Thursday, May 26, 2011

Meet the new Mets owner: David Einhorn

Should Met fans get excited, or should they roll their eyes?

Depends on who you ask, I guess, but the New York Mets have a new minority owner, David Einhorn who is the President of Greenlight Capital Inc., and a 10% owner in Microsoft, who tried to get the head of Microsoft, Scott Ballmer canned, when he said Microft ran a "Charlie Brown operation."

Well, Mr. Einhorn, welcome to the Mickey Mouse operation of Major League Baseball!

Einhorn, a former winner of the 2006 World Series of Poker, agreed to a 20-25 % stake in the Mets, worth $200 million. It was initially believed that the Mets were shopping 49 % of the team as late as Monday, but those views have obviously changed.

According to WFAN and SI reporter Jon Heyman, Einhorn could take full control of the Mets, if the Wilpon's are forced to leave the franchise due to enormous financial losses or if they lose their case to Irving Pichard.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wilpon: Mets "bleeding cash" according to SI report

Fred Wilpon likes to divulge himself to the press, doesn't he?

A day after a report in the New Yorker magazine revealed that Wilpon thinks very little about his baseball team, Tom Verducci of Sport Illustrated has revealed new insights in the Wilpon/Bernie Madoff fiasco.

According to Verducci, Wilpon says that the fledging franchise is "bleeding cash" and stands to lose up to $70 million this season alone. The Mets are already up for more than $600 million in debt over operating costs of the franchise, Citi Field and SNY, plus a $1 billion lawsuit from Bernie Madoff trustee Irving Pichard.

Here is an exerpt from Verducci's story: "Though the Mets will have about $64 million in salaries coming off the books after this season (from a $142 million total), they will not put much, if any, of that money back into the major league payroll. The Mets essentially have forfeited the resource advantages of playing in the country's biggest market with a new ballpark and their own regional television network, SNY, which they launched in 2006. Attendance is down 10% from last year, when they were off 1.5 million paid customers from 2008, their final year at Shea Stadium. Coming off two straight losing seasons, and one postseason appearance in the past decade, they were 22--24 at week's end, in fourth place. They are so poorly run that they are paying $22 million to players who no longer play for them."

Read Sports Illustrated story on the Wilpon's!

It is believed that Wilpon could be forced to sell if the losses continue to mount!

In the New York Post this morning, news broke that the Mets could be close to finding a new owner.

The team is close to finalizing a deal with commodities honcho Ray Bartoszek and investor Anthony Lanza, who will pay $200 million for a 49 % minority stake in the franchise. "One of the sticking points, sources said, is whether the bidders will be allowed to purchase a small piece of SportsNet New York," (New York Post).

Bartoszek is believed to be a lifelong Mets fan, however nobody knows what kind of managerial experience the guy has. All we know is that he is a big time investment trader on Wall Street.

Read the story.

The Mets clearly need new ownership -- someone who wants to respect the history and tradition of the Mets name and its players. Wilpon has disgraced this franchise for far too long. It is unknown when, or if this deal with Bartoszek will be finalized. The Post believes it could be announced very soon.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fred Wilpon rips into Mets stars

More evidence that Fred Wilpon is one of the worst owners in the history of sports revealed itself in an issue of The New Yorker magazine. The article details Fred Wilpon's time as owner of the team. Most people would expect Wilpon to delve deeply into his relations with Bernie Madoff, the impending lawsuit, and near bankruptcy, but the owner says that he never knew about Madoff's schemes.

That's disappointing, but the owner formally dubbed by Met fans as Fred Coupon - for being el cheapo - didn't keep quiet on his star players; in fact, he ripped into David Wright, and free agents Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.

When talking about Reyes, Wilpon said: “He thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money,” Wilpon said, referring to the Red Sox’ signing of the former Tampa Bay player to a seven-year, $142-million contract. “He’s had everything wrong with him,” Wilpon said of Reyes. “He won’t get it.”

