Tag:Carlos Beltran
Posted on: May 24, 2011 5:18 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2011 5:32 pm
 

Mets: Moneyball with (no?) money

When the Mets hired Sandy Alderson last fall, and when Alderson reassembled part of his old Oakland front office by bringing in J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta (all supposedly with huge salaries), there was a lot of talk about "Moneyball with money."

DePodesta even referenced it when he joined the Mets in November.

"We have a lot of work to do to get to that level, but the opportunity to be able to do that is really exciting, no question," he said that day, according to MLB.com.

Now, more and more, it looks like the idea was Moneyball . . . without money.

In the latest stop on his awkward media blitz, Mets owner Fred Wilpon admitted to Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci that the Mets will not spend most of the $64 million coming off the payroll after this year. Verducci suggested that the Mets will reduce the payroll by 30 percent, a cut of more than $40 million that would likely drop them into the bottom half of big-league payrolls.

Not only that, but as Wilpon talked to Verducci about the payroll, he said, "That's one of the reasons that I needed someone like Sandy Alderson."

The assumption all along has been that Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez won't be Mets next season, and that it was almost certain that Jose Reyes would leave as well, either as a free agent or through a midseason trade.

But the more Wilpon talks, the more it seems that he hired Alderson in hopes he would shop at the same bargain bins he was forced to frequent with the A's.

As one Mets person said Tuesday, "We're out beating the bushes [the minor leagues] for players. That's all we can afford."

Wilpon also told Verducci that he believes he'll be able to hold onto his team, assuming he doesn't lose all the money that Madoff trustee Irving Picard is trying to recover from him.

That means more Wilpon ownership, and maybe more Moneyball . . . without money.



Posted on: May 23, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: May 23, 2011 12:42 pm
 

In latest Mets crisis, owner blasts players

Bud Selig was right!

Just as the commissioner has said over and over, the Mets and Dodgers are not at all alike. Just check out this week's New Yorker for proof.

Of all the dumb things Dodgers lame-duck owner Frank McCourt has said and done, he didn't invite a reporter into his suite to listen to him make fun of his players. No, that was the latest dumb thing that (possibly lame-duck) Mets owner Fred Wilpon did.

The rips of Jose Reyes, David Wright and Carlos Beltran are buried in Jeffrey Toobin's very sympathetic, 10,000-word look at Wilpon's relationship with Bernard Madoff (Toobin gave Madoff another chance to proclaim Wilpon's innocence), but it's the rips that had Mets fans talking Monday morning.

Reyes "thinks he's going to get Carl Crawford money" and "won't get it," Wilpon told Toobin while they watched an early-season Mets loss together.

Wright is "A really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar," Wilpon said.

Beltran is "65 to 70 percent of what he was," and got his seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets solely because of "one [playoff] series."

Some Mets fans will no doubt concur with the owner's judgments. Some Mets fans will no doubt be thrilled to hear that the owner can be as emotional about the team as they are.

But do you really want to tell your best players that the owner thinks they're not that good? Do you really want to tell other teams that the players you're going to try to trade this summer aren't worth the money?

This is so typical Mets.

No, Selig is right. Fred Wilpon is no Frank McCourt.

Posted on: May 16, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Mets' Wright has stress fracture in back

NEW YORK -- With the Mets, injuries are never shocking.

Make that almost never.

Monday, third baseman David Wright went for what he thought was a routine MRI on his back. Monday afternoon, the Mets announced that Wright has a stress fracture in his back, and that he seems to have had it for nearly a month.

"I was shocked," Wright said.

"I was shocked and unhappy," manager Terry Collins said.

The Mets are saying that Wright will need 10 days of rest, and that doctors don't consider this a long-term injury. But this is the Mets, so we'll see, and we won't be shocked if it lasts longer.

