Tag:NY Mets
Posted on: May 15, 2011 6:54 pm

Games 21-40

What a difference 20 games make, eh? The Mets went 12-8 over this span and have actually won 14 of 22 overall.  The Mets have been getting great relief pitching and have been hitting big homers. Imo, Terry Collins has done a terrific job using players like Pridie and Turner who have been journeymen players. They've won big games with key hits and each has hit a huge HR. He's used his pen well even w/out Beato. The team has stayed upbeat despite all the negativity in the press and among some of the fan base. They're 19-21 going home and have won 3 straight series and have already won 4 on the road this year(Fla, Was, Col & Hou).

 I believe in the next installment we'll improvement and creep closer to respectability. This isn't a good team, but it's not as bad as it's played.
 I stated the above in my initial 20 game breakdown. They've responded well and are only 2 under. This despite losing Pagan, Davis, Parnell and Beato to the DL, Young for the year and still no Santana. Wright and Bay have done little offensively as well. Reyes, Beltran and Davis have carried the load. The Mets have gotten key contributions from Pridie, Turner and even Murphy. This club has shown some spunk. They've rallied a few times down late. They didn't battle and fall short like last year or past years, but have actually won those type of games. Overall, you can't be that upset with their position in the standings.

The big worry was, is and will be the rotation. Until Santana returns mid-late summer, that won't change. Pelfrey-Niese-Dickey-Capuano-Gee are decent-pedestrian pitchers. None of them are aces or even #2 pitchers. In truth, there isn't a true #3 amongst them. 3 of the 5 have 5+ ERA's and the other 2 are near or above 4.5. This despite pitching 19 games in cavernous Citifield. If not for the pen, the staff would be a disaster. Beato, Buchholtz, Izzy and Rodriguez have been excellent. Rodriguez has converted 12 straight chances after blowing the first(he even won that game). To his credit, he's bounced back. Izzy has done a solid job setting up. Beato and Buchholtz have been an excellent bridge. Igarashi and Brydak have been up-and-down, but lately have been decent. If the starters can go 6, that's all they need to be. I think the rotation can improve and go deeper, but they have little room for error, since none of them have a real out pitch or a killer instinct. There is nothing @ AAA and in AA Mark Cohoon and Familia aren't ready. Cohoon is further along having logged 41 IP this year and having pitched in AA last year. Familia flopped @ A last year and has only 7 IP @ AA so far. He did well early @ A this year, but is young and far from polished. Cohoon doesn't throw hard, but have good off change pitches which he uses for outs. He could be used if this staff thins out. Let's hope not. In the lower minors, Harvey has been outstanding, but this is his first year of pro ball and shouldn't be rushed. He should be @ AA, especially if Cohoon moves to Triple A. So as you can see, there aren't any real immediate options.

A major positive has been the Mets play on the road. They've won 4 series already. Last year they didn't win a road series against a NL team until August(in Houston). They're 11-10 on the road and just had a 4-2 trip including a rare series win against the Rox. Now, they need to turn around their poor record at home. They have a short 4 game homestand to get it going. Hopefully, fans will come out to see this team which is showing some grit. Unlike the last 2 years, this team deserves fan support. Despite injuries and mediocre starting pitching, they're playing better than .600 ball since their 5-13 start.

This next 20 games is key. If the Mets can play .500 ball or better, they should be getting healthier and gaining confidence as the season truly heats up. The key will be the rotation stepping up and Wright and Bay getting going. Beltran and Reyes can't be expected to stay as hot and who knows when Davis and Pagan will actually return. Imo, Davis will be back first. The pen needs to be effective and Collins must remain upbeat. I think they'll continue to hover around .500 because that's who they are.
Category: MLB
Tags: NY Mets
Posted on: April 23, 2011 12:58 am
Edited on: April 23, 2011 1:29 pm

Games 1-20

I like to break down a season into (8) 20 game segments. Here I'll be discussing games 1-20 in the first installment of my 8 blog entry series. I will also end it with some thoughts overall about this team. The first 20 games were pretty ugly, but ended with some hope. Here we go...

