Monday, January 31, 2011

Plenty Of Potential Buyers For Mets: Are Wilpon's Interested?

Many reports have been bandied about regarding the Wilpon's financial demise, their lack of honesty in this ordeal, and most recently, potential partners.

Some of the alleged potential partners willing to ante up approximately $215M, include: Martin Luther King III, son of the late Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; Mike Repole, a Queens native who owns the race horse Uncle Mo, expected to win the Kentucky Derby and who sold Vitamin Water to Coca-Cola for a small fortune; Long Island's Martin Silver, owner of Georgi Vodka; Ed Kranepool and Donn Clendenon's son, and TV executive Larry Meil.

No matter whom the lucky candidate to purchase 20%-25% or the Mets is, I can't see the Wilpon's allowing someone into their "family business" whom they see as a threat. The last thing the Wilpon's want is another Walter O'Malley acquisition, where a small stake owner is able to continually buy up stocks, thus over-taking the "family business."

The Wilpon's, who are scheduled to meet with "Commissioner" Selig on Tuesday, are in dire straits. The big question is are they honest enough to CLEARLY see what is happening to them? They are having problems, but to start (or continue) to financially hemorrhage at the cost of their fortune, or more accurately, at the cost of New York's National League team, is selfish. The die-hard fans of the Mets deserve better. That does not necessarily mean that another owner will be better, no, but some fresh blood in the system might be just what the doctor ordered.

Is it sad that the Wilpon's were possibly swindled out of what appears to be a ton of money? I guess so. Is it unfortunate that they will be the one's having to pay off Bernie Maddof's debt? Yes, but that is the law. But, the shame in all this is not the money won or lost by this family, no, the shame is how they lied to everyone who asked the question about how hard hit they were by this scheme. Because a question is asked, it does not require you to answer. That being said, if you do decide to answer, lying is never the correct option. It's amazing, but peoples lies, or mis-truth's, always catch up to them. Tag Fred and Jeff, you're it.

Source: NY Daily News , Crain's NY Business

Saturday, January 29, 2011

If John Maine Is A Habitual Liar, Then What Are Fred & Jeff Wilpon?

Back in May 2010, Mets pitching coach
Dan Warthen called John Maine a habitual liar, when it came to fessing up about the health of his arm. Although I always liked Maine, his non-tendering this off-season was a must.

While on the subject of less than credible people associated with the Mets, no two people come to mind more than Fred and Jeff Wilpon. I am not saying we as fans have any right to know their financial portfolio, no, but when they open up the debate when appearing incredulous when a reporter asks of their apparent financial woes, is not acceptable.

Anyone who has read anything I've written over the years is more than aware I have never, ever cared for the Wilpon's as owners. I think Fred Wilpon is a nice man, but he has shown a lack of acumen in dealing with the Mets and their baseball operations. As for Jeff...he is merely the recipient of his father's hard work, and doesn't have a clue. He gets such a rush of being "boss", that he doesn't realize that being a boss means you hire people well versed to run your operation. Jeff sees himself as the next great owner, when he is nothing more than the beneficiary of Fred's success as a real estate magnate.

Back in 2009, we blogged about Erin Arvedlund, who wrote a book titled, Too Good To Be True, which she believed the Mets would have to sell the team due to the Madoff Ponzi Scheme. Dave Howard, Mets VP of Business Operations confronted Ms. Arvedlund on Fox Business. Although Howard seemed to win the debate, it appears, as I have always felt, that Arvedlund was in fact the only honest one in this debate.

Also in 2009 we blogged about
former Mets GM Jim Duquette saying that he believed the Mets were in financial trouble because they moved their instructional league from Port St. Luce Florida to the Dominican Republic due to the need to cut costs. Duquette felt the Mets wouldn't sell because they have the opportunity to make money with the new ballpark, SNY, and the team.

Then there was an article in Reuters and the New York Times that we wrote about, where the article stated:

"Some bankers have speculated the Wilpons would be forced to sell all or part of the Mets, while others said a sale of part of the Mets cable TV channel SportsNet New York was more likely."

Throughout all of our posts and the documentation by newspapers and the internet, the Mets, mainly Fred, Jeff, and Dave Howard have argued that the Wilpon's and the Mets were in sound shape, when in fact, we have always believed that to be untrue.

When looking back at the spin-doctoring the Mets have done over the last few years, is John Maine the true habitual liar, or is it really the Wilpon's and the Mets hierarchy?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mets Avoid Arbitration: Sign Dickey To 2 Year Deal

Sources are reporting that the Mets have reached an agreement with knuckle-baller RA Dickey. Andy Martino is reporting that the two sides have agreed to a 2 year deal with an option on a third year.

Martino tweets:

"The Mets and R.A. Dickey have agreed to terms on a two-year deal, with a club option for third year, major league sources tells Daily News."

This deal is a no brainer, and the positive end of it is not just that Dickey is signed, but shows that Elvis isn't opposed to multi-year deals. This, hopefully, will turn out well for the Mets SS, Jose Reyes.

On a day when the Mets ownership finally came clean about financial issues, to the point where they are considering selling off 25% of the Mets, this signing comes as no surprise. This might deflect some of the press the Wilpon's will get for being less than honest about the state of the Mets.

