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Tag:Mets
Posted on: January 22, 2010 3:12 pm
 

'I Don't Trust the Mets' Front Office'

So, after a very, very long hiatus from posting in any fashion on CBSSports.com, enduring the past year and a half as a Mets fan, and reading the posts of Mets fans who somehow feel entitled to a world championship, I've come to the conclusion that there is a severe lack of trust in the Mets ownership.

First of all, you have the shortfall of the 2006 Mets, who shockingly fell a basehit short of advancing to the World Series to face the uninspiring Detroit Tigers; then there's the choking episodes that were September 2007 & 08; and last but not least, the injury-riddled, depleted Mets of 2009. Man, it seems like eons ago that the Mets were taking everyone in the National League behind the woodshed and smashing their opponents. Admittedly, 2006 seems like 1986. Looking to start fresh, the Mets have a few of the stars on the mend in John Maine, Jose B. Reyes, Oliver Perez (who also needs a few other methods of rehab), David Wright and Carlos Beltran...so we think. The new year came in, and Mets fans, still wallowing in the 3-year stench of Mets-fandom, finally have something bright to look forward to, especially after the Jason Bay signing and then, "POOF!!!" Carlos Beltran will miss the next 3-4 months with surgery, the Mets pitching rotation still needs surgery, and all of a sudden, the Met fan's psyche becomes broken and needs surgery. So what do the Mets do to compensate? They trade Brian Stokes, a middle-of-the-road reliever to the Anaheim Angels for Gary Matthews Jr. Given Angel Pagan's energy, I think Sarge Jr. will do just fine to balance things out in centerfield while Beltran is away.

What I don't get is how every move the Mets make is criticized? I mean, sure, the Mets have gone from powerhouse to pariah in just 3 years! I can understand the fan's frustration, but can we give this thing some time? The Mets aren't exactly the Yankees, and remember that for all of the success the Phillies have had of late, they were always nipping at the heels of the Mets....for years! Let's just walk away from this whole thing as fans and realize that there is parity in baseball, and that the Mets will not contend every year although we expect them to compete. Every move Omar makes (think what you want about him) is made in the best interests of the team...they have to be, I mean he has a family to feed too, right? You think anyone in their right mind, regardless of how much they make, is going to sabotage their job? I don't think so. Give Minaya some credit...he hasn't traded away the farm, he hasn't signed any over-the-hill veterans a la Moises Alou or Mo Vaughn (*cough...Steve Phillips) this offseason, so lay off. The free agent class this winter has been uninspiring at best, so for Omar to stand pat this winter has been good for us. So what, we don't win the headline war in New York? Last I checked, those wins have no bearing on a world championship, so what difference does making the Yankees look like 'stiffs' in the paper make? It's still early, January to be exact, and pitcher and catchers report in just under a month. When April comes around, and everything that matters is happening on the field, then I'll be critical. Until then, the front office is doing what they can to make the Mets competitive. They may seem inept, disconnected from its fanbase and for what it's worth, "disenfranchised" (no pun intended), but the Mets will be back soon...bank on that!     
Posted on: June 3, 2008 4:38 pm
 

On Randolph: Something Interesting to Consider...

So I'm reading this post on Dana Brand's blog at http://metsfanbook.com/blog/; and I was intrigued about his post on Willie Randolph. I thought it was an excellent article, a must read; and so, I thought I'd post it here for all the "Willie Haters" out there who also call themselves Mets fans. Here it goes, and by the way Dana Brand, good job!!!

Obviously, Willie should not have said what he said. 

You’d have to be naïve to believe that racism doesn’t play a part, for some people, in the anger and bitterness that has been directed at Willie Randolph lately.  But you’d have to be terribly unfair to think that it’s a prominent reason.  Mets fans, after the historic choke of last season and the mediocre beginning of this one, have a sense that their team lacks fire and direction.   In a situation like this, it’s perfectly plausible to blame the man who is supposed to lead and set the tone for the team.  Any manager with a laid back manner and a controversial managerial style is going to get crap from the fans in a situation like this.  Ask Art Howe.   Race is not the main issue. 

And what is this with SNY?  Sure they put the camera on him when something bad happens.  That’s the way news coverage and sports coverage works.  He knows that.  And Gary, Keith, and Ron are wonderfully respectful towards Willie.  How would he like it if Tim McCarver was back in our booth second-guessing all his moves?