The Mets starters were horrendous. They have the 2nd worst ERA in the NL next to Arizona. The "top 3" were particularly brutal.  Pelfrey, Niese and Dickey won 2 games while losing 8 and it could have been even worse. Each had only one quality start. That can't continue or else this team will be lucky to win 70 games. Young pitched brilliantly in his 2 starts before the injury and Capuano has done a solid job for a #5, actaully leading the staff in wins with 2. Gee was ok in his spot start, while Carrasco was putrid. Overall they were 6-10 with a 5.3 ERA and no complete games. Ugly and troubling. This is at best a pedestrian group. Mejia could replace a flailing starter later on this year. That could even happen over the next 20 games, but I doubt it. More length(like the last 3 starts) is absolutely necessary.

The bullpen hardly faired better. Carrasco and Parnell have been totally ineffective and Boyer was beyond terrible. Fortunately, the Mets didn't wait and just cut him. Brydak has been ineffective as the lone lefty. Beato and Buchholtz have been very good with Izzy returning and looking very effective, winning the set-up job. Carrasco, normally a decent reliever has been terrible and has been pretty much buried in the backend of the pen. Igarashi isn't anywhere near a major league pitcher and should be waived and replaced by Tankersley, giving Collins another lefty in the pen. Rodriguez blew his first save, but has been ok in limited use.  The pen is 1- 3 with 4 saves. However, they've been overused and mostly ineffective. If the starters can go 6-7, then Collins can shorten the pen to Beato, Buchholtz, Izzy and Rodriguez. If that occurs, we could see a turnaround over the next 20 games. Carrasco could settle in as the long man. Here there is hope, but changes need to be made with the lefties and Igarashi must go. Parnell when he comes off the DL needs to close @ AAA and get his head on straight. He's their lone true power arm and will be needed later either to set-up or close, when Rodriguez is dealt. There is nothing @ AAA of any use. Nothing.

The offense has been ineffective in the clutch with the exception of Ike Davis(who won tonight's game). They leave too many men on base, strike out way too frequently and simply do not get runners home when they are in a position to score. The return of Bay should help, not only in production, but lengthening of the line-up and strengthening the bench. Unfortunately, Pagan is going to be out for much of the next 20 games, so we'll see Pridie, Harris and Hairston in CF. Pagan wasn't doing anything offensively, but he has talent and was due to break out. Hopefully, he'll rest up, relax and return hacking. Reyes has been hitting and stealing bases, but not scoring runs. Jose still makes incredibly bad decisions on the basepaths and too often doesn't run early in the count setting up the #2 hitter for an RBI. Reyes also rarely if ever hits in the clutch and his average with RISP is poor. Wright started off great, then went a career worst 0-20 before hitting a HR last night. He's also striking out at an alarming rate. He seems to always take the first pitch, even if it's right down the pike. He then fouls off a pitch or 2, then K's. You can just feel the fact he's going to whiff. David needs to be more aggressive early on and put the ball in play. He also needs to hit line drives and not worry about the dimensions of the field. Beltran has been okay, but hasn't knocked in a lot of runs. He had that 2 HR game and his numbers are fine, but he's not really a #4 hitter, but rather more of a #5 or #6 hitter. Clutch he isn't. Murphy is finally getting more playing time and looks like he may get locked in. Murphy is a solid hitter and if he can play everyday should be an asset either hitting #2 or #7. The fact he's hitting #7 shows this can be a pretty good line-up. Thole has been okay, but has slumped of late. After a few days off, I'm sure he'll bounce back. Thole can hit. Emaus was a flop. Again, Alderson didn't wait and acted by cutting him. The Mets bench has been a huge disappointment, especially Hairston who is a solid player. Harris should be settling there now, even with Pagan out and that should help. The return of Paulino will help because he cripples lefties. Hu can't hit a lick and Justin Turner is a AAA player who has no punch whatsoever. He'll be gone shortly. The offense has potential, but hasn't done the job especially int he clutch. I believe it will come around. They may have to carry this team because of the pedestrian pitching.

