Oct 16

Mets’ GM Search Hitting On No Cyclinders

Fred and Jeff Wilpon have promised autonomy in the past to GM candidates in the past, but it never materialized. They are saying they are offering it this time, but aren’t close to making a decision on a new hire and their dismal season ended just under three weeks ago.

Several reported candidates have even refused interviews because they don’t believe the hype coming out of Queens.

The whole process is dysfunctional. How so? The trio who shared the GM position last year after Sandy Alderson left – John Ricco, Omar Minaya and J.P. Ricciardi – aren’t candidates, but are in the interview process.

I still haven’t figured out how that works.

Jeff Wilpon gummed up the process even further by saying he wants to retain manager Mickey Callaway. Would any candidate who really wants the job be willing to go against his new boss?

Not likely.

Ricciardi and Minaya are suggesting candidates to the Wilpons, but would they really endorse somebody who will want to get rid of them?

Not likely, on that one, too.

The gap between two candidates, 35-year-old Tampa Bay senior VP of baseball operations Chaim Bloom and Milwaukee’s 66-year-old advisor Doug Melvin, is wider than the 31 years that separate them.

What candidates are going to be attracted by the Mets saying they don’t want to spend in the free-agent market, have no pieces to trade, and are seemingly ambivalent in analytics?

Not many, to be sure.

It was a long summer and figures to be a long winter.

Jun 26

Alderson Leaves Mets As Cancer Returns

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is taking a leave of absence to receive continued treatment on his cancer. Alderson has been receiving chemotherapy since his cancer returned since the end of April.

Alderson, 70, was initially diagnosed with cancer in September of 2015 shortly before the Mets made their improbable run to the World Series.

ALDERSON: Leaves Mets, maybe for good. (AP)

ALDERSON: Leaves Mets, maybe for good. (AP)

Alderson, speaking with Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon at his side prior to tonight’s game at Citi Field, said he will forfeit all his decision-making responsibilities to his staff of John Ricco, Omar Minaya and J.P. Ricciardi, all decisions – the trade deadline is July 31 – will go through Wilpon.

“I’m just really concerned for Sandy’s health,” Wilpon said, “and that he’s back with his family, and doing everything he can to make sure he weathers this storm the best he can.”

Wilpon did not comment of the Mets’ new chain-of-command or Alderson’s future, but the general manager hinted he might not return.

“If I were to look at it on the merits, I’m not sure coming back is warranted,’’ Alderson said, but wouldn’t define the term `merits.’ Although, reaching the 2015 World Series was the pinnacle.

Alderson’s record with the Mets is 582-628, including 31-45 this season. His marquee decisions were trading Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler; buying out Jason Bay, Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo; signing David Wright to an eight-year, $138-million contract; trading Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey for Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud; trading for Yoenis Cespedes, then extending him to a four-year, $110-million contract; firing manager Terry Collins, and finally giving up on Matt Harvey and trading him to the Reds this year.

Alderson has also been reluctant to spend lavishly in the free-agent market and unable to build up the farm system. Alderson also assumed responsibility for the Mets’ miserable season.

“I feel badly that we’ve had the season that we have had to date,” Alderson said. “I feel personally responsible for the results that we’ve had. At the same time, I have confidence in our manager, our coaching staff, our players, that this will change. John, Omar [and] J.P., I’m sure, will take a hard look at where we are, maybe take a fresh look at where we are. And I have every confidence that they will serve the franchise well over the next few months through the end of the season.

“I’m really disappointed with where we are and disappointed to have left Mets fans in this situation. I’ve said many times, I really do this to make other people happy. When you’re not making people happy, it’s difficult.

“None of us writes his or her script. You deal with circumstances as they arise. I am grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had here, all the opportunities I’ve had in the game, and for whatever opportunities may arise in the future. This isn’t Disney World. We have to deal with life as it presents itself, and I’m OK with that.’’

May 16

Keith Tried To Help Harvey

Speaking on WFAN Wednesday morning, Keith Hernandez said he spoke with Matt Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, in an attempt to reign in the former Met’s behavior.

mets-matters logo“I called Scott, I said, ‘Scott, you gotta pull the reins on this guy, because he’s gonna make it tough on himself,’ ” said Hernandez. “He goes, ‘Keith, I can’t, he’s gonna do — he’s his own guy — he’s gonna do what he’s gonna do.’

“He made a lot of enemies.  He was confrontational with Sandy — with Sandy Alderson. They had a tough relationship. Matt was arrogant and, you know what, you meet the same people on the way up, you meet ’em on the way down, too.’’

It was a nice effort by Hernandez, but Boras was right, Harvey was going to do what he wanted, whenever he wanted.

That’s why he’s an ex-Met.

Cespedes Goes On DL: The Mets finally did what they should have done a week ago, which was place Yoenis Cespedes on the 10-day disabled week.

“The decision was pretty clear that we needed to get him on the DL, and get him back to where he needs to be,’’ manager Mickey Callaway said. “He was improving while he was playing, and that kind of stopped. So, let’s take a different route and make sure we’re cautious with him and get him back to the Cespedes he can be sooner.

