As much as I still, now, have nightmares about the 2004 ALCS, this was pretty funny last night.
Via Newsday –
Fired Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens hinted that team ownership was the driving force behind his ouster, then fired back at the club’s own television broadcasters, who have long criticized the hitting approach espoused by general manager Sandy Alderson as too passive.
Did Hudgens believe he got a fair shake?
“It depends on who you’re talking about, from who,” Hudgens told Newsday Monday night in a phone interview, just a few hours after his dismissal. “From Sandy, from the front office, from the players, from Terry [Collins], from the other coaches, yeah, absolutely.”
He omitted team ownership. Hudgens and Alderson have ties dating to their time with the Athletics organization. Hudgens, who joined the Mets in 2011, defended the team’s patient hitting approach, which has been bashed by broadcaster Keith Hernandez.
“The naysayers, the guys who disapprove of us, the guys who I listen to on TV all the time, those guys that know everything about the game, I’m just amazed at it,” Hudgens said. “What’s wrong with getting a good pitch to hit? Somebody, please punch a hole in that for me. I just shake my head at the old-school guys that have it all figured out. Go up there and swing the bat. Well, what do you want to swing at? It just confounds me. It’s just hilarious, really.
“That’s one thing. I’m glad I don’t have to listen to those guys anymore.”
Hudgens said he was “a little bit surprised” by his firing since he believed the Mets had shown signs of improvement. “Every one of the players came in and gave me a hug and said how sorry they were,” he said. “I was really happy with my relationship with all the guys, with coaches, with Terry, Sandy, the front office. I’ve got nothing but positive things to say.”
Once again, he did not mention team ownership.
And, yet, Kevin Long remains employed…
Via USA Today –
Many believe New Jersey governor Chris Christie is eying a 2016 presidential campaign, but the lifelong Mets fan admitted Friday that he has another dream job in mind.
“I would love to be general manager of the Mets,” he told WFAN radio’s Boomer and Carton show. “If Sandy (Alderson) would put his crap in boxes and get out of there now, I’d be happy to go there now.”
The gig is tougher than it seems. Since Alderson took over, the club’s payroll has steadily shrunk amid questions about ownership’s financial stability. The Mets haven’t had a winning season since 2008, and their struggles have made them a constant punchline around baseball. But then, anyone from New Jersey knows a thing or two about being the butt of jokes.
The team is 21-25 on the season after losing six of their last eight games. Christie seems to take the losses pretty hard.
“I texted my son after they lost one of the games this week: It is impossible to watch,” he said. “It is impossible to watch. Just when you care about them as much as I do, it’s hard to watch sometimes.”
If Sandy would put his crap in boxes and get out of there…I would hope that Brian Cashman would take his place.
Via the Daily News -
The Yanks and Mets often seem to operate not in separate leagues, but unrelated universes. One payroll in excess of $200 million, another failing to crack $90 million. Established, celebrity ballplayers in the Bronx, random lineups and Kyle Farnsworth in Queens.
But while the Mets have spent too many years chopping payroll and selling fans on prospects who might or might not succeed (nothing to see here, folks, but look! We have a phenom in Triple-A!), this Subway Series has presented them with the chance to contrast what they are trying to build with a team that might be wilting into an aging, expensive disaster.
It takes less than one minute to walk from the home clubhouse to the visiting one on the lower level of Yankee Stadium, but the difference in mood was jarring, during the first half of this year’s series.
On the first base side on Tuesday afternoon, you had Carlos Beltran, 37, standing at his locker, explaining that he would need significant surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow, if a cortisone shot would not work. This news was bleak; if Beltran avoids the surgery, but still feels pain, his production could suffer greatly.
“That would be a tough injury,” another player explained. “If you can’t get full extension, and you’re swinging a little bit down here instead of up there, that could be the difference between a foul ball and a home run.”
You also had Ichiro Suzuki, 40, holding his own mini-news conference a few feet away, explaining that his sore back would probably prevent him from playing. And a few minutes after that, you had Girardi announcing that an important reliever, Shawn Kelley, was on the disabled list with his own back injury. Oh, and CC Sabathia was visiting the dreaded Dr. Andrews for a follow-up knee exam.
After the game, you had Kelley providing a perfect summary of his team’s crisis: “It’s almost like injuries are contagious right now.”
“When you become older, your body doesn’t necessarily bounce back as quick and heal as quick,” Girardi said, clearly knowing that his team had arrived at a tough moment, clearly unable to explain exactly what a manager might do about it.
It’s really hard to say that the Yankees first quarter of the 2014 season has been a success. Worse, it doesn’t seem that it will be getting better any time soon.
At this rate, 2013-2014 could be the Yankees worst back-to-back full seasons since 1991-1992. And, if you use pyth W-L%, then these two years are just as bad as 1991-92. Yet, no one in the organization will be held accountable – as always, in life after George.