Defensively, the infield has been fine(with shakiness @ 2B the exception), but the OF has been horrendous. Pagan, Harris and Hairston, who are normally solid fielders, have all misjudged or dropped balls. Beltran loafs after balls consistently. It is so obvious he's a DH and you wonder if he'll ever bust it for fear of getting hurt and jeopardizing his next contract as a DH in the AL. Watching him play RF is painful and infuriating. Jason Pridie is supposedly a good CF, so perhaps he'll help in the short term. With this staff, any defensive lapses could spell doom. The defense has to be tight. Off the bench Hu is a good defensive player either @ 2B or SS. Turner is not. In his first start he threw one ball away for an error and throw 2 balls in the dirt of would be DP's, that Ike dug out. I don't understand why he's here. He can't hit and defensively he's porous. Hu should be the defensive replacement. Turner isn't needed. Hu's only value is just that. The Mets have no one in the minors to call up for defense only, unless they want Tejada to play 2B, which makes little sense. I say let Murphy start every game and double switch Hu in for defense late.

Lastly, I want to touch on the managing/coaching. Collins hasn't been impressive, but at least he's trying. He's making moves, but they're backfiring. He's trying to keep the players positive and he's communicating. He hasn't lost his cool either. Unlike Manuel who managed on autopilot, he's involved in the game and seems to live-and-die with each game. Terry knows he's here to change the culture and get this team to play baseball the right way. So far, he's been unsuccessful, but it's due to a lack of effort. I do believe the Mets should look at their pitching coach and consider a change. Warthen has not had the best relationship with Pelfrey and his lack of success with Pelfrey, Niese and Parnell is telling. Remember each of them faltered late last year, with only Pelfrey briefly rallying. Mejia also didn't pitch well @ the MLB level. The Mets lead the league in walks and are 28th in ERA. That's reflection on the coach as well as the players. The Mets AAA PC Ricky Bones had his Bison team lead the IL in K's and they had the least walks despite having pedestrian talent. I mean Dillon Gee lead the IL in K's. He helped turn around Niese last year and Mejia has been lights out so far in 2011. Bones may be a boost to this staff in terms of teaching and listening. I honestly believe Ricky could be an asset to a staff which needs all the help it can get. Other than that, Mookie and Hale are fine and Hudgens is hard to judge so early. The Mets do have Mike Easler @ AAA and the Hitman has been a hitting coach for a few MLB teams before. So it is possible change could happen there, if this team continues to slump. Ken Oberkfell is an excellent bench coach and is 1-0 managing with Collins ejected.

In closing, 7-13 and a pathetic 3-8 home record have this team off to a rough start. The media is punishing them and some fans are throwing in the towel already. I find that puzzling. We all knew this was a transition year and Alderson was taking on the role of Donnie Walsh trying to pare down a payroll and terrible culture Minaya had left him. Most of us see this as a mediocre team with some talent, that should get an infusion of youth throughout the year and especially once Beltran, Rodriguez and possibly even Reyes are dealt on or before 7/31. 20 games do not make a season. This team should rally, hover around .500 and once the dust clears in late July should see an influx of youth and hopefully talent from elsewhere. Hopefully, Collins and the coaching staff work well with them and keep the atmosphere professional and teach. The Mets could be like the Orioles were the last month or so last year. 20 games shouldn't depress us or keep us from looking at the big picture. I believe in the next installment we'll improvement and creep closer to respectability. This isn't a good team, but it's not as bad as it's played. This team is mediocre and I think we'll see that play out.
Category: MLB
Tags: NY Mets
Posted on: April 1, 2011 5:39 pm

MLB Predictions

Today for me is the real Opening Day since my Mets play for the first time. My Mets are going to surprise and there may be a few others. Having said that, here's my picks for the MLB 2011 season...

NL  East            NL Central           NL West         AL East             AL Central              AL West
Phils                  Brewers             Rockies          Red Sox             Twins                       A's

Braves               Cardinals            Giants           Yankees             Chisox                    Angels

Mets                   Reds                 Dodgers          Rays                 Tigers                    Rangers

Marlins               Cubs                  Padres            B-Jays               Royals                  Mariners 

Nats                   Astros                D-Backs          Orioles               Indians



Division winner



Phils def. Giants

Rockies def Brewers

Phils def. Rockies

Red Sox def. Chisox

Twins def. A's

Red Sox def. Twins

Red Sox def. Phils


NL MVP- Ryan Howard

NL Cy Young- Cliff Lee

NL Manager of the Year- Ron Roenicke

NL Comeback Player- Chris Young

AL MVP- Joe Mauer

AL Cy Young- Jered Weaver

AL Comeback PlayerGrady Sizemore

AL Manager of the Year- Bob Geren

Category: MLB
Tags: NY Mets
Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:29 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2011 6:36 pm

NY Mets 2011 Outlook

Believe it or not, I'm more excited about this season, then any since 2007. Why? I'll tell the reasons in the following paragraphs. Here we go...

