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Mets Fill In The Blank

If the Mets announce ______ I would praise them and think it’s a good step towards a successful year.

 

Currently it seems like no matter what the Mets do, whether it’s express interest, express dismay at prices, suggest that a guy’s not a good fit, or ponder giving a current Met off a bad season another shot they get resounded mocked and killed for it.

 

Sure, they’ve earned it. The results speak for themselves and whether or not you trust the plan, they’ve reached the point where they really need to put the money where their mouth is. That said, they do HAVE a plan, and it’s one they’re not articulating, no matter what rumors and leaks you hear. Talking about the plan hurts the effectiveness of the plan.

 

Of course, no matter how much money the Mets say they have to spend, they have all offseason to build the roster. Whether or not they spend $20, $5, or even $40 million on the payroll is irrelevant to the actual makeup of the team on 3/31/14. If that team looks like a team that can win more than 81 games, then perhaps they’ll earn some good will. It’s silly to criticize the entire painting when the artist has only drawn two lines on a piece of canvas. You may be extremely skeptical that it’s going to turn into anything resembling art, but until it does, it has the potential. Until Sandy Alderson has crafted the entire roster, it’s silly to judge each individual move, or even each rumor, as some sort of disaster. As much as you like or dislike the Mets decision makers, they DO know more about baseball and player evaluation than we do.

 

As with all teams, it’s winning that matters. If the Mets are winning consistently and fighting for a playoff spot, the fans and interest will come and people will at least momentarily forget about payroll numbers and financial crises. The offseason provides little else to talk about, so that’s what we get. You don’t have to believe in the Mets, but baseball tends to turn out way differently than anyone expects. Every year players succeed where everyone assumes they’ll fail, and fail where fans are comfortable in them succeeding. No one really thought much of Scott Hairston, or Marlon Byrd, or R.A. Dickey when they were signed, but they ended up making big contributions.

 

If you want to roll your eyes and make jokes, that’s fine. It’s a long offseason and the hot stove season is often full of lots of silliness. Just remember that there are a billion rumors and most of them mean nothing. GMs, owners, “persons with knowledge of the situation” all have their own agendas and telling you the truth about every plan they have is not one of them. Sometimes a lot of small moves that seem meaningless end up working together to make a fairly solid team. Other times seemingly solid moves end up in injury or poor production and the money is as good as not spent. There are a lot of moving parts to the Met roster this offseason, and it just seems silly to assume where they’re going to land, how they’re going to do, and then mock them for it.

November 22nd, 2013 by Ceetar in 2014, Baseball, Mets
1 Comment  |  Read More >> 

Disappointment Over A Good Mets Trade

There is no doubt that the trade Sandy Alderson is in the process of pulling off is a good one. We still aren’t aware of some of the finer details, but the Mets are adding two top prospects, John Buck, and a third minor leaguer, for R.A. Dickey, Josh Thole, and a minor prospect. Dickey is one of the best pitchers in the league, and he still may be a top of the line starter for a couple of years, but the Mets are adding players that may still be having a positive impact on the team six years from now. It’s certainly possibly they may not flourish, particularly the much farther away Noah Syndergaard, but the probability favors the Mets in that regard.

 

The problem is the immediate future. Travis d’Arnaud, the catcher the Mets are receiving, will probably be up to the majors very soon, if not on Opening Day. John Buck will likely be on the team in the interim, and probably shift to a backup role when d’Arnaud gets called up. Together it’s unlikely they provide as much value as R.A. Dickey, and that means a team already under .500 is probably taking a step back before pushing forward. That’s disheartening for most fans, whose number one concern is the current roster of players on the field. Many of us would rather root for the guys we have to succeed, particularly when they’re great ones like Dickey, than reinvest emotion in new guys that are merely promising to be great. Ultimately though what the fans want doesn’t matter because winning is what brings in the fans, the attention, and the money. It’s not out of the question that d’Arnaud plus the pitcher the Mets replace Dickey with is worth more than Dickey and Thole would’ve been, but it doesn’t seem like a good bet for 2013 nor the type of improvement the Mets need to climb out of 4th place if it does happen.