For David Wright, Wilpon offered this message: “He’s pressing,” Wilpon said. “A really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar.”

And in critiquing Beltran, Wilpon added: “We had some schmuck in New York who paid him based on that one series,” he said, referring to himself. In the course of playing out his seven-year, $119-million contract with the Mets, Beltran, too, has been hobbled by injuries. “He’s sixty-five to seventy percent of what he was.”

Wilpon didn't stop there, deciding instead to go after the entire team: “Good hitter,” Wilpon said of Ike Davis. “Shitty team—good hitter.” Davis struck out. Angel Pagan flied out to right, ending the Mets’ threat. “Lousy clubs—that’s what happens.” Wilpon sighed. “We’re snakebitten, baby.”


Say what you will about the article, these comments are further proof that the Wilpon's are the worst owners in sports.

For Met fans who have been wondering for years as to why the team never signs a big time free agent, or why Wilpon is more inclined to honor the history of the Brooklyn/ LA Dodgers instead of the Mets, these comments are further evidence to the fact.

Wilpon doesn't care about the Mets. He cares more about hording his money, and cares even more about the idea of owning a baseball team. He doesn't get it. If you own something, you have to reinvest into it. Wilpon never does-instead he has watched this ball club crumble under him over the last four years, and is now in damage control mode.

Any player who sees these comments will now not sign with the Mets for fear of what this guy will say about them.

It is time for Wilpon to sell at least 51% of the team to someone who wants to own the Mets.

Gary Carter has brain tumor

Former Mets catcher and World Series Champion Gary Carter is now in a fight for his life.

An MRI on Friday revealed that Carter has four small tumors inside of his brain, but doctors are not sure if they are malignant. He will have further research done on the tumors later this week. According to reports, the Hall of Famer has complained of headaches and forgetfulness.

This is a terrible news. Carter is one of the faces of the Mets franchise, and also the lone face of the Montreal Expos. In 1985, Carter came over to New York from Montreal and helped ignite the turnaround that led to the Mets 1986 World Championship.

Carter has drawn the ire of the Wilpon family in recent years with consistent requests to manage the team when they were tossing around the idea of firing both Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel.

Carter has managed on the minor league level, but has yet to get that chance in the majors. Hopefully he can get through this moment in his life and get that opportunity one day.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mets stun Yankees with solid pitching by bullpen


If you believe that the world will end May 21, then Firday night might have been a sign as the New York Mets beat the Yankees 2-1 in the Bronx to take the first game of the 2011 Subway Series.

R.A. Dickey, who has struggled all year with his command led the way for the Mets, with a six strong innings, giving up only four hits and a run, which was a solo shot by Mark Teixeria.

However the story of the day has to be the Mets bullpen. Mike O'Connor, Jason Isringhausen, and Francisco Rodriguez combined to shut down the Yankees in order for the final three innings to record the Mets victory.

Trailing 1-0 in the fourth, the Mets tied the game on a single by Justin Turner to record his 14 RBI of the season. Turner has been really good for the Mets. He's hitting .364 on the year and went 3-for-4 tonight.

The Mets than took the lead in the sixth on a Dan Murphy homerun that silenced Yankee Stadium for the rest of the evening.

Freddy Garcia was ok for the Yankees. He only gave up two runs in seven innings, but his mistakes certainly killed him in this one.

Once again the Yankees lineup failed to deliever any big hits. Outside of Teixeria, Derek Jeter went 1-for-3, A-Rod went 1-for-4 with a strikeout in the eighth, while Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner failed to even get a hit against the Mets pitchers.

With the win the Mets now improve to .500 at 22-22. The Yankees fall to 23-20.

Mets and Yankees set for rumble in the Bronx

Here we go again!

The Subway Series is back in New York this weekend, only this time with a bit of a different twist. In years' past we have grown accustomed to either the Yankees soaring above the competition, while the Mets floundered, or we have seen the days when both teams were true contenders for a world championship.

