Manager Update: Kevin Long Vs. The Really Crappy Field

I fully expected the Mets managerial search to be a farce. I assumed it would play out like everything does during the offseason in Flushing. The media will report that the Mets are “expected to speak to” or “interested in” [insert coveted coach] but they won’t land any of those candidates. Instead they’ll hire the first internal candidate to raise his hand and work for nothing. At the moment that’s Kevin Long.

And before I give an update on all the “progress” that has been made in the Mets managerial search, I want to make something clear. I don’t have a problem with Kevin Long as a candidate. He’s a respected hitting coach. He told Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy to hit the ball in the air and ideally out of the stadium, and they both became really good at that. I guess that makes him a genius.

I’m pissed because: 1) It’s bananas that the Mets would consider promoting an internal candidate after the horrendous season they just had. 2) We all assumed before Terry Collins was fired that the Wilpons would probably replace him with a loyal internal candidate. They’d promote a loyal potted plant from the clubhouse before they’d consider an external candidate who might question the way they run things in Flushing.

Anyway, here’s how the Mets managerial search has progressed thus far:

  • The Mets told the mainstream media that they were interested in former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, former Met Robin Ventura, highly coveted Astros bench coach/former Met Alex Cora, and former Mets bench coach Bob Geren.
  • Bob Geren recently said he’s not interviewing until the Dodgers playoff run has concluded, and he originally took the job out west to be near family. It seems unlikely that he’d come back east.
  • Jon Heyman reported Ausmus turned down an interview with the Mets and Ventura has no interest in the job. Double veto.
  • Now sources in Puerto Rico are reporting the most desirable candidate Alex Cora is a “99% chance” lock to be the Red Sox manager. Cora is supposedly meeting the Mets today for a sham interview. Ausmus and Ventura wouldn’t even bother going through the motions for our “highly coveted” job (LOL).

With all those initial candidates dropping out, here is the rumored list of confirmed interviews:

  • Super Joe McEwing apparently doesn’t believe in defensive shifts and possibly evolution and vaccinations (both unconfirmed).
  • Manny Acta has a horrendous 372-518 career managerial record and flopped in stints in Washington and Cleveland. He was also a former coach on Willie Randolph’s Mets staff so he’s basically an internal candidate. Pass.
  • Mickey Callaway is seemingly the only desirable external candidate (other than Cora) coming in for an interview. Mickey is the Indians pitching coach and a respected managerial prospect. My only reservation with Callaway is that I assume he’ll represent a change in overall pitching philosophy for the organization. Given that the organizational pitching philosophy was supposedly a strength of our stupid franchise as recently as 6 months ago, I’m not sure if that type of change will sit well with Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and the other young pitchers currently in the majors. We’ve already heard Noah Syndergaard complain about the firing of Dan Warthen and basically call the organization out for scapegoating him. I wonder how receptive these guys will be to a totally new voice that directly challenges the way they go about their business. Maybe that’s what they need.

Just in case you lost track, that leaves Kevin Long as the only candidate to actually interview so far in this “extensive” managerial search. I see the Long promotion as inevitable. That being said, it’s almost pointless to debate the next manager since all managers suck eventually. Joe Girardi won a World Series in 2009 and Yankees fans seemingly don’t like him. Joe Maddon won last year and everyone is complaining about his decision making in the playoffs this year.

These managers are all replaceable. Ten years from now in this age of big data and automatization, one robot baseball manager will be able to do the job of four humans anyway. And even the robot skipper will still screw up challenges and bullpen decisions in big spots and be hated by the fans. As long as the Mets don’t re-hire Ray Ramirez as the next manager I’ll be fine with the decision. Let’s just focus on adding talent to the roster.

Pleasure Overload: Syndergaard To Be On Game Of Thrones 

My two favorite leisure activities (watching Mets and watching GoT) are officially merging into one. Noah Syndergaard announced he’s going to appear in this coming season of Game of Thrones on HBO. 

This is the ultimate visual pleasure scenario for me. I’m actually a little concerned that it could wind up being reminiscent of when George Costanza incorporates food and television into his sex life to totally maximize pleasure. It sounds incredible in theory, but perhaps I’ll fly too close to Citi Field on the wings of a dragon and wind up in a situation where I need to have Game of Thrones and the Mets playing at all times to enjoy anything. Or I could wind up with a full blown Throner the next time I’m casually watching a game on SNY. 

