Friday, July 31, 2009

Transplanted ex-Mets update: Pedro Martinez

Pedro Martinez allowed five runs and three hits in five innings tonight for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Philadelphia Phillies' AAA affiliate.  The Yahoo! Sports report stated that Pedro reached 93 on teh radar gun with his fastball, and his changeup was "effective."

'Ropolitans: Wally Backman is axed

Andrew Vazzano passes along word that transplanted ex-Mets 2B, and 1986 World Series champ, Wally Backman has been fired as manager of the Joliet JackHammers of the Northern League.  Andrew wonders if this opens the door for a return to the Mets, but I sincerely doubt the Jackhammer job has been the biggest obstacle to a reuinion in Queens. 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's Dancey Dance Time For The Mets

Despite all the front office hoopla, and despite half the roster being on the DL, or unavailable due to electrolyte deficiency, the Mets have won four in a row and are trying to convince us not to write them off for October baseball.  Can this hot streak be sustained long enough to put the Mets into contention, and then can the return of key players propel them into the playoffs?  That remains to be seen, of course, but in the meantime we can't go a day without some silliness.  New York Post Page Six section alleges Jose Reyes was spotted dancing his but off at a New York City club the other night, even though he's supposed to be rehabbing his hamstring, or knee, or ankle, or whatever.  The New York Mets flatly discredit the reports (is Richard Johnson after the Mets Shortstop position?), but that doesn't mean it's not worth posting about.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So Where's All The Mets Stuff At Citi Field?

As the current homestand approached, I kept hearing about the unveiling of more Mets-ness at the Mets new home. Certainly that story was obscured by Rubingate, but watching today's broadcast, Citi Field looks exactly the same as when I went in April. Can someone out there give me an update on how Citi Field has been Metsmerized? I see the outfield walls are still black.

Image Source:

UPDATE: Citi may not yet have been Metsmerized. On WFAN yesterday afternoon, Evan Roberts was talking about expecting to see improvements to Citi Field to make it more Mets-centric when he attended last night's game, and I never heard a follow up. However, the only reference I could find online was this article in Newsday where the Mets will now show live action on the replay boards for those with obstructed views, and a vague reference to long term plans for displays of Mets memories. So much for that.

Conflict Of Interest?

