It's Mets For Me: Off-Beat, Tangentially Relevant Mets Ruminations

Off Base Since 2005! Mets commentary from the counter-intuitive to the unintuitive and all the intuitives in between. ** "Through the use of humor and gross inaccuracy...a certain truth can be gained." Rob Perri ** (pester me at:itsmetsforme@gmail.com or follow me @itsmetsforme on twitter)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Return of the Evil Empire?


With the avalanche of reports suggesting that the Spankers are buying every starting pitcher on the market, starting with CC Sabathia and extending to the Mets own target, D. Lowe, it's beginning to look a lot like (most years') Christmas.

Players the Yanks target would "be crazy to turn down the opportunity to play on what is, by default, the greatest team in baseball." And, although it will drive up the price of mediocre starters and add needless years onto their bloated contracts, this is a good thing. Mets fans need the cartoonish Yankers to fill that hated enemy #1 or 2 role that the Spankers relinquished when they enabled the Mets, by passing on first Beltran and then Santana, and then of course when they started playing themselves into the 3rd place AL East also-ran role they currently fill. Having the Phillies as an enemy is just lame. From the Spankers perspective, trusting CC's legs to support that body for much longer is a fool's game. Just for fun, I'd like to see the Mets make an offer for CC slightly higher than the Yanks to get the ball rolling. Then crazy Art Moreno of the Angels might get interested.

So sometimes we have to welcome the Evil Empire back with open arms, just to right the balance of hate. Of course, before we run to the barricades, we should remember that sometimes the Empire brings us a Jar-Jar Binks.

***
As the market mellows on Francisco Rodriguez, I guess if we think we got a bargain, most Mets fans could handle a K-Rod signing and the angst it would bring (is he a statistical invention? does he have too many miles on him? etc). If Omar's plan is to drive down KRod's price by convincing KRod the Mets don't really need him by getting in touch with the fact that the Mets don't really need him, then it seems to be working. But this guy at some point will = Billy Wagner, there's no getting around it.

It's hard to get too worked up about any of the free-agent choices. I like Lowe, and ex-Cubbies Wood or Prior interest me under the right conditions. A.J. Burnett is the classic free-agent injury gamble that is sure to blow up in someone's face, so I sure hope the Br*ves (or Yankmes) end up with him, and not Peavy. Frank Wren is no John Shitholtz. There seem to be at least three decent choices for the bullpen out there, and I think the Mets need at least 3 new decent arms. So I hope Omar choses to go with his all-of-the-above arm stockpile strategy, only this time, not all-of-the-above-scrubs.

I think I'd be happier if the Mets signed both Kerry Wood and Brian Fuentes instead of KRod. Tell them both they'll be the closer and figure it out in the Spring.

***

The Florida Marlins management is at it again. Met-traitor Mike Jacobs, headcase Scott Olsen, the most mediocre player ever nicknamed "The Hammer," and closer Kevin Gregg have already been dispatched. It seems like the Marlins strategy is not to wait for a cheap core to mature since they ship out young guys faster than Kody Ross gets aroused around livestock. So I don't know what their strategy is. As the Fish trade their chips, I also wonder how this impacts the reserves of white hot hatred-jealosy that allow the Fish to get up for their last series with the Mets every year, but does not allow them to sustain competitive play throughout a season.

***
It turns out, David Wright loves the scrappy. Fire Joe Morgan is spinning in his grave.

"I've always been a huge fan of high-character players, not only players that [have talent]," Wright said. "I love a player that puts winning before everything else. I take a guy that maybe has a little bit less talent but a guy that has a desire to win over maybe a guy that's a little more top-notch but doesn't."

Be interesting to see if Golden Boy gets any backlash from the sabermetrics crowd.

***

Day 15 of the tense, Orlando Hernandez Free-Agency campaign is passing. Do you know where your GM is?


***
Sometimes the world just gives you exactly what you want. I'm not talking about the recent Presidential election, I'm talking about the opportunity provided by the new, increadibly homoerotic Guitar Hero advertisement to mock three of the biggest tools in pro athletics. Acting like the sissies they are, ARod and Jetes lay on the couch and kick their legs in the air like we probably all imagined they do when they don't get their way. Rapist-whiner-Laker-loser Kobe Bryant rounds out the crew. I can only imagine the shoptalk (advice on how to cheat on your wife and/or spread STDs to unsuspecting groupies) traded on the set, with the impressionable Michael Phelps taking it all it. Phelps? Well, no one is impressed by the company he's keeping, but he is a damn swimmer so he has to get $$ where he can.



