Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mets May Sign Alou For Two Years, But It's Not A Handshake Deal Yet

I wonder if we'll ever see any Mets personnel and Moises Alou shaking hands, high-fiving or banging knuckles, unless he agrees to stop urinating on his hands.  In any case, FOX's Ken Rosenthal and Newsday are both saying the Mets are close to signing 40 year old Moises Alou to a two year contract, making him their new left fielder and essentially ending Cliff Floyd's tenure with the New York Mets. 

Alou is only slightly more durable than Cliffy but Omar still seems willing to hand out another multi-year deal to a man on the wrong side of 40.  Julio Franco got a two year deal last offseason, and Orlando Hernandez got one last week.  Wait, you believe El Duque is really 37?  Okay, then Franco is really 51.  We're even.  Tom Glavine might wind up with a two year deal too, but if you believe reports, Glavine's more concerned with a no-trade clause, which the Mets will likely grant but the Braves likely won't.

Anyway, back to Alou.  Here's a guy who was an absolute slugger in his prime, and who can still produce pretty good numbers - when he's healthy.  Some may view his signing as the first step out the door for Lastings Milledge, but I don't see it that way.  I see it as another veteran being brought in to try and smack some sense into the young kid.  Alou appeared in less than 100 games last season, and under 125 the year prior.  Clearly someone is going to have to back him up.  It may be Endy Chavez more often than not, but I think Lastings and Ben Johnson will also be getting 2007 outfield time with Shawn Green's power numbers on the decline.  At some point the Mets have to be thinking about their long-term outfield solutions and Green and Alou don't fit the bill.

Lesson #1 In A Series:
How Not to Endear Yourself To Your New Team's Fans When You're A Lifetime .251 Hitter

From Newsday today, new Utility man Damion Easley, who hit .233 last season for the Diamondbacks and just signed a 1 year contract with the Mets:

"I was born in the Bronx and grew up a diehard Yankee fan," Easley told The Associated Press. "I loved the way Willie Randolph played and got a big kick out of meeting him when I was with the Tigers. For me to be playing for him now is a dream come true."

Ooookay. Maybe if you're say, Albert Pujols we don't care which team you grew up rooting for as a kid if you're bringing your bat to the Mets, but if you're a supersub and at-bats come at a premium, just leave it at to be playing for Willie is a dream come true, alright?

In the same article it's mentioned how Tom Glavine still doesn't know where hew wants to play but he'll talk to the Braves on Monday after the Mets, as promised, decline their $14 million dollar team option for 2007. Still confused. Why was agent Greg Clifton in the papers yesterday saying "if the Mets decline the option"? If El Duque is worth $12 million for two years, paying $14 mil for Glavine doesn't seem so far fetched, especially if D-Mat is going to get $45 mil for three years from Boston! And what is all this gentlemanly behavior by Wilpon, giving Tom the opportunity to leave for a division rival? If we hold a team option, shouldn't we pull the trigger on it if it keeps Glavine away from the Braves? This does'nt make sense!! Anyway, Newsday seems to think this will all be wrapped up in some shape or form by December 4th.

Omar says he expects to be busier on the trade front than signing free agents, yet...

The New York Post says the Mets may try to sign Moises Alou. This is one guy who doesn't care how many urinals are at Shea, since he pees on his hands.


The New York Times says free agent Julio Lugo is considered to be the Mets’ first choice to play second, followed by Mark Loretta. Lugo grew up a die-hard Mets fan., but the Red Sox are still Lugo's most likely destination.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Best of The Blogs

At the behest of Hot Foot, I'm taking the time out to post a list of what my favorite bloggers are thinking this week:

Ryan McConnell of Always Amazin thinks that a Shawn Green and Ben Johnson platoon would be the worst rightfield combination in all of baseball, and that the Easley signing doesn't give the Mets anything that Anderson Hernandez can't deliver.

Steve at The Eddie Kranepool Society says the time has come for Omar to bring Manny to the Mets. Meanwhile Steve, who also thinks Jeff Wilpon looks like Moe from The Three Stooges but "Summer Sanders is all that and a bag of chips," thinks that Jeff Wilpon let it slip that this whole Glavine indecisiveness bit is just a ruse to cover up Tommy Union's and the Wilpon's agreement to let the Mets option deadline pass before resigning with the Mets under better terms for everyone. I'm inclined to agree with Steve. Tom will get his $14 mil, which the Braves can't match, but the Mets will take a few mil off the 2007 deal and put it in a 2008 buyout. So this way, only say, $10 mil hits teh 2007 budget, and Glavine gets the other 4mil in 2008 even if he retires. The Braves won't touch that kind of offer.

