December 6, 2013
Ho Ho Ho Met fans. The Mets rang in the holiday spirit by actually completing a deal for a real major league player. I know, you were all nervous that yet another year would pass by with nothing but false promises, leaving us with a quadruple A baseball team to root for. You thought that somehow you were undeservedly placed on the naughty list by Santa once again. Well, not this writer.
You see, outside of the past two seasons when the Wilpons were essentially bankrupt, the Mets were always good for at least one move to wet our appetites. In fact, the Mets could always be counted on to make that one move each and every year to appease the fans. A Token Move of Appeasement, used as a vessel to keep the fans interested in the team. Heck, it may even be enough to get some fans who have had nothing but resentment towards ownership to loosen the purse strings and buy a season ticket package. The theory is that desperate fans will react favorably to any decent transaction if they are starved enough for good baseball. I think we Met fans qualify in this regard. We may be overqualified if you ask me.
This is the typical annual approach of the Wilpons. It has actually been successful and will likely be so again this year. I bet that there have been hundreds of fans that have already purchased tickets today in reaction to this move. However, if you haven’t had that knee-jerk reaction, or haven’t had a moment to pause during your busy work day to go online or call the Met ticket office today, I urge you to pause. Here is why…
Curtis Granderson is a nice player. There are many positives about him. He can handle playing in New York. He can hit for power. He is a lefty bat that has been sorely needed to compliment David Wright. He fills an OF need that the Mets desperately had to fill. He has a little bit of speed. He is a nice guy to boot. In fact, there is little to not like about him. Being 32 with only a four year contract is not necessarily a disastrous scenario in the world of baseball contract evaluation.
So why should you not throw money towards the Wilpons’ coffers just yet? Here is a good reason. The Mets filled a single hole amongst many with this signing. The last time I checked, they are in need of a shortstop, a first baseman, possibly another outfielder, two quality starting pitchers, and an entirely new and effective bullpen. Of the other positions that are not mentioned, only David Wright is a sure thing. Even the established starting pitchers give little confidence going into next season either because of the potential for injury (Niese), or inexperience (Wheeler). Without Harvey to lead this team, that leaves many, many holes to fill. I count approximately ten at the least just to complete the 25 man roster.
If the present is anything like the past for these Wilpon-lead Mets, this will probably be their only splash into the free agent pool this year. If that is the case, then how far ahead are these Mets from last year’s version? Let me enlighten you. Perhaps they are not any better at all.
If the Mets essentially stand pat from here, they might repeat the 74 win season they had a year ago. It might be as easy to assess as simple mathematics. Add Granderson and delete Harvey. In fact, I might be a bit overly optimistic with this assessment. The loss of one of the best pitchers in baseball cannot be replaced so easily, regardless of the star position player that he is being replaced with. They may finish worse than last year if the rest of the roster is once again filled in by band-aid players.
I personally need to see a lot more from the Mets before I can become remotely optimistic about their 2014 season. I know that I have little confidence in the Wilpons doing the right thing, and If history has anything to say about that actually happening, then it may very well be another long baseball season in Flushing.
April 17, 2013
Hello Metropolitan fans. Long time no post. At least it has been for me. No matter how long I stay away, the Mets and their lousy ownership just pull me right back in.
Today’s subject follows the atrocious double-header sweep by the Rockies yesterday. For any Met fans who began to sip the Kool Aid after a small sample of successful games against the likes of the Padres and Marlins to open the season, shame on you. It isn’t as if the team had impressed any of us with the off-season moves they made. Did anyone think that the John Bucks, Marlon Byrds and Collin Cowgill’s of the world were going to amount to any measure of sustained success in 2013? Not to mention the fact that Jeremy Hefner and Aaron Laffey now compose 40% of our starting rotation. I mean really. The analogy that comes to my mind is comparing the Met roster to a building with large holes in its foundation. Rather than repairing those holes with durable cement, the Wilpons decided to use silly putty instead. Sure the holes are indeed filled, but it is only a matter of time until the foundation continues to crumble, inevitably leading to the entire building suffering a complete collapse.
