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Monday, October 31, 2011

Jeff Wilpon says Mets' sale of minority shares are going very well

According to the NY Daily News, Mets chief operating office Jeff Wilpon said Monday that his team's sale of minority shares was "going very well."

After negotiations with potential investor David Einhorn collapsed last month, the Mets - whose principal owners are Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz - decided to sell smaller shares of the team, for approximately $20 million apiece. Since then, there has been scant news about the process.

Wilpon said Monday that the club was under no pressure to complete all deals by a certain date.

"There is an internal timetable that we're not going to share, but there is not a deadline where we have to make sure that everything has to be done," he said. "Some of the people might never be public. I don t think anybody knows all the minority shareholders in the other teams... it's just not widely known."

The Mets have yet to announce the completion of any sales.

Images of the New Dimensions Next Year at Citi Field

New Dimensions at Citi Field next season

Davey Johnson to be back with Nationals in 2012

Johnson with Collins
Davey Johnson will be back as manager of the Washington Nationals in 2012.

The Nationals announced Monday that they’re picking up Johnson’s managerial option.

He took over as Washington’s manager in June, after Jim Riggleman abruptly resigned. The Nationals went 40-43 under Johnson and finished 80-81, in third place in the NL East.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said Monday “it became obvious that the Nationals would be best served” if the 68-year-old Johnson continued in the role.

The Nationals are the fifth major league club managed by Johnson, who won World Series titles as a player and a skipper. Johnson led the Mets to the 1986 World Series and was the 1997 AL Manager of the Year with the Baltimore Orioles.

Mets announce that they are modifying Citi-Field's Dimensions

Bring in those walls!

The Mets announced Monday they are moving the walls in by as much as 12 feet next season, lowering the height to 8 feet and changing the color to blue.

According to STATS LLC, Citi Field was last in the major leagues in home runs during its first three seasons with an average of 1.43 per game. The ballpark's 3.78 ERA was the sixth-lowest in the major leagues.

Faced with a 16-foot fence in left that became known as "The Great Wall of Flushing," David Wright's power numbers dropped sharply. After averaging 30 homers per year in the final three seasons at Shea Stadium, he averaged 18 a year at Citi Field.

The Mets are adding about 140 seats as part of the changes.

Milwaukee Brewers decline options for K-Rod and Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt

The Milwaukee Brewers declined the options for pitcher Francisco Rodriguez and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt on Sunday, making both players free agents.

Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod), who was acquired on July 12 of last season in a trade from the New York Mets, had a mutual option worth $17.5 million dollars for next season but will instead receive a $4 million buyout.

The major-league record holder for saves in a single season (62) had a 6-2 record with a 2.64 ERA and 23 saves last season, serving mainly as an eighth- inning man with Milwaukee.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jose Reyes and six other Mets players file for free agency

According to the NY Daily News, Seven Mets were among the 148 major leaguers listed by the Players' Association as free agents Sunday, but all winter intrigue in Flushing will involve one name,  Jose Reyes.

In addition to Reyes, Willie Harris, Scott Hairston, Chris Young, Chris Capuano, Jason Isringhausen and Miguel Batista will be able to sign with other clubs starting at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday. Until then, teams have exclusive negotiating rights with their players.

As the Daily News reported Friday, the Mets will not sign Reyes during that period, and will allow other teams to set the market for the shortstop. Once that market is set - and team insiders are expecting the process to stretch into December or beyond - the Mets will decide if they consider it reasonable.

Beyond that slow-rolling drama, the Mets are highly unlikely to be high-end shoppers this offseason. If they do not re-sign Reyes, the team will look at the middle of that 148-player list, not the top. Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and C.J. Wilson will wear other uniforms next season, as none of those top-tier names fits the Mets' needs and/or budget.

Closer Joe Nathan says Mets are on his radar

Roger Rubin of the Daily News was at The dedication ceremony for Stony Brook’s new baseball stadium yesterday culminated with big-league closer Joe Nathan throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.

It’s not a reach to envision that the next real pitch he throws will be in a Mets uniform.

“The Mets are a team on our radar for sure, but until we talk with them we can’t be sure how well we fit,” Nathan said Saturday in an exclusive interview with the Daily News. “I know what playing in New York is about and I know how passionate the fans are about the teams they like. ... I was a Met fan growing up and my friends from the area are giving me pressure to give them strong consideration.”

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson identified resolving the Jose Reyes situation and strengthening the club’s bullpen as the two top offseason priorities. With Reyes’ free agency shaping up to unfold slowly, the Mets could start addressing the relief corps first.

Nathan had a $12.5 million option with the Twins bought out for $2 million on Tuesday, making him a free agent. Though Twins GM Bill Smith said the club could try to re-sign him, the market for closers should be wide open with a number available and nearly as many openings.

After the midseason trade of Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers, the Mets gave several players a shot at the closer role but none performed consistently enough to earn the organization’s trust. In fact, the only Mets relievers that appear a certainty to be on the team for Opening Day 2012 are righthander Bobby Parnell and lefthander Tim Byrdak.

In many ways – aside from his roots in Circleville, N.Y., and his childhood rooting interest – the Mets and Nathan are potentially an excellent fit. The Mets won’t be huge spenders and the 36-year-old righthander is looking to re-establish himself as a top-tier closer after an uneven 2011 in Minnesota following 2010 Tommy John surgery. “We are prepared to go either way, with a long-term or short-term deal,” he said.

