Sunday, November 23, 2008

Behold...The SassPupp Has Arrived!

Nothing much to report on the Mets business end but I can report on the happy new arrival of the world's newest Mets fan, born to SassDawg and Mrs. Dawg - we have ourselves a SassPupp! Congrats from the Summer Family to the Dawg Family on their new son!

Dawg and I will be having Thanksgiving dinner once again this year, but in honor of T-day and the little dude's debut, I am giving all the MSF contingent a heads up to visit the great site, and use this special holidays offer: With your next purchase (before November 28, 2008), please enjoy a coupon code "Thanksgiving." This will give you 30% OFF through November 28th 2008.

How you like them apples? As for the Mets, I will say that Omar has not made a move yet, but then again, last year, he didn't make any move decent before January. So I'll take it in stride. But just remember, the last time we had business dealings before T-day, was when Delgado was traded in 2005.

Have a great week!

PS Oh! Before I forget -

J-E-T-S...Jets Jets JETS!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Hot Stove

Well, isn't that special? The Hot Stove offseason has officially launched and no big deals are announced yet?

For me, it's a tad anti-climactic. I mean, it would certainly be one thing if Johan was a free agent this season instead of orchestrating the trade last season, but meh, so be it, he's ours for the next five years anyway.

It's anti-climactic because I feel as though (and we should be so lucky) that we won't be let down. We need a closer, so guess what? There are tons of closers on the market. New bullpen guys? Bring 'em in? People who probably will take our crap (Castillo and depending on who you talk to, Heilman) - sure! Of course they want our trash heap, knowing they'll become full-fledged superstars once they leave dodge. And we need starting pitching? Of course, there are lots of good arms out there.

I guess all in all, I'm confident we'll get what we want / need.

Predictions include: Mets will get K-Rod (I'm guessing they'll have us eke it out a bit but I'm thinking 4 years with a 5th year option), Jon Garland or Derek Lowe (maybe both) as filling out the back of the rotation. I'm saying the Mets won't get Manny, but perhaps as some have suggested, we're going to tap into the Japanese market.

I would prefer a trade for Ichiro, which has been my personal hard-on this offseason, since I read an obscure article from SI that his team hated him for playing hard. Shyeah, we should be so lucky (*ahem* bored and complacent *ahem* too talented)

I will also go out on a limb and say that in 2010, Justin Morneau will be ours. Oh yes. He will be. But as for now, get used to seeing Carlos Delgado in his exercised option year.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

In Defense of Omar Minaya

Let me cut right to the chase. I know many of you disagree with me on this and that's fine, and that I am also kinda late to chiming in on this, but I just want to give my ringing endorsement for Omar Minaya as our GM for the next four years.

Although I did think it was in poor taste to "leak" out the fact that there was a contract-in-principle when it was increasingly obvious that the Mets would indeed fall short of yet another postseason, and that I don't know if I agreed with giving him an additional three years while he had one more contract year (I would have given him two, with an exercise option for three), I have to say that Mets fans who have spewed venom over this move and his involvement in the "collapse" of 2008 (which I don't call it that -- this year was a collapse of its own right but it was not nearly as devastating or bitter as it was in 2007) seem to forget just how good we have it now.

I think for the most part, Mets fans got incredibly spoiled with the fun run of 2005 and then the over-the-top Captain Red Ass and the Intrepid Mets of 2006, that when times got tough in 2007, we automatically took sides -- you were either pro-Willie/anti-Omar or anti-Willie/prOmar (I just made that up, cute right?). I always hated Willie -- well, hate is a strong word. I didn't MIND Willie, I just didn't think he was the right guy. But like everyone else said at the end of the day, Willie had to trot out what Omar gave him. So those were the two sides of the argument.

Another side that anti-Omars give is that under Steve Phillip's reign, the Mets made the postseason twice. But we all know, looking back, that if the team WERE built to last and were truly championship calibur, we wouldn't have seen and suffered through dead last place teams and the likes of Mo Vaughn and Robbie Alomar. I mean, that team was more motivated to play for Bobby Valentine, with an outfield of underwhelming Timo Perez, Benny Agbayani and Jay Payton. Hello! Bring on the championship flag!