Such is the prognosis for the Mets 2013 season. Does this sound familiar to anyone? It certainly should. After all, it is the same formula that the Wilpons have concocted to produce a forgetful season for each of the past four years. The formula goes something like this. Two established, healthy, proven major league talents + one budding young prospect that the organization is pinning their entire future on + six physically decrepit players + five washed-up players with familiar names that no one else wanted + eleven players who are either unproven or that no one had ever heard of. Unfortunately, this is a formula for failure that anyone not named Wilpon can easily understand.
Alas, it is the Wilpons who are captain of this vessel, and not unlike the Titanic, we were doomed from the start.
December 5, 2012
It is that time of year once again Met fans. As we bask in the afterglow of R.A. Dickey’s Cy Young Award frenzy, we turn our sights towards the 2013 season. Just as we do every off-season, our minds wistfully follow the Hot Stove reports and Winter Meetings with the small shred of hope that the Mets will suddenly act like a large market team by making an unexpected splash or two. You know, the type that would actually improve our team by signing a player in his prime for some meaningful dollars. Someone for Met fans to hang our hats on. Someone that gives us a touch of amnesia and makes us forget about the recent years of non-competitive misery. Someone to give us some warmth during this long, cold winter.
Alas, what have we learned in recent years? Mets management executes only what absolutely needs to be done in order to show us that they are trying. They do not offer the educated New York baseball fan true hope. No, Met management offers only The Token Move of Appeasement, or TMOA. Yes, ticket sales are on the minds of the Wilpons. Make no mistake about that. Met ownership is banking on this tactic to lure the desperate Met fan into purchasing a season ticket plan, or perhaps a partial plan as a consolation prize.
This year’s version of TMOA is David Wright. Not even the Wilpons could be idiotic enough to let their franchise face walk away from the team. It is of no concern that the contract offered by the Wilpons will be backloaded with a significant amount of deferred money to be paid off through the 2020 season. Whatever it takes to accomplish their one goal of selling tickets to cover the their massive debt and perhaps make some semblance of a profit. Winning? That is not part of the equation.
Let us look at this from another perspective for a moment. If you want to measure the quality of the player David Wright truly is, he first needs to be removed from the Met roster. This is because he is a superstar on the Mets in comparison to any other position player currently under contract. The truth of the matter is that Wright is a very good player, but he is not a superstar, nor an MVP caliber player. He is not a player that can carry a team on his back for sustained portions of a season. In other words, he is not a Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, and perhaps not even a Mike Trout. Of course, I am listing the elite here. However, if we move down the line just a bit, there is a second tier of talent in the majors that Wright may still fall short of placing within. Robinson Cano, Prince Fielder, Joey Votto, Josh Hamilton, and Andrew McCutchen all come to mind as more productive offensive talents than Wright. If DW had the benefit of playing alongside one of these talents, well then the Mets would have something cooking.Part of me feels bad for David Wright. He will never get the opportunity to be a part of a winner here if he has to be the number one guy. I wish better for him. The other part of me sees it this way. He did sign on the dotted line, and I believe he knew what he was getting himself into. He is getting paid a king’s ransom. Why should I feel bad for him?
My feelings for David Wright aside, the major concern is whether or not the Mets made a sound baseball decision here. It is clear that Sandy Alderson was under direct orders to sign Wright at any and all costs. However, we have learned that the Wilpons would not know a sound baseball decision if it slapped them in the face.
