Mets Merized Online » SNY http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 29 Jan 2015 03:35:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Goodbye and Good Luck, Kevin Burkhardt http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/goodbye-and-good-luck-kevin-burkhardt.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/goodbye-and-good-luck-kevin-burkhardt.html/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 17:15:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166751 kevin burkhardt

“Journey,” is how Kevin Burkhardt described his time with SNY and the Mets. It certainly has been a journey for Burkhardt, who 10 years ago made his primary living as a car salesman in New Jersey. However, once SNY entered the picture, everything changed. High quality reporting as the color man on TV broadcasts and a little faith from the network have caused Burkhardt’s career to take off.  Now as a part of Fox Sports’ number two NFL broadcast team, Burkhardt has spent recent weeks preparing for football games by day and working Mets games by night. (He admits that he’s “sleeping no more than 4 hours a night.)

Moving to Fox full time has let the stark reality set in. Come this offseason, Kevin Burkhardt won’t be anchoring Mets Hot Stove, but instead the NFL game of the week on Fox. (Weird, right?)

kevinburkhardt2However, despite moving on in his career, Burkhardt still remains loyal to his roots in New York. He is incredibly thankful to SNY for the experiences he’s had. From Johan Santana’s no-hitter, which he refers to as “something he’ll never forget as long as he lives” to “just being around the ballpark everyday and watching baseball.” He definitely realizes the profound effect SNY has had on him. The network has helped him become a better broadcaster by giving him valuable TV experience and the opportunity to learn from the SNY booth from some of the game’s finest. Burkhardt is quick to sing the network’s praises.

This humble demeanor makes Burkhardt truly stand out. In a broadcasting industry that is known for egotistical talent, Burkhardt is very down to earth. He insists that becoming famous has not changed him.

“I would like to say I’ve been the same person for the past 40 years. I’ve always tried to treat people respectfully, even when I have a bad day, and I think I do. Hopefully, I haven’t changed.”

For the past eight years, Burkhardt has been one of us. He’s a fan like us, and he clearly wants the team to succeed as much as we do.  He is genuine and relatable, he never hesitates to chat with fans or stop to take a photo with them.

“I think the biggest thing that I can say to you fans is thank you.”

Mets fans of the past decade will always hold a special place in their hearts for KB, and an emotional sendoff on the Shea Bridge last week affirmed just that.  I’ll admit it, I even got a little emotional just watching it. Burkhardt has always been classy and cool, and he will be missed

There is no doubting the profound effect Kevin Burkhardt has had on the Mets community.  He’s brought us closer to the team we love while becoming one of the more well liked figures in Mets history.  Here at MMO, we wish you all the best, Kevin, and please, get some sleep.

burkhardt

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Di-JEST: What’s Next For Derek Jeter? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/di-jest-whats-next-for-derek-jeter.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/di-jest-whats-next-for-derek-jeter.html/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 20:18:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166684 Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees

This past Thursday was a monumental day in New York sports.  Let’s talk about some of the high points of the day in descending importance.

  1. The METS won a game in Washington D.C. against the Nationals. This is huge. The team scored seven runs against a team they usually can’t score seven runs against in a weekend series.The event was so unsettling to the capital area that our country’s Attorney General Eric Holder decided to immediately resign.  Now that’s a big win.
  2. Speaking of beating up on Washington, the NY Football Giants beat the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of the artist formerly known as the Washington Redskins. (Note to self – never write that word again). That game, in case you missed it,  proved a point I’ve always made which is: If your opponent loses two fumbles to you and their quarterback throws four passes directly into the arms of your defensive secondary you have a great chance of winning.
  3. The Mets, not willing to leave well enough alone, went out and lost a game to the Nationals.  This was more business as usual actually except for the fact that it was the last game for Kevin Burkhardt as the SNY roving reporter. Flags at Citi Field will be flown at half-staff until Opening Day 2015.
  4. At the “Big Ball Orchard In The South Bronx” a god-like man named Derek Jeter played his last home game as a New York Yankee and probably roamed shortstop for the last time until his first Old Timer’s Day game.

The Di-Jest has learned that Jeter is “seriously considering” taking the job to replace Kevin Burkhardt as SNY’s roving reporter.

On Friday Jeter told the assembled press corps, actually the one that never left his side starting before Thursday’s game, that he has always sought out challenges and that nothing could be more challenging than bringing a winning attitude and aura to Flushing Meadows. And then before throwing the floor open for questions he quickly paid his car insurance BY TEXT.  The guy is amazing.  Could any Mets fan ever have imagined that it could be done that way?

When it was pointed out to him that he’d ultimately be working for the Wilpons, notorious for being about the worst owners in the game, Jeter replied: “That doesn’t faze me.  Remember, I worked for George Steinbrenner for years and the only difference between him and the Wilpons is that George was willing to spend money and these guys won’t or can’t.”

The Yankee captain admitted that one of the few frustrations he has is that while Yankee fans adore him and most “true” baseball fans respect and appreciate him, Mets fans have always been pretty MEH about him.  Winning them over would be a difficult if not an insurmountable task.

Jeter added that he thinks it would be fun being buddy-buddy with Gary, Keith, and Ron. And given any skill at all he was hoping to move up to Fox Sports a few years down the road.

The suits at SNY will ultimately make the call.  Will it be Steve Gelbs or Derek Jeter?  Quite the conundrum.

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A Somber Goodbye From Kevin Burkhardt http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/a-somber-goodbye-from-kevin-burkhardt.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/a-somber-goodbye-from-kevin-burkhardt.html/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:15:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165962 kevin burkhardt

Early Wednesday morning, SNY’s field reporter Kevin Burkhardt took to Twitter to thank Mets fans for an amazing journey as he prepares for his final SNY broadcast on September 25th. Here’s what he had to say:BxtrrFNIIAEOk2a

This is actually a really sad moment for a lot of Mets fans, including me. Since 2007, Burkhardt has been there as the voice of stories, happy and sad. He talked to real fans and for many, was the face of the SNY broadcasts. He was there during the pre-game and was the first guy players would speak to after a big win.

Burkhardt’s letter to fans was kind and gentle as was his demeanor on and off the field. On numerous occasions I watched as he talked to kids, signed autographs and talked shop as he mentioned in the Tweet.

Back in December, Howard Megdal (Capital) did an incredible article about FOX “poaching” Burkhardt from SNY. In it, Fox Sports executive producer John Entz described the now veteran broadcaster and why they wanted him at FOX.

“First and foremost, I find Kevin to be a very likeable guy, both on the air, and off the air, frankly. And when you like the broadcaster who you listen to, it makes all the difference in the world. He’s not talking down to you. He’s talking to you as a friend.”

Truer words have never been said. What made Burkhardt so great is that while he was tracking down big stories and talking to players parents, he spoke like he was one of the guys. He was your friend and you trusted his tone as much as you trusted his judgement.

From the entire team at MetsMerized and from me, a lifelong Mets fan through the good and the bad, you will always be our boy KB and good luck at FOX. We’ll be watching.