"But Steve Phillips drafted David Wright." Well, there's no denying that. Did you know that he also traded Jason Bay for some scrub we never saw anything from? (Jason Bay, ultimately became rookie of the year). I also believed that had he stayed on, David Wright would have been traded. You do know that there was a strong possibility that DW would have been traded to the Blue Jays for Jose Cruz Jr? Um, yeah.

"Steve Phillips also drafted Jose Reyes." Yeah, know who scouted him and encouraged the signing? I'll give you a hint: His initials are O.M.

Now for the present. A big argument that Mets fans like to give on the anti-Omar side is that we have no farm system. Now, while it has been depleted for trades of the likes of, you know, a dude named Johan Santana, it is not as in shambles as one would think. I'll get to this in a minute, but in typical Mets fashion, two AA-ball players were rushed up when Moises Alou and other injuries hit the Mets and quickly made an impact -- their names were Nick Evans and Daniel Murphy. Murphy could have easily been a strong candidate for Rookie-of-the-Year in 2009 had he been one game over threshold. Nick Evans, while sometimes appearing out-matched against major league hitting, was a suitable replacement for hobbling old-man Alou. know who drafted Murphy? Omar. Same draft that netted bullpen stalwart Joe Smith and Kevin Mulvey (although included in the Santana trade).

One thing the Mets weren't short on were pitching arms. And while the untimely injury with John Maine didn't exactly help things, it was great that every 5th day, Johan Santana was the ace in the hole.

The other ace in the hole? Mike "Big Pelf" Pelfrey -- another Omar draftee in 2005. Another dude was drafted that year as well...future star Jonathon Niese, who helped out when the pitching staff was getting whittled down.

With this influx of young guys though, I have no problem with how the Mets lost this year, considering that a big issue most fans had with aging players who either had ties to Minaya from the Expos or ties to Minaya as a professional (~ahem~ Moises Alou ~ahem~ Julio Franco ~ ahem), this year there was really no choice but TO play he young guys. And that, clearly, anti-O people claim, is directly on the GM's head. Which wouldn't be entirely false. On the other hand though, think about the nightmare Omar had inherited in 2004...Carlos Beltran would have surely signed with the Yankees, the worst trade in Mets history (outside of Seaver's in '77) had just occurred at the trade deadline, there was absolutely no-depth in the organization. Period. We have David Wright, Jose Reyes, and a big fat nothin' else.

Can we really blame Minaya for giving Pedro a contract no one else wanted to give him or "overpaying" for Beltran (which I think we all agree, is probably the BEST investment he made for us, since Beltran is considered almost a "bargain" now), when he did?

I would also like to point out that it took Frank Cashen a good 5 years to build a championship calibur team and 6 years to bring a championship home. The fans who complain that we've taken a step backward since 2006 are not wrong, they are what Jimmy Rollins calls his own fan-base: frontrunners. And I don't care what people think of that.

In fact, after analyzing what Omar Minaya has done for this team, I know that he will make some fuck-ups like other general managers do and we will question some moves. But the good has most certainly outweighed the bad. John Maine. Oh Pea. Johan. Pedro (who I'm disappointed in but I liked the move at the time, since we had NO ONE). Duque (when he was on, he was ON and we traded a "bag of balls" to get him). Beltran. Delgado. Signing Wright and Reyes long term while they were still cheap and young.

There are also the deals that were better left "undone." Like Barry Zito. Can you imagine if he produced the seasons he's had out in San Francisco HERE? Minaya would have been let go in a more demoralizing fashion than Willie was. Also, there was a rumor that Chad Cordero could have been had for a pittance of Aaron Heilman AND Lastings Milledge. Cordero spent 2008 on the DL. Nuff said.

In fact, there are maybe three things I *can* throw Omar under the bus for.

1.) Exercising Moises Alou's option for 2008 - I understood the move in 2007, but were we THAT hard-pressed for OFers? I loved Moises, and never made any bones about it. But it was obvious that it was time to move on after 2007.

2.) Luis Castillo. Um, why? Although people point to him outbidding himself, which is in a sense true, I point to the lack of movement in the 2007 offseason when there were tons of 2Bs available on the open-market. Did he truly think that Andy Hernandy and Argenis Reyes were the way to go? Not to mention that trading Keppinger was completely meaningless. We coulda used his poppy-bat this season, that's for sure.