***
Wouldn't it be cool to be able to keep track of all the beat reporters and insiders' hot stove "reports" in order to track just how ridiculous many of them are? I would also like data on how many contradictory reports appear to be in response to another reporters previous claims. Noble, Lennon, Rosenthal, Heyman, etc should be tracked. We have the technology.

***
Finally, a great big f*ck the heck? and "RIP" to Fire Joe Morgan, the bloggers that suddenly decided to make better use of their time this week and cease all bloggy operations. They did something every satirically-minded blogger does every day, but they did it better.

30 Comments:

  • At 6:32 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    The bad economy is apprently having an affect on the net, too. I just saw that an excellent site - the consumerist is for sale. Too bad about Fire Joe Morgan. I didn't read it much, but appreciate the concept and the name. I remember Fire Steve Phillips which was successful in its goal, as history showed. While the way the 06 postseason ended was painful, we had a great run that season and there certainly was hope for coming back with a vengeance. I was a bit numb to the 07 collapse. While it was awful, I had been careful not to take anything for granted. The 08 "collapse 2.0" was hard to ignore and the tearing down of Shea, as I've many times mentioned, is much tougher for me to take. The world of the NY Mets will now never be the same - there is no turning back from the demise of Shea and apparently the gentrification of the entire Willits Point region. Nearly as bad, considering I drew a blueprint which included the need for about 10 to 12 players, which Omar neither has the incentive or desire to carry out, I am quite disheartened by the future for the NY Mets. It is even not inconceivable, that our GM will take us backwards. This is a fear more than anything that I see factual evidence of in my crystal ball. We literally need about 7 or 8 players to be real good. Best case scenario - Santana (1.Lowe), Maine, Pelfrey and Niese. Feliciano, Smith, (2. K-Rod or Fuentes), (3, 4 and 5 - 3 new relievers), (Kunz or someone else we already have), Delgado, Wright, Reyes, (6. new catcher), (7. new second baseman), Murphy, Chavez, Beltran, Evans, Tatis, Castro, (I dunno, more bench players from present and future).

     
  • At 6:34 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    ...and the Mets worst enemies, as always, are themselves.

     
  • At 8:19 PM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    i agree with the need to clean house especially in light of what will probably be a decline in production at first base, bad offensive chemistry when it counts, holes we acknowledge in left field and second, holes we don't acknowledge in right and catcher, and surgery for most of the rotation we DO have signed. That's without mentioning the putrid pen. Or the uninspiring bench.

    the 08 collapse has taken the wind out of our sails. Probably a cumulative effect.

     
  • At 2:11 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    Listen--we have a GM who simply does not have the intelligence or foresight. People credit Omar with making the Mets respectable again, but that was a checkbook move. Santana was luck on our part. Think the Sox or the Yanks wish they had made a move now? Pedro, Beltran and yes, even Delgado were checkbook moves. Marlins wanted to move salary. He got lucky on the Maine and the Perez deals, since his primary in each of those was a washed up reliever. Omar specializes in washed up relievers. He is constantly recruiting them and then wondering why they are crumbling in the second half of the year. I want a GM with some vision. I regard Omar as a joke and actually think that other GMs look at him that way too. It is sad. We have had 4 joke GMs in a row. Harazin, Phillips, Duquette and Omar. You would think that the Wilpons (Art How just lit up the room!) would get one hire right.

     
  • At 2:26 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    As for the Yankees, I actually believe that they are going into a down cycle, and that even all this spending will not save them. I think their offensive core is breaking down. Cashman is another one. He is awful on pitching, and he is doing what Omar does. Crossing his finger and hoping. I mean, they expect big things offensively from Posada? The guy is ancient, and he has really had only one breakout year. He will get hurt again too. Jeter is down. Matsui is old. Damon is old. They cannot stand Cano and might move him. Nady is slightly better than average and extremely streaky. Swisher? The Yankees have been banking their success for so long on Rivera it is not even funny. And he will not last forever. But like Omar, they look at last year and assume. That is fine if a guy is 31. As for the Phillies, they scare me. If they get a good starting pitcher, I feel our goose is thoroughly cooked.

