NEWS & VIEWS (They’re Baaaack): Jeff Wilpon Resurfaces & Tries to Sell More Baloney, Billy Butler Shopped, Montero & Syndergaard in 2014, Wally’s World, and More.

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Mike:

Hey, Jimmy, I’m back from hibernation, and I have started rummaging around the blogosphere to see what has transpired.

Jimmy:

Jeff HatWell, yeah. Let’s just say it was a good week to take off. And right away I see that, lo! thar he blows!, Jeff Wilpon has resurfaced! He made some insincere and predictable comments about the plan to use money that has come off the books (Newsday quoted the number at $40 million) to “try to improve the team.” I have to hand it to Jeff, at least he’s on message. He is repeating the same bold goal that Sandy stated a few weeks back. They aren’t talking about getting back to relevancy, or the playoffs, or (ha!) winning a championship. They just want to get a teensy bit better than 74 wins. Baby steps, baby steps.

Mike:

If you set the bar low enough you might not trip.

Jimmy:

Jeff stunned listeners by describing the mess at first base not as a disaster area, but as a  “logjam” of viable options. A veritable “glut” of talent. Which was why, Jeff opined, the Mets did not feel a need to go after Jose Abreu. “That didn’t really seem like the point of need,” Wilpon said. “If he played left or right field, yeah, I think we probably would have offered the guy a contract.”

He is, as always, just completely full of shit.

(Sorry to you kids reading this at home, but it’s a cruel world full of ninnies and you might as well know it now.)

Mike:

d783911aee7df867898067e038f2e0e0A rumor has surfaced that Billy Butler will be shopped by Kansas City. This is a guy I have no interest in. It’s not that Butler is not a good player, he is, but he is not a major power threat. He might not hit 15 home runs playing half his games in Citi Field. He also can’t run, not even a little. Most importantly, he cannot field, not even at first base. If my first baseman can’t hit for power I need him to bring a good glove to the ballpark. Butler needs to stay in the American League.

Jimmy:

Yes, and I think we’ve established our values. We like our fielders to be able to move and catch the ball.

Mike:

Tim Lincecum has re-signed with the Giants, for a reported $35 million over two years. Anyone waiting for salaries to come down is going to be waiting a very long time. With new national TV money rolling in, salaries are headed up again.

Jimmy:

If I read one more time about how Sandy won’t “overpay” for such and such a player — or how the market is crazy for pitchers — I’ll send my face through a stained-glass window. There’s no wishing the market away, or waiting for it to return to some begone day. It is what it is what it is.

Mike:

With the Red Sox in the World Series we are getting to watch a lot of Stephen Drew. He is a free agent after the year, and we need a shortstop. Drew had an inferior year in 2012, yet Boston signed him last off-season for one year and $9.5 million. We can figure the bidding starts there. Are you interested in Drew?

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Jimmy:

There are so many ways to skin a cat. Drew, along with other pieces, could be a reasonable, minor upgrade. However, there’s not one thing that excites me about the guy. What are we doing at 1B, RF, LF, SP, and bullpen? It’s a finger puzzle, every sliding piece effects every other piece. Here’s a thought that will never, ever happen: If we are unwilling to trade either Syndergaard and Montero — because we lack quality arms in the organization — let’s put them BOTH in the starting rotation in April. And sign a guy. And trade either Gee or Niese. In the case of Montero, it’s ridiculous. Just pitch the guy. And Syndergaard is also ready. I’ll say this with absolute certainty: If this organization had Michael Wacha, he would not be in the major leagues. There are many reasons for that, but the biggest is that Sandy does not have “winning” on the current timetable. It amazes me how many fans are okay with it.

Mike:

Are they? Attendance goes down every year and ratings for games on SNY also plummeted this year.

Jimmy:

I’d say they have been defeated into submission. But no, the position I just stated — starting Montero and Syndergaard — is out of the mainstream, especially when you read the Metsblogosphere. The Super 2 mentality still reigns supreme. Back to Wacha. It’s not just that the Mets passed on a high-quality, college pitcher, it’s that they were blind to his virtues, a guy who could move quickly through the system and help the big-league club win games right away. DePodesta claims that they knew all about Wacha’s strengths, but felt they had to build positional strength. Also, which he did not (exactly) say, the organization wildly over-estimated the club’s own (much hyped) pitching assets. He listed guys like Leathersich and Pill and Verrett as reasons to pass on Wacha and instead pick (cough, cough) Gavin Cecchini.

