Friday, January 30, 2009

This Used to Be My Playground

I can't believe that spring training is right around the corner.  And that Shea Stadium is on its last legs*...

And tomorrow, join other Mets fans at the Willets Point Social Club (aka Willets Point stop on the 7 train) to say farewell to Shea, at 12 pm.  According to Metsblog, the meeting will take place at the old Gate A (which is over by the Grand Central Parkway overpass traffic circle-type thing).  

I am getting teary eyed looking at this photo.  Thanks to Michael Leggett from Random Fandom for sending it to me (and allowing MSF to use).  I would be there tomorrow but I have a previous engagement.  Very sad.  But on the bright side, going to Flushing on a 30-degree winter day is not my idea of a fun Saturday, no matter how nostalgic things may be.

Please share your stories if you go tomorrow!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Advice for Omar and the Wilpons

GROW A PAIR ALREADY.

I hate this going tit-for-tat for pitching, for free agents, for just about everyone and everything the Mets are linked with.

I've said it once, and I've probably said it a million and one times, the Wilpons won't look to improve the team because they are "competitive." Think about Wilpons business model, the Brooklyn Dodgers. While I admit, for his time, Walter O'Malley was a misunderstood genius about making a baseball team into a successful business venture, that recipe does not work for today's game, especially in "We want it yesterday" NY Media.

Now, I just want to go on record and say even though the Yankees have added a lot of talent and a lot of payroll with splashy FA signings, we all know that recipe has not worked for, like, ever for the Yankees or any other team. They also lost a lot of payroll off the books, so believe me, this throwing money around at all the high profiles on the market is not only the Yankee way, but if this were last season, signing of all three crown jewels would not be happening.

As for losing Derek Lowe, look, I am just as disappointed in the next person, but there are two things that comfort me. One is that - in the past, Omar Minaya's deals not being made are often the deals that make us laugh last (Barry Zito, for one). So perhaps we see Derek Lowe become a Pedro II case for the Braves (hey, I can dream, right?). Two is - the Braves are hardly dominant even with some of the more visible moves they've made. Derek Lowe, sure, it hurts to see him go to a division rival, but I'm hardly scared of an aging Larry, an Ondroo in the minors and a diminishing Frenchy.

But there comes a time in every man's life to man-up and grow a sack. And it's time for Omar Minaya to tell the Wilpons exactly what this team needs.

We need Ben Sheets. And we need to give a LEGITIMATE offer to Ollie, not just a low-ball effort and hope he decides to negotiate.

Even if Ollie declines and goes to another team, as Metsmerized pointed out today, at least we get two draft picks. Not to shabby, as we lost them with the K-Rod signing. I believe we might lose another pick if we sign Sheets, but if there is a guy you make a run at, it's him. I have truly believed in my heart of hearts that Ben Sheets should have been a Met YEARS ago.

As I pointed out on several sites today, since I was pretty fired up, Omar Minaya has made some stupid-ass moves regarding his loyalty. Now, you all know, I am as prOmar as they come, but his loyalty has really fucked the Mets over and not in a good way (as if there is a good way of being fucked over...I digress). His loyalty to Julio Franco really bit the team in the ass in 2007. Exercising Moises Alou's option in 2008 was an accident waiting to happen and everyone knew it BUT Omar (perhaps his golfing relationship with Felipe wasn't affected by it). Overstepping his reach with free agents simply because he knew the Wilpons would open their wallets ended up screwing the team too - offering four years to Pedro knowing he was an injury-risk, offering four-years to Wagner when we knew his injury history, even outbidding himself for Luis Castillo in 2007 offseason (after he was coming off surgery, no less) left a black hole in the line up. We saw for ourselves just how much loyalty has done Omar in and for what? So we can be without a back-up plan AGAIN?

So what's the big deal if we offer a two-year contract to Ben Sheets guaranteed? Load it with incentives and be done with it (like if he hits 200+ innings, meeting goals like making playoffs, etc). I GUARANTEE YOU we will see Sheets like none other year. Why is that? Very simple - if he has to sing for his supper, he'll perform. See, injury-prone players tend NOT to be injured in years they have to perform to earn something.

