With the first week in spring training well underway, the entire Mets chain of command found their voices and have been giving interviews. Let’s recap from top to bottom, starting with Fred Wilpon.
Fred wanted everyone to know that the money issues are behind them. As facts he cited a rebounding stock market, real estate market, and the increased value of SNY. All of this seems logical to me, I took the same position as Fred on his finances back on November 28. But I just wish someone had asked this follow-up question,
“But you always said there was no problem. What exactly is behind you?”
That is the thing with the Wilpons. They lie all the time so now anything they say is worthless. Fred might be telling the truth this time. But I would never use his word as evidence of anything. That’s the problem with lying to people. It makes all your words useless. We will know for sure the financial issues are over when this team begins to operate normally. I still haven’t clearly seen that.
I say that because I happened to be in my car coming back from lunch when Sandy Alderson was on the radio with Mike Francesa. You never get much from Sandy, but I found one part entertaining. Francesa was hammering him about the outfield and Alderson sounded pretty dumb when the topic became Scott Hairston. Sandy kept defending not signing Hairston. His defense was he thought he was going to get Justin Upton. That would be a good defense except Scott Hairston is a fourth outfielder. If money is not a problem like the owner says, how is it bad to have Upton and Hairston? Hairston did not get huge dollars, and he only got two years. When it comes to Hairston I never wanted him back, I figure he will hit .225 this year. But when you hear the logic, and how pained Alderson sounds explaining it, it is unnerving. I almost hope it was the Wilpons, I just don’t want to believe that Alderson thinks Justin Upton and Scott Hairston needed to be either/or.
I want to end on a positive so I saved my favorite for last. I also got to listen to Francesa interview Terry Collins Tuesday night on my drive home, and it was a wonderful trip indeed. Jimmy and I were passing around the Kool-Aid the other day and Tom M. commented that it was time to spike it. Well, I think Terry has the good stuff, and I think he is getting it through an intravenous drip. We are going to be awesome! When he discussed the outfield, the outfield, he couldn’t contain himself, he was gleeful. We have Marlon Byrd!!! But not just Byrd, Collins rattled off about thirty names, including Jamie Hoffmann. And he didn’t just throw his name in there, oh no. He said, we have Jamie Hoffmann in camp!!! With an inflection that reminded me of the way a seven-year-old talks about ice cream. I love this about Collins, because unlike Wilpon I think he is being honest. I think he is really, really excited about Jamie Hoffmann. Good for him!
And seriously, I honestly love listening to Collins. You never know what you are going to get. At one point he said, “nobody knows this, so between you and me Parnell is going to close.” He was on the radio. Maybe it was a shot at the size of Francesa’s audience? But Collins is the perfect guy to manage this 2013 team: If you are looking for miracles, better to have the guy who believes in them. You go, Terry!
The biggest reason I like listening to Collins, though, is he gives you something. Anything Wilpon says needs to take place with the guy strapped to a lie detector. Alderson measures every word like he is on the stand. But Collins will let you know exactly what he is thinking.
And, when he brought up all those outfielders, Collins never mentioned Justin Turner‘s name, not once. I’m telling you, it was a great ride home.
Jimmy (2:30 p.m.):
SPECIAL UPDATE! Sorry to bust in, Mike, but I know you’ve been following this story very closely. I’ve just been handed this urgent bulletin. Adam Rubin reports that Justin Turner will not be using Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” as his walk-up song this season.
I’ve got a suggestion that might make everyone happy: