The End

Ok folks,  I’m shutting this site down.  Deletion will occur in a few days.  I already had an unused WordPress account and now I have to reconfigure everything (like you all did probably).

I will be transferring my Blogs Followed list to my BLOGSPOT site; my true home.  And I will be visiting your sites from there.  I do everything from my Blogspot anyway and just copy stuff over to (formerly MLBlogs).  So, I am eliminating the redundancy.  Had they left the old system in place, I would have left things alone.  I still plan on following everyone’s blogs.  You’re all special people.  I’m just bad at managing two sites; that’s all.

I do not intend to build a WordPress blog mimicking the old MLBlogs.  I want to design something different.  But that will come in time.

So, from here-on moving forward, look for my http://theBrooklynTrolleyBlogger.blogspot.com/  signature.  You do not need to be a member to comment.

Mike.BTB

p.s.  I don’t know what I’m gonna do with this page now. I may keep it.  I’ll see.  Maybe I’ll just fix it.

Sandy Alderson’s Trinket and Bead

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

NEW YORK METS: After a Miotic Month, MAY Might Be Even Harder To Watch.

A/O ~ Sunday

If you watched over the last month and your pupils didn’t contract and/or you didn’t squint your eyes over the sight of the Mets’ Month-Long Malaise, it means you’ve pulled the plug on this season and all your hopes are already dead.  The last true test will be a slap on the snout and waiting for a response in Philadelphia tonight as they face Cliff Lee.  Keep a mirror by the nose just in case.

Another loss to Philadelphia mimicking those of the most recent variety, and the first month of evaluation will truly come to an end for the Mets.  Welcome to the part of the calendar when GM’s around the League have a better sense of what they need and what they have to do going forward.  Sometime by the end of this month, there will be multiple trigger-happy GM’s looking to draw conclusions about their seasons and act upon them.

Do you want to know why Sandy Alderson, so far, has never been short for answers in the face of such Mets’ organizational adversity?  Answer ~ Because he’s usually beating the Media to the punch.  He’s answering questions after he does something.  Omar used to fumble for answers while still formulating an ever-tardy plan after situations went awry and the Media baked him on it.

In a month in which the Mets had a six game winning streak against the lowly Astros, D-Backs, and Nationals, they still finished the month with an 11-16 record.  And it’s my guess Sandy Alderson will make many-a-writer hit delete on stories they’ve been preparing two or so weeks in advance because the Mets used to be that predictable.  So, instead of snooping around and looking for dirt in the club house, which has been many a writer’s want over the last few years, if for lack of a better story waiting to be written, scribes are now filling their time writing about Sandy doing this, Sandy cutting that, and what his next move will be.

Recognize the condition and know the cause.  Sandy has been faced with the toughest questions I’ve listened a GM have to answer.  And yet he gives the Media nothing until after he writes the story first.  April was all about research and fact checking.  Now, listen for his cracking knuckles, because Sandy is about to starting penning a new story in METropolis.  And he has the Media right where he wants them, which is not running wild. 

He has them sitting obediently waiting for their next bone. 
They know they have a new Pack Leader now.

Minus Johan Santana, Sandy Alderson has seen everything he’s needed to see out of his 1A team.  If you didn’t think he came aboard the S.S. Wilpon to steer his own ship, you are mistaken.  His first month of being an in-season GM reaffirmed what he probably already felt coming in.  And now it’s just a matter of time before he starts issuing floatation vests.  You thought the waters off Flushing Bay got choppy before?  Sandy Alderson is going to pilot this thing right into a storm that will make us all puke!  He’s just sitting back and waiting for the phone to start ringing before he sets sail.  And it will ring; like the phone at Chicken Ridiculous on a Friday night after work.

Reyes and Wright WILL get tossed-out in the regurgitation or be put in the frying pan; your choice.  And Sandy won’t have to do a thing.  So for everyone who thinks we are going to get ripped off, think of it this way; teams will raise their offering price as more teams want them.  Sandy is not desperate.  Omar was.  Sandy is in a position to NOT make a deal. 

Other GM’s may not have the luxury of patience and newly invested job security as Sandy Alderson now enjoys.

Embrace the idea of trading Jose Reyes and David Wright.  With them, the Mets continue to be a Baseball metaphor for bumper cars in a dark-lit China Shop.  It’s something I think Sandy Alderson recognizes and will eradicate. 

Sandy Alderson went to Harvard.  And one of the first things they teach you at the Harvard School of Business, is - There’s A Sucker Born Every Day.  As part of a class lecture on Trade, folklore has it, a popular teacher’s aid is a depiction of the scene when then Canadian Representative Omar Minaya signed a treaty with Cleveland Indians, sending Lee Stevens; Brandon Phillips; Grady Sizemore; and tonight’s starting pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies against the New York Mets, CLIFF LEE…, away in return for Bartolo Colon; which effectively, along with the 1994 Strike, ended National League Baseball in Montreal.

See?

They also teach you to Sell High; and Buy Low.

 
 
 
 
 
 
A/O Tuesday, May 4th
 
 From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR.MET
NEW YORK METS:  The Big Club Is Turning The Buffalo Bisons Into An Endangered Species.
 
But when it comes to current and former Brooklyn Cyclones, Back Off!
 
 
In an unfortunate development for both the Mets and Buffalo, pitcher; Henrry Mejia is going under the knife due to a busted elbow.
 
Sandy Alderson is on record as saying he doesn’t think the Mets have any high-quality skill at AAA (nor at AA-level for that matter).  I believe he used the word “Mediocre” to describe the state of affairs.  And if you remember, Buffalo was upset at Omar Minaya because they felt the Mets lacked enough quality prospects that could draw fans out to Bison’s games and therefore wanted to escape their contract with the Club.  With Mejia headed for surgery, Sandy Alderson’s observations about Buffalo just received some validation.  The Mets officially no longer have a pitcher they can retrieve from Buffalo to step in and provide effective innings.  And now the Bisons will be without one of the few players who was capable of filling
seats in Buffalo.
 
As for either team, SP-Chris Schwinden is still an unproven neophyte.  He’s off to a pretty good start.  But after him, the cupboard is dry.  Pat Misch anybody? 
Buffalo says we can keep him.
 
If what we have here are two independent assessments of the Mets’ high-level prospects arriving at the same conclusion… - Then there’s something to that folks.  Hmm?  So, I’ll say Buffalo and Sandy were right.  The Buffalo Bisons are abysmally staffed.  Just look at their roster.
 
Mejia was supposed to join Dillon Gee on the big club at some point this season.  But the Mets hoped that would happen later rather than sooner in the season.  Circumstances, namely Chris Young, caused the Mets to call-up Dillon Gee from Buffalo and now for Henrry, it’s see you next year.
 
I’m already on record as saying I do not agree with Dillon Gee pitching out of the bullpen.  For that I’d rather have him pitch in Buffalo.  And so would the Bisons!  But my point is, Dillon Gee pitched his way onto the big-club based upon his merits as a starting pitcher.  So, Let him start!…Or, send him down.
 
I know this goes against my pragmatism and better grasp of Baseball, but sometimes it actually rubbed me the wrong way when Sandy criticised the system.  But then that would be because of the bias I have towards former Brooklyn Cyclones.  So it’s better that he’s calling the shots instead of me.  Because, I’ll admit to you now, former Surf Avenue Sluggers are my kryptonite.
 
Dylan Owen is one of those former Brooklyn Cyclones now pitching for Buffalo.  I had high hopes for this kid.  But he’s been somewhat slow progressing through the farm.  His start to this season  is additionally leaving something to be desired.
 
Off the mound and on the field, Justin Turner has been taken from Buffalo where he was batting an even .300 after 40 at-bats.  And while Lucas Duda has been first choice this season with regards to outfield call-ups and also being a former Brooklyn Cyclone favorite of mine, another former Cyclone outfielder; Kirk Nieuwenhuis has quietly been enjoying a good start to his season.  After him, it’s really slim pickings.
 
On more than one occasion I over estimated a player or two because I see many of these players come through Brooklyn first.  And the Cyclones are a totally different frame of mind for me.  So when it comes time for these players to make a leap to the big club, there’s some pre-existing sentimentality there.  Outside of that, the Mets’ situation is dire.
 
