Nov 29

Mets Play Cespedes Negotiations Perfectly … Get Their Man

Well, Yoenis Cespedes is coming back, which is what both he and the Mets wanted. Good for them, and Merry Christmas to both. I initially wrote the Mets would be better off spending the money earmarked for Cespedes – $110 million over four years reported today– on other areas and still believe that might be the best long-term decision.

CESPEDES: Coming back to Mets. (Getty)

CESPEDES: Coming back to Mets. (Getty)

However, when Cespedes filed for free agency a week after the World Series, I wrote if the Mets really wanted him they needed to set a deadline to prevent negotiations dragging into January. Apparently, both sides wanted this done by the Winter Meetings, which worked to the Mets’ advantage because reports of him going to Washington, the Dodgers or Yankees never developed traction.

Apparently, both sides wanted this done by the Winter Meetings, which worked to the Mets’ advantage because reports of him going to the Dodgers or Yankees never developed traction.

Perhaps Cespedes panicked when he saw there wasn’t a line at his door and he saw his big payday slipping away. Was that why he sent a text to the Mets before Thanksgiving reiterating his desire to come back? Reportedly, nobody was willing to give him the five years he wanted, but the only team to publicly state their interest was the Mets.

We can conclude Cespedes overestimated his value in the market, while Alderson judged it perfectly and applied enough pressure to make the 31-year-old outfielder blink. Good for Alderson: He had a plan and stuck with it.

After two playoff seasons, the Mets felt enough urgency to bring Cespedes back to keep their nucleus intact as much as possible. They already made moves in that direction by bringing back Lucas Duda, Neil Walker and Jose Reyes.

As far as spending the money given Cespedes elsewhere, that was an option, but in retrospect, the market for their primary needs – catcher and a closer to replace Jeurys Familia – isn’t readily available, or inexpensive.

It must also be remembered the Mets own a trade chip in Jay Bruce, so they have the opportunity to upgrade without spending big.

Sure, I have concerns, which I’ll save for later, but the Mets felt a need and they acted on it. They basically are keeping the team that reached the playoffs together, and that’s important. Instead of dabbling and adding two or three other players, they chose the path of least resistance and there’s a lot to be said for that decision.

 

Dec 25

Merry Christmas

To my friends in cyberworld …

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and spent the day with your family and friends, and if you couldn’t be with them in person you burned up the phone lines saying hello. That’s what I did today. So much so that there were five NBA games on and I didn’t watch any of them.

It’s a special time of year and I wish all sports were dark on Christmas. We have sports for the other 364 days, can’t we just breathe for one day. I know it will never happen, but it’s a peaceful thought.

All my best to you, and I’ll post something on Friday.

JD

 

 

Dec 25

Merry Christmas; R.I.P. Jack Klugman

I woke up this morning all set to write you a Christmas and holiday wish, but as it always does, life intruded with the sad news of Jack Klugman’s passing last night in Los Angeles. I hope you’ll spend a moment and read one of his many obit’s on the Internet.

One of my favorite programs growing up was “The Odd Couple,” and a dream was to be a sportswriter in New York. I started writing prep sports for the local paper when I was in high school and my nickname was Oscar. In part, because of the sportswriting and also in part because I was voted “messiest locker.”

I loved that show and several years ago was given a DVD set for Christmas. I didn’t watch “Quincy,” because he was always Oscar to me, but I appreciated the depth of his talents when I caught him in “Twelve Angry Men,” and several episodes of “The Twilight Zone.” I especially remember the one in which he was a pool shark.

It was a sad good morning to read about his passing, but it does tie in to my “It’s A Wonderful Life” post. Klugman was 90, and his son said he had a full and meaningful life. Part of his life, one he never knew, was his influence on a young kid growing up in Ohio who wanted to be a sportswriter.

I miss him already.

I hope you all enjoy today with your families and have a very Merry Christmas and celebrate today with your own traditions. My best wishes to you all.

JD

 

 

 

 

Dec 24

Honoring A Personal Tradition: It’s A Wonderful Life

Good evening. It is not a time to rip the Mets for not spending. Not a time to clash and argue. One of the things I love most about baseball are its traditions. They act as a foundation for the sport. I will write about the traditions I like and miss about baseball later this week, but for now I will honor a personal tradition, one I follow every Christmas season and that is to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Things haven’t been easy lately, which is all the more reason to watch this movie. It is from a simpler time and is a powerful reminder of what is important. I won’t preach to you what is important, because you all know, and all have your own personal views.

This movie gives me a good feeling not only about Christmas, but about myself. I only hope as I grow older that I will get the same emotional feeling at the end of the movie.

Merry Christmas to you all and your families.

Best, John

 

 

Dec 25

Dec. 25.09: Merry Christmas …. Happy Holidays

Barring something earth shattering, this is likely my only post for the day.

Christmas is a time for family and I will be with mine in Ohio. It is also a time with friends and I want to thank my blog friends and family as well. You are all very important to me and I wish you nothing but good health and happiness today.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. You guys are the best.

Cheers, JD.