This year, however, the Subway Series will feature two struggling ball clubs, both who are desperately looking to find their identity.

Granted the Mets problems are 10x bigger than anything the Yankees can come up with; from the bankruptcy of the Wilpon, a pending $1 billion lawsuit hanging over their heads, to countless injuries and misfortune to their "stars" on the field, the Mets have been every bit the disaster that people feared they would be entering the season.

Yet, the Mets are only two games under .500 at 21-22, even though it feels more like 11-32. The Mets have beaten up on the Nationals and Astros of the world, in spite of the fact that their most consistent pitcher is Chris Capuano!!

Mike Pelfrey and R.A. Dickey have been horrible, with ERA's over five. Jon Niese has been inconsistent, while Dillon Gee has done admirably in the stead of Chris Young who is out of the season.

The Met offense outside of Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran hasn't been great. Jason Bay has been putrid since coming off the DL hitting .238. While David Wright and Ike Davis, two of the faces of the Mets batting order are now out with injuries and will miss this series.

The Mets have tried to survive with Dan Murphy, Justin Turner, and Josh Thole, but lets face it these guys are not going to get the Mets anywhere anytime soon.

For the Yankees age has been the problem. Last week's Jorge Posada fiasco, and constant discussions about the future of both Posada and Derek Jeter in the Yankee lineup has been a huge distraction. Both players are aging quickly and their performance is starting to lag behind.

Meanwhile the Yankee lineup, before this week has struggled. The Yankees need Mark Teixeria and Alex Rodriguez to deliever, and this week they have. Teixeria hit a big homerun against the Orioles, Thursday night, while Rodigruez had a big shot the other day in Tampa. If those two get going the Yankees can make up for all of their offensive woes in the first half of the year.

Pitching is still a concern. While Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia have been decent, neither can be trusted for the long hall. CC Sabathia has been great this year, but up until now has not gotten a lot of run support this year. A.J. Burnett and Ivan Nova have equally been inconsistent.

So not all is well is Yankee land, even though they have won three in a row. Certainly with this recent string of victories does something to dull the problems of the past few weeks for the Bronx Bombers.

This series ahead is a great opportunity for the Yankees to wake up on a big stage and show this town that the 2011 version of the Yankees is primed for another big run this season, in spite of their advanced age.

For the Mets this Subway Series is a chance to shut up the doubters. Taking two of three will leave the Mets at 23-23, a .500 record that nobody thought would even be possible for them. For the young Mets to beat the Yankees would be a huge boost of confidence for them moving forward.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Yankees fall on the sword again, now a game over .500

Rays 6
Yankees 5

The struggling Bronx Bombers are turning into the Bronx Bumblers judging by their 6-5 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays thus dropping New York to a game over .500 (20-19) and three back in the standings. The loss is the Yankees sixth straight.

Once again the Yankees showed little in the way of offense. The Bombers grabbed a 5-1 lead on Tampa Bay mostly due to a three run home run by Curtis Granderson, the only hot hitter in in the Yankees lineup.

The Yankees didn't get any hits from Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeria and Alex Rodriguez. Jorge Posada was once again out of the lineup.

It was A.J. Burnett's game to lose, and well, he lost it.

Given that 5-1 lead, all Burnett had to do was get through the sixth inning, and he couldn't do it.

First he gave up a two run shot to Sam Fuld to cut the Yankee lead to 5-3. Then Matt Joyce singled up the middle to drive in Evan Longoria to cut the Yankee lead to one run. Finally, B.J. Upton, who is having a great year for the Rays, cracked a two run shot to left-center to give the Rays a 6-5 lead.

Adding insult to injury, former Yankee disaster Kyle Farnsworth closed the door on the Bombers, notching his eighth save of the year for the Rays.

David Wright could hit the disabled list with back injury

Well, Mets fans, not even a solid road trip is enough to take away the stench of another injury disaster for the Metropolitans.

