Saturday, November 27, 2010

Waiting....


Happy Thanksgiving weekend! We have a GM, a front-office staff, and a manager (though Wally thinks Sandy made the wrong choice). Now, we have to address the 800 pound gorilla in the room, the need to re-shape the team on the field. The winter meetings are 9 days away, and here's what's going on.
Apparently, the Mets are shopping Reyes. Not sure about that one, in terms of whether or not they are, and if it makes sense. Look, I think the Mets should stop at nothing to get better (and they are not going to be active in the FA market). But if you trade Reyes, who plays short? Tejada? We all know he's not ready. Who bats lead off? Pagan? Maybe. I'm just saying that's a HUGE hole to fill. Now, maybe you can get value back and plug another hole or two. I think it's risky to trade Reyes, unless you've determined he will not be back after 2011 when his contract is up. And there may be something to that. Sandy likes OBP, and we all know that's not Jose's strong suit. We'll see.
The Mets need pitching. All the names being thrown around (Chris Young, Brandon Webb) are re-clamation projects. And when you're not going to spend, that may be where you have to focus.
No one is going to take Castillo or Perez at the meetings. Let's just forget that one now. This is a question of eating contracts.
The Mets say they need a catcher to go with Thole. I agree. There are some names out there, including old pal Barajas, whom I'd take back.
One thing they may not need to worry about is Feliciano, who may accept arbitration. Good. When used properly, Feliciano is one of the best LOOGYs out there. Bring him back, and try to use him in 70, not 90 games.
We're waiting for player moves, but I can't wait!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"I want the game played correctly"

These are the words of Terry Collins. My words to him- "I love you, man!" Yesterday, Terry Collins said all the right things. He talked about accountability, fundamentals, and base running. He talked about execution on the field. To any Met fan who thinks this is a bad hire, ask yourself if Terry's focus is in the right place. Then ask yourself if any of the above were in place during the Reign of Terror-Minaya and Manuel. The point is things are changing for the better. It will still take time to put the players on the field who can actually bring the team to contending status, but at least we won't witness the on-and-off- the field nonsense we've seen lately. Collins talked about a never-ending learning process, and how the basics will be emphasized from day 1 of spring training. I ask you, is there a team in baseball more in need of this approach? A .500 season will be far easier to accept if the play on the field is crisp.

Other notable moments from yesterday. Alderson said he "did not want to rush Omar" as Omar decides if "he wants to be a part of this". My read on that- get another job, Omar. If Alderson wanted him here, he'd be talking to him as Alderson rounds out the front-office staff. I admit to being a little trigger happy in my angst over Omar's return. I'm now convinced that Sandy is too smart to bring Omar back. In Sandy, I trust.

Time to be thankful for all of our blessings. In addition to everything else, I'm thankful my team is on the road to recovery.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Meet our new manager



Welcome to the New York Mets, Terry Collins. You have some work to do, and a lot of people who are anxious for you to do it. We hear you're no-nonsense. That's good, because nonsense has been in abundance around here lately. We wish you luck, and will gladly rip you a new one if you mess up on opening day. Here are a few fun facts:

Managed in Houston, 1994-1996

Managed in Anaheim 1997-1999

Has a DUI to his credit (that's not such a fun fact, but you need to know)

A favorite of Paul DePodesta, our new Assistant GM

Let's get going, Terry. We're counting on you.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why can't he JUST GO AWAY??


Here we are. It's almost "Manager Day". It's almost time for the winter meetings. It's the holiday season. Despite all of this, I just can't get into a good mood. Why? Omar Minaya just will not go away, that's why. Apparently, he was offered a job by the D'backs, but wants to speak to Sandy Alderson first about jobs with the Mets. Why, why in the world, would this organization bring this man back in any capacity? Here are a few points:

  • He was given $140 million per year, and produced not a losing team, a DISGRACE of a team.
  • He has saddled the team with bad contracts, so much so that the new GM all but says 2011 will be a sacrifice to get out from under Omar's miscues.
  • This "talent evaluator" has produced a farm system that ranks in the lower third of all MLB clubs.
  • This man will be a constant reminder of everything we are all trying to forget.

So again I ask, WHY?? Tell him his time here is done, and it's time for him to go ruin another organization. As I've said, it's like giving a contractor a ton of money to work on your house. After it collapses, would you hire the same contractor? HAS THE WHOLE WORLD GONE CRAZY OR IS IT ME?

Melvin or Collins? I guess they're rather similar, quiet disciplinarians. I don't have a preference. I think of the two, Collins may be a bit more talkative. I wonder if that'll factor in to the thinking. No matter, Tuesday is the big day. Then, the fun starts, with player moves (hopefully) as we gear up for next year. Just please don't ruin it for us by bringing that man back.

Thanks very much, I promise not to ask for a Christmas present if you'll just do that for me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thanksgiving at the Wilpons



Here's how Thanksgiving may play out at the Wilpon residence this year...

"Geez dad, err, Fred, I can't believe all the positive publicity we've been getting from hiring Alderson and the crew in the front office. I've even heard people are calling, asking about ticket packages!". "Yeah, Jeff, it's amazing how a change can do so much for the organization. We haven't even added or subtracted any players yet. Imagine what it'll be like if we move Castillo or Perez."

