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)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cleaning Up the Me(t)ss: Sandy Chosing Among Fun Loving Criminals for Ceremonial Moneyball Skipper Position
Choosing the next Mets manager is an art more than a science.

The word in the Mets blargoshpere seems to be that Sandy Alderson is getting closer to a decision on who will be the next chump to stand in the Mets dugout.  According to various speculative reports, Wally Backman looks like an also-ran at this point.  Backman's past DUI, domestic violence, and bankruptcy problems are well known, and are not the worst of his crimes. Admittedly, getting slugged by a lady trying to protect his wife from Backman's violent rage, having his arm broken with his own world series 1986 baseball bat no less, has to be up there, but the details are still unclear. No, putting things in historical perspective, "classic alcoholic" and Mets 1986 hero Backman's major crime from where I sit would be appearing in a reality show that degrades the game of baseball and shames America. There is no louder way to cry "I HAVE PROBLEMS WITH JUDGMENT" than to participate in this kind of crap.
Managerial candidates are fighting each other tooth and nail to get a chance to associate their careers with the Wilpon's offensive machine. 

These days, GMs have plenty of options when looking for a substance abusing, judgment impaired manager.  If Alderson is looking for more of a Tony La Russa, fall-asleep-at-a-stoplight-during-spring-training-type-of drunk manager, well it is looking like high-strung, tightly-wrapped, apparent front-running candidate Terry Collins can fill those shoes (hopefully not with his own vomit). Maybe a guy that, though his vehicle is hobbled with a flat tire, just "keeps driving" (according to the police reports of Collin's 2002 arrest in Augusta GA) is just the man the Mets need. Here's the rest of Collin's resume, according to Bill Madden:
As a manager, fired by both the Angels and Astros, his high-strung, tightly-wrapped persona quickly wore thin with his players. Said one longtime Astros operative: "We had a fairly young team (when Collins was the manager) that you would think would be easily impressionable early on. But that wasn't the case. They just never could relate to him." It was the same in Anaheim with the Angels where, after two second-place finishes in '97 and '98, Collins found himself constantly bickering with his players (who petitioned the GM, Bill Bavasi, to fire him), and then had a meltdown at the end of the '99 season when he tearfully resigned, admitting he'd lost the team.
Impressive!  However, Madden is not really being fair to Collins in terms of his fit with the Mets. Collin's managed China's team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, so he knows how to manage a truly, miserably, awful team, filled with players who don't know how to play the game.  Then again, the Mets would be getting a guy who planned on retiring when he stepped down as the coach of the Orix Buffaloes in 2008.
No Chinese players petitioned for Collin's removal, as far as we know. 
Clint Hurdle, once marked as one of the final three candidates for the Mets job, has moved on to brighter pastures, and accepted the Pittsburgh Pirates managing post. That's right, we live in a world where the Pirates opening is easier to fill than the Mets, and where a person could decide that the Pirates organization is the better landing spot. Even as far as the Mets have fallen in recent years, Hurdle's decision shows that he must be smoking something.
What do I want? Other than some idea of why so many compromised candidates show up on Sandy's list of finalists? Perhaps in the end, if Alderson truly doesn't give a steaming Oliver Perez what the fans want, then that is the best process I could imagine.  After all, America has enough inmates running the asylum. We don't need a GM who listens to an enabled bunch of jokers with on-line diaries and delusions of grandeur. We aren't the ones who will get fired if he picks the wrong guy.
Tell your story walking?

Apparently Alderson is having luck taking a different approach to Carlos Beltran than the past regime. They met yesterday in Puerto Rico, according to reports.  Reaching out to Beltran is bound to have better results than whatever Omar's strategy was.

Not too many will commit to attacking Subway's latest pitchman, the immortal Mariano Rivera. One reason I love advanced metrics or technologically-enabled baseball analysis, when I love it, is articles like a recent examination of the "Mo Zone." As the old saying goes, get a holy frying pan and every thing starts to look like a sacred cow (ok it's actually something about a hammer and everything looks like a nail), so we need to be wary of analytic hubris. But it's about time someone took this sucker down.  It's a lot easier to be a hall of fame, lights-out strike machine if you get this kind of strike zone charity. He wouldn't be the first pious bastard to benefit greatly from the industrial umpire-media complex, but any further questions into Mariano Rivera's success would be welcomed in these parts, mostly because I'm an embittered bastard.


  • At 7:52 AM, Anonymous cver said…

    After this "March of the Wooden Candidates"(Wally excepted), if Alderson ends up picking the guy that is perceived to have been his (and DePodesta's) pick all along, we might be wondering about the sincerety of not only the fairness of the process, but also Alderson's statements regarding "connectionsto NY", "personality", etc. Great work enlightening us on Collins' DUI history. I find it interesting that so much has been written about Backman's checkered past, but nothing in the mainstream press about that. The fact that Bobby V doesn't even get an interview as of yet, doesn't say good things to me. I also don't like them waiting too long to get the best pitching coach. It is usually a good idea to let the manager pick them, but maybe a luxury, since I believe they should get Mazzone and he could be swooped up by the Yanks or somebody else. The buzz that Warthen will stay doesn't thrill me. He's OK, I guess, but compared to Mazzone, I think it's no contest. And the Rivera info also was informative. At least Takahashi got a break too, although it's a shame he won't be coming back. I think Alderson probably bungled that. Probably 12 to 14 million would have locked him in for 2 or 3 years and even if Takahashi bombed, it's not a fortune, considering we are now looking at P'Dreadful and whoever else we can find - not to mention our explosive closer TNT-ROD.

  • At 4:06 AM, Anonymous cver said…

    Terry Collins starring in Full Mets Jacket - coming to a theatre near, er, Direct To DVD!

  • At 6:15 PM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    i'm not crazy that warthen is staying either. I'm ok with losing Pedreadful before his arm actually falls off. Give Sandy as much rope as he needs.

  • At 9:59 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    His last managing job was for the Duluth Huskies in the Northwoods League. Have fun with that one.

    Seriously though, he seems like a good guy, hardworking, passionate, baseball lifer, who has logged a lot of bus miles (hopefully not as the driver). Maybe after a whole day of being exposed to the Mets crack PR machine, it's gotten to me, but a part of me really has started to pull for the guy. He'll at least have a short honeymoon.

  • At 11:42 PM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    I agree. after watching a few interviews with him, I'm on board. Of course, the guy wanted out years ago, but hey, what have we got to lose?

    Although I think talent on the field ultimately rules the day I admit to secretly hoping he gets all over these bums, and turns a few clubhouse post-game meal tables over, though at his age...can he lift the table?


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