First of all, I love the new leadership. The hiring of Sandy Alderson was the best thing the Wilpon's ever did. Sandy immediately hired 2 very competent assistants in Ricciardi and DePodesta. As GM's, they had flaws, but both know the game and understand talent. Sandy will lean on them to make big decisions. He'll have to with a diminished payroll and uncertainty with the ownership of the team. I have faith in Sandy who has won a title and has been GM of a team that went to the World Series 3 straight years. He has a plan, uses statistical data, as well as logic and is unfailingly bright. He's the antithesis of Minaya in everyway. Sandy is in control and there is no doubt. The Mets finally have a unified voice and it's a good one.

Secondly, the Mets coaching staff is improved with the addition of Collins and the subtractions of Manuel, Shines and Johnson. Hojo was simply not good, but the other 2 were simply incompetent. Shines may be the worst positional coach in history and was one of the culprits in the card playing imbroglio. Mookie is an upgrade, just by showing up. Who doesn't love and respect Mookie? Manuel was a fraud. He talked about teaching fundamentals, but obviously didn't put the time in, nor had his coaches do so. Collins is old school. This team will play smarter and harder. You can bank on that. Hojo simply wasn't effective. We can only hope the new coach can have some positive effect. I think this team will be better prepared and held accountable.

Thirdly, Ike Davis and Josh Thole are here from the start. I think Davis is going to have a big year and Thole could be a solid catcher. They inject youth and offense to a team that needs it. Davis is also a great defensive player and Thole has shown signs of improvement in the short time he's been here. I like both players and feel they can make a significant contribution in 2011.

Fourth, let's not forget Reyes is playing for a new contract and is truly healthy for the first time in awhile. Last year he came in under a cloud, then had the health problem which sidelined him early on. Reyes understands this administration has some doubts about him and it's up to him to prove himself. If he does, he could be in line for a big pay day here or somewhere else. That's a huge motivation. In the short term(if not long term) it will help the Mets.

Fifth, Wright has that Citifield problem in his rearview mirror. He proved he can hit in the stadium for power and should be a lot more confident coming in. I can see him hitting 30+ HRS and hitting .300. I think he'll be motivated by the doubt in this team as well. David may be quiet, but has pride. I think he's taken the last 2 years personally.

Next, let's face it Beltran is playing for his career. Whether it's CF or RF(let's hope RF), he needs to prove to the baseball world, he can still play and also stay healthy. A few trips to the DL and a subpar season will be disasterous for him as his contract ends. If he has anything left, he better lay it on-the-line in 2011. If not, 2012 may leave few if any options for him. I personally think he'll do okay and be dealt at the deadline to an AL team.

Speaking of needing to prove himself, let's not forget Jason Bay. He had as bad a year as you can have and it ended with a concussion. I believe he'll bounce back and put up his usually Bay-like numbers(20-90-.280) and solidify the line-up.

Other reasons for a positive outlook is the soon to be released Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez. These 2 are albatrosses and the posterboys for Omar's incompetence. You are talking 18 million dollars of pork that even the gov't would be ashamed of. 2B should be between Emaus and Murphy. I see a platoon developing and Hu being used as a late inning defensive replacement. Perez's position(long relief) is easily taken by Misch or Gee who are both upgrades, just by putting on the uniform. Adios amigos.

Also, for the first time in forever, I like the bench. Hairston and Harris should be the reserve OF's and they can play all OF positions as well as add some pop off the bench. Harris is a great defensive OF. Paulino was a solid move and if Thole falters, he could easily step in and do a solid job. If Thole does well, he adds another bat off the bench at the least and rests Thole against tough lefties and when he hits the wall. Emaus/Murphy will be on the bench when the other is starting and both have pop, especially Murphy. Hu is the 25th man, but unlike Cora, isn't making 2 million. He's the back-up glove @ 2b and will spell Reyes on occasion @ SS.

