Friday, October 29, 2010

I think I'm gonna like this guy

Today was Sandy Alderson Day. As usual, there was a big presser at Citi, and the mandatory session with the Pope himself, Francessa. In the sea of words and pomp&circumstance, here's what I took away:

He likes a manager with attitude, someone who "kicks ass and takes names".
The payroll is fixed at $110M, and this year there will be no "free agent shopping at Tiffany's".
He kept alluding to being able to do more things after 2011, when the payroll flexibility will be greater.
He does believe in speed, he says it's particularly important in a short series.
He feels the manager is not a minion of the GM, and though the manager should carry out the philosophy of the organization, he is free to use intuition, but "not all the time".
He realizes that there are "unpopular" Mets, but he can't decide what to do right now about them.
He does believe in relying, to a large degree, on stats.

Ok, well, first the manager. He said some decisions are made by him, some are recommendations. The manager will be a recommendation. That certainly leaves the door open for Wally (Alderson even says decisions made are tied to ticket sales, etc.). But somehow, I don't see it. Alderson has ties to Clint Hurdle. Mazzilli is also said to be a candidate. I'm ok with both. Chip Hale and Bob Melvin are also candidates, I'm not ok with either.

It's a sobering thought to hear Alderson take about 2011, and how the financial strings are tied. I commend the honesty, but knowing we're in for at least another year of mediocrity is a punch in the gut. Alderson talked about the team getting better simply by getting 800 more combined ABs for Beltran and Bay. Organic improvement-oh boy!

Let's face it, this is a mess. Alderson has a a lot of cleaning to do. He has the experience to do it, and the resume to prove he can do it. We may have to show some patience, but our ex-Marine, ex-Athletic boss is up for the challenge. All things considered, it feels like a new beginning.

One more thing-Alderson respects Omar, and word is that Omar is "waiting it out". My thoughts on Omar having any role in the organization- NOOOOOOOOOO

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bless those Rangers!






The Texas Rangers are AL champions. Yes, I rooted for them, for the same reasons everyone who is not a Yankee fan did. Yankee fans are intolerable, plain and simple. It is not the players we cheer against. As a non-Yankee fan, you want Yankee fans to be silenced, you want a break from their, "we will win because we are the Yankees" proclamations. You want to give them humility for dinner, and humble pie for dessert. Last night, we got what we, as non-Yankee fans, desired. And it hits home for us Mets fans. Nolan Ryan is one of ours (I watched the game in my 1969 #30 home jersey, of course with no name on it, just like 1969). It feels good. I think that in some strange way, the Mets organization helped take the Yankees down. Not to mention, Oliver, O'Day, and my boy Frenchy are Rangers. On to Mets business....

So, it's Alderson or Byrnes, and everyone says Alderson. Next round of interviews (and the final round) is next week. I've said my piece on this one. I'm concerned about Alderson's philosophy, and the amount of time it's been since Alderson has run a team. I'm hoping for Byrnes, and expecting Alderson. Either way, it does not look good for Wally as manager. In fact, who will be the manager? I'm sure both of these guys have their "men", I wish we know who they had in mind. Too bad Byrnes can't bring Kirk Gibson with him. Talk about an infusion of toughness.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rangers are the little pigs and the Yanks are the wolf

So, the Texas Rangers built a house of straw. It looked good for 7 innings, as Josh Hamilton (if you have not read his book you should) took Tubby out of the yard for a 3-run shot, and Wilson was on his game. When the Rangers added two more, it looked like the Little Pigs' house may have been made out of sticks, it may just hold up. But, then along came the Wicked Wolf (aka the Yankees), and the Wolf blew this house down, and made a meal of the poor Rangers. You know what? It's no surprise. I said all along that the only team that could compete with the Yankees in the post season was Tampa Bay. This will be a Yankee sweep. You read it here first. The Rangers will put their tail between their legs and slink away into the night.

