Saturday, January 28, 2012

So...this guy can't fit into our plans?

Yesterday, Juan Pierre agreed to a minor-league deal with the Phillies. The Mets have been "monitoring" the LH-hitting OF market-translated, this means looking for someone who will work for minimum wage. So, Sandy, what happened here? Pierre hit .279 last year, with 27 SB. The year before, he led the AL with 68 SB. Pierre has the speed (even though he's 34) to be a solid defensive OF, though his arm is incredibly weak. And he'll work cheaply (see above MINOR-LEAGUE deal). And the Mets just pass on him. If this charade of playing Duda in RF is to actually come to fruition, the Mets will need a 7th-inning defensive replacement (if you ask me, they'll need a first-inning defensive replacement). And Pierre would be the LH bat they want, and have speed to boot. Alas, he's a Phillie. I keep telling myself, "I love the Mets, I love the Mets..."

This week, John Franco was selected for the Mets HOF. I never liked Franco, and I still don't. His longevity awards aside, ask yourself if he was a top-notch closer with the Mets. I answer a resounding "No". Why they traded hard-throwing Randy Meyers for this guy is beyond me. And let's not forget that Franco refused to speak to Rick Reed, a former replacement player. Lest ye judge too harshly, John. You'll get yours someday. Enough said.

I'm feeling rather negative about the team these days. I've never been like this. Usually, I'm counting the days, like many are (we see it on FB and other blogs daily). At this point, I see a season of difficulty. Now, there are things to eagerly anticipate. I'm interested to see if/how Santana returns. I think Bay will have a good year. I think Davis will have a good year. And I'm glad that the pen is now staffed with guys who won't take any sh*t.  But I worry about DW, and the message that will be sent if he's dealt mid-year. I'm not looking forward to talk about selling the team and lawsuits. But I'm loyal. I have my 15-game plan, and it will be baseball, so it has to be good.

And one more silver lining.......Uncle Bud says there will likely be another wild card THIS year! Can you get there with 65 wins?






Saturday, January 21, 2012

Out of the mouths of babes...

You know what's great about baseball, Suzyn.?...YIKES!!! I almost went down the Sterling/Waldman path....get me some disinfectant! Anyway, one of the greatest aspects of this great game is talking about it, all year, every day. Doesn't matter if you're at work, at the gym, in the grocery store...someone will always talk baseball. The other night, my daughter and I were watching "Hot Stove", and she said, "Dad, why did they give Pelfrey $5.7 million? He was 7-13, has a mid-4 era, and a career record of 50-54". "Well, it's all about pitching, and he.....you see, he.....they need....." "Dad, couldn't they have spent that on Capuano, and given him the two years, for a more reliable pitcher?" "Um...you're right, little one. If they have limited money, why throw $5.7 million at a guy who hurts more than helps?" She schooled me. So I ask, why bring this guy back? Was that a wise investment? Thoughts?

This morning, I had a Twitter conversation with some Met fans. We discussed the above. We also discussed the recent rumor (or revived rumor) of Turner to Colorado for Eric Young Jr. I say do this before the Rockies come to their senses. If I understand correctly, they're willing to trade a young, speedy 2B (who can play the OF) for a guy who (love his Twitter account or not) is essentially a backup? And this would mean we won't have Murphy learning 2B on the big-league level, we'd replace the speed at the top, and strengthen the bench by having Murphy on it. All of this costs....Justin Turner? Are you freakin' kidding me? Do it NOW! Yes, Young has limited power, and slaps at the ball like a young Castillo. Recall that a young Castillo was a stolen base threat, an excellent defender, and an all star. Nothing wrong with that. Part of the Twitter chat was why not use Turner to get pitching. I agree, but if this deal is out there, it needs to happen. It helps in too many ways.

So it looks like Josh Lewin (formerly of the Rangers broadcast team) will replace Wayne Hagin in the booth. Good. I'd be happy with Fran Dresser in the booth instead of Hagin. He was just plain awful. He was 5 seconds behind the action. You'd hear a crowd reaction, then he would try to recreate the play from the beginning, over the crowd noise. It was maddening. Bye, Wayne.

