Lost My Mets Hope Springs Eternal – Spring Training Magic

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  Sandy Alderson poses f...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I was incredibly impressed with the response to my last posting. The traffic was tremendous and I can only assume, especially since there were only five comments, it was because there is a silent majority of Mets fans out there who are thinking the same thing. This is the first Spring Training in history (at least in my history) where hope is not Springing eternal and here’s why…

For me, this Spring Training started out as any other. The players showed up, most in great shape, Terry Collins proved pretty quickly that he runs a tight ship and I am a huge fan of Sandy Alderson. He’s the only person qualified to handle this unique mess.

One thing bothers me though…. The current ownership group was exposed for flat out lying to the fans by stating their Madoff losses would have no effect on the team. At the same time we are finding out the exact opposite from the traditional media.

The NYTimes reports the Mets lost $50 million last year. They stand to lose an additional $50 million this year. Forbes has shaved off $100 million in worth from the Mets in 1 year. The Mets, now valued at $700 million, minus $500 million of which is debt, means the Wilpon’s have a team worth $200 million to them. Continue to lose $50 million a year and the team is worthless in 4 years.

As Mets fans do you accept that? Do you accept being a worthless, potentially last place team in the largest media market in the world?  Oh yeah, you also compete with the NY Yankees so many of those paying fans are never coming back.

We all think that payroll is being freed up for major acquisition’s but it really looks like payroll is being freed up to cover losses. When you lose $50 million a year you’re not going out and signing any big free agents. The Mets just don’t have the money and since they’re already awash in debt they can’t borrow and spend their way out of this predicament. Continue reading “Lost My Mets Hope Springs Eternal – Spring Training Magic”

Mets Release Luis Castillo

Luis Castillo with the New York Mets on June 2...
Image via Wikipedia

There wasn’t much doubt that this was going to happen at some point this spring, it was just a matter of when it was going to happen. Today, the news came out that the Mets finally released the chronically under-performing Luis Castillo. It came out from the beat reporters that Castillo asked for his release today, unhappy with the assemblage of talent trying out at second base to replace him. Even the $6.25 million left on his contract for 2011 wasn’t enough to save him.

Castillo’s contract was inexplicable from the start. The Mets picked him up from the Twins at the trading deadline in 2007 and went on to one of the greatest late-season collapses in baseball history. At 31 years old, he appeared to be on the downside of a former speedster’s career. His legs didn’t look fresh and he couldn’t cover the same ground in the field that he did in the late 90’s with the Marlins when we saw him steal bases against Mike Piazza at will with his running mate Juan Pierre.

Of course, Omar Minaya rewarded him with a long-term contract. 4 -years/$25 million. It was hard to believe that was really true. But it was. Continue reading “Mets Release Luis Castillo”

Mets Managerial Search Foreshadows Decision Making

New York Mets new general manager Sandy Alderson responds to a reporter's question as the MLB National League Mets introduce him at a news conference in New York, October 29, 2010. Long-time baseball executive Alderson, 62, succeeds Omar Minaya, who was fired earlier this month along with manager Jerry Manuel after the team's second consecutive losing season.  REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

http://view.picapp.com//JavaScripts/OTIjs.jsDecisions made by upper management are their decisions to make with good reason. The opinions of sports talk gurus are only slightly more knowledgeable than the “Average Joe” getting bagels at the deli. The media covering the Mets poke blindly at who is the “obvious” or “necessary” pick for manager. The finalists for the Mets managerial job should tell the media and fans one thing “back off”. The new front office has an idea of what they want to do and they’re not going to be bullied by the masses who have little to no expertise on the subject matter.

Bobby Valentine has been left off the list and Wally Backman is looking destined for Single A. In the past I have lobbied for Backman, but I have to admit I just like my managers to be more Earl Weaver than Joe Torre. I like the Lou Pinella types who throw a tirade. I even like when players pull a Paul LoDuca and get in A-Rod’s face after a second too long pose down following a homer. In these situations, it’s best to see Alderson conducting his interviews without input from fans and the media know-it-alls.

