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)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Helping your Metsfans friends through the Winter

Do you have a pal who is a Metsfan? Do they seem a bit distracted at work lately? Snap at you for no reason? Or maybe you found them one day, weeping quietly in a puddle of what can only be their own urine? I want to help you understand your buddy so you can really get to know them, or at least get them to clean up after themselves.

Winter is a rough time for a Metsfan. Not as rough as the actual season, but punishing just the same. You see, we got big dreams. This offseason, I think it is fair to say that, whether it is a creation of the media or our imaginations or both, we Metsfans now have the distinct feeling of Johan Santana or Bust. The papers tell us our team might have the inside track to acquiring the league's best pitcher. We want to believe our GM Omar Minaya is in the champagne room, and now it is just a question of how good a lap dance he will get, and how much he'll tip for the privilege.

If your friend can get entirely past their principled disgust at "giving up the farm," or emotional discomfort at kissing goodbye all the potential of a farm stud that they may (Carlos Gomez) or may not have (F-Mart) actually seen, and soberly assess the lay of the land, then they are a better fan than I. But if I was to have the ability, then my question would be, what are we risking here when we speak of the Great Santana?First, selling the farm can be predicted to handicap the team when it comes to making deals to fill important slots in the near future. Just where are those slots and are they the type of slots most likely to be filled with a midseason desperation trade (not the Mets or Omar's historical specialty by the way)? Fortunately (Wright, Reyes, Belty, mmm Castillo) or unfortunately (Schneinder) the following positions are filled for the foreseeable future: 3rd, ss, 2nd, CF, and catcher. I stick Church, Alou and Delgado in the"unproven (to be around much longer)" category and thus the corner spots and first base are in relative flux. If memory serves, unless age/injury finally catches up with all of them at the same time, the Mets have under contract a servicable bench, which you don't normally trade top prospects for anyhow. With a Santana and without the upper level of minor league starting pitching prospects, I think we'd be fine in the rotation department as long as Omar doesn't mind overpaying for Ollie soon. And relief, though GMs do sometimes wheel top prospects for bullpen guys, is both a problem solvable by tossing cash at it, and a total crap shoot. It says here that the Mets won't really need need top prospects in the near future. Their stars are young, their role players are ancient, and that doesn't look likely to change anytime soon. Omar can deal with any coming crisis on the minors while the Mets and Santana pile up the playoff victories.

Second, some knowledgable readers point out that the Mets are cursed and Mr. Santana could slip off the Shea mound on opening day and be lost for the season. If your friend has been a Metsfan for any length of time, they no doubt are shadowed by a vaguely cursed feeling. The shadow of risk will put any vaguely cursed person a bit on edge, so please excuse your friend at least a couple of unprovoked outbursts that seem wildly out sync with reality. Is acquiring Santana really risky? Well, I think Ballcrank sums it up nicely:

Santana's a high-risk proposition because he is a pitcher, but he's probably the least risky bet of any pitcher in the game.

This risk seems worth taking and what's more, we feel like we deserve it. Mets fans, already enjoying the privilages and dellusions of following a big market team, are increasingly egged on by the 24 hr blog cycle to covet the very best the MLB market has to offer. And the fact that the Mets have evolved from a bumbling-major-league-punchline-heartbreaker into a bumbling-perrenial-contender-heartstomper doesn't ease the pain of two consecutive years of unholy exits from the race to be world champs. Money is money, and with the (at least) 20% ticket price gouging already announced for next year, Metsfans can be forgiven for feeling like they already paid for this.The teams that win the World Series aren't always the ones that land the off-season's biggest fish. But sometimest they are. In closing, here's a few simple facts to help the uninitiated understand what their Metsfans pals are going through right now. We are zealots: unsatisfied by a dearth of postseason sucesses, and primed by capital-of-the-world media overload we are a blog crazy sports community whipping each other into more and more ridiculous levels of frenzy. The Mets haven't had the kind of real #1, dominant, heart-racing, spine-chilling hurler in their prime that makes any rotation look like a winner since we all pretended that grunting traitor Al L**ter was such a guy. Give us some candy.



  • At 7:19 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    The Senator abstains - what a poser. Yeah, give us the real spine-tingling ace that we so richly deserve for all our years of agony and angina. All of the suspense on uneasiness that this offseason has given us needs to end in this acquisition, which in a perfect Met fan world, would result in much lesser suspense, uneasiness, angina, basically all of the above during the season and hopeful postseason itself.

