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Articles Focused on the New York Mets. Opinions on the players, the rivalries, the standings and anything else that comes to mind.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Believed. They Failed. Time to Believe Again.


Okay, at the risk of sounding blasphemous by using a spiritual metaphor, now that we are all true Mets fans, LET US REBUILD.

I suspect that Manuel & Minaya's fate has been decided and likely being handed to them in the form of pink slips or in Omar's case, maybe a re-assignment, as I am writing this.

Jerry is in my opinion a victim of baseball's biggest decision maker. Hard luck. Last year nobody could stay on the field without a death pool on their kneed elbows or lower backs.

This year it was similar but I think we all knew that everything had to go perfect for them to have a shot. So we are clear; Perfect meant that Niese Maine and Pelfrey were competing with Johan Santana for the Cy-Young and the offensive 8 had 2 legitimate MVP candidates with a out performing supporting cast.

None of that happened. Santana didn't even finish the season.

I refused to see that until it was over and stand by my decision for denial. So nothing personal towards Jerry. It is just time for a change.  Nice Guy. Fun Interview. Skin thick enough for New York. These are all Mr. Manuel's assets.  I may question his handling of a pitching staff but if I was on line waiting to buy playoff tickets right now I would be thinking that his precision in dealing with the arms was genius. Again that is not the case. I wish MT. Giggles nothing but the best in his next endeavours.

As to his replacement there should be little speculation as to whom the Backstop's endorsement goes to. I have been calling for the return of Bobby Valentine since the day after they let him go.

My Reasons Why Valentine is the Guy:

1) On the horizon, I see 4 or 5 players, that will likely attempt to play in the states within the next 3 years.  For those who don't have cable, Bobby Valentine is to Japanese baseball what David Hasselhoff is to whatever weird hypnosis has on all of Germany. Baseball's very own Elvis in the far east.

He can not only attract the right players. More importantly perhaps, he can advise the organization on which players to Stratsburg away from.

*Remember that there is precedence for this. At least as far as the stories were shared around the diamond shaped campfire over the years. The story as I understand it suggested that Mr. Valentine, manager of the Mets at the time, went to ownership and told them to sign the then unheard of Ichiro Suzuki. His promise upon retention of his request was a world championship. Days passed. The Wilpons,who had a name bearer in Japan at the time, returned to their manager excited.  They had their guy. They just didn't have their names or talent evaluation in tact.  What I wouldn't give to see the look on Bobby's face when he heard: "We have a surprise for you. Remember when you said that you wanted us to go and get this Ichiro guy? Well we did you one better. We signed Tjyosi Sinjo. They say he is Japan's Derek Jeter... Ha...Now in all fairness, this a valuation was not entirely inaccurate. Sinjo Was there Derek Jeterbut it has nothing to do with his performance on the  baseball field. It had everything to do with his persona off of the field. Like Jeter was at the time he was the sport's version of a matinee idol. I had nothing against him.  He was an okay role player. Good defensive outfielder. Got the occasional big hit. But like so many that we have seen, and been sold on, he was guilty of who he wasn't. He was a far cry from who was requested. Ichiro consequently went on to likely become the only player to make it to the Hall of Fame for both countries. Zambrano was not Kazmir. (Or any of the other aces we could have traded him for in any other deal. Tim Hudson, Roy Oswalt et al) Karin Garcia/Shane Spencer (i.e. The Pee on the Pizza Place Pals) were not Vladimir Guerrero. Here is a good one: Kaz Matzui was not Loui Castillo when he deserved the contract that we eventually gave him when he was no longer worth it and subsequently guilty himself for not being Orlando Hudson. And on And on. Bobby knows the players from wherever they are from.

-He took Mike Piazza and 24 players to be named later to the World Series.

-Finally, there is not a free agent player on the market this year that would bring more to the gate than signing this One Particular Manager.

Breaking News, The Wilpons have just held a press conference. As suspected Jerry Manuel is herby unemployed. Omar Minaya is at minimum no longer in charge of baseball operations.

All I know is that when they brought back Omar after the Phillips/Duquette regime had failed so miserably I would have thought it was palm Sunday. He came as a saviour he is leaving as the goat. Not entirely fair in my opinion. Considering that I can isolate the day that I believe Omar's so called full autonomy was taken from him. The day of the trade deadline in 2007. The first time I have heard of that Mr. Minaya has done nothing at that deadline. By some coincidence that was the same year that they were one player with a deep breath would have put us into the playoffs. That was collapse #1. He has been virtually silent on deadline day ever since.

Nevertheless it is time to move on.

Lets find a way to believe again.

Backstop Believes.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Enough Already


We have to accept it 2006 was it. Our one taste of the playoffs since the subway series. Now we have to wait for ownership to realize that as well. I said that only positive things about this team on my blog would be acceptable by my standards.  I will still watch every game, shake my head at all of the excuses that ownership keeps giving, and somehow still find a way to enjoy watching the Mets. But it is time for a change. By that i don't mean rebuild. I mean renovate. I can think of only 8 players the should stay. The rest have to go.