What do we know about the current state of this Met franchise? We know that they are banking on the young pitching that they developed or acquired through trade. If we are lead to believe that this is the direction they are headed in towards potential future success, wouldn’t it make sense for the Mets to grab some young position player talent as well? Outside of Wilmer Flores (a third baseman subsequently blocked by David Wright’s presence), the Mets do not have anyone in the minors worth speaking of. That being said, who do the Mets expect to win with in the coming years to go along with all of that young pitching talent? The last time I checked, teams can not win championships losing by 3-2 and 2-1 margins. We have heard whispers of the Mets looking to find some outfield talent on the cheap this off-season. Do the Mets truly believe that they can get by this way and legitimately compete going forward? Will they suddenly wake up and spend adequate money on some offensive talent in the coming years?
These are all great questions that will never be asked to the general manager nor ownership, and if it were asked, it would be left without answer. I do know this, David Wright might have brought back some nice position player talent if he had been traded previously. I know there is no guarantee that prospects bring future success, but how does our alternative look right about now?
There is one undeniable truth here. David Wright being flanked in the middle of our order by the likes of Daniel Murphy and Ike Davis does not excite me one bit. This much I know without any hesitation, and I know all Met fans feel the same way.
February 14, 2012
Unbelievable. If one word could sum up what has transpired recently, that would be the one. Yesterday, it was reported that the Mets GM was taking jabs at Met ownership’s finances. This comes from the same guy who was also recently quoted as saying, “We feel that we are going to be far more interesting to watch than most are anticipating.” Maybe that was meant to be an indirect dig at the state of the Mets as well. Perhaps it was a read between the lines sort of statement.
Regardless, Alderson was not pulling any punches when he tweeted, “Will have to drive carefully on trip; Mets only reimburse for gas at a downhill rate. Will try to coast all the way to FL.” This has been the buzz on Twitter for the past 24 hours, and has seemingly taken on a life of its own.
One thing is certain. The Mets PR department is more defenseless than ever when it comes to social media. Not that they were very good at anything before social media became a prominent way to spread news and discussion either.
It becomes more and more clear by the day that the Wilpons face an uphill battle that holds little to no reward upon reaching its apex. When the team’s GM has no choice but to attack the growing disdain for his financially strapped employers, where else can this really go?
The Mets enter the 2012 season as a virtual non-entity. The only news that anyone creates or writes about is the upcoming hearings to be held in March. If the Mets were not a New York professional sports team, they would be a complete afterthought. Ticket sales will surely decrease to unheralded lows this year as well. This will be extremely troublesome for the Wilpons, as they have publicly stated that they need the revenue from ticket sales to help them skate by financially this year.
All of this spells big trouble for the Wilpons and Mr. Katz. However, as stubborn as this trio is, they will fight tooth and nail to hold onto majority ownership of the franchise.
How can they dig their way out you say? Unfortunately, they have been afforded an escape hatch to this sinking ship.
ONE – Bud Selig, Fred Wilpon’s friend and crony, had his reign as MLB commissioner extended recently. Unlike the situation with the Dodgers and the McCourt’s, Selig will afford the Wilpons every opportunity to dig their way out of this debt. He would even approve another loan or two if need be to keep his buddy in good standing.
TWO – The Mets have already found family and friends, the only people dumb enough to invest a collective $20 million, as minority owners. This dough is being used to desperately pay off some outstanding loans, which will enable ownership to take out future loans in good standing when they need them next year and beyond.
THREE – The lawsuit pending has already taken a turn in the favor of the Wilpons. The principal moneys that Irving Picard was pursuing in the Bernie Madoff case have already been dismissed by Judge Jed S. Rakoff in the United States District Court of Manhattan. There are many sources who believe that the Mets may only be responsible for about $83.3 million. If the Wilpons become responsible for only this amount (originally Picard was seeking $1 billion), they would achieve a stay of execution. Once this occurs, the Wilpons will invest money back into the team in a matter of three to five years. This will bring the fans back into the stadium and get them to start spending on everything from tickets to t-shirts to concessions once again.
Sounds rosy for the Wilpons and the Mets doesn’t it?
