Aug 01

What Is Sandy Alderson Watching?

Most of us didn’t expect the Mets to be active at the trade deadline, a thought emphasized by a stretch in which they lost 11 of 13 games. But, to hear GM Sandy Alderson say he opted not to trade Scott Hairston, or anybody else for that matter, by saying: “We haven’t given up on the season. We didn’t move players off the team for a reason. We think we have lots of good baseball in front of us, and Scott can be part of that.”

ALDERSON: Blowing smoke.

Of course, the Mets could have been more a part of things had they not waited for their collapse, which somewhat slowed in Arizona with the split, but in reality did it really? Since hitting the West Coast time zone, the Mets are 3-3, hardly a stretch to sound the trumpets.

When asked on a conference call why the Mets didn’t act sooner, Alderson said: “There really wasn’t availability. If you’re talking about an impact reliever at the end of the game, and you go back to right after the All-Star break, the market really had not fully formed. … Would a reliever of some renown, some ability, have made a difference? It’s possible.

“But, about the same time that it would have been nice to get a reliever, our starting pitching went south and we weren’t scoring quite as many runs as we had. So there was a period of time until very recently that we had a number of problems that could have been addressed. The bullpen was just one of those.”

The demise of the starting pitching and offense is true, but to say there was nothing available isn’t accurate, at lease not on the surface. Not all deals were made at the deadline. The Dodgers and Yankees made acquisitions a week ago. The fact is, and Alderson knows this, that there are few untouchables.

It is understandable the Mets didn’t want to purge their farm system, but not all deals would have meant trading Matt Harvey and/or Zach Wheeler. And, if Alderson really believes the Mets are still in it, then why didn’t they act in the last few days? Jonathan Broxton (to Cincinnati), Wandy Rodriguez (to Pittsburgh) and Francisco Liriano (to the White Sox) were done recently.

The fact is the Mets didn’t want to part with their farm system – and, it better turn out great after this – and/or don’t really believe they are in it. All acceptable explanations. But, please don’t tell us you’re not giving up on the season and then not do anything. There’s no way, barring a long-shot miracle the Mets can win anything this year with their present roster.

If Alderson really believed there is a chance he should have done something. By not doing so, he let down all those fans who were on the Mets’ bandwagon in the first half, and all those who bought tickets for games in the second half.


 

 

 

 

Jul 17

Mets Choose Batista Over Harvey

Citing Matt Harvey’s need for development – and echoing some of the sentiment posted here today – GM Sandy Alderson said Miguel Batista will start Saturday against Los Angeles.

However, Alderson left open the possibility of Harvey starting on the Mets’ next West Coast  trip. Alderson also said Zach Wheeler would not pitch on the major league level this year, but would soon be promoted to Triple-A Buffalo.

Good decision by the Mets. Harvey showed something last night, both ways. He showed poise and a good fastball, but he also displayed a wild streak.

Remember, this season is about laying the foundation for the future. Anything the Mets give us this season as far as competing is a bonus.

 

Jul 04

Mets begin key series tonight in LA

The Mets trying to get by with Jose Reyes down with a strained hamstring, which means everybody must pick up the slack, including Jason Bay, who is hitting .254 with 10 homers and 70 RBI in two seasons with the Mets.

With David Wright and Ike Davis on the disabled list, and Reyes a possibility to join them shortly, the Mets will need all they can get out of Bay.

General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets would deal with caution regarding Reyes.

“We have to take it one day at a time,’’ Alderson said. “We’re not making any predictions at the moment. We’ll just see how he responds and the symptoms he demonstrates over the next few days. I’m sure he’ll want to play. I’m sure he’ll want to play in the All-Star Game. That’s something we have to look at.’’

Too often in the past the Mets acquiesced to Reyes’ demands to play, but the stakes are higher this time. The direction the Mets will take at the trade deadline is largely dependent on how well the team is playing and Reyes’ health over the next few weeks.

Beginning tonight in Los Angeles, the Mets open a West Coast trip against the Dodgers and Giants, then close out the month against Philadelphia, St. Louis, Florida and Cincinnati.

It is not a stretch to say the remainder of this month will be spent on the edge, that whether this team packs it in as has long been speculated or makes a run at salvaging a season, we’ll know it all in the next few weeks.

We’ll know whether the Mets will still feature Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez and perhaps Reyes, or another group of non-descript players.

Here’s tonight’s lineup in Los Angeles:

The Mets are trying to get by with Jose Reyes down with a strained hamstring, which means everybody must pick up the slack, including Jason Bay, who is hitting .254 with 10 homers and 70 RBI in two seasons with the Mets.

With David Wright and Ike Davis on the disabled list, and Reyes a possibility to join them shortly, the Mets will need all they can get out of Bay.

General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets would deal with caution regarding Reyes.