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Di-JEST: SNY Down To Final 4 In Search For Burkhardt Successor http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/di-jest-sny-down-to-final-4-in-search-for-burkhardt-successor.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/di-jest-sny-down-to-final-4-in-search-for-burkhardt-successor.html/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:12:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=162046 There’s news aplenty out of the Mets sports network, SNY.  First something that we at the Di-Jest applaud.  The programming department has now finally and officially abandoned their plan to find someone to fill the Ralph Kiner role in the Mets TV booth.

The SNY suits thought that it was possible to find some mature individual to visit with Gary, Keith, and Ron about once every few weeks for an inning or two.  The plan was scuttled as their last three candidates just didn’t pan out.

One of the three was Clint Eastwood.  His audition went south almost immediately when he insisted on talking to Ralph’s empty chair.

Betty White showed potential. She had some wonderfully ribald stories about her dating life with the likes of Tris Speaker and Dom DiMaggio.  Unfortunately she lapsed into some questionable areas when she insisted that she gave the idea to Abner Doubleday to place the bases 90 feet apart.   And anyway Ms. White has enough TV shows on her plate as it is.

Comedian Bob Newhart was also considered a strong candidate.  But in his audition his interplay with Gary and the others was weak.  Mr. Newhart apparently works better in a scripted environment (ask Larry, Darryl, and the other Darryl) or alone on stage doing a monologue.

As you might expect, no one can replace Ralph. And now, thankfully,  no one will.

But that’s not even the big news.  MMO has learned there are now just four final candidates to succeed Kevin Burkhardt as the roving reporter on Mets telecasts.  This is a coveted position.  Once the Leno and Letterman replacements were named this became the most sought after gig in the entire TV universe.

As you’ll see each candidate has something going for him/her but also a bit of baggage.

Ted McGinleyTed McGinley -  Ted is a handsome charming comedic actor who brings to his roles about what Anthony Recker brings to the Mets.

The focus group that observed his audition was blown away in a positive manner.

Unfortunately Ted’s problem is that he now has the reputation of being the “Sitcom Killer” as this article discusses.

As gruesome as some Mets losses often are none of us Met fans want to see the telecasts cancelled due to poor ratings.  For that reason SNY may have to look elsewhere for the next Kevin.

alexaAlexa – Forgive us for not knowing her last name or whether she even has one.  We know her from her Mets promo commercials with Brandon.

As one might expect the males in the focus group gave her exceedingly high marks on her audition although when the analysts inquired about what she had said on the air none of the men could actually remember a word.

The women in the focus group were less enthusiastic about her audition (except the two who revealed themselves as lesbians).

richard engelRichard Engel -  Richard currently works for NBC News  (NBC is a TV network that you may have never heard of.  Their shows famously air for about three episodes before being cancelled.

They do have a news department though and some people over the years have watched Johnny Carson and Jay Leno there).

Engel has been NBC’s go-to guy whenever some disaster, from nature or man-made, strikes.  It is thought that he would be less affected than others if the Mets win just 75 games again in 2015. The carnage would be nothing new to him.

gelbsSteve Gelbs – Steve could be considered the incumbent as he has been used extensively in the Kevin Burkhardt role during this, Kevin’s lame duck season roving the ballpark.

One would normally expect that he would be the natural choice for the Kevin position.  Unfortunately when an analyst walked in to interview the focus group that was observing Steve’s audition…. Well here’s what his report said, “I thought I had accidentally stepped into a sleep laboratory.”

So Gelbs’ chances of landing the job were not enhanced there.

Clearly this will be a difficult call for the powers that be at SNY.  The execs there likely prefer someone who will stay at the position for a number of years and not use it as a stepping stone to a higher profile job.  Should they opt for Alexa there is always the chance that when Erin Andrews ages a few years FOX will throw her over for someone like Alexa just as they recently tossed off Pam Oliver for having the audacity to become 43 years old.

If SNY takes the conservative route and selects Gelbs – no such concern.

We should know in a few months as to who will be our next Kevin Burkhardt.

* * * * * * * * * * *

To our readers: This article was inspired by a suggestion from my son Brandon.  Brandon lives and works in the city of Philadelphia – in fact his house is about two miles from Citizen Bank Park. I’m sure you join me in saluting Brandon and all the other Mets fans in this country who work and gather intel in hostile foreign cities like Philly.  I’ve had the chance to watch him walk the streets of that city proudly wearing his custom designed red-with-white-lettering cap with the NY logo prominently displayed.  He never takes any flak over it since the cap is the appropriate color and, heck, they’re Philadelphians.

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MMO Morning Grind: What To Do With Q? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-morning-grind-what-to-do-with-q.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-morning-grind-what-to-do-with-q.html/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 13:11:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153182 omar quintanilla

Good morning, Mets fans!

Another crazy game last night. Why do the Mets always do this to us? I know I’m not the only one who actually expected the unthinkable to happen… but once Jose Valverde threw ball 3 to Erick Aybar and the guys in the SNY truck cut to Raul Ibañez looming on deck,  I said “Ibañez will probably hit a home run” out loud… 2 minutes later, well… you all know what happened. But we got the win in the end, so… I think we can let this one slide, Mr. Valverde.

Anyway, Omar Quintanilla is on my mind this morning. Q made his first start of the season at shortstop and had 3 hits while driving in a pair of runs. Omar also made a few very nice plays on defense.

Omar Quintanilla is 32. Ruben Tejada is 24. Neither player is very good, but since he is the older one, many people view Q as the more boring option. If Tejada were a serious prospect with a high ceiling, I wouldn’t even consider letting Quintanilla take the starting job (this is why I don’t think Anthony Recker should be given a chance to take Travis d’Arnaud‘s job, but that might be a post for another day). But Tejada is not a prospect. He is a weak hitter, he doesn’t run particularly well, his baseball instincts aren’t too great, and his fielding has seemingly gotten worse over the past couple years. He also has had trouble staying healthy.

So why not give Q a shot to win the job? At first base, the Mets are trying to take a look at both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda and hoping one of them sticks. In my opinion, they should do the same at shortstop. Neither player is a star, and I’m not sure either player can even perform at an MLB-Average level, but if one shortstop can establish himself as better than the other, he should get to play. Neither player is the shortstop of the future (we hope…), so, unlike at catcher, “development” shouldn’t be a factor here.

Obviously, Q has only started one game, but even last season, we saw that he is pretty decent in the field, he can drive the ball more than Tejada, and he always plays hard. I think the Mets should take a good look at all of their options, and this includes Omar.

And hey, once we get to June and it would no longer cost us a draft pick to sign Stephen Drew, we can always go for that…

Have a great day, Mets fans! Let’s try to take the series this afternoon with Big Bart on the mound.

addicted to mets button

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Mejia Shows Some Much Needed Sizzle, Energy and Emotion http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mejia-shows-some-much-needed-sizzle-energy-and-emotion.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mejia-shows-some-much-needed-sizzle-energy-and-emotion.html/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 18:16:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153026 Brad Barr USA TODAY Sports jenrry mejia

Jenrry Mejia showed some guile toughing it out to give the Mets a five inning effort that might have had an entirely different complexion if it weren’t for two dead-red pitches that left fielder Justin Upton rocketed for two home runs. That second homerun reportedly traveled 477 feet before landing in the back of the upper deck.

As soon as the ball was hit, Mejia tossed his glove in frustration and doused himself in what was described as a hearty display of self flagellation.