Lastly, I think the Mets bullpen will be much better than fans or the media believes. Sure losing Feliciano and Takahashi hurt, but do not undersell the acquisitions of Carrasco and Buchholtz. Both are good middle men and Buchholz was a solid set-up guy for the Rox when he was healthy. If he can throw in the low-mid 90's, he can be used there or as a 7th inning guy. Carrasco also has good stuff and could set-up if needed. Parnell's development is huge here. Parnell could start as the set-up guy and if his fastball moves and he adds a breaking pitch, he may in fact replace TKO-Rod when he's dealt @ the deadline. I also like Tankersley as the lefty specialist.

On the negative side, I'm not happy with the rotation and do not believe Santana will return when they think and/or will not be effective this year. His return is needed to get him ready for 2012 and he shouldn't be pushed, but rather brought along slowly. This organization has too much invested in him, to lose him to a career ending injury. Pelfrey, Dickey and Niese are nice pitchers, but are really #3-#5 starters. You can argue all 3 are #4 or #5 starters on good teams. I do think Young could be a real find if healthy and be the #2 in 2012 if he stays healthy throughout 2011. When healthy, he is a good pitcher and a plausible #2 pitcher. Capuano is fine as the #5, but his health is more in question, than Young's. The rotation is the reason this team will never really be a post-season threat.

Overall, I see this team winning between 80-84 games. Last year I said 82-80. I'll go one better this year with lower expectations from most and say 83-79 and a 3rd place finish. I also think we'll be on the periphery of the wild-card race until mid-late September. I also firmly believe they'll play better fundamental baseball and will add young talent at the deadline that we will see in September. I believe when the year is over, Mets fans will be very optimistic about 2012. As for the start of the Mets season, I'll simply echo  Bart Scott's famous words  "Can't wait!"
Category: MLB
Tags: NY Mets
Posted on: January 23, 2011 12:04 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 4:28 pm

The Mets are on the right track

Finally, the Mets are heading in the right direction. Gone are the idiotic signings of overrated aging players and risky moves. Sandy and his minions have gone with the low-cost, high-reward route. They have taken a smart and pragmatic approach to this team's re-tooling. Omar left them with a mess and slowly, but surely, they'll clean it up. The moves they made this off-season are a small start. Let's take a look...

The Mets have added Chris Young and Chris Capuano to the rotation. These are not top-of-the-rotation guys, but rather backend guys who hopefully will allow them to hold-the-fort while Santana properly recovers. Young is coming off surgery, but ended the year healthy going 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 20 innings. He's still young(pun intended). The Mets can't expect 34 starts, but 25 may be enough here.Capuano is a solid pitcher, who if healthy, could be a nice backend guy and if Young prospers and Santana returns, can slide to long relief. Both are fairly cheap and could prove useful in 2011 and perhaps beyond. Nice moves here.

The Mets have also done a nice job adding bench help and a possible starting 2B this off-season. They've added 2 solid bench players in Met-killer Willie Harris and Scott Hairston. Both can play all 3 OF positions and Harris can even play 2B. The Mets know Beltran is an injury waiting to happen and they're not going to be unprepared. Harris and Hairston both have pop off the bench and are excellent defensive players who can replace a Bay late for defense or fill-in incase Angel or Beltran go down short-term. Brad Emaus is a prospect Ricciardi drafted and is high on. He will compete for the 2B job with Murphy and they may platoon or Brad may win it outright. Imo, Castillo isn't even going to get a sniff at winning this job and that's fine with me and just about 90% of Mets fans. Chin-lung Hu was added to back-up @ SS and 2B. He's purely a glove. In other words, the 25th guy. Ronny Paulino was another solid move. He'll catch against lefties and has some pop. If Thole falters, he can step-in and play everyday. He also came fairly cheap. A very nice move. He's a huge upgrade over the 40 year-old(going on 50) Blanco. Murphy may also be on the bench as a utility guy. The bench is so much better this year.

The Mets have lost 2 very solid bullpen pitchers in Feliciano and Takahashi. I'm not going to diminish their worth, but both were grossly overpaid this off-season. The Mets have added DJ Carrasco who can set-up as well as be used as a 7th inning guy. Taylor Tankersley will be a situational lefty and has good numbers there. Paul Beato was added as a rule 5 free-agent and could stick as a reliever. Tim Byrdak and Blaine Boyer will also compete for a middle relief role and will at worst provide AAA depth. Taylor Buchholz could be a solid move if he regains his velocity. He's a possible set-up guy as well. The key to the pen of course will be Parnell and Rodriguez. This pen could be better than people believe and is much deeper than last year.