 

That’s where the disappointment comes in; this trade does not make the Mets better in the foreseeable future. Sure, it raises the probability that they are better down the line, but it’s also important that this player is going to be cheap and under team control for a long time. Fans can forgive losing star players, whether homegrown ones or adopted ones, when the team placed in front of them excites and captures their attention, but so far I’m not so sure the 2013 version is in position to do that. Especially if we don’t get an impact bat for the outfield and instead go with Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and a platoon of Mike Baxter and 2013′s version of Scott Hairston. We heard a lot about the present value of contracts with the David Wright negotiations, and that concept applies to winning seasons too; a winning season in the present is worth more than one in the future. Good process only gets you so far, and there are plenty of inherent risks between now and then that could sabotage the plan. A clearly improved 2013, even if it ultimately falls short, could create the excitement that draws fans in, fans that will continue to come in 2014. The message lately has felt like it’s not worth investing in this team yet, which keeps ticket sales and revenue down; revenue that could make the job of creating a winner in 2014 easier. It’d be unfair to assume Sandy Alderson’s going to take the rest of the offseason off at this juncture, meaning he could still improve the team and the outfield, but it’s hard to see the type of players coming that give this team a “If everything breaks right” chance at the playoffs.

 

As always with the Mets these last three years, the money question is always looming. Partial sales, which included Sterling money invested in the Mets, helped pay off loans and seemed to at least point the Mets in the right direction. Allusions were made to a payroll in 2013 at or above 2012′s number. The deferred contracts and negotiations seem to point in a different direction, although it is still possible that Sandy Alderson spends most of that money on players that make the Mets better. It’s never a good idea to expect much direct truth from a general manager, that’s not their job, but given the message that the actions are sending it feels pretty hard to do more than guess at the plan. The Mets appear to be in a holding pattern and I just hope they get clearance to land before they run out of gas.

December 17th, 2012 by Ceetar in 2013, Baseball, ceetar, Mets
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CRG and Fred Wilpon Don’t Affect Me

I saw this post over at Mets Police about the CRG situation and how fans will root for this team this year.

 

It’s interesting how people sometimes forget that peoples positions, viewpoints, or situations change.  The idea that the Mets hiring CRG could mean they might file for bankruptcy and one day have to sell is not mutually exclusive from the Mets statement that they didn’t hire CRG to file for bankruptcy.
The same was true of the original Mets statement that the Madoff situation would not affect the Mets.  It’s easy to look back now and accuse them of lying, but the situation probably spiraled beyond what they expected, including the contining poor economy to the reach of the Picard lawsuit.  You could say perhaps it was just short-sighted and that they should’ve known it was going to affect the team, but I’m not so sure that’s the case either. If the Mets had not gone into a downward spiral themselves and instead had won games, stayed healthy, and been competitive there is a chance they would’ve remained profitable.
If you want to read into every statement and play conspiracy theory that’s fine.  Chances are there are stuff Fred Wilpon is glossing over and stuff he’s flat out ignoring.  He could even be lying about certain things.  We’re not obligated to know everything about the behind the scenes investments or have access to all financial statements of the team we root for or the owners of that team.  No one’s doubting that the current financial situation around the Mets is bad, cost us Jose Reyes, and looks dire. Still, hiring CRG was actually a positive move.  It’s not a “Hey look at the embarrassment this team is” move, it’s one aimed at getting the team righted.
CRG was _not_ hired by Sterling or the Wilpons, and the negative revenue situation does not go away with a new owner.  In the same breath people are criticizing the Mets for spending wildly to get themselves into this mess, and criticizing the Wilpons for being too broke to spend wildly to try to get the team out of this mess.  Some question who would want to be a minority investor in this team, but isn’t it also a valid question to ask who would want to buy a team that they’d have to put tens of millions of dollars into each year?  Remember they lost 70 million last year.  You can see value in the future of this team as both a minority or majority owner if you look.
You’re welcome to not spend money on the team if you want. The Wilpons won’t see a dime anyway, no matter what you spend, since the team is losing money. Winning solves the Mets problems, losing exacerbates it.  Nothing you do will change that.  If you can give up the enjoyment derived from going to see a game, that’s fine.  Just remember you’re also withdrawing your support from Ike Davis.  David Wright will notice when he hits a walk-off grand slam and there are only 12 people cheering.  Do you think he’ll remember that when he becomes a free agent at the end of one of the next two seasons? Did Jose Reyes notice how empty it was in front of his supposedly loving fans in September while he was chasing Mets history?
Some people phrase it as “Choose the Mets, not the Wilpons”. To me that means enjoying Mets baseball whenever I can get it and not worrying about who the owner is.  I derive no joy from who owns the Mets, or who runs the Mets.  All I keep thinking is that if the Wilpons selling is so important to you, you’d almost have to be disappointed if the Mets went on a miracle run and went to the World Series, because the resultant cash flow could cement them as owners.  So I’ll stick to hoping for that miracle run and let the financial stuff shake out where it may.