And how about this timing?  Finally the air is cleared after the Mets have a meeting and decide not to be distracted by off-the-field stuff.  Finally they get their heads together to play up to their potential and clobber the Yankees.  All attention is on our opportunity to beat the Braves right after beating the Yankees.  And then before you can blink, we’re all back in the media stew.  We’re not in the glorious green world of the ballpark.  We’re in the jam on the LIE, listening to Mike and the Mad Dog in an endless loop.  What a complete and total bummer.

Willie must have known that this was not the time to say what he said.  Why would someone who hates off-the-field distractions want to go out and create a big one at the wrongest moment imaginable?  There’s only one answer to this question.

Willie must have meant it. 

You know how sometimes you’re having a fight with someone and everybody’s finally calmed down and things are all right and then you just can’t help but say something that shows how hurt you were that the other person said what they said before things calmed down?  I think this happened here.  I don’t think that Willie thinks that racism is the big issue.  But my guess is that he can’t help but feel as if it is.  I think that like most African-Americans, Willie has had to deal all his life with people who just don’t like him for some reason and don’t want to give him a chance.  And I think that when you’ve had to deal with crap like that, it is sometimes hard to put things in perspective when you are suddenly the object of so much intense hostility, when you’ve been doing your job with a pretty fair amount of success for three years.  If you’ve looked at the Internet boards and if you’ve listened to the radio, you know how over-the-top the blame-Willie, we-hate-Willie stuff has been.   I know this stuff is not necessarily racist.  I know it just bubbles up out of the angst of being a Mets fan at this particular moment.  But what may be happening is that Willie is mistaking one kind of unfair hostility towards him with another.  That may not be fair of him, but I can certainly understand why he feels this way.

The problem, coincidentally, is the same problem Tom Glavine identified at the end of last year in a statement he certainly should not have made.  When he said that he was disappointed and not devastated (as we were) to lose the last game of the season in the first inning, he was trying to tell us to back off, to understand that baseball is only a game.  This comment was foolish.  Tom should have known how much that last game meant to Mets fans, and he should have been devastated, and not merely disappointed.  But I can understand where people like Tom and Willie are coming from.  They must wonder: how can all of these strangers be so emotionally involved in what happens as I try my best to do my job?  Why, if I look as if I’m screwing up, do they actually go so far as to hate me?  It’s a reasonable question, but it’s also kind of a dumb question.  That’s what this thing is.  Baseball is something a baseball fan is passionate about.  Sometimes our passion will come after you guys and sometimes it will look like some of the worst things in the world.  At other times our passion will lift you to the heavens. 

Everybody’s going to be talking for the next couple of days about how unfair and unwise Willie’s comments were.  The game I’m watching right now is not going well, so it’s not going to save us.  What I’d really like is if in addition to talking about how unfair Willie was, we also recognize something about the anguish that would have prompted him to say what he shouldn’t have said.  It must not be easy for these guys, no matter how much money they make or glory they get.  Yeah, they should put up with it, yeah, heat, kitchen all that stuff.  Yeah, and they’re human beings too. 

We should treat them with some understanding.  And they should understand where we’re coming from.  It is true that baseball is just a game, that it isn’t real.  But that’s like saying American Idol isn’t real, or Harry Potter.  The statement is true, in the most obvious and literal way.  But it ‘s not true. 

Posted on: February 16, 2008 10:13 pm
 

Mets Haters

You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Seems like the Mets can't catch a break these days. When the Mets went out of their minds in '06 and put a whoopin' on everyone in the NL, out came the haters. When the Mets 'choked' as Met-haters like to call it in 2007, all was good in the rest of the NL East. Now that Johan Santana is in tow, representing the 'ace' the Mets needed, all of a sudden I'm hearing things like: "I hope Johan AND Pedro get injured", "The Mets still aren't that good", "The Mets still have questions", etc.