Mets Wilpons want to sell Minority stake in team

Looks like the Wilpons want to garner some cash. Via Twitter from Adam Rubin  The Mets are possibly looking for minority owners to help with the burden of owning the Mets.  This is not a surprise with what as gone on with the Wilpons and there prior dealings. 

Maybe us fans can pool our resources and get a share. Anyone have 20M handy?

Mets statement

Fred Wilpon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Mets, and Jeff Wilpon, Chief Operating Officer of the New York Mets, issued the following statement:

As Sterling Equities announced in December, we are engaged in discussions to settle a lawsuit brought against us and other Sterling partners and members of our families by the Trustee in the Madoff bankruptcy. We are not permitted to comment on these confidential negotiations while they are ongoing.

However, to address the air of uncertainty created by this lawsuit, and to provide additional assurance that the New York Mets will continue to have the necessary resources to fully compete and win, we are looking at a number of potential options including the addition of one or more strategic partners. To explore this, we have retained Steve Greenberg, a Managing Director at Allen & Company, as our advisor.

Regardless of the outcome of this exploration, Sterling will remain the principal ownership group of the Mets and continue to control and manage the team’s operations. The Mets have been a major part of our families for more than 30 years and that is not going to change.

As we have said before, we are totally committed to having the Mets again become a World Series winner. Our fans and all New Yorkers deserve nothing less.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Reyes Admits Handshakes Have Been Down The Last Two Years

Tonight on Mets Hot Stove, Kevin Burkhardt was busy with a phone interview with newly acquired Chris Young, Jose Reyes, and yet once again, David Wright.

The telling moment that Jose Reyes hasn't been himself the last two seasons were acknowledged tonight on Hot Stove. The last two years Reyes battled injuries, and wasn't quite right. When pressed, he admitted that his famous handshakes were down the last two years, and he anticipates handshakes will be in abundance this year. In fact he is planning on a special handshake for new manager Terry Collins.

There was yet another Hot Stove interview with Nuke LaLoosh, but the best part is when his youngest brother, Daniel, impersonated David being interviewed. If was brilliant, and Nuke, who was there, called his brother an "idiot." Burkhardt lost it.

If you haven't yet seen this episode, be sure to check it out. It will be airing again on SNY:

Mets organization can only go up from being ranked #26

Yesterday was a really good day to be a Met fan.  2 items of interest made the rounds. The first one is that no Mets made the top 50 prospects that were ranked.  Very nice. There were only a couple of teams that didnt have anyone. Mets are of course 1 of them. The other is that Keith Law of ESPN ranked the teams organizations and the Mets ranked 26th.

Wow  talk abut impressive . Sandy and the crew I am sure placed that on there window or there office door. Mets are near the bottom and there top prospect is Wilmer Flores and he comes in at 58th. See what happens when you adhere to slotting rules?

The Mets were usually the middle of the pack organization wise and now are near the bottom after the boot of Omar and Tony B last year.  Alderson and crew need to wake up . Teams like the Phillies rank 5th and even the Yankees are near the top after year after year of signing free agents and giving up picks.

The  Mets need to build from the ground up and Alderson has taken on a huge undertaking and hopefully the Wilpons wont impede. Yeah I know I laughed when I wrote that too.

Former Mets Manager Moolights As A Traffic Director

Former Mets Manager Bobby Valentine is moonlighting as a traffic cop. Officially he is the "Safety Director" for the Highway Department in Stamford Connecticut.

Source: CBS News

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

There Is Sweet Music Playing In Brooklyn; Frank Viola Hired As Pitching Coach

The New York Mets have hired former ace Frank Viola to be pitching coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Sweet Music was obtained by the Mets on July 31, 1989 for David West, Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummand, Jack Savage and Kevin Tapani. He was 38-32 for the Mets from 1989 - 1991 with a 3.31 ERA.

Viola, who graduated from East Meadow, was a teammate of John Franco at St. Johns University, and again with the Mets from 1990 until 1991.

After retirement, Viola had coached for Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida. He also was a Spring Training coach for the Cleveland Indians in 2009.

Sources: Adam Rubin, Baseball Reference, Wikipedia

Mets paying Howard Johnson to sit around

Where can i get this gig?  Take a few calls from your former guys regarding hitting otherwise chill at home with the fam and get payed. Must be nice!   Well for HO JO I think he would be rather working. 

According to ESPN NY  the Mets have not placed there former hitting coach in a role yet but he is still cashing checks. He has players like David Wright and blue collar boy Daniel Murphy calling him but thats it. 

I say have the Mets have him come to Citi Field and open up a little booth and sign things and chat with the fans ala Greg the Bull Luzinski and his rib joint down in Philly. Ho Jo was a fan favorite and it would be great to see him at the ballpark so he and fans can talk about the good ole days.  

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mets open Spring training camp in St Lucie

Well now that the Jets have been eliminated nothing much going on for us local sports fans unless your into hockey and B- Ball.  If you ask me that means its slow going for the next month except for the Super Bowl.

