Lately there has been alot of grumbling about the moves ( or lack there of) that Sandy Alderson has made since he was hired as the general manager of the Mets. Some people in the print as well as the broadcast media are questioning if Omar Minaya would be treated the same way that Sandy has been – which has been perceived as a free pass.
First lest get one thing straight, the Alderson regime is a total 180 degree turn from that of Omar’s. Omar was more of a reactionary type of general manager. He buckled to the whims of the ownership, who is turn were feeling the pressure of a angry fan base. Yes Omar made some great trades, but his forte was to sign one to two mid to high priced free agents and augment the rest of the roster with trash heap signings which every once in a while would turn up a gem ( Dickey).
But Omar – a man who the fans wanted to love and trust badly ended up screwing the pooch. He took a chance on a fading Luis Castillo and signed him to a awful four year 24 million dollar contract , and when Derek Lowe came off the market after spurning the Mets offer, Omar panicked and signed Oliver Perez to the Albatross of a contract.
I think that the turning point in Omar’s erosion of power was the afternoon that he was forced to dismiss his right hand man , Tony Bernazard after columnist, Adam Rubin exposed Bernazard’s tirades against a club house full of Mets minor league players. As we all know Omar would accuse Rubin of trying to undermine him and really bad moment in Mets history got even worse.
By last off seasonit was apparent that Omar was nothing more than a figure head for the organization. Most of the deals that were made last winter were for faded players and scrap heap pickups. The fan base got angry and the perception is that the Mets were forced to go out and sign Jason Bay .
So lets fast forward to today. Sandy Alderson is getting a lot of heat from the press and the lunatic fringe faction of the fan base. What they don’t understand is that Alderson has a plan in place and it will be followed to the letter. He is trying his best to import the best players available at the price they deem they can afford. The Mets payroll should be around the same number that it was at last season ( 140 million) . It is a hard number set by ownership – not Alderson. It is common knowledge that the ownership will always stop short of the luxury tax , and that’s their prerogative- it’s their money not ours. So Sandy will put together a team that will compete to win , with the goal of playing fundamentally sound baseball and hope for the best that they can be in the heat of the pennant race come September.
And for the people that are belly aching that Alderson said that just because 50 million dollars is coming off of the books at the end of next season doesn’t mean they will spend it all – that’s just good baseball. You need to have extra cash on hand come the July trade deadline – something the Metshaven’t had in quite some time.
And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!
Today a pair of Bells are celebrating a birthday :
Mets utility infielsder from the ’03 season , Jay Bell is 45(1965).
Mets outfielder from the ’00 season,Derek Bell is 42(1968). I think he’s the only Met who moored himself across from Shea Stadium.
New York Mets traded infielder, Felix Mantilla to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher, Tracy Stallard, third baseman, Pumpsie Green and second baseman, Al Moran on December 11, 1962.
In one of the better deals that happened on this day, New York Mets traded utility man, Ted Martinez to the St. Louis Cardinals for Mike Vail and utilty infielder, Jack Heidemann on December 11, 1974.
New York Mets released releiver, Bob Apodaca on December 11, 1979.He would later on become the Mets pitching coach.
New York Mets traded second baseman, Doug Flynn and pitcher, Danny Boitano to the Texas Rangers for pitcher, Jim Kern on December 11, 1981.
New York Mets traded shortstop, Frank Taveras to the Montreal Expos for minor league pitcher, Steve Ratzer on December 11, 1981.
In another head scratching trade , New York Mets traded troubled – yet potent outfielder, Kevin Mitchell, and outfield prospects,Stan Jefferson and Shawn Abner to the San Diego Padres for power hitting outfielder, Kevin McReynolds, pitcher, Gene Walter and minor league infielder, Adam Ging on December 11, 1986. Yes Big Mac had a couple of good years with us, but Kevin Mitchell went on to be a star caliber outfielder.
In one of the very trades between the two teams, The New York Mets traded shortstop, Rafael Santana and pitching prospect, Victor Garcia to the New York Yankees for outfielder, Darren Reed, catcher, Phil Lombardi and pitcher, Steve Frey on December 11, 1987.
New York Mets traded reserve infielder, Jeff Gardner to the San Diego Padres for pitcher, Steve Rosenberg on December 11, 1991.
The Mets struck out with two signings on this day when they signed free agent Steve Trachsel of the Toronto Blue Jays and Kevin Appier of the Oakland Athletics on December 11, 2000. I hated these two signings. I felt that the Mets had pulled the bait and switch routine when they signed these two after backing out of the Alex Rodriguez sweepstakes. I still cringe when I hear Trachsel’s name to this day !
New York Mets signed free agent outfielder, Tsuyoshi Shinjo on December 11, 2000. Mets fans loved Shinjo. He had the looks of a male model ( he had graced the covers of many Japanesse magazines), and he was very eclectic. Unfortunately he did not adapt well to major league pitching.
New York Mets traded reserve outfielder, Bubba Trammell to the San Diego Padres for reliever, Donnie Wall on December 11, 2000.
New York Mets traded Alex Escobar, Jerrod Riggan, Matt Lawton, Billy Traber and Earl Snyder to the Cleveland Indians for second baseman Roberto Alomar, reliever,Mike Bacsik and Danny Peoples on December 11, 2001.This trade was supposed to be a major trade for the Mets. The received All Star second baseman, Alomar who was supposed to solidify the middle infield after the departure of Edgardo Alfonzo. Unfortunately Alomar forgot that he was a major league baseball player and not a Hall of Fame Statue and he went on to tarnish he stellar career during his tenure with the Mets. The trade would end up being a wash for both teams.
Los Angeles Angels signed spot starter/ long reliever, Darren Oliver of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2006. I think that Oliver was one of the more subtle keys to the success of that “06 team.
New York Mets traded pitcher, Aaron Heilman, reserve outfielder, Endy Chavez, middle reliever, Joe Smith, pitcher, Jason Vargas and minor league prospects, Mike Carp, Ezequiel Carrera and Maikel Cleto to the Seattle Mariners for relievers, Sean Green and J. J. Putz and reserve outfielder, Jeremy Reed on December 11, 2008. It was a trade that looked great on paper at the time, but Reed spent most of the year in the minors, while Putz suffered through arm injuries and Green just plain stunk up the joint. None of the three players we acquired that day are still with the Mets today.
Mets drafted Darren O’Day from the Los Angeles Angels on December 11, 2008. O’Day pitched very well during his brief stint with the Mets in ’09. I still can’t understand why Omar put him through waivers. He is now a major part of the Rangers bullpen.
Chicago White Sox signed middle reliever, J. J. Putz of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2009. And the dream of having a Dickey and A Putz on the same team ended before it could begin !
Houston Astros signed reliever, Jon Switzer of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2009.
And while you are out raking the ton of leaves into one huge pile, just remember that there are just 111 days until the Mets open the 2011 season against the Florida Marlins in Miami and only 118 days until the Mets 2011 home opener against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.
Mo Vaughn is upset that he wasn’t asked to be Santa Claus at the Mets Holiday Party at Citi Field on Tuesday.