Well, I have a question: Why can't the fans of other teams just concede the fact that the Mets got what they needed in Johan, and now it's going to be a competitive season in the NL East? If Johan happened upon any other team in the league, I'd be disappointed, but not hateful of that team. I'd simply wonder why management didn't do what they needed to do to get him, and express hope that either Livan Hernandez or Kyle (I'm still not signed) Lohse could help the Mets get back to winning ball games. I'm not saying one has to renounce his allegiance to their team (though joining the Mets bandwagon at this point may still be permissible), but 'geez', the Mets need for an ace was obvious in 2006 and 2007. If they had one, you can bet they would have easily beaten the Cardinals in '06; and they sure wouldn't have given, yes given the division over to the Phillies on the last day of last season. But, I don't have to think about that because Johan is down in Port St. Lucie iat this moment as a member of, and working out with the Mets...and will be for the next 7 years.  

Now that they've got an ace, LOOK OUT! The offense is more or less the same as it was last season (pretty potent), and everyone in the starting rotation is moving back a slot for Johan. Pedro is just as good if not better than any #2 in the league, John Maine and Oliver Perez as the Mets' third and fourth starter (remember both had 15 wins); and El Duque, the Mets' best starter last season regardless of how old we all speculate he is, is the fifth starter. What a luxury. The bullpen is going to be stronger and more defined not only because of Johan's presence in the rotation, but because Duaner Sanchez is healthy. The bench is deep; and everyone who was with the club in September is going to be playing this season with a huge chip on their shoulder. Note to the rest of the league: this season isn't about adding Johan Santana as much as it is about the Mets getting back to playing the kind of baseball they were playing two years ago when they were thrashing everyone in sight!

Just when you think all that is too much, Carlos Beltran goes out today and tells some reporter to "Tell Jimmy Rollins the Mets are the team to beat". Carlos Beltran??? On what side of the bed did he wake up this morning? Usually humble and reserved, Beltran must know something we don't: The Mets are hungry for revenge, they've have heard all the mess being talked about them this winter; and everything's in place to resume whipping the crap out of everyone in sight. If there weren't enough Met-haters before this, certainly there are a slew more now.....especially those living near Citizen's Bank Park.

It's going to be a great season. For all those who questioned the Mets' leadership in the clubhouse, I think we've found it....and his name is  Carlos Beltran.

Let's go, Mets!!!          

Posted on: January 28, 2008 5:33 pm
 

Spin, Spin, Spin....

So, the Winter Meetings have come and gone, a new year has begun and now we're two and a half weeks away from pitchers and catchers. Are we as Mets fans two and half weeks closer to seeing Johan Santana suited up in royal blue and orange though? Last week, I blogged a bit (and got a nice little response in my view; thanks to all who read it) on Johan possibly coming to Queens, and the prevailing thought at the time was that it was very likely. Ryan Church, Aaron Heilman, Kevin Mulvey or Philip Humber and Deolis Guerra, were said to be going to Minnesota for Santana. That's what was said anyway. This week, I've discovered that Fernando Martinez has  (that viewpoint has been altered over and over again) to be in the deal; and that within 10 days, Johan will..... I repeat WILL be traded. And get this: The Mets are still the frontrunners!

At this point, I'm a bit skeptical about it all. I mean, I would love to have Johan Santana at the front of the Mets' rotation come Opening Day. It'll be different to see someone other than either Tom Glavine ('07) or Pedro Martinez ('05 and '06) start Opening Day for the Amazins; nevertheless is it worth all the headache reading contradicting source after contradicting source? Who really knows what's going on between Bill Smith, Minnesota GM, Theo Epstein, The Bosses Steinbrenner + Cashman and Omar Minaya? Will the credible source please stand up and tell me what in the world is going on in these trade talks; and give me a definitive answer as to where this guy is actually going to pitch in 2008?

If the Mets are just pawns in all this, just let Minaya know so we can go ahead and sign Livan Hernandez. While that's probably a move that costs us a championship in '08, at least we'll still have a farm system! I swear if this deal is made, the Mets may as well have open tryouts for the New Orleans Zephyrs! I want you to know, I'll be first in line because if the Mets prospects are as overrated as they say, anyone....including me could make their squad. Just think, that team actually competed last year for the PCL Championship last summer. Go figure. Anyway, I have to give credit to the Matt Cerrone and his guys at Metsblog.com and Tim Dierkes at mlbtraderumors.com. They keep me sane with all the Johan talk and their opinions and sources are great; but I think they're getting a bit overwhelmed with all the drama too.