"Yeah, and if we free up some salary and make one or two addtions, we may even become a real threat in the division. It's a shame we didn't realize this a few years ago, when we held on to Omar and Jerry. Who knew?" "Well, Jeff, it's too bad your uncle Saul wanted to keep those guys around. Probably cost us millions in lost revenue. I never realized how little faith the fans had in those guys, right Saul"? "What do you mean, Fred, you're the one who wanted those putzes to stay, you know, give them a fair shot and all...". "Saul, no, it was't me, it was Jeff who wanted them around". "What? I wanted them out last year!"

Now a food fight ensues, and the Wilpon house is filthy. After order is restored, Jeff continues. "Maybe it's not so important who wanted whom in or out, maybe what's important is that those buffoons are gone. Think about it. We have some real intellect in the front office. We don't have to hold our breath every time we have to put our GM on tv." "Yeah, that was awful, Jeff. What in the world were we thinking! We turned over the keys to a billion dollar enterprise to two guys who could not be more clueless. We lost fans, money....(he rubs his temples). Saul, what do you think"? "I dunno, let's just enjoy the holidays. We REALLY screwed up here. But at least our fans, or most of them, stuck by us. Next time, we may not be so lucky".

"Amen to that. Horrifying thought...Fred, dad, whatever I'm supposed to call you, and Uncle Saul, let's do a shot and vow not to think about the last 4 years." "Agreed, son, to better times!"

They pound a shot of Wild Turkey, and try to move past this awful memory...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fire up the hot stove


Tonight was the first episode of "Mets Hot Stove". KB interviewed Alderson, and had David Lennon and Andy Martino in studio to comment on interview segments. My favorite part was was when KB asked Alderson what was important in his front office personnel and manager. Alderson responded, "baseball intellect and professionalism-the ability to have a vision, and articulate that vision". I don't know about you, but I saw that as Sandy's saying, "no more Omar, kids. We have a plan, and we can conduct a coherent press conference. And there will no ripping off of shirts."
Another part of the show, naturally, was devoted to the managerial search. Lennon says Melvin is the front runner (yikes). The three in studio debated if big-league managerial experience was necessary or not, and were split. Alderson was asked about Valentine, and he was evasive. It's not going to happen, kids. I still want Hurdle, though Alderson seemed to indicate familiarity with players and coaches is important. This would point to Melvin or Collins. I still say they need a higher profile manager. They're selling something, credibility. High profile gives credibility, like it or not.
Finally, they discussed Beltran. Will Carlos be in CR? RF? Another city? Who knows, though Carlos claims to be a "team guy".
Let the Hot Stove burn!

Monday, November 8, 2010

...but we have the best front office in baseball!


Add Paul DePodesta to J.P. Riccardi and Sandy Alderson and what do you have? The A's east...or more simply, one of the most expensive, data-crunching front offices in baseball. Yes, Moneyball has crossed the Mississippi, and landed in NYC. One thing for sure, the front office has gotten a lot smarter in the last 2 weeks.
The Mets have gone from seat-of-your pants, reactionary management, to calculated statistical analysis. I've never been a fan of Moneyball, but after what's been going on around here, maybe a radical change is the right call. As pointed out in The Times, no matter how smart the front office, they're not miracle workers. The team still owes $50 million to Castillo, Perez, and Beltran next year. So let's not expect an overnight fix, but I do feel far more confident now that I have in a long time about the future of this franchise.
Rumor is that DePodesta's presence bodes well for Terry Collins as manager. The more I hear, the more I like this guy. Apparently, he's no nonsense, and will not tolerate the stuff that's been going on in the clubhouse (indifference). However, I still would like to see Hurdle get the job. I do believe it's time to complete the change process, and that's only possible by making a clean sweep and going outside for the manager as well.
It's already exciting, and we haven't even hit the Winter Meetings yet!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

They still have a target on their backs...

Things are changing. That's good. But some things have not changed yet. The Mets still lead with their chins, putting themselves out there for ridicule. Hopefully, we're nearing the end of that, but here are a few examples.

1. Today, David Howard was on WFAN with Boomer and Carton, talking about the lower ticket prices. Apparently, the Mets asked WFAN if Howard could do the spot. Well, Carton ambushed Howard about the fact that while most prices have decreased, the cheapest tickets at Citi are increasing one dollar. The message that Carton put out was that the Mets have lowered prices for the people who can afford them, and raised prices for the "$30K per year bus driver." Regardless of what the truth is (and the truth is that though the Promenade tickets went up $1, more games will offer these low-priced seats than last year), Carton made Howard, and the Mets, seem like fools. Why go on the radio and set yourself up like that? Not to mention, Carton pointed out that the Mets have to lower prices after 4 years of sucking.

2. The managerial search begins. Why in the world would they talk to Hale and Jauss? Why do you say on the one hand that this is a new beginning, and then interview people who are ties to what you're trying to distance yourself from? And here's the kicker. I promise you that neither of these guys will get the job. So why go through this process, interview people tied to last year and whom the fans wretch at the thought of, only to not hire them? Again, leading with the chin, asking to be mocked.

3. Charlie Samuels. The reports say his "indefinite suspension" is due to gambling on sporting events. Not good, Charlie, not good at all. This is a black eye for the organization. What if it comes out that he bet on baseball? Oh man, we don't need that.

I guess change takes time. Any chance we could speed it up?