picture of me and Jeffey that says “I’m With Stupid”

And if you are a wealthy doctor, commodities trader or real estate mogul who wants to try to swat the ball over the newly pulled-in outfield fences at Citi Field on a Mets day off, you are entitled to attend what appears to be an exclusive kind of fantasy camp: “Owners’ workout day.”

Yeah great idea so I hit a ball out over the right center field fence and David Wright drops down in the fetal position sobbing and sucking his thumb

Parking will not be a problem for new owners, the document makes clear. A single spot at the ballpark is reserved for anyone who signs on for $20 million. The chance to throw out a game’s first pitch will be an annual privilege. Every minority owner will be assigned a team executive, who will be charged with tending to an array of possible needs, season tickets for family members among them. The document suggests, however, that those tickets will cost money beyond the $20 million investment.

Parking is not problem for me now, the 7 train “parks” at the Willets Pt station and then picks me up at the same place after the game, for $4.50 round trip, such a bargain. An assigned team exec? No way, I want my own usher, in fact I want the fat usher with the long greasy hair in a ponytail in the field level who was telling everyone to leave after the final out of last game of the season just so I can fire the fucker. By the way as a minority owner can I fire and hire people? Forget throwing out the first pitch you can keep all the perks just give me that privilege and you have a deal.

 

Moving on, it looks like the reports of the Mets shutting down their Rookie League Kingsport team was erroneous; it’s the Gulf Coast Mets who play on the back fields of St. Lonesome that will be axed. Either way this is not good news and just proves that full blown bankruptcy for the Skill Sets is on the horizon as they nickel and dime their way as owners of NYC’s National League baseball team.  When you can’t afford to run a minor league team at the lowest level of pro ball it’s really a cry for help.

Pretty soon all they will close all the concession stands at Citi Field and every game will feature a Pot Luck Dinner. Bring your own plates and eating utensils too.

Word on the street is Wayne Hagin will not be back in Mets radio booth next season. Hagin is a nice guy but I won’t miss him and I doubt many other Mets fans will either, he just did not click with the fan base, a fan base I might add that is spoiled due to the great announcers of Mets games over the years (no not you Lorne Brown or you Steve Zabriski) the names being mentioned to replace Hagin are Sirrus/XM’s and former Mets GM Jim Duquette who is terrific on MLB Radio, Ed Coleman (thumbs down) Chris Carlin (no thank you) and Billy Sample ( no Mets or NY ties so no way)   but the man I nominate to work side by side with Howie Rose is Kevin Burkhardt. Burkhardt is currently the radio play by play voice of the Dallas Cowboys and has been with SNY covering the Mets as an in game reporter, studio host and play by play man as well.  With all due respect the gentlemen mention in the NY Post article for the job, Burkhardt’s name should be at the top of the list.

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