Tag: sandy alderson

Parnell Endorsed By K-Rod As Mets Next Closer

This season Francisco Rodriguez has served as a bullpen mentor for Bobby Parnell, even endorsing the hard-throwing righty just last week.

Rodriguez said this about Parnell’s closing abilities:

He can do it and he knows it. I love that kid. I talk to him a lot and I love him. He’s a guy who comes here everyday trying to improve himself to get better and better. He definitely has the tools.

Parnell was crowned the 8th-inning man for the Mets in spring training but had a 6.14 ERA in April when he was placed on the disabled list with circulatory issues in his right hand. Since returning to the Mets on June 2nd, he regularly hit 100 mph  on radar guns, has only 3 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings with a 1.56 ERA.

GM Sandy Alderson told reporters on Wednesday that there are strong candidates in the existing bullpen who can take on the closer role.

Izzy has been in that role before, and pitched effectively in that role and effectively for us, this year. And the way Bobby Parnell has thrown the last three weeks or so has been impressive and also was a factor.

Alderson went on to say that those decisions will be best left up for Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen to address.


Three Scenarios for Sandy Alderson

NOTE: This is a guest post by Joe Spector, whose work can be found on Metsmerizedonline; you can also follow him on Twitter @Joe_Spector. Enjoy and please direct your comments to him.

Part of being a fan of Baseball, or in our case the Mets, is the fact that as fans, we’re granted the protection from the responsibility of any half-baked, cockamamie, pie-in-the-sky fantasies involving the team we’ve come to love so much. It’s a responsibility so intimately seductive and often practiced here on blogs and bars all across the five boroughs by us fans – the fanatics – where all of us know exactly what’s right for the team, 5 shots of Tequila in. Fortunately our fanaticism shields us from the realities that men like Sandy Alderson deal with dispassionately and with no semblance of protection