Don't worry about the Mets 2012 1st Round Draft Pick, Gavin Cecchini. He will fill out.

Don’t worry about the Mets 2012 1st Round Draft Pick, Gavin Cecchini. He will fill out.

Mike:

In that same 2012 draft that we picked Cecchini we also picked Kevin Plawecki, a college player (like Wacha) out of Purdue. Kevin has not been promoted past A ball even though he has had success. Everyone is held back. The organizational philosophy is “the future is never.”

Jimmy:

It’s never about the “here and now,” which is why Alderson is so easy to defend for the true believers. It’s always about some shimmering elsewhere of the future, seen through the gauze of diaphanous curtains, a mystical land of 2016 full of unicorns and rose petals and prospects who fart rainbows. If I squint I can almost see it on late, beer-bleary Saturday nights.

So what else have you got, Mike?

Mike:

The Reds and Nationals managing jobs came and went without Wally Backman being seriously considered. Sometimes in life you have to seize opportunity when it comes your way, and Backman might have fatally wounded his major league managing career when he lost the Arizona job. The modern GM does not see Backman’s style as a fit.

Jimmy:

terry_wally-300x300Why would anybody hire Wally Backman? I don’t see it. I think his best path would be to work as a coach at the major league level. Probably not the Mets. Do the job, hang around, prove himself. And maybe he has to become okay with that role. It’s not a terrible life by any means. And maybe, in the best world, somebody gives him a shot down the road. But really, take a good look at those two managers from this year’s World Series. Young, strong, intelligent, telegenic guys. The Mets have a 60+ guy who has never won. And a 60+ GM who has not won in many, many, many years. Wally’s not the answer.

Mike:

In Backman’s defense he is only a couple of years older than Farrell, I wouldn’t say age is his issue, more like style. But I do think that the only people who think he is major league managing material are a segment of Mets fans. Hey, he might be in the perfect job right now.

Jimmy:

Yes, point taken. It just feels like he’s from a different era, a relic. The nature of the game has moved away from characters like Wally Backman, who should have played for one of my baseball heroes, John McGraw.

 

 

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20 comments

  1. Eraff says:

    “Reporter”: “Mr. Wilpon…. what payroll increase do you expect for the 2014 season? How much of that increase do you anticipate for NEW Players? What is your anticipation of 2014 payroll for Current Players?…Non-Deferred compensation.

    So much “reporting”…. so few DIRECT Questions! Mountains of BLATHER.

    • Eraff, you have to recognize the context. It was an event for Hurricane Sandy, a good thing. He gives a few minutes to make some random comments. It wasn’t the moment. And also, he just lies anyway, so it’s not like Mike Wallace is going to go in there and get the real, deep story.

  2. Patrick Boegel says:

    Every time Jeff Wilpon speaks, a puppy dies.

    • That’s funny. Hope all is well with you, Patrick.

      • Patrick Boegel says:

        Things are good. That comment might suggest otherwise to the uninitiated ;).

        If Jeff’s bizarre word mumbles on Abreu can be taken at face value, one would assume the Mets would be interested in signing Cespedes or Puig once the Delorean is fitted with the Flux Capacitor.

  3. Eraff says:

    Sure JIm…I recognize the specific context of a very nice event—however, I don’t EVER hear a direct question on this—Unanswered or not.

    The Blogosphere is many things….sometimes it’s even NEWS…. somewhere…SOMEONE…should ask a direct question. Francessa did not, in his interview of Sandy last Month….not sure of any other DIRECT conversations that anyone else has had with anyone connected to the Mets…It needs asking.

  4. Patrick Boegel says:

    Btw…my head nearly exploded when I read the Depodesta quote on Wacha late last week.

    It is as if they completely reject the notion take the absolute best player, not the need. Presumably Wacha gives you the depth to trade for position players. A GM or his bag handlers should know this. They are so ridiculous in front of microphones it is scary.

    I get that the draft is not as easy to predict in this sport, but the explanation given is just mind numbing. They are essentially saying, we recognize and admit he was the best player available to us, but we needed to big a lesser player to fill an imaginary need in six years.