J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta can only do so much in the up-coming amateur draft.  And the picks they make will be years away from answering any questions about them.  What I have learned over the last ten years attending Cyclones Baseball is that the N.Y.P.L. is not a clear indicator of the organization’s over-all developmental health because after all, the Cyclones play A-Level Short Season which starts on the heals of the draft.
 
In the mean time, Buffalo is in shambles, and may very well ask to get out of their contract with the Mets again if things don’t turn around soon.  That’s just an opinion.  Buffalo has a business to run also and has expressed the sentiment before. 
 
And for reasons still unknown to mankind (can you say Slotting System – because this is when spending a little extra cash on prospects starts to pay off), Double-A Binghampton remains to be a dead-end for many Mets’ low-level prospects.  Over the last two and three years, there have been marked changes in Binghampton.  But there is nothing Ricciardi or DePodesta can do over the next three months that will restock the high level minor league system. 
 
But the Trade Deadline can!
 
This was just another way of me saying, “Let Go!”
 
 
 
 
Mike.BTB

N.Y. YANKEES ~ ChiSox; Jeter; and Hughes….Oh No!

 

From the desk of:  BLAME CARLOS MAY

new york YANKEES:  Getting Dusted With White Sox.
Chalk one up for the Front Office.  On tap, more woe courtesy of the relief pitcher Brian Cashman didn’t want.  Rafael Soriano coughed up another game for the Bombers.  But he’s looking really bad doing it; if not despondent.  But they say that’s just him.  Ok then,   ….Uh Oh!

I guess pitching out of roll for relievers fails to trigger something in their brains that doesn’t spark the appropriate chemical releases.  It seems former closers acquired to be Eighth Inning Men for another teams can’t, or don’t usually make the conversion…. Or shall we call it, the demotion?  While on the one-hand a team looks at such an acquisition as enhancing their bullpen,  the acquired pitcher sees it as a personal demotion from his former Alpha-Bullpen role.  It is what it is.  Just remember, Cashman didn’t want him.

Paul Kornerko’s blast was the latest reason for Soriano’s melancholy.  Blowing a save and getting the loss….again, can do that.  But a right fielder named Brent Lillibrand was the reason the White Sox won last night.  Outside of two Bomber home runs by Gardner and Cano, Brent ended the Yankees best chances of winning by making two game saving catches.  The first was a catch while crashing into the wall off a deep fly to right by ARod, then two, making a diving catch off Robbie Cano’s low sinking liner to end the game.

But, why did the Yankees lose?  Because they haven’t been able to hit ChiSox pitching over the first two games of this four game series.  They Yanks were outdone by former Mets’ farmhand Philip Humber, who no-hit the Bombers over the first six innings in game one of the series.  The Yankees managed four hits before losing 3-2 Monday night.  Then Tuesday night, The Bombers were held to the same numbers.  Two runs scored off four hits (two solo home runs) is all they managed off Gavin Floyd over eight innings.

Game three is Wednesday night.  Mark Buehrle faces off against Bartolo Colon.  For the moment, Bartolo Colon seems like the more effective of the two (remarkable), as Mark Buehrle is off to another sluggish start.

DEREK JETER:
I’ll keep this brief because I’ve said it many times before.

Right now, Derek Jeter’s 2011 batting average is at .259 and climbing.  He started the season with a lifetime batting average of .314, and twenty games into the Bombers 2011 season, he caused it to slip to .313 due to a rough start.  That may not seem like such a disaster, but when you think about him being signed for three more years, he may stick around too long and ruin his lifetime .300 average just like the legendary Mickey Mantle did.

What I’m about to say isn’t Anit-Yankee of me.  I’m trying to protect him.  He is fifty-three hits away from the magical three-thousand plateau.  I say when he achieves that milestone, he should retire post-haste!  I mean that.  Unless he demonstrates he’s capable of sustaining a .300 average for another 2 1/2 years…over the next three months, which I don’t think he can, he should take his 3,000 hits and his lifetime .300 batting average and retire; get married; ride off into the sunset; and start a family while his greatness is at it’s most legendary.

It is my sincere hope that he surprises everyone, and mostly the Yankees, by taking this step towards protecting what would be an attractive combination of  career numbers.  And he’s actually that self-aware and cunning enough to do it while not let anyone in on the secret.  Do not forget the bitterness Derek Jeter expressed towards some of the negotiating tactics Cashman and the Yankees employed.  Maybe he was just playing hardball with the Yankees based on principle and though maybe he deserved the respect of an overly-representative offer.

Why else should he pull off such a startling move?  Because over most of his career, through the days of Tejada, ARod and Garciapara, Ripken,  etc….; and all the years of knocking Jeter’s defense,  -  Derek Jeter has always had his naysayers.  And they’ll never go away.  If Jeter ruins his .300 lifetime average, those same naysayers (writers and fans alike) will be emboldened to diminish what Jeter has accomplished even more.  If Derek can retire with over 3,000 hits and still end his career with a batting average above .300, that would be BLING for LIFE and make him, a without-a-doubt untouchable in the barber shop debates across America!

Think about it.

However, This IS…Yankee Bashing:
Again, this is something I’ve said many times before.  But things continually happen that reinforce my notion. 

What happened this time?  PHIL HUGHES.  But it’s more than just about him.  This is about Joba, and if you can remember…Ian Kennedy also.

The Yankees acted like spoiled brats when they opened up all their gift prospects too early.  When it came time to open presents, all the Yankees had left were broken toys.  They should have left the three much-hyped pitchers below in the minors from the start.  Joba was promoted after only 88 minor league innings pitched.

That’s Folly! 

No…, Brian Cashman’s whole plan for pitcher development has been complete folly!  All three pitchers?  All three injured?  All three rendered ineffective?  If I were those three, I’d hire a lawyer and sue Brian Cashaman for Wreckage of Career!  (I’m KIDDING!..of course.)

The truth remains, the new York Yankees don’t know how to groom pitchers, and  they never have in the last 36 years.  They’d rather pay the premium for another team’s pitcher.  That’s just the way it’s been.  After Ron Guidry, Dave Righetti, and Andy Pettitte (I’ll be kind and throw in Wang, Doug Drabek, and Jose Rijo), name the home grown starter who has done anything credible in Pinstripes worthy of our mentioning?   I’ll wait.

: /

Stumped, aren’t you?

Right.

Like I was saying, three young, hurt pitchers is not a coincidence.  It’s a pattern….of destruction.

First Game Of the Year:
Tuesday night was my first baseball game of the season.  But it wasn’t my first opportunity.  Regardless, there I was, back at the Old Ball Game.  There is something very right about that, even if it was a Yankee game.  But then again, any game in any park is fine with me.  Now with the Rangers and Knicks out of the Playoffs, this was my Opening Day.  Let the Games begin!

YANKEE STADIUM

Mike.BTB

TIME BANDITS

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

New York Mets:  Mr. Mets’ DeLOREAN is Spinning it’s Tires In The Flushing Mud.

Welcome to Day 797 of the 2009 Baseball season. 

So when exactly do we get to move on and enter this new decade?  When do we finally get to Pass Go and collect our $200 dollars?  Oh…That’s right; Bernie Madoff’s dog ate it. 

Of course I know the answers to my own questions.  So, in the mean time, can someone just kick me instead?  After all, we have become the Fan Base with the “Kick Me” sign on our backs.  Haven’t we?  So please, tap into your inner-Nike and just do it; Kick Me…and make all this ridicule worth the aggravation.   That’s right!…That’s us! – The Fans with the sign.  Do I speak truth or am I just angry?

Today Ladies and Gentlemen, I am just plain and simply…TIRED!  I have to open up the release valve because somewhere down the line I’ll bust if I don’t.  I’ve been trying to bury myself in Hockey and trying to pay the Mets as little mind as possible before the season kicks off, for the sake of not being repetitive or sounding like a malcontent.  I’ll have six months for that so there’s no need to rush The Spew.  But being in your forties and learning to compartmentalize doesn’t necessarily insure you for 365 days a year.  The Mets have given me no choice but to pick and chose my battles because it seems they present the same dilemma everyday.   General talk regarding the Mets will invariably sound awfully similar to all the garbage we’ve been heaping on them for over two years now.