The Mets though open there camp in Pt St Lucie today for volunteers who want to get a head start on spring. Look for Met Manager Terry Collins to be there with I am sure David Wright and some of the players who might be fringe players on trying to make the roster.

Collins sleeps and breathes baseball so I am sure he will be on site to meet his team who shows up early.  Do we think that Mets whipping boys Luis Castillo and Ollie Perez will be in Florida early?. Look for some of the young players like being the back flip Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans to maybe show up early.  Nothing like having a catch with the baseball as we in the east deal with dead car Batteries and frozen doors. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Can Tim Byrdak be the 2011 version of Pedro Feliciano

The Mets added another lefty for the bullpen on a spring training invite. They now signed 37 year old Tim Byrdak who will compete I am sure with Tankersly for a shot at being the lefty specialist out of the pen. 

The Mets are going to need someone who shuts down that Phillies offense from the left side. Byrdak in a little over 4 innings against the  Phillies didnt allow a run in 2010. Of course if he makes the team the Phillies will see him a bit more then they saw him last year.

Howard and Ibanez faced him 2 times with no hits and Utley faced him 4 times without a hit. He struck out Howard once and had no problem challenging the Phillies since he didnt walk them once. 

Back in 2009 he gave a  hit a piece to Howard and Ibanez in 3 at bats but nothing to Utley.  

The Mets are going to need someone to step up against these guys and hopefully Byrdak still has something left.

Source Yahoo Sports

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mets battle fires and repell wall on Randalls Island

Ok I understand that players need to show themselves among the community which the Mets always do. Well visiting a fire station this time wasnt enough.  There was nothing like Jeff Wilpon leading the team in a building fire. I am sure some of us who have watched the video know how controlled the situation was but they couldnt have a little burning 2 by 4 fall close to Jeff for some drama? 

So skiing and stuff I am sure is out when it comes to there contracts  but repelling walls like Bobby Parnell did or fighting a car fire like Big Pelf and R A Dickey did thats ok. Pretty cool stuff!

Check the video at ESPN NY  here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mets Designate Stoner & Pridie; Wright Has A Fan In Philly

Today the Mets announced the signings of Chris Young and Scott Hairston, and thus had to remove two players from their 40 man roster.

The unlucky recipients of this transaction were Tobi Stoner and Jason Pridie. Stoner, who has fallen off the Mets depth chart the last couple of years, is starting to remind me of one former prospect, Philip Humber, who has frequent flyer miles between the minors and majors since being part of the Johan Santana trade in 2008. Since then, Minnesota didn't sign him, he was granted free agency, signed with the Royals, was waived, signed by Oakland, waived again, and recently signed by the ChiSox.

In other news, The Onion's Sports Dome had a touching story on a David Wright fan in Philadelphia.


Source: Adam Rubin

Mets Are #1

…in the logo department. ESPN’s Jim Caple, not a Mets fan has rated the NY Mets with the best logo of the 30 teams in baseball.

Caple writes about the Mets logo:

“I'm no Mets fan, but I have always loved this logo: the distinctive dark skyline, the white bridge symbolizing the five boroughs, the classic Mets script, the terrific color scheme of orange and blue. My only suggestion: Mr. Met should have it tattooed around his whole head. “

The team on the other side of the Triboro (nor will it ever be the RFK bridge no matter how much the city tries to ram it down our throats) finished a distant 5th with Caple explaining:

“The logo most identified with the Yankees is the world famous, classic, Tiffany-designed NY. Their official primary logo, however, is the baseball bat with the Uncle Sam hat. It's not as good as the NY design -- what could be? -- but it isn't bad. I just wish A-Rod had to wear this same hat when he plays.”

Our two biggest arch rivals, the Braves and Phillies finished 18th and 23rd respectively.

Of the Braves he notes:

“Well, it certainly beats the old logo of a Native American warrior screaming so demonstrably it was as if he just received his season-ticket renewal bill.”

…and the Phillies

“I like the individual elements, but it's just a little too crowded inside that ball field outline, don't you think? Kind of like Greg Luzinski squeezing into one of those polyester uniforms after it had been left in the dryer too long.”

The team that is considered to have the worst logo in the Major Leagues is Cleveland Indians:

“And sometimes, even cartoons are just wildly inappropriate. People defend Chief Wahoo on the basis of tradition, but what kind of a defense is that? Yes, it's incredibly offensive, but we've been offending people with it for soooooo long we can't stop now. Do you think any responsible team or business would produce this logo today? Of course not. The only way a team could be more tone deaf to society values is if a franchise based in, say, the nation's capital used a racial slur for its team name.”

With this earth shattering Cinderella victory, imagine if the Mets would revert back to the old days and play the Curly Shuffle during the 7th inning stretch? They could be #1 in seventh inning stretch songs. Makes one wonder if maybe winning on the field is far behind.

Jose Reyes ready to be a leader

As the Mets held a special event yesterday at Citi Field for season ticket holders there was 1 guy besides Terry Collings that was raring to go. That of course is none other Jose Jose Reyes. 

Reyes is ready to get to spring training already knowing that the first time in 2 years he is really healthy and ready to play. Of course he will spend the year playing for his next contract. Of course the excitable Reyes doesnt seem to mind. He is still a kid in the candy store and the fact that the new manager Collins but have almost as much energey as Jose suits him just fine. 

