Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ruh Roh Rorge

All I can say is - "typical Mets" for not seeing the forest for the trees or whatever the hell that saying is with the following news.  Johan Santana may miss his Opening Day start (as in - the season opener 2009, in a few weeks) due to elbow tenderness.  And yet there are apparently no reports out of spring training that he'll be sent to NY for an MRI (hat tip to Metsblog for all the good info).

I know we shouldn't be concerned until something is officially disclosed, but when I say typical Mets I mean this:

Think about how they mismanaged Ryan Church's brain injury last year (let's be honest - concussions are brain injuries...)...moving right along...

Think about how they took forever to DL Carlos Beltran in the past when it was obvious that not only his stubbornness was hurting the team by taking up a roster spot, it was also clear he would be better suited resting himself...

Think about Billy Wagner last season and the downplaying of his injuries, when it was evident he would be out for the rest of the season, thereby ruining any chances of our playoff hopes and dreams...

And let's not go there with how Pedro has been hurt 3/4 of his contract and how it was just biz-as-usual whenever he went down for long stretches of time.  

So why am I not surprised that Johan Santana's tendinitis-ridden elbow is pooh-poohed?

I can understand that you don't want to alert the competition that our star ace pitcher may be hurt, or to inflate any potential trade values or any remaining free agent pitcher's contracts...Um...are there any left?? (Nope, don't think so).  

But here's something else that raised my eyebrows but I decided to give the Benny Agbayani of the doubt.  Many Latin baseball players in general are very proud countrymen, proud of their heritage and it is considered the highest honor to play for their country....My point is this could be the smoking gun.  Johan not playing for Venezuela?  May not be big news here - But I'm sure it's big shit in his home country.  

But why?  It's gotta be more than Omar and the Wilpons coming down on him and saying - we can't afford to lose you.  Johan is young enough and strong enough - plus he played in the 2007 WBC and had a strong season?  I think it's a smoke screen, personally.  Remember how he was supposedly hurt when he took the mound at the last Saturday game of the season...and he cornered General Jerry for the ball that day.  We needed it, and he needed it.  If he could truly play, he would be.  Boom.  End of story.  

But women's intuition is telling me that I think he's more hurt than he's letting on.  Or the Mets are letting on.  Especially when he says stuff like his Opening Day start could be in jeopardy.  

"We have 162 games...what we have to accomplish takes 162 games.  Everything starts April 6, if it's going to be me or somebody else.  It's tough to say right now."

Um, can I be scared now?  Especially since that was a stance Pedro Martinez took in 2006.  Whether it was him or somebody else, I remember he claimed, it wasn't important whether he or someone else made the Opening Day start.  

WTF?  Is this some kind of script Jay Horwitz gives players talking to the press when they think they might be hurt and their start of the season may be in jeopardy?  

Perhaps to an extent, the fans care more about who starts Opening Day.  But with the gift of hindsight, we all know how that season turned out for Pedro.   So once again, I ask, can I be scared now?  

I guess worst case scenario is (spit on the evil eye, as Zoe likes to say) Johan is out for a while and we need to rely on Jon Niese or some scrub in AAA.  Best case is that he's out for a couple weeks and completely dominant once he returns.  

I gotta think positive here.  Cause damn it, what are our other options?  Waiting for the Wilpons to break out the check book for Manny to relieve our fears of no offense to support the rotation?  Or trading what little talent we have left for some middle of the rotation guy to keep Johan's space warm?  And who is our ace?  Oh Pea?  John Maine?

The last few seasons I've had good feelings at the start - but with the end of the last two, I am just numb right now.  

If something happens to Johan, I don't know what the hell I'm gonna do.  Death by Harry Carey in front of CitiField?  (Yes, that's meant to be ironic.)

Just another day around the way, I guess.  Sorry to be such a killjoy.  Ruh Roh Rorge

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A My Summer Family Poll! What Should Coop Do...

Hey guys.  Since I have been following my new heroin...um...MLB Network, I've finally decided it's time to take the plunge after seeing the MLB.com/shop promotions for the umpteenth time.  

By plunge, I mean - get a personalized Mets jersey.

Before I have to attend the gasps of shock you might have, just listen for a minute.  I had one once upon a blue moon.  In the late 80s.  My favorite player: Jefferies #9.  Yup.  I admit it.  Although I do have to say, it was mostly because he was cute with a great smile.

But this time around, I am little conscious of what I spend and with the mercenaries in sports, I was hesitant to get a jersey made for someone who may or may not be on the team.  

I also have famously said to many that - IF Oliver Perez gets an extension, I will spend $$ on his personalized jersey.  But then again, we had an awkward break up last year, and I wonder if it's worth getting a jersey for someone who is on the team for three years, tops.

I also LOVE the black home jersey...but the Mets purist in me says...I should get the white with blue stripes "classic" and be done with it.

But I have also a favorite position player.  It's Jose Reyes, #7 for those of you keeping track at home, and also the purist in me says I shouldn't waste my dollars on a pitcher...although I do have a huge fan-boy crush on Oh Pea.

So look to the right column - and vote!  Thanks for your support on this My Summer Family very important moment...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Feeling Strangely Fine

It's strange. 

Just a few weeks ago, I was a bit fired up (in case y'all couldn't tell).  I was a little perturbed at the fact that the Mets management (Omar, Wilpons, et al) seemed to have taken a defeatist approach to the Mets offseason.  

I agree, we needed to address the bullpen and that was taken care of at first and in a big sweeping dramatic fashion.  K-Rod, Putz...then who?  

With the likes of Freddy Garcia, Tim Redding, re-signing Oh Pea...and Livan Hernandez?...is it any wonder that I was scratching my ass wondering - wtf?  Is THAT all there is?

And before someone (like from BMF) starts in on - what did I expect, Manny?  No...but I was expecting something a bit more than basically the majority of the team that infamously spit the bit in both 2007 and 2008.  See, the Coop has been listening to way too much media on the Mets so-called "collapse" in 2008, when the fact was to me, I didn't view it with the same desperation as I did in 2007, so to me, it wasn't a collapse.  

I was happy with the team in 2008 because it was what we had.  The idea that basically the same team was coming back for a new stadium, a new year...it was tough to swallow.

But then life happens.  You get sick - you get the flu - you get amped up on Tylenol PM to get through the night...and you start talking about spring training and the new season with other fans.  

And all of a sudden, things don't seem so bad anymore.  I always said I would take a day with bad baseball than no baseball at all.  And I guess if the Mets are gonna be bad (and they won't - they'll be competitive, which I guess is all right with me), be careful what I wish for, right?

So I guess I'm okay with having Delgado taking diggers at first again...so long as we go after Morneau in the offseason.

I'm okay with Luis Castillo being our second baseman...so long as he improves enough that we can trade his fat ass (although he's 17 lbs lighter or some crap) next year for some spare parts and get Orlando Hudson (who signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers yesterday).

I'm okay with not having Manny - actually, I was okay all along not having him...so long as we can do something about that black hole in the bottom of the line up.  Nady anyone?  Or shall Daniel Murphy step up and do something about it?

I'm all right with Oh Pea for the next three years...so long as John Maine comes back with full force and dominates with his new-old curveball.

And I think like most Mets fans, I am thrilled to have the cornerstone of our team once again be Beltran, Wright and Reyes.  And the ace of our staff be Johan Santana.  As long as Pedro Martinez doesn't come anywhere near the team.  

So you see, I can be a defeatist too.  At the end of the day, I just hate this nickel-and-diming bullshit that the Wilpons have put us through collectively since the 80s.  But I can deal with that as long as Citi walks away from the naming rights of the field, and gets MetLife Ballpark in the works for it's rightfully named stadium.  Hey guys - let's go to the MET Ballpark for a game today!!

And I can be happy once again for a new season.  And wish I was going to spring training but unfortunately, life gets in the way of that sometimes too.  You get a new job, you get invested in a new company, you move to Manhattan.  And sometimes, that is all there is.  And baseball and the Mets can take me away from that.  

I call it a win.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The More Things Change...

I'm sure most Mets fans know by now that my Sweet Oh Pea is extended and will be a Met again for the next three years at least, pending a physical.  And I don't know how to feel about it.

For one, I dumped him last year.  I had enough of his Pea-brain antics on the mound when he could easily be one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Two - I had already resigned myself to the idea that he would be playing someplace else next year.  I guess even having Scott Boras as an agent won't guarantee you play where you want to play, a la Barry Zito, for the most amount of money.  See, rumor had it Pea wanted to play for a smaller market west coast or south team (think: Padres or Rangers/Astros) to be closer to home.  Howver, I doubt that small market teams are in the market to outbid themselves in this economy.  With the Padres' financial troubles, and well, the Rangers and Astros being who they are - I doubt that anyone besides the Mets who know the bill of goods they get with the guy anyway will outbid themselves.

