Yesterday I published part one of my interview with WFAN radio personality and rabid Mets fan, Evan Roberts. In this – the final part of the interview we discuss everything from the Billy Wagner trade to Evan’s thoughts on the Francisco Rodriguez fiasco, and growing up a Mets fan. Enjoy !!
RJ: It’s funny how this organization has done a 180 degree turn from last season. Don’t you think the Mets should have offered Billy Wagner arbitration instead of trading him to the Red Sox for Chris Carter who – look was a pretty good off the bench player, but is a AAAA kind of player at best ? Wouldn’t you have rather gotten those draft picks instead ?
ER: That was very frustrating. I screamed about that the day that it happened. It really annoyed me because it was one of those things that were easy to get away with because most people aren’t aware with the whole situation of getting draft picks but- but for those of us who do , it was really insulting that the Mets would throw away the opportunity in draft picks just to save a couple of million dollars . Look I like Chris Carter. I love the Hulk Hogan music ” I’m The Real American” – that’s all great and all but like you hit it on the head . He’s a AAAA player at best. At best he is a left handed bat off the bench and there was no reason – no reason at all for the Mets to not hold on to Billy Wagner and get the draft picks. That was a cheap move by them, and I don’t know if you can really blame Omar for that . It was probably the Mets trying to save a couple of dollars. It just didn’t make any sense.
RJ: What are your thoughts on Francisco Rodriguez coming into this coming season?
ER: It’s tough , but I think Frankie will have a good year, a solid year. But I think the problem is that the Mets gotta make sure that he doesn’t finish alot of games because you cannot have that option picked up at seventeen and a half million dollars. we were talking to John Heyman about this yesterday about Papelbon being available – and I am not a big fan of the Mets spending eleven million dollars to bring another closer inhere . But the appeal of Papelbon for the Mets is that you make Frankie that eigth inning guy and you don’t have top worry about that option being picked up because wouldn’t it be awkward if we are sitting here in July and we are somewhat competitive , Frankie is closing out games and now here they are in a spot where they don’t want Frankie closing out games because you don’t want that option picked up. There would be this incredibly uncomfortable situation. Not that I think the Mets should go out and get Jonathan Papelbon – I don’t think getting him would make that much sense. But that would be the appeal about getting a guy like Papelbon. It would be easier not to have Frankie finish those games. But I think he will have a good year but that may be a problem . Nobody wants the Mets to pay this guy seventeen and a half million dollars in 2012 – that would not be good.
RJ: Do you see the Mets actually trying to trade him by the deadline ?
ER: Lets say if the Mets are competitive – like three and a half games out of the wild card which I don’t think is that crazy. We are talking about the wild card here not the Phillies. It’s going to be hard for Alderson to pull that white flag thing that the White Sox did ten years back when they are in a race and they trade everybody . I can’t see the Mets doing that here in New York. It’s a tricky spot because if they’re good then they are not going to trade off Frankie Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran . They would have to be out of it which no one would want to root for them to be out of it .But you don’t want the false hope of being three and a half games out so you can’t make a trade that will help you long term because you have to keep the team intact , then the Mets end up falling out of it in August or September anyway. And the other problem is how much value will Frankie have if he is in line to get that option picked up if he finishes enough games . That could actually hurt his value before July 31st.
RJ: Did it surprise you when Ike Davis admitted that the dynamic of the team changed when Carlos Beltran came back ?
ER: I don’t think that necessarily means that it’s a negative thing . i know the dugout of a team changes when you add a player like that but I don’t think that’s the main reason why the Mets started to struggle . The problem was, he came back and he wasn’t fully healthy but I don’t think that comment by Ike surprises me because I don’t think he meant it in a negative light . But Ike Davis, he’s great man. The way he handles the media – I heard him interviewed on Joe’s show ( they did separate shows that day) I got to meet him after that – he’s a really cool guy, very relaxed, very cool.
RJ:In the last couple of months of the season , Steve Phillips guest hosted on a couple of shows and he suggested that the Mets should bring Prince Fielder in did you kind of do a spit take ? I mean this was a guy who was the Mets general manager for a time and here he is suggesting these facacta moves that nobody would even dare to do ?