Here’s what happened:

Not shown in that video is this, courtesy of the Daily Stache:

mejia

After the play the SNY booth hit hard on Mejia calling his display of emotion uncalled for and out of place in today’s game. An inning later they were still harping on the young righthander, Gary Cohen was doing most of the roasting.

I didn’t really have a problem with it. I used to love watching Tug McGraw and Al Leiter respond similarly after they were tagged by a big home run. In fact it added to their fiery personality, and fans back then loved the show of emotion.

However it seems that in today’s game such shtick is looked down upon. Rather the perfect player would not so much as grimace in the same circumstance and return stoically to the mound.

I for one enjoyed watching Mejia emote on the mound… The only thing that was missing from Mejia’s seven strikeout performance was some chin music the next time Upton dug in against him. That’s another thing that Tug and Leiter would do. But even that too is frowned upon these days.

The game continues to evolve…

Anyway, I love this kid… He’s entertaining to watch, has some sizzle, and hates to get beat… Nothing wrong with that…

mmo

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Marlins (SNY), Mets vs Nationals (WOR) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-marlins-sny-mets-vs-nationals-wor.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-marlins-sny-mets-vs-nationals-wor.html/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:49:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149681 mejia

The Mets will play a pair of split-squad games this afternoon.

In Port St. Lucie, Dillon Gee opposes reigning National League Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez and the Miami Marlins at 1:10 PM (SNY). In the other game, a contingent on Mets travel to Viera where Jenrry Mejia opposes Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals at 1:05 PM (WOR).

David Wright is scheduled to play in a modified intrasquad game along with Bartolo Colon (three innings), Jonathon Niese (two innings) and Bobby Parnell (one inning) at Port St. Lucie today. Terry Collins has kept Wright and Daniel Murphy out of games for fear of risking injury.

Matt Harvey threw a baseball for the second straight day on Tuesday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last September. The big-guy keeps chugging along…

Eric Young started for the first time this spring in Tuesday’s win and reached base twice. He had been sidelined with a tight side muscle. After the game he said he felt fine with no issues.

Here are today’s lineups for the Mets.

Mets vs Marlins, 1:10 PM, SNY

Eric Young Jr., lf
Chris Young, dh
Curtis Granderson, rf
Josh Satin, 3b
Matt Clark, 1b
Anthony Recker, c
Matt den Dekker, cf
Omar Quintanilla, ss
Daniel Muno, 2b

Dillon Gee, rhp

Mets at Nationals 1:05 PM, WOR 710 AM

Juan Lagares, cf
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, rf
Andrew Brown, lf
Brandon Allen, dh
Wilmer Flores, 2b
Eric Campbell, 1b
Zach Lutz, 3b
Taylor Teagarden, c
Anthony Seratelli, ss

Jenrry Mejia, rhp

Thoughts:

I still can’t understand why Wilmer Flores is not getting some reps at shortstop even with Ruben Tejada out and when they are playing two games? Exactly when is this extended spring shortstop trial that Terry Collins keeps alluding to going to begin?

I love the head to head leadoff battle today between Juan Lagares and Eric Young. There’s no way that Chris Young is part of this discussion, this is a battle between them two.

I can’t wait until we get past this Fear Factor of playing David Wright and Daniel Murphy. I want to see some semblance of what our real lineup can do against pitchers like Strasburg, Gonzalez and Fernandez, with all due respect to Seratelli, Teagarden and Campbell.

Anyway… LGM

homer the dog

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Kevin Burkhardt to Host Fox MLB Pregame and Postgame Show http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/kevin-burkhardt-to-host-fox-mlb-pregame-and-postgame-show.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/kevin-burkhardt-to-host-fox-mlb-pregame-and-postgame-show.html/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 13:54:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149570 kevin burkhardt

Kevin Burkhardt will be the host of the all new Fox MLB pregame and post-game show for the 2014 season.

Burkhardt will still continue to work as the roving reporter during Mets games on SNY, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot less of him as mainstream media is now onto his amazing talents behind a mic.

From the official press release by Fox:

FOX Sports lifts the curtain on 2014 by today announcing that Emmy Award-winning play-by-play broadcaster, Joe Buck, the voice of MLB on FOX since its inception, is joined by analysts Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci as the new lead game broadcast team for MLB on FOX.  The announcement was made by Eric Shanks, President, COO & Executive Producer, FOX Sports, and John Entz, Executive Vice President, Production & Executive Producer, FOX Sports.  Reporters Ken Rosenthal and Erin Andrews join the team throughout the regular season, All-Star Game and postseason, including the World Series.  FOX Sports stalwarts Kenny Albert and Thom Brennaman also are scheduled for play-by-play assignments this season.

One of the most talented young broadcasters in the country, Burkhardt (@kevinburkhardt) joined FOX Sports in July 2013, calling NFL games alongside analyst John Lynch and sideline reporter Erin Andrews. An immediate success, Burkhardt, along with Lynch and Andrews, earned a playoff assignment in his first season calling national NFL games. Prior to FOX, Burkhardt spent several seasons with SNY covering the New York Mets in a myriad of roles from on-field reporting to play-by-play and in studio hosting duties.

Congratulations to Kevin…

Presented By Diehards

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Mets Spring Training TV/Radio Broadcast Schedule http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-spring-training-tvradio-broadcast-schedule.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-spring-training-tvradio-broadcast-schedule.html/#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2014 15:15:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147781 Here is the 2014 Spring Training Broadcast Schedule for the Mets as posted on the WOR website.

Still no word on who the official broadcast team is other than Howie Rose will be back and Eddie Coleman will not. Jeff Wilpon would prefer a former player to pair with Howie which wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. Cliff Floyd and Darryl Hamilton have both been mentioned. I’ve heard both and either of them would be a slam dunk for us.

The Mets will open the 2014 Spring Training season at 1:10 p.m. Feb. 28 against the Washington Nationals.

Date Time Road Team TV Radio
Fri, Feb 28, 2014 1:10 pm EST Nationals vs Mets SNY WOR
Sat, Mar 01, 2014 1:10 pm EST Marlins vs Mets WPIX
Sun, Mar 02, 2014 1:05 pm EST Mets vs Cardinals WOR
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 1:05 pm EST Mets vs Braves WOR
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 1:10 pm EST Astros vs Mets SNY
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 1:05 pm EST Mets vs Nationals WOR
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 1:10 pm EST Marlins vs Mets SNY
Thu, Mar 06, 2014 1:05 pm EST Mets vs Astros
Fri, Mar 07, 2014 1:10 pm EST Cardinals vs Mets SNY
Sat, Mar 08, 2014 1:05 pm EST Mets vs Tigers
Sun, Mar 09, 2014 1:10 pm EDT Braves vs Mets WPIX WOR
Mon, Mar 10, 2014 1:10 pm EDT Marlins vs Mets SNY
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 1:05 pm EDT Mets vs Cardinals WOR
Wed, Mar 12, 2014 1:10 pm EDT Cardinals vs Mets SNY
Thu, Mar 13, 2014 1:05 pm EDT Mets vs Nationals
Fri, Mar 14, 2014 7:05 pm EDT Mets vs Marlins WOR
Sat, Mar 15, 2014 3:33 am PDT Mets vs Cubs TBA TBA
Sat, Mar 15, 2014 1:10 pm EDT Twins vs Mets WPIX WOR
Sun, Mar 16, 2014 3:33 am PDT Mets vs Cubs TBA
Sun, Mar 16, 2014 1:05 pm EDT Mets vs Cardinals WOR
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 1:05 pm EDT Mets vs Marlins WOR
Tue, Mar 18, 2014 1:10 pm EDT Tigers vs Mets SNY
Thu, Mar 20, 2014 1:10 pm EDT Braves vs Mets SNY
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 1:05 pm EDT Mets vs Twins
Sat, Mar 22, 2014 1:05 pm EDT Mets vs Marlins WOR
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 1:05 pm EDT Mets vs Braves
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 1:10 pm EDT Nationals vs Mets WPIX WOR
Mon, Mar 24, 2014 1:10 pm EDT Cardinals vs Mets SNY
Tue, Mar 25, 2014 1:05 pm EDT Mets vs Nationals
Wed, Mar 26, 2014 6:05 pm EDT Mets vs Astros WOR
Thu, Mar 27, 2014 12:10 pm EDT Nationals vs Mets ESPB, SNY
Fri, Mar 28, 2014 7:05 pm EDT Mets vs Blue Jays WOR
Sat, Mar 29, 2014 1:05 pm EDT Mets vs Blue Jays WOR