About 4 weeks until Ps and Cs. My enthusiasm is not quite where it usually is, but I hope it gets there. I'm caught up in the whole financial mess. It hurts knowing that if they're competitive, they may not be willing to spend in-season for talent. Kind of feels like a punch in the gut. But it's baseball, and we're talking about it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What problem, I ain't got no problem

Oh Freddy, Freddy, Freddy. Hey man, I've always been a supporter of ownership. I have always said, and taken many arrows for it, that you did all an owner can be expected to do. You invested a lot of money in your team, and we, as fans, recognized and appreciated it. The problem was that you gave that money to the most incompetent GM ever to work in professional sports. An additional problem is that your loyalty to that man was, while admirable I suppose, far too strong and lasted way too long. So now here we are. You have $100 million coming from minority investors. You have $430 million in debt, either overdue, or due within the next couple of years. The math does not work. And your answer..."come out and give my team a try! We need fans to come back to the park before we can turn it around."

Today is January 14th. Spring training tickets went on sale today, and fans (according to Twitter) are buying them in droves. This is good. Reality check-this is also because we've been without baseball for 3 months now (without the Mets for 4 months). Once the "novelty" wears off, the selling point will have to be the team on the field. No one is terribly confident that the Mets can compete in the NL east. In fact, some are thinking, oh I don't know, 65 wins? Ouch. You see, Freddy, it all boils down to this. We want to support the team (I renewed my package before Thanksgiving). We love the team. But you're making it hard, really hard for us. We see that you don't have the resources to compete. We get angry. We watch every team in the division, and the team in the other borough, get better. Then we have you begging us to put our pennies together to save your back side. Some day, and maybe soon, whatever patience is left will wear off, and you'll draw 800,000 to your new park. So now (and maybe I'm among the last) I will say it, "Sell Fred, Sell"!

Finally, if you have not seen Randy Medina's "Read the Apple" video "Help Stops Mets Cruelty", hit it on Youtube. It'll put a smile on your face. If your baseball face is anything like mine, those muscles haven't been getting much work lately.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Meet the new (backup) shortstop

This is the stuff bankruptcy will do to you. The Mets acquired 28-year-old Ruben Tejada...um...sorry, 28-year-old Ronny Cedeno to backup Ruben Tejada. You see, in my mind, Cendeno and Tejada are the same player (I'd like to see them in the same room at the same time). Both can play some D, both will struggle at the plate, neither has a ton of speed. Tejada wins this "battle" because Cedeno has a propensity to strike out, evidenced by his career numbers. How does that Who song go, "meet the new boss, same as the old boss...the parting on the left is now a parting on the right"? Baseball decisions are being made at the Goodwill Store now, and as a partial season-ticket holder, I feel violated.

As Steve from The Kranepool Society points out in a recent blog post, it's hard to have sympathy for the Wilpons, because we, the fan base, feel like they're not being up front with us. Why were CRG Associates brought in? This firm helped the Rangers through bankruptcy, and helped engineer their ultimate sale to Nolan Ryan's group. Does that necessarily mean they're working with the Wilpons for the same reason? No. But does it give the customer base, the people who buy tickets, merchandise, beer, and Shake Shack concessions, reasonable cause for concern? Yes. And what do the Mets do? They tweet, and I'm not kidding, that all is ok here and the CRG provides many different services. OK, fine. But Reyes is gone, the payroll will be down $50 million, and the Mets are at a standstill while the division (did ya hear Fielder to the Nats?) gets better. And all is ok here? What is this, spin control after the Titanic struck ice? Anyone hear a band playing "Nearer my God to Thee?"

It's January 7th. We're about 6 weeks to pitchers and catchers, and less than 2 months until the first Grapefruit League game. I renewed my tickets and I will be there all summer. But, man alive, as my friend Jason's FB page says, "It Hurts Being a Mets Fan".