Around 5 p.m. Monday, the Mets announced that David Wright will miss significant time with a stress fracture in his lower back. Wright went for an exam in the morning revealing the fracture near the spine, and as a precaution, the Mets plan to put him on the DL.

Wright apparently injured the back a month ago, when he tried to dive and tag out Astros first baseman Carlos Lee on a slide to third.

Replacing Wright will be nearly impossible. They will mix and match with Willie Harris, Justin Turner and Dan Murphy in the interim, but, without Wright and Ike Davis who also is on the DL, the Mets offense has no punch.

There is no clear time table for Wright's return.

Yankees swept by Sox, problems escalate


The troubled New York Yankees still can't get out of their own way as they were swept out of the Bronx by the hated Boston Red Sox, who reached .500 for the first time this year.

With the loss, the Yankees stand at 20-18, two games behind Tampa Bay in the AL East, and a game behind Detroit for the Wild Card.

Yet that doesn't even begin to describe the problems with the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees are getting old, they can't hit a baseball if their lives depended on it, and Brian Cashman finds himself in a tough position where he can't replace the likes of Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, and Nick Swisher because of their incredibly large contracts.

As great as Posada and Jeter have been, both are getting long in the tooth and can't deliver the way they used to. That doesn't mean they won't get an occasional big hit, but with these two struggling, it makes things very difficult for the Yankees.

Maybe the Steinbrenner family was right in not wanting to resign Jeter? He was a great player, but the Yankees sure could use someone younger at the position of short stop. With a guy like Jose Reyes set to hit free agency, the Yankees don't have the flexibility to sign him, and if they did, they have nowhere to play him.

It doesn't help either that Alex Rodriguez has struggled all year. Yes, anyone would take six homers and 22 RBI (the Mets certainly would), but those stats are not typical A-Rod numbers. Rodriguez who signed to a ten year extension in 2008 and is not going anywhere any time soon.

Then, of course, are the deadweights like Swisher, Andruw Jones, who is about 100 years old as well, and Brett Gardner.

Let's face it; the Yankees are a bad baseball team right now. Their starting pitching is decent but very, very suspect and their offense is old.

Now the Bronx Bombers head to Tampa Bay for a two game series. The Rays have been hotter than a firecracker for the past month, and it is hard to believe that the Yankees will get it straightened out in the next 48 hours. Believe it or not in 48 hours, the Yankees could be at .500.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jorge Posada might be done; refuses to bat ninth

Jorge Posada's tenure with the New York Yankees might be close to over according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Rosenthal reported during the broadcast of Saturday night's Yankees/Red Sox game that Posada pulled himself out of the lineup when he learned that he was batting ninth in the order.

Numerous reports say that the catcher turned DH felt insulted by the batting lineup and asked Joe Girardi to remove him from the lineup totally.

Posada has struggled all year hitting .167 and has show next to no life in his bat.

on Fox Sports, Rosenthal speculated that the Yankees could call up Jesus Montero if Posada continues to refuse to play in Girardi's lineup. The Yankees in turn could either release Posada, or he could retire.

Fernando Martinez homers as Mets beat Astros



Believe it or not: the Mets are only two games under .500 at 18-20.

For a team that has been playing at death's door since spring training, the Metropolitans have looked pretty good this past week, granted it is coming via the horrible Astros and the now slumping Rockies.

Nonetheless, the Mets found a way to erase a 4-0 deficit to Houston to beat the Astros 6-4 at Minute Maid Park, Friday night.

Jason Bay got the ball rolling for the Metropolitans with a home run to left, his second of the year, pulling the slumping hitter's average to .217.

However, the most interesting aspect of the Mets win was that Fernando Martinez hit a two run homer to pull New York to within 4-3.

Martinez, who has been demoted to triple-A for years because of a rash of injuries that have plagued his career, has never shown the great potential that everyone expected of him when he was a rookie. He was once the prize of the Mets farm system but now almost forgotten. Nevertheless, with the Mets most likely falling out of contention soon, it is likely the team will look to trade Carlos Beltran and his expiring contract, and then, perhaps, Martinez could be the right fielder of the future after all.