Presented By Diehards

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Lies, Lies and More Damned Lies http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/lies-lies-and-more-damned-lies.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/lies-lies-and-more-damned-lies.html/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 16:25:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=146847 wilpon katz

1. It’s All In The Rearview Mirror

“It’s all in the rearview mirror,” Wilpon said about past financial woes last year as the 2013 spring training started, “The family is in great shape. The family really is in great shape. There’s no one in my family — there’s the Katz family, the Wilpon family, kids has any personal bank debt. Zero. Everything has been paid. We don’t owe a dollar to anybody. We have mortgages on buildings and stuff like that, but we don’t owe a dollar.”

The vast majority of people who Madoff scammed were financially devastated by his crimes, and didn’t get off as well. They lost retirement accounts, houses, everything. Some who lost the most were very close personal friends of the Wilpons, who they introduced to Madoff. Sandy Koufax, for one.

Here’s the rub. Wilpon will cry Madoff when convenient but leaves out the part that they have virtually shielded themselves from any Madoff effect by passing through the debt away from them personally when it also suits them. Wilpon also conveniently leaves out the part about taking $700 million in allegedly fraudulent transfers of principal from his Madoff accounts to help secure this personal burden.

Then there’s the $300 million in allegedly fictitious profits that kept the Mets afloat. Say what you will about clawbacks and what not, and dance around the fact that the Wilpons agreed to pay a small portion of that back, but the court records apparently showed the entirety of these withdrawals and payments were in fact made. Where did it all go? I don’t know about you, but I am relieved his family is totally debt free. Helps me sleep better at night. That is, when I’m not worrying about paying my own bills. The Mets, not so much. There is nothing but mountains of debt up ahead.

wilpon

2. Because We Can Do It

“Everything that was in the past — you guys saw the pain we went through — is gone,” Wilpon said in February 2013, “the payroll will be commensurate with anything we’ve ever done, because we can do it.”

Well, except for the part that he had signed away his control over expanding the payroll to the banks, which is entirely despicable by itself. At any rate, no such payroll increase has yet to materialize, just a kind of con man’s math. Take away, put back less, and call it a net gain. But I feel his pain. Yes, I do.

3. Make Sure That The Banks Got Paid Off All Of The Debt

It wasn’t as people had written, the reason,” Wilpon said last year, denying that the reason payroll was slashed was because of the Madoff situation. “It was a balance there. Because we had to make sure that the banks got paid off all of the debt.”

Really? Banks all paid off? Then why the lockstep celebration by some Mets fans that you just got re-financing on old debt that you were unable to pay? Here’s the reality. The franchise remains leveraged to the brink of critical mass. This new restructuring only pushed the balloon payment out 7 years. There’s several hundred million dollars of debt still attached to the club, plus the refinancing of the SNY network — said to be in excess of $700 million — and the hundreds of millions of dollars in debt on Citi Field. Even the bonds issued to finance the stadium have been rated “junk status” by Standard & Poor’s.

There are those analysts who think when you factor the net present value of those payments as debt, there is no equity value left in the Mets.

alg-wilpon-selig-jpg

4. I’ll Take Them At Their Word

Commissioner Selig in 2012, showing that he’s pretty skilled at double talk and enabling himself, when asked after an owner’s meeting about the financial situation of the Mets and whether the Mets had the resources to field a competitive team, revealed this:

“They (the Wilpons) said they do and I think they do. It just depends. It’s interesting how you rebuild or how you do things. Spending money doesn’t guarantee anybody anything. I want to be very careful here. As far as the Mets are concerned, I know they’re very comfortable where they are and they’re very optimistic. I’ll take them at their word.”

Why not? They’re pretty up front and transparent kind of guys, after all. Here’s the thing, though, and Selig knew this was true at the time he gave his blessings. Rarely enforced and easily manipulated, MLB has a rule that prohibits teams from operating at debt levels greater than ten times operating income. Selig already knew that the Mets and their debt-to-value ratio of 60% not only exceeded the standard, but put it in a more tenuous position than the Dodgers at the time who had a 54% debt-to-value ratio.

Like McCourt in LA who ransacked the Dodgers and depleted revenue from the operating capital for his own gain at the detriment of the LA Dodgers, how is what Wilpon has done with his debt any different? Before anyone cries that teams are not a public trust, and therefore can do anything they want with the team’s revenue, think about what happened to McCourt.

McCourt was run out of baseball by the commissioner, another Wilpon buddy from the old days, who relies on owners to back his initiatives and, well, pay his salary. New owners stepped in, who actually had the financial resources required to run a major league team, and McCourt, who had treated the team as his own piggy bank and brought it to its knees (sound familiar?) then makes a fortune in the sale. You can just hear McCourt gloating about the financial solvency of his family, can’t you? Why hasn’t the commissioner stepped in here and for the sake of the game put an end to the ownership of this franchise who can’t legitimately operate a major market baseball team — in fact, never has been able to run this team without leveraging the fraudulent activities of Madoff and his fairy tale returns almost from the start? Asked and answered.

wilpon alderson

5. He Does Not Have Restrictions

“He’ll have all the opportunity in the world to bring anybody he wants in,” team COO Jeff Wilpon said on 2011, referring to Sandy Alderson and his payroll, “The way for him to do that is to bring the ideas to us and we’ll talk about it. But he does not have restrictions. We’ll deal with everything on a case-by-case basis.”

Apparently deceitful double talk is genetic. We now know for a fact that there were payroll restrictions, a bank induced salary cap. When the news just broke that the Wilpons had restructured $250 million in debt and that, this time, the loan didn’t include payroll restrictions included in the agreement, even the hardened and the cynical had to be shocked.

Anything goes, I guess, especially when you are drowning in debt. Even if it meant running the organization into the ground, which it has. And so began the Wilpon’s convenient embrace of lowering payrolls as a testament to baseball purity, and farm system team building worship — with Sandy Alderson playing the part of the hometown sheriff coming to clean up the wild west. Only problem, who are the bad guys, and who are the good guys?