According to the NY Post Reyes said about Collins yesterday "Terry's got a lot of fire, a lot of energy. I like that. He wants me to be more involved in the field."  Of course Reyes loves the fact that Collins wants him to have more responsiblity . That of course has to do with the gun of Reyes arm. We just need to have Reyes focus on relays even on the routine plays where he seems to wander a bit. 

Reyes excitement can of course rub off on you. Now we have less then a month to go before pitchers and catchers and like Collins Reyes is ready to go now. Even though there is not much expectation on this team the excitement was there yesterday in Queens.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Don’t tell Terry Collins its off season, the Man is ready.

The Mets had a couple of the players in the clubhouse today along with new Mets manager Terry Collins.  Collins seems to be chomping at the bit.  He already told Mike Pelfrey he is starting opening day.  Pelfrey fresh off his 3.9M signing even tweeted a little today and of course started a uproar by prediciting a Packers- Steelers Super bowl.   Farm boy!

Collins was also in rare form discussing with the Media that he already has in his the Mets potention lineup for the first 5 guys.  He sees it being Reyes,Pagan,Wright,Beltran and Bay.  Collins went on to say according to Adam Rubin  “In the case of David Wright, if there’s two outs and nobody on, he can make it 1-0 in the first inning. He can hit a double. He can hit a single and steal second. "

"Carlos is the kind of guy who, in that position, I think he’ll produce runs from both sides. I think he’ll protect you on both sides of the plate. "

"I talked to Jason Bay when I was with him earlier, in December. I told him that I think what he’ll do in the middle of that lineup is again just be himself. He’ll produce some runs because he’s going to have some guys on base ahead of him.”

Not sure how Collins is going to survive another month with no baseball. He seems he is ready to manage today in mid January. 

Mets busy beavers last 48 hours: Hairston coming to the Mets

It was like hot stove wrapped up in a day or 2. Kevin B is going to be besides himself on this weeks hot stove. He might not have time to talk about his new buddy David Wright with all the wheeling and dealing the Mets did in the last 48 hours. It is like a new team all of a sudden. Ok so its not but after the last couple of days it looks like the Mets are ready to hit Florida.

The Mets signed Chris Young pending a physical which should be done this week or is in the process of being done. They signed 1 of their arbitration guys with Pelfrey getting just under 4M. The Mets didnt seem to want to sign him longer than 1 year which could come down to bite them if he has a great year.

Also the Mets are working on a deal for right handed hitter Scott Hairston He hit 10 homers last year for the Padres and hit about .220. He will more then likely be the 4th or 5th outfielder for the Mets if he makes the team. Of course this doesnt spell well for Nick Evans who is out of options and either has to make the team out of spring training or pass through waivers.

Mets still dont have a 3rd baseman backup but that could fall on someone like Daniel Murphy or whoever else is a backup at 2nd base.

Mets still have to work on deals for Dickey and Pagan who are about 1.5M in offers between what they want and what the Mets want to give them. Dickey asked for a huge payday of 4.7M while the Mets countered with 3.3M. A bit over his 600K he made last year. Speedy Pagan wanted 4.2M and the Mets offered a little over 3M.

Source Adam Rubin

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Big Pelf Signs: One Down, Two To Go

As my esteemed colleague scribed earlier today, the Mets had (yes had) three potential arbitration cases: Mike Pelfrey, RA Dickey, and Angel Pagan.

The list has quickly dwindled. Adam Rubin is reporting that Mike Pelfrey has signed a one year deal with the Mets, avoiding arbitration. According to Rubin, the Mets will pay "Big Pelf" $3.925M for the 2011 season. There is a potential for another $50,000 in performance bonuses. Last year Pelfrey wasn't arbitration eligible, so he only earned $500,000 when the Mets exercised the team option.

Last season for the Mets Pelfrey was a respectable 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA and registered a career best 204 IP.

The Mets are set to exchange offers with the other two candidates, and will hopefully avoid arbitration. A hearing is set for sometime in February if an agreement can't be reached before then.

Pagan earned $1.45M and Dickey was paid $600,000 in 2010, with $150,000 in performance bonuses.

Both men are expected to earn considerably more money this season.

Source: Cot's Baseball Contracts

Mets still have 3 players that are arbitration eligible as deadline nears.

As teams sign players that are arbitration eligible today, the Mets have 3 players who have filed for arbitration . Today is the deadline for teams and players to submit there numbers.  The 3 include 2 pitchers, Mike Pelfrey ,R A Dickey and outfielder Angel Pagan. Some numbers below.

R A basically saved the staff with the amount of innings he pitched last year. the 174 innings he pitched was the most of his career has he went 11-9 and had a ERA under 3.00. He baffled everyone with his knuckleball and even pitched a 1 hitter.  He earned 600K as a base last year. 

Mike Pelfrey went 15-9 and had a ERA of 3.66. He did have a month during june and July where he had a dead arm and basically got no one out.  He needs to step up this year especially with Santana out.  Pelf previously signed a 4 year deal paying him 7M through 2010.