But Mike…what about the good? – The Thole’s and the Ike’s and Parnell’s?  Yea;  I know.  But that’s not what’s coming out of my radio or being printed in my paper.  So, what you’re getting from me today is a rant because I’m sick and tired of hearing about Carlos Beltran’s “good” knee – or is it his “bad” knee?  I’m fatigued with Luis Castillo’s mock battle for the second-base job.  Oliver Perez has me completely lethargic with apathy.  And the more we learn about the Wilpons’ legal mess and their money woes, the more the whole “Hey Brother, can you spare a few Million?” – just makes me want to throw up huge chunks of Blue and Orange ambivalence.

When does the circus show stop and Sandy Alderson finally makes the clean-up type moves the new GM of the Mets was hired to handle?  After today’s outing, what can the possible justification for retaining Oliver Perez beyond tomorrow be?  What of Luis Castillo?  One of these gentlemen have to go.  I’m not asking for both.  But certainly one has to go…..and soon.  I need more done to tell me we are moving away from the year 2009.  This isn’t a woe is us thing.  This isn’t a “My team sucks” deal either.  I’m just tired of being locked-in to the year 2009.  Seven hundred and ninety-seven days after the calendar marked January 1st, 2009, here we are juggling the same flaming torch, razor-sharp axe, and lit stick of dynamite like a blindfolded clown with no one watching.

The season hasn’t started and I’m already fed-up with all the derisiveness coming out of my radio when the Mets are topic one.  But I just forgot to recharge the Anti-Met Rhetoric Shield last night and now today I’m cranky and paying the price for it.  I don’t mind when “We” do it.  Quite the opposite; I find find the Met Bloggers very entertaining and engaging.  But sometimes the Media really rubs me the wrong way.  Today is just one of those days.

Wasn’t it Einstein who said Insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result?  Or was that Joan Rivers?  …Or something like that?  They had equally bad hair and pale complexions.  Regardless, STOP The Insanity!  If you know me, I like dabbling in sarcasm like the rest, but I try hard to stay away from mindless anger.  And that’s why a little release today will serve my Mets’ Loyalty better later.

Like Time Bandits, the Mets have stolen years from us.  Wake me when the Mets arrive in 2011 or when Wilpon the Clown stops juggling our team in front of anyone with pocket change.

Pfffff!!

Mike.BTB

 

The Ghosts of 2006

From the Desk of  ~ Head-Butting Mr. MET:

After dominating the National League East all season, on September 18, 2006 – the New York Mets clinched their first Division Title in 18 years with a win over the Florida Marlins.  We are now entering the fifth year since that fateful season and we’re still trying to capture another flag.  It’s been a tumultuous four seasons since that night in 2006 and we are still suffering through the ramifications of the former GM’s attempts at trying to get back to that night.

Omar Minaya was given Jose Reyes and David Wright to him by the last regime.  After signing Carlos Beltran to play center field, every Met position has since been a compendium of ever changing names.  The ensuing years since 2006 turned out to be ruinous for many players; two managers; a GM; and the Owers, who are taking the biggest hit of all since that night the Mets last celebrated on that night back in Sept. 2006.

Here’s to our last flag of any kind, five years later:

The New York Mets Line-up ~ September 18, 2006  vs. Florida Marlins,  Shea Stadium:

1) – Jose Reyes – SS
We sang Jo-se, Jo-se, Jo-se down the ramps and out of Shea Stadium that one NLCS game.  More than the game itself, that was fun!…And something I won’t ever forget as a Met fan.

The longest tenured Met is arguably one of the most exciting players in Baseball (when he wants to be and when healthy).  Today he is the personification of Heads I Win; Tails You Lose.  2011 is what you would call a rubber season for him.  He followed 2006 with Reyes-like seasons in 2007 and 2008.  The same can not be said of the two seasons that followed afterwards.  He’s been through some real and strange injuries these last two years.  This season nothing is written in stone regarding Jose Reyes.  As of right now, there is no clear indication the Mets will sign him to a long term deal; or a short term deal for that matter.  There is a real possibility this may be his last year in a Mets uniform.  The same I think and hope, can be said of his retention.  He will be 28 years old this season and even amongst Met Fans, there remains a divide whether he has “grown up” or not.  Wilpon and Madoff aside…Will Sandy Alderson actually have the audacity to trade or let walk away, one of the most poular Mets in our history…and end Jose Reyes’ time in Flushing?

2) – Paul LoDuca – C
Here-in lies just one of the biggest reasons the Mets could never get as far as they did in 2006 again there-after.  Omar Minaya never could replace the production Paul LoDuca gave the Mets in 2006 batting behind Jose Reyes.  LoDuca himself could not duplicate his previous season in 2007 either.  But in 2006 he combined with Reyes in many games to stake the Mets to early leads.  His .318 batting average; 39 doubles; with only 38 strikeouts in over 500+ at-bats in the second spot of the line-up formed an incredible one-two punch leading off games when teamed with Reyes.  I’m not saying I was particularly a fan of his, but he provided a great number two guy in 2006 that this team has struggled to recreate since.  Additionally the position of Catcher remained unsettled through today.  Josh Thole has emerged on the scene and already has become one of my most favorite Mets ever; right up there with John Stearns as catchers go.  Thole will not disappoint.

3) – Carlos Beltran – CF
This has been an uneasy, contentious Love Affair.  Both he and the team will go their separate ways some time in 2011 and neither will look back.  Both parties are thankful and respectful for the years together.  But neither of them will be missing much of each other as well.  As far as free agents go, Carlos Beltran was money well spent.  He had his career years here so the money was earned, injuries aside.  We gave him a hard time and he held it against us.  That’s fair.  That’s why everyone is going to walk away from this with a polite handshake and not too many words spoken. 

It’s hard getting the vision of that curve ball everyone knew was coming (except Carlos) out of our minds.  He doesn’t necessarily have to go, but he can’t stay here; that’s for sure..  It’s a sad ending to a sad time.

4) – Carlos Delgado – 1B
This is the one that I feel most badly about.  Jose Reyes made our line-up dangerous from the top.  But, Carlos Delgado was the Big V-8 engine that made this machine lethal.  He never wanted to come here in the first place, otherwise he would have signed here and not with the Marlins.  But Omar Minaya traded to bring him here anyway.  In some unassociated thoughts about Carlos, I don’t accept the irresponsible claim Michael Kay makes when he flat out accuses Carlos Delgado of intentionally dogging it in order to get Willie Randolph fired.  The game when he hit 2 home runs in the NLCS and we still lost haunts me more than Aaron Heilman and Game 7 does.  I honestly wanted Carlos Delgado to cap off a HOF type career with the Mets.  He started the 2009 season with 468 home runs and 111 RBI away from 1600.  Then that damn hip of his ruined things.  And I hoped 2010 would be different for him, whether with the Mets or elsewhere.  I still hope he can latch on with somebody.  After putting up a few numbers in 2009, today he is 27 HR’s away from 500 and 82 RBI away from 1600.  It would have been nice if he could have done that as a Met.

5) – David Wright – 3B
He’s the second longest tenured Met after Jose Reyes.  If he sticks around in a Met uniform long enough he’ll own most of the Club’s offensive records.  The Media criticized him and Reyes for perhaps partying too much upon winning the Division Flag that night on September 18, 2006.  But they also dubbed him the team’s unanointed Captain since that night.  To that, I say, “whatever” – Captains don’t mean much to me.  There’s no denying the spaciousness of Citi Field haunted David’s bat when it first opened.  All the unforeseen injuries of 2009-10, depleting the Mets’ line-up left David Wright exposed to being very easily pitched around.  His at-bats suffered and his strikeouts skyrocketed as he just tried to hit something; anything..that came within 6 feet of his bat.  If there’s one thing I would be looking at for an indication of David’s ongoing maturation this season, it would be his strikeout totals and how he ultimately adjusts to Citi Field.  Last year was his first full season not finishing with a .300 batting average as he tallied his highest strikeout total of his career.  This year’s line-up should be a little more stable than last year’s.

6) – Cliff Floyd – LF
He squeezed the last put-out of the game on the night the Mets clinched the division flag in 2006.  Like the majority of his career, Cliff was beset by injuries.  His time with the Mets was no different.  His 2005 season was very solid but in 2006 he only played in 97 games.  Injured or not, he was always a crowd favorite.  He retired shortly after his 4 years with the Mets.  He’ll always sneak into Met History because he did make that last catch to clinch the Mets’ last flag of any kind.  But when he caught that ball, he turned around and showed it to the fans in the bleachers as if to celebrate the victory with his little corner of left-field pals.  That was a great touch by Cliff.  I was sitting in MEZZ  Box that night in the left field corner.  From my vantage, it was a pretty sight.