It’s one thing to have the Mets organization not be able to sustain itself because of bad contracts and when lack of winning causes revenues to drop to where it impacts the actual operation of the team. This austerity and payroll reducing and refocusing on the farm system because that’s a more pure and fundamentally sound way to build a baseball team has been nothing more than a deliberate charade to cover up the ultimate distribution of the money — back into the Wilpon’s teetering empire. Its nothing more than a pickpocket’s diversion. But, hey, have a heart. Whose going to gentrify Willet’s Point if the Wilpon’s don’t?

In the financial world, people go to prison based on the truthfulness of what they say, or don’t say publicly — especially when financial gain is tied in, or manipulation for financial gain is the intent (sort of like pumping up the team with lies to sell more tickets … to pay more debt down that has nothing whatsoever to do with the baseball team itself, which is not illegal in this case, just slimy).

While many losing teams have been turned into winners in less than three years, the GM can be patient and detached as he ‘rebuilds’ the farm system with high school players, because fielding a competitive major league baseball team befitting a major market isn’t even the primary goal. Anyone who thinks that this ownership will be able to potentially pay Harvey (assuming a return to glory) a contract in line with the $215 million paid to Kershaw, which is what it will take and which will happen before this just restructured balloon payment of $250 million comes due, is in need of longterm psychiatric therapy.

mmo

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You Know You Miss Baseball When… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/you-know-you-miss-baseball-when.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/you-know-you-miss-baseball-when.html/#comments Sat, 28 Dec 2013 15:04:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137133 snow citi

This is a funny time of year. The previous baseball season is now well in the books and fading fast in the rear-view mirror while next season is still too far of for even the earliest of prognostics to hit the scene. It’s a kind of baseball limbo where there is little but a frosty nip in the air and spring seems like an eternity away. I’ve often found myself searching frantically for some connection to our great pastime that may tide me over until the next tidbit of hot stove news reaches me, or until there is some hope of a thaw in the weather. I thought I’d put together a brief list of some of my more desperate attempts to connect to my summer pastime. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

You know you miss baseball when you catch yourself mimicking the crack of a bat and a cheering crowd with a pencil in a dentist’s waiting room.

You know you miss baseball when you find yourself replaying old David Wright interviews counting how many times he says the word “obviously.

You know you miss baseball when you devote an entire day to the 1986 boxed set with your bobblehead collection (and your little toy parachute guy) displayed on your coffee table.

You know you miss baseball when you imagine the weather report as told by Vin Scully,

“Yes folks, this particular blizzard as a young low pressure system attended Texas A & M and was known to be quite the prankster.”

You know you miss baseball when you spend an hour in your attic going through old boxes looking for your Roger Clemens voodoo doll.

You know you miss baseball when you can’t get the SNY opening credits theme out of your head as you shovel the walk …

You know you miss baseball when you find yourself reciting Gary Cohen’s opening monologue out loud in a Denny’s.

You know you miss baseball when your browser history shows 28 compulsive hits on MLBtraderumors.com in the space of a half an hour.

You know you miss baseball when you devote a day to washing your baseball caps in the dishwasher (top rack).

You know you miss baseball when you start to feel the A-Rod / Selig spat was quaint in its own way.

You know you miss baseball if you clear out a 40 yard straight shot from one side of your basement to the other free of furniture or breakables so you can play catch with your kid

You know you miss baseball when 4:30 to 5:00 on weekdays is devoted to arguing various points on the Metsmerized Online comments threads.

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On Matt Harvey Doing Guest Appearances During Mets Broadcasts http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/on-matt-harvey-doing-guest-appearances-during-mets-broadcasts.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/on-matt-harvey-doing-guest-appearances-during-mets-broadcasts.html/#comments Sat, 14 Dec 2013 22:26:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135576 matt harvey

Bob Raisman of the Daily News came up with a great idea of having Matt Harvey doing special guest spots during some SNY Mets telecasts, whether it be in the booth or studio.

“Naturally this all will be predicated on whether Harvey, coming off Tommy John surgery, would be inclined to go behind the microphone,” he writes.

“If Harvey has the time, what better way for the Mets organization to keep him connected with the fan base than allowing SNY suits to put him on the air. We are not talking a major schedule here. Maybe a few games or studio appearances during the regular season.”

Raissman says that SNY has already set a precedent for using an injured player in a studio role. In May of 2006 when pitcher Brian Bannister went on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, SNY brought him in to make a few appearances in the pre and postgame studio.

Hey, you know what, I’m all for it and I bet Matt would be into it too. He certainly has the personality for it, and he doesn’t seem to mind the spotlight at all.

Seeing Harvey appear from time to time would also serve as a constant reminder of his impending return for the 2015 season.

Presented By Diehards

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: Random Thoughts On Bartolo Colon http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-random-thoughts-on-bartolo-colon.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-random-thoughts-on-bartolo-colon.html/#comments Thu, 12 Dec 2013 17:04:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135333 bartolo colon

Last night as I was getting comfortable on my couch, I was scanning the twitterverse and lo and behold what breaking news did I see but the unofficial announcement that the Mets had signed veteran starting pitcher, Bartolo Colon to a 2-year/$20 million dollar contract pending a physical. Obviously this set Mets Twitter on the verge of nuclear meltdown, the likes that no one has seen since Jason Bay agreed to that fateful 3-year/$66 million dollar contract.

Then I got to thinking: What does this mean to the average Mets fan and how does this affect the Mets over the course of the next 2 years? So here are some random thoughts on the signing of Bartolo – or as the newly signed outfielder, Chris Young refers to him as – ToeLo.

Bartolo’s uniform number should be the same as his waist size (50).

Part of Colon’s contract is that he gets his own show on SNY called Bartolo vs Food.

I wonder who would win in a Sumo wrestling match in a ring filled with Jell-O, him or Mo Vaughn ?

With Bartolo on the mound there is no need for infielders – because he is the infield.

Bartolo makes me look svelte.

He gets his own personal “Shake Shack!”

I bet he doesn’t find salmon tasty.

And lastly, and in all seriousness, this is a good signing that hopefully will help the Mets compete in 2014.

And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!

Sadly on this date in 1992, Rube Walker – the Mets pitching coach/guru from ’68-’81 – passed away.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder, Jim Gosger and utility infielder, Bob Heise to the San Francisco Giants for middle reliever, Ray Sadecki and reserve outfielder, Dave Marshall on December 12, 1969.

In what can and should be considered one of the worst trades in Mets history, the New York Mets traded outfielder, Rusty Staub and minor league pitcher, Bill Laxton to the Detroit Tigers for starting pitcher,  Mickey Lolich and reserve outfielder,  Billy Baldwin on December 12, 1975.

Lolich was supposed to help strengthen the Mets pitching rotation but finished his lone season with a record of 8-13. He retired after the season ended so that he could open a doughnut shop, but then he unretired in ’78 to pitch for the San Diego Padres !!!

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder, Gene Clines to the Texas Rangers for outfielder, Joe Lovitto on December 12, 1975.

Lovitto ended up being released by the Mets during spring training.

The New York Mets traded middle reliever,  Roy Lee Jackson to the Toronto Blue Jays for utility infielder,  Bob Bailor on December 12, 1980.