Martinez is only 22 years old; there is no reason to give up on him at this point. If the kid gets the opportunity and succeeds, why not let him become an answer for the Mets outfield issues when and if the team decides to part ways with Beltran.

Struggling Yankees continue slump against Red Sox


So the Yankees lost a game to the Boston Red Sox.

That is not the big story Friday night; the bigger story is that the Bronx Bombers continue to struggle in every facet of the game. Losers of three in a row and seven of their last ten, the Yankees have fallen out of first place in the AL East, now trailing the suddenly surging Tampa Bay Rays by two games.

Against Boston, once again, the Yankees big bats struggled to get any wood on the ball. Derek Jeter went 1-for-5, Mark Teixeria went 0-for-5. A-Rod was 1-for-3, Jorge Posada 1-for-4, and Nick Swisher 1-for-4. These are the guys the Yankees need to deliver the big hits in the big moments if this team is going to go anywhere this year, and since the start of this season, this same group has been fairly inconsistent.

Much has been made of Jeter's struggles this year, but the captain is hitting .268; although he's never been known as a huge accumulator of statistics, at age 37, he is showing signs of deterioration.

Moreover, the struggles of Swisher and Posada are more troubling. Swisher is hitting only .221 with two homers and 14 RBI, and he has shown little sign of turning around this misfortune. In addition, Posada looks finished. He has been hitting a consistent .166 all year. Even though he has six homers, the man can't hit the baseball enough and should be removed from the batting order.

Certainly Teixeria and A-Rod make this offense go; with those two batters struggling, this offense is heading nowhere fast, but you know in your Yankee heart of hearts they will come around eventually.

Then there is the pitching. Bartolo Colon was decent against Boston, yeilding three runs in six innings, but he is always an implode away from being out of the rotation. Freddy Garcia is equally unreliable, and Ivan Nova has not been great.

With Phil Hughes out for the year, there is added pressure on CC Sabthia and A.J. Burnett to get it done this year. They need help and need it pronto.

The Yankees are looking more and more like an old team, full of guys who are waaaaaay past their prime, while getting out-muscled by teams like the Tigers, Rangers, Royals and now the Red Sox -- all teams that are younger than the Bronx Bombers.

Will it change? It better, and better faster than later.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Could Phil Jackson coach the Knicks next year?

Phil Jackson's retirement from coaching is not even 48 hours old, and already rumors are flying that the former Lakers coach could make a comeback to the sidelines.

Jackson, who sat and watched his Lakers put forth a gutless effort in Dallas on Sunday while en route to a series sweep at the hands of the Mavericks in the Western Conference Semi's, could be poised for a return to the bench but not with LA.

Sources told the New York Post late last night that Jackson wouldn't mind coming back to coaching in the "right situation."

Of course, the Post takes this as an opportunity to speculate that Jackson is open to coming to the Knicks who still have a coach in Mike D'Antoni, who, by the bye, is signed through next summer.

Jackson thought about coaching the Knicks, albeit briefly in 2005 when he considered his first comeback from coaching. Ultimately, he returned to the Lakers.

Jackson, who is 65, would be an interesting choice as coach for the fledgeing Knicks franchise, but what the Knicks need more than a new head coach is quality players to fill up their bench. The Knicks have the three stars with Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Chauney Billups; these three now need a good supporting cast if the Knicks have any hopes of winning more than 42 games next season.

For as bad a defensive coach D'Antoni is, I find it hard to believe that in two years Jackson, who will be 67 in the fall of 2012, would want to come out of retirement again to move all the way East to coach the Knicks.

Yes, it would be full circle for him since he played his entire career in New York and New Jersey, and, yes, money talks, but if the Knicks show improvement under D'Antoni next year, what's the point? Moreover, if the Knicks want him so badly now, why not give him a call?