As far as Thor’s actual appearance on the show goes, he’s a perfect addition to the cast. He’s already Thor of House Syndergaard, first of his name, bringer of thunder, savior of the Mets’ franchise. They could cast him as a giant beyond The Wall on account of his ridiculous size. He certainly has the Lannister golden hair, but if they bleach the hair even more he could definitely pass as a white-haired Targaryen. He could wind up being the dragon prince that was promised. In the end he’ll probably wind up as “Wildling 2” or “Soldier 4.” If they wind up casting him as a White Walker I’m going to literally lose my mind with excitement.

Speaking of pleasure overloads and Noah Syndergaard, can you imagine how happy this phone notification made the Wilpons on Friday?

$605k?!? Noah Syndergaard is the best value in the Wilpon portfolio. The Mets were haggling with Thor over 9 thousand dollars and refused to give him his requested salary bump. Syndergaard is probably taking this Thrones gig for the extra income. 

The Wilpons may be pinching pennies as usual, but HBO won’t be skimping on the budget especially when it comes to their prized show. I’m sure in the end Syndergaard will make the 9k he wanted from the Mets during the filming of GoT and the jealous Wilpons will wind up attacking Thor via the media for filming the show instead of attending some mandatory team sponsored activity.

Former Mets Should Brawl With The Wilpons At Citi

Last night at Madison Square Garden the New York Knicks’ universe continued to collapse on itself after years of fielding a garbage product due to the meddling of owner James Dolan.

Initial reports indicated former Knick Charles Oakley sat near Dolan and allegedly heckled him before security became involved. The altercation then became physical with Oakley assaulting multiple security guards and getting arrested/booted from the arena. Witnesses claimed they heard Oakley uttering “Dolan” as he was being escorted out.

Oakley after the game said “I was there for four minutes. I didn’t say anything to him. I swear on my mother.” Obviously I don’t know what actually happened. But I love the idea of a former player taking on the role of hero and fighting a horrendous, incompetent owner.

I immediately imagined a former or current Met fighting the Wilpons at Citi Field with 45,000 fans looking on and chanting “Fire Wilpon!” I’m not much of an activist, but if there’s one thing that would inspire me to take it to the streets it would be a protest against Fred and Jeff.

Anyway, after a lot of fantasizing, I’ve settled upon these former and current Mets to lead the anti-Wilpon charge.

Keith Hernandez And Bobby Ojeda

The ’80s Mets immediately come to mind as the perfect group to take on the Wilpons. Fred bought his minority stake in the Mets in 1980 and took on half ownership in 1986. Keith Hernandez not only played during the ’80s, but he also works for these mooks currently on SNY. I’d love to see Keith, on one of his many days off, splash a beer in Jeff’s face while sitting with him in the Wilpon private box. Then Bob Ojeda could show up, still bitter after “parting ways” with SNY, and give Jeff a nice sweeping leg kick. Bobby could then jump into Keith’s arms, and they could celebrate like it was ’86 again.

Lenny Dykstra and Wally Backman

I was born in 1987, so I never had the chance to watch the Mets play in the ’80s. But Lenny “Nails” Dykstra and crazy old Wally Backman have insane reputations that transcend time. Lenny and Wally were hard-nosed when they actually played baseball, but Lenny’s an actual convicted felon and Wally also has a rap sheet. These two guys are the exact kind of wild cards that would randomly decide to take on the Wilpons at Citi Field. Wally is probably still bitter that he was canned by the organization as manager of our Triple-A Vegas affiliate. He’s probably sitting at a Vegas slot machine right now brooding. And Lenny? Lenny would probably do it just to make a few bucks on a tell-all book recapping his version of the story.

Mike Piazza

Piazza is my personal favorite Mets candidate from the ’90s/2000s. He’s a muscular freak, and we’ve all seen him rage at the ballpark in the spotlight. How much would you give to see Mike chuck broken bat shards at Jeff Wilpon as they cross paths at Citi? I mean if you’re looking for a true lunatic to do the job, Roger Clemens might be your best bet considering he tossed a 95+ MPH fastball at Mike’s temple. Roger clearly has the killer instinct. But we’re keeping this brawl in house.

Paul Lo Duca

I like former catcher Paul Lo Duca as a possibility because he was always a firecracker behind the plate. Plus he’s an Italian stallion from Brooklyn, and he’s active on Twitter. Not only could Paul get the job done, but he could recruit a posse of frustrated fans from Brooklyn in five minutes on social media.