Angel Pagan had a bounce back year at the plate and on the bases where he seem to have his head on straight after a clueless 2009.  He hit .290 while more importantly he remained healthy all year.  He hit over .300 for most of the year until the 28 year old tired out at the end.  He earned 1.5M last year.

Mets await on physical for Chris Young

It sure looks like that Sandy Alderson got his man. The Mets have a deal for 31 year Chris Young on the table pending that old addage a physical. This of course might be a little bit more then routine for the pitcher who missed most of last season for a shoulder strain. He will join the Mets pitching Mash unit who added Chris Capuano last week.

Alderson had seem to target Young since he took over the team late last year. Of course he was under Alderson when he worked for the Padres along with other Mets executive Podesta.

Young has alot of potential for the Mets if he is healthy. Back in 2007 he had a ERA of just over 3.00 with a 8.7K per 9 innings and really low hit total of 6.1/9.

I think the Mets might be done adding to there staff which will have Pelfrey, Dickey, Niese, Capuano and Young if there able to perform . Of course Santana will be rehabing for close to half the 2011 campaign and the Mets have Dillion Gee and Boof Bonser as backups if needed.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Low 2: The Lost Art Of Celebrating

Before High Fives. Before excessive celebrations. Before Jose's choreographed celebratory handshakes and dances there was the ultimate congratulation of "The Low Two."

For those too young to remember or to have lived through the Mets hey-day of the mid and late 1980's, there was "The Low Two."

Bill Robinson, the late hitting coach and first base coach of the great Mets teams of the 1980's had a congratulation like no other. After a hitter singled or walked, instead of the congratulatory slap on the butt or back, Bill Robinson would hold his index finger and middle finger out together and the Met player would do the same; instead of "slapping five", they would "Low Two" - Robinson would hold his two fingers facing upward, and the Met player would hold his fingers facing down, and once the fingers slapped, the player and coach would reverse, and Robinson would slap a "Low Two" on the player.

This exchange would take place on the first base bag, and wasn't meant to draw attention, which was rare for those cocky Mets teams of the 80's.

In the era we are now in, there is more time spent on the "art" of celebrating than on the craft of the trade of the athlete. Granted, I am not bothered by Jose Reyes' antics, in fact I find them humorous, but too much is being said on sports shows about excessive celebrating - many fans who enjoy it.

It was great to watch Backman get a "Low Two" from Robinson after a key hit. No pulling the bag off the mooring, no jumping up and down, just the quiet "Low Two."

Baseball traditionalists, like myself, constantly bemoan the lost are of fundamental baseball. Whether it be a sacrifice bunt, taking the extra base, proper fielding techniques, etc. Another lost craft is the art of the "Low Two", a unique congratulation for a unique ball club.

Bill Robinson was the Mets hitting and first base coach from 1984-1989, and his personality was well matched for this dynamic club. Robinson passed away in July 2007 at the young age of 64. Cause of death is still unknown. He was a hitting instructor with the Dodgers minor league system at the time of his death. If in the future we see some young Dodger players looking for a "Low Two" after a key hit, we will then know that the art of the "Low Two" hasn't died;we will know that the proper congratulatory expression lives on.

So when watching play-off football with family and friends, try a "Low Two" after a key play instead of the wave or chest bump. You never know, it might be just the celebration you are looking for.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Willie Harris a Met?

Looks like the guy that would play his best against the Mets is coming to play for them.  According to Adam Rubin the Mets have offered Harris a contract that will be a minor league deal with a spring training invite.

This guy will make the team and give the Mets another outfielder will speed. The 32 year old has spent the last 3 years with the Nationals before playing with the Braves.

He is a career 239 hitter with 101 stolen bases. Last year his average dropped under .200 but he did hit 10 homers in 200 plus at bats.

I think this was someone the Mets should have signed all off season . Obviously the guy know how to play at Citi Field and will make a decent 4th or 5th outfielder.

Can you believe Spring Training tickets on sale in 1 day: First game Feb 26th

Tough to grasp with the amount of snow we have around here on long island but in a couple of weeks the Mets will report to Port St Lucie and start getting ready for the year that most people pick them to flop.

Tickets go on sale tommorrow for the grapefruit season at digital domain park and if you need tickets you can check out the link here

The Mets will have pitchers and catchers report on the 15th while the first full workout for Teryy Collins's crew is Feb 21st.  Mets play the Braves on Feb 26th for the first of 4 games against there rivals at DDP.

Collins better get some rest before the spring gets going because its going to be a tough spring to see if Castillo can play and when he cant who will play 2nd. Then of course the pitching. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mets still show interest in Chris Young : Maine draws interest from Phillies

The Mets are still trying to land another pitcher before the spring gets into swing next month. Sandy Alderson has said that he would hope to clear who it might be by the end of the week. As we know Alderson has been trying to sign Chris Young.

Buster Olney has tweeted that the Mets are looking to make a Chris Young a deal in the  range of  1M plus 3M in incetives. Young is close to a decision at this point. The Former Padre pitcher who has held out so far this off season.  This is I am sure to see what is the most he can get guaranteed.

