Fred Wilpon arrived in Port St. Lucie today and defiantly told reporters that his family will be vindicated. He spoke to reporters at length about the Madoff trustee lawsuit against him and said that he’s done nothing wrong and the Mets won’t be affected by the suit. It’s the same thing he told reporters at his press conference a couple of weeks ago.
Here are the stories that are in the news from PSL:
The Mets finally cut John Maine loose. They did it a year too late but as long as they got it done, that’s what counts. It’s been a downhill slide for Maine since his breakout 2007 season with 15 wins. Injuries and difficulty coping with them took its toll on Maine leading to him coming off surgery (again) but this time without a contract. I’m sure some team will offer him a minor league deal to see if he can recover but I doubt that it will be the Mets.
The Mets also chose to non-tender Sean Green and Chris Carter. Green only made it into 11 games last year after having cracked ribs. He claimed the injury was because the Mets were trying to convert him to a submarine style from his usual sidearm delivery. Who knows if that’s really the case? But it just didn’t make sense to bring him back. Relievers are so up and down from year to year.
Carter was such a likable player in 2010 for the Mets. He’s the kind of guy that everyone roots for, including me. He was the super Joe McEwing of 2010. It’s too bad he didn’t have the talent to stick on the roster. Carter was an absolute butcher in the field. I could see him getting a shot with an American League team as a designated hitter. I hope it works out for him. I’d be thrilled to see him back in the big leagues and playing successfully at some point.
You can recycle that ad campaign for next year because it doesn’t look like the Mets will be coming back this year. The season is starting to slip away fast and this will be the third year in a row that the Mets, who again have one of the highest payrolls and the some of the best talent in the league, will just choke it all away.
Despite the fact that I didn’t predict the wonderful additions of Ike Davis and Angel Pagan as true everyday players, which should have made them wild card contenders this year, I did get the feeling that with Omar Minaya in charge the Mets would make an early run and then drop out of the race yet again. Continue reading “2010 Mets – We Believe in Comebacks!”
The beat reporters are all writing that John Maine had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder yesterday and is done for the season. His career with the Mets is done as well. It’s a virtual lock that the Mets will non-tender Maine after this season. He has absolutely no value to the organization anymore, especially being arbitration eligible.
Maine’s career with the Mets started with such promise after being acquired from Baltimore in the Kris Benson deal in 2005. The highlight of his Mets career was his 2007 season going 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA.
If about a month ago you asked a Mets fan who was the most pleasant surprise this season, you’d have a lot of responses. R.A. Dickey. Ike Davis. Angel Pagan.
All very deserving names. Another name that would’ve been on that list is 35-year-old Japanese import Hisanori Takahashi.
He wasn’t untouchable coming out of the bullpen, but he was more than serviceable, posting a 3.12 ERA as a reliever. When John Maine and Oliver Perez had to be pulled from the rotation due to a combination of injuries and ineffectiveness, Takahashi was chosen to take one of the open spots in the rotation.
With the first half of the season now a thing of the past, the Mets will start their second half quest to the pennant on the West coast for 11 games. They’ll be in San Francisco for four, Arizona for three, and back to California for four against the Dodgers. Here are some keys to each series I’ll be paying close attention to.
San Francisco 7/15-7/18
Expect pitching, pitching, and more pitching… And also the return of Carlos Beltran. The Mets will be facing a formidable quartet of Giants pitchers in the spacious confines of AT&T Park. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain are as good a 1-2 punch as there is in the league at the top of any rotation. With that said, I’m confident in the Mets starters not only because the Giant lineup is far from imposing, but because the rotation proved themselves to be stingy in the first half. I foresee a series where Jerry Manuel’s strategic make-up will be tested, and a lot of “small” ball being executed. Like all Met fans are, I’m anxious to see Beltran back on the field, but my expectations are low, seeing as how it took Jose Reyes so long to adjust to the speed of the Major Leagues upon his return in April.
The Mets are going to have to bring the lumber to the desert when they take on the D-Back’s for a three game set. Although the big bats of Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds can change the tide of a game with one swing, The Arizona pitching staff is about as effective as John Daley after 12 cold ones on the 15th hole. They are worst in the NL in ERA and earned runs allowed. The Mets have proven to be capable of coming from behind this season, so the lineup should be able to touch up the D-Back bullpen in the later frames if they fall behind. In addition, the Mets historically play really well at Chase Field. I’m expecting an abundance of offensive output in this series from the Met lineup. We’ll also see two players who are attracting a lot of attention on the trade market in RHP Dan Haren and left-hand hitting 2B Kelly Johnson. Continue reading “Mets 2010 Second Half Begins on West Coast”
The New York Post is reporting that the Wilpon family’s financial situation is so precarious that they cannot add payroll through trades. The report states that adding a front line starting pitcher is the least of their problems. Their debt load is so heavy and attendance is down so much this season that if the trend continues for a season or two, they may be forced to sell the team.
The Mets are losing about $10 million/year including depreciation and interest payments on the debt
Attendance is down 19% from 2009 and down 35% from 2008
SNY is profitable but is leveraged to roughly six times it’s earnings before interest
The Wilpon family refinanced about $375 million in loans and kept $75 million for themselves
The article has a little bit of information about the family’s investments in commercial real estate which has been in a down market for three years now. It doesn’t help that the Mets’ fortunes have been down for three years now either. And it won’t be easy to recover. The article states that one of the debt covenants prevents the team from increasing payroll. Taking on Roy Oswalt or Cliff Lee would be great this month. But the Mets can’t expect the Astros or Mariners to take back equal or more salary.
We may be stuck with the pitching staff as it stands now. Maybe John Maine or Oliver Perez will come back and start doing what seems unlikely to most of us. If not, we could be speculating on who will be buying the Mets in a couple of years. Hopefully, it won’t get to the point that the Rangers have this season.
The road to recovery for John Maine just hit another speed bump. John Maine pitched Friday night for Buffalo and only went 4.1 IP while throwing 88 pitches without being able to increase velocity. Jerry Manuel told reporters before Sunday’s game that Maine didn’t feel well after the start and needs to be re-evaluated by team doctors.
It’s too bad for Maine for this to happen in his walk year. He looked like a rising start in 2007 only to have three injury plagued seasons to follow. Manuel also told reporters that he wasn’t considering removing Hisanori Takahashi from the rotation at this point. And Omar Minaya told reporters that he didn’t see Maine as a fit in the Mets bullpen.
The message is pretty clear from those statements. There isn’t a spot on the big league roster for Maine. If he gets healthy and they can’t put him on the roster, most likely he’ll be designated for assignment. I really do think Maine’s days with the Mets are numbered.