Noah Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard is the best player and personality on the team right now. And he’s the kind of player that could get away with brawling with ownership. If Matt Harvey said one word about his contract, the media would crush him for being a selfish jerk. But I’m pretty sure Thor could say publicly “the Wilpons are cheap schmucks, and they better pay me soon or else” and the media would praise him as the King of New York.

He’s the obvious current nominee to take on the Wilpons (physically). He threw at Alcides Escobar in the 2015 World Series, and he threw at Chase Utley last year as payback for Ruben Tejada SlideGate. I’d love to hear him tell Jeff Wilpon “meet me 60 feet 6 inches away” and then proceed to wrestle Jeff in the middle of the field.

There’s literally no wrong answer to the “who should brawl with the Wilpons” question. You can name any former Met or if you prefer it can be every Met that’s ever played at the same time.

I’d even accept some front office fan fiction scenario where Tony Bernazard shows up at Citi, rips off his shirt, and challenges the Wilpons to a fight before the Wilpons ultimately blame Adam Rubin and accuse him of trying to steal an ownership stake in the team. Actually that’s my preferred answer.

Cold Stove Update: Mets Ask Santa For Cash

If you’re looking for an update on the Mets’ offseason since they paid Yoenis Cespedes, don’t get too excited. In fact, don’t get excited at all. Nothing has happened. Sandy Alderson basically went to the Winter Meetings last week, ate the hotel continental breakfast for a few days, and then flew right back to New York. Sandy said the Mets can’t make any moves until they find a team willing to take the 13 million dollar Jay Bruce salary off our hands. Clearly the days of worrying about our mid-market payroll are behind us.

Cold Stove Quick Hits:

Christmas Party: The Mets held their annual Christmas Party this week and decided to anoint Noah Syndergaard as the next cursed Santa Claus. Sandy Alderson was seen at the event trying to dump Jay Bruce in a Toys for Tots bin.

Pray and Wish: At the Mets Christmas Party, Thor said all he wants for Christmas is a World Series. It’s a good thing that he’s motivated because Sandy and Co. are clearly showing that their strategy for 2017 is to pray that all of our young pitchers will be healthy. In other words, rather than actually improving the team this offseason, the Mets are asking Jesus and Santa Claus for help.

MLB Anti-Hazing Policy: This week, MLB unveiled a new policy banning “offensive” hazing practices specifically those that involve dressing teammates as women. No word from Donald Trump yet on the decision but expect to see tweets about “soft Manfred” and “the failing MLB” any day now.

David Wright’s Road To Retirement: David Wright is reportedly simulating baseball activities but has not swung a bat yet. He’s been “getting in a crouch” and “moving laterally”. Basically he gingerly slides from one end of the couch to the other and occasionally bends over to pick up a chip if he drops one on the floor. I’d like to think that if David Wright retired tomorrow the Mets would spend his salary on roster upgrades. But who am I kidding. The Wilpons are already banking on spending the Wright insurance money on Yo’s salary.

World Baseball Classic: Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto are reportedly on the preliminary roster for Team Italy, Asdrubal Cabrera is planning to play for Venezuela and Jeurys Familia wants to pitch for the Dominican Republic. You’ve got to love the idea of Ol’ Bum Knee Cabrera playing extremely competitive games in March when he limped through a third of the regular season last year. Conforto better hope Jay Bruce doesn’t have an Italian Great Grandfather otherwise he might wind up benched for the World Baseball Classic too.

Juanny Bum Shoulder: Juan Lagares strained his shoulder diving for a ball in the Dominican Winter League. Apparently he’s fine. Juanny better have a big 2017. He hasn’t done a damn thing since his breakout year in 2014 other than hurt his elbow and his thumb and now his shoulder. If he has another injury filled season, that extension we gave him will wind up looking horrible.

Nationals Striking Out Non-Stop: Other than the Mets signing Yo, the best news of the offseason has been that the Nationals have failed in almost every single one of their attempts to land players. They failed to land Cespedes, Andrew McCutchen, Chris Sale, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon. The list goes on and on.

Mr. Tingles: Matt Harvey said his arm is no longer tingling and he’s feeling strong as he recovers from his surgery. If Matt Harvey wins comeback player of the year and Noah Syndergaard continues to be a pitching machine then the 2017 Mets really will be in great shape. Pray.

Charges Dropped: The domestic violence charges against Jeurys Familia were officially dropped because as I’ve said many times on this site, the charges always get dropped or settled out of court. If you want to know what will happen next, just check out my post that I wrote the day this story broke. It’s the same exact cycle every single time. Familia will get a slap on the wrist suspension for allegedly assaulting his wife. Meanwhile Jenrry Mejia is locked up in a cell in the dungeons at MLB headquarters for taking a little testosterone.