And how is overbidding for Sheets, a dude who actually IS proven and still quite young, any different from overbidding for Pedro, Castillo or Alou? It shouldn't be, and this is a guy Omar should DEFINITELY be overbidding for. Especially at this point. Who the hell is in our pitching rotation anyway? Johan. Big Pelf. Maine. Um...that's it, unless Oh Pea comes back and even then, who are we gonna put in there? Niese? I thought the dude was gonna shit his pants his very first start. I want Niese in AAA till someone needs to rest. I don't want to see Pedro anywhere NEAR this team next season. Please, no more signing of overaged hacks to overextending contracts when clearly no one else wants them.

This is what kills me - even in this economy, PEOPLE WILL WANT SHEETS. To me, THIS IS A NO-BRAINER. I could see him EASILY going to the Phillies if the Mets give him a shitty offer. And I think we can collectively agree, we do NOT want something like that to happen. So what's it gonna be Omar, Fred, and Jeffy? Are we going to see Sheets go to a competitor and watch him dominate...or watch him dominate in Blue and Orange? That would suck. Give the man what he wants, and have a nice little press conference with Sheets in his blue and orange jersey.

And while you're at it, give an offer to Jon Garland, k? I have loved him for a long time and he will give similar production to Derek Lowe, if not at a discount.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Huh?  What was that?  Oh, something went bump in the night and woke me up.  Which gets me to thinking that as far as Hot Stove season goes, this one not only bites the big one, it's so boring, it's putting me to sleep.  Eddie Kranepool Society the other day mentioned that if not for K-Rod and Putz, this Hot Stove would have been a complete and utter bust.  

Joe Janish at Mets Today, however, has a FABULOUS suggestion to amp things up for this offseason and get us excited for spring training and Opening Day.  Cause quite frankly, if the Mets go into the 2009 season with the team as is...well, forgive me for thinking that stabbing myself in the eyes with a butter knife would be far less painful than watching the built-for-the-regular-season-but-fail-to-make-the-postseason-again-with-a-bunch-of-fucking-pussies team again.  

Anyway, Joe suggests not only making a legit play for Lowe, but throw money at Oh Pea AND Manny.  Um, yeah.  That got my attention.

Look, mostly everyone on this blog and the blogosphere knows my affection for Oh Pea (I think even Oh Pea and SNY definitely know this).  My opinion changed quite dramatically with his million-dollar-arm/ten-cent-head affliction.  AND the fact that he treated us like a hot but abusive girlfriend (reference credit to Dykstraw) with his up-and-down-ness and his disrespectful arbitration process last year.  Boras, of course, isn't looking for the best interests of his clients but rather, where they can make the most MONEY, period.  Rumor had it Pea wanted to be back on the West Coast or closer to home (Mexico, for those of you keeping track at home).  The market the way it is, however, the smaller market teams are going to be more cost conscious and well, I believe San Diego was his first choice - and that owner had to rescind an offer to career man Trevor Hoffman and is still shopping one of the best NL pitchers in the game, Jake Peavy.

That said, if Pea came back to the Mets, I don't think I would complain.  In fact, a rotation of Johan, Lowe, Maine, Pea and Pelf is enough to make me stand up at attention.  And not sleep during the hot stove reports.  

But Manny...OK.  My take is - maybe three years ago when Omar almost pulled off a coup for Manny, I wanted Manny for sure.  After that, not so much.  But I think honestly, there's nothing left to lose.  I have been SCREAMING about this basically Moises Alou went down for good in 2008, but after Delgado in the line up, there is no one and I mean NO ONE who is a legit threat from batters #5-9.  

I was certainly thinking that Manny would not be a good fit at Shea Stadium because we need a good defensive outfielder (something Manny has gotten a lot of flak on over the years, his lack of agility), and not to mention someone who is more of an on-base threat.  A friend of mine who is a big Red Sox fan who followed Manny after he was traded to the Dodgers said that Dodger Stadium is WAY more of a pitcher's park than Fenway is, and Manny still managed to hit the shit out of the ball once he moved leagues.  So anyone whose fears of Manny's home runs becoming long fly-ball outs in CitiField can be put to rest.  