     
  • At 3:16 PM, Blogger katherine said…

    That is so weird about FJM. I hope you don't get any ideas from them about quitting, IMFM! Since I find that actually watching the Mets, or reading directly about them in the media is too painful, I need your blog to stay informed.

    I am rooting for a big acquisition this offseason. Listen, it COULD happen! K-Rod or bust! And what did you mean, "as the market mellows"?

     
  • At 7:32 PM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    I like that K, maybe i need to formulate a new motto, something about "when you just can't bear to get your mets news directly."

    well by "mellow" i just meant to refer to the lack of big spenders who need closers (and thus a smaller market), and the mets supposed strategy of making eyes at trades like Jenks and other closers and hoping Krods price comes down.

    Discussions of his declining velocity have me rightly spooked. I don't know how i feel about it.

    I still gots mad love for Manny. No one knows my secret: the mets aint got enough offense.

     
  • At 7:35 PM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    jdon, i dunno about the Spanklees. Most of their offense guys are in aged decline, you're right, but what do you really need when you have Arod? With (much) better pitching, those guys will be trouble again. However, we should, as you suggest, probably confine our bitching and moaning to the Philmes. They are now seasoned vets of the postseason, whereas the Mets are whatever the opposite of that is, shellshocked post season newbies?

     
  • At 8:41 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    Well, it is a tough job being a GM and while I wanted Omar and Jerry gone for certain things, most notably the Heilman Debacles which hopefully need not be explained again, Omar will have tough choices to make now. Just a clarification, though first - Maine wasn't the throw-in in that trade according to Omar in a WFAN interview in April of that year (I believe it was 06). Which of these closers makes the most sense as far as not breaking down and being effective over the course of however long the Mets commit to them? Frankly, I don't think the money or prospects (at least this side of F-Mart) matters to them or us as much as the issue of whoever they get actually being effective and healthy. Pretty much impossible to know. Maybe a "what you see might be what you get" option like Francisco Cordero (kind of a Billy Wagner meets Benitez) could be considered, too. I don't think he'd be too popular in NY. I have a sneaking suspicion that as a "safety in numbers" move, Chad Cordero will be picked up by Omar, in addition to whoever he gets and that's worth consideration.

     
  • At 2:17 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    Once Julio began to stink(read immediately) Omar started drumming up Maine., who was in the minors. Cordero will probably not be ready to pitch. Plus, he throws 88 mph. As to who will NOT break down? That is impossible to say. I know I do not care for Fuentes. I am suspilcious of Jenks, why are they trading him? But if he is healthy and SANE, I like him best, actually. A real power guy. His Ks might be down but they are still better than 10m per 9, against better hitting teams. IMFM--Arod? He is taking them to a WS? He will put up numbers but not enough to drag a who;e team to a WS, or even playoffs. What are we looking at? CC and Wang? No telling if Mussina comes back and what he will be this year. Pettite is shot. Joba hasn't proven anything. Hughes either. Kennedy sucks. If Burnett comes in, who will he beat? He is ON the Yankees. I just don't think they are getting good guidance right now and too many people are going downhill at the same time. That doesn't do much for the Mets though. We are in trouble. I have a sneaking desire for Manny as well, because as bad as our pitching was, we were there. And once again our hitters let us down.

     
  • At 2:20 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    P.S. What was really telling was that Scott Olsen, who is a bum and a guy we owned all year, beat us in our biggest game of the year. A la Jeff Suppan. But Omar likes our lineup so who am I to say.

     
  • At 9:44 AM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    ok maybe not arod alone, but arod+actual rotation+$$ could make them a playoff team again. Anyhow, this is the kind of feverish hatred i hoped to support with my post.

    I would like to see a whole buttload of power guys out of that shitpen next year. If we're going to lose the race, i'd rather be on a motorcycle than a vespa.