3.) Leaving young catcher Jesus Flores unprotected in the Rule V draft. Now, Flores was signed as a free agent out of Venezuela in 2001. He was only 21 and finished his first season of A ball when he was unprotected. But I still think that's a lot of crap. Fact is, we knew Paul LoDuca (who was great while he was here) was NOT part of the long-term plans of the team. We also know that catchers DO NOT age well. Flores was young, hit well, and had a future here. Manny Acta and Jim Bowden at D.C. coveted him. But even all this buzz around him Minaya, who didn't draft him (and possibly didn't have preferential treatment towards him), still allowed him to go unprotected to protect the likes of Julio Franco. And guess what? Nationals picked him up. Nationals got us back though - we got Brian Schneider, catcher "extraordinaire" in return for Lastings Milledge. The guy who apparently was the centerpiece in every deal involving Manny Ramirez prior to him being traded to the Dodgers this year. We got Schneider (who sucks) and Ryan Church (who is mediocre at best). YEAH! I can trace all these panic moves to when Minaya left Flores unprotected.

Now, I won't touch the bullpen issues. Joe Smith can stay and the rest can go bye-bye. The fact is, no one knew Billy Wagner would get himself injured for two seasons. And could anyone have predicted that Brad Lidge would have a perfect season for the Phils? Some of the names being thrown around like Brian Fuentes and the like would be good moves I feel. Chad Cordero? I passed on him in 2007 above, but if he only costs "money" now, I could deal with him being a reclamation project.

Admittedly, there is a lot of work that needs to be done this offseason. I am expecting my Sweet Pea to go bye-bye this offseason. I almost say good riddance. I'm sure that Omar & Crew will do their best to keep him in a Mets uniform. But if he wants to go someplace else, it won't matter how much money we throw at him.

As for my "wish list" for the offseason, visit Divas and Dykstraw (where I have not written since SEPTEMBER!) for more details on that.

Many thanks for Joe from Mets Today for digging up info on the draft years!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

For the Love of Pete - STFU

Okay I was gonna let the little barbs against New York slide. I was. But why does Philly have the inferiority complex they have, you know, AFTER THEY WON THE FUCKING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP?

You'd think they'd just be like - okay, we won. Let's move on. But nooooo...

Here is a story on what Jimmy "I Blow Goats" Rollins after their parade:

"Speaking at Friday's celebration for the Phillies' World Series victory, the shortstop mentioned Mets left-hander Johan Santana and the crowd booed. But Rollins was loudly cheered after saying the Mets forgot one thing. As he put it: 'It takes more than one player to bring home a championship.'"

Okay, first off - why the need to mention Santana? Did he play in the playoffs? Did he make that much of an impact on you this year that you felt the need to mention him? I would arguably say that Jo-Jo was probably the best pitcher in the NL this year. And it's true, teams do need more than one player to win a championship.

Last I checked, the Mets had more than one player. Just some critical ones got injured at the wrong time. Thus, putting other players into positions they were not ready for.

Not making excuses - just saying that when you are home to the biggest pussy posse in BASEBALL (not just the NL - BASEBALL), sure that's right.

But for the love of fuck, can't these guys just enjoy it without rubbing it in the Mets faces?

It just goes to show -- the Mets are in their head. And the Phils can't get it out of their heads that they need the Mets to lose in such an ugly fashion to win the division and "got lucky" in the crapshoot called the playoffs...They need to beat the Mets in the regular season.

That's the only thing I can think of.

Look, as far as I am concerned, the Phils won the division fair and square. Had the Mets been in the Wild Card, we'd of course be looking at a much different ending scenario. Because of the bad blood between these two teams, we'd see a lot more excitement than the Rays laying down and dying in the final round.

But I see that the Phils are still thinking -- if not for the Mets "collapse" (which I don't even consider in 2008 - had this happened in 2007 -- the Phils winning everything -- you'd have read about me in the paper...something to do with a bridge...anyhoo)...they'd haven't gotten there anyway.

It's flattering, I guess.. But annoying. Much like a sore loser, there can be sore WINNERS. It's obvious to me that not only are the Phils the latter, but they are going to be tougher next year to make sure they get the Mets out of their system.

Well, in that respect, I'll channel Jake Taylor from Major League in saying what the mets need to do in 2009 -

There's only one thing to do.

Win the whole. Fucking. Thing.