“I’ve put time in and worked my butt off to return to closing games,” Nathan added. “I’m at the spot now where I know next season will be a good season for me. I’m fully healthy.”

After saving 47 games in 2009 he missed all of 2010 with an elbow injury and made it back in less than a year to regain the closer’s role out of spring training last year. But he didn’t do well, lost the role and eventually went back on the disabled list. The second half of the season was a different story: he was 1-0 with 11 saves in 11 chances and a 3.91 ERA after the All-Star break.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mets name Tom Goodwin as their first base coach

The Mets continued revamping their coaching staff on Saturday, naming Tom Goodwin their first-base coach. Goodwin, 43, was the minor league outfield and base-running coordinator for the Boston Red Sox for the last three seasons.

He replaces Mookie Wilson, who was removed from the post this month and was offered an opportunity to remain with the club in another capacity.

Among the previously named new members of the Mets’ staff for 2012 are Tim Teufel, who managed the organization’s Class AAA team in Buffalo, as third-base coach; Ricky Bones, who was the pitching coach in Buffalo, as bullpen coach; and Bob Geren, the former manager of the Oakland Athletics, as bench coach.

Dave Hudgens, the hitting coach, and Dan Warthen, the pitching coach, were retained by the Mets.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mets to make "modest offer" to Jose Reyes?

According to Andy Martino of the NY Daily News, The Mets will make a modest offer and see if he is content and they will step back while he collects proposals and allows other clubs to set his market value.

Martino reports that is the Mets' negotiating strategy with their free-agent shortstop, according to people familiar with the team’s thinking.

The Mets have a five-day window for exclusive talks after the World Series, but will not re-sign Reyes during that time.

Unsure what Reyes will be able to command on the open market - and if his price will remain within a range they consider reasonable - the Mets say they see no point in beginning talks by presenting an offer that is close to their best or final one.

"Jose is not going to be a quick process," said one source. 'The fan base would love for it to be that way, but a quick process would mean that he will not be a Met. Let him go do the dance, and see how (other teams) value him. Why should we set the market?"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Madoff's Family may keep about $82 Million under Mets ruling

Ruth Madoff 
Bernard L. Madoff’s family would keep about $82 million of “other investors’ money” under a ruling that limited a bankruptcy trustee to claiming from the owners of the New York Mets only two years of withdrawals from the Ponzi scheme, according to a court filing.

The confidence man’s family took out $141 million in the six years before Madoff’s firm went bankrupt in 2008, of which less than $59 million was taken in the two years before the bankruptcy, trustee Irving Picard said in a filing. Many other investors are trying to hang onto “stolen” money from fictitious trading that belongs to customers who took losses in the fraud, he said.

Picard wrote about the Madoff family in court papers filed after U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff told him to explain why another investor, James Greiff, shouldn’t keep money he says he took “in good faith” from the Ponzi scheme. Rakoff’s Madoff caseload includes Picard’s suits against the Mets owners and Greiff.

The trustee’s argument “is good for two reasons,” said Nancy Rapoport, a bankruptcy-law professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in an e-mail. “It puts the amount of money at risk front-and-center, and it explains how easy it would be for people to hide behind fake securities transactions to circumvent bankruptcy law.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Buckner Ball

The Buckner Ball

This image on the right is the baseball that went through Bill Buckner's legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, allowing the New York Mets to go on to win the championship.

With the Mets one strike away from defeat, Gary Carter and Kevin Mitchell singled. Then, Ray Knight singled to make the score 5-4. Next, came the Mets' speedy centerfielder, Mookie Wilson. Down to his last strike, he fouled off pitch after pitch. Then, Bob Stanley threw a wild pitch and Wilson hit a bounding ball up the first line, but, as first baseman Buckner waited for the ball to come up, it stayed down, skipping under his legs. Ray Knight scored, the Mets had the game and, soon after, the series.

When the ball skipped under Buckner's glove and went into right field, it was picked up by umpire Ed Montague. Later on, to help identify the ball, he put a small "X" on it. He then gave the ball to Arthur Richman.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mets Owners Say, "Judge Shouldn't Approve Irving Picard's Appeal"

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff shouldn't approve the liquidator of Bernard Madoff's firm to appeal a ruling that cut a $1 billion case against the New York Mets owners by two-thirds, the team owners said.

Trustee Irving Picard assailed Judge Rakoff's ruling earlier this month, saying it “arbitrarily” allowed Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz to keep fictitious profits from the Ponzi scheme. Mr. Picard asked the judge to make a final ruling so he could appeal, or to allow an appeal before trial. The Major League Baseball team's owners urged Judge Rakoff to reject the request in a court filing.

“There is no hardship or injustice that would result from waiting another six months to raise any and all appealable issues at one time,” Messrs. Wilpon and Katz said in the Oct. 21 filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Picard didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the filing.

Judge Rakoff last month set a March 19 trial date for Mr. Picard's remaining case against the Mets owners after dismissing nine of 11 counts. He said Mr. Picard could try to take back two years of money withdrawn from the Ponzi scheme, or about $386 million.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rumor Mill: Mets to explore the trade market for David Wright

The New York Post's Joel Sherman reports that the Mets will likely at least explore the market for Wright, but there's not a good chance he'll be moved.