Lastly, the coaching staff is superior. Gone are Manuel, Shines and Hojo. The former were simpletons and Hojo is simply not a good hitting coach. The Mets have Terry Collins who knows the organization having run the minor leagues and is a disciplinarian which Manuel wasn't it. He won't give fundamentals lip-service, but will hold players accountable if they lack them. Ken Oberkfell( new bench coach) was a terrific minor league manager and was a hard-nosed player. He's managed most of the young Mets as well. Dave Hudgens is the new hitting coach. He managed Thole @ Caracas in the winter league and Thole speaks glowingly of him and his obsession with hitting. Lastly, Mookie Wilson returns to coach 1B. Who was a more exciting base-runner than Mookie? Who is more beloved? He replaces the worst coach in MLB. Just by Shines not showing up, the Mets are better. The Mets are much improved here as well.

The Mets are being run by intelligent, pragmatic professionals. It's a 180 from the incompetent, unprofessional Minaya and his minions like Bernazard and Manuel (among others). This off-season illustrated the differences between pros and amateurs. 2011 will be better and the future is much brighter. The dark ages are over. The Mets Renaissance has begun. Who better than Alderson, a renaissance man to run it?

Category: MLB
Tags: NY Mets
Posted on: November 24, 2010 5:49 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2011 6:31 pm

The Mets are becoming a professional organization

Until recently, the Mets were a professional organization in name only. Now with the hiring of Alderson and his lieutenants Ricciardi and DePodesta, this team has a true brain trust and direction. The hiring of Terry Collins was another move to bolster the organization. They hired a bright man with experience who also ran the farm system and intimately knows the personnel.

With a competent front-office and manager in place this team can move forward and resurrect it's image on-and-off-the-field. They've been a laughing stock the last 4 years under Minaya, Bernazard, Randolph, Manuel and of course Jeff Wilpon. They've humiliated themselves on the field choking away 2 late season leads and of course have had a myriad of blunders like dropped pop-ups, stand up outs at home plate and of course even a  runner missing 3rd base. They've had players suspiciously spending time on the DL and epic failures despite immense salaries. Off-the-field they were even worse. Managers fired in the middle-of-the-night, the GM blaming a sports writer for his failures and an assistant GM fighting players, berating scouts and scolding club house managers. They even messed up a PR visit to Walter Read when the biggest failures and slackers failing to show. IMO, the latter was the final straw for even the laissez-faire Wilpons. Change was finally made and it was all-out.

Sandy Alderson is undoubtedly bright and competent. He has won a championship and has had 3 teams in World Series. Listen to him speak is so refreshing after hearing the last GM flub the easiest questions barely able to articulate the most mondane thoughts. Sandy then went out and hired two bright minds he was very familiar with. Adding another bright man like Collins to help straighten out the mess Minaya made was again a wise move.

Unlike his predecessor, he doesn't look to try to charm those covering the team or the fans. He's upfront and calculated. He expects them to compete. He's stated they won't be free-agent spenders. He's avoided hyperbole. You can see the wheels turning. He knows he can't dump all the player he needs to. He'll do it slowly, but surely. Perez won't be here. Castillo will find himself elsewhere as well. He's not going to tip his hand, but you just have the feeling this guy gets it. Alderson will make moves not to be on the back page of the dying papers, but to actually improve the team. In other words, being a real GM.

2011 won't be a championship year. However, it won't be 2009-2010 either. The main reason is pros are in charge, not the inmates. You'll see youth and a mix of veterans who can play the game and teach the young how to be real pros. Those who have jaked it will change or be gone. Accountability has returned and it's about darned time.

Mets fans should be thrilled. They are back on track and can expect a team that plays and acts like professionals. That hasn't happened here in years. It's overdue and I for one couldn't be happier. Go get them Sandy. I'm behind you 100% and my guess is so are most Mets fans. Your job is not just to win, but return the team to its roots. Those roots are Amazin'. I have the  strong feeling you will.

Category: MLB
Tags: NY Mets
Posted on: November 5, 2010 12:33 am
Edited on: November 5, 2010 4:59 pm

Who'll manage the Mets?