Joe makes a very good point that these three would basically gain the respect of the fans, but would give Niese enough time season himself in the minors (let's face it, he needs a lot of it -- but he can be another #3-#4 in the rotation if he has enough time).  We have the bullpen help, we need to solidify the rotation and get that big bat to instill fear in the division AND get the fans who have been put through the meat grinder the last two seasons back on track.

Not to mention I need to start selling my CitiField tickets on Coopslist and won't be doing that with ease with the line up the way it is, heh heh. 

I have no problem with Lowe and Pea signing.  In fact, the Mets are kind of in a position of being damned if they do, damned if they don't.  If they spend money, they're too much like the Yankees.  If they don't spend money, they're cheap and don't care about winning.  If they get all high-priced free agents, Omar is a hack who spends the Wilpon's money.  If he doesn't get at least one of these guys, Omar is still a hack who can't get the big deal done.  But Manny - I remember telling a fan friend of mine, "Well, WHEN we get Manny, no matter what our take on Manny was before, we'll all be excited for 2009."

So Coop gives her ringing endorsement to Mets Today's suggestion of getting all three Boras clients.  Hopefully, he remembers this when Pelf's contract is back up for debate.  That we hooked him up when the economy was shitty and not one team was outbidding themselves for shit that he was marketing.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A Gal for All Seasons Update...

Well, it's 2009 folks.  The Coop has essentially purged herself of all bad vibes of 2008 -- in the past week, I've moved across the river, sold all my old furniture, bought new stuff and right now, just getting my life in order.  

But of course, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Although football playoffs are about to begin, my winter Mets (aka the Jets) are officially out.  Of course, Brett Far-ver-uh is going through his annual "will he? or won't he?" ritual, much like the Mets and Jets faltering in the last weeks of their respective seasons.  And I guess by "Will he or won't he?" would mean: cry like a little bitch?  Apparently, his team is none too happy with him either.  And frankly, I went to one of the worst games I can remember (a rainy, blustery, Sunday where the Jets were pretty much out of it in the first half of the first quarter), and while I didn't see anything wrong with Favre at the time, I was pretty stoked to have such a big name on the team, to get my Jets juices flowing.  Especially since I was looking for something to replace my Mets this winter.  

I just don't get it, I don't.  My Giants fan friends get to enjoy their team and mine just flat-out sucks.  I will let it slide that my dad made me a Mets and Rangers fan, but a Jets fan?  Is simply beyond reproach.

Speaking of the Rangers, I've gone to two games this year, both versus the Devils -- both wins.  I went to a game at the Garden and a game at the Rock.  I guess I am biased - there is nothing like a game at the Garden.  The Rock, although infinitely better than the Swamp, reminded me of a high school gymnasium.  And why do Devils fans have this inferiority complex with the Rangers?  Seriously, they have ripped off every Ranger chant known to man, woman, child or animal.  I mean c'mon - *whistle go-fight-win chant* "Rangers suck?"  Come onnnnn.  A so-called real team can think of a more original chant.  At least Potvin sucks is clever...

I will be going to my first game of 2009 on Monday.

As for the Mets, I mean outside of K-Rod and Putz, they have been very quiet.  Even Manny has not found a home yet, and this is funny.  He is a Boras client.  But I'm guessing Boras' bid-against-yourself tactics won't work in this type of economy.  Fans are not as gullible buying into the whole product thing and neither are owners, unless of course you are Hank Steinbrenner and think the old tried-and-true method of putting high-paid mercenaries on a team will guarantee a championship.  I guess he's never read "Worst Team Money Can Buy."

Anyway my point is, Derek Lowe is still on the market, along with my personal pitching crush (outside of Oh Pea) Jon Garland and I would like one or both to be starting for the Mets in 2009.  Now, Lowe has not gotten the memo that he is getting older and is not all that significant.  Not to mention that he may think he should get a better contract than Carlos Silva once upon a time did...(hat tip to Metsblog for the linkage)...but send Lowe the memo that the economy sucks, he's mediocre on a good day (but I like him...don't get me wrong he's just not the top-shelf pitcher he's trying to sell himself as), and no one else wants him, not even his Plan B - Red Sox.  

My prediction is Derek Lowe will be in a Mets uniform come Opening Day (or is it Opening Night 2009?) and so will Jon Garland.  And the Mets will not give him more than 3 years...maybe more money, but no more than 3 years.  

100 days till the home opener.