At least now we know he won't be traded in the next two weeks, not that he was likely to be dealt anytime soon, anyway. There has been some speculation that the Mets would deal Wright, who is signed through 2012, but he was always less likely to be moved that shortstop Jose Reyes or outfielder Carlos Beltran, or even closer Francisco Rodriguez (whose $17.5 million vesting option makes a deal more complicated).

It's much less certain that they would trade Wright, who is, as Collins said, "without question, the face of the team."

Of course, if you're going to be the face of the Mets, you've got to get hurt, right?

Wright spoke confidently about returning in two weeks. The Mets didn't even put Wright on the disabled list immediately, waiting for a second opinion from a back specialist.

"I thought I could play through it," Wright said. "I still think if the risk wasn't there that I could play through it."

Wright said the injury dates back to April 19, when he dived to try to make a play on Carlos Lee in a home game against the Astros. He said that his back felt sore for about a week after that game, and that anti-inflammatory drugs hadn't really eased the pain.

"It turned from stiffness to pain to continued pain," he said. "But I didn't think it was anything serious."

Wright insisted that the injury isn't the reason for his uncharacteristic .226 batting average. He was hitting .239 when he got hurt, and has hit .215 in 22 games since then.


Posted on: April 22, 2011 2:11 pm
 

Center field now belongs to the young

Have you noticed how young center fielders are these days?

Gary Cohen did.

Cohen, the outstanding television voice of the Mets, asked me the other day who's the oldest regular center fielder in the game, now that Carlos Beltran and Torii Hunter have become right fielders.

So I looked it up.

And the answer is? It depends on who you consider a regular, but in any case, there's no one older than 33.

The oldest is either Marlon Byrd of the Cubs, who is 33 (and will turn 34 on Aug. 30), or Aaron Rowand of the Giants, who will turn 34 one day earlier.

Rowand has played the most games in center field for the Giants so far, but Andres Torres is the regular when he's healthy. That's OK, because Torres is also 33 (but a few months younger than Byrd or Rowand).

No other regular center fielder in the game is 33. Or even 32.

In fact, 21 of the 30 teams feature a center fielder who hasn't turned 30, and 10 have a center fielder who is 25 or younger. And one or two of the teams with a 30-plus center fielder are already looking for someone better.

You might say that it figures, because center fielders need speed. But over the last 10 years, 35 center fielders who were past their 34th birthday played at least 100 games in center field in the big leagues.

Steve Finley played every game in 2004, at age 39, and played 139 games two years later, at age 41.

It can be done, but not this year.

Now center field belongs to the young.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 2:33 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 7:15 pm
 

Red Sox focused on Ordonez

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Red Sox appear to be focusing on Magglio Ordonez in their search for another outfielder.

The Tigers are also interested in keeping Ordonez, and the interest in the free agent is significant enough that there is some chance he could get a multi-year contract. Agent Scott Boras has suggested to some teams that Ordonez could get $18 million for two years, according to sources. Tigers officials insist that they won't give Ordonez any more than one year, and the Red Sox may feel the same way.

The Phillies are also among the teams most interested in Ordonez. Earlier today, a source had suggested that the Orioles were involved, but one official said later that they had pulled out of the bidding, and general manager Andy MacPhail then told MLB.com that they weren't interested.

Ordonez missed time last year with a broken ankle, and some teams have expressed concern that he won't be able to play a full season in the outfield. If he returns to the Tigers, he would play every day but would likely be used as a designated hitter a couple of days a week, on the days when Victor Martinez catches. The Red Sox have a full-time DH in David Ortiz, but they also have a large group of outfielders who could give Ordonez some days off.

Ordonez worked out for the Tigers today. Boras said the workout was designed "to show he's 100 percent. He's ready to go."

The Red Sox talked to the Mets about a possible trade for Carlos Beltran, but sources said that Beltran is farther down their list right now because of injury concerns.



Posted on: August 12, 2010 12:07 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 12:16 pm
 

Only the Mets

Only the Mets, right?

Only the Mets could have a player arrested in the clubhouse, after a fight with his father-in-law -- in the team's family room, in front of his teammates' wives and children!