The New York Mets signed free agent back up catcher,  Orlando Mercado of the Minnesota Twins on December 12, 1989.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder,  Alex Ochoa to the Minnesota Twins for reserve outfielder, Rich Becker on December 12, 1997.

The New York Mets signed free agent José Valentin of the Los Angeles Dodgers on December 12, 2005. This was one of then General Manager ,Omar Minaya’s best under the radar signings

The New York Mets traded middle reliever,  Scott Schoeneweis to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league pitcher, Connor Robertson on December 12, 2008. After the way Scho pitched that last game of the season everybody knew he wouldn’t ever return to the Mets.

The New York Mets granted  reliever and alleged murderer, Ambiorix Burgos granted free agency on December 12, 2008.

The New York Mets claimed starting pitcher, Jeremy Hefner on waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates on December 12, 2011.

Hefner pitched admirably if not uneven the last two seasons for the Mets in a limited role. Lets hope his surgically repaired pitching arm is ready for the ’15 season .

Mo Vaughn is looking forward to chewing the fat with Bartolo Colon!!!

If you want to hear the rebroadcast of last night’s “Shouts From Shea” podcast featuring myself as well as Steven Keane from “The Kranepool Society” please click here. Our guests include Joe D of this fine blog as well as Danny Abriano from the “Rising Apple” blog.

mmo

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Featured Post: Wilpon’s Brick and Mortar Failure http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/featured-post-wilpons-brick-and-mortar-failure.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/featured-post-wilpons-brick-and-mortar-failure.html/#comments Mon, 02 Dec 2013 17:20:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133960 Ever since the Mets were purchased outright by Fred Wilpon in 2000 they have been treated less like a baseball team and more like an apartment complex. Real estate moguls like the Wilpons make their money by speculating, purchasing, (occasionally tossing out your token poor and elderly), rehabbing and selling (or renting) properties for big profits … just like monopoly.

While it’s true that the Mets play (and make much of their money) in what is a structure made of concrete and steel, as a franchise they are not necessarily bound to the grandiose edifices of Citi Field. The Mets are essentially an entertainment entity, and entertainment is an industry that functions on a wholly different set of principles. An industry that makes money through viewership — a vast billion dollar popularity contest where our attention is bought and sold in advertising blocks. Now it is no easy task trying to coalesce these two disparate business models into a single successful enterprise, even so, some are better at it than others.

Fred Wilpon made his fortune buying and selling real estate so naturally he has focused a great deal of his time on infrastructure and capital expenditures. One of his earliest disagreements with Nelson Doubleday (who had a knack for knowing what the fans actually wanted) was a difference over whether or not to build a wildly expensive new venue or improve Shea Stadium.

Citi Field Construction BaseballDoubleday was quoted in the NY Observer by Andrew Rice during the 2000 season on the subject, “I don’t see a great deal of taxpayer money to build the New York Mets a new stadium,” he said, suggesting that for “one-tenth of the money or one-hundredth of the money,” Shea Stadium could simply be renovated. “I kind of like this place,” he added. Now how many of you would trade Citi Field for good old inexpensive Shea with a couple more world titles thrown in for good measure? For a rich guy, Doubleday sure seemed to have a better grasp of your common Met fan, a fan (and demographic) incidentally that’s been virtually priced out of a surprisingly upscale Citi Field.

In Fred Wilpon’s almost quaint and tragic desire to restore an Ebbets Field to the N.Y. landscape, his dream of building a new stadium resulted in the debt riddled quagmire he’s still mired in. He assumed property would always appreciate, he believed cash would always be at the ready, he predicted everything would work as it had during his real estate heyday, but not only did he assume wrong on every one of those counts, he lost touch with his decidedly working class audience and its demands in the interim, and anyone who has ever taken in a gladiator bout at the coliseum can tell you how important it is to win the crowd.

The Mets aren’t Wright and Murphy and Niese and Harvey and Wheeler and the rest. Those players exist only in so far as the real entity that is the Mets allows them to. The Mets exist in the hearts and minds of the fan base that supports them, roots for them, and identifies by them. The Mets exist not only in their native Queens, but in a nebulous diaspora of fandom stretching across NY, the country, and even the world. They comprise an ethos and culture all their own.

An existing fan base is an advertiser’s dream, a captive audience ready to be inundated by Gatorade and Doritos and Pepsi-Cola. It’s no wonder MLB TV contracts are so lucrative. Sitcoms come and go, baseball is forever. But unlike a building or a newspaper stand, you can’t own a fan base. This is something appreciated by any veteran of the entertainment industry. Your 15 minutes of fame can be as fleeting as a wisp of steam on a cold day rising from a hot dog cart as the vendor opens and closes the metal compartment lids. Entertainers know they have to keep moving, changing, upgrading material, or they risk becoming stale and passé, pushed aside for next week’s Miley Cyrus. But my point my friends is that this fluid business paradigm is diametrically opposed to the static real estate model where you benefit from sitting on your assets and letting them appreciate like a good wine while you collect your exorbitant rents. In real estate, time is on your side. In entertainment, if you sit on your assets (or laurels) you’re dead meat and time is an enemy that eventually yanks even the greatest performers from the limelight.

It was interesting to follow the back and forth between prospective partner David Einhorn and the Wilpons during their brief negotiation because it highlighted just how badly the Mets owners had botched the entertainment side of their operation. The Wilpons successfully took a page from the Yankee business apparatus and started their own network, SNY, however, in a rush to ensure broad distribution they gave their partners (Time Warner and Comcast) the right of first refusal — meaning they would have to be given first dibs if the Wilpons ever wanted to sell even a portion of SNY.

SNY StudioThey also gave SNY a sweetheart of a deal undervalued by as much as 20% as far back as 2011 when Mike Ozanian reported on the Einhorn / Wilpon transaction for Forbes. That difference is likely even more cavernous today as TV contracts have ballooned exponentially with the recent Dodgers / Time Warner deal valued at 7 billion in pocket change for the Dodgers over a 25 year stretch. Makes you wonder if trying to micromanage complex transactions well outside the purview of your personal expertise without the proper due diligence or the right consultants is perhaps a family trait … reminds me of their blind trust in Madoff or Jeff Wilpon insinuating himself as a de facto GM during Jim Duquette’s tenure.

Wilpon thought he could sit on the Mets, build them a magnificent house with every bell and whistle, and rake in the cash as they appreciated. He dreamed of financing villages and shopping malls and hotels in his little Mets theme park. All the while he failed to consider that the fans don’t really care that much about fancy digs and rotundas, they care about wins and losses. He failed to see his audience as a primarily working class family oriented descendant of an old New York National League fan base that was certainly not of the buttoned down starched collar variety. The field is just a place, a venue, a sandlot. It’s the team the fans care about. That’s the part that Wilpon never got right … That’s the part that led him to believe creating a homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers was a good idea.

You can own a lot of things, but you can’t buy hearts and minds. Fred Wilpon never understood that the Mets do not reside at Citi Field — the Mets reside in fans all over this city and country who persist in keeping the team dear to their hearts. You can’t own that Mr. Wilpon, you have to win that, and the only way to win that is by knowing your audience and giving it what it wants … not tomorrow, not in 2014 or 2015, but right now.

