Tag Archive for Fred Wilpon

Snakebitten, Baby

48Unless you had the good sense to turn in early last early night you know nothing so sums up what the 2016 season has become than last night’s events in San Francisco, when a shocking Met hit with men on base — from Justin Ruggiano of all people, off Madison Friggin Bumgarner of all people, a grand slam to center field, of all things — was given all back and more within minutes — by Jacob deGrom of all people, on a two-run homer by Bumgarner of all people, in a 10-7 loss showing the Mets are practically determined to go wrong even when everything is arranged to go right.

52So don’t get too excited to learn tonight’s contest is expected to include the return of injured soldiers Yoenis Cespedes and Asbrubal Cabrera, and maybe even Neil Walker, because it also accompanies news that scheduled starting pitcher Steven Matz won’t be there, because, naturally, he’s being shut down with shoulder trouble.

When Fred Wilpon idiotically pitied his half-assededly assembled 2011 squad by remarking, “We’re snakebitten, baby,” he was off by five years.

I’m not officially giving up yet — I need something to pretend to root for when I fly my family to St. Louis next week just to see these guys — but it’s clear this edition of the Mets is going to require not just something miraculous, but something it hasn’t satisfactorily demonstrated any ability to do all year: Play well.

66Is there good news? Well, Josh Edgin is getting sent back to the minor leagues where he belongs after that shitshow in Phoenix the other night — again, if you turned in early, he not only walked the whole lineup but evidently was too fat to bother hustling in to retrieve his own wild pitch for a potential play at the plate. In his place is Josh Smoker, who will need a new uni assignment after the 49 he wore in a phantom appearance a few weeks back was taken back by Jon Niese, who like Edgin but hopefully not like Smoker, appears to be a lefty of limited value any longer.

How about we give Smokey 66? That’ll teach ’em. Not Joshin’.

UPDATE: He’s in 59. Naturally.

 

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Upping the Josh Factor

47Hi guys, I’m back from a little R&R, moving aside the worthless sandbags at my door, and catching up to the new arrivals in Metland. We’ll begin late last month when Jon Niese pitched his way onto the disabled list and once again recalled Mike Nickeas, the catcher who wears 13. This struggle to reach the finish line is becoming an annual phenomenon for Niese, who until a few weeks ago, looked like the best starting pitcher the team had. Pinch-hitter Scott Hairston, who started poorly before coming on, went to the DL himself on Aug. 26. He was replaced on the roster by Miguel Batista, the 40-year-old journeyman whom I remember best from the Diamondbacks’ blessed 2001 Yankee-beating World Series team but has also played for a half-dozen other clubs including the Cardinals, who released him earlier this year. Batista made his Los Mets debut last night wearing No. 47.That jersey last belonged to flukey lefty Hisanori Takahashi, now of the Angels. Finally, Jose Reyes returned to the roster and Mike Baxter was demoted.

When rosters officially expended Thursday, the Mets recalled two new Joshes: Right-handed masher Josh Satin of AAA Buffalo and righty reliever Josh Stinson of AA Binghamton. Satin, like a glut of utility infielders before him, was assigned No. 3. Stinson is a big dude who might provide some relief: He was assigned Elmer Dessens’s old No. 64. Where have you gone, Elmer? Along with Josh Thole, this provides the Mets an unprecedented number of Joshes — who all went by “Jose” during the Hispanic Heritage game last night, I think.

Even though the ridiculous “Los” results in a jersey that makes no sense in two languages, count me enamored of the blue jerseys, particularly if and when it replaces the hideous black look. The black remains depressing, ugly and impossibly dated already. And I’m happy to discover that creepy Einhorn kid won’t be partnering with the Wilpons. Not because I think he wouldn’t do a better job as a minority owner (who wouldn’t?) but that the deal’s demise increases the chances the Wilpons lose it all in Chapter 11.

Finally, the Mets received the booty from the Francisco Rodriguez trade with Milwaukee. Coming our way is a 5-foot-6 lefty, Danny Herrera, expected to join the Mets today in Washington. Herrera struggled with Milwaukee this year (and in Cincinnati before that) but was doing the job in AAA. Has he been assigned a number? Let me know. The other guy we got was Class A pitcher, Adrian Rosario. Sounds like a deal to me.

Thanks as always to the readers who kept up the dialog in my absence. By the way I’m looking for a Drupal-profient partner to revamp the site, please let me know if you know someone!

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A Tough Loss

Well this was a crazy week even by Mets standards, one that began on a promising note when R.A. Dickey shook off his own poor start, and pitched a scrappy overachieving team to a respectable .500 mark and an upset of the Yankees, and ended seven days later with the Mets just as embarrassing as ever, with Dickey on the way to the disabled list and the overachievers badly exposed.

In the middle of it all was Fred Wilpon, whose show of pathetic self-pity and delusion in the pages of The New Yorker seemingly sapped whatever energy the Mets had exhibited on their long journey back to .500. Poor Fred: Doesn’t matter who gets dragged through the mud in his rush to clear his name and prove his own ignorance, while at the same time he’s got his hand out for new investors so that he won’t be hurt by his money-losing Mets. Fred doesn’t appear to understand that he’s in the image business, or that players and fans will get along just fine were he not around, but we can hope that’s something David Einhorn will teach him the hard way.

Einhorn was a name Met fans had barely known before this morning though by the time this afternoon’s loss to the Cubs began most of us already knew the story of how the tiny Dave Kingman fan grew up to become one of the hottest and most feared sluggers in the hedge fund game. I’d be awfully suprised if he doesn’t wind up going Barbarians-at-the-Gate on his new partners before long. Wouldn’t you?

Sadly, this week also included the sudden death of Dana Brand, an intelligent, sentimental and friendly Mets fan who wrote about fandom with passion and insight in books and on-line and who was at work organizing a scholarly symposium to coincide with the team’s 50th anniversary next year. I’d spoken last to Dana only a few months back at the SABR meeting in New York, where the two of us shared a mutual anticipation that the Wilpons would go Chapter 11 at some point this year. Dana was a guy who clung hard to his fandom in such challenging times, who understood he could love the team in spite of its seeming indifference to fans, and it’s sad to lose him.

Please see Matt SilvermanGreg Prince and Steve Keane for their memories of Dana.

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Do the Freddie

You gotta give it up for the New Yorker and its stunning article this week capturing Fred Wilpon as the loving-but-clueless father of Everything That’s Wrong With The Mets, from its lukewarm support of its own players, to the dumb stadium, to the spoiled son playing with private jets, to the mismanaged finances, to ownership’s overinflated confidence in its own baseball smarts, to the tin ear for fans and good media, to the stupid patriotic hats.

Your take might differ but I’ve come to the conclusion there was no way the Wilpons could have been aware enough to have realized their friend Bernard Madoff was a fraud, and no way the team today could lose any of Wright, Beltran or Reyes and not look they were invited to walk by the owner himself. Another brilliant Mets PR disaster and hopefully another reason for these well-meaning but incompetant owners to move on to something less challenging.

All we can do is dance.

 

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