"We'll explore Wright's market," a team official told Sherman. "I think considering where we are as an organization, it would be foolish not to at least look at it. However, I expect actually pulling the trigger is a long shot."

The Mets have had reported financial issues, so moving Wright could make sense. He's guaranteed $15 million for the 2012 season, and New York also has a team option for 2013. If they don't renew that option, they're on the hook for a $1 million buyout.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mets making adjustments to Citi-Field's wall heights and dimensions

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN NY,  Substantial dimension changes to Citi Field will be announced after the World Series, in an effort to make the 3-year-old ballpark more hitter-friendly, a team official confirmed.

Citi Field allowed 1.33 homers per game last season, which ranked 14th among 16 National League ballparks, ahead of only San Francisco's AT&T Park (1.00) and San Diego's Petco Park (1.23).

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said last month that the intention was to make Citi Field more neutral -- not to tilt the balance in favor of hitters.

Alderson added at the time that offense sells. And the Mets need to fill seats, having experienced three straight seasons of declining attendance.

"We're not looking for an advantage with respect to home runs versus visitors' home runs," Alderson said last month. "At the same time, I think there is some sense that the park is a little more overwhelming to a team that spends half its time there as opposed to a team that comes in for three games and doesn't really have to alter an approach or think about it too much and leaves."

The 16-foot wall in left field will remain because it is structural, but a new 8-foot wall will be erected in front of it, a team source said.

The new left-field wall will not be constructed exactly parallel to the old wall. That would make it too close down the left-field line. Instead, a more modest reduction in depth will occur at the left-field foul pole, with a wider gap between the new and old walls in left-center.

Additional seating is expected to be added between the new and old walls, although there cannot be the same number of rows added throughout that area because of the different space between the walls in the corner versus in left-center.

In right field, where the "Mo's Zone" nook currently exists, the fencing will be moved closer to eradicate that crevice.

A dramatic change will occur in right-center, which had measured 415 feet from home plate. The new depth is expected to be 390 feet -- a 25-foot reduction. That should particularly benefit third baseman David Wright, whose natural power is to right-center.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mets and Yankees are planning to play two exhibition games against each other in spring training next year

According to the Wall Street Journal , the Mets and Yankees are tentatively planning to play two exhibition games against each other toward the end of spring training next year, according to two baseball officials familiar with the schedule. Under the plan being discussed, the teams would play one game at the Mets' spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and the other game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

They would mark the first spring training games between the New York teams since 1996. The teams used to play each other regularly in the spring, with the Yankees winning 45 of 87 games all-time.

But when the Yankees moved their spring training base from Fort Lauderdale to Tampa in 1996, the travel became inconvenient. And after the start of the Subway Series in 1997, the novelty wore off.

This year, though, the Yankees are already planning to travel to the southeast coast of Florida for a pair of exhibition games at the Miami Marlins' new ballpark April 1 and 2. And the Mets are looking to diversify their schedule, which is limited by the dwindling number of nearby teams located along the I-95 corridor.

Former Mets GM Omar Minaya interviewed for the Angels opening

Former Mets GM Omar Minaya interviewed for the Angels opening yesterday.

Minaya served as the Mets general manager from 2005-10, overseeing the team's NL East title in 2006 and its near-misses in 2007 and 2008.

The Mets went 70-92 in 2009 before going 79-83 in 2010, after which Minaya was replaced by Sandy Alderson.

According to ESPN, Kim Ng, MLB senior VP of baseball operations and former Yankees assistant, also is interviewing for the spot.

Yankees executives Damon Oppenheimer and Billy Eppler also are in the mix for the position.

Mets Release Ryota Igarashi

New York Mets fans, your long regional nightmare is over. After 79 mostly ineffective appearances over the past two years, right-handed reliever Ryota Igarashi will pitch elsewhere in 2012, according to a Thursday report from ESPN New York's Adam Rubin.

The 32-year-old Igarashi will be a free agent due to a clause in his contract that allows him to become such if he and the Mets could not agree on a deal at the end of his two-year, $3 million contract.

Igarashi pitched 69 innings for the Mets and allowed a 5.74 ERA while going 5-2. Though he put together a strong stretch during the middle of July this year after tweaking his splitter, the reliever hit a rut and allowed eight runs in 11 innings during August. His interpreter, Michael Peters, became a popular subject for profile pieces within the New York media.

Ex-Mets Player Dykstra Convicted of Auto Theft in Los Angeles

Lenny Dykstra, a former player for Major League Baseball's New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, was convicted of three counts of grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement after declining to challenge the charges.

Dykstra, 48, pleaded "no contest" in court yesterday and faces as long as four years in state prison, according to a statement on the website of the Los Angeles County District Attorney. He was released pending his sentencing on Jan. 20, according to the statement.

Dykstra was charged in June for allegedly trying to lease cars using phony business cards and credit information and with drug possession. The previous month, Dykstra had been charged by federal prosecutors of looting his mansion in Thousand Oaks, California, and selling items belonging to the bankruptcy estate.

Ted Flier, Dykstra's lawyer, didn't immediately return a call to his office seeking comment on the plea after regular business hours yesterday.

The case is People v. Dykstra, PA070678, California Superior Court (Los Angeles County).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Video: "Doc" Gooden admits he missed the team's championship parade in '86 because he was in a drug-induced haze

Former New York Mets ace Dwight "Doc" Gooden admits he missed the team's World Series championship parade in 1986 because he was in a drug-induced haze.