  • At 10:57 PM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    Santana makes all our troubles go away.
    Tejada's brother died which is a shame now that he's in trouble with the US government.
    The A's were/are a real roid farm. Moneyball, combined perhaps with Canseco, McGwire, both Giambis, Tejada, Sylvester Stallone, 50cent...could that have anything to do with their recent purge, trading away everything but the kitchen sink?

  • At 3:58 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    Sandy Alderson is another one of those guys who has lurked in the shadows along with the more visible Tony La Russa - these guys will never get in trouble. Some talk about pointing fingers at Sabean now though - doubt it. It feels like the A's, Rangers and Cardinals were pretty suspect zones. I wonder who else on the Mets past and present was involved and how much Omar saw and had to keep zipped about - maybe in Texas or in New York.

  • At 6:53 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    Three more years of Selig and since Citibank is both financing the park and owns the naming rights, with their new Persian Gulf partners, we can expect a name change for the park and the team - Maybe the Burkalyn Dodgers.

  • At 11:12 PM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    we got the Stash back!!

    c'mon that's terrific news. I'd call that a capstone.

  • At 3:08 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    I did enjoy the Stache, but I would rather have at least one second baseman out of the 5 or 6 that we now have that has experience and isn't likely to break down - is that too much to ask? If he ever plays one ML game for us, he will get a million bucks, from what I understand. You would think we should have shed the stache for 08. But, let him prove me wrong - the guy has heart.

  • At 10:25 AM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    RE: my stash comments: the mets are forcing me to new levels of semi-sarcasm!

    I love Stash for many reasons and think that he would make a fine addition, if for no other reason than he has proved himself against great odds before, IF there was any room for him on the big club's bench. I don't see where he fits and I don't see Gotay getting much of a chance either.

  • At 3:20 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    Gotay, if he were on a team like, let's say, the Oakland A's would flourish, have a chance to develop, but at the same time not disappoint. He was doing well for us last year when he had the opportunity. Castillo is fine when healthy, like Alou - it's just these guys, including Stache and Easley - and of course Old Duque are bound to break down. What kind of team are we continuing to build? What lessons has Omar learnt? Seemingly none. How can we go to war with these guys, who start out OK, but are ticking medical timebombs, whether it is June or September, we need some degree of sturdiness and reliability. I mean, if I had an old car that I was nostalgic about, I'd keep it, but I wouldn't go on a cross-country trip with it or rely on it to not break down and leave me stranded in the middle of the desert. We only have so many parking places in our garage and even considering the same old cars to come through, is IMO overly sentimental and self-destructive. Yes, he has defied the odds, but I would hope we would learn to improve the odds instead.

  • At 5:12 PM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    it's true, this is the offseason i hoped Omar would show what he "learned" about carrying too many fogies. When Old duque was injured doing warm up sprints in the outfield, I felt that was a pretty clear enough sign. It still drives me crazy.

    I have seen nothing to make me think Omar has learned at all. For the pitching staff, they need to break in young pitchers in the pen like every other sucessful team does. As for the position players, they need not to have traded Milledge and probably need to kepp Gomez, unless its a case of losing him to keep Fmart, who seems more valuable at this point. And superEndy and the injury bug are too close for my taste. As with anything, gettting Santana takes these problems off my mind.

    In addition to Santana, I still would like to see a bonifide upgrade in the pen, as they did not impress me last season. This game, "waiting for minnesota," shouldn't distract Omar from adding a power arm to the relief corps.

  • At 8:54 PM, Anonymous YB said…

    It saddens me that Met fans go to that no talent hack Cerrone's website in droves and don't take the time to read and respond to you literary work, IMFM.

    Sitting here in my new place in Tahoe (yeah, still not above rubbing it in!) having a scotch and reveling in the NY Football Giant's victory over the totally overrated Green Bay (butt) Packers. Hope all is well in LA, looks like CVER is out on a mission from one of his post on Metsshblog. How can that thing provide any kind of living for the Soprano pimpin' Cerrone? There isn't an ad on that site that could possibly generate income, and frankly, outside of me, who is a worthwhile taget audience. It is inherent in my nature to wish ill on people I feel have very little talent, and Cerrone even excedes my minimum standard in that regard.

    Oh well, here's to a great Superbowl, is Santana singing the National Anthem in a Met uniform?


  • At 11:01 PM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    Hi YB, wow Tahoe. Nice. At least I still have my health.

    congrats on those giants; they can enjoy a few weeks until the actual super bowl. I was pulling for them too, just because that poor little kicker was going to be hanging him self with shoelaces in the clubhouse if they didn't win.