“It’s like any injury. Nobody can predict that. The information I have is that we can get this resolved with some rest. He could’ve continued to gut it out, and continued to play. We were hoping with the off-days, and things like that, the progression of it would be where at some point maybe this would go away while he was playing.’’

Wheeler Rocked: Zack Wheeler’s pattern of following a respectable start with a stinker continued in today’s 12-1 loss. In his worst start of the season, Wheeler gave up six earned runs in four-plus innings.

“It’s tough, because you do see both sides, how brilliant he can be and you see how things can unravel at times,’’ Callaway said.

Wheeler was sharp for the first three innings, but unraveled following an 18-minute delay with the Mets batting in the third, as the grounds crew spread drying agent on the soaked field.

 

May 15

Cespedes Should Go On DL

Once again, the Mets are mishandling a key injury, this time it is Yoenis Cespedes, who has a mild strain of his right hip flexor.

General manager Sandy Alderson called the injury “lingering,’’ and added “at some point, this can’t continue.’’

I appreciate Cespedes trying to play hurt, but that’s an effort better served for September and not for the middle of May, 47 games into the season. Cespedes should have been placed on the 10-day disabled list five days ago. If he had been, he would have missed only four games by now and maybe not any more than seven total.

CESPEDES: Will he limp off before DL decision?  (AP)

CESPEDES: Will he limp off before DL decision? (AP)

Cespedes isn’t in tonight’s starting lineup, but could be used as a pinch-hitter if necessary, but that would mean the Mets would lose another day. From the ten days, the Mets have three off days and missed another to rain – assuming tonight isn’t bagged – so they would have gotten off cheap had they done this last week.

The Mets’ medical staff said Cespedes can’t be injured any further, which begs the question: How they really know?

Answer: The don’t.

Cespedes said his hip hasn’t improved since Sunday.

The Mets also misjudged Jacob deGrom’s hyperextended right elbow when they started him Sunday in Philadelphia after one inning. First, they delayed placing him on the disabled list, then they should have pushed him back another couple of days.

In the end, they burned a start.

If they continue to fool around with Cespedes, there’s no telling what they might burn.

May 01

Harvey’s Partying Again An Issue

Long-time readers of this site know I’ve frequently been hard on Matt Harvey, and with good reason. For the most part, he’s deserved it. He’s in the bullpen because he’s been stinking up the joint lately as a starter, and if the Mickey Callaway Mets are about accountability, Harvey needs to ask himself: Am I doing all I can to get better?

Frankly, he’s not.

HARVEY: Being a jerk again.  (AP)

                HARVEY: Being a jerk again. (AP)

Harvey has always been for himself first, second and to hell with everybody else.

Harvey’s common sense, not to mention, professional obligations, are under scrutiny again after he traveled to Los Angeles from San Diego last week for a night of partying prior to a lackluster relief appearance.

The Mets traveled from St. Louis to San Diego the day he went to Los Angeles. Obviously, he was preoccupied with finding a way once the Mets landed in San Diego to get a way to Los Angeles. That means he wasn’t concentraing on the game.

Sandy Alderson stopped short of calling it a problem, but reading between the lines it isn’t hard to figure out the general manager isn’t pleased to hear of the so-so pitcher’s nocturnal habits.

After all, this is a player who blew off a game because he was hungover. He was also late to a postseason workout for the same reason.

“I think it can be a problem if it affects a player’s or a pitcher’s preparation for work the following day or the next several days and I am not sure that was the case here,” Alderson told reporters at Citi Field this afternoon. “[But] I think the other thing I have tried to keep in mind is pitching out of the bullpen is different than pitching out of the rotation and part of the preparation for that role is recognizing you can pitch any day at any time and as a result you have to be a little more conscientious about what else is going on in your life in order to be prepared on a moment’s notice to pitch.

“That is part of the realization that maybe’s he’s had over the last few days. So to answer the question as succinctly as I can, ‘Yeah, it can be a problem.’ I don’t think it was in this case.”

Asked if he was surprised to hear of the report about Harvey’s partying, Alderson said: “Usually I get upset if a report is unexpected. So I guess the short answer is no.”

Translation: Alderson knew something like this could be coming about Harvey.

Harvey, who is making $5.8 million n his walk year, clearly isn’t enamored with the Mets, who have bent over backward to placate him.

Callaway met with Harvey today and gave him the same old message he had gotten from Alderson and former manager Terry Collins.

“It is bad in the sense that it’s getting publicity,” Callaway said. “Matt has to be aware of that. The things he does, right or wrong, are going to be brought to the forefront and we have to make sure it’s never a distraction for him or the team.

“… I think he understands at this point that while the bullpen, he might view it as a relegation in some way, that his only way back to the rotation is through the bullpen and being successful in a meaningful role in the pen.’’

The bottom line is Harvey has in the past, and is currently, alienating his teammates. This latest episode is just another reason not to give Harvey the benefit of doubt anymore.

It’s his career, and if he doesn’t care about it anymore, then why should we?

Frankly, the sooner he’s gone the better, and if that means giving him away for a bag of balls at the trade deadline, then go for it.