Tag: buffalo

Wilpon Warms Up in Buffalo

According to The Buffalo News, Jeff Wilpon appeared at Coca-Cola Park in Buffalo to apologize for the Bisons’ awful season.

After all, it was the Mets who inadequately stocked their AAA team with players who would have a hard time competing in the local Babe Ruth League.

Some of the quotes:

“There’s disappointment in the fan base and ownership here as well as ownership in New York with how [the Bisons] have performed. We have to fix that,” Wilpon told The Buffalo News during the Herd’s 9-4 win over Lehigh Valley. “It’s something we want to do better and we will do better for the City of Buffalo and for the Mets.

“It’s good business to do better and it’s also the morally right thing to do because Buffalo has opened its arms to us and we really appreciate that. It’s been terrific to be here. …”

and:

“We want a competitive team for the entire year, not just two-thirds of the year, and we’re going to spend the money on Buffalo,” Wilpon said. “We spend money on the big league club and we spent money here as well. The injuries with the big league club were the biggest issue here. Everybody in our organization knows this is a priority to get this team in a better position. We’d like to be here long term.

“We’re disappointed as well. I can understand the fans’ feeling. We don’t want to lose. The ownership group here doesn’t and I can tell you for certain ownership in New York doesn’t want to be losing here.”

So … was this trip to Buffalo a warmup for the apologies Jeff will be offering to Flushing a few weeks from now?

Regardless, the fans of Buffalo should know — the Wilpons are well known for apologies and empty promises, so get used to it.

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Mets Get Jason Dubois

jason-duboisThey passed on Manny Ramirez, ignored Raul Ibanez, decided against Adam Dunn, and never considered Casey Blake, before settling on Gary Sheffield as a stopgap.

But finally, the Mets have acquired the big-bodied, power-hitting left fielder they’ve needed since admitting Moises Alou to a nursing home: Jason Dubois.

What do you mean, “who the heck is Jason Dubois?” Doesn’t anyone read Baseball America?

For the uninformed and the ignorant, Jason Dubois is a 6’5″, 225-pound outfielder who once slugged 31 homeruns in a minor league season (2004). He’s been hidden in the Chicago Cubs’ system for 8 of his 9 years in the minors, unable to leapfrog over the Calvin Murrays and Matt Murtons of the world. This year he’s hitting .302 with 11 HRs and 50 RBI in only 275 at-bats — but again, his path blocked to the majors by a stunning array of outfielders in the Cubs’ system. Luckily for the Mets, the Cubs were willing to part with the strapping righthanded hitter, who at 30 years old is in the prime of his athletic life.

Immediately, Dubois arrives as the man with the best raw power in the organization among those who do not require a walker to enter the batter’s box. Following in the footsteps of the departed Wily Mo Pena and Valentino Pascucci, Dubois has prodigious power and a prodigious penchant for striking out — 77 times so far this season. But hey, he’s played in Buffalo before (in 2006) and should be warmly welcomed by the Bisons’ fan base.

And who knows, he might be auditioned in Flushing for a 2010 job in the outfield.

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A Source of Power

wily-mo-buffalo

Jerry Manuel’s opine for power has so far fallen on deaf ears in the front office. But, perhaps the solution can be found from within.

That’s right, there’s a slugging outfielder-first baseman right under our nose (well, actually, in Buffalo) — and he hits from the right side of the plate.

His name is Wily Mo Pena.

Stop laughing … he may be on the way up.

Though he struggled mightily upon joining the organization, Wily Mo has recently picked it up. In his last ten games, Pena is hitting .351 with 2 homers, 3 doubles, and 9 RBI, and is hitting .345 for the month of June.

As mentioned several weeks ago, Pena has tremendous raw power and is only 27 — on the brink of entering his prime. There are many who believe he’ll never recapture the magic that led to his hitting 51 homers before the age of 24, but I point the critics to Nelson Cruz. Cruz — someone I advocated acquiring last year — was labeled as a career “tweener” or “AAAA guy”, but has blossomed in this, his 28th year, with 17 homers and a .288 average in his first 236 at-bats in Texas.

I’m not predicting that a Wily Mo will come in and mash 40 homers. But considering that the Mets are desperate for some punch, and have little chance of acquiring someone from the outside, logic would dictate that Pena’s promotion is imminent.

By the way, not only does Pena play in Buffalo, but he also resembles one. Check out this photo I found of him on Flickr, standing next to Javier Valentin. Even if he can’t hit, his mere presence should cause a bit of fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers:
pena-valentin

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