    Speaking of sad, I just watched Daryl Strawberry swing and miss a 30 mph pitch on the "Pros and Joes" show. He's so old, he can barely talk smack without wheezing.

    Santana or no, the misery starts again soon. Gotta finish the productive part of my year before pitchers and catchers.

  • At 1:17 PM, Blogger Jaap said…

    I was thinking back to when the Expos traded Pedro to the Red Sox for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. I mean these guys were supposed to be the cream of the Red Sox farm system and now look at them. Mutts, the two of them. And look where Pedro ultimately led the Red Sox. Then I remembered it was the Mets I was thinking about and realised any trade Omar makes is going to be like that one the Vikings made for Herschel Walker which enriched the Cowboys for years whilst Herschel well, just never made it...

  • At 3:48 PM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    Johan is no Herschel. I hope. Since at least the Steve Phillips era, my default position is don't trade away young cheap talent. Unless its for pitching, sweet sweet pitching.

    Left handed uber-prospects don't grow on trees, but from what we have seen, the Mets can't be trusted to guard Martinez' value, and they can't be trusted to have the patience to let him flourish. The Mets incompetence might well be the main point in the trade's favor.

    Plus, by this point, I think we'll all be kinda devastated if Johan doesn't end up in Flushing, even if we are skeptical of the deal that brings him there.

  • At 4:53 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    Hi to everyone, including you, YB. New place in Tahoe? Out of Cole Valley? Enjoy, but be nice to Cerrone. OK, you're entitled to your opinion, but I think he's a good writer and has done great things for all of us. I DO AGREE that more should appreciate the genius of IMFM!!! It seems to me that Cerrone has been the inspiration that has started most of this, including Hotfoot and IMFM and he's the one who brought all of us friends together. Hey, I could be wrong, but I know from my personal experience, without me finding Metsblog, I wouldn't have found all of you and that's a good thing. Besides the guy has worked his butt off and although I don't believe that being a workaholic is always necessary or even healthy, I can't fault hard work in a positive fashion. I don't always agree with him and you obviously don't nor do you think that he is talented, but he's a Mets fan and is one of the founders/leaders of the medium we are enjoying right now. Getting Santana would be awfully exciting and not getting him would be awfully anti-climatic. When I hear of all the great things that these prospects we are maybe gonna trade are, I am anxious to see them in orange and blue though - and soon otherwise. You can be sure that there will be pressure to rush them, if we don't get Santana - to show our fans that keeping them was worth it. What I don't want to see is Carlos Gomez being traded in a year or two for a scrub or two, like we just saw with Milledge.

  • At 9:27 AM, Anonymous YB said…

    CVER, I understand your appreciation for Cerrone, but frankly, I assume that the more intelligent readers (if there are all those hits, why do only about 50 people actually post?) don't bother to log in. Obviously, I spend my fair share of time in the Mets ghoulog (sic), but it is becoming clear to me that blogs may end up being the downfall of society as we know it. It clearly lowers the productivity of our workforce. The good thing is, from most of the posts I read, it is mostly students killing their GPAs and customer service people goofing off on the job.
    BTW, the place in Tahoe is a vacation house, still residing in Cole Valley.
    Back to Cerrone, to me he is just a tiny piece in the overall ridiculous sports reporting landscape. I think we often forget it is just a game we follow. The reporting that goes on is so much dead air. "Baseball Experts" are seemingly always wrong with their reports, no one actually breaks a story and certainly guys like Olney, Rosenthal, etc. have no real sources, let alone Cerrone.
    I happen to know the owner of the Warriors, and I am pretty sure that he isn't going to tell me who Chris Mullin is thinking of trading. My criticism is more driven by my own inability to stop following the Mets and being constantly agrivated by Cerrone's inane and repetitive posts regarding Johan, et al.
    Me being me.

    Why can't we all just get along!

  • At 2:29 PM, Anonymous YB said…

    Oh my, banned again by Metsblog.

  • At 3:16 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    I can understand your frustration with the offseason, YB and I'm sure that, like for me, can spill off into other places, like in your case, Mr. Cerrone and Metsblog. Did you really get banned from there? What did you say to get banned? (Let's see if you'll get banned from here for saying it). You've got both places - how incredible! Lucky guy! Rickles will be playing in Tahoe in a couple of weeks, if you like him and are around (I'm sure IMFM is a fan).

  • At 8:04 PM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    i can't afford to be banning people. But I can ramble on, based on what you guys have been discussing.