Mets are trying to stockpile arms this off season especially since Santana will be on the shelf for close 50% of the season as per some report.

Also former Met John Maine is drawing interest from the Phillies. He of course will sign a deal and then shut us out.

Our man Gary Cohen on Hot Stove tonight

Besides the fact there are no baseball games for us fans to watch during this crazy snowy winter here in the northeast its not having the 3 guys bsing in our living rooms for 2-3 hours a nite.  If your like me you get used to hearing Cohen chat about his favorite time like a school boy and Mex somehow making Darling and Cohen laugh with his antics.  

Well its not the 3 of them but at least we get Gary Cohen tonight for 30 min when he joins Chris Carlin on SNY hot stove tonight at 730PM.  Time is 30 minutes later due to the Jets show running an hour tonight.

Cohen spends his off season with his family and broadcasting for alma matter Columbia in basketball.  Hopefully Cohen will gives us his take on what the NY A's have done so far and maybe give some insight on Elvis Alderson. Looking forward to a familiar face chatting up the Mets on cold night.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 12th: This Date In Mets History

Since the Northeast was hit with another relatively heavy snow, we figured we'd look back on this date in Mets history:

On this date in Mets History

1972: Mets signed back-up catcher and
pinch hitter Ron Hodges - drafted in second round.

  • Hodges was primarily a back-up catcher and pinch hitter who swung from the left side.
  • Played his most games in a season, 110, at age 34 in 1983.
  • Had his contract bought out by the Mets on October 31, 1984
1993: Former Mets SS Kelvin Elster is signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a Free Agent.

  • Drafted by the Mets in the second round of 1984 Amateur Draft.
  • After shoulder injuries, he was granted Free Agency on December 19, 1992
  • Released by LA May 17, 1993
  • Signed with Florida Marlins May 22, 1993 and was released on June 4th
  • Spent time with teams after Florida: San Diego, NY Yankess, KC Royals, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers (2X), Pirates, and returned to LA Dodgers before retiring in 2000.
2004: Former Mets 1B Tony Clark crosses the Triboro and signs as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
  • Clark was a stand-up likable character during his short time in Flushing.
  • Hit 16 HR's in 280 AB's in his sole season (2003) with the Mets.
2006: The San Diego Padres sign Mets utility OF Eric Valent as a Free Agent.

  • Valent played 130 games with the Mets in 2004, and put up some decent #'s: Hit 13 HR's in 270 AB's, hit .267, and knocked in 34 Runs
  • Was released by the Padres on May 14, 2006. Never played in pros again.
2009: Mets sign Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tim Redding as a Free Agent.
  • Redding had one miserable season with the Mets (2009) where he went 3-6 with a 5.10 ERA. He split his time (30 games) between starting (17) and games relieved (13). Redding didn't play after the 2009 season with the Mets.
  • Spent the 2000 season in the minors with both the Yankees and Rockies.
Sources: Ultimate Mets Database, Baseball Reference, RetroSheet

Mets sign lefty Tankersley to minor league deal

The Mets and Elvis picked up another bargain basement lefty late yesterday when they signed former Marlin  Taylor Tankersley to a minor league with a spring training invite.

 He will try to make the team as a lefty specialist . Tankersley who is 28, missed all of the 2009 major league season with an elbow injury.  He played briefly in 2010 but refused a minor league assignment . Over the course of 4 years with  the fish he amassed a ERA of about 4.50 and had 8.8 K/9 and a very high walk total  of 5.3 BB/9. 

I feel bad for Dan Warthen. I know most of the time players kind of thin themselves out but with the Mets amassing lame arms to see who will stick, Warthen has his job cut out for him.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sorry Sandy Alderson another cheapy pickup, Kris Benson has retired.

It cant be that far of a stretch?  I mean I can hear the phone call now.  Alderson getting all jazzed up by saying come on Kris  we will pay you 500K and if you make the team and gives 10 -15 starts before you breakdown again for the umpteenth time you will make 2M in incentives.

Yesterday former Met, who’s wife made more headlines then he did,  Kris Benson has retired as per Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports  .

The Mets looking for bargains this winter I am sure at least tapped the tires on this one. Benson made just three starts for Arizona in 2010 amassing 14 innings and a Era over 5.00 Of course that didn’t bother Alderson.  I mean the fact that he came back from Rotator cuff surgery probably is what put the light in Alderson’s head.

It is really a sad state of Met affairs when this team seems to enjoy dumpster diving. Looking forward to who might be next in the dumpster dive portion of the off season.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Twenty Minutes With Mets GM Sandy Alderson

Mets new General Manager, Sandy "Elvis" Alderson shared some of his insights and proceedings with us today, courtesy of ESPN New York's Adam Rubin.

Rubin asked many questions that fans have been asking since the fall, but as with the majority of questions being asked this off-season, the concrete answers are few.

Some of the highlights are:

Rubin: As far as needs for the remainder of this offseason, the Chris Capuano signing does not preclude you from adding another starting pitcher? And how likely is it that you add a starting pitcher of that caliber/contract or greater?