ER: Yeah that made no sense. i don’t know why he would even suggest that. Especially for a guy who is going to be a free agent after the year. So instead of trading Ike Davis for Prince Fielder, If you really love Prince Fielder then sign him and trade Ike Davis for pitching. But I don’t know why that would make that much sense – especially now when Ike Davis is probably the most popular Met – as crazy as that sounds. He may have surpassed David Wright with alot of Mets fans , and Ike is a very popular guy – so if you trade him – you don’t trade him for a guy who is about become a free agent and make big time money. That never made sense to me . I have mentioned this on the air before and I know it is unrealistic but I hold out hope that Albert Puljos makes it to free agency . And as much as I like Ike Davis I feel the move is Albert Puljos. And I asked Ike off the air If the Mets got Puljos would he be cool playing right field- and this is what I like about Ike . He said if we sign Albert Puljos , I’ll become a freekin relief pitcher ! He was very hell sure I’ll do whatever. That’s the Mike Piazza moment of this decade if the Mets get the opportunity to sign a guy of that magnitude, because that would change the perception of this team to everybody.
RJ: Growing up how did you become a Mets fan ?
ER: It’s all my dad’s fault. My dad spoiled me as a kid because he was a season ticket holder since 1973 and he had tickets in the Lodge level of Shea Stadium amd basically when I was a infant he would take me to Mets game with me and my sister. I really didn’t understand what was going on until I was six years old . We would go every single night, and he brainwashed me – so It’s all his fault.But now I take him to games I’m making it up because of all the games he has taken me to . When we moved to Citi Field I told him I’m taking over the box and I am taking you to games.
RJ: What ere your earliest memories of the Mets ?
ER: My earliest memories – I actually have flashes of 1988 and 1989 – I was very young . i was born in 1983so I was five or six. i don’t remember anything specific but I do remember seeing in 1989 on the top of the Mets dugout it said ” N.L East Champions” from the year before. I remember asking my dad what that meant and he tried to explain it to me but I didn’t entirely understand but my main memories are of the early ’90′s which is unfortunate because they were really bad. I remember Doc Gooden, I remember Darryl Strawberry leaving and being very upset. But the real memory of a entire season was 1992 and that is just a shame because it’s when they really got bad. I was really brought into it at a horrible time.
RJ: Who was you favorite Met growing up ?
ER: I really loved Rico Brogna ( first baseman from ’93-’95). He was my favorite. he was a first baseman and he was so good defensively I was really upset when they traded him for Toby Borland ( reliever from the Philadelphia Phillies). But I can’t really rip them because they got John Olerud a few weeks later in the Robert Persons trade.Before that it was Doc though. Because Doc was the star they had that old Doctor K video that they gave away at the game.
RJ: So who is your favorite Met now ?
ER: I’ll tell you it’s tough right now .I like Josh Thole – and I know he hasn’t done enough and I am excited that he is going to be the everyday catcher . I was a big fan of Pedro Feliciano – I mentioned that earlier. But I think right now if I had to pick a guy, Thole would be that guy and hopefully he sticks around long term. I want my picks to look smart. I don’t want him to be gone in a year and a half – that would not end well.
RJ: Well I did pick up a Frenchie jersey at Citi Field the other day for $ 15
ER:( laughing) WHAT ARE YOU DOING BUYING A FRENCHIE JERSEY AT THIS POINT !!
RJ: Come on I have a El Duque jersey
ER: Oh that’s just terrible .
RJ: Last question. Best case scenario how do you think the Mets will do this year ?
ER: You know they won 79 games last season . You would have to figure that Jason Bay would have to have a bounce back season . I think Beltran will have a big year in a contract year and that all helps David Wright so I think offensively we will be alot better. Pitching I’m scared about obviously . We wont have Johan back for a while, I don’t know if Ibuy R.A Dickey. I think if you pull it all together I would say 80-81 wins and if all breaks right they could be in the mid to high 80′s. But if I had to guess I’d say 81-81
RJ: Thank you for your time Evan.
ER: No problem