Can The Mets Please Sign Another Cuban?

So it’s official, the next potential Cuban stud Yulieski Gourriel has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball and is now free to sign with any team. The guy is 32 and he’s touted as arguably the top dog in the international market. Not just the top talent in Cuba but in the world. Also for the record, I checked with MLB and the Mets do qualify as “any team” so they technically are eligible to sign him despite never getting involved in the market for Cuban players or for international talents in general. I’m not talking about the international market for amateur players. The Mets do a ton of scouting and signing of amateur international players that are subject to the international bonus pool restrictions and signing process. I’m talking about international talents that are over 23 and are exempt from the definition of an amateur player. Typically to be exempt from amateur status you need to be 23+ and you need to have played in a league recognized by MLB as a pro league for a prescribed period of time. Because of his age and experience in the Cuban pro league, Gourriel is not subject to international spending limitations. The Mets can just sign him on the open market like any old free agent. And they should sign him.

The guy hits right handed and has played 15 seasons between Cuba and Japan. He has a career hitting line of .335/.417/.580 with 250 home runs in 5491 plate appearances. He’s supposedly a plus defender at his natural position of third base. Do the Mets need a third basemen? Can somebody help me with this one? Last I heard David Wright has been frozen in carbonite to help him maintain his posture and Wilmer Flores is booting grounders at third base left and right.

Signing international guys is never cheap. The Dodgers signed Hector Olivera to a 6 year 62.5m deal at 30 years old. Yasmany Tomas signed a 6 year deal with Arizona worth 68.5m at 24 years old.  Rusney Castillo signed a 7 year 72.5m deal with the Red Sox at 27 years old. Alex Guerrero signed a 4 year 28m deal with the Dodgers at 26 years old. Yes I realize it’s a risky move. Guerrero just got released by the Dodgers and was a total bust (although they never really gave him a chance to play full time). Rusney Castillo is in the Red Sox minor league system and has struggled at the ML level. That being said, he has so many talented players in front of him in the Sox organization, that it’s hard to call him a bust until he gets a real opportunity to play regularly. Tomas has been decent for the D-backs with a .270/.309/.411 line so far at the ML level. Olivera got arrested for a domestic violence incident after being traded to the Braves. So it’s fair to say he’s been a disaster.

But how can we ignore the success of Yoenis Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman, Jose Abreu and even Yasiel Puig in the majors. They have essentially been winning lottery tickets for their respective teams. Puig’s production has declined since his breakout 2013/14 seasons and Chapman has turned out to be a jerk off the field but their talent is undeniable.

My point in all this is the Mets should have the resources to take a risk on a promising Cuban player that fills a position of need. Sure he may need some seasoning at Triple-A. Maybe he won’t even have a big impact in 2016. But we need a replacement for Wright in the long term. And do we really expect Wright to just retire at the end of the season? It’s more likely that he lingers and tries to play another season or even beyond that. What proven major league free agent third basemen is going to join the Mets to be Wright’s understudy? Do we really want to give up a bunch of prospects for some stopgap solution like Danny Valencia or Aaron Hill? Do we want to give up Zack Wheeler for Jonathan Lucroy or overpay for someone having a career year like  Yangervis Solarte? Listen, we may need to do one of those things anyway to compete this season, but there’s nothing prohibiting the Mets from signing a Cuban talent and pursuing trade opportunities for short term solutions in the infield. Plus who better to help Gourriel get acquainted to life in the majors than Yoenis Cespedes, someone who’s made the adjustment from Cuban ball/life to the MLB.

I’m sick of watching other teams sign these Cuban studs. If the Mets don’t sign him, he’s just going to wind up on the Dodgers, Yankees, or some other team that isn’t afraid to open the wallet and take a risk. If the Wilpons have actually loosened the purse strings, then let’s see it. Sign another Cuban please.

Mets Crumbling; Darker Forces At Work


Final Score: Brewers 5, Mets 3

Quick Recap: I don’t even have the energy to dissect this .500 road trip the Mets just finished. They just split a series in Milwaukee in truly embarrassing fashion. You want a recap of this game? The Mets committed 3 documented errors and an additional mistake that should have been an error. In the first inning with 2 outs, Ryan Braun hit a ball to Wilmer Flores that he deflected into the outfield. Alejandro De Aza then misfired to second base and Braun advanced to third on his error. The Brewers didn’t end up scoring that inning, but Flores should have been given an error on the play too. The Brewers scored three runs in the second inning. Keon Broxton hit an RBI single to make it 1-0. Then with runners on second and third, pitcher Zach Davies hit a sac bunt and Matz threw it away. Two more runs scored to make it 3-0. In the fifth inning, pitcher Zach Davies singled and then Jonathan Villar bunted to third. Wilmer Flores fielded the bunt, threw the ball away, and Davies advanced to third due to the error. That error set up a sac fly by Braun and an RBI double by Jonathan Lucroy to make it 5-0.