The problem is, how do you accomplish this when you’ve sunken all your money into fancy building projects? You don’t, and all the promises about “finding hidden value” and other such played out gibberish unfortunately amount to lip service when you continue to reduce payroll at a time when MLB profits are booming. Sadly Met ownership has always been far more focused on brick and mortar than they have been on getting the right players on the field, and in the end, that may be their downfall.

(Photo by Eddie D’Anna)

mmo

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Best News Of The Night, Ron Darling Signs New Deal With SNY http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/best-news-of-the-night-ron-darling-signs-new-deal-with-sny.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/best-news-of-the-night-ron-darling-signs-new-deal-with-sny.html/#comments Fri, 22 Nov 2013 05:15:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133433 I watched the season premiere of Mets Hot Stove on SNY which was kind of a bore-fest of full of week old rumors that have been beaten to death already here on MMO or on Mets Twitter. There was one item of note and that was the announcement that Ron Darling had agreed to a multiyear deal to remain part of the SNY broadcast team. It was the best 23 seconds of the night…

With Darling’s star rising fast in the broadcast world, I feared we might end up losing him to FOX, ESPN or the MLB Network. I’m so glad to hear he’s sticking around to compliment Gary and Keith in the booth. I especially loved Ronnie on those rare occasions where he covered for Bobby Ojeda during the pre and post games. I hope we get to see him do more of that.

We had a chance to interview Ron Darling a few times and each time we came away in awe of his incredible knowledge and baseball presence. He’s always the smartest guy in the room, but his friendly demeanor doesn’t make him intimidating to talk to at all. As a matter of fact you get the sense you’re hanging out with an old friend and having a beer and talking baseball.

Congratulations on your new deal Ronnie!

Here are a few quotes from Ron Darling, a couple of which came from our own interviews:

On Making It In The Majors

“The three things that I benchmark, that I judge pitchers by is their ability to throw fastballs on the corner and both sides of the plate, that they can throw a breaking ball over the plate behind in the count, and that they have a bulldog and a competitive mentality.”

On Mets Off-Season

“They have to get a starting pitcher with Matt Harvey out. Maybe you get a veteran guy out there on a one or two-year deal to help with the younger pitchers, teach them how to be pros. And they need offense, whether you make a big splash or do what the Red Sox did and get some capable pros. The toughest decision for the Mets is what players on the roster they want to keep.”

On Zack Wheeler

“A bulldog comes in many shapes and forms. In my day, Dave Stewart was considered a bulldog with the stare, but so was Orel Hershiser without the stare. It comes in a lot of different ways. A lot of guys try to fake it, you can see through it. Zack Wheeler might have a different way of doing it; he might be quieter about it, as opposed to Matt Harvey who may be a bit more overt about it. Matt’s from the East Coast, and East coast kids tend to be a little more overt anyway, and Zack might be a little quieter. It doesn’t mean that they both can’t be pitching assassins in their own way.”

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Mets Have New Radio Home At WOR (710 AM), Howie Rose Coming Along For The Ride http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mets-have-new-radio-home-at-wor-710-am-howie-rose-coming-along-for-the-ride.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mets-have-new-radio-home-at-wor-710-am-howie-rose-coming-along-for-the-ride.html/#comments Fri, 18 Oct 2013 19:30:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131377 wor710Looks like the New York Mets won’t be homeless after all…

Reports are now coming in that the Mets are close to a deal with Clear Channel Media to broadcast their games on WOR (710 AM), according to Neil Best of Newsday and Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News.

The good news here is that Howie Rose will still be broadcasting as the radio voice of the Mets, however whether Howie’s  2013 co-pilot, Josh Lewin, will join him is still uncertain.

As was the case with WFAN, WOR will likely simulcast Mets broadcasts on one of their many FM stations.

The last few years have not been good for the Mets in terms of Radio and TV ratings.

The Mets and WFAN split after this season severing a 27-year partnership, while SNY experienced a drop of 31.6 percent in viewership from the previous season.

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All Met Fans Want Is A Team We Can Believe In http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/all-met-fans-want-is-a-team-we-can-believe-in.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/all-met-fans-want-is-a-team-we-can-believe-in.html/#comments Thu, 10 Oct 2013 23:49:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130986 Justin Terranova of the New York Post, caught up with TBS and SNY analyst Ron Darling, who breaks down the Dodgers’ chances against the Cardinals and fielded one question about the Mets’ offseason priorities.

Q: What would you like to see the Mets do this offseason?

A: They have to get a starting pitcher with (Matt) Harvey out. Maybe you get a veteran guy out there on a one or two-year deal to help with the younger pitchers, teach them how to be pros. And they need offense, whether you make a big splash or do what the Red Sox did and get some capable pros. The toughest decision for the Mets is what players on the roster they want to keep.

Darling is without a doubt the sharpest mind on SNY. He knows what’s up and in three sentences he sized up exactly what the Mets need to do this offseason.

The Mets need to shed some of these Quad-A players they’ve been parading out there as major leaguers. You know who they are. He’s right, there’s going to be some tough decisions to be made and like most Quad-A players, most of them don’t have a lick of trade value.

Aside from David Wright and Daniel Murphy not one regular batted over .260 this season. And counting Wright and Murphy not one player hit more than 18 home runs. There’s a lot of work to be done.

We had some great comments to draw from today…

TJ says:

I will not judge the Mets by how much they spend. I will judge them on how many holes the have on the Opening Day 2014 roster, meaning replacement level players with jobs they don’t deserve, and how well they provide depth in all areas, starting pitching, bullpen, and positionally. I don’t care what it costs. They can do this without signing any albatross contracts or without depleting the farm, if they really want to compete in 2014.

Joey D. says: 

One of the most common examples we see is Oakland. They are in the same fiscal situation as the Mets and look what they have accomplished. Well, what is overlooked is that the steps that Billy Beane took were totally different than the ones Sandy and his people have taken. Beane did not rely upon his farm system to produce his players nordid he hang on to them rather than trade his young players who were starting to either come into their own or had already established themselves but were entering arbitration or free agency status.

He made things happen.

Nine of the ten position players with 98 or more games played this year came from outside the organization. Three of his five starters came from outside the organization. All but one of his five primary relievers were drafted by Oakland.

And what Beane did was to use many of whom he had as bargaining chips like Gonzalez and those in the minors. And with Gonzalez, it was not for the best player he could get but for a group of players to fill the needs of many holes. If one is going to trade a star, that is the way to go – try to get as many potential quality players in return instead of making a splash with one big draft selection from another organization.

Terri Loves 28 says:

I only went to two games this season and one time was free because of the tickets I won in your contest. (Thanks by the way!) I may not go to any games next season. I only say this because up until 2011 me and my mother were season ticket holders. I love the Mets, but I’m not supporting the Wilpons anymore until I see a real winning baseball team I can believe in.

* * * * * * * * * *

sad mets bench

I threw that last comment in there because it was something that came up last night in a podcast I was invited to as a guest called Sounds from Shea by Steve Keane and our own Ed Marcus.