WFAN's morning show host Craig Carton talked out of both sides of his mouth this morning - he said that Adam Rubin absolutely crossed the line this morning as a beat reporter, but then admitted that he used to go out drinking with players on the teams he covered as a beat reporter. 
Adam Rubin is a beat reporter.  From where I sit, he's supposed to get chummy with the Mets players and brass, so he can give us a behind-the-scenes description of the day to day activities of the Mets.  It seems to me like he's been pretty fair with his coverage.  However, it is of course IMPOSSIBLE for Adam not to have a personal bias one way or another about the people he's covering.  Unless all he puts down are facts, i.e. this is the lineup, this was the score, and translates box scores into sentences and gives transcriptions of post-game interviews given by other reporters, there is NO WAY for him not to have a personal bias influence his writing.  And that's fine.  The only way sports reporting can be even remotely interesting is for there to be some opinions, which are, by definition, personally biased.  And I think most of us, as readers, get it.  We can't stand Wallace Matthews because we think he has an anti-Mets bias, but we do read his columns, because his columns are entertaining, which is why we read columnists.  This isn't national politics, for crying out loud, it's baseball!
In the case of Tony Bernazard, Adam Rubin broke a real news story, about how a member of the Mets front office was behaving innapropriately.  Actual journalism!  And apparently the Mets didn't like that.  For years we've made fun of Fred Wilpon's assessment of Steve Phillips's qualifications for the GM job, saying Steve had the "Skill Sets" for the job.  We had no idea what that meant, until now.  Clearly, Omar does not have the skill sets necessary to talk to the media and the public.  For all the boneheaded moves Steve Phillips made as GM, he was at least better than Omar at spinning to the public the Mets asinine agenda.  Yesterday's smear job on Adam Rubin was ludicrous.
Omar announces Tony was fired, and then, for some God-unknown reason, mentions that Adam Rubin has been lobbying the Mets for a job in player development. 
Even if that were true, and take it to the extreme, that Adam Rubin was actually telling the Mets that he should replace Tony B as VP of player development, how exactly is that relevant to the Mets decision to fire Tony?   Either Tony deserved to be fired, or he didn't.  If Adam Rubin's reporting was bogus, then Tony should not have been fired.  But clearly, the reporting was spot-on, and that's why the Mets axed Tony from Princeton.
Later in the day, Jeff Wilpon implied he didn't think Adam's inquiries about how one gets a job in player development were unethical.  Omar said he regretted bringing up Adam Rubin's name in the press conference because it was not the right forum.  Exactly what forum would be appropriate for this nonsense?
This is so crazy.  Adam Rubin is paid by the Daily News to cover the Mets, and I assume his paychecks for appearing on Daily News Live come from the Daily News as well, not SNY.  Where is he being compensated by the Mets to call into the question of ethics?  Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and everyone on SNY who supposedly cover the Mets in an unbiased fashion, all collect paychecks from the Mets.  Mike Francesca is paid by the Yankees (YES Network).  There are conflicts of interest all over the place!  If Adam Rubin did get hired by the Mets, I would expect he would cease to cover the Mets as a beat reporter because there would be an actual conflict of interest.  But unless he is being compensated by the Mets in ways we don't know about, I don't see anything unethical, regardless of his future career aspirations.
Full disclosure: I have no relationship with Adam Rubin, other than my appreciation for the one time he printed my finding that the Mets were putting less urinals per man in Citi Field than there were in Shea Stadium

List Of Jobs With The Mets I'm Not After

Just to set the record straight, last week when I asked "How exactly does anyone in the Mets medical department still have a job?" I was not lobying for a position in the Mets Medical Department.
Further, when I suggested the Mets get a partial refund from HOK for designing a stadium with so many obstructed views, I was not lobbying for a job with the Mets in Stadium Development.
And when I said that the Mets should Fire Omar, Tony, and Jerry, I was not lobbying for a job as GM, VP of Player Development, or as manager of the Mets.  I did, however, suggest that Bobby Valentine would be a good candidate for any of those jobs and other than meeting Bobby V at his restaurant in Willets Point a few years back, I have no conflict of interest there either.
In the effort of full disclosure, however, I must admit I was once offered a job by the Mets:  This past offseason, the Mets called me to sell me season tickets.  When I declined, explaining that being a transplanted Mets fan there was no way I would be able to make it to that many games, the Mets salesperson suggested I sell any tickets I didn't want on the secondary market.  I declined the offer to be a ticket broker for the Mets.  And, looking at the prices on StubHub recently, I think I did the right thing. 

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hey Mets: It's Bobby Valentine Time

According to the Daily News, transplanted ex-Mets Manager Bobby Valentine is leaving Japan's Chiba Lotte Marines.

Hope The Mets Brought Back Some Orange Juice With Them!

The Mets bats came alive this weekend - apparently they really like hitting in Houston's Minute Maid Park.  I wonder how the Astros fans feel about the corporate naming rights of their stadium?  After ENRON FIELD, anything is an improvement, but I would love to know how many fans were just hoping their team could play in the Astronondome after the Enron debacle.  Still, it seems like when the corporate naming rights goes to a tangible consumer product, there is considerably less outrage than when it's a telecom company or a bank.  If the Citi naming rights ever implodes (perhaps less inevitable than we all thought), the Wilpons would be wise to solicit a more fan friendly way to sell out:
Some suggestions:
Pepsi Field
Subway Stadium
Sharp Park
or, my personal recommendation, for continuity and integrity: CITY FIELD