January 9th, 2012 by Ceetar in 2012, Baseball, Mets
4 Comments  |  Read More >> 

Quick thoughts on Mets and CRG

Here’s the inital report from Eno Sarris at Amazin’ Avenue about the Mets hiring CRG, the turnaround consultants that handled the Texas Rangers’ sale.

 

Dan Lewis has some interesting remarks about it in his twitter feed last night as well. (Mostly directed at Adam Rubin)

 

Probably too soon to really tell what it means with any certainty, especially for an outsider, but it’s probably a win-win for fans.    I don’t really care who owns the Mets as long as they can spend money and build the team as needed.   if CRG leads the Wilpons towards a sale that’s fine.  (As long as we don’t end up with someone worse owning the team, which is always a possibility)  If they fix the cash flow problems via a chapter 11 or whatever it is they do?  That’s fine too.  Whatever gets the team out of the red the fastest.

 

Okay, that’s enough murky financial mumbo jumbo to last me at least until they announce the minority owners sale thing.  Back to watching the Islanders and Giants.

January 6th, 2012 by Ceetar in 2012, Baseball, Mets
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Mets New Fundraising Plan: Sell The Blogs

Much has been made of the Mets current financial woes, but I’ve recently learned of a new plan they have to raise some money.  Starting on Opening Day the Mets are going to start a new concession booth at Citi Field out in the center field concourse.  This new stand will sell new and used Mets blogs at a reasonable price.

 

First up is the esteemed blog, Read the Apple.  In what is perhaps a misinterpreted understanding of common adages, the Mets believe if they sell an Apple a day, it’ll keep the doctors away.  Health is a key component to a successful Mets season, and they’re doing everything they can.

Eat The Apple

 

All articles featuring The Apple are fictitious. No Mets were harmed in the writing of this story.  Optimistic Mets Fan would like to thank The Apple, and the Academy, for awarding us a prestigious Fonzie award.

March 15th, 2011 by Ceetar in 2011, Baseball, bloggers, Citi Field, Mets
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Debunking Pessimism

I stumbled across this extremely negative post on the Mets through some Google alerts.  At first I thought it would end up being a Philly blog, but nope. So here’s his five reasons why the Mets will suck post is way off the mark.
 

Spring training games began over the weekend, reminding us all how terrible the Mets will be this year.  Fittingly, Luis Castillo booted a ball at second base yesterday. Way to set the tone for the new season, Luis.

 

Here are my top 5 reasons why the Mets will be terrible this year.

Yes, I’m sure Castillo booting a ball in practice just doomed the Mets all season. Real players never actually make mistakes in Spring Training. Nevermind that Scott Hairston hit two home runs. This is just an excuse to pick on Castillo, who might not even make the team.

5- Ownership: Between borrowing $25 million from Major League Baseball, looking for minority ownership, and facing a multi-million dollar law suit, it will be a distraction all season. If the Wilpons sell the team, maybe it will make them less terrible, but still not good.

I can’t tell you that the Madoff stuff is a positive in any way, but it’s hardly going to be a distraction that causes the Mets to fail.  Wright’s not going to be worrying about the state of the lawsuit while he’s standing out at third base or at the plate.  They won’t even have to talk about it with the press, they’ve all said what they can say and their business is not finance, it’s baseball.  The state of the finances is not going to have much of an effect on the play on the field.  The only real thing it might do is prevent Alderson from adding pieces around the trade deadline, but so far there is no word that it will.  

4- Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez: It’s March 1, and for some reason they are still on the team. Perez got bombed in his first spring training game and Castillo is abysmal. Sadly he could actually win the starting second base position. It is unbelievable the Mets do not have anyone better than Castillo. Please cut your losses. I would rather have Ike Davis play first and second at the same time.

They’re on the team because they can’t lose the Mets games in March.  Whether or not they make the team will solely be based on merit, and it’s not looking good for either of them.  The players that help the Mets win will make the team, and therefore these two players will not be why they suck.  Reyes and Davis do have pretty good range, but I don’t think it’s enough to cover second base too. Plus, the rules don’t allow for only eight players in the lineup.  

3- Carlos Beltran playing right field: How long until he complains about it? I give it a month. Just imagine if he gets off to a bad start on offense. I know what the excuse will be.

#blamebeltran.  This pretty much debunks the whole post right here doesn’t it?  Never mind that he voluntarily moved there or that he’s not a complainer or an excuse maker.  A more valid question is how much regular rest is he going to need, and how well do those knees hold up?  Still, he’s been taking batting practice, and he should be ready to go as a hitter.  This should help prevent a slow start offensively at least.  Carlos Beltran continues to be underappreciated.

2- The NL East: The Phillies are probably the best team in baseball, which is not even fair, but the Braves and Marlins are better than last year too. The Mets are closer to the Nationals.

Just stating it doesn’t make it so. Probably? What if they’re not?  What if someone gets hurt? Their offense no longer looks formidable, Utley hasn’t even played yet and it’s looking more and more likely that Wilson Valdez may be starting for them, and they don’t even know what scrub or under-prepared prospect they’re going to throw out there in right field.  What if they don’t score runs when they pitch these great games, and what if age catches up with them?   The Marlins are not very good.  They’ve got some pitching, but it’s hardly amazing and they’re fielding a AAA offense outside of a couple of guys.  The Mets are capable of being in the thick of things just with their offense and with Pelfrey, Dickey and Niese doing what they did last year.

1- The Pitching Staff:  With Johan out until God knows when, Mike Pelfrey is the ace of the staff. Enough said. The Mets are depending on RA Dickey to repeat what he did last season, which is insane. I can’t even tell you who the 4th and 5th starters are: Chris Young?, Chris Capuano?, Dilon Gee? Oliver Perez??? Who the hell knows. As for the bullpen, talk about a disaster. Hopefully K-Rod won’t get arrested again or injure himself while beating up an old man. I honestly can’t even tell you who else is in the bullpen, so I have no further comments.

Enough said?  Sure, I could agree with that.  Mike Pelfrey was basically the best pitcher in baseball last April.  He had a horrible July, and it’s important that he minimizes that this year, but to dismiss him as crap is silly.  Why is it insane to expect Dickey to be as good as last year?  Did you really watch him all last year, and listen to him talk about pitching, and deduce that it was a fluke? It wasn’t.  He’s learned and adapted, and crafted his knuckleball to be a dangerous weapon.  It’s certainly possible he’s not as good, but the dropoff won’t be that extreme.  The ignorance in the rest of this ‘reason’ is too large to argue with, but I do have faith that some combination of Young and Capuano can give us some quality innings and keep the Mets in the game.  Losing Santana is rough, but given how many of his great games they let turn into losses last year, I’m confident with a little hitting the Mets can win more games that a lesser pitcher starts than they did last year with Santana on the mound.

 

I do have something good for Mets fans to look forward to. On Tuesday night (After the Knicks game) MSG will have a 4 part series on the ’86 Mets. Bar fights, sex, drugs, alcohol and more sex, drugs and alcohol- the good old days. Should be interesting. I guarantee it will be better than anything the Mets do on the field.

I’ll grant a pass on this statement since it was written before hand, but most accounts I’ve seen of the show have been pretty negative.  You can take your ‘guarantee’ and shove it, the Mets are going to be interesting this year.  Optimism is not a sin.

March 9th, 2011 by Ceetar in 2011, Baseball, bloggers, hitting, Mets, Pitching, Spring Training
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