Gooden, who has battled drug problems during and after his career, told ESPN that he attended a party in the projects on Long Island after a team party ended following the Mets' Game 7 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

"When the party started winding down, for myself, a lot of times I get to a certain point of using drugs, the paranoia sticks in," Gooden told ESPN. "So I end up leaving the party with the team, going to these projects, of all places, in Long Island. Hang out there.

"Then you know what time you have to be at the ballpark to go into the city for the parade, but I'm thinking 'OK, I've got time.' And the clocks, I mean the rooms are spinning. I said, 'OK, I'll leave in another hour. OK, maybe in 30 minutes I'll leave. Well, maybe 15 more minutes I'll leave. Then the next thing you know, the parade's on and I'm watching the parade on TV. ... Horrible, horrible feeling."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Nationals returned Rule 5 pick Elvin Ramirez to the Mets

The Nationals returned Rule 5 pick Elvin Ramirez to the Mets, the team announced in a news release.

Ramirez, a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher, missed the entire season after undergoing shoulder surgery. The Nationals technically kept Ramirez on their 25-man roster all season, but since he spent the entire year on the disabled list the Nationals would have had to keep Ramirez on their 25-man roster all of next season in order to keep him in the organization.

The Nationals chose Ramirez from the Mets with the sixth pick of last December’s Rule 5 draft. Ramirez, 24, has thrown only 6 2/3 innings above Class A. The Nationals will get $25,000 back from the Mets in the transaction.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rumor Mill: Olney says, "parade of teams" are forming ask the availability of David Wright

According to ESPN.com's Buster Olney, a "parade of teams" are forming to ask the Mets about the availability of third baseman David Wright.

Among the suitors could be the Arizona Diamondbacks, Olney says.

And recently, Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post said the Colorado Rockies are expected to be "aggressive in their pursuit" of the soon-to-be 29-year-old this winter.

The Mets reportedly are not interested in trading the slugger as of yet.  If the right deal presented itself, you might have to ponder it.  Hey the Mets have not gotten better since 2006 , only worse..    - DD

Wally Backman Talks Mets Baseball with Ed Randall on WFAN

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wally Backman is staying in Mets Organization

According to Dan Martin of the NY Post, Wally Backman isn’t going anywhere- except maybe Buffalo.

Backman admitted yesterday he considered leaving for a potential spot on Davey Johnson's staff with the Washington Nationals, but opted to remain with the organization that drafted him.

"There was some thought," Backman said of leaving on WFAN Saturday. "It was a long-thought process. I started at 17 years old with the Mets and I'm gonna stay with the Mets."

After managing the Mets' Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones team in 2010 and then Double-A Binghamton last year, the 52-year-old Backman figures to be in line to become Triple-A Buffalo's manager this season, replacing last year's manager at Buffalo, Tim Teufel, who was recently was moved up to be the Mets' third base coach.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Owners of the Mets are seeking to avoid a jury trial

The owners of the Mets are seeking to avoid a jury trial in the case filed against them by the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s fraud. The owners could be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in the case.

In papers filed Friday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, lawyers for the team’s owners said that the trustee, Irving H. Picard, “is not entitled to a jury trial” because the two remaining claims arise out of the bankruptcy code. Generally, bankruptcy courts are not authorized to conduct jury trials.

They are saying, in essence, that a case that started in Federal Bankruptcy Court but is now being heard in United States District Court should be tried under bankruptcy rules by Judge Jed S. Rakoff. Picard responded with a request for a jury trial. “Despite the defendants’ trepidation to submit to a jury’s judgment, the trustee’s constitutional right remains,” his filing said. “Nothing here impedes that.”

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jim Riggleman Out of mix, Bob Geren looking like the clear cut winner for bench coach

According to Mike Puma of the NY Post, Bob Geren is close to becoming Mets bench coach.

An official announcement won’t come before next week, because the team still plans to speak with Dave Jauss, who served as bench coach for manager Jerry Manuel in 2010. But the other prime candidate for the job, Jim Riggleman, is no longer in the mix.

Though manager Terry Collins is believed to have favored his longtime friend, Riggleman, the Mets front office championed Geren, who was fired as Oakland’s manager in June. Geren is highly regarded by Oakland general manager Billy Beane, who worked for Mets GM Sandy Alderson in the 1990s with the Athletics.

With Geren on board, the lone coaching vacancy would be at first base.

Geren’s communication skills came under fire during his Oakland tenure. Pitcher Huston Street made his feelings known about his former manager after joining the Rockies.

“For me personally, he was my least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27,” Street told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Video: Al Leiter (sort of) confirms Mets had a Porn Room at Shea Stadium

Today on The Dan Patrick Show, MLB Network analyst Al Leiter came on to discuss the controversy surrounding an explosive article about the Red Sox’ late-season collapse.

Leiter, who pitched for the New York Mets from 1998-2004, was asked if this supposedly toxic environment in Boston’s locker room was really that bad in the grand scheme of things.

Don’t all baseball teams do things like this? Weren’t there distractions in the Mets’ clubhouse? Specifically: wasn’t there a “porn room” in Shea Stadium?

It very well could be one of those mythologized things, like the Holy Grail or your friend’s dad’s collection of Playboys, that is widely rumored but never confirmed. Thus, Leiter could’ve easily dismissed it as a rumor. We would’ve believed him, and everyone would’ve gone on with their day thinking there was no such thing as the Shea Stadium porn room.