So, my head is getting dizzy, Mr. Bill Smith, Minnesota Twins GM. Quit creating all the 'spin' and deal Johan somewhere! If he ends up in Flushing, great. If not, trade him somewhere so you can finally get your boatload of prospects, because that's all he'll bring you in return. Philip Hughes and Ian Kennedy are apparently out of the question as is Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jon Lester. Either way, I just want some baseball to be played....with or without Johan. Let's go Mets!    

Posted on: January 25, 2008 11:17 am
 

Johan, Livan and the Mets' Chances in 08

So, I'm reading Metsblog.com as I do every morning, and I see that the Mets are close to a deal for Livan Hernandez. At that very moment, I'm thinking to myself: 'after checking the site yesterday and finding out that the Mets may include Ryan Church in a deal for Johan Santana, things may begin to look good for the Mets'. So I keep reading, and I discover that Aaron Heilman may be added to the trade as well, and then I begin to think: 'The Mets are really on to something here'. Then I check out mlbtraderumors.com to see how credible the report is (not that Matt Cerrone and his guys at Metsblog aren't reliable...They're actually my first source for Mets news) and I find that they're repoting the same thing. So, the wheels begin to turn a bit more in my head and finally I'm thinking: 'The Mets are going to make a deal for Johan Santana!'.

This is what I think may be going on with the Mets front office and I like it:

1) Sign Livan Hernandez. He wants to play in Queens beside his brother, El Duque. This is not a bad move considering he is only 32, he has pitched nearly 200 innings or more in the last couple of seasons, and would replace the effort the Mets got from Tom Glavine in 2007. This deal however wouldn't preclude a trade for Santana though because,

2) The Mets should move El Duque or Mike Pelfrey to the Bullpen. If Aaron Heilman is included in a deal for Santana, there would be a conspicuous hole in the middle relief. Many people have said Mike Pelfrey may be best suited for this role so that he can gain more confidence and develop further. El Duque on the other hand, has bullpen experience and such a move may prove to be valuable as far as his durability is concerned. At this point, I'm becoming more optimistic about a deal with the Twins. I you had asked me yesterday around noon, I would have said 'no way!' Nevertheless, by making these moves, the Mets so far would have added their ace and solved and further strengthened their bullpen/rotation issues. Not too shabby, huh?

Well, the Twins are asking for Fernando Martinez or Carlos Gomez along with Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra. Along with Ryan Church and Aaron Heilman, this is what Omar should consider:

3) Include Fernando Martinez in this deal! We cannot afford to give up either he or Carlos Gomez, but with Gomez being closer to 'The Show' than Martinez, he would be needed to replace Ryan Church in right field this season. F-Mart isn't due to crack the majors until 2009 or '10, so a supplementary move would be to re-sign Shawn Green for one year to platoon with Gomez. Although Green doesn't have the 'pop' of old, he was adequate last season and to me is a better alternative than Brad Wilkerson.

4) Also include one of Kevin Mulvey or Philip Humber with Deolis Guerra. I'd hate to see Guerra become as dominant as he's projected to be with another club, but I could stomach it if he's included with one of Mulvey or Humber. The Mets will need to keep at least one of them around with Pedro Martinez, El Duque and Oliver Perez all coming off the books after this season.

If this Johan saga ends with him coming to Flushing, I'd love to see the makeup of the lineup and rotation. If it were done, I could see it looking like this:

Starting Rotation:
1)
Johan Santana
2) Pedro Martinez
3) John Maine
4) Livan Hernandez
5) Mike Pelfrey

Bullpen:
Orlando Hernandez
Jorge Sosa
Pedro Feliciano
Scott Schoeneweis
Duaner Sanchez
Billy Wagner

Lineup:
1) Jose Reyes
2) Luis Castillo
3) David Wright
4) Carlos Beltran
5) Carlos Delgado
6) Moises Alou
7) Brian Schneider/Shawn Green
8) Carlos Gomez/Brian Schneider
9) Pitcher's spot

 The makeup of this team is not bad at all. In fact, I think they would have a pretty good time rolling through the National League; the only conerns I do have however, are what happens for 2009 when Moises Alou and Carlos Delgado are done? Mark Teixeira is an option, but he may be staying put in Atlanta (he just bought a home there); and I gather finding serviceable outfielders is not too big a deal. Perhaps this may work out. Just perhaps.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com