It's Tom Glavine's 62nd birthday today, and Greg at Faith and Fear in Flushing takes the opportunity to compare the Mets Free Agency strategy of today to thirty years ago, when the Mets failure to sign Gary Matthews may have led to the departure of The Franchise.

Metstradamus notices the Mets curious decision to, on the heels of Mota's steroid suspension, sign a guy named Ben Johnson.

Mr. Met from The Metropolitans still isn't sold on Willie Randolphs managerial capabilities.

Toasty Joe interviewed his dog on the latest goings-on in sports.

Mike from Mikes Mets thinks that when all is said and done, the Red Sox - who everyone is killing for throwing all that money at D-Mat, will look like they scored a bargain compared to what someone else will pay Barry Zito.

Mets Guy in Michigan thinks it's great that the Mets will erect a Jackie Robinson statue at Citi Field, but thinks there should be
Tom Seaver, Gil Hodges, Willie Mays, Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez and Mike Piazza statues too.

Dan in Texas at Lonestar Mets thinks something is amiss with this Zito and the Mets situation

Mets Grrl thinks everyone needs to calm down about the Citi Field name and get some perspective. She also is no fan of Bloomberg.

Finally, Zoe from Pick Me Up Some Mets has fun with Photoshop.

Friday Morning Hot Stove Report

Newsday says to expect fiscal restraint by the Mets and Yankees this offseason. As crazy as this may sound, I think that this is a really good strategy. Let all the other teams hand out bad contracts and tie up their payroll. Then, next offseason, the Mets will have an even greater advantage over all other teams, having more payroll flexibility, even before spending Citi's naming rights money..

The New York Post says 5 out of 8 GMs polled think that Zito will wind up with the Mets. Jeez, Joel Sherman is really stretching things to run with that lead, huh? I don't care what the GM's think. It will come down to money. Who else is bidding for this guy, anyway?

Speaking of free agent pitchers, in the Post Tom Glavine says it's 50-50 between the Mets and Braves. What the hell is with this guy? He says he might want to pitch in Atlanta so he can be close to his family. Even if he pitches for the Braves, he will still be away for 81 road games. And the Mets visit Atlanta nine games in 2007. So we're talking about a difference of 72 days here. And from what I understand, the wife and kids live up in Connecticut with Tom when school is out anyway. And isn't October what it's supposed to be all about?????

In the Times, Omar Minaya says he thinks there is going to be a lot of trades happening this offseason. Most of us read that to mean it will mean Milledge Time to head out of town. The Chicago Tribue says that rumors of a Mets-White Sox trade persist. Could Javier Vazquez be coming to Queens?

The Mets signed Damion Easley to a one-year contract worth $850k. Easley hit .233 last season, and can play every position except pitch or catch. Hey, I think we just replaced Joe McEwing!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mets 2007 Schedule - Mets face tough interleague sked.

All my detective work can come to an end. Adam Rubin has posted a printable version of the Mets 2007 schedule.

The holes I had been missing were an April visit by the Colorado Rockies, the May visit by the Yankees, a June trip to the Bronx, and an August visit by the San Diego Padres.

As previously stated, the Mets kick off MLB's season with a Sunday night ESPN game vs. the Cardinals on April 1st. Shea Stadium's penultimate season begins with the home opener on April 9th vs. the Phillies.

Hat tip to Metsblog for the heads up.

Also stated there is a comment that the Mets interleague schedule has them facing the Yankees, Tigers, A's and Twins. The commonality? All the AL playoff teams!

Meanwhile, the Phillies play the Blue Jays, White Sox, Indians, Royals and Tigers.

The Braves play the Red Sox, Twins, Indians, and Tigers.

The Marlins play the Devil Rays (6 times!), Indians, Royals, White Sox and Twins.

The Nationals play the Orioles, Twins, Blue Jays, Tigers, and Indians.

