Archive: October 6th, 2009

Wilpon, Minaya, Howard Explain Your Pain

In case you missed it yesterday, Mike Francesa hosted Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya, and David Howard on his WFAN show. Francesa joked that Howard’s presence was “to be a filibuster”. In truth, it was because he is “the guy” associated with Citi Field, and the homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers was of course the most successful accomplishment of the New York Mets franchise in 2009.

Oh did you mistake “success” for “winning”? No, friend … success is bottom-line profits. And as you will hear in the interview, the Mets “brand” did well in its ability to serve its “customers”. But that should be changing in 2010 — if we are to believe the head honchos of the Mets’ organization.

Jeff Wilpon Part 1

Jeff Wilpon Part 2

Understand that the above links lead to material that may not be suitable for all audiences. For example, they are not for those with a weak stomach, nor for the strong of mind. I also would not listen to these clips if you are suffering from anxiety, depression, or stress disorders.

Some of the things I personally gleaned from the interview …

– Daniel Murphy will not return to the outfield, and he may or may not return as the starting first baseman

– Jeff Wilpon insists that the Mets will continue to have one of the highest payrolls in MLB, and that Omar Minaya has no financial constraints

– Further, Wilpon will not be “slicing payroll”, will be “aggressive” on the market, and his commitment this winter is “to give Omar the resources he needs to put a championship team on the field”

– Neither Minaya nor Wilpon believe the team needs a “rebuilding”, and they plan to use a mix of free agent signings and trades to “fix the holes”

– Minaya’s role and responsibilities as GM will not change

– Citi Field was built so large because Omar Minaya’s philosophy was to build a team around pitching, defense, and speed (hmm … the plans for Citi Field, including the vast dimensions, were unveiled in 1998 — when Minaya was an assistant to Steve Phillips)

– the Mets are going to add “more imagery” and a “Mets Hall of Fame” to placate fans’ complaints that Citi Field is an homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers

Conclusion

The Mets have publicly changed the goal from “putting a winning product on the field” to “putting a championship team on the field”. Wilpon claims that the financial coffers are available to make that happen.

We are going to hold on to these two points in particular as we watch and analyze this winter’s moves.

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Manuel Mystery Tour

Matthew Artus of Always Amazin called the Mets’ multiple press appearances a “curious epilogue to 2009” and included a graphic resembling the cover from the old Beatles’ album “Magical Mystery Tour”. Fitting, and well done, Mr. Artus. (Kids, an “album” was what music was once played on, and “The Beatles” were a popular rock band from the 1960s.)

Artus summed up the mystery with,

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2009 Analysis: Lance Broadway

Early in September, loyal MetsToday reader “The DZA” made a content suggestion:

Seeing as the off season is looking to be more intriguing than the regular – would you perhaps give us a rundown of each player on the Mets as to how you think they have performed, and their subsequent projection (i.e. where they fit in or don’t fit in for the future)?

FYI, The DZA logs in from London — so MetsToday has officially achieved worldwide influence (!).

We’ll begin with the pitching staff, going in alphabetical order — that makes Lance Broadway first.

Lance Broadway

lance-broadway-35
We were treated to only 16 appearances and 30.2 IP of Lance “Off Off” Broadway, so it’s hard to make an intelligent analysis.

After a spectacular college career at Texas Christian U., Broadway was drafted 15th overall in the 2005 by the White Sox and pegged for stardom. However, he was hittable from day one as a pro, and struggled with his control at both the AAA and MLB levels.

Broadway has a sinking fastball with impressive movement down and in to RH hitters, but it rarely gets far above 90 MPH and his command of it was inconsistent as a Met. His attempts at secondary stuff were similarly futile — a cut fastball/slider appeared to be the best of a bad lot.

One positive was his demeanor and composure on the mound; he was professional, competitive, and unflappable — he appears to have the heart of a lion. That can go a long way, as it’s something that few pitchers can develop if it isn’t already part of their makeup.

It’s unlikely that Broadway will one day live up to his billing as a star collegian and #1 pick. At 26 years old, time is running out quickly. To succeed at the MLB level with his high-80s / low 90s velocity, Broadway needs to have pinpoint control AND a plus off-speed pitch. Unfortunately he has displayed neither as a New York Met. That’s not to say he can’t still “figure it out”, and considering the Mets’ lack of depth in regard to pitching at the upper levels of the farm system, they have little choice but to start him in AAA Buffalo in 2010 and hope for the best. It probably makes sense to keep him in the starting rotation as a minor leaguer, so that he can spend more time and innings developing command of his fastball and a secondary pitch. I don’t see his velocity jumping the necessary 5-8 MPH to become a late-inning relief specialist, so his best shot is probably as a 5th starter / long reliever.

If indeed Lance can take the next step in his development, it would make a great story befitting of, um, Broadway (oh, bad one, huh?).

What’s your take on Lance Broadway? Post your analysis and opinion in the comments.

Next up is the immortal Elmer Dessens.

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