    RE: effective and healthy

    I ran across this list, which i repost just as a friendly reminder of how Omar spent his allowance last year:

    2008 New York Mets
    Salaries
    Carlos Beltran $18,622,809.00
    Johan Santana $16,984,216.00
    Carlos Delgado $16,000,000.00
    Pedro Martinez $11,813,351.00
    Billy Wagner $10,500,000.00
    Moises Alou $7,500,000.00
    Oliver Perez $6,500,000.00
    Luis Castillo $6,250,000.00
    David Wright $5,250,000.00
    Brian Schneider $4,900,000.00
    Jose Reyes $4,375,000.00
    Scott Schitwise $3,600,000.00
    Ryan Church $2,000,000.00
    Mike Pelfrey $1,987,500.00
    Ramon Castro $1,975,000.00
    Endy Chavez $1,800,000.00
    Luis Ayala $1,700,000.00
    Aaron Heilman $1,200,000.00
    Matt Wise $1,200,000.00
    Marlon Anderson $1,050,000.00
    Pedro Feliciano $1,025,000.00
    Damion Easley $950,000.00
    Duaner Sanchez $850,000.00
    John Maine $450,000.00
    Angel Pagan $401,500.00
    Fernando Tatis $401,500.00
    Joe Smith $398,000.00
    Claudio Vargas $394,000.00

    Yeah baby!

     
  • At 10:22 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    So essentially we quadrupled Tatis' salary. I disagree about the Yanks. The Rays will get some hitting. And David Price joins the rotation next year. That guy is a stud. They will be 4 or 5 deep. To me, paying Chavez and Castro almost 2 million each is a waste. Castro is never healthy and Chavez is virtually useless. What did he have 12 RBIs? Castillo and Alou were useless, another 14 million. Marlon Anderson was uselss. Ah, what is the use. Before the Mets came into existence and after the Brooklyn Dodgers left, I spent 4 years doing nothing but rooting against the Yanks. Maybe I can console myself with that. I figure at least two more years of Omar.

     
  • At 2:54 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    Wow, JDON - you are the elder statesman here - nice! Regarding Maine, Omar said it immediately after the trade was completed, because I remember hearing the interview on the net that night, so while we can condemn him for some stuff, let's not try to re-write history, although admittedly this history has been mostly miswritten all along (99.5% of the time Maine is incorrectly referred to as the "throw-in". Lidge should have won the MVP - the numbers support him as being the most valuable member of any team in 08. In the regular season (not to even include his stellar postseason numbers), he didn't blow a save. Even in Eckersley 92 MVP/NL Cy Season, he blew 3 opportunities (and that's how many games the Phils won the division by). He gave up only 2 HR's the entire season. Credit where credit is due. And the Mets had 5 players garner MVP votes - most of any team. We need Beimel - that's for sure. He could probably be our closer, if it came down to it.

     
  • At 6:03 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    I'll add that we need to hoard relievers - reallly get all of them that we can - spend and spend - bring in the cream of the crop. We shouldn't care what people say, what other teams or media critics or fans think. The NY Mets need to acquire 6 or 7 of the best relievers available, even if it costs them a combined 40 million a season. Good relievers are one of the more rare and most valuable commodities in today's baseball world. The ones that suck, we can either toss aside, trade, or send down for rehab. With all of the Mets other troubles this past season, we WOULD have won the division and might have made it deep into the postseason with a deep relief staff.

     
  • At 11:07 AM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    I like this idea of spending the entire $25 million budget on pitchers. It's not the dumbest thing Omar could do. Besides hoarding relief, we need to exorcise that pen. It's an emotional thing. Everyone must go up to and even including Smith, who's fine, but nothing special. EVERYONE MUST GO!!

    Lidge was the mvp or cy, for sure. But I won't complain if Philly is denied another page in the history book.

    I am real scared about signing krod. Really. It's Wags all over again.

     
  • At 2:54 PM, Anonymous jdon said…

    Yes but who is going to get a big hit on the last day of the season when it is a must win and Brian Lawrence is shutting us out?

     
  • At 4:00 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    To see the heads of the BIG 3 Auto Co's on Capital Hill blaming their woes on the Credit Crunch, etc., would make me, if I were a congressman, want to ask them how much they love their companies and their country. After all, it's obvious that it is truly these business leaders lack of vision or downright corruption that led Detroit down its sad path. "If it would take your resignation to save your company, would you give it?", I would have certainly asked them. If they said, "No", then I'd urge their stockholders to can them, for lack of loyalty. If they answered "Yes", then the resignations would be one of the conditions of the bailout. Although Omar is not as unimaginative as those guys, I couldn't help but think of him. The lack of accountability rings a bell.