As far as the Mets offense goes, there was none other than Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes adding some meaningless RBI hits in the 8th inning. The Mets left the world on base per usual. Cespedes went 2 for 4. He’s our only real threat right now.

Darker Forces At Work: The Mets injury plague has jumped to frightening levels. Before the game, Terry Collins went to the hospital for tests. Pray for Terry. Now we have Travis d’Arnaud out, Lucas Duda/David Wright out for basically the season, Neil Walker battling back issues, Michael Conforto battling a wrist injury, and Cespedes sore in every part of his body. Essentially, the entire starting lineup is injured.

These 2016 injury woes go way beyond the standard Ray Ramirez inept training staff issues that we’ve all come to expect. We went to the World Series last year, and everyone is now disintegrating before our eyes. My running theory is this:

In mid-July of 2015, the Wilpons, the Ricketts Family that owns the Cubs, the Madoff trustee Irving Picard, and Lucifer himself all met with Bernie Madoff at his current prison facility in North Carolina.

The Deal:

  • The Wilpons got Yoenis Cespedes and a promise from Satan that he would help them make tons of money from future ticket sales so they could keep their fortune and pay back the money they owe for Madoff.
  • The Cubs got Satan to lift their curse and a promise of a World Series championship in 2016.
  • The Madoff trustee was promised he would get enough money from the Wilpons to pay back all the Madoff victims.
  • Bernie Madoff got his soul freed from Satan’s grasp, and a promise that he’d spend his afterlife in a nice mildly entertaining section of purgatory.
  • Satan got the souls of Daniel Murphy and Michael Fulmer, and in return the two athletes would go on to be the best hitter and pitcher in Major League Baseball for years to come.

Now in true Bedazzled fashion, there’s always some cruel spin on these deals with the devil. So here’s what we’ve seen happen since the deal went down. In August and September, Satan possessed Yoenis Cespedes who single-handedly sparked the Mets offense and led them to the playoffs. Satan simultaneously cursed Matt Williams and the Nationals. In the playoffs, in a cruel twist Satan transferred his influence from Cespedes to Daniel Murphy and used him to put a dagger through the Chicago Cubs heart thus keeping their curse in place in 2015. In the World Series, Satan temporarily left Murph and consequently he returned to being a defensive bum thus costing the Mets the championship. The Mets losing the World Series did not matter however because the playoff run combined with the continued presence of Cespedes has given the Wilpons all they needed to generate ticket sales to pay back the Madoff trustee.

Now in 2016, we have seen the second half of the deal. Daniel Murphy is the best hitter in baseball and carrying the Nationals who Satan wronged in 2015. Michael Fulmer is emerging as an absolute rookie of the year pitching stud for the Tigers. The Cubs so far are the best team to ever step foot on a baseball field, and seemingly nothing can stop them from ending their championship drought. And of course, the Wilpons were never actually promised a championship or any extended run of success as part of the evil negotiations. But they continue to sell tickets despite their entire team crumbling due to injury.

So that’s my running theory. I think the Wilpons made a deal with the devil, and now everything is falling apart because those mooks couldn’t negotiate a good business deal to save their lives. It’s June, the Mets are 34-28, and still technically hold an NL Wildcard spot despite their recent struggles. The season is so long and things can absolutely turn around in the summer for the Mets like they did last year. But yeah if you couldn’t tell from my tone above, I’m feeling kind of pessimistic about the direction our season is going.

Death To Depth: Penny Pinching Wilpons Place Ruben Tejada On Waivers

For all of Spring Training, the Mets beat reporters have been saying the Mets plan to cut Ruben Tejada, trade Alejandro De Aza, and demote Kevin Plawecki. And all Spring I have been doubting their claims. Curse my damn logical brain. I forgot about the Wilpon trump card. Saving a couple of goddamn shekels. Ruben has been placed on waivers. His days as a Met are numbered. Why? Tejada was due 3 million bucks. They are dumping him before the season starts to get out of paying his salary. They are probably even getting out of paying his NLDS medical bills. Uh oh, I thought the Coupon Wilpon days were over. Nope. Don’t let the Cespedes signing fool you. The penny pinching is back. Hell it never left. Sic semper altitudo! Death to depth! Say no to depth! The team is full. Vote Soup/Monell 2016!