Mets GM search goes on, or does it? Is it Alderson? If so, what are we waiting for? Just name the guy now, so he can pick a manager and begin to get to know the team. The latest news is that it may be a few more weeks before a GM is named. The math says, if this is true, we get a GM around, 11/5? So, we get a manager around....12/1? Aren't the Winter Meetings the second week of December? How prepared will the Mets be?

For the record, I'm not in favor of Alderson. I think it's been too long since he's run a club (13 years) and I do not buy "Moneyball" at all. I think the Field Manager is very important. He's closest to the action, sees things, and can use his knowledge to determine when to sacrifice, hit-and-run, etc. The Moneyball concept is to have a "passive" manager, who lets the game happen and sort of "supervises". This is because the Moneyball theory is that stolen bases, hit-and-run, etc., are not integral parts of the game. Moneyball is all about OBP and taking walks. I don't like it. I have spoken! I still say hire a young, smart guy like Hahn.

At the risk of becoming an "I told you so", didn't I call this one? K Rod will be the closer next year.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My blood pressure....

AdamRubinESPN
My point being: How about just an absolute clean break with new, fresh ideas -- no matter which GM candidate emerges

This is in response to the thinking that if Alderson becomes GM, Omar will be retained in some talent-evaluation capacity. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Not only does it make no sense to keep ties with a horrible past, since when is Omar a great talent evaluator? Rubin points out Matthews, Jacobs, Igarashi, Castillo, Perez, Catalanotto, etc. as examples of Omar's failure. Yes, he found Dickey. But how does his balance sheet look? Not very good, if you ask me. So, they're thinking of bringing Omar back? Look, I know Alderson is not even in yet, and we have to let this play out. But why, why can't this team just do one thing definitively, and correctly? UGH!

Steve at the Kranepool Society points out why he does not want Terry Ryan as Mets GM. Steve says that yes, the Twins are always there, but they shrivel up when they see the Yankees. Also, is it me, or do the Twins seem soft to you, too? Mauer, all those guys, they seem to be good players, but I don't see a lot of grit there. And if that's Ryan's M.O., NO THANKS. The Mets are built exactly that way, nice guys, good players, a lack of grit, and see where the Mets are? New ideas are needed, folks.

So, the theme for today is "out with the old, in with the new". The Mets talked about "unacceptable results" last week. Bringing back those responsible for those results is not wise, and does not allow the team to go forward. The Mets took step one effectively and efficiently, let's not go backward, Jeff.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Jeff was on the radio...

So, as is customary at the end of a season, Jeff did the full radio circuit this week. But this time, there was a difference. He was talking about a change in culture, a change in attitude, instead of "this guy needs to step up, that guy needs to step up, blah, blah, blah". And it is for that reason, that ownership FINALLY recognizes the need for change, that I'm pumped for 2011. In case you missed Jeff's world tour, here are a few highlights:

He said that he changed his mind about Beltran after the weekend in Philly, when Carlos went after Valdez and Utley in response to the take-out of Tejada. I wonder what he thought of Carlos before the slide?

He said he was never asked about releasing Castillo or Perez (I'm not surprised one bit about that).

He and Fred have never said no to acquiring a player because of money (hmmmmm).

He wants the team to get tougher (from his lips to God's ears).

He did not have dinner with Valentine and Backman in Stamford.

The best moment was when Carton asked Jeff if he felt Jerry used Ollie in the last game to "stick it to him (Jeff)." Carton, in Jerry's voice, "Uhhhh, well, I'mma use Ollie here and go gangsta on Wilpon's ass before he go gangsta on my ass tomorrow". HILARIOUS!

A few more thoughts:

I HATE THE PHILLIES

When will the Twins grow a pair and become sick of playing the role of the Yankees' prison bitch?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tip of the cap to the NY Mets!

Time to give credit where credit is due. So what, it took two years too long...today they did what they had to do. Jerry and Omar are gone, and the recovery can begin. Please give me your comments! Here are mine on the events of the day, 10/4/2010.