     
  • At 4:02 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    ...I'll add that blaming the troubles of the auto co's on the credit crunch reminded me of Omar blaming the "Collapse 2" on the injury of Billy Wagner.

     
  • At 11:33 PM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    at least omar doesn't take a 20 mil dol private jet!
    does he?

    ...

    of course:

    Daniel Murphy has left the Arizona Fall League because of "discomfort" in his right knee and will have an MRI on Thursday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

     
  • At 4:46 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    or vote himself 50 mil in bonuses like some of these CEOs in the corporate world. Wehere do numbers like that come from? How many home runs did they hit?

     
  • At 6:09 AM, Blogger katherine said…

    Wow - you're all talking politics.

    I don't know why I feel like so much more of an expert on baseball, than on the economy, or public policy. Maybe it's just that I feel I can spout off about who's playing right field, and if I'm wrong it won't REALLY matter!

    But I do have plenty of opinions. I agree that the Detroit CEOs ran their company into the ground with years of crazily obstinate wrong-headed business decisions. I guess they must have personally enriched themselves, too, but it seems less excessive than what happened in the financial sector.

    The Wall Street CEOs ran THEIR companies and the stock market into the ground from spectacular, criminal, megalomaniac, personal greed. A high school classmate of mine, a so-so student, was in the news a couple of years ago in an article about hedge fund managers who were making almost a billion dollars/year. Oh my god, I should have married him. I could buy the Mets!

    And under the category of "What Were They Thinking? Why was Daniel Murphy playing in the Arizona League, after just completing the longest season of his career?

     
  • At 9:01 AM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    Heilman is making demands?
    Start me or trade me?

    Wow. I wish he showed these balls on the mound.

    I change my mind on Poopeyface. KEEP him and leave him in the pen until 2010.

    Whiney baby.

     
  • At 10:15 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    Wait. Heilman thinks he has alternatives here? Like the Mets are pondering anything with regard to his future? They are just trying to convince somebody somewhere that he is worth a return in talent. His options should be: trade me or cut me, but please don't kill me.

     
  • At 2:21 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    "But there is another reason the Mets have not prioritized removing Castillo, and that is because, The Post has learned, Castillo requested an offseason meeting in which he implored Mets officials not to trade him and also pledged to re-dedicate himself to offseason training to assure he is in top condition next season." (New York Post)

    Re-dedicate? So 4-6 million in his first year was not incentive enough? We essentially gave him this money last year for showing up some of the time and producing none of the time. But he promises he will try this year, and the Mets are willing to give him a shot? That is Omar all over. A guy doesn't even try to come in ins shape and we do nothing about it.

     
  • At 9:27 PM, Blogger Jaap said…

    I just hope this isn't like last season (i.e. one big name move and leave the shitpen to roast in its own fumes) and if the Mets sign K-Rod they make some smart trades or low level free agent signings to bring depth and perhaps even fire to the pen because K-Rod alone is of little use if the bridge to him collapses every night by the 8th inning. Especially when half the starters don't make it further than the 5th inning.
    As for Heilman, his trade value must be shite, his reputation out of the pen is rubbish and who knows, perhaps he can finally pitch his way out of the pen and into the starting rotation. Any value he could bring after last season would be unexpected and welcomed.

     
  • At 3:48 AM, Blogger katherine said…

    Oh, Jaap, you're back...

    I am so relieved. The last I knew, you were taking a "World Series trip" to NYC. Then, silence for weeks and weeks. I imagined the worst.

     
  • At 10:34 AM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    Jdon, maybe the NY Post's alternative reality isn't the only one, since apparently the Mets like Furcal, because they need several more second basemen.

    I knew Jaap was ok when no reports surfaced of Mets players or management suffering grievous bodily harm.

     
  • At 3:42 PM, Anonymous jdon said…

    Wow, Jaap is back. I didn't think someone could spend 3 weeks in a sensory deprivtion tank. Was it helpful?

     
  • At 6:40 AM, Blogger katherine said…

    I guess the Mets have found a NEW way to fleece long suffering fans. The stadium naming deal - remember, hundreds of millions from Citigroup to name the stadium? - now being paid for with our tax dollars. Too hilarious.

    Anyway, at least fans of the Phillies, Marlins, Yankees, Red Sox, etc. are all contributing, too.

     

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