7) – Shawn Green – RF


 
He was hardly the player he was in Toronto and Los Angeles.  No one was mistaken about that when we picked him up at the 2006 deadline. 

But here’s my Shawn Green Story; the short version.  I was loitering around the first base side before the game taking pictures, when some of the players came out to sign autographs.  I was already supremely positioned where I was, so I stuck around and tried to get one.  Shawn was closer to me than Jose Reyes was.  I stood there with my program out and ready, but down.  He knew it.  He saw me.  But I never muscled a kid for a chance.  I just waited to see if he’d offer.  I only ask once and I hadn’t yet.  He finished signing and started to walk away.  After about three steps I asked, “Shawn, Do you have time for one more please?”  He stopped, turned and looked.  It was one of those “long” seconds in life, and he replied with a, “Yea, sure…You bet.”   Thanks Shawn.

 
8) – Jose Valentin – 2B
He represents the second wild-card in the Mets’ hand during 2006.  Just like LoDuca did in the second slot, Jose Valentin supplied the Mets’ line-up with incredible production from the (7th and..) 8th spot in the line-up.  As one of Omar Minaya’s basement bargain signings, he batted .271, hit 18 home runs and had 62 RBI in 137 games playing second base for the Mets.  He hit two home runs supplying the Mets with all the offense they needed that night the Mets clinched the Eastern Division against the Marlins. 

Jose Valentin and Paul LoDuca were tremendous complimentary bat’s in a line-up featuring Reyes, Wright, Beltran and Delgado.  But after 2006, like catcher, left field, and right field, second base remained a position never satisfactorily resolved by Omar Minaya in the years that followed.  These four positions remained patch-worked together by Omar Minaya during his entire tenure which is partly the reason he is no longer GM.

9) – Steve Trachsel – SP
He got the win the night the Mets’ clinched their first Division Flag in 18 years.  He pitched a hell of a game that night and left the game to a standing ovation.

Something went very wrong and astonishingly right for the Mets as they headed towards that fateful NLCS against the Cardinals after clinching the division.  Omar Minaya’s reliance on guys like El Duque, Pedro, and Tom Glavine let him down.  But in 2006 John Maine and Oliver Perez emerged to become big-time pitchers when we needed it most.  But after 2006, they also went on to let Omar’s hope of a winner meekly pass us by.  Then they just became flat out head-cases.

Billy Wagner – RP
Billy Wagner got the save that night of Sept. 2006 and was met by Paul LoDuca….then by the rest of the team.  All the Mets celebrated their Division Title just behind the mound at Shea.

Wagner got out of hand just like everybody else did after 2006.  It’s just that he had a bigger mouth than most.  But hey, after Armando Benitez, who are we to complain?  Oh yea, Omar replaced him with Francisco Rodriguez.
*Sigh*

That team really was a one year wonder because it had too many things wrong with it in order to sustain, although they did come very close with regards to 2007-08.  But they also evolved into a very cancerous clubhouse.  Latino Gate started things towards the incredulous in 2007.  Things just devolved from there in every respect from ownership on down.  Today in 2011, we still haven’t recovered.

And here we are five years in the aftermath of what was still a thrilling season despite being ruinous to the organization and over-all psyche of METropolis.  The last vestiges of that team are finally either being purged or re-evaluated.  When all is said and done and Sandy Alderson has his way, David Wright may very well be the only one left from the last group of Mets to raise a flag of any kind. 

That also includes the team’s owner.

 
 
 
 
 

Shoeless JOE JACKSON
PETE ROSE
KENT TEKULVE
 
They’ve all been elected in our
HALL OF VERY VERY GOOD

 
 
 
 
 
HERE
 
 
 
 
 
Mike.BTB
 

The Hall Of Very Very Good Is Now Open ~ 2011

WELCOME BACK!

 

ESTEEMED DIRECTORS (that’s you)

of the HALL OF VERY VERY GOOD,

This Season of HOVVG is now officially in Session.

 

**   **   **   **   **   **   **  **  **  **  **  **  **  **  **  **

FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS:

Hall of Very Very Good

Constitution States:

* Any Member of the Hall of Very Very Good, who subsequently gets elected into

BASEBALL’s HALL of FAME must be EVICTED from our HOVVG.

 

Re-familiarize yourself with the HOVVG Constitution:

Bert Blyleven; 

originally voted into our HOVVG with a 92% approval rating.

He was elected to our HOVVG in our inaugural WEEK ONE Vote;

Submitted by LEE @ http://blee132325.mlblogs.com/

“My Friends Are Mostly Cardinal Fans”

 

Congratulations!

To the newest Member of Baseball’s

HALL OF FAME.

BERT BLYLEVEN;

You are hereby EVICTED from our HOVVG. 

You’re just too good for us. 

Now Beat It Before We Have You Arrested For Trespassing.

**  **  **  **  **  **  **  **  **  **

 

SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS:

Last season Cliff @ http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com/

petitioned to have the HOVVG Constitutional Ban against Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose put to a vote for the purposes of lifting the ban against them.  The motion won approval through a vote of the fans.  The time to reward them with our approval, or deny them entry into our Halls is now.  We’ll pick up where we left off and begin 2011 with….

HOVVG ~ WEEK 8 ~ BALLOT

 

From the desk of:  CLIFF

@

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com/

“RAYS RENEGADE”

**His candidates for election into the HOVVG are;

The two gentlemen;

SHOELESS JOE JACKSON and PETE ROSE

 

We know all about these players, from their greatness to their ultimate downfalls.

Do they belong in our

HALL OF VERY VERY GOOD?

VOTE!

 

**NOTE ~ HOVVG Constitution states:  One candidate per person per week.

This vote concludes the Jackson/Rose Amendment of HOVVG Constitution.

 

 **  ***   **   ***   **   ***   **

 From the desk of: RANDY

@

“HEIRLOOM”

 His candidate for election into the HOVVG is:

KENT TEKULVE

 

 He Makes His Case:

Hey Mike,

Have I got a Week 8 submission for you: Kent Tekulve. Here it goes…

Who says sidearm pitchers are weak, worthless and absolutely nuts? Who says a baseball player has to look like Jim Palmer? Tek was the opposite of everything – yet he was one of the most effective relievers of his time. Started with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1974, Tekulve remained the mainstay closer through the late 1970s into the 1979 World Series. After 12 seasons in Pittsburgh, Tek crossed the Turnpike to Philly, ending his career in Cincinnati. The numbers are not bad: 184 career saves, 2.85 ERA and a 94-90 overall record. So? It’s not the numbers that make Tekulve stand out – it was the way his sidearm made the best hitters think twice about connecting off of it. It was that nasty! It still is.

Randy Stern

Robbinsdale, MN

http://www.randystern.net/

 

That’s his man; That’s his case.

VOTE!

**   **   **   **   **   **   **   **

This concludes last season’s unfinished business.

Send in your E-Mails to:

TripleToRight@Yahoo.com

..with the candidates you want considered for election into OUR

Hall of Very Very Good.  Send a pic and state your case.  Then we’ll take it to a vote.

A Ballot is Active for seven days.  But the ballot box is never closed until I close it.

We usually go from Sunday to Sunday.

You can check out the last Seven Weeks of voting

HERE

 

 

 

Mike.BTB

http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

http://thebrooklytrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/

 

My Team Owners; The WILPONS ~ PART TWO

FROM THE DESK OF ~ HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

Read PART ONE Here; The Case To Sell The Team

NEW YORK METS:  Fred Wilpon; Sink or Swim?

PART TWO

A Case for Fred Wilpon to Keep the Team Under His Control:

Building a case from a Fan’s perspective on whether Fred Wilpon should fight to retain Sole or Controlling Interest in the New York Mets is no doubt based more on sentimentality than actual results and success achieved over the last 30 years because there is only the one Championship to speak-of.  But it is a Championship none-the-less and we are grateful for it…right? 

Let’s try and be fair with Fred and skim over the whole body of work.