This scenario ensures that the Mets will continue to be run by inept baseball owners, whose only care in the world is the bottom line. Unfortunately, this does not include a little thing called winning, regardless of how much they preach its importance to them.
Let us not forget that the Wilpons’ track record has been completely muddled with poor decision-making from the minor leagues on up to every post held for the big club over the past 25 years.
Finances aside, we can be assured that bone-head decisions will continue for years to come with the Wilpons at the helm. We can also be assured that the Mets will never, ever win a World Series as long as the Wilpons remain in control.
This is true even if their GM stops cracking jokes publicly about them on social media outlets.
December 16, 2011
I recently came across an article written by Mike Silva’s New York Baseball Digest in regards to the Wilpon’s and their financial troubles. It is not only a fantastic read, but it has motivated me to purchase a book entitled “Wilpon’s Folly: The Story of a Man, His Fortune, and the New York Mets” by Howard Megdal. You can read Mr Silva’s article here, and I certainly encourage that you do.
Mr Silva certainly poured his heart and soul into this article, and any true Met fan who is disgruntled by the current situation will truly enjoy this read.
April 15, 2011
I can just hear Nat King Cole eloquently singing his classic hit now. Of course, when those lyrics came across my head today, it was extremely simple to replace one key word to label what the 2011 Mets really are. Forgettable.
The Mets find themselves in a rather predictable place today. They are currently tied for worst record in the major leagues at 4-9 with other predictably bad teams (Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners). If you were hoping, or even worse, believing that the Mets would be better than this, then all I can say is shame on you. Foolish optimism will get you nowhere with this franchise.
I haven’t written a thing in quite some time simply because there is absolutely nothing to write about. I could break down how the Mets are severely deficient in the pitching department, but that was obvious from the start. I could illustrate how the Mets, with new fiery manager in hand, still can not seem to catch, throw or run bases with any level of proficiency. The only question that would come to mind is this. Why bother writing about this team?
Folks, the Mets are an inferior product, and there is no sugar-coating it. Why delude ourselves with anything other than the facts? The Mets are as irrelevant as a VCR right about now.
The Met hierarchy is in a no-lose situation this year, their first under the Wilpon employ. If the Mets compete at all, it would be looked upon as being a tremendous achievement by all. If they do not compete, then the finger of disappointment will be pointed towards the prior regime’s mistakes. Either way, they come off looking peachy, from the GM down to the manager.
What do we have to look forward to you may ask? Let’s think about it. Nothing.
Jose Reyes will be traded by the deadline if he stays healthy. Carlos Beltran will finish up his Met career after this season. Johan Santana, fresh off his latest surgical procedure, will not pitch until September at the earliest. That is true only if the Mets actually make a good decision about how to rehabilitate him properly (a long shot I know). When he returns in 2012, he will likely be a different pitcher all together, one that is no longer worth what he earns annually. The Met payroll next year will likely be significantly lower than it is this year, as whispers of a 75 million dollar payroll are being heard throughout the blogosphere. That means that there is no help on the way for next year either. Ouch.
Other than that, the future looks bright Met fans. Long live the Wilpons!
February 8, 2011
Predictably, it has begun Met fans. Make no mistake about it, the Wilpons NEED YOU. Well actually, they need your dollars. This is true to such an extent that they have begun the pathetic process of groveling to its season ticket holders for sympathy. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of the letter sent to all season ticket holders, as I have not purchased any tickets in years due to my disdain for the Wilpons. (If anyone has a copy of this letter, I would truly appreciate it if you would post it under the comments section below this post for all to see.)
Meanwhile, I have instantaneously become a fan of Eric Usinger of Huntington, NY. He is certainly not someone who will be used and abused by the Wilpons. We should all take his lead as we forge forward as fans of the team that the Wilpons currently (hopefully not for long) own. After all, we are fans of the New York Mets, not of Sterling Equities.
You can expect much more of this to come, as the Wilpons will do anything in their desperate state to win over the fans and the money that they represent to Sterling Equities.