    When Milldge went, much of my enthusiasm for prospects went with him. I will NOT fall in love with Fmart. If they don't know how to handle prospects, why should I fall in love with them? Fool me thrice, shame on me. Lucky enough to get Reyes and Wright, this club was too stupid to let K*zmir and M*llidge mature. We have developed NO good young pitchers. Maine and Ollie were total luck.

    I certainly got my start "thanks" to MC and his MB, and chatting with folks like YB. I'm not sure if thanks are in order. Anyhow, I always used to go there for the comments. Lately (year or so), the posts are better than the comments for what that's worth. Now I barely read them. I hope it shrinks again to a more managable scope, but it doesn't look that way.

    Sports reporting IS mostly dead air these days. I grew up with Cossell and the Miracle on Ice (but not Don Rickles for me Cver, that's a bit before my time). They grew up with the budweiser hot seat. So can we blame the youngins if they have no perspective?

    Yes, I think we can. Thanks to new fangled statistics and 24 hr media, some newer Metsfans have deluded themselves into thinking they've attained a certain level of mastery, so they are cocky and uninterested in learning from fellow fans. I say, if you don't realize the suffering involved in Metsfandom, then you ain't been around long enough.

    I have always enjoyed the Mets on the internet so long as anyone can spout off whatever they like, as long as they know what they're talking about. It's when that right is curtailed by kids who have been fans for a couple of years is when I get annoyed. Real Mets fans know that nothing comes easy, in my opinion. Newer fans think Omar poops poundcake.

    I started this site as an outlet for my crankiness, hoping to nurture a forum for discussion amongst the disgruntled and other sophisticates, but the "market" is saturated. I count myself lucky to have the readers I do.

    But I still even think of taking over one of them espn chatrooms (have you seen the new ones? pretty fancy) one of these days for a chat with likeminded adults about the worlds most frustrating franchise.

  • At 11:29 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    IMFM, in this week when we are all sincerely honoring the great work of Dr. King, you are "keeping crankiness alive". Nice job. Interesting what you wrote about prospects/Milledge. Who knows if he's gonna be "the one who got away" besides from obviously Kazmir, but as we all know there are other candidates for that "Mets GM Hall of Shame" including Owens (I won't include Bell, because I was ready to get rid of him), Lindstrom, etc. For a guy who objected to us getting rid of Matt Ginter and Victor Diaz (the jury is still out on him), I nearly have to throw up my hands to all of this. I am skeptical if Milledge truly was all that kept us from getting Oswalt or Manny. But I do think that we could have gotten somebody (whether they would have panned out is another story) from Mr. Beane, since he was once reportedly in love with the Thrilledge. I know that it was Al Gore that invented the internet and not Matthew Cerrone, but I'll still give the guy his props. There is a rather unmanageable volume of comments on there - tough to read them all - the price of "success". When I hear the figures he mentions on certain peak periods of hundreds of thousands of hits (or was it even millions), it is crazy to even think about, considering it seemed volumewise on a scale like you, me, YB and Jaap on here, when I first went on Metsblog.

  • At 12:08 AM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    Heh heh, i sort of saw a bit too much in Victor Diaz too. Heath Bell had his chances with NY.

    The winter in Metsland used to be the winter. I think Metsblog was pretty dead in the offseason if i remember. Now with spring a month away it feels like there hasn't been a break...and nothing has even happened!

    I've even stooped to watching espn. Tim Krujecistan or whatever thinks Yohan will end up with the Yankees.

    And the Twins GM wanting to "lay low" regarding Johan. I don't know how to take that. All the sudden, the media is focusing on Johan's down year last year and possible "injury."

    With no Johan, well...It will be great to see Pedro for a full year, if that's what the baseball gods have in store. And will Pelfry make progress? I view Church with the same anticipation i held for Shane Spencer, and although he could be better than I think, I don't expect him to be the first mets right fielder going to the hall of fame.

  • At 7:53 AM, Anonymous YB said…

    IMFM, you are a deep thinker. Just remember, the answer to everything is 42. Funny that that was J Robonson's number.

    I have definitely been banned from Cerroneland, the funny thing is the last time it was because of a drunken tirade. This time, I didn't post anything vulgar or out of the ordinary. I think Matty boy read what I wrote in here and banned me forthwith, the timing was too convenient.

    Once again, it reinforces the childishness of Matt and Metsblog.

    Now that I am in a surly mood, I will be petty as well. Did you guys see MC on SNY? Who dresses that guy? I should send him some hand-me-downs from my closet. I bet he wears a Members Only jacket.

    Back to business. We all know Santana will not be a Met and the prospects Omar tried to trade will all be below average major leauguers. he needs to put the full court press on Baltimore and get Bedard before the Yankees get Johan and the Red Sox feel it necessary to get him.