We did manage to extend the seasons of 1986 and 1988; 1999 and 2000; and most recently 2006.  That averages out to a playoff appearance every six years.  It is fair for Met Fans to expect more than that for 30 years worth of work; Sure.  But the pattern of playoff appearances does identify three distinct periods where the Mets managed to recreate themselves into a contender.  Met Fans most of all, should know once you’re in the playoffs, anything can happen whether you’re Tommy Agee, Lenny Dykstra, Jay Payton or Carlos Beltran.  That goes for winning as well as for losing.

But the big question is ~ Have the responsibilities of Ownership been met?

The 1990 season represented the end of the 80′s and the end of an Era for us.  Moving forward, Ownership opened up the wallet and allowed the GM to spend quite freely.  We know 1991-1993 turned out to be unmitigated disasters in every respect as Al Harazin took the check-book and purchased a genuine MESS.  So, Ownership then agreed on a very prudent decision to bring back Joe McIlvaine as GM and rebuild the organization from within again.  All (most) Met Fans were in accordance with this plan (leave some..I guess).  Generation-K and the “Burnitz” Boppers Project failed just like the previous spending spree did.  But this process was worth pursuing none-the-less.  We all knew it then.  It was a needed course of action and we still know it now in hindsight.  And besides, one of my all-time favorites comes from this era; Todd Hundley.  But I digress.

To this point, the Ownership still proved to be flexible, capable, and acted with a level of pro-activeness.  The organization was still vibrant.  But the times changed.  So Ownership moved on to a new plan with Steve Phillips.  They remained ever agreeable dollar wise, signing off on some big trades trades and then free agents like Robin Ventura while incurring huge increases in payroll.  They were Owners of a contender again and still in possession of a fertile Farm System that would yield Wright, Reyes and Kazmir in the future.

I’m trying to set this up fairly for Mr. Wilpon, so let’s see if we can agree that before his Sole Ownership, while Mr. Wilpon was still a partner, he and Mr. Doubleday somehow managed to keep warm blood running through the arteries and veins of METropolis all while sometimes having to make tough decisions in the process.

*There was The Early Years ~ the lead-in; the farming.
*The Glory Years ~ ’84-’90
*Years of Transition; For three years they ALL lost their way.
*The Second Rebuilding ~ Was a necessary and prudent plan.
*The Return to Contention Years ~ The Piazza Era; We got close.
*The Ensuing Down Period and the End of the Doubleday Era and his partnership with the Wilpons.

That’s 22 years and there’s nothing about that body of work that should cause Met Fans to go hunting down Ownership with pitchforks and torches; not when there are so many more worse-run organizations than ours.  I know that means little to most of us, but every organization makes it’s share of mistakes and the Mets made theirs along the way too.  A New Ownership will no doubt make theirs also.  But the time between Davey Johnson, the attempt to rebuild, and then Bobby Valentine, is a fair amount of time for an organization to regroup and re-emerge with a new cast, while allowing for a few disappointments along the way.  Our Ownership, as it still pertains to the Partnership, more than anything always relied on the strength of their General Managers. But both partners, although much more in favor of stability, have never been shy about making a change when change was warranted.

On the other side of the year 2000, we know how fast it all fell apart. So let’s just fast forward to 2003 when Steve Phillips, Bobby Valentine, and Nelson Doubleday are all finally out of the picture and it’s just Us and the Wilpons with a last place club.  Isn’t the sole ownership of the Wilpons what this is really all about anyway?

Let’s face it, just like what Al Harazin did to the Mets 10 years earlier, after the 2000 N.L. Flag, Steve Phillips assembled a high-priced MESS and left a 2002-03 disaster behind with another monster bill attached to it.  And he left it in the lap of Fred Wilpon to pick-up the tab (….again), while also leaving the team in need of another major fix-up.  But this time Fred was left to pay this bill down on his own after recently cutting Doubleday a check for his half of the club.  So, lurching forward, of course Jim Duquette was told to not spend any money.  Can we really hold the Howe/Duquette years against Fred?  I guess we could if you chose to.

One argument in the treatment of Jim Duquette goes like this ~ He never had a chance and was a stop-gap GM. But the way they replaced him with Omar before firing him was an act of folly. Another way to look at that situation is ~ Fred Wilpon pounced on the person he felt most comfortable with and if Jim Duquette had his feelings hurt, Oh Well.

You pick.

I guess we could also blame Fred for not trying to sign Vlad Guerrero, whom everyone thought had a bad back AND sign him so as to make the pain of Mo Vaughn and Alomar go away.  Right?  That’s what we really wanted; for Fred to spend a BuZillion dollars on Vlad while having no-one to surround him with from leftovers of  the ’03 Mets.  Oh!  Oh!  AND…only we can imaging the complete disaster that would have been A-Rod in a Met uniform when his Steroid troubles surfaced.  OH MY Goodness!  That would have been a real friggin’ beaut!

So…, Can we really blame Fred for trying to manage the Club’s coffers after so much money was debited from our favorite team’s accounts?  Surely we can afford our owner some slack in that respect?  Are we that poisoned by entitlement these days?  Are we so driven to be about “Me” all the time?  There is still a certain level of loyalty we should hold in reserve for trying times.  By taking on the full financial “burden” of 100% ownership at that time, what Fred Wilpon did was keep our Mets Team operating as a stable Franchise.

But the fact remains, within two years of securing 100% of the team and having it left behind in need of a massive
 renovation project courtesy of the outgoing Steve Phillips (AND Nelson Doubleday), Fred and Jeff Wilpon locked up Omar Minaya and let him proceed forward with his plan; and let him do so with a check-book in hand and a farm system left barren by a previously mentioned Steve Phillips.. (after Wright, Reyes, and Kazmir).  The fruits of Omar’s labors with regard to minor league development haven’t been realized until the last year and a half.

The Wilpons seemed to be back on their feet after two years and even showed a little chutzpa in the process.  Fred and Jeff Wilpon initially proceeded the way Fred has always operated before with Nelson Doubleday.  Their GM presented a case based on the needs of the team.  Ownership; Mr. Wilpon and Jeff, have never been in a habit of saying No.  And there wasn’t a time before we got wind of the Ponzi Scheme, that the Wilpon’s weren’t proceeding as they normally would have, only now with their full confidence bestowed upon Omar Minaya.

Omar Minaya was well regarded around Baseball by the time he assumed the office of GM for the Mets.  There were few complaints about the Wilpon’s latest choice for General Manager.  Omar put together a team that put Fred Wilpon’s Mets one pitch away from a World Series in 2006 in only his second year on the job and Fred’s 4th year as sole owner of the team.  The Mets had done it again.  They recreated themselves into a contender and this time Fred and Jeff did it without Doubleday around.  If you were there that one night during the 2006 NLCS, when the entire exiting crowd at Shea sang, “Jose, Jose Jose”, all the way down the ramps, into the parking lots, and all the way home, like I did, you know damn well no one was hating on Mr. Wilpon then.

When we start pointing fingers, I’m going to point the first one at you; us; we the Fans.  Why?  Because with the first home game back from a road trip, the Mets had the opportunity to clinch the ’06 Eastern Division Title on our home field against the Marlins and we didn’t sell the place out.  It turned out to be our first Division Flag in 18 years and it was a damn shame the place wasn’t packed.  Shame on us!  I was there and shook my head over every empty seat.

Then, to blame Carlos Beltran’s state of shock over an in-coming curveball and his inability to react to a called third strike in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS on Fred Wilpon is irresponsible at best, as is also putting Willie Randolph’s failure to bunt a runner over prior to that. 

The failure to make the playoffs in both 2007 and 2008; or as many like to refer to them as the two choke-jobs; is like-wise not a matter of Fred Wilpon’s futility as an owner but rather a failure at the field level to execute and perform their jobs well and rise to the occasion.  That responsibility falls on the Manager and General Manager.  We can can come up with many reasons of course.  The owner might have hired the person who put it all together, but Fred Wilpon did his part to fund and support his GM’s plans.  He footed the bill after hiring someone everyone thought was up to the task of being a GM in New York (after all, Minaya grew up in Queens).  But more spending solves everything right?  Sure…, regardless that we concurred Omar put together a formidable team in 2006 (even though we knew the pitching was flawed and he would still remain with unsettled positions moving forward)..   I have my own theory as to why we fell short in ’07 and ’08, but neither of which I can place blame with Mr.Wilpon.  My reasons would center more on Omar and his reliance on Pedro, El Duque and Tom Glavine…Blah  blah blah and his inability to rectify LF, RF, C, and 2B blah blah…

The problem is we have a radically different view of things today than we did when I was a kid.  Being a good contending team has now morphed into a failure waiting to happen in the absence of winning a Title.  When I was a kid, I didn’t boo any Met between 1977 and 1982!  I’m proud of that.  Yet, we boo’d Johan Santana in his first ever start at Shea Stadium.  So with that new-age thinking, we singled-out our Owner to vent all our anger and frustrations on;  …an Ownership that was failed by it’s players, managers, and General Managers.., foiled by plain old bad luck, victimized by some horrible timing and stymied by untimely, and very costly injuries.

