Jan 29

Jan. 29.10: Minaya thinking positive.

Mets GM Omar Minaya was in full defense mode last night on SNY, saying among other things, he still has full autonomy, but sometimes decisions are a collaborative effort and he doesn’t care as long as the right decision is made.

PELFREY: A major if.

PELFREY: A major if.


Sounds good, but I didn’t expect to hear anything other than that on that topic. Anything other than that is a sign of weakness.

Most curious was his stance on the pitching.

John Lackey was the only difference maker in the free agent market, and I don’t believe the Mets were even in that game. Everything else in the market, he said, wasn’t significantly better than what the Mets already have.

The Mets’ three question marks – John Maine, Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez – when healthy are as good as what was on the market. In theory, if you take the best years of those three, Minaya would be correct.

So, the Mets’ pitching plans really were to hope they improve and stay healthy. Rarely, when a team has as many pitching questions as the Mets, that the answers all come up roses.

A significant key, and one I believe might be the most important this season, is the development of Pelfrey, who regressed after a good season in 2008. Even so, Pelfrey still managed double-digit victories.

“If we can get Mike Pelfrey to be the Mike Pelfrey of 2008,” Minaya said. “There’s upside there.”
Continue reading

Nov 24

Que Keith ….

Word is the SNY has reached a deal in principle with Keith Hernandez on a new contract. I obviously haven’t heard them all, but I find it difficult to imagine a better group than Hernandez, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling.

HERNANDEZ: He's coming back. That's great.

HERNANDEZ: He's coming back. That's great.


They provide insight with humor. Of the three, Hernandez comes across as the least polished and at times a bit spacy … but that’s his delight. Yeah, I don’t mind hearing about Hernandez’s travel plans and Cohen busting his chops by saying, “it’s all about you, isn’t it?”

Hernandez is witty and honest and pulls no punches. He’s not afraid to rip the home team, and this year they needed it for sure. That’s honesty and it is rare from team announcers.

What’s best about them is they don’t come across as blatant homers like you get from the team across town. We’re not stupid. We know what we’re watching, and Hernandez doesn’t come across as patronizing or condescending.

Sep 22

They said it ….

“The only difference between the Mets and the Titanic is the Mets had a better organist.” – late sports columnist Jim Murray.

Do you remember Jane Jarvis?

JARVIS: She could tickle the keys and your fancy.

JARVIS: She could tickle the keys and your fancy.


Once a child prodigy, Jarvis’ sounds on the keyboard became the sound track of the Mets for a generation. Unlike the “noise” that goes on at Citi Field these days and went on at Shea after she left, her creativity was welcomed and appreciated by all. Like the sign man, she made a trip to Shea unique and special.

The other day SNY had an inning without announcers. Could we once have a game without being visually and musically assaulted? It would be nice for the Met to go back to when the music was subtle and witty, and at times soothing. There’s just relentless sound now before every hitter and between every inning.

Right, I’m old school, but it is overwhelming with the rap and the Spanish which more than half the crowd doesn’t understand, and the signature songs of every player.

When there is music, it should appeal to the majority, not segment the crowd. It should be soft enough so most of the time you can talk to who you came to the game with. A baseball game shouldn’t be like AM radio where there’s panic with a little dead air.

Do you know what it tells me when the time at the park is like a day at an arcade? With all the distractions on the video board and with the music and with the 900 varieties of food, it tells me ownership doesn’t want you to really pay attention to what is happening on the field.

It’s not just that way with the Mets. It’s like that with the Yankees, too. Hell, the Colorado Rockies sell 17 different varieties of hot dogs. I didn’t know there were that many. Is all that really necessary?

Just play ball.

Aug 29

MLB: Wilpons doing fine.

Yesterday on the blog we talked about a Reuters story which quoted Erin Arvedlund, author of “Too Good to Be True,” of saying the Wilpon family lost $700 million in the Madoff scam and would be forced to sell the team by early of 2010.

Fred Wilpon told the New York Times, “I’m fine, my family’s fine, my business family’s fine.”

WILPON: Says Mets not for sale.

WILPON: Says Mets not for sale.


Wilpon also said the family has an emotional attachment to the Mets and would not sell the team. Wilpon said the team’s revenue from its share of the MLB television deal, luxury suits, ticket sales, concessions, ad revenue at Citi Field and its share of SNY were not affected by the scam. He said the Madoff losses were significantly less than $700 million, but did not specify.

Wilpon paid $135 million to buy out Nelson Doubleday’s share of the team in 2002, and the Mets, according to Forbes Magazine, are currently worth $912 million.

Major League Baseball monitors the finances of each team quarterly, and president Bob DuPuy said the team is under no financial distress.