So are we just handing minor league SS Matt Reynolds the opening day job until Cabrera returns? Maybe. Is Eric Campbell aka Soupman going to start at 3B with Wilmer Flores at SS? Dear god no. But probably yes. This is a bad baseball decision. Sure, unproven minor league SS Matt Reynolds could wind up being good. But why in God’s name are we holding SS tryouts during our 2016 championship run season? There’s absolutely no reason to release a competent backup middle infielder especially considering the lack of supply across the league. If his performance this spring or during the season was bad, that would be a different story. But he is raking at the dish this spring.

Ruben is going to get claimed immediately. Not by one of the worst teams in the league. No he’s going to wind up on the Cardinals who just lost their SS Jhonny Peralta to injury. Or perhaps even…the Dodgers! That’s right folks. The Utley/Tejada Odd Couple buddy comedy is that much closer to becoming a reality. If they team up, I’m sure they will become best good friends.

I really can’t believe the Mets are doing this. By “this” I mean voluntarily getting rid of depth to save a few pennies. It’s not even about Ruben. He really isn’t even that good. I have had problems with Tejada for years. He’s been arguably my number one Mets scapegoat through the dark times (2009-2014). But my problem was always with the way he was used. He’s been the Mets day one starter at SS since like 2011. We used him like a starter when the team sucked, and he’s really a reserve infielder on a good team. Finally we build enough depth to use him in the right role, and we are essentially releasing him to save a couple million bucks. Squeeze those pennies Fred and Jeff. Squeeze them real tight.

This is a developing story, and Ruben is not technically gone yet. But he’s definitely packing his bags. If Alejandro De Aza is next on the chopping block and Kevin Plawecki starts the season in AAA, I am going to lose my mind. So long Ruben. We will never forget our last memory of you getting absolutely demolished. Also, see you in the playoffs when you’re playing for one of our chief NL rivals. I’m sure that won’t come back to bite us.

ForgeryGate: Wilpons At It Again

I figured it’s day three of spring training and the only Mets news would be about Big Sexy Bartolo Colon starring at the first teamwide workout while David Wright conducts interviews on the sideline from his massage chair. Nope. The Wilpons are back in the news again. Just another fraud related headline. But don’t worry. It has nothing to do with them at all. Some evil evil man has pled guilty to forgery and wire fraud as he allegedly forged the signature of Mets COO Jeff Wilpon as part of a scheme that cheated investors out of $3.5 million.

First off, how are the Wilpons still regularly convincing judges and juries and everyone that they’ve done absolutely nothing illegal when everything they touch turns to fraud? It’s mind blowing. At this point you would think the justice system’s mantra would be “innocent until proven Wilpon”. I mean when the Wilpons are even on the periphery of a financial related crime, wouldn’t the assumption be that every other party is innocent and the Wilpons have to be the mastermind?

Furthermore, authorities said the “guilty” man incorrectly spelled Jeff Wilpon’s first name on the forged documents which to me is an absolute dead giveaway that Jeff was actively involved in the scheme. As we all know, Jeff has never signed a document in his entire life. In fact, I am guessing this “guilty man” is just the person Jeff pays to rubber stamp all his legal documents. Obviously this time the man was out sick or something, and as a result Jeff had to personally sign these documents. He was probably just scribbling his nickname “Jeff” all over each page as his lackeys looked on and said, “Good job Jeff!! We are so proud of you.” Well either way as usual Jeff gets off scott free. Some minion in the Wilpon machine takes the fall for the big dogs yet again.

Speaking of Wilpons, paleontologists unearthed a full Fred Wilpon at Mets camp yesterday, one of the oldest owners to be discovered at Spring Training to date.

2016 Mets: Pre-Season Scapegoat Predictions 

Before the Democrats had Wall Street and Trump had Mexican immigrants, Mets fans had the Wilpons to blame for all the team’s ills. Whenever the Mets were at or near the basement of the NL East over the last 7 years, the fans would ready their fingers for pointing at Jeff and Fred. “They are slashing payroll! They are in debt! They meddled in baseball decisions! We can’t win unless they sell the team!”