If you want to complain that we’re snake-bitten; jinxed; cursed; or doomed and it’s the Wilpon’s fault, - as Owner, he takes a share of the blame.  But his appointments and the teams created under them, with his consent, failed in spite of however much the owner supplied them with the resources to succeed.  The Wilpon’s did eveything Omar asked them to do.  He cut the check.  He did what owners are supposed to do; supply resources to good Baseball minds…(and the debate about Omar is another topic).  The rest gets decided on the field.  Omar wound up creating his own perfect storm with Fred’s money, but Fred and Jeff must be made to stand trial for it (.) (!) (?).

I know what we wanted.  We wanted the Wilpon’s to spend even more money.  We wanted him to outspend some mistakes.  THAT’s what some of you wanted.  Admit it.

The truth is we were always more upset with the directions our GM’s took us, than the course of actions our owner(s) decided upon.  But because Fred is the constant, we choose to pile it all on him.  And because we say accountability starts at the top, Fred Wilpon gets the wrap.  We displaced our frustration with getting stymied for so long throughout a long series of GM’s and their big, bright ideas and who incidentally racked up high payrolls with little hardware to show for it all the while playing in a New York town of big  expectations.  And well…, what you get is a lot a heat-seeking rants targeting Mr. Wilpon and rumblings about the state of the team even after all those darned managers and GMs get fired and replaced.

The last two seasons; 2009 and 2010, set-up to be a perfect storm and the S.S. Wilpon definitely got tossed-about on some pretty treacherous seas.  The crippling, incapacitating injuries suffered by the roster over the last two years, compounded with an ill-timed and unforeseen Madoff Scandal threw a big stick into the spokes of this wheel and sent everyone hurtling head over feet into on-coming traffic.  And now “everyone is looking for someone to sue”.  Meanwhile, if we had just one more positive outcome in both ’07 and/or ’08, Mets History would read very differently.

Having gone through it, I know what it feels like.  Man!  It was rotten!   But how do we translate what happened on the field to deny us playoff berths in those two years with Fred Wilpon being an incapable owner?  It doesn’t.  We just want it to, because after the fans trade everybody, fire every manager, and fire their GMs at their whims, it’s still never good enough when we play Fantasy GM with Fred’s money.

The whole call to end our time with Fred Wilpon as owner of the New York Mets is and has always been a knee-jerk reaction we chose to conduct ourselves with and act upon.  I’m not trying to insult anyone; I include myself among the Met Masses.

Mr. Fred Wilpon is not a giant, corporate, cold and distanced conglomerate megalomaniac, who treats the Mets as a satellite holding within his empire.  He is very open and proud of the fact he runs his operation as a F
amily Business; the very thing old Baseball sentimentalists and old school gentlemen clamour for.  And quite frankly, I like it too.  It’s the way Baseball Ownerships ideally should be.  He’s a local guy too so he knows what we’re like around here and how we can get.  You can not deny the man cares about the team and suffers right along-side us with every loss.  That’s well documented and talked about.  AND absolutely, without a doubt, you know he listens to us.  We Fans do have the Ownership’s ear.

In Metropolitan’s History, we’ve been in the hands of two Ownership Groups ~ The Original; Lady Joan Payson and the continuing portion of the partnership between Doubleday and Wilpon.  We are a very stable Franchise, and have been since our birth into the National League.  I think I speak for all Met fans when I say we found that to be a tremendous source of pride with regard to our Club.

We have a new General Manager now with his new lieutenants in place.  He still have very credible veterans on this club and a new crop of prospects starting to make their way to the big club.  Of course the plan is changing as we speak and the landscape of METropolis will change, but this General Manager has built a winner before and he comes here with assets in place to be creative with.

So Madoff Dilemma aside, what’s so wrong with staying the course and siding with continuity and stability with our ownership?  Is it beyond us at this point to give our presently embattled Owner a shot in the arm?
If we would focus our frustration more correctly, I think we will all find that we really do like the guy.  If we knew he turned a deaf ear to us, then why not let him fall, crash and burn like the Hindenburg.  But he does listen to us, and we do appreciate that whether you admit it or not.  What other fan base can say that right now?  When we speak, the Wilpons know.  So, search inside your Mets-Sole and let’s tell him to tough this out and fight.

We are New Yorkers, or relatives in the areas thereof.  We are invested fans in the whole deal.  And one of the measures of character is how you react in the face of adversity.  Who’s to say he can’t make a come-back (like one of his teams did in 1986)?

Well, Wilpon has his adversity to face, and we have ours.  Can we agree to let TIME be an ally and see if we can stick this out with our owner, until the moment if he faces an ultimate end with the Metropolitans?  He said he ran things like a family, and we always seemed to be OK with that right up until three years ago during the second “Choke”.  And now, we all have a Family member in need.  OR, is the bad-blood between us too thick?

If in fact he does survive this,  maybe he’ll have that epiphany and start bleeding Met Orange instead of Dodger Blue and we’ll get an owner who’s going to re-check his efforts and try to make a better go of things.  Maybe then we can badger him for a Tom Seaver statue and get him to retire a few more numbers for us.

That’s all I got.  If one of my arguments sounds more convincing than the other, then that’s where I stand.  There’s obviously a slew of details and occurances left out of all this.  But this is a case for Fred Wilpon to keep the team versus selling it.

So,  for the sake of stability, familiarity and preservation of our tradition…,Good Luck Mr. Wilpon…may some Met Magic come your way and things turn out Amazin’ for everybody.  But, Ya Gotta Believe…first.

Mike.BTB

My Team Owners; The Wilpons ~ PART ONE

As you may have heard, the S.S. Wilpon is getting tossed-about on the rough waters of Flushing Bay.  The Owners of the Mets are in Big Time financial trouble, this time stemming from a lawsuit in the never-ending Madoff Scandal.

Now, they have an open interest to sell up to 25% of the team.  Some Mets Fans are calling for the Wilpons to sell the whole team.  Some Met Fans are hoping for the best outcome possible while Mr. Wilpon maintains his controlling interest in the team.

Me?  I’ll let you judge where I stand.  I am making a case for both sides; Mr. Wilpon keeping the team and for Mr. Wilpon selling the team.

 

 

 

From the Desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

NEW YORK METS: 

Fred Wilpon ~ His Troubles presently stem from Bernie Madoff, the Trustee, and the Lawsuit being brought against him.  But his real PROBLEM lies with us; The Fan.  And there’s nothing the Media can do about it.

PART ONE:

The Case for Mets Fans Wanting Fred Wilpon to Sell the Team:

Well, for starters, if he would have been as emphatic and stern with conviction towards the state of his team and the on-field results at various times, as he’s been with the stance he’s taking against the Madoff Trustee, we’d probably be a little more sympathetic towards his current dilemma.  But when you take into consideration that Fred Wilpon had numerous opportunities to set the record straight with his hard working, loyal, paying Fan Base and failed to do so in an open and timely manner, it’s an affront to the people who foot the bill,  i.e.; – Us.  Revealing just how dire their situation is, only when he finds the Doomsday Clock striking two minutes to Midnight is insulting at best considering the abundant publicity circulating during the whole life of the Madoff Scandal.

But this is just the back-end of  30+ years under his partial or full ownership.  Under the Wilpon’s (and Doubleday) ownership, what started out with Order under Frank Cashen’s leadership as GM of the Mets, turned drastically into Chaos after Cashen retired.  Order has been absent from this organization since.  This now encompasses a period of 20 years.

After Cashen retired, Al Harazin ushered in the Age of Super-Soakers, Fireworks, and Tours of the Bronx courtesy of Bobby Bonilla (whom still remains on the Mets payroll to this day in yet another Wilpon financial machination).  Then, Joe McIlvaine, on his way out the door heading off to San Diego said he was sick and tired of all the Front Office in-fighting going on with the Mets.  Jerry Hunsicker too, would later leave this organization but was more delicate and tactful in describing the Chaos reigning in the Front Offices of METropolis.  When Joe McIlvaine did return as GM of the Mets, Fred Wilpon couldn’t get his GM to tell him where he was going, where he’d been, or get him to return his calls.