Only the Mets could have their manager tell reporters that he'd definitely use Francisco Rodriguez to close today's game against the Rockies -- if Rodriguez gets back from court in time -- after his morning arraignment! Of course, about an hour after Manuel said that, the Mets announced that Rodriguez has been placed on the restricted list for two days, meaning he can't pitch, they won't pay him and they have a couple more days to figure out what to do next.

No, it's not funny when a family dispute gets so heated that someone (Rodriguez's father-in-law, in this case) needs treatment at a hospital. But it sure is Mets-like.

Is there any team in baseball that has embarrassed itself more over the last four years?

I'm sure I'm missing something, but here's the list:

1. The collapse. On Sept. 12, 2007, the Mets held a seven-game lead over the Phillies with just 17 games to play. They went 5-12 the rest of the way, and the Phillies won the division by one game.

2. The concussion. After outfielder Ryan Church suffered his second concussion in three months, the Mets allowed him to fly with the team from Atlanta to Colorado. The Mets later admitted this was a bad idea.

3. The firing. After going back and forth on whether to dump manager Willie Randolph, the Mets had Randolph fly to California with the team in June 2008. Then, two hours after the first game of the trip, the Mets announced that they had fired Randolph -- at 3:12 a.m. New York time.

3. The collapse, part II. In September 2008, the Mets didn't lead by seven games, but they did lead the division by half a game on Sept. 19, and led the wild-card race by 2 1/2 games the next day. They lost six of their last nine games, lost the division to the Phillies and lost the wild card to the Brewers on the final day of the season -- in the final game ever at Shea Stadium. Oh, and the Mets scheduled their Shea Goodbye ceremony for after the final game, when there was nothing to celebrate.

4. The press conference. First there were the stories about assistant general manager Tony Bernazard allegedly taking his shirt off and challenging Mets minor leaguers to a fight. And there were stories about Bernazard allegedly fighting with Rodriguez on a team flight. Then, when the Mets fired Bernazard, they somehow made things worse and more embarrassing. On live television -- on Mets-owned SNY -- Minaya accused New York Daily News reporter Adam Rubin of campaigning for a job with the team. To make things even more complicated, and more embarrassing, Rubin worked part-time for SNY, and in fact it was an appearance on SNY before the press conference that reportedly set Minaya off.

5. The surgery. This January, the Mets picked a fight with their most talented player, complaining publicly about the timing of center fielder Carlos Beltran's knee surgery. The Mets claimed they didn't know Beltran was having surgery. Beltran's agent, Scott Boras, said he had told them.

6. The Maine problem. Convinced that starter John Maine had a physical problem that was causing him to lose velocity, Manuel and pitching coach Dan Warthen made the decision to remove Maine from a start in Washington after just five pitches. Warthen later told reporters that Maine is "a habitual liar in a lot of ways as far as his own health." Maine had an angry exchange with Warthen on the Mets' flight home that night. He never pitched in another game for the Mets, and recently had season-ending shoulder surgery.

7. The bullpen fight. During a game against the Yankees that same week, Rodriguez and bullpen coach Randy Niemann got in what The New York Times described as "a heated confrontation" in the bullpen, in view of fans. Niemann later took responsibility.

8. The arrest. According to Kevin Burkhardt of SNY, Rodriguez went directly to the family room after Wednesday night's 6-2 Mets loss to the Rockies. While there, he apparently got into an argument with his wife, and when his father-in-law stepped in, the confrontation got physical. Rodriguez's father-in-law was taken to a local hospital. Rodriguez was arrested.

There's more. Those are just the highlights. Or the lowlights.

Only the Mets.


Posted on: July 7, 2009 7:15 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2009 7:17 pm
 

Mets rely on . . . hope?

NEW YORK -- The Mets say they don't know when Carlos Beltran will be back. They say they don't know when Jose Reyes will be back.