How is this fair?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Willie Gets Gypped; Ring and Bell Get Shipped

Willie Randolph got beat out by Joe Girardi for NL Manager Of The Year. I am bit torn on this one. I feel like Willie got snubbed and I don't like a guy currently employed by the Junkees to get any kind of award. I think Willie should get more accolades because hardly anyone in baseball predicted the Mets would take the NL East crown this season (a lot of writers were still picking the Braves!) and the Mets ran away with it.

On the other hand I don't like Jeffery Loria and like that he looks really dumb right now. I am sure Willie will appreciate the contract extension he'll get, as compared to Girardi - who got a pink slip to go along with his trophy.

Omar made a trade today, sending Royce Ring and Heath Bell to San Diego for RHP Jon Adkins and Outfielder Ben Johnson. You know, I think we just replaced Xavier Nady!

Why Stop at Citi Field?

My dad, a die-hard Junkees fan, wrote this. Pretty damned funny stuff...

If you're gonna do it, do it all the way
Mets 2009 opening day lineup card
On the Peter Pauls Mounds, El Duque
Behind Home Depot plate, Paul Lo Duca
Delgado playing at First Alert
Valentin at Timex watches sponsored second
Jose Reyes is the Hanes shirts and shorts stop
David Wright will be protecting the Hot Pockets corner
Cliff Floyd gets to cover the Scotts grass seeds left field corner
At Lowes Home Center is Beltran
and Shawn Green plays in RiteAid
In the bull (Papermate) pen will be Billy wagner
So come out to Citifield opening day to witness Jose Reyes be the first Met to step into the new Pillsbury cake batters box

Transplanted Ex-Met Update: Rey Ordoñez signs with Seattle.

According to the Daily News, the Seattle Mariners have offered a minor league contract to 35 year old Rey Ordoñez. Ordonez has been out of baseball since 2004, but a friend of his is a scout for the Mariners and has liked what he's seen during Rey-O's workouts. GM Bill Bavasi called it a a "sight unseen" gesture.

Does anyone know the whereabouts of Luis Lopez?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Good Morning Mets Fans

A happy recap of this mornings news items:

The Mets new stadium (Citi Field, not CitiField), won't be named after Jackie Robinson, but the new park will definitely be paying tribute to the player the Mets have adopted as their own, even though he never played for them. I guess they figure that when the Dodgers left Brooklyn, they also abandoned rights to the Jackie Robinson legacy? Anyway, there will be a statue at the front entrance, to be dubbed the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

Now, cry if you will over the demolition of Shea Stadium, but is Wallace Matthews really crying over the demise of the Willets Point chop shops?

It will be announced at 8PM tonight that the Red Sox paid over $50 million dollars for the right to negotiate a contract with Daisuke Matsuzaka, outbidding the Mets offer of $38 million. Holy crap. So the heartbroken Mets will have to go to Plan B - Barry Zito. Miguel Batista, Jose Contreras, Javier Vazquez, Freddy Garcia, and Randy Wolf are also possibilities for the 2007 rotation, but I personally want no part of Jeff Suppan.

Transplanted ex-Met Kaz Matsui re-signed with the Rockies for $1.5 million for one year. The Mets will pay his replacement, Jose Valentin more than twice that amount, perhaps to back up Julio Lugo.

El Duque's coming back; Tom Glavine's still contemplating.

The Mets will open the 2007 baseball season with a Sunday night ESPN game vs. the Cardinals on April 1st. Shea Stadium's penultimate season begins with the home opener on April 9th vs. the Phillies.

Monday, November 13, 2006

New Lyrics For Meet The Mets

Well, the WFAN version of the Meet The Mets song for Mets Extra will have to change in 2009, because the old line about hot dogs and green grass out at Shea just won't work anymore. This is my first draft for the new song. I'm still working on it, but I've got time...

Meet The Mets, Come See The Mets
Come To Citi Field and lease a seat for the Mets

Sell the kiddies rent out your wife
Guaranteed mortgage rates to pay the rest of your life

Popcorn peanuts for sale at Citi Field
Take out a loan to pay for every meal!

Cause the Mets are really socking the ball
This homerun is brought to you by our new branch at Green Acres Mall

East Side West Side
Our ATMs don't charge a dime!

But to see the M-E-T-S METS
You'll need a credit line

We'll bleed you dry...
A Citi Credit Line!!!