Then there was the Florida Marlins post-1997 fire-sale, the acquisition of Mike Piazza and the matter of retaining him in a Mets uniform.  Nelson Doubleday was adamant about signing Mike Piazza.  Fred Wilpon was against the expenditure and the two clashed over the deal.  Nelson Doubleday also wanted to renovate Shea Stadium while Fred Wilpon always had his mind set on building his Ode to the Brooklyn Dodgers.  We all understand by now how contentious the relationship between the two partners was.  By the end of 2002, Fred Wilpon purchased Nelson Doubleday’s half of the team.  On his way out, Nelson Doubleday had nary a kind word to say about Fred Wilpon, and even less gracious things to say about Jeff Wilpon.  Saul Katz is part of the Family, so the prospects of a discord between the Wilpons and him are safely said to be slim.  But what’s to say Fred and Jeff Wilpon will not foster an equally contentious relationship with the next potential limited or half partner(s) of the Mets, especially if they want to implement new ideas?

Let’s resume with a reminder of a GM who had to take a leave of absence from the team due to a “sex scandal” occurring inside their continuing Front Office Gone Wild atmosphere, and the continued reliance by the Wilpons on post-Cashen neophytes running his club.  Then how was the GM matter handled by the Wilpon’s after hiring Jim Duquette?  While still in office, the Wilpons hired Omar Minaya long before Jim Duquette’s body could get cold and rigor mortis set in.  They handled it shabbily….As Shabbily as Fred, Jeff Wilpon and Omar Minaya handled the Willie Randolph firing.

After 1990, aside from some success in 1999-2000, and 2006 with Willie, this team has spent more time in a state of folly, than it has being an organization maximizing upon it’s market situation, financial potential, business strength and attractive lure, to draw in top level Executives and/or Front Office expertise.  Instead, especially since the 2003 season, the fan base has been beset with one bad decision after another with Tony Bernazard being a mere twig on an already rotting tree.  Want more?  Just look back on all the Medical hi-jinx that has gone on with this Club.  It just hints to the fact since the days of Frank Cashen, the steady devolving of the Mets continued all the way into our present day.  Whether those decisions have been made on the field, in player personnel, scouting, administration, the Front Office, or Ownership, – it seems the last nine years have garnered more ridicule than results and all matters of accountability must start at the top.

Bereft of an idea, they had to seek the Commissioner of Baseball’s advice to find a suitable replacement to be their General Manager, and quite frankly, save their whole operation.  They held many interviews for their GM position, but ultimately, as this was their first time operating solo, without a net, and without any practical experience in Baseball Executive matters, they could only base a potential Executive’s ability to fill their opening on…Nothing; That’s right…Nothing!  

For the first time the Wilpons were independent of a familiar light guiding them through the dark so they relied on the Commissioner’s suggestion.  And only then, did Sandy Alderson agree to interview at the Commissioner’s behest.  And that was no interview; - That was an appointment!  How fortunate for the Wilpons.  Because were it not for Sandy Alderson, the N.Y. Mets were about to hand over their organization to an incredibly unknown, unproven, Newbie.  That could have very well set in motion the final and most complete implosion of  WILPONianism…until this lawsuit against the Wilpons rolled around.  That said, at this point, it may be too late for the Wilpons regardless of Sandy Alderson.

Many agree (many don’t), that for as long as the Wilpons remain as owners of the New York Mets,  the perceived black cloud over Flushing will never go away.  It will just continue to darken, and keep raining down gloom upon the fans at Citi Field.  They may be right this time with fans and Media united in thought.  In nearly a half-century of Mets Baseball, throughout the decades we Have Proudly Been a stable Franchise.  And now, over the last 8 years, entering a 9th, the Wilpons have brought terrible instability (not to mention insanity) upon our team, and aggravated the situation by not being forthright with their customers and fan base.

Because of that, the relationship between the Wilpons and the Fans may finally have been irreparably damaged and this time, it’s personal.  Even the Media can not chose sides or affect the relationship between us because they are inconsequential in this rift between Fan and Owner.  The Media can’t make Fans go to games, nor can a Sportswriter make an Owner do well; or sell his enterprise.  But when Fans draw their line in the “stands”
and stop showing up because their Owner allowed the relationship to deteriorate over time and then got lied to, well, sometimes.., things get to a point of no return.  And in Mr.Wilpons case, that means fans returning to our seats and showing confidence in him.  We can always watch our favorite players at home and save ourselves a fortune in the process.  If the Fans have indeed turned on you Mr. Wilpon, you may have no choice but to sell the whole damn thing because the truth is, you just can’t afford the Team if we really stop going to games this season.  You’re down somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% already.

You once had a Golden Opportunity to really hit a Grand Slam with the Fans and finally, truly and fully re-secure our unyielding loyalty once and for all (considering I did get a Championship out of you in my lifetime).  Instead, you grounded into a Triple Play and ruined any rally we generated together in 2006. 

How?  Why?

Our Met History was made to feel second rate to your affinity with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The shrine on Roosevelt Avenue bears that out.  You took away our pinstripes years ago, but you then hid our Apple back near the junk yards to start life at Citi.  You didn’t even know enough to have a Grand Opening of Citi Field inclusive with a Mets Hall of Fame in it; not to mention, nary a Mets representation of our History anywhere.  That came later in a purely reactive move, after we demanded we get all that back!  And if all that was actually originally planned for Year Two anyway…..as you once said it was…, then….

SHAME ON YOU!!  Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance!  The luxury boxes were ready though…weren’t they?

I am a Brooklynite, and get as misty-eyed about the Dodgers as any former fan of the Bums anytime I get the chance.  Believe me when I say that ~ BUT Not at the Expense of My Favorite Baseball Team; The New York Metropolitan Baseball Club and our own Beloved History. 

The shrine to the Dodgers as much as the rapid decline of the team since ’06 strained any good-will the Wilpons might have gained since that season.  And now, any confidence the Fans had tethered to the Wilpons in light of the newest developments involving the Madoff swindle have painted everything over with a coat of Despair.

Maybe, just maybe, the National League Baseball Team of New York City has not yet realized, reached or achieved it’s maximum potential, and it’s because it’s present Ownership has reached it’s own Law of Diminished Returns.  Perhaps, we depleted all their growth potential back in 2006 with Minaya and the mistakes he made afterwards.  In light of the Madoff Dilemma, maybe they were operating with less Real Money than we thought all along.  If that’s the case, perhaps the Wilpons were ill equipped to operate the Mets Franchise as sole owners to begin with; then decimated themselves with debt on the new park; just like Nelson Doubleday wanted to avoid.  Or…something like that.

The Sterling enterprises might be more indicative of the titan Fred Wilpon really is in a business sense and in that sphere of life..  But he’s demonstrated when operating the New York Mets, he’s no such thing.  Instead, under sole ownership of Fred, Jeff and Saul, except for one year, the Mets have teetered more towards disappointing and terrible while their respectability is tanking right along side their Portfolios.

And so,  now…, Bad just got Worse.  Their very Baseball existence is in question.

Our original owner; Mrs. Payson, was an old New York Giants Fan who created MET History.  Our *second owner; Mr. Wilpon is an old Brooklyn Dodgers fan, who has done more over the years since 1986 to contribute to MET Misery than Kenny Rogers or Yadier Molina have.  He’s been here the longest and holds the baton.

Perhaps, the resources that playing in New York City can provide a team have been underutilized, or worse, mis-used, mistreated or wrongly applied.  Perhaps, a new Owner with a different vision and a different methodology applied to our team, can take the “newest” National League Club of New York City to a level more emblematic and representative of what playing in Empire City can be and what being a MET is all about, more like Joan did, and the angry owner who left did.

NEXT:  PART II
The case for Mets Fans wanting Fred Wilpon to retain the team

 
Mike.BTB

 

Can you hear it? The Trolley is Coming!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

N.Y. METS ~ Loaded Up and Trucking to Florida

NEW YORK METS:  
“We got a long way to go and a short time to get there…But we’re gonna do what they said can’t be done…”
YEEeeeeeeeee! ~ HAaaaaaaaaaah!

