Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Wilpon’

It’s John Lackey and Pray for Rain

November 15, 2009

For ten long days, Mets GM Omar Minaya will be allowed to chit-chat with some of the most influential player agents in all of baseball. Prior to those meetings, Jeff Wilpon, the organization’s COO, saw his chance to commandeer Minaya into his office and reassure him that for what ever its worth, he was at his disposal. As Minaya exited the room, Wilpon confidently replied, “Give’m hell and get me another front-line starter.” Of course, these events are merely hearsay except for the chit-chat and most likely a fabric of my imagination. However, there is some semblance of truth in all of this; the Mets desperately need starting pitching.

Midway through the 2009 season, the then Toronto Blue Jays GM, John Ricciardi, shook the baseball world by threatening to trade one of the most dominating starting pitchers of this generation, right-hander Roy Halladay. To this day, those around baseball still can’t figure out why a mid-level organization like the Blue Jays would part with such a specimen. Nevertheless, a handful of teams jumped into the Doc Halladay sweepstakes and exposed who they really were, a team lacking starting pitching. Though it was unofficially documented, the New York Mets were one of those candidates that laid everything out on the table. Ultimately, it was not to Ricciardi’s liking. Back to the drawing board Minaya went where he was forced to wait until the end of the season to explore other options.

Perhaps, if you were to ask another of Minaya’s previous off-season acquisitions, closer Francisco Rodriguez, he would tell you that having a short-term memory is a good thing. So much so that Minaya has forgotten all about dealing for Halladay and has set his sights on landing another dominating right-hander, John Lackey. With such a stout performance against the World Champion New York Yankees in Game 5 of the ALDS in which Lackey lobbied Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia to leave him in a game that he considered to be his, the stakes to sign the veteran right-hander will most likely be high. (Initially, I was not so hot with the notion of Lackey coming to the Mets. However, I feel more comfortable now since his emotional stance after Game 5. Let’s be honest the Mets need to find someone that can bridge that gap between left-hander Johan Santana and the rest of the pack next season.)

    Footnote to this post

Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin alerted reporters stationed at the GM meetings that “no one has heard from” former Brewers right-hander Ben Sheets. Some Mets fans have suggested the 31-year-old could be lightning in a bottle. Using the 2009 Mets season as a reference, he could fit in very nicely. Sheets (torn flexor tendon in his right elbow) made five trips to the disabled list from 2005 to 2007 with a mixture of arm injuries to go along with an inner ear infection that led to vertigo.

Recent reports have mentioned the Phillies are very serious about acquiring Halladay. Some reports have the 2008 World Series MVP, Cole Hamels, throwing off a mound next season north of the border.

This post was inspired by the outlandish idea that any team would take a shot at signing the oft-injured Ben Sheets.

“I will tell you that he has a very good chance to be one of the most impactful free agents, without question,” Sheets’ agent, Casey Close said.

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Mets Ownership, GM, and Manager Back for 2010

October 13, 2009

Hey Mets fans, I apologize for being so lazy regarding this blog. As you may or may not care, our beloved Metsies are most likely watching the playoffs just like we are. The Yankees have moved on to the American League Championship Series and the St. Louis Cardinals have been eliminated.

In the meantime, I’ve been listening to WFAN’s Mike Francesa as he practically has a coronary ripping into Mets GM Omar Minaya and COO Jeff Wilpon for delivering a broken down Pinto and passing it off as a shiny new Cadillac this past season. Thanks Mike, you don’t have to be Joe Garagiola to realize that the Mets need power and a legitimate number two starter behind Johan. But who?

Best case scenario: Holliday and Halladay, as in Matt and Roy. Ladies and gentleman, it’s the Matt and Roy Show, starring Mets manager Jerry Manuel or bench coach-in-waiting, or bench coach X. You heard Ownership, folks, Omar and Jerry “must” step it up. Hey, it could be the Jerry and Omar Show instead. Did somebody say “distraction?”

Wilpon understands how much is at stake so he’s already started creating distractions of his own, calling out the Los Angeles Dodgers medical staff and accusing them of being more incompetent than his own medical staff.

Oh great, the Phillies have just scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 5-4 lead.

Be sure and check out Mets Public Record this Thursday at 10pm on Blog Talk Radio.

Minaya Left with Nowhere to Hide

July 30, 2009

If there’s one thing we can learn from this season so far, it’s that the Mets are indeed an open book. The latest saga involving Mets GM Omar Minaya can attest to that. Before we go lobbying for Minaya’s dismissal, we should realize that the Mets beleaguered GM has provided us with a very valuable lesson: transparency. Throughout this season, Minaya has always looked at the glass half-full. With all the ups and downs, he has confidently defended those aspects of his organization that have been met with the most criticism.

Unfortunately, given the unpleasant task of having to fire one of his closest colleagues in Tony Bernazard, the solid foundation that Minaya helped build was made to collapse right before his eyes. Having to address a band of smug reporters and beat writers patting each other on the back for a job well done might have put Minaya on the defensive. Perhaps it was at that point that all those two-cent explanations and flimsy excuses concerning the state of a wounded ball club finally came to light. Whichever side of the fence Minaya ends up on when all the drama subsides, he will be a better man from it.

Listening to Jerry Manuel’s response towards the recent back page headlines concerning his ball club, you can see that the Mets manager has already turned the page.

“It’s kind of entertaining,” Manuel said.

Manuel is just a temporary stop on an on-going train. Those who have a larger stake in the Mets such as Jeff Wilpon, the organization’s chief operating officer, find these types of circumstances quite embarrassing. Hopefully, Mets fans will be allowed to expect nothing less than the real scoop from here on out.

For the Mets, It’s Not Just About Balls and Strikes

July 28, 2009

The first lesson for those who have been around the game of baseball, Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News included, is that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. For Rubin, picking the brain of the Mets chief operating officer, Jeff Wilpon, for career advice is a great place to start. Prior to the opening game of the Mets current home stand against the Colorado Rockies yesterday, GM Omar Minaya held a press conference alerting the tri-state area that his second-in-command, Tony Bernazard, would no longer be employed with the Mets organization. Minaya’s decision to extinguish what was becoming a “cancer” in the Mets clubhouse stemmed from disturbing reports that were relayed to him from his human resources department.

In addition to what had previously transpired regarding Tony Bernazard, Minaya felt strongly that Adam Rubin’s tenacious attempt to land a front office job with the Mets also played a hand in the 52-year-old vice president’s dismissal. Minaya even went as far as to say that the reports trudged up by the Mets beat writer were made to trump up Rubin’s own standing as a perfect candidate for a player development position in the Mets organization. After Rubin’s press conference in which he relayed to the media that he was flabbergasted by the accusations, Minaya created a little opportunity of his own to clear the air with the Daily News beat reporter. The Mets GM tried to come off somewhat apologetic but ended up making matters worse by suggesting that the context of his comments directed at Rubin were accurate for the most part. It was the forum in which those comments were made that irked the Mets general manager. Interesting?

This type of smoke screening by the Mets front office goes hand-in-hand with the mishandling of the Mets injuries, the hesitation in addressing the needs of a struggling ball club, and the misguidance of their own personnel. It’s safe to say that Minaya and his tenure look to be on unstable ground.