Except… Leiter seemed to be caught off guard by the question. He fumbled for an answer. He laughed uncomfortably. He talked about “political correctness” and how things were “different” once upon a time, and how the old ballparks had “nooks and crannies” where guys would… sleep. As he tried to explain away the non-existent porn room, the porn room seemed to exist more and more. In short: it sounds like ol’ Shea Stadium had a porn room.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mets Looking at Bob Geren for Bench Coach, Not Larry Bowa

The Mets are making progress in its search for a bench coach, according to NJ Star Ledger..

One candidate,  former Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman interviewed yesterday. Another candidate,  former Oakland Athletics manager Bob Geren will interview later this week, while Larry Bowa is not considered a candidate.

When the Mets axed Ken Oberkfell last week, part of a major shake-up to the big-league staff, team officials explained they were looking for a bench coach with big-league experience to complement Collins. Bowa spent three seasons on Collins’ staff with the Anaheim Angels in the late 1990s.

Today, the MLB Network reported that Bowa would interview. Bowa, the fiery former manager in San
Diego and Philadelphia, works as an analyst for the network.

Gary Carter Receives Encouraging News

According to Adam Rubin of  ESPN NY, An MRI exam at Duke University revealed positive news in Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter's battle with cancerous brain tumors, daughter Kimmy Bloemers wrote in an online journal.

Carter's doctors informed the family that the tumors have shrunk 10 percent from a previous MRI exam, and approximately 75 percent since the initial detection.

"Parts of the tumors are actually dying," Bloemers wrote in the private journal, to which the family has granted access to ESPNNewYork.com.

Irving Picard Won't Go Away, Appeals US District Court Judges Ruling..

Douche bag 
The liquidator of Bernard Madoff’s firm assailed a judge’s ruling in a $1 billion lawsuit against the New York Mets owners, saying it “arbitrarily” gave some of the con man’s investors fictitious profits that “all customers were previously denied” by a higher court ruling.

Trustee Irving Picard made the statements in a filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Picard also asked U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff to clear the way for an appeal of his ruling.

Rakoff last month cut Picard’s suit against the baseball team’s owners by two-thirds, saying he could try to reclaim only two years of withdrawals from the Ponzi scheme. The ruling, which would allow Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz to keep purported profits resulting from Madoff’s “machinations,” was “in direct contravention” of an appeals court ruling that ruled out account statements as a basis for compensating Madoff investors for losses, Picard said in his Oct. 7 filing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mets GM Sandy Alderson thinks stabilizing bullpen including closer will be top priority this winter

Matt Capps could be on Mets radar?
The Mets entering free agency this winter have $55 million tied up in just three players that include Johan Santana, David Wright and Jason Bay.

If they do not re-sign shortstop Jose Reyes, who would almost certainly cost them upwards of $20 million per season, the Mets still must fill out a large chunk of their Opening Day roster through free agency.

Given the team's holes, it would not seem prudent for the Mets to spend roughly one-fifth of their remaining budget on any closer, let alone one with a history of personal issues in New York. Toss in Alderson's perceived (if not entirely accurate) reluctance to spend significant money on closers in general, and it seems beyond unlikely that Rodriguez will return to Flushing.

Sandy Alderson did recently indicate that stabilizing the bullpen will be a top priority this winter.

"If you look at the bullpen as one of those areas of particular disappointment, I think we were thin there to begin with," Alderson said. "Really, most critical was [the loss of] Frankie. It led to a number of auditions for that closer role and some uncertainty as to other roles, and there's no question that blowing saves at a pretty spectacular rate is pretty debilitating on a team."

Outside of signing D.J. Carrasco, who struggled mightily after signing a guaranteed two-year, $2.4 million deal, the Mets spent almost no money on their bullpen last winter.

Discounting Carrasco and Rodriguez, whom former general manager Omar Minaya had inked to a three-year deal, the Mets committed a combined $3 million to the other five relievers on their Opening Day roster.

A group that included two Minor League signings and a Rule 5 Draft pick and represented less than three percent of their payroll.

Bud Selig says "no timetable" for Mets to repay $25 Million Dollar Loan

Fox sports reports there is no timetable for the Mets to repay the $25 million they received last season from Major League Baseball, according to commissioner Bud Selig.

But Selig, speaking to reporters last night before the Brewers faced the Cardinals in Game 2 of the NLCS at Miller Park, indicated he's satisfied with the progress the Mets have made trying to rectify their financial problems.

The Mets recently ended negotiations with David Einhorn to buy a minority stake in the team, and principal owner Fred Wilpon will instead attempt to sell small blocks of the franchise to friends and family.

"I don't have any concerns," Selig said. "I've talked to Fred a lot about it, and they seem to be making good progress at what they're trying to do. He feels comfortable with it, and I really don't [have concerns] at this point. They've made no demands or anything. They seem to be moving along in the right path."

Nevertheless, Selig said there is no timetable in place for the Mets to repay their loan.
"We haven't discussed that -- I don't know that," Selig said. "But it will be paid back."

Wally Backman Leaving Mets Organization?

According to the New York Post, Wally Backman is “considering the possibility” of teaming up in Washington with former Mets manager Davey Johnson.