Will he get a better reception than Robbie Cano? And, if he does, how much will YES talk about it?
The Mets have lost 12 of their last 21 games.
The Yankees have lost 11 of their last 20 games.
Now, the two face off against each other for four games.
Maybe they will split the games? But, more than likely, someone will take at least 3 of the 4 contests.
Who is your money on?
Via WFAN -
Ron Darling says he has nobody to blame but himself for putting his name on a widely panned letter from the New York Mets to “True New Yorkers.”
The SNY analyst was one of 10 former Mets players to sign the email asking fans to pledge their support head of this month’s Subway Series.
The letter wasn’t received well, with some calling it “dopey,” “beyond insulting” and “disgraceful.”
“I’ll tell you it this way, because if I explain completely how it went, I’m throwing someone else under the bus,” Darling said Wednesday on WFAN’s “Joe & Evan” show. “I was asked to put my likeness and name to something. I did not read what was going to be put out there. And I think for me to criticize it and to go after it, I’m going to put someone else in harm’s way. So I think I should just put myself in harm’s way.
“I didn’t do my due diligence to read what went out.”
Darling said he first found out about the letter while out to lunch in Philadelphia with SNY play-by-play man Gary Cohen, who received the email and read it aloud.
“It’s on me. It’s not on anyone else,” Darling said. “I put my name on it. I put my likeness on it. I have to live with it.”
The 53-year-old said things were different during the glory days of the mid-80s, when every move the franchise made was applauded. It feels like the polar opposite now, which Darling said should make the Mets re-think how they connect with fans.
“What is happened now — and I’m not saying it’s rightfully so — but it seems like everything that comes out from the Mets is looked at poorly” said Darling, who acknowledged that turning it around starts with spending and winning.
“When you’re looking at something where you feel like you’re Charlie Brown and Lucy keeps taking the ball out, and you keep kicking because you’re such die-hards, I just think that there has to be a re-evaluation of the disconnect and how to reconnect to how (fans) feel and what (the team) is trying to do,” Darling said. “And I think that’s an obvious thing.”
If Darling takes any hate from this, then I hope YES steps in and gives him a contact. He is the best at what he does and it would be a dream to hear him cover the Yankees.
I just saw this from Saturday -
Instead of a jubilant clubhouse with loud music and happy players after Friday’s walk-off win, the doors opened to silence, empty, spinning chairs and no Mets.
Apparently angry about an article in the New York Post on Friday about Bartolo Colon under the headline “LARDBALL,” the players would not talk to the media until Post writer Mike Puma left the clubhouse. Puma was asked to leave and did so without incident. Within a minute, several Mets appeared in the clubhouse. The team would not comment on the incident.
Can you imagine what would happen if the Yankees tried a stunt like this? Then again, Brian Cashman has never responded to my requests for an interview…
Mets fans are starting to wonder…
Raise the Jolly Roger.
Via ESPN -
Baltimore outfielder Adam Jones continued his outspoken ways during the Orioles’ just-completed series in New York.
One day after lashing out about two fans who ran onto the field at Yankee Stadium, Jones said he wasn’t buying into the hype surrounding $155 million Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.
“Why don’t you ask Tanaka about me? I’m the one who’s been over here in the major leagues for a while,” the Baltimore Orioles’ center fielder said Tuesday, according to Newsday. “Congratulations, he did it over there. Don’t make it like he’s the dirtiest guy in the world. He was 24-0 — in Japan.
Jones, who struck out twice against Tanaka on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, still wasn’t impressed after the Orioles’ 5-4 victory.
“Am I [supposed] to go home and say I faced Tanaka tonight? Just go throw a party that I faced Tanaka? It’s another pitcher,” Jones told Newsday. “Another pitcher in the rotation. Nothing special to me. It’s just another guy that we have to go through to get to where we want to be.”
Do I sense the O’s trying to get some bad blood brewing?
Man, he can pick it. Where did the Mets ever find him?
Let’s see if they get more in return than the Yankees do, when New York trades one of their surplus catchers this spring.
Via CBS –
New York Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen apologized Wednesday for using a slur during a locker-room conversation with Daisuke Matsuzaka’s interpreter.
The slur was overheard by Wall Street Journal reporter Stu Woo.
“I apologize for the thoughtless remarks that I made yesterday in the clubhouse,” Warthen said in a statement released by the team. “They were a poor attempt at humor but were wrong and inappropriate in any setting. I am very sorry.”
Woo wrote Wednesday that he was “startled” when the 61-year-old Warthen approached Matsuzaka’s Japanese-American interpreter, Jeff Cutler, earlier this week and said, “I’m sorry I called you a ‘Chinaman’ yesterday.”
After Cutler replied “It’s OK,” Warthen added, “I didn’t mean to insinuate –- I know you’re not Chinese. … I thought it was a pretty good joke, though.”