Sandy Alderson is beginning interviews to replace Jerry Manuel this week. He stated he wants to have a manager in place within 30 days. I hope it's much sooner. Below I give my take on the men that most feel will be interviewed and have a shot at managing the 2011 NY Mets. To me Wally Backman should be the clear favorite. I start with him, then list the others. I would love it if Wally interviews so well, the other interviews would be moot. I see Backman as a slam dunk for the 2011 team which will rely on youth and need an injection of energy and pride. Wally will do that for sure. So here's my take...

Wally Backman- He is coming in for an interview this weekend. IMO he is the best man for the job. Backman is a Met, has managed in their system and is a fiery guy who the players respect. He stresses fundamentals and is obsessed with winning. He'll fight for his players and we haven't see that type of guy in the dugout since Bobby Valentine. I see him as a Davey Johnson-type manager. I think he'll get the most out of the talent he's given and the team will play hard, smart and with passion. I also believe those who don't will be held accountable. IMO, he'd be a shot-in-the-arm to this team.

Bob Melvin- He's totally meh. He's a smart guy and has experience, but has won bupkus. Yawn. Bob is better scouting.

Chip Hale
- He's 45 and has managed in the minors with Tucson(PCL) going 91-45 and winning a championship. He was highly regarded as the Mets 3B coach. Chip certainly has a nice resume, but again, I do see him as a spark that this team needs. Like Jauss, he may be best served to manage in the Mets system or stay 3B coach.

Terry Collins
- He's managed the Astros and Angels, but has a pedestrian 444-434 mark overall. He's done a terrific job overseeing the minor leages and should stay in that position.

Ken Oberkfell
- He's earned a shot at managing on the MLB level. The guy has won over 800 professional games and many titles. He's managed at every level and also in the Indies. He was a scrapper as a player and a champion(1982 Cardinals). He knows the Mets players since he's coached virtually all of the homegrown players. I wouldn't be upset if he got the gig, but IMO this team needs a guy to light a fire. Obie isn't that kind of guy. He's a pro though. I wouldn't mind him as a coach on the team however.

Dave Jauss- He's been a bench coach on 3 teams and has done some managing in the DR. He's a bright guy who knows the game, but like Obie and Melvin hardly lights up the room. I'd like to see him manage in the Mets system, just not the big league team. Maybe he goes to AAA while Obie comes to work on the MLB staff.

Clint Hurdle- He did take the Rox to the WS in 2007. He was a manager in the Mets system. He knows the game well. He has experience. However, Clint really didn't do much @ Colorado until that insane end-of-the-year run which carried into the post-season. His record besides that was subpar. He's ok, but this team needs better than ok. I like the guy, but don't want him as the Mets manager.

Bobby Valentine- Odds are he won't even be brought in. There is bad blood from his departure. He took shots at the Wilpon's through his ripping of Phillips. I don't see Sandy bringing him in because of that and the fact Alderson doesn't like spending big money on a manager and Bobby would want that to return. He's great with young kids and a low payroll so he'd be a good fit. I just don't see him as a viable candidate because of his past with this organization.

Lee Mazzilli- I shiver to think this dullard could even be a candidate. IMO, he's an arrogant meathead. He's another Randolph type. The players will not take to his style and he's never proven he can win. I also see him as a real jerk. I hated his work on SNY. He's a know-it-all who knows far less than he believes he does. I hope he stays far away from Citifield.

In the end, I think(and hope) Wally Backman gets the gig. He's the fan favorite and has ties to the organization. Alderson want to change the culture and Wally will certainly do that. He'll bring a spark which would allow Sandy time to methodically piece this team together and reform this broken organization that has crumbled since 2006 and especially under the reign of error of Minaya.
Category: MLB
Tags: NY Mets
Posted on: October 18, 2010 11:24 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2010 1:34 am

Hire Sandy and begin the purge.

Once the Mets get their mandatory minority candidate interview done, it's time to offer Sandy Alderson the keys to the team and have Jeff Wilpon disappear letting a real pro run the show.