Johnson, who led Backman and the Mets to a World Series title in 1986, would likely hire Backman as the Nationals’ third base coach, the paper reported. He also “may look to groom” Backman to take over as manager.

Many Mets fans have been clamoring for the fiery 52-year-old to get his shot with the big league club. Backman was a finalist for the Mets’ managerial job last year after the team fired Jerry Manuel.

Terry Collins eventually beat out Backman, Chip Hale and Bob Melvin. New York exercised Collins’ option for 2013 just before the end of this year’s 77-85 season.

Could there be a K-Rod/Mets Re-union???

According to the Sporting News, Francisco Rodriguez may find himself welcomed back in Queens this offseason.

A day after the Mets' former closer said he'd be willing to return to New York, a club official told ESPNNewYork.com that it would consider re-signing Rodriguez as a free agent.

Francisco Rodriguez may have one unlikely suitor this offseason: the Mets.

"We haven't ruled anything out," the official told the website Monday. "We need a closer. It is a long way down the road. We haven't had those meetings yet. But, for us, I wouldn't rule anything out."

The Mets traded Rodriguez to the Milwaukee Brewers last July in a money-saving move. Rodriguez could have earned $17.5 million next season if his 2012 option had vested. Rodriguez agreed to drop the option after joining the Brewers to so he could test the market this winter and ensure he'll be a closer again.

On Sunday, Rodriguez told reporters that he had no hard feelings toward the Mets and would consider coming back to the club. Rodriguez, 29, was the team’s closer for 2 1/2 seasons.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Former Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman will interview Wednesday with the New York Mets to become the team’s bench coach

Former Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman will interview Wednesday with the New York Mets to become the team’s bench coach, a person with knowledge of the plans said today. The Mets released bench coach Ken Oberkfell at the end of the season, and Mets Manager Terry Collins called Riggleman last week to gauge his interest in the position.

Riggleman resigned abruptly as the Nationals’ manager over a contract dispute this June immediately following a victory that gave the Nationals their best winning stretch in six years. He served as Nationals manager from the middle of the 2009 season until this year, going 140-172. He came to the Nationals in 2009 as Manny Acta’s bench coach.

Riggleman’s unusual and stunning departure led some to wonder if he would resurface in baseball. It turns out that he might with one of the Nationals’ divisional rivals.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Contract talks for Jose Reyes have not started yet...

The off-season is officially here for the Mets, but Jose Reyes ' contract negotiations have not started yet according to Nick Klopsis of Newsday.

The four-time All-Star shortstop said Thursday that the Mets have not reached out to him yet regarding a new deal.

"They'll probably start up within the next few days," the free-agent-to-be said at a red-carpet event for ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue. "But right now, every thing's quiet."

Reyes is coming off a five-year, $33.75 million contract extension. The 28-year-old shortstop is widely considered one of the top prizes this offseason after recording a National League -best .337 average.

Reyes had asked the Mets front office during spring training to table all contract negotiations until the end of the season.

Under Major League Baseball free-agency rules, the Mets are the only team currently permitted to speak with Reyes. All other potential suitors must wait until after the World Series .

Reyes said that he would like to stay in New York, but recognizes that it may not happen.

"I've always said that I wanted to stay here," said Reyes, who has been the longest-tenured player on the Mets. "But at the same time, I understand that this is a business, and we just need to wait and see what happens."

The speedy shortstop has been criticized for the way he won the National League batting crown. After recording a bunt single to lead off the bottom of the first against the Cincinnati Reds on Sept. 28, he took himself out of the game to protect his lead over Milwaukee's Ryan Braun , who ended with a .332 average.

But Reyes insisted that the criticism has not gotten to him.

"I don't care what other people say," he said. "The Mets had never won a batting title before, so I did it for the team and the fans."

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Johan Santana wraping up rehab this week, will be ready for 2012 Season

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN NY, Johan Santana's 2011 rehab will end this week with no more game action.

Santana tossed four innings last Friday in the instructional league in Fort Myers, Fla. He will long toss and play light catch through Saturday, then shut down his activity for the winter with the instructional league ending.

"Johan feels very good and is looking forward to 2012," GM Sandy Alderson said in a statement. "We are optimistic that Johan will be able to begin and maintain a spring training schedule with all other Mets pitchers next February and will be ready for the start of the 2012 season."

Santana underwent Sept. 14, 2010 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. He did not appear in the majors this season.

Mets Bench Coach Candidates Include Four Former Major League Managers

Ex-Phillies Manager Bowa

Four Former major league managers Jim Riggleman, John McLaren, Bob Geren and Larry Bowa appear on the New York Mets' internal list of candidates to become bench coach, organization sources told ESPNNewYork.com.

Not all of those candidates have yet been contacted, since the Mets did not formally dismiss bench coach Ken Oberkfell until Wednesday and are still brainstorming candidates, a source added.

  • Riggleman, 58, was in his third season managing the Washington Nationals this year when he resigned 75 games into the season in a dispute with the front office over his job status and coaches undermining his authority. He could be a particular asset to the Mets because of his familiarity with the National League and particularly division.
  • McLaren, 60, served on the Nationals staff this season as Riggleman's bench coach and briefly served as interim manager after Riggleman's departure. McLaren previously spent parts of two seasons managing the Seattle Mariners.
  • Geren, 50, managed the Oakland Athletics from 2007 through his dismissal 63 games into this past season.
  • Bowa, 65, has six seasons of managerial experience with the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres. He currently is employed by the MLB Network as a studio analyst after serving four seasons as the Los Angeles Dodgers' third-base coach.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tim Teufel gets added to 2012 Coaching Staff, As Four Coaches will not be back

The New York Mets said Wednesday that four coaches won't return next season.