Alderson: “First of all, signing Capuano does not preclude us from signing another starting pitcher. I’d like to sign another starting pitcher -- probably the same type of deal that Capuano has ($1.5 million base, with roughly $3 million in performance incentives). I am hopeful of signing another starting pitcher.”

Metsfan73: In this market you couldn't get Todd Zeile to pitch for you (knuckle ball and all) for such a deal. If you truly believe this team needs more help and depth in the starting rotation, then the Mets are going to have to reach down a little deeper into their pockets.

Rubin: So you don’t believe the remainder of the deals for the offseason will be just minor league contracts? You believe you can get a pitcher of that caliber?

Alderson: “Well, a pitcher that we think can compete for a spot in the rotation, to whom we’re prepared to give a spot in the rotation, subject to that pitcher performing in spring training and early in the season. I think we’re looking to do something that would be more than just a minor league contract with a spring training invite.”

Metsfan73: Is it me, or does Alderson sound real unsure of his chances of acquiring anyone?

Rubin: There have been conflicting reports about whether there has been an offer made to Chris Young. With Young and Jeff Francis, is that semantics, in a way, because each side has an understanding of where the other wants to go, even if it’s not officially an offer? Or has there been anything formal?

Alderson: “Over the last several weeks, before and after the Capuano signing, we’ve had conversations with agents for other pitchers. I wouldn’t characterize where we are in most of those cases as beyond the discussion stage. Through this point, we’ve been having discussions with a variety of possibilities.”

Metsfan73: Pitchers and Catchers report in a month. When are you planning on having a little more than just "discussions?"

Regarding Jose Reyes in his walk year:

Rubin: With Jose Reyes, you had said you did not want to have any extension talks this offseason. Will there be a moratorium during the season? Is spring training the right window for that discussion? Or will there be no talks at all?

Alderson: “I don’t have a hard, firm policy about that. We’ll see what happens as we get into spring training and go from there and make a decision as to when and for how long to discuss that possibility, and whether or not to have some moratorium during the regular season. But at this point I personally don’t have a hard and fast policy about that.”

Rubin: Would you agree that the decision with Jose Reyes will be the first major decision of your tenure? I mean, Jose is the longest-tenured Met. He has meant a lot to the organization.

Alderson: “I don’t know. I consider every player acquisition to be a significant decision. Right now, we’re focused on the 2011 season. Each of these player acquisitions that we make is important. That’s where my attention is placed at the moment. Certainly what happens with Jose in the future will be the subject of conversation and important to the future of the franchise one way or the other.”

Metsfan73: How can't your attention be on the most important player on your team? Reyes, love him or hate him, is the catalyst for this team. I understand if you want to wait to make sure he is healthy, but to have no dialogue with him, and a possible moratorium during the season, will surely mark the beginning of the end of the Jose Reyes era in Flushing, and that would be a huge mistake. Not saying they should back up the Brinks truck, just that if they start off with discussions, Sandy has admitted in this interview he has discussions, that at least Reyes can get the vibe if the Mets are interested in him or not. If Elvis waits too long, Jose will bolt. Why wouldn't he? He would probably feel unwanted.
As for all decisions are important, get real. Capuano will not change the franchise the way Reyes has and will.

As for everyone's whipping boy, Oliver Perez:

Rubin: Has anyone gone to see Oliver Perez in person pitch in Mexico, whether you or Terry Collins or Dan Warthen?

Alderson: “Nobody has gone yet. That hasn’t materialized, and it may not at this point. Just with the shortage of time and other priorities. But it’s still possible.”

Metsfan73: Why hasn't anyone yet gone? This is the major contract that has hamstrung this organization for two years, and if you are looking to rehabilitate him into a viable option, or trade him, don't you think scouts and coaches should be watching his every move?

Rubin: Johan Santana’s timetable for picking up a baseball and tossing following shoulder surgery had been moved up to early January. Has that occurred yet? Is it imminent?

Alderson: “I think he’s supposed to be seen by doctors this week or next -- maybe this week -- to get a clearance to do that. So I would expect once he obtains that clearance he will go ahead and start throwing. I don’t think that has occurred yet.”

Rubin: You would imagine that would be near his home in Fort Myers, Fla.? And you’re not dispatching someone there to monitor it, correct?

Alderson: “Not in these early stages I wouldn’t expect that. No.”

Metsfan73: See my above answer to OP: How can you not have better information on the Ace of you staff? Not that they will watch Johan grip a ball for the first time, no, but to at least have someone from the organization more closely monitor his progress. As GM, he should also know exactly when Johan's appointment is with the doctors.

Check out the above link for the rest of the "conversation" between Rubin and Elvis. What also bothered me is that in the majority of Elvis' responses, he doesn't answer questions in the affirmative; he answered many with: "would like", "probably", "we think", etc.

I can't say I have been in awe of what has been done this off-season, but I will give Elvis a chance. He has a huge mess to clean up, but thus far I am not confident in the way he is going about it. I love that he will have a company philosophy from minors to pros that will be followed. I love that he wants to build up the minor league system, but he had no problem spending a fortune on Ricciardi and DiPodesta, but shy's away from spending money on players.

It will take time, and we do have to be patient. Hopefully Elvis knows something we don't. Until then, we will have to be patient.