So I have to look forward to another three years of awkwardness with Pea.

SIGH

But that's not all.  With the inking of Oh Pea, and the subsequent loss of Sheets to another team (I already know he will not be a Met - nothing to see here - moving right along), plus the stories we hear that the Mets are not at all in the running for Manny (which, admittedly, I was never 100% FOR...but I guess it would have been a cool idea nonetheless)...it leads me to one thing.

That the only constant in life is change.  And the Mets are not changing at all.  Get used to it folks.  As long as the economy is in a downturn and the Wilpons pretend that everything is peachy-keen with their finances despite losing nearly $400mm to Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheme...we have to make do with what we have.

And I think that really sucks.

The Mets optimists will tell me that the team despite all the warts and shit was not THAT bad.  And I take that with a grain of salt.  

Yes the bullpen gave up a lot of late leads and it's tough to get them back.  Yes, the Mets won the season series against the Phils, but lost the series to the vastly inferior Braves.  

Yes, Beltran is the best defensive CF in baseball.  David Wright is still young.  Jose Reyes is a game changer.  But what about the other black holes in the line up, meaning every other position besides CF, 3B and SS?  Doesn't really give me hope for the future, it doesn't.  

There are too many "IFs" as I mentioned on other blogs.  What IF Beltran isn't feeling better than 89.1%?  What IF Delgado doesn't perform like he did in the second half last year?  What IF Wright still fails miserably in the clutch?  What IF Reyes has a prolonged slump and brings the entire team down with him?   What IF Ryan Church is never the same player he was in April 2008 (which we all know was an anomaly anyway).  And what IF, despite all the positive changes with K-Rod and JJ Putz in the bullpen, the bullpen STILL manages to give up critical games and we are stuck at square one.

Yes, folks, the only constant in life is change.  And the constant on the Mets throughout the years are the Wilpons.  And they need to sell the Mets, and pronto.

It has become a foregone conclusion to me, a more-than-casual fan, that as long as the Wilpons are signing the checks, nothing will ever change.  The culture of running a small-market team in a big-market.  Pocketing the $20mm naming rights fee for CitiField rather than pumping into making a more marketable product.  Refusing to change their gentlemanly ways in the drafting slotting.  The list goes on-and-on.

Where's Nelson Doubleday when you need him?  Seriously, this guy actually knew baseball and when deals had to be made, it wasn't all about dollar signs, he saw the bigger picture.  With Mike Piazza, the marketing of the guy would be well worth the contract price and the chips they gave up for him.  This executive team doesn't have a clue and it makes me sick.

People will point fingers at Omar, but give the guy some credit where it's due.  He had NOTHING to start with when he first came on board.  He's drafted Big Pelf and Niese, he;s drafted Daniel Murphy, he drafted a lot of the young dudes in the Santana trade, plus he's orchestrated some great signings.  People who say a GM is only as good as their deep owner's pockets is only half-right - Omar has proven when given carte blanche, he can not only make the big deal, but he's got an eye for talent too.  The Mets problems when he took over were mostly organizational, from the top on down, and reflected just how poorly the team had been run when the Wilpons got involved with day-to-day operations.

It seems like they are weaseling their way back to that, and it's time for Omar to tell them to get off his dick.  On the other hand, unless the Wilpons change their mind about going over the $160mm luxury tax threshold, we won't be seeing Sheets and we won't be seeing Manny.  Plus, I have already declared my future Pittsburgh Pirates fandom if Pedro is brought back for more than a nickel in 2009.  Bye bye Pedro, nice knowin' ya.

We need at least one of those to not only change the structure of the team but to change the attitude.

Not to mention the FANS deserve it.  For the past two years, this team has ripped our collective hearts out of our collective ass, and it's time we were given something back for sticking with this team.  

As long as the Wilpons own the team, this will never happen.  Do you think they give a shit about what we think?  No, as Jay Horwitz said for the Shea Goodbye ceremony over the weekend "This is a FAN thing - why would we be involved in that?"

That says it all.

President Barack Obama ran his entire campaign on the theme of change.  And the Mets need to change from within.  So Fred, I am imploring you - sell the Mets while there is still hope.  Because as long as you are still around, unfortunately, there is still a chance that more good players will be passed over because you still have no clue, after nearly 30 years, of running a baseball team.