Bench coach Ken Oberkfell, third base coach Chip Hale, first base coach Mookie Wilson and bullpen coach Jon Debus will not be back, while hitting coach Dave Hudgens and pitching coach Dan Warthen will return to manager Terry Collins' staff for 2012.

Former Mets infielder Tim Teufel, who was managing at Triple-A Buffalo, will be the new third base coach and Ricky Bones will step in as bullpen coach.

Last week, the Mets exercised the 2013 contract option for Collins after he guided the team to a 77-85 record in his first season at the helm.

The Mets have missed the playoffs each of the last five years.

Mets drop ticket prices for third straight year

The Mets are cutting some ticket prices for the third straight year at Citi Field after another losing season. The team also said Tuesday it will introduce what is known as “dynamic” pricing for individual tickets – meaning the value of seats may fluctuate based on demand.

The Mets, beset by financial and attendance problems, said the cost of season tickets will be slashed by up to 39 percent. Prices were lowered by 10-20 percent after Citi Field’s first season, then by an average of 14 percent following 2010.

New York drew 2.35 million in its third season at Citi Field, down from 2.57 million last year and 3.15 million in 2009. It was the Mets’ lowest total since 2004, when they played at Shea Stadium.

Rumor Mill: Colorado Rockies could make a strong push for David Wright trade this winter???

According to the Denver Post, The Rockies want to make a strong push for David Wright this off-season.

General manager Dan O'Dowd has targeted an innings-guzzling starter and impact bat as offseason priorities. The Rockies would love to add a right-handed slugger to protect cleanup hitter Troy Tulowitzki. That would allow the Rockies to drop Todd Helton to the sixth spot.

Wright can be that man, but the Mets don't intend on dealing the face of the franchise, especially with fellow star player Jose Reyes set to hit free agency.

Third basemen Ian Stewart, once heralded prospect - failed spectacularly, Ty Wigginton left such a sour taste in Colorado's mouth they want to deal him even it means eating money, and Jordan Pachecho isn't anyone's idea of a viable player even if he could succeed in a platoon.

The Rockies would certainly have to give up some of their starting pitching depth in any deal with the Mets, as GM Sandy Alderson is keying in on those positions.

Colorado could also theoretically ship Wigginton to New York as a temporary fill-in, and the team could also discuss top third-base prospect Nolan Arenado.

If Wright is a no-go, the team could revisit a trade for the Pirates' Pedro Alvarez or San Diego's Chase Headley, whom the club attempted to get earlier in the season. The Rockies would trade away Stewart in that case, although the team is loathe to part with Stewart at the nadir of his value. Still, the club is sufficiently frustrated enough with Stewart and his lack of preparation for 2011 to be ready to move on.

"He has to make baseball his first priority from the start of the winter until the end of it," Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd said. "If he's willing to do that, we are willing to give him another opportunity."

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Game 4 Pitcher and Mets Fan Tries To Eliminate Yankees

Rick Porcello
West Orange NJ's own Rick Porcello doesn't know how it happened. His parents were Yankees fans. They would even let him skip one day of school per year to go to the old Yankee Stadium, but for some reason he became a Mets fan.
"I guess when I was pretty much old enough to start following baseball and really be in touch with the players was right around the 2000 [Mets] team and they went to the World Series," the 22-year-old Porcello said. "I just rooted for them. I always liked the fact that they were kind of more of an underdog in New York."
Porcello is the favorite against A.J. Burnett. There is an assumption that with Burnett on the mound, the Yankees don't have a shot. But Porcello has not been great. There is a reason he is the Tigers' fourth-starter. He was 14-9, but his ERA was 4.75. His home ERA was 5.64.

New York Yankees Career statistics vs. Rick Porcello
Robinson Cano11 5 1 0 0 1 0 0 .455 .455 .545 1.000
Eric Chavez2 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 .500 .500 1.500 2.000
Brett Gardner9 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .111 .200 .111 .311
Curtis Granderson5 2 0 0 0 1 0 2 .400 .400 .400 .800
Derek Jeter9 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Andruw Jones2 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 .500 .750 .500 1.250
Russell Martin4 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 .250 .500 .250 .750
Eduardo Nunez3 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .667 .667 .667 1.333
Ramiro Pena7 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .143 .143 .143 .286
Jorge Posada9 3 1 0 0 1 2 0 .333 .455 .444 .899
Alex Rodriguez4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .250 .500
Nick Swisher10 3 0 0 1 4 2 2 .300 .417 .600 1.017
Mark Teixeira10 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .100 .182 .100 .282

"I have high expectations for myself and I don't think it was nearly as well as I'm capable of pitching over the course of an entire year," Porcello said.
Porcello said his parents are no longer Yankees fans. Well, his mom still likes one player.
"Mom loves Derek Jeter," Porcello said. "[She] might like him more than me."
 Source: ESPN

I know I will be rooting for the Tigers (Who I want to go All the way) a little more now that Mr. Porcello is a Orange and Blue Wearing Mets Fan on the inside... Go Tigers!! 