The backstop out.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mets Draft Well with Harvey Trade Rumor Voting is Open Oswalt or Lee? Given the Names, I Think Anything out of Houston is a Shot Worth Missing.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Breaking a Long Silence

The Backstop Back At Ya: It has been some time since the Backstop has been able to collect his thoughts enough to post an opinion about the 2010 Queens NY Baseball enigma that is the NY Mets.
Sow I just threw together a few quick things that we as Met fans could ponder and discuss.
To Begin:  My predictions about certain players' performance going into the season are not always right.  They are often close.  Often spot on even. As far as the starting pitching staff goes this year I could not have been more wrong.  I really thought John Maine was going to step up, stay healthy and return to his 2007 form.  I also said that Oliver Perez had a 65-75% chance of rebounding from what was ultimately a masked knee injury that nobody wanted to blame the WBC for.
Well I was pretty far off on those 2.
I also made an educated prediction concerning Mike Pelfrey.  It was not hard to see.  He was a) coming off a shaky year where as a second year player, he just could not keep his spirits up, his sinker down, and his head leveled.  b) Going into a season as primarily a ground ball pitcher with Mike Jacobs, a left handed catch 22 first baseman and an aging Loise Castillo at second.  Jose Reyes was not going to start the season at shortstop leaving David Wright as the only (slightly) above average infielder to play behind Big Pelf.  This basically meant that Frenchy had a chance to have more outs thrown to first base than 3 of the 4 infielders.  This lead me to the conclusion that after 4 or 5 games of watching 30 hop ground balls finding their way into the outfield that Pelfrey was slowly going to go insane. c) I guess I just wanted to believe that they were going to swing a deal for a big time #2/#1a starter before they broke camp in St. Lucie.
Well I could not have been more wrong about any of those predictions.  Maine is hurt...Again.  Perez has made his way onto The Backstop's very short list of players that I am done apologizing for. I just can't make excuses for a guy that forces his team to play with a 24 man roster because he and his agent are above taking a minor league assignment in hopes of maybe earning some of the money he is presently stealing.  Its not like there is no evidence of this working before. (See Steve Trachsel & Bobby Jones.)
Most of all I was wrong about Mike Pelfrey.  I continue to be amazed at how he continues to step up each time his spot comes up in the rotation.  Each start seems more dominant than the last.  At this point, aside from one game against the Phillies where Roy Haliday was virtually untouchable, Mike has no other blips on the radar.  In fact, if we begin to discuss the NL Cy Young award possibles for this season Only Ubaldo Jimmenez has positioned himself in a class above the likes of Pelfrey, Haliday, The 2 former A's aces Zito, and Hudson, Josh Johnson and a few others are in the same discussion.
I Like Ike Davis.  Enough said.
The Mets offense goes the way Jose Reyes goes.  Simply look at the team's win/loss record when he is and isn't playing.  That speaks for itself.
METS TRADE TALK: Yeah its almost that time.  We need a starter.  I have heard several names.  Most notably Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt being the most intriguing at this point.
What most people don't know about Oswalt:  He has a clause in his contract that if he gets traded (which he would have to agree to) he has the right to declare free agency at the end of the season.  Because it is part of the CBA this clause can't be waived prior or after he is traded.  Considering what we would have to give up for him I think this is a red flag and that going after Oswalt could prove to a huge mistake.
That takes me to my argument for Cliff Lee.  Every start he makes, what the Mariners can get for him becomes less.  The Mets are the only team that can afford to  pick up for the remainder of the season.  We already know that he is going to test free agency at the end of the year.   It would be nice to have a guy that is playing to earn a big contract for once instead of being the team that winds up trading for the latter part of all this big contracts gone wrong.   Maybe we sign him, maybe we don't.  I will be fine with the draft picks if we don't.  Baseball is changing back to a stage where home grown talent to develop the core of a team that comes through the system together.
Finally Cliff Lee gives the Mets 2 things that they need to return to prominence. 1) If they can stay within a snake bit of contention, a 1,2,3, punch of Santana, Pelfrey, & Lee could position to get hot at the right time and maybe steal a playoff birth from another team for once. 2) The Mets need to recharge the Mets rivalry with the Phillies.  What would accomplish that better than getting the pitcher that they traded for Roy Haliday this off season and beating them with him?
My last point is a bit out of the parking lot behind the bleachers behind the fence that is behind left field.
But here it is anyway.  I have said for a long time that the WilponsSteinbrenners.  Well I changed my mind.  I got a much better idea.
Apple C.E.O. Steve Jobs.  This is likely a point that would be better dedicating an entire blog to but think about it.  Even from a marketing perspective.  "The Mets Home Opener Next Week at The Big Apple." The i-Met. Changing the home run apple to the Macintosh Apple.  Most of all Apple is the technology company that has been left for dead countless times in the past 30 years only to come back re-invented stronger and more innovative than ever.  That is how The Backstop wants his baseball team ran.

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