This organization needs a makeover. There was no other way to do it other than to clean out the people who were in charge of the failures, and yes, there is an "s" at the end of failures.

You don't change a culture be keeping people around who created the culture. Omar had to go, as in gone, not re-assigned. It seems that this is the case. YEAH!!!! Yesterday, Cohen referred on air to the problem of players feeling closer to the GM than they should, that some players went around Jerry to the GM. He referenced "a player" who, in his second major-league game (and we know this is F Mart), did not run out a pop up, and was not disciplined. He speculated that this player's ties to the GM may have played a role. I won't go down the ethnic path, let's just say F Mart was not alone in this permanent indemnity plan, and the person who created this culture had to go. And, he is gone.

All of this talk of "he's a nice guy, don't rejoice in his/their dismissal" is absolute BS. No one thinks they aren't nice guys. That's not the point. People in high-profile jobs are always in the "succeed-or-else" position. If they do well, they reap the rewards. If they don't, the public screams for change. It happens in business all the time. Watch a company's stock price go down, and see how long it takes for shareholders to demand a change. We, the paying customers, are the shareholders. The people in charge of our company failed, and we demanded change. Please tell me why we are blood-thirsty savages, as we've been made out to be.

Last year, when the NY Giants failed, they acted decisively and removed their defensive coordinator the day the season ended. Today, the Mets acted decisively, as we wanted them to for a long time. Kudos to the Mets! I'll have more to say on the search for a GM and manager later.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

See ya in April, Citi


So, today was the last day for my Saturday Plus plan (still irks me that I have to take some weeknights with a Saturday plan). I was on the fence about going, but my daughter and I went, and I'm glad we did. They won, Dickey pitched in relief (MY MAN, RA), DW hit a bomb (my daughter's favorite), and I was honored to meet Coop of "My Summer Family". It was also a great day to be out there in the crisp, autumn air. Upon leaving, I was thinking about whom I will see in uniform next year. Who will manage? Who will play CF? RF? Will Jose be there? How about K Rod? The list goes on...but I left feeling that better days are coming, not that sick feeling of separation anxiety. I'm now buckled up for what should be a wild 4 months until Spring Training.
Apparently, Jeff met with Jerry before last night's game. Gee, I wonder what was discussed. Heyman was on WFAN this morning, and he said the Mets acted properly giving Jerry and Omar the full year. I don't get that thinking. Once it became clear to the front office that both would be gone, and the media picked up on it and turned the second half into a death watch, what purpose was served by keeping these guys? I think they're leaving with less dignity now than they would have in June. They've been hung out to dry. Also, the new combo will take time to put in place, and how well-informed will they be when it comes to making moves? Would it not have been better to do what the O's did, and begin the changes in-season, so you have a head start in the off season?
With a win tomorrow, they'll be 80-82. That's 10 more than last year. If the trajectory continues, they may be on the doorstep of the post season next year. I can dream, can't I?

Friday, October 1, 2010

I take back my praise, that was AWFUL

Just when you start to think it's not so bad, maybe the road to respectability isn't so long, they go out there and look AWFUL losing 3 of 4 to a softball team. The Brewers are a disgrace. Look around the field at them, they're overweight, disheveled-looking, and they can't play D or pitch. Yet, they march into Citi and make the Mets look bad. I don't care what the calendar says, I repeat, I don't care what the calendar says, there's no excuse to look bad. Last night, the Mets were the Keystone Cops. Ugh!

On to other matters...as if I'm not irritated enough, the Daily News says Genious Omar's fate is TBD. Jeff, get him out, don't mess with this. He represents all that has happened, all the bad. Seeing his face will remind your fan base of the last 4 years. Did you see how empty Citi was last night (and for the past month)? Don't you think it's time to start over? THAT MEANS A CLEAN BREAK WITH THE PAST.

I am looking forward to the off season. I think we all are. But don't be the same old Mets. Don't be indecisive. Do the right thing. Clean house, bring in fresh blood, new hope, and then maybe, just maybe, your customers will respond.