Monday, October 03, 2011

Mets Start Reshaping the Landscape, Let Go Pat Misch and Mike O'Connor

Pat Misch
With the regular season ending only days ago, the first to go are the Minor League free agents.

For the Mets, the fleeing few have been Pat Misch and Mike O’Connor.

Misch had been with the Mets since 2009, claimed off waivers from the San Francisco Giants. The lefty enjoyed two respectable campaigns with the Mets, owning a 4.00 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and a 2.00 K/BB in 96.6 innings from 2009 to 2010. However, Misch couldn’t find a fit with the team in 2011, leading to multiple DFA’s and a forgettable 10.29 ERA, 2.14 WHIP, and 1.25 K/BB in just 7 innings.

Mike O’Connor was first signed by the Mets in 2010, but never pitched above Triple-A. But in 2011, the 30 year-old lefty was called-up on May 7, and pitched well for the Mets–posting a 2.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 2.67 K/BB. Despite his success at the Major League level, O’Connor only posted a 5.22 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, and 3.47 K/BB in 60.3 Minor League innings.

It’s possible either or both pitchers can still be re-signed, but it’s fair to say both are very replaceable.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

ESPN: Are the Mets of 2007 off the hook for being the worst collapse of all time?

Are the 2007 Mets, who squandered a seven-game lead with 17 to play, now off the hook?

Mets fans will never forget the flop, but history now will be more kind.

Here's a primer on collapses by the 2011 Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves ...

Top Thing to Know

The Rays capped the greatest September comeback in MLB history by edging the Red Sox for the AL wild card. The Cardinals matched the biggest September comeback in NL history by edging the Braves for the wild card.


• On Aug. 27, the Red Sox swept a doubleheader from the Athletics. That's the last time they won back-to-back games all season. They led the AL East by two games at that point. The Rays were nine games out. The Red Sox then lost three of four to the Yankees, beginning their collapse. They closed by losing 21 of their last 29 games and went 7-20 in September.

• In their final game, the Red Sox led by a run going into the ninth inning. They were 76-0 when leading after eight innings. They allowed two runs in the ninth inning and lost, 4-3, losing the wild card to the Rays, who rallied from 7-0 down to beat the Yankees. It was the Yankees' biggest blown lead in the eighth inning or later since 1953. It was about as improbable a combination of events as you could imagine.

Orioles win probability, bottom of 9th

Mid 9 (BOS 3-2), 22.9%
Jones K (1 out), 13.5
Reynolds K (2 out), 5.7
Davis 2B, 16.7
Reimold 2B (tied 3-3), 63.9
Andino 1B (BAL 4-3), 100.0

Rays win probability, 8th/9th innings

Mid 8 (NYY 7-0), 0.58%
Bases loaded, 0 out, 3.89
Fuld walk (7-1), 7.41
Rodriguez HBP (7-2), 13.54
Jennings K (1 out), 8.26
Upton SF (2 out, 7-3), 4.43
Longoria HR (7-6), 22.26
End 8 (NYY 7-6), 18.42

Mid 9 (NYY 7-6), 22.89
2 outs, nobody on, 5.62
1-2 count to Johnson, 3.61
Johnson HR (tied 7-7), 56.08

• The Braves were 81-55 through Sept. 1 and seemingly were in command of the NL wild-card race, with an 8 1/2 game lead over the Cardinals. They were leading the Dodgers 5-0 at home on Sept. 2, but blew the game, losing 8-6. That started their collapse. They went 9-18 to end the regular season, blowing a ninth-inning lead to the Phillies in the final game and lost the NL wild card to the Cardinals by a game.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Mets Statistical Year in Review

Mets Statistical Year in Review - From ESPN/Baseball-Reference

  • The Mets went 77-85 in 2011. It’s the second time in team history that they won exactly 77 games, the first coming 20 years ago in a very disappointing 1991 season.
  • These Mets scored 718 runs, 12th-most in team history, but second-most in a losing season. They scored 746 runs when they went 71-91 in 1996.
  • The Mets had an-NL leading 309 doubles, second-most in team history, trailing only the 323 of the 2011 squad. It marked the second time the team led the league in doubles, the other coming in 1989.
  • The Mets led the National League in walks drawn for the first time since 1992. It’s a category they also led in both 1962 (the lowest of lows) and 1986 (the highest of highs).
  • The Mets finished second in the National League in on-base percentage (.335), their highest NL ranking since 1999, when they led the league. The only other seasons they were a top-two team were three pretty good years-- 1986 to 1988.
  • This season marked the first 162-game season in which the Mets did not have a player play 130 games with the team. The Mets also were without 130-game players in 1972, 1981, and 1994. The 1972 season could also count- it was a 156-game season due to a player strike. No Met finished with more than 122 games.
Jose, Jose, Jose
  • Jose Reyes is the second player in Mets history to lead the National League in most at-bats per strikeout (13.1). The only other player to do it was second baseman Felix Millan, who led the NL each season from 1973 to 1975.
  • Reyes also shared the NL lead in triples with Shane Victorino, despite not hitting any triples in his final 43 games. He stockpiled them early, setting a Mets record for multi-triple games in a season with three.
  • Reyes was part of the second instance in Mets history in which they had the same pair of players steal at least 30 bases in back-to-back seasons. Angel Pagan and Reyes did so this season. Lee Mazzilli and Frank Taveras did it in 1979 and 1980.

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