The Brooklyn Version of Smokey and the Bandit


Days Till
Pitchers and Catchers
8
Let’s Go Mets!
 
 
 
Mike.BTB
 
 

The NEW york METS ~ Now Hiring

Monday, November 01, 2010

NYM ~ Pondering a Manager for the Mets, Dude.

Only now that we’ve hired Sandy Alderson would I even consider bringing Bobby Valentine back.  Without Sandy Alderson I wouldn’t even have entertained the thought.  It’s the old “Been there; Done that” syndrome. 

I have to laugh somewhat about the clamouring for Valentine’s return.  In 2003 Mets’ fans were calling for his head on a pike.  Fans were lining up their cars on Roosevelt Avenue willing to take Bobby to the airport.  Mets fans (me included) complained Bobby got too….Too everything!  Basically Met fans tired of his act and ego.  The downward spiral we found ourselves in 2003 only threw lighter fluid on the flames. 

Today we finally find ourselves on the other side of that long dark tunnel; coincidentally it’s the era I’ve been calling Met Year 8 A.D. (After Doubleday).  What started when the Mets fired Steve Phillips and  Doubleday leaving ended when the Wilpons hired Alderson.  Why would we want to revisit those years?  Bobby hasn’t changed.  C’mon….He must have said or done something to tick-off the Marlins most recently.  And why haven’t the Brewers locked him up yet (although they seem real close, but they seem to be moving very carefully)?  What makes Mets fans think this time around would be any different?  It’s Ponderous.  Do we want our own version of “Billy” hirings minus the Angry Water?

But I will take the time out to answer that myself. 

Bobby Valentine is an excellent manger and strategist.  There are few better; Period.  He has the perfect personality and attitude, not to mention intelligence to engage in the harangue that is the give and take with NY media.  Don’t you think I know all this?  Of course he’d be a good manager here.  Having Sandy Alderson would serve as the perfect buffer between him and the Wilpons.  Wasn’t that always the problem bringing him back; the Wilpons?  The two parties do not like each other.  We know this.

Additionally, I never thought Bobby Valentine could co-exist with Omar Minaya, John Ricco or ANYone the Mets could have brought in as General Manager.  Remember among the items of contention between Valentine and Phillips was Valentine’s insistence he have a say in personnel matters.  Phillips denied him outright, at every request.  But Phillips regardless of his libido, was a very smart cookie who was very well equipped to handle Bobby Valentine.  Not Omar, or anyone the Mets could have conjured up, would have worked well here with Bobby Valentine’s ego.  Valentine is too smart and would have run circles around Omar, and as is Bobby’s way, Omar would have grown to feel uncomfortably dominated by Jeff on one side and Bobby on the other.  Valentine would have chewed-up and spit-out John Ricco.  Bobby Valentine would have been hired only to get fired for many reasons three short years later.  Think to yourselves fellow Met fans.  You know this to be true…Under the old system that is.

Alderson changes all that now.  Alderson is/was the only man available today who has the intellect, mental strength and fortitude of character to contend with Bobby Valentine.  Alderson is an excellent check to Valentine’s strong will.  And now I would gladly welcome back Bobby Valentine into the conversation.  However, I am still not inclined to lean his way.  And it doesn’t look like the money is a match either.

Ken Oberkfell and Bob Melvin are complete yawners.  Of the two, I’d eliminate Melvin from the list altogether.  He’s tainted with old regime ‘cooties’.  He loomed over Jerry Manuel’s head like a dark cloud.  That’s bad karma; don’t need it.  Kenny Oberfell would be the next to go.  Met fans, I ask you sincerely, do you really envision Oberkfell as the new manager?  I didn’t think so.

Why Lee Mazzilli doesn’t intrigue me more, I can’t answer. He was THE METS once upon a time.  Man!  I thought he was going to play with Seaver, Koos, Millan, Milner and…(why do I do that to myself).  He has coaching experience and many years sitting next to Joe Torre.  He did a remarkable job under horrific circumstances in Baltimore.  However I may feel about Lee Mazzilli, who comes my neighborhood, I think there are better candidates available.  I don’t think Mazzilli’s resume fits in with what we need right now.

Clint Hurdle and Terry Collins are very average, un-impactful candidates.  There’s too much at stake here to hand the controls over to the milkman.  The Angels’ players darted Terry Collins with a vote of no confidence when he managed there.  We don’t need to touch that.  Clint Hurdle ~ Remember how the Rockies won 1150 games out of their last 25 +/- games of the season to make the 2007 playoffs?  After you remember that, forget Clint Hurdle.

Chip Hale has my attention because the players seem real responsive to him.  When people have that nature and way about them; a personality that attracts, people usually listen attentively to them.  I’d give him an interview.

I’m not saying this is my choice but Tim Teufel would be a logical choice.  Teufel had a lot of our new young players in Brooklyn and Binghampton.  No one knows these players better than he does, in much the same way Davey Johnson managed many of the prospects of the early 80′s and was promoted by Frank Cashen to manage them on the Major League level.  Tim Teufel is a logical choice, and you can’t disregard what I just said.  He’s been putting in his dues with this organization for several years now.  Like I said though, he’s not necessarily my choice.  I’d be agreeable to him though.

I’m open to Wally Backman.  I like him for all the reasons you do.  I wouldn’t mind seeing him get the job at all.  He’d be a tremendous hit!  He’d get a standing ovation on Opening Day; without a doubt!  The Wilpons like him and the fans like him.  The question is does Sandy Alderson like him?  He might.

Backman recently took the Brooklyn Cyclones to the NYPL Championship Round.  That, and his experience with the Peanuts is all there is though.  Is that enough?  I think there’s a (again…) Billy Martin motif about him; maybe even John McGraw’ish attribute Met fans are dying to identify with and apply to Wally Backman.  I do think he has great instinctual baseball intellect.  He knows the game.  He knows what works.  Little stout guys always make great managers!

And now try this name out and see how it sits with you; John Stearns ~ The Dude! - Yes! - The former fiery Met player, catcher, all*star, former Met coach?  He managed last at Harrisburg in the National’s system 2 years ago and I think he’s currently employed as a scout for the Mariners.  John Stearns…Anyone feeling The Dude?  He’s tough minded and he has that ‘catcher gene’ going for him.  I know John Stearns isn’t even on any-body’s radar much less Sandy Alderson’s.  I’m on an island of one with this pick.  I get that.  But if you’re thinking about hiring Lee Mazzilli, John Stearns should be considered also.  I’d hire him ahead of many other names.

Joey Cora?  Forget Milwaukee.  Picture it Met Fans ~ The Little Yankee Killer (think ’95); Flushing’s Little General leading his troops?  Think of the possibilities ~ Close your eyes and imagine it for a moment.  I guarantee you he’s feisty and has a tremendous Baseball acumen.  In the earliest days of his coaching career, Ozzie Guillen, who is a very close friend of his, got his hands on him and made him go to Venezuela to start managing there.  H
e came back with some experience and managed the Mets’ Kingsport Team.  Joey has been with Ozzie Guillen ever since serving first as his third base coach and currently as his bench coach.  As a player he was an all*star selection and has playoff experience with the Chicago White Sox and the Seattle Mariners.  As a coach he earned a World Series ring with the ChiSox in 2005.  If you’re looking for the “Little Guy with a Big Bite” angle, this is your guy.  He is smaller than Wally Backman but not as stout.  They are both feisty.

My two honorable mentions are Larry Bowa and Tony Pena.  Simply, I think they are two good, Baseball lifers.  There’s something to be said for those kinda guys.  Heck, Jack McKeon won a championship didn’t he?

Who knows what’s going on with Lou Piniella and Joe Torre said he’s out of the picture (don’t believe it).  But I don’t want them either.

Don Wakamatsu?  I’m lukewarm at best.

Does anyone think Dave Righetti is ready to take a manager’s job? ~ Roger Craig anyone?

The fact that John Gibbons acted preemptively with regards to the Mets’ available managerial position speaks loud and clear to me.  He told us to beat it….And now I want him more.  He’s such a tease!

You’d have to examine all the third base coaches and bench coaches around MLB to keep yourself from dealing in retreads.  None need apply.  The Mets have embarked on a whole new dynamic in their history.  Let’s continue forward.  The old thinking is done.

Right?

Mike.BTB

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