Hopefully, Sandy will surround himself with competent baseball men and hire a dynamic manager who will stress fundamentals and bring energy and accountability to the dugout. That has been missing since Valentine was here. Then that coach needs to hire a solid and professional staff. The only leftover he should consider is Chip Hale. I for one hope it's Wally Backman. I think Wally bring energy and a sense of unity this team has been lacking. He wants the job, is a real Met and knows how to win. Wally to me could be another Davey Johnson-type manager. For those wanting Valentine, Alderson doesn't like spending money on a manager. That would immediately eliminate Bobby.

Sandy has a ton of work to do even after hiring the manager. This team lacks talent and character. They have too many characters who have little character. He must immediately jettison Castillo and Perez. The Mets are in the process of re-working KO-Rod's deal so he'd be guaranteed again, but at a lesser salary. That would make him easier to move. Beltran also must be moved even if they eat a large portion of his contract. There are suitors and supposedly Boston and St.Louis are interested. I've always maintained Boston is his destination.

Sandy needs to get a front-line starter, a 2B man and a RF. The bullpen must be revamped with a possible closer added, if Parnell doesn't get the gig. The bench needs to be gutted with the possible exception of Carter. How can the Mets get the players they need? They must make wise free-agent moves and shrewd trades. Hiring someone like Sandy who knows the sport and has experience will help. The Mets do have chips. I'd look to move anyone not named Wright or Davis. Anyone.

I'd target Zach Greinke. This team will not have Santana for much, if not all of 2011. Johan could even be done for his career. Though nothing has been confirmed, we haven't heard anything about his situation and that's not  positive. I have a sneaky suspicion, Santana will not pitch in 2011, if ever again. I hope my intuition is wrong here. IMO, the Mets must go into the off-season, not expecting Santana back and adding a top line starter. Pelfrey is no ace or a #2. Niese is a #4 and Dickey really is a #5, but on this staff would be the #2 or #3 starter as of now. Mejia is nowhere near ready and may never be. Though many love him and are pushing him, his numbers both @ the MLB level and the minors haven't shown him to be what he's being promoted as. He has great stuff, but the results aren't there and he's been hurt 3 times in 2 years. I'd dangle him and Havens in a deal for Greinke. Zach's a proven commodity and is just 27. Put that guy in the NL @ Citifield and he could win 17 games a year. He's that good. I could live with Greinke, Pelfrey, Niese and Dickey. Gee and a free-agent pitcher could battle for the #5 spot. If Johan returns, the rotation could be a real strength.

As for 2B and RF, I do not see internal solutions. Tejada needs to be playing everyday @ Triple A and learning how to hit. He's totally overmatched @ the MLB level. Nieuwenhuis is playing in the AFL, but he struggled @ AAA and should start there next year. He may be ready by June or so, but don't rush this kid. He's the #1 outfielder in the system right now. Duda is a possibility, but who knows if last year was a fluke. Do you really want to give him the RF job? I would feel more comfortable at least getting a solid veteran to play there for 2011. Even if a platoon develops, add some depth. At 2B, a trade is possible for a guy like Bill Hall, but I'd sign Orlando Hudson, if he's available. The guy is solid and wants to be here. I'd do a one year deal with a club option. Hall would be great depth as well if added. He can play 2B and some 3B.

The Mets need to add a back-up infielder. I don't mean stiffs like Hernandez and Arias, but an Eckstein type player. They also need a back-up catcher and right-handed bat. Blanco had a decent year, but the guy will soon turn 40. I'd rather see them sign a younger veteran. I love Thole, but he's no sure thing. Murphy may be a utility guy off the bench, but could also be used in a trade to fill the myriad of holes this team has.

The bullpen is a mess. Do you bring back Feliciano? Will Takahashi return? Is Parnell a set-up guy or closer?  Those questions must be answered. The rest of the pen is pure dreck and I would even entertain bringing any of them back. Acosta, Green, Igarashi, Valdes and Dessens should hit the journeyman road. Misch may be valuable as a AAA fill-in and long reliever. That's the best he can do. Get some hard throwers and groundball pitchers.

There is a lot to do, so let's get the ball rolling. It seems Sandy Alderson is their guy and if so, let's hope he gets full-control and sends Jeffy back to daddy. Then this team can be run professionally and hopefully act that way on and off the field.  The last 4 years have been the anti-thesis of that. Thank goodness they're over. There is hope. Finally.
Category: MLB
Tags: NY Mets
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