THE SANDY ALDERSON/METS BLOGGERS CONFERENCE CALL

I was fortunate to be invited to a conference call last night with Sandy Alderson and my fellow Mets bloggers. This is the second cc Alderson has done with bloggers and he seems genuinely happy to talk to us and values our input about the team. As great as it was talking to the Mets GM, the biggest kick for me was reading all the Tweets from other baseball bloggers who were soooooooooooooo jealous that we were granted access to Alderson and reading how they wish the head of the team they root for would give the same courtesy. Imagine that, the same wise ass’ who like to joke and make sarcastic remarks about the Mets, are envious of Mets bloggers.

I’m slowly getting used to the frank and honest way Alderson does business, whereas in the past, I’ve always felt you had to read between the lines to find the truth out of anything coming out of Flushing , but now it seems we’re getting the straight skinny from the Mets GM.

On the release of Castillo and Perez, Alderson said that to some extent fan sentiment was a factor in releasing both players, more so in Castillo’s case as the front office had hoped that Perez could make some kind of contribution. Alderson felt it was only fair that the new regime look at both players first hand instead of relying on hearsay.  

With Emaus winning the 2nd base job, it’s clear his Rule 5 status helped him in winning the job over Justin Turner who had options. Alderson said that Emaus would only make the team as a starting baseman and not a bench player.  Alderson said he was happy that Emaus has come around with the bat and has shown signs of being effective turning the DP.

My question to Alderson was about the fight for the last spot in the bullpen, but first I added a bit of editorializing:

“Between the offseason and spring, it seems that there’s a minority in the fan base and a majority of the mainstream media that likes to dwell on the negative things that go on with the organization. They seem not to want to talk about that the team offensively has been terrific this spring, it seems that batters have been taking to Dave Hudgens’s way of hitting, a lot of walks, a lot of doubles, and the defense has been pretty good, too, maybe very good this spring, but the big thing is the pitching. The pitching has been outstanding this spring and hopefully it will carry over to the season. Now you spoke about the bullpen, and you do have decisions to make. How close is it in that seventh spot? It seems that we kind of figured the first six guys are in that pen, and that last spot, that seventh spot, seems to be the one that’s up in the air. How are you going back and forth on that decision?”

Here is Alderson’ reply:

“That’s a very good question. If you look at the guys who are competing for the last two or three spots. You’ve got a young kid, a Rule 5 pick who is untested, who has improved, we think, greatly since the beginning of camp, at least mechanically, has shown a lot of command, has shown good velocity, and we think has real upside. As compared to somebody like Jason Isringhausen, who is a veteran presence and not only because of what he can do on the mound but how he might influence the rest of that bullpen, is an attraction for us. Then you’ve got a couple of guys, [Blaine] Boyer, Manny Acosta, who are very, very close in terms of overall results, but they get there in different ways. Boyer is basically a ground ball pitcher. Acosta has the livelier fastball and is more of a strikeout guy, maybe a little more command, but occasionally gives up a three-run homer as he did yesterday. So not only is it a close competition, but interestingly, each of those guys represents a very different choice beyond how they perform, and that’s what we’re trying to balance right now is the desire to win, the feel-good story of somebody like Jason Isringhausen, who has also performed well, against the potential of somebody like Pedro Beato, and then the two guys that we brought in. And we haven’t resolve those yet. We just had a meeting today with some of the front office people here with the coaches and Terry Collins and we resolved a few things but the bullpen is still unresolved.”

The problem is Boyer ,who has had a great spring, has an out clause in his contract to become a free agent if he doesn’t make the OD 25 man roster. In a perfect world I believe Alderson would take Izzy north and hope Boyer doesn’t get a ML contract from another team and he signs him to a minor league deal. The odds of that are slim.

There were great  questions  from all who participated and to read the entire transcript check out the post Eric Simon of Amazin’ Avenue   put together in detail of the conference call.

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BLOGGING WITH A HEAVY HEART

My blogging the rest of the week will be sporadic as last night my mother, who was just short of turning 97 years old, passed away.

My mother was born in  County Sligo Ireland and came to America when she was 16 years old. Her and my Dad were married for 57 years until he passed away back in 1994.  She leaves behind four children, twelve  grand children, eight great grand children and more neices and nephews than I can count both  here in the U.S., Ireland and England.

She was like no other woman of her generation,  if you think I’m an opinionated, my mom had me beat. She did read this blog once and awhile and didn’t care for the language I sometime use and she felt I was a little too much of a wise ass but between her and my dad we were raised in such a way that you were free to express yourself as wanted.  When most mom’s  fought with their son’s to get haircuts, mine encouraged me to grow mine long.  She couldn’t stand Rock music but never told me to turn it down.  Our home was filled with books and music, lot’s of friends and lots and lots of good times.

Even though she lived a long and fabulous life, as a son my heart aches but she would smack me upside the head if she knew I’d moped around after her death.

After my dad died mom was asked how she was coping living alone.  Her answer always was “I don’t live alone, I live by myself”  She was never alone there was always someone around her, either me or my brothers, my sister, my wife my sister in law, her grand kids, her great grand kids her friends, it was because of that whenever she would see an elderly person pushing a shopping cart or walking to the store alone, or god forbid eating a meal by themselves,  it sadden her.  She loved it when we’d take her to the mall how we fought over who was going to pay for her dress or shoes? She said she hated it when we made a fuss over her but I never believed it. How could we not?   She wonder how is it she could pick the phone call one of us and get picked up and taken anywhere she wanted? We told her it was payback for the way she took care of us our whole lives.

If you go to a house of worshiper this weekend in your prayers think of all the people in the world that are alone and have no family to watch over them. Prayer for parents who are estranged from their children, that they can find a way to settle whatever difference it is that split them apart.

That’s was another lesson my mother taught us, always look out for the less fortunate because of how blessed we were.

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