    • James Preller says:

      Exactly. I can understand an evaluation that says,”At that point, we like Cecchini better.” But who is the more valuable asset today? If the Cards dangled Wacha on the market today, they would come away a far sight better than Gavin Cecchini. And it still doesn’t address the idea of drafting young, rather than seeking more immediate help.

      Reality: On Wacha, they whiffed. It happens. The draft is hard.

      • Alan K. says:

        The problem with immediate help is that you have to pay them earlier because they accrue service time that brings them closer to arbitration and free agency. In my mind that’s the reason that DePodesta (who used to ridicule teams that drafted HS players in the first round) has used each of his first round picks on high school players.

        • Patrick Boegel says:

          But then why did he follow with lots of weird college age guys in 2011 and 2012 drafts? If they really had a game plan of think long view, 2011 and 2012 would have been exclusively about the youngest best talent they thought on the board avoiding college players at all costs.

          Arbitration and free agency for players picked in 2011 who would not be a free agent until 2017-18 is not worth stressing over. Get the best player you think is there, and then figure out if they are an asset to your team or someone else along the way.

  5. Alan K. says:

    Why do the Mets allow Jeff to make public appearances? He’s reviled by an overwhelming majority of the fan base and he’s almost guaranteed to say something stupid.

  6. Eric says:

    ALLOW? He’s the Owner.

    • Patrick Boegel says:

      He is actually the owners son, and while I understand what you are saying to Alan, the reality is AT WORST they could hire a real public relations person to run public relations and coach Jeff, and his dad for that matter how NOT to be a moron in front of a microphone.

  7. Eraff says:

    They need to Coach them on how to be Morons NOT IN FRONT OF THE MIC.

  8. RAFF says:

    Every time I hear the Met’s Management refer to “money coming off the books”, I get a cold shiver of reality as I wonder- IS the real issue THE MONEY COMING OFF THE BOOKS from expiring contracts, or is the real issue MONEY COMING OFF THE BOOKS from declining revenues? The Mets attendance over the last five years has been cut nearly in half- to the tune of about 2million tickets, which has to be about $50-60 million, conservatively. Add the concomitant decline in beer, hot dogs, licensing revenues, and advertising — It’s a BUNDLE!. It dwarfs the expiring contracts. Eventually, even the best Three Card Monte Swindlers have to stop shilling and jiving and show you their Queen of Hearts. SO – who’s the “High-Bidder”? Expiring Contracts, Or Declining Revenues?

    • This is the heart of the issue as we’ve come to understand it here at “2 Guys.” There’s been so much discussion of cutting costs, but little recognition of the importance of generating revenue. Some fans praise Sandy for cutting payroll, but the revenue stream continues to dry up and these guys don’t seem to get it. The fans need a reason to come out to the park.

      Um, imagine we owned a supermarket. Okay, to save costs, we could cut our inventory in half, stock fewer products. But if sales continue to take a dive, how is that a formula for anything other than bankruptcy? Sooner than later, you’ve got to have product on the shelves that sells.

      • RAFF says:

        The “vast preponderance of evidence” suggest that THESE GUYS DO GET IT, but there is little or nothing that they can do about it, except Jaw-Bone, Jive, Deflect, Misdirect, and Mislead. Ultimately, and soon – They will be forced to REVEAL. I will make a BOLD Prediction> As we exit the Winter Meetings and the off-season bidding for players, we will enter 2014 muttering the words of that great existentialist poet and baseball prognosticator, T.S.ELLIOT: “.This is the way the world ends
        Not with a bang but a whimper” – We are, indeed, THE LOST GENERATION of Mets Fans.

      • Alan K. says:

        Jimmy the feedback I get from the loyalists is that making moves to generate fan interest are short sighted overpayment and that the rest of us are restless children who require immediate gratification and lack the patience need to build a team the “right way” Of course it can be questioned whether drafting Nimmo and Cecchini, ignoring the international market and giving non-productive players endless chances constitutes the “right way.”

  9. Patrick Boegel says:

    All you need to know about the more things change the more they stay the same for the Mets is the gem counter quotes from Alderson yesterday.

    He basically said, money is always an issue (dropped in for every team for good measure, but he seems to be devoid of news in his world) and that while the team has maneuverability, that he HOPES to use, they are not going on a spree.

    I see lots of Byrds. With less results.

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