    I just hate the pretend reporting Matt does. He knows nothing, and at one point admitted he wasn't in the business of seeking out rumors. Now he is "in the know". What a joke. And if you read this Matty Boy, grow up.

  • At 11:55 AM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    And this all as Matt has just scored the biggest interview of his career, with Mex; always with the untimely wisdom, YB.

    Keith asks the magical question (in the Ted Berg interview):"How you kill a bullpen when you've got eight guys out there is beyond me."

  • At 8:51 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    I thought both Matthew and Ted Berg did excellent exclusive interviews of nearly an historic stature. This is what we needed now. To get some perspective from Mex, I believe. He spouts out in real time during the whole season, but to hear in retrospect his take on 07 and also on other subjects. I think it was all very well handled. Yes, Matthew is going on and on about the Santana situation this offseason, but aren't we all? Maybe he's overdone it - turned it into too much of a daily saga, even though in reality it is and tough to just ignore it, if you're in his job. BUT, whatever your view on that is, this Mex interview, if one is fair and objective - and not in a surly mood - should be proof that Cerrone is capable of doing a high quality interview. Also, I'm sure many of the mainstream media would love to get Keith in for some words, but the Metsblog/SNY deal has helped him get the high-profile fun folks that we want to hear from. He's built this up to that in 4 years - not bad.

  • At 8:50 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    This supposedly imminent Mets deal for Livan is making me all pukey - pathetic and so damned predictable, if true. As I already wrote on Metsblog, if they sign Livan and don't get Santana or Bedard, I'm ready for Omar to go bye-bye and take Kaiser Willhem with him (as in Kaiser Roll Over And Take it From The Nats, Phils and Marlins in September, while talking about opening champagne).

  • At 9:36 PM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    if it wasn't so sad, i'd be laughing. I hope they don't guarantee him a rotation spot--its Pelfrey time, dammit.
    in another note, Ron Darling is cool.

  • At 9:49 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    Y'know, for obvious reasons, I wish I was around more and more intimately involved seeing the 85 and 86 Mets. I followed it as much as I could before the WWW took off, but I was painfully around for 88 NLCS Game 7, which I was at least glad to hear him refer to in 07's Game 162 - said he was haunted and all. It gave me a better feeling about him and yes, he's quite good and kudos to him for going through this regimen. Maybe Livan should try it.

  • At 9:34 AM, Anonymous YB said…

    85 and 86 were phenomenal. Easily the most memorable times in my sports life. '87 extremely disappointing, could have been the best met team ever if not for all the injuries to the pitching staff. Cone was becoming a stud before breaking his finger, Gooden has shoulder issues, etc. '88, geez, if Davey brings in Myers to pitch to Socia, we're talking dynasty, and probably no trade of Dykstra and company.

    Hope the Darling workout helped him lose the few extra lbs he was carrying! If you had a chance to see him do Nats games a few years back, he looked like a Sumo Wrestler! Definitely got into better shape as a Met announcer, but being a contemporary of his, I'd like to see him set the standard for looking fit!

    Thought SB XLII would distract me from the pitching staff issues, but no such luck. God, Livan...say it ain't so, Joe.

  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    The mid 80s most certainly were the best time of my sports life too. The late 90s had some exhilarating moments too, but thank god i lived through the good stuff.

    As for the present/future, here's what the Klap is saying about the Mets:

    "There are many fine individual components here - Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Billy Wagner - but the sum of these parts somehow feels less than then whole. The Mets can thank the Phillies for that: they go into '08 believing Randolph's team, while cosmetically impressive, is soft.

    The Phillies have every reason to feel that way, of course. The Mets need a drastic, sea-change event to reverse their slide, both in the standings and in their rivals' perception of them. Santana is the antidote. Without him, those ghosts could be a problem again this summer."

    what if he's right?

  • At 5:47 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    With Walking Wounded Willie at the helm, we need Santana badly to give us that lift we need.

  • At 10:12 AM, Anonymous cver said…

    It's funny that Billy is saying nice stuff about Schneider and Church. Could it be because they were obtained for "KNOW YOUR PLACE, ROOK"?

  • At 11:41 AM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    it's funny that Billy Goat has anything to say at all.

    Judging by the headlines this may be crunch time for Johan.

    Cross your fingers...

  • At 1:25 PM, Anonymous YB said…

    Mets just got Johan. Weird, I feel cheap and dirty for some reason.

    Oh well, an ace starting opening day. Not too bad.

  • At 1:58 PM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    lets get Bedard too!!


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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.