“We have to take it one day at a time,’’ Alderson said. “We’re not making any predictions at the moment. We’ll just see how he responds and the symptoms he demonstrates over the next few days. I’m sure he’ll want to play. I’m sure he’ll want to play in the All-Star Game. That’s something we have to look at.’’

Too often in the past the Mets acquiesced to Reyes’ demands to play, but the stakes are higher this time. The direction the Mets will take at the trade deadline is largely dependent on how well the team is playing and Reyes’ health over the next few weeks.

Beginning tonight in Los Angeles, the Mets open a West Coast trip against the Dodgers and Giants, then close out the month against Philadelphia, St. Louis, Florida and Cincinnati.

It is not a stretch to say the remainder of this month will be spent on the edge, that whether this team packs it in as has long been speculated or makes a run at salvaging a season, we’ll know it all in the next few weeks.

We’ll know whether the Mets will still feature Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez and perhaps Reyes, or another group of non-descript players.

Here’s tonight’s order at Los Angeles:

Angel Pagan, CF

Justin Turner, 2B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Daniel Murphy, 1B

Jason Bay, LF

Lucas Duda, 1B

Ronnie Paulino, C

Ruben Tejada, SS

Chris Capuano, LP


 



 

Jul 03

Reyes injury a source for concern.

Timing is everything, and all of a sudden this isn’t a good time for the Mets. After a sparkling road trip to Texas and Detroit, the Mets have dropped three straight and fallen 7.5 games off the wild-card pace.

REYES: Will have MRI today.

Is this the start of the July slide some feared that propel the Mets into a fire sale?

They hope to avoid being swept by the Yankees today, then head to the West Coast for series against the Dodgers and Giants, where they usually don’t play well. You might recall it was this trip last season – which featured an ailing Jose Reyes – that derailed their slim wild card hopes.

And, it could be happening again this year, with Reyes pulling up lame with a hamstring injury yesterday. Reyes and muscle pulls haven’t gotten along, first at the beginning of his career and the last two seasons.

We won’t know the severity of Reyes’ injury until a MRI today, but what it does do is give us a glimpse into what the Mets have feared and one of their concerns in offering him a long-term deal in the neighborhood of six or seven years.

Reyes sustained hamstring issues at the beginning of his career and muscle pulls the past two seasons, very alarming for a player who makes his living with his legs.

History tells us Reyes won’t last the duration of his next contract without an injury. Common sense also tells us if his current injury is severe and lands him on the disabled list for several weeks and his immediate health is an issue, it might make it more difficult to deal, especially if the Mets don’t offer a negotiating window to the other team.

Reyes says he’s not concerned, but that’s putting on a brave face. How can he not be worried?

 

Oct 04

With changes, 2011 is underway.

Jeff Wilpon didn’t wait long.

Wilpon, doing the right thing, acted quickly and decisively today in announcing GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel are no longer a part of the Mets. There was no need to delay the inevitable.

Here’s his statement: “We are extremely disappointed in this year’s results and the failures of the past four seasons.  We need to hire a new General Manager with a fresh perspective who will transform this club into a winner that we want and our fans deserve.  We appreciate all that Omar and Jerry have done for the Organization and thank them for their time and effort.  Changes like these are never easy, especially when you are dealing with people you like and respect.”

It was a clipped, cliche of a quote, offering nothing new. That might come in a press conference this afternoon. Probably not, as the real story never is told in these types of gatherings.

Both handled their dismissals with class and dignity, qualities you admire and respect. They aren’t always qualities that translate to winning baseball games.

Manuel was very classy yesterday in his post-game remarks and during the game when he prompted Mike Pelfrey to take a bow and removed David Wright and Jose Reyes so they could receive ovations. It was a small gesture, but it meant a lot to the players involved. Minaya was the same this morning, saying: “I think we needed a change here. The bottom line is we had three years where we didn’t finish the job, and I’ve been in this town long enough to know that we’re expected to win.”

Minaya and Manuel are gone, as we’ve anticipated since the end of July when the Mets plummeted out of contention after a freefall West Coast trip.

In particular, Minaya’s decisions on Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo have hamstrung the Mets financially, which was underscored in Perez’s awful performance yesterday after a month of inactivity. Watching Perez soil a strong pitching performance by Pelfrey and the bullpen might be Minaya’s legacy with the Mets.

However, before we pile on Minaya, let us remember that ownership signed off on those moves and did not spend the money wisely.

Ownership vowed Minaya and Manuel would be held accountable in 2010, and that they have been. However, ownership promised, but did not deliver on its vow to make significant player acquisitions. And, ownership has not delivered to its fan base a concrete blueprint for change.

Minaya and Manuel are gone, but unless ownership makes a dramatic hire to lead its front office, they will merely be scapegoats.

Change is underway, but will there be real change?