Truth be told, the outcry from New Yorkers over unpopular decisions needs to be ignored continuously. Don’t pretend you weren’t looking for a tall building to scale after R.A. Dickey was signed. Continue reading “Mets Managerial Search Foreshadows Decision Making”

Video: Mets GM Sandy Alderson Introduced

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  Sandy Alderson answers...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Here’s a brief video from ESPN of Dave Howard introducing Sandy Alderson to the media as the Mets new general manager today. He said all of the right things but so did Omar Minaya when he was hired. His deeds will mean more than his words.

I think one thing that we can expect is that he won’t have the kind of public meltdown that Minaya had last season when Tony Bernazard got fired.

Here’s the video:


Video: Fred Wilpon on Minaya, Manuel Firings

Here’s some video from Fox Sports from the Mets press conference yesterday. Fred Wilpon takes responsibility for the team’s lack of success over the past few years, since 2008 really.

Wilpon talks about the job of the new GM and manager being to win games and how the Mets haven’t been doing that successfully recently.

If you have trouble viewing the video with Internet Explorer, try Firefox or Chrome.

Video: Mets done with Minaya, Manuel

Mets Fire Manuel, Minaya – New Era Dawns

New York Mets newly appointed Manager Jerry Manuel (R) is introduced to reporters by Mets General manager Omar Minaya during a news conference in Anaheim, California, in this June 17, 2008 file photograph. The New York Mets fired Manuel and Minaya on October 4, 2010, just one day after the Major League Baseball regular season ended. Manuel and Minaya paid the price after the Mets stumbled to a second consecutive losing season (79-83) and failed to make the playoffs for the fourth straight year, despite having one of the league's biggest payrolls. REUTERS/Hector Mata (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

http://view.picapp.com//JavaScripts/OTIjs.jsAs expected, the Mets fired Omar Minaya and declined to pick up the option on Jerry Manuel’s contract for next season. It was a decisive move, only one day after the end of another disappointing season.

Apparently, Minaya was offered another job with the Mets but declined. It was a reign of mostly unsuccessful seasons. He had six years at the helm of one of the monster payrolls of Major League Baseball with only one playoff appearance to show for it. Declining attendance and fan interest have been rampant since the end of the 2007 “Collapse”.

Manuel didn’t do a poor job but he didn’t do a great job either. He just didn’t inspire the players to do more than we thought they were capable of. I don’t blame the decline of the team on him but it wouldn’t be fair to saddle a new GM with a manager that he doesn’t want.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Wilpons trying to run the baseball operations of the team. Of course, it’s tough to get an accurate gauge on that without being in a room with them. Usually, when there’s smoke there’s fire though.

A new era begins for the Mets and I think we’re all ready to move on from the last few painful seasons. No matter which direction the Wilpons go, we should have some optimism for the future of the team.


Last Day of 2010 Mets Season

382643 34: Flea from the music group 'Red Hot Chili Peppers' gives the photographer the finger at the 'My VH1 Music Awards' November 30, 2000 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Chris Weeks/Liaison)

http://view.picapp.com//JavaScripts/OTIjs.jsAbout 600,000 fewer of us visited Citi Field in 2010 than in 2009. That pretty much says it all. There just hasn’t been a reason to get excited about this team all year. Although the Mets were mathematically eliminated in recent weeks, we’ve known since after the All-Star break that this team was going nowhere. That 2-9 road trip to the west coast coming out of the break took what was left of the wind out of their sails.

Nobody other than Scott Boras cares if Mike Pelfrey gets his 16th win today. It’s a meaningless feat for an  irrelevant team.

The good news, depending upon your perspective, is that the firings will start tomorrow. You’ve probably heard the rumors that Omar Minaya will be fired or moved to another job where the damage that he does is contained. Jerry Manuel won’t return as manager. Most of us knew that when the Mets didn’t get off to that hot start that Manuel talked about all spring. He was cooked by April.

I, for one, happily say “goodbye” to the 2010 Mets. And good riddance.  I won’t miss you when you’re gone.