NFL claims Judge Nelson ignored harm to league

The NFL lockout has been back in effect for two weeks now, and the NFL is preparing its case against the players and Minnesota Judge Susan Nelson, which will be heard before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals; to say the least, their argument is quite persuasive.

The NFL owners claim that the union's decertification is a total sham, and that Judge Nelson had no authority to lift the lockout; further that she should have waited for the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) to rule.

The NFL also claims that without a new CBA the league would descend into utter chaos as teams that are better off economically, i.e. the Dallas Cowboys, would be able to sign as many top flight free agents as they possibly could while lesser franchises, i.e. the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars, would have a very hard time competing economically.

"It would be difficult, if not impossible, to unscramble the eggs and return those players to clubs that otherwise may have had contract arrangements with (or, at least, a greater ability to enter into contracts with) such players in the absence of an injunction," the league's court brief asserted.

"Because there are no practices or other organized football activities conducted during a lockout, no player suffers a risk of career-threatening injury or physical wear and tear," attorneys wrote (ESPN).

The hearing is not until June 3, and it is looking more and more likely that the NFL season will ultimately be canceled because neither side is willing to meet the other halfway. Instead, there are two sides that seem hell-bent on ripping each other apart through their lawyers and through the media than getting some serious work done.

My prediction: If nothing is resolved in the June 3 hearings, and nothing changes come late July - as they say in New York ... furgedaboutit!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Should Mets Trade Jose Reyes? The Answer Is Yes

Rumors have started to swirl around Citi Field, little the brutal winds that come off the bay near the Mets home in Queens New York. Ever since the San Francisco Giants landed in New York on Tuesday, rumors have swirled that the world champions are interested in acquiring the services of Jose Reyes.

Of course everyone is now denying the rumor: Giants GM Brian Sabean said: "I can't respond to that. Honestly, I haven't seen or talked to Sandy Alderson since January ... I haven't talked to anybody from the Mets so I have no idea where the hell it came from" (ESPN).

When Reyes was asked about the trade, he said he had no comment but is worried about playing baseball for the Mets, at least for now.

The fact that trade rumors are heating up in early May for the Mets is a microcosm for how bad things have been for the Mets. From bankrupt ownership, a troubling $1 billion lawsuit based off of the Wilpons equity on the Madoff scheme, and a deadfully boring baseball team, the Mets are a team with little hope and zero future.

Reyes is a free agent at the end of the season. He is hitting .315 with a homer, eight RBI and 11 stolen bases. A short stop with decent power, and terrific speed is hard to come by in Major League Baseball, and Reyes will command a contract over $100 million easily.

The Mets with all of their financial woes, may not be able to retain Reyes, even if they wanted to. So trading him now may be their best opportunity to get something decent.

The Giants would be a good trading partner. They are struggling at 15-15, and are 29th in on base percentage, 27th in runs scored and 23rd in batting average. Reyes would certainly help the Giants reclaim their meger offensive statistics.

With Reyes at the top of the order for the Giants, it would make life easier for a team that is full of slap hitter in Buster Posey, Cody Ross, Aaron Rowand, Pat Burrell and Miguel Tejada. Tejada and Burrell used to be great power hitters, but lets emphasize USED TO BE here.

If the Mets trade him to San Francisco, they could get a guy like Madison Bumgarner in return. Bumgarner dazzled last season as the Giants number five starter, pitching to a 3.00 ERA at 20 years old.

Bumgarner is having a terrible year this year, at 0-5, but at 21 he is still raw and hasn't found his boundaries as a starter in this league. He would be a perfect chip for the Mets to get in return if they should trade Reyes.

Should the Mets trade Reyes?

Yes! For years Reyes has been a thorn in this team's side, most notably for his antics on the field, that included dancing at the top of the dug out during every Mets run, and the unprofessional way he carried himself when Jerry Manuel tried to remove him from a game that he got injured in in 2008.

Not to mention the guy is always getting injured. Time to say good bye to Jose Reyes. It was fun while it lasted.