They have some idea when Carlos Delgado will be back, but they say he likely won't make it back before mid-August, and in any case shouldn't be back before Beltran and Delgado.

Oh, and the Mets say that we really shouldn't expect any problem-solving trades anytime soon.

So here's what the Mets have to offer: hope.

"We're battling," general manager Omar Minaya said. "We hope as guys get back, we're in contention."

He never said how he expects that to happen.

As for manager Jerry Manuel, at least he has stopped saying publicly that his remaining players aren't good enough (they're not, but it doesn't really help when a manager says they're not).

"We might have to play good with this group for a longer time than we anticipated," Manuel said. "That's my responsibility. I've got to find a way for this group to mesh and play good baseball."

He's hoping.

Posted on: June 24, 2009 1:54 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2009 1:58 pm
 

Brewers optimistic about Parra

In his first start after the Brewers sent him to the minor leagues, Manny Parra was throwing 84-87 mph and was so unimpressive that one person watching said, "They announced Manny Parra, but it sure didn't look like him."

But Parra rebounded well Tuesday night, going seven innings and allowing just one run for Nashville against an Albuquerque team that featured that other Manny (who, by the way, struck out and grounded out against Parra). The Brewers were encouraged enough that they now think Parra could rejoin their rotation within the next few weeks.

Brewers people hope Parra could follow the same path as Ricky Nolasco, the Marlins opening day starter who seemed to be helped by his two Triple-A starts. Nolasco, who had a 9.07 ERA when he was sent down, has a 2.50 ERA in three starts since returning, including a win at Fenway Park.

The Brewers have made it this far into the season using only five starting pitchers. That will change when Parra's spot comes up on Saturday (the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Seth McClung is the leading candidate for that spot). The Brewers will also need to fill Dave Bush's spot, with Bush now on the disabled list.

*****

While many people in baseball believe that the Nationals should give Mike Rizzo the full-time job as general manager, the team has continued to look at other options, and some people are saying that the Nats owners want "a big name." The Nationals contacted Gerry Hunsicker, the former Astros GM who now works for Tampa Bay, but it appears that he doesn't want the job.

One name that has circulated: Jed Hoyer, who now works as Theo Epstein's assistant in Boston.

Meanwhile, other teams are wondering how much freedom Rizzo has to make trades. The Nationals have spoken to many teams about Nick Johnson, and to a few about Adam Dunn.

*****

While the Rockies' slow start cost manager Clint Hurdle his job, their strong rebound is good news for general manager Dan O'Dowd, whose job now seems much more secure.

The Rockies' rebound has a few other effects, notably allowing other teams to believe that they could make the same sort of move back into the race. The Rockies themselves are no longer seen as a July seller, although sources said they're still trying to move Garrett Atkins.

The problem is that Atkins has a .206 batting average and has also regressed defensively.

"He can't play first base," one scout said. "And he can't play third base, either."

*****

Without Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, the Mets lineup is awful, and they know it. Asked Tuesday night if we should expect more games like Tuesday's (a two-hit Joel Pineiro shutout) or like Monday's (a scrappy 6-4 win), manager Jerry Manuel answered honestly: "That's a good question."

The Mets expect to get all of their injured players back at some point this season, but they can't say exactly when on any of them. While they say there's a chance Beltran (bruised knee) could miss just two weeks, GM Omar Minaya said the All-Star break could be a safer bet.

"If you told me right now we'd have him to start the second half, I'd sign up for that," Minaya said.

*****

Good line from 2,501-win man Tony La Russa, when asked what qualities make a good manager.

"Outstanding players," said La Russa, a fine manager who has also been blessed with many outstanding players.

*****

Among all the impressive Albert Pujols stats, how about this one: In six plate appearances this year with the bases loaded, Pujols is 5 for 5 with three home runs and a sacrifice fly. In those six plate appearances, he has 16 RBIs (out of a possible 24).

For his career, Pujols is a .411 hitter with the bases loaded.

 
 
 
 
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