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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.