As you might expect, the Wilpons heard the criticism and simply joined in on the scapegoating. In fact, you could say they were the trailblazers for all the modern political finger pointing trends by blaming Bernie Madoff and Latin American immigrant General Manager Omar Minaya. It would be nice if Mets fans, the Wilpons, politicians, and society as a whole could all just unite in their scapegoating and find one illegal immigrant Mexican insider trading hedge fund manager to blame for all of the world’s problems, but I fear that day may never come.

Anyway, whenever the losing set in over the last 7 years (usually right before the All-Star break), Mets fans were ready with the stock Wilpon excuses. However, 2016 will be the first season in a long time where the Wilpons won’t be the default scapegoat. In fact, because the Wilpons signed Yoenis Cespedes and let Maverick Sandy make every move he wanted, fans can’t possibly blame them. At least not this year.

That being said, in a season that begins with the highest of expectations, finger pointing is inevitable the second the slightest thing goes wrong. So without further ado, here is the list of Top 5 likeliest goats if things fall apart in 2016:

5) The New Guy –
Whenever things go wrong, the easiest thing to do is to blame the new guy. And when the new guy is replacing a particularly popular player in Daniel Murphy, it makes him an even likelier target. Neil Walker has been one of the most consistently productive offensive 2B in all of baseball over the last 5 seasons. He’s a switch hitter, a better defender than Murphy, and he’s in a contract year. There’s almost no reason to believe he will do anything but thrive in the middle of the Mets lineup and earn himself a nice big payday after the season. That being said, after watching Jason Bay come over to New York as one of the most productive outfielders in the league and inexplicably deteriorate right before our eyes, there’s no guarantee that someone will thrive in the Big Apple just because they excelled in Pittsburgh. Plus look at the guy. I know he’s got a reputation as a hard-nosed player, but he appears to be butter soft. He looks like the kind of guy that reads the Bible in the hotel room on road trips. And not in that Daniel Murphy psycho fundamentalist Christian way but in that “I read it for the wisdom within” kind of way. I’m confident he is going to have a huge season for us. However, he’ll be one of the first fan targets if he has a rough start to the season and the team struggles.

4) Old Man Collins
– The manager is always a top scapegoat target especially when the team has high expectations for the season. Terry “Cotton Hill” Collins has faced a ton of adversity during his tenure managing this team. From the time he was hired in 2011 until August of last season, the team was completely awful. But the team was bad by design during those years. For the first time ever, Terry has the real NYC spotlight on him, and every managerial decision he makes is going to get scrutinized at an extreme level. Just look at Harveygate in Game 5 of the World Series. Even though he’s made a ton of questionable in game decisions during his time as manager, Game 5 may have been the first time he was broadly criticized by all the MLB talking heads. Why? Because it was a big game and people were actually paying attention. Now Terry is going to face that level of scrutiny for 162 games. We’ve seen Terry handle losing when it was expected, but it’ll be interesting to see how he handles a losing streak when Vegas expects us to win.

3) David Wright‘s Titanium Spine
– Last season, David Wright‘s spinal stenosis and all the injuries on the team in general had a major impact on the Mets pre-trade deadline performance. However, the injured players didn’t get blamed as much as the Wilpons did for not allowing Sandy Alderson to build a deep roster. Well now we have a deep roster, and David Wright has started his inevitable transformation into an injury-prone cyborg. With his spine deteriorating by the day and his desperate need for a futuristic titanium replacement growing, he’s in danger of becoming more machine than man. If he once again misses lengthy periods of the season and the team struggles, the fans may finally start complaining a little more about his frailty and gigantic contract. Or maybe all his robot parts will translate into a late career surge in performance and like astronaut Steve Austin he will transform into the inflation adjusted 138 million dollar man that we always hoped he would be.

2) Matt Harvey and his Sexcapades
Matt Harvey is the face of the Mets franchise. He demanded to be the face when he arrived, and he got his wish. He is always on the brink of being blamed for everything under the sun. He tweeted out that picture after his Tommy John surgery where he was flipping everyone off and he was widely criticized. At the end of last season, everyone was ready to crucify him because of the media fabricated story that he wanted to stop pitching once he reached his “innings limit”. Before the playoffs started he missed some BS workout and everyone was freaking out. The point is everything he does is going to be scrutinized. And all those criticisms I mentioned have happened while he’s been at the top of his game. If he experiences just the slightest amount of playoff hangover fatigue and his performance dips, it won’t be long before the media is blaming his appearances on Late Night with Seth Meyers for the team’s “lack of focus”. As long as the team is winning and he is performing at the top of his game, he can turn his limo into a clown car full of models and take them all to see the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. If Harvey and the Mets struggle, he’ll be run out of town faster than you can say “Dark Knight”.

