It's Mets For Me: Off-Beat, Tangentially Relevant Mets Ruminations

Off Base Since 2005! Mets commentary from the counter-intuitive to the unintuitive and all the intuitives in between. ** "Through the use of humor and gross inaccuracy...a certain truth can be gained." Rob Perri ** (pester me or follow me @itsmetsforme on twitter)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Stove is Getting Warmer

"Does anybody know why? Text me."--Keith Hernandez

It seems like just yesterday I was making fun of the cRockies. But it turns out I was like everyone else, unable to read the writing on the wall even though I watched the ominous spectacle of the Phillie Phanatic mugging Keith Hernandez in June. I said things like, "heck even the forces of nature are arrayed against the cRockies longterm success." I made Mike deJean jokes. Rather than consider me chastened, consider me a STAR MAKER, baby! Let me explain.

My preseason predictions brought in the Colorado fans, but alas, I sank under hubris and complacency--traits shared by Mets players and fans alike. Though the joke was on me, I think Rock fans need to thank me for messing with mojo. I ask you, how could the Colorado team have gelled into a playoff powerhouse without me not taking them seriously? Absent adversity, where would their drive to succeed come from? That's right, I'm claiming some credit for the Colorado Kaz's meteoric success. So to Colorado I say, Get yer Rocks off!

On the other hand, although I did briefly change allegiances to the Cincinnati Reds this season, I barely made fun of the Mets, and look where that got them! I promise not to make that mistake again next season. Nor will I be forgiving players for their sins, as I foolishly made amends with the "spy that came in from the old." Read on for more quasi-retrospective ramblings and preenings.


First things first, we blame all the umps. One issue I hope will get a lot of electronic ink this off-season is the quality of umpiring during the season. It shouldn't take a cascade of water bottles to wake the MLB(S) up to the piss poor officiating we saw this season. As David Wright said to C.B. Bucknor, "watch the game" MLB. The umps were chumps, nuff said.


So much Br*vey news floating around. Leo Mazzone (AKA the "rockin' retard") is let go by the brilliant minds in Baltimore. The Br*ves won't resign Andruw Jwuones. And the Great Satan John Sh***holtz will no longer be the General Manager of the Atlanta klan, although he remains with the club. It looks like the other shitkicking boot is dropping in Atlanta. Now I don't go as far as some, but I hate the Br*ves something fierce, and even if the South will rise again, we should be enjoying this news.

So why aren't we dancing in the streets?

Well it maybe because of the September to Dismember has us feeling a little subdued. Or it maybe our off-season has yet to find its theme, a story or a unifying idea like the one, now almost forgotten, given by the preposterous chase of Barry Zito from last year.
Let's try a post-season theme on for size: IS OMAR A BUM?

Sweet Jesus, he could be.

The Mets GM's competence is something no thinking, feeling Metfan wants to doubt. After all, he's the one who revived this club, taking it from dissension to dynasty, albeit on the backs of Steve Phillips era draft babies. And with everything else so wrong, I don't think we can stand the thought that the helmsman is a hack. But here is Joel Sherman for the prosecution, making the case with whispers about Omar's "checkered" record of decision making:

Minaya had a dream season last year where nearly every move - big and small - worked en route to an NL East title. But was that an oasis in an otherwise checkered career of decision-making?
You will find executives around the game who say Minaya claims more credit than he deserves for finding Latin talent early in his career, notably Sammy Sosa. Plenty of officials who were around the Mets when Minaya was a top executive under then GM Steve Phillips swear Minaya, among other failed items, strongly endorsed Jeromy Burnitz and Mo Vaughn, and gave a tepid report on a young international free agent named Alfonso Soriano.

For Sherman, Omar's past off-season was "inexplicable."

For example, with both Paul Lo Duca and Ramon Castro facing walk years, Minaya's front office lost, via the Rule 5 Draft, young catcher Jesus Flores, who had a fine first season for Washington. Minaya shielded a lot of Steve Schmolls and Alay Solers, but most criminally protected 48-year-old Julio Franco over a 22-year-old catcher with promise.

San Diego's Heath Bell and Florida's Matt Lindstrom blossomed into top set-up men and Kansas City's Brian Bannister into a Rookie of the Year candidate. The Mets' haul for that trio - Jon Adkins, Ben Johnson, Jason Vargas, Adam Bostick and Ambiorix Burgos - was a modern version of Joe Foy and Jim Fregosi.

What message did Minaya send by re-signing steroid offender Guillermo Mota or firing a hard-working hitting coach (Rick Down) in midseason and hiring a renowned loafer in Rickey Henderson, whose time as a Met player was underscored by indifference?

So Sherman is playing the Bell card, pushing the 'roids case, and chiming the elderly gong. Rickey was a head scratcher. Fair enough. But one thing is sure, Omar needs to have a hell of an off-season. No more excuses that there is nothing to work with, a great GM makes it happen. What kind of evidence could we see in the upcoming weeks to make us feel Omar may indeed be a stinker?
Well, let's start with the re-signing of Tomahawk Chop Glavine. That wouldn't be good.
And any failure to remedy the pitching situation by somehow not scoring a number one starter and fixing the flat tire bullpen might qualify in some fan's minds. Signing players I loathe, such as David Eckstein or Ronnie Belliard (click on links for my savaging of these players), would do it for me.

Belliard's a purple punk

So the jury is out. And they are an angry mob waiting to happen, Omar.


axis of evil?