Joe Girardi Restarts His Broadcasting Career In Style

I don't know exactly what YES stands for - Y is for Yankees I'm sure, S is maybe Sports, E... anyway, the YES Network added to it's stellar broadcasting crew today with the addition of 2006 Manager Of The Year candidate Joe Girardi. Hey, wow, isn't that great? So, what do you have to say for yourself, Joey Boy?

"At this time, I thought this was the correct move for my family and I," Girardi said Monday.
Wow, that's nice. Grammatically incorrect? Sure. But it's not like he's paid to be a broadcaster or anything like that. Hey, me and my family are real happy for you, Joe.

Are You Kidding Me? New Mets Stadium Will Have LESS Toilets?!?

With the groundbreaking on the new Mets stadium set for today, I spent some on looking at some information about Citifield, scheduled to open in 2009. Everything looks fine and dandy - if you're okay with the capacity going down from 58,000 to 45,000 (gee, I wonder how Wilpon will make up for the lost revenue on sellouts?), until you get down to the section on Toilet Fixtures.

Check this out:

Right now there are 568 toilet fixtures in Shea Stadium, 1 for every 101 people when the stadium is at full capacity. The new Mets stadium will have 646 toilet fixtures, 1 for every 70. Sounds like a good idea, right? Until you see how they plan on dividing up these fixtures. The amount of womens toilets is going up, from 217 to 305, while the number of Mens fixtures is going DOWN from 345 to 327! This is no problem if an equal number of men and women go to Mets games, because then the toilet per person for men would go from 1 per 83 fans to 1 per 68, and women's fixtures would be going from 1 per 132 to 1 per 73. The Mets seem to think that the ratio is 51% men, based on how the fixtures will be split up.

However, if anyone has ever been to Shea Stadium on a sellout, for instance a playoff game, around the 3rd inning you'll see this: two lines coming out of every mens rooms about a mile long, and no lines at all near the womens rooms. Hmm... could it be, that more men attend baseball games than women? Believe me, I would be more than happy if the ratio increased, but the truth of the matter is that more men go to games, and the proposed amount of mens toilet fixtures is just not enough!

Realistically, 75% of attendees at Mets games are men. I think this is a pretty conservative estimate, but if anyone dissents I won't argue too much. So, if the current Shea Stadium holds 57,333 fans, that means there are 43,000 men at Shea during sellouts. If there are 345 mens toilet fixtures (urinals?), then that means there is one per 125 fans. CitiField will hold 45,000 fans, or 33,750 men at the same ratio. 327 mens fixtures means there will be 1 per 103 fans, reducing the logjam by about 20%. Is this enough? Am I being sexist? I dunno. You tell me.

Mr. Porn Star Mustache Man Is Coming Back!

Jose Valentin, who most fans were ready to see shipped out for a pint of pine tar back in May, redeemed himself to the point where he's not only returning, but the Daily News says he's earned himself a one-year contract for 2007 worth $3 million.

Valentin made under a million dollars last year, just enough to keep his 'stache professionally groomed, but performed well enough to steal the 2nd base job from Kaz Matsui. He then continued to excel, allowing Omar Minaya to not have to make a trade for a replacement.

The only question now is whether the Mets view 37-year old Valentin as a starter or a backup. A $3 million salary doesn't sound like a utility guy price (backup 1st baseman Julio Franco earned just over $1 million last year), and the NY Post says there's a 2008 option that kicks in based on plate appearances. So I guess it remains to be seen...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Holes Remain in Mets 2007 Schedule

UPDATE: Get the complete schedule here.

A few months back I did my best to deduce the Mets 2007 schedule, based on the announced schedules by the other clubs. Almost every other club besides the Mets and Yankees had announced their scheds. So I went through the schedule again today, and tried to fill in the holes. I've now figured out that the Mets will open in St. Louis on April 2nd, and will get to see the Cardinals raise their 2006 World Series Championship banner. I would be annoyed by this, but it should serve to remind the Mets what the goal this year needs to be.

Another find is a three game visit by the Oakland A's in June.

I've also deduced, based on when the other high-profile rivalry interleague games are, that the Mets and Yankees will play their Subway Series games on the weekends of May 18-21 and June 14-17. Can't tell which one is at Shea and which is in the Bronx though.

That leaves three holes. April 23-26, May 18-21, and Sept 10-13. Two of these series will be played at home against the Padres and the Rockies, both of which have only announced their home schedules so far. The third one remains a mystery, and I can't figure it out! If anyone out there has a clue, clue me in!