Mets offer paltry 1 year deals as pitchers just go elsewhere.

The Mets have missed out on 2 decent relief pitchers over the last week. The Mets offered Randy Choate 1.4M and a boatload of incentives to have him sign with the Mets. So who signs him? The salary challenged Marlins who just last year was spanked for not spending $$ that they get through MLB and other teams. 

The 35 year old Choate signed a 2.5M deal to sign with the Marlins in 2011. The southpaw averaged 8.1 strike outs per 9 innings last year with the Rays. 

The Mets also watch the White Sox sign lefty relief specialist Wil Ohman to a 2 year deal worth 4M. He cant get righties out but held lefites to a batting average under .230 last year . The Mets need a lefty to fill the role against the Phillies lefty lineup.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Checking in with former Met Carlos Delgado

The Mets have a new first baseman in Ike Davis but its less then 2 years removed since the Mets had the homerun power of Carlos Delgado. 

Delgado is 38 now and has just gone through his 3rd hip surgery. He has not been in the Major leagues since 2009 when he was playing for the Mets. In May of that year he had a problem with his hip and it led too him having a doctor working on a tear to right hip labrum.

Delgado is 27 homers away from the 500 milestone which he has amassed during a 17 year playing career. He played with the Red Sox Pawtucket affiliate late last year but still felt sore with that hip so he went for a 3rd surgery. He still has the desire to play but has not picked up a bat yet since his last surgery this past September.

I still remember Delgado's 400 home run moon shot at Shea. 

To follow up on Delgado and his personal life check out the story over at the Toronto Sun

Friday, January 7, 2011

Former Met Brian Bannister Heading East...Far East

Former Met Brian Bannister, who refused an assignment to AAA Omaha (KC Royals), has decided to take his "talents" to Japan.

It is being reported that Bannister has signed a one year deal with the Tokyo Giants.

Bannister, who as a rookie beat out Aaron Heilman for the final slot in the Mets starting rotation in 2006, was traded to Kansas City that December for
Fire-Balling Sociopath relief pitcher Ambiorix Burgos. I wish Burgos' stat sheet was as successful as his criminal record.

At the time many fans thought Bannister was going to be a solid pro. I never subscribed to that. His professional career with the Mets was a very small sampling: 8 Games, 2-1 record, 4.26 ERA, 19K, 38 IP, 22 BB. He was lucky. Then, he pulled his hamstring while running the bases on
April 28, 2006.

With KC Bannister didn't pitch particularly well, and at one point was demoted to the minors. His stats as a Royal was an unimpressive 35-49, 5.13 ERA, 365 K, 629.1 IP, 202 BB.

With accepting a contract in Japan with the Giants, will this mark the end of Bannisters professional career. Odds are it will.

Sources: KC Star, Ultimate Mets Database, Baseball Reference,

The Latest from Sandy Alderson

With Sprining training only a short 6 weeks away it is almost time to dust off your spring Met gear and get ready for another season of Mets baseball. Of course this is the year that most us Met fans will have to suffer through since the Mets have tied Mr Alderson hands behind his back.

Remember when he was hired he said that if there was a deal to be made he would bring up to the Wilpons and fight for it. Of course little did he know that the 2 Wilpons are deaf and there is no way the Mets are spending any decent cash. Well that means we have to get excited with castoffs and who might rise from the garbage pile. Anyway this was Alderson's letter to fans today.

With spring training just six weeks away, I wanted to update you on our preparation for the 2011 season.

Yesterday, we wrapped up two days of meetings in Port St. Lucie where we went over organizational philosophy and how to implement it throughout the major and minor leagues. It was also the first opportunity for Terry Collins and his staff to sit down and discuss the mechanics of Spring Training and determine how they will emphasize fundamentals, mental and physical preparation and hard work. As Terry has said, the driving force will be playing the game the right way, which will lead to more wins.

Over the past two months, we have followed our plan of filling out our roster with reasonably priced players who have significant upside potential. As I have said before, our payroll - which will be among the highest in baseball - gives us limited flexibility, but we do have money to spend. We have acquired players who we think can thrive at Citi Field and complement our existing group of players.

As you likely know, earlier this week we signed pitchers Chris Capuano and Taylor Buchholz. Chris is a former All-Star and 18-game winner who last year came back from his second Tommy John surgery. We are confident he has the ability to re-establish himself as a dependable starter who can excel in our ballpark. Taylor has fully recovered from elbow surgery and has the potential to be a solid arm out of the bullpen.

Every year players come out of nowhere to become success stories. Look no further than R.A. Dickey. He signed a minor-league deal last January, became a fixture in the starting rotation in May, and finished the season with 11 victories and a 2.84 ERA. I believe some of our offseason acquisitions can be this year's version of R.A.

We are excited about 2011. We have a solid core group of players who we expect will make significant contributions to making the Mets a success. As we have said all along, we will put ourselves in the best position possible to succeed both in the short and long term.

There will be an exciting brand of baseball played at Citi Field this year that matches the passion and intensity that you have for the team.

Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to seeing you at the ballpark.

As per Alderson all we need is another R A Dickey clone. Of course what he signed is more like this years version of Kelvin Escobar.