Cutler told Woo he wasn’t offended by the joke referred to by Warthen. But it was a different story for the Chinese-American reporter.
“I didn’t want to be complicit in tolerating the use of a slur that should have been retired long ago,” he wrote.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson also apologized for Warthen’s “insensitive remarks” — the slur was once commonly used to disparage Chinese immigrants, Woo wrote — on behalf of the franchise.
“The remarks were offensive and inappropriate and the organization is very sorry,” Alderson said.
The whole thing reminds me of a scene from a movie.
Via the Post -
In less than two weeks with the Mets in spring training, Jose Valverde has emerged as the leader of, what the reliever calls, the team’s “Dominican Mafia.”
The members include young pitchers Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Rafael Montero and Gonzalez Germen, and meetings are held in a corner of the clubhouse near Valverde’s locker. Another veteran Dominican pitcher, Bartolo Colon, also presides.
“It feels like we are brothers here,” Mejia said Tuesday.
Valverde views his leadership of the “Dominican Mafia” as part of the job description, as he attempts to land a spot in the Mets bullpen, after signing a minor league deal with the club this month.
Omar Minaya could not be reached for comment.
Via Sean McAdam –
The rivarly between the players on the field — save for an occasional Ryan Dempster target practice at A-Rod — has cooled. But as long as Larry Lucchino and Randy Levine are around, the Red Sox and Yankees will always be the Hatfields and the McCoys.
In his annual spring-training meeting with the media on Friday, Lucchino seemed to take more than a little satisfaction in watching the Yankees spend more than a half-billion dollars this winter on free agents Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Masahiro Tanaka, trying to play catch-up to the world champion Red Sox.
“We’re very different animals,” the Red Sox CEO said of the Sox and Yanks. “I’m proud of that difference. I always cringe when people lump us together.”
By contrast, the Sox continued the philosophy that brought them a championship, signing complementary players — like catcher A.J. Pierzynski and pitcher Chris Capuano — to cheaper, shorter-term deals.
The Yankees, said Lucchino, “are still, this year at least, relying heavily on their inimitable old-fashioned Yankees style of high-priced, long-term free agents. And I can’t say that I wish them well, but I think that we’ve taken a different approach.”
Well, you knew Levine — the Yankees’ president and CEO, who has tangled with Lucchino in the past — wouldn’t take that lying down.
“I feel bad for Larry; he constantly sees ghosts and is spooked by the Yankees,” Levine said. “But I can understand why, because under his and Bobby Valentine’s plan two years ago, the Red Sox were in last place.”
“[Boston general manager] Ben Cherington and the Red Sox did a great job last year winning the World Series,” continued Levine, “but I’m confident [Yankee GM Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi] and our players will compete with a great Red Sox team to win a world championship this year.”
Lucchino and Levine are both blowhards who need to learn to stay quiet. Lucchino only talks when he team has done well and then he crawls under a rock when they tank. And, Levine needs to learn that playing the ghosts card died in 2004. On the whole, they both need to wake up and realize that they are not Williams and DiMaggio, or Fisk and Munson, or even Schilling and A-Rod, and no one wants to hear a couple of stuffed shirts trying to be macho.
Brian Johnson is a prospect in the Red Sox chain. If he makes it, I wonder how many times he will be asked about this:
Man, that was scary. Glad he turned out OK.
Not too shabby.
If you look at the top five single game attendance crowds at the previous Yankee Stadium, they are Opening Day crowds against teams like Oakland, Kansas City, Texas and Detroit where they drew 56,000+ fans.
If you look at the top five single game attendance crowds at the current/new Yankee Stadium, they are all games against the Red Sox from games played in July, August and September where they drew 49,000+ fans.
So, does this mean the only way the Yankees can pack their new Stadium to the rafters is when Red Sox Nation comes to town and takes over the Bronx?
Via the Daily News -
There is no going back now. Curtis Granderson not only put on a Mets jersey for the first time Tuesday, but he took on the long-suffering fanbase on his shoulders and the franchise’s new $60-million outfielder lobbed a salvo back across town.
“A lot of the people I’ve met in New York have always said true New Yorkers are Mets fans,” the former Yankees outfielder said after being introduced at the Winter Meetings. “So I’m excited to get a chance to see them all out there.”
True New Yorkers are Mets fans? Really?
Oh, this is going to be interesting.
You can make a case that the only times the Cardinals won in this series is when the Red Sox made sloppy throws.
Think about this: In the last 35 years, the Yankees have 5 rings and now the Red Sox have three. So much for the hammer and the nail…
Now, the count-down begins…until someone in Beantown does something totally unclassy in their celebration of this win in Fenway.
According to everyone and his brother, it’s a given that David Price gets traded this off-season.
Figure the Rays not to trade him to someone in the A.L. East.
So, where does he go?
This is just a gut feeling…but…I think it will be the Dodgers or the Tigers.