The Mets defensive lapses, particularly during the horrendous later portion of the season, need to be addressed. It would help if the players knew how many outs there are, or when to break into homerun celebratory trots and when not to. Reyes and Wright are young, but their throwing yips and non-coverage of bases, respectively, are not something Randolph can accept. I'm not saying that the Mets revert to Mets ex-GM Steve Phillips strategy of telling Mo Vaughn to pretend foul pops were cheeseburgers, but the Mets need to motivate these guys to keep their heads in the games at all times.


Scott's last good day with the Mets

Scott "Show and Blow" Shoeneweis, he of the three-year, $10.8 million contract, is on the hotseat for a wee bit of mail-ordering he did. So there are now as many questions about Shoeneweis' signing as there are about the spelling of his last name. But, contrary to what many fans think, this doesn't make signing Chadbrad to a similar contract any less ill-advised. Relievers are never a sure thing. But I want to point out something we learned in June that fans seem to forget: Blow was or is pitching with a severed tendon in his left hamstring. Now I take this back if that hammy has somehow righted itself, but my argument is that one would need to take this into consideration when evaluating this signing. The dude has survived balls cancer, elbow surgury, and Blowsie was looking more like Willie's go to guy towards the end there, for better or for worse. If anything, Blow and the pen debacle as a whole speak to the problem of letting the "market " push you into signing middle relievers for 3 year deals.


And last and certainly least, how could we get through the day without doing exactly what Wallace Matthews wants us to do, which is be outraged while we discuss Wallace Matthews' latest performance art over at Newsday? For Wally, the Mets are both bullies and cowards. They can't take a punch. They are responsible for global heating, spandex, disco, and Wally's premature ejaculation problem. However, I can't really contest his portrayal of Toothless:

Tom Glavine -- a cut-rate mercenary compared to Clemens but a mercenary just the same -- got what he wanted out of the Mets, his 300th win, but when it came time to give something back, he couldn't get out of the first inning. Didn't seem to be too broken up about it afterward, either.

And well, it's hard to argue against the idea that the Mets are clowns, but blaming the Yanker's postseason failure on a swarm of bugs seems a little unfair. To the bugs.

The Mets deny North Korean influence in the decision to retain Willie Randolph.

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  • At 11:16 AM, Anonymous cver said…

    What a lovely sentiment and as usual, you have such a unique and beautiful way of seeing the world. That Joel Sherman article I missed and it was really something. He sure makes a convincing case and could incite a riot if too many Met fans read it - could gather a lynch mob! I guess there are lots of ways to look at things and Omar at this point is a mixed bag - maybe with a hole in the bottom.

  • At 11:56 AM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    "May you live in interesting times" is an ancient Chinese curse, and it is clear that this offseason will be interesting for us.

    In a world where Moreno the Angels owner might want to make a splash, the Sawx (AKA Luke Skywalker) could become near unbeatable if they signed Arod, Joe Torre and Mariano Rivera could be unYankered, the roids investigation could start naming names, and there is no free agent #1 pitching to speak of, I am anxiously awaiting to see if Omar is a prince or pooper. As if their internal problems weren't enough, the Mets certainly can't take an NL east regression for granted. Could Omar take advantage of the wacky GM instability in the league to pull a fast one? I guess standing pat is an option, but I bet Omar's ego can't take this abuse and he'll feel his hand is forced.

  • At 1:24 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    Yes, this is an interesting test for Omar. I know for an absolute fact that maybe only one half of one percent of Met fans could tolerate him standing pat. The interesting thing is he could actually just tweak and be successful in the longterm (not pushing the panic button, as they say) you never know. But shortterm - holy shit! He might not survive the lambasting that he would get. He will be forced to make a splash - let's hope that everyone likes what happens. I thought it was quite interesting that he didn't get Soriano, who I wanted and in the Sherman article, it now makes sense. If he was against him as a prospect, signing him for 100 plus million would highlight his huge weakness at his supposed biggest strength. But, even though they only lost by a game or two, the team looked quite weak and are vulnerable on so many fronts. If Duaner comes back healthy and gets his act together, it was be a big help. This is a big mess. He probably should go after Adam Dunn, but I doubt he will somehow. If Omar is a miracle worker, we will see it now. If not, he's the one that brought us down as fast as he brought us up, I guess. Was it the Chinese that also said "Those that giveth can taketh away"?

  • At 1:43 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    This is what Delcos wrote today:

    The free-agent filings don’t start until after the World Series. Omar Minaya said they are still in the re-evaluation process and haven’t made a decision on any players.

    About Tom Glavine, he said it will be a little like last year. Glavine is still thinking about it.

    That's a toothless threat, if ever I've heard one.

  • At 8:55 AM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    Cver, thanks for your comments. I was only ever partially sorta for getting Soriano and ultimately thought Omar was wise in avoiding him. As you say, now we know why, maybe. I want to honor the Duaner as much as the next guy, but taking into account the injury, I don't think we can hope for a "Duaner party." I think the pen needs some new blood.

    And Tom Glavine can rot in heck. Once I've taken paintshop spray paint to your face, you're dead to me. As impossible as it seems, I am holding out for a true #1 starter, not someone that just eats innings, but someone that gracefully chews and swallows them with a nice chianti. I just don't see going anywhere in the postseason without one.

  • At 2:05 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    Yeah, there will be a lot of competition for free agent ace Hannibal Lector this offseason.


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This blog is meant completely and entirely in jest, unless you count the angst, and is not meant to offend anyone, unless you are a Br*ves fan. It's not affiliated with Sterling, the Mets, common sense, good taste, or anything really.