1) Yoenis Cespedes and his Smoking/Bat Flipping/Laziness
– The acquisition of Cespedes, his torrid summer, and the Mets playoff run, happened so fast that fans barely had time to complain about anything let alone about Cespedes. But that didn’t stop a contingent of asshole Mets fans from forming after the World Series who thought the Mets should let Cespedes walk because he misplayed Alcides Escobar‘s lead-off inside the park home run in Kansas City. That’s right. There were fans who turned against the man who carried the team to the playoffs because he had a bad World Series (along with everyone else on the team). Imagine how quickly they will turn on him if he has a down month and the offense can’t get anything going during his slump. I can hear the complaining already. “His bat flipping is cocky” and “He takes lazy routes to the ball” and “He doesn’t run hard to first base” and on and on. Let’s not forget that Cespedes already has a made up reputation for being a clubhouse distraction, so it’s only a matter of time before the media decides to dust off the old lies and re-print them. In fact, he’ll wind up getting scapegoated for a lot of the same reasons Trump scapegoats Mexican immigrants. Basically a bunch of made up racist reasons. Anyway, let’s hope that we win 100 games and his bat flipping becomes an iconic memory of the season rather than a symbol of his “immaturity” like the Mejia save stomp (R.I.P. Jenrry).

After a run to the World Series and a successful offseason, it’s hard to feel anything but positive about our chances coming into the season. That being said, these are the Mets we are talking about. And I know come Opening Day when the Mets are losing to the Royals in Kansas City and my beer is half-empty, I am going to be looking to point my finger at someone. Better to just prepare for the inevitable now.

Cespedes Re-signs: The Savior Has Returned


Rejoice Mets fans! Our savior has returned.

It’s not easy to completely change the outlook for and performance of a baseball team. Yet that’s exactly what Yoenis Cespedes did almost overnight when he arrived on July 31st 2015. His offensive talent represented something Mets fans hadn’t seen since Carlos Beltran and before that Mike Piazza. His post trade offensive numbers speak for themselves. 17 home runs. .942 OPS. 57 games. He catapulted a near .500 team to 90 wins and took the offense from worst to first. But it wasn’t his talent, the eventual NL East crown, or the run to the World Series that had the greatest impact on the franchise. It was what his acquisition meant. He gave fans a glimmer of hope. He represented the possibility that the culture of hopelessness fostered by the post-Madoff Wilpons was finally over. This was the first piece of evidence that fans could point to in order to show that Fred and Jeff were finally going to fulfill their promise to open their wallets once the pitching talent arrived at Citi-Field.

And today after nearly three months of Mets fans breaking the internet with #signCespedes #keepYo our prayers were answered. Today represents the biggest victory to date over the tyrannical reign of the Wilpons. Fred and Jeff tried everything in their power to prevent this day. They made their case: unwavering stances against long term deals, BS excuses about Cespedes’ dugout chain smoking habits, allusions that he was a diva. But in the end all it took was 3 months of relentless pressure from the fan-base and Cespedes’ unprecedented decision to pass on a $100 million dollar deal. He passed on a long term deal. Think about that. The only reason he is here is because he became the first player since Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire to pass on the guaranteed deal and bet on himself. And even Cuba only passed because he was getting low-balled.

I’ve seen players take “pillow contracts” when they are coming off an injury or after a subpar season when there’s a limited market for their services. I have even seen hometown discounts like the one Alex Gordon just took where the player passes on a few million dollars or takes one less year to make a deal happen. But nobody has ever passed on a deal for the money they wanted and for the years they wanted, from a team in the same part of the country as the one they were on, or with a championship caliber roster. Why? For seemingly no reason other than “Me gusta Nueva York y Los Mets.” But Cespedes did. Nearly four months after arriving in New York and saving our season he has returned to do it yet again. He has returned so Mets fans can finally flip off the Wilpons with a smug grin on their faces and scream “YES WE CAN.” He has returned to serve as the face of the franchise and take the pressure of our elite pitchers so they can finally just dominate in peace. So soak in this moment folks. Channel your inner Cespedes and light up a toasty rich Marlboro Red cigarette. Breathe it in deep– this may finally be our chance to reach the Promised Land for the first time in 30 years.

There’s ice on CitiField tonight. And with the return of La Potencia and the Wilpons finally cutting a check it appears hell has finally frozen over.