We spent an hour discussing the Mets position by position and tossing around our own ideas and possible solutions. One of the things we all kept going back to is Mets ownership. We talked about how fans are tuning the Mets out. We discussed how the Mets need to do something dramatic to prove to the fans that they mean it when they say this is the offseason where it all happens… That this is the offseason where the handcuffs come off… That this is the offseason where the fan base isn’t being held hostage or seduced by promises that never come to fruition.

It’s hard for us to believe anything that Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons say. There’s a trust factor that’s been broken. There’s always so much posturing going on and everything they say almost always sounds like a scam or a scheme whose primary goal is to squeeze more money out of us.

We all want a team we can believe in, as Terri so aptly stated. But we also want an ownership group and a front office that we can believe in too. It is going to take a lot of work by this front office and the owners to gain our trust back. Too many hollow words and broken promises… We desperately want to believe in this team, but right now there’s so many of us who don’t trust the people running the show. So we put the ball in your court… Go out there this winter and build a team we can believe in.

believe mr met button

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Ouch! Mets 2013 TV Ratings Drop 31.6 Percent Over 2012 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/ouch-mets-2013-tv-ratings-drop-31-6-percent-over-2012.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/ouch-mets-2013-tv-ratings-drop-31-6-percent-over-2012.html/#comments Thu, 03 Oct 2013 16:15:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130597 gary keith ron sny

According to Neil Best of Newsday, only 1.54 percent of homes were tuned in to Mets games on SNY this season on average.

That figure is down from 2.25 in 2012 and represents a drop of a whopping 31.6 percent. The 1.54 percent is the lowest viewership percentage in the history of SNY.

Best also adds that viewership did experience a modest bump whenever Matt Harvey started a game.

That’s almost unbelievable and almost a third lower than 2012 which was already 20 percent down from 2011. That means the Mets have lost over half of their fan viewership in just two years. Wow…

As I said in my post last night, the fans are tuning the Mets out, and from a fan perspective, this team is at rock bottom.

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Alderson To Announce 2-Year Extension For Collins During Noon Press Conference http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/alderson-to-announce-2-year-extension-for-collins-during-noon-press-conference.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/alderson-to-announce-2-year-extension-for-collins-during-noon-press-conference.html/#comments Mon, 30 Sep 2013 12:07:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130359 Sandy Alderson 2

Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson will address the media at 12 p.m. on Monday, September 30 in the Citi Field Press Conference Room.

He is expected to announce a two-year contract extension for Terry Collins to remain the manager of the Mets. The deal is reportedly valued at $1 million per season and includes an option for  2016.

The contract is so small, that Joel Sherman of the New York Post concludes that theoretically, Collins is still a lame duck manager, summarizing it five words: “Win next year or bye.”

After that, Sandy will field questions from the media to discuss the Mets’ off-season goals and his expectations for next season.

Metsmerized Online will be at Citi Field and we’ll post a full summary of what Sandy has to say.

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David Wright Is All In… Are The Wilpons? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/david-wright-is-all-in-are-the-wilpons.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/david-wright-is-all-in-are-the-wilpons.html/#comments Sat, 28 Sep 2013 03:43:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130124

david wright

The Captain is on the deck… Oh, how I thought I’d never hear those words again… Luckily, this time I don’t have to drop whatever it is I’m doing and come to immediate attention.

But the Mets’ captain wants your attention… He has a message for you… He’s all in and he still loves “The Plan”.

“I’m all in for this organization,” Wright said told reporters on Thursday. “Everybody has said with the money coming off the books, with the job that our minor-league development has done, we have some valuable pieces and some money to spend. I’m obviously expecting this team to be a lot better next year than we have been in previous years.”

Sounds like Wright is drinking the Koolaid doesn’t it? Or does he simply know something we don’t know?

Do you believe Fred Wilpon shares his most inner financial thoughts with David Wright?

Last year, Wright kicked in $8 million of his own money, interest free, in the hopes that it would be invested in the team last offseason. It wasn’t.

Payroll was actually $2 million less in 2013 than what it was the year before. But thanks anyway, David, and shame on the Mets for pocketing your well-deserved and hard-earned millions.

“Hopefully the front office got everything they needed to see with who they want to move forward with and those tough decisions to either trade or not sign or whatever those tough decisions that need to be made,” Wright said.

Yes, but hope is neither a plan or a strategy or a game-plan… Hope is one notch above despair in the grand scheme of things.

The Mets will have roughly $40-45 million to spend this offseason, but already there are rumblings that they won’t target any high-priced players and won’t target anyone that will cost a draft pick (first or second round).

You see, this team does not belong to you or David Wright or Sandy Alderson.

wilponNeither you nor them call the financial shots around here, and the one that does is already sending out his feelers as to what the Mets can or cannot do this Winter.

This is no different than what we’ve seen since 2009 – the day the music died.

The folks at SNY are already gearing up to tell you that the Mets are interested in Hunter Pence and Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Beltran and any other name that might appeal to your sensibilities. They want your interest. They want your money.

After his tear-jerking “I believe in 2013″ sentiments when he said “the time for evaluating was over” last October, Sandy and SNY treated this season no differently than the two previous seasons.

The only difference was that we had Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Juan Lagares and Josh Satin hit the ground running and embracing us with that wonderfully warm feeling of hope. Oh, what a sensation…

Over at SNY’s MetsBlog, they say that “Alderson was right to let 2013 season play out.”

Here we are, three full years later and we still don’t know who our first baseman and shortstop is. We still don’t know who our three starting outfielders are. We still don’t know if second base is settled. And for all of you who think the bullpen was solid this season, they are still ranked 13th in the NL and we have no idea if our best reliever, Bobby Parnell, will be ready next Spring.

We have more questions surrounding this team than we did at the end of the 2010 season and that is an indisputable fact.

Lets stay grounded in facts, shall we?

What facts do you see that leads you to believe that the owner of the New York Mets will approach this offseason any differently than he has previously?

Have you seen any statements confirming that payroll will be at or around $100 million dollars?

Aside from saying that he will spend this offseason, have you heard Sandy Alderson say “how much” he will spend?

"I asked for Wil Myers, Salvatore Perez and Alex Gordon for the Royals for Dickey, and they said no" "I'm not sure why, it seemed like a fair offer to me"

Factually speaking, Alderson spent last offseason and the one before it as well. So how much he will spend is very germane to this conversation, isn’t it?

Lets face it and lets call a spade a spade. You’re all just hoping things will be different and that things will be better… But the truth is you have nothing tangible other than that hope, do you?

David Wright is hoping too…

Hey, I hope I’m wrong. But unfortunately I’ve seen this Broadway show too many times before, and I know how it will end.

But we’re Met fans, right? We gotta believe, right?

I’ll believe…. I’ll believe it when I see it…

Basically, I just go into every new season rooting for my team to do the best they can do with what they have. I love watching every game and celebrating every win and every great moment.

But I’m no fool and I fully understand that every offseason is simply a propaganda campaign to sell season tickets.

The Mets will be interested in every marquee player out there. MetsBlog will be churning out those Mets rumors like nobody else because they need to create the Grand Illusion that things are different.

Every offseason we’re told that “this time it will be different.” But alas, they ultimately remain the same. The year is different, but as Robert Plant once screamed, “The song remains the same.”

Change always starts at the top… That’s where Fred and Saul and Jeff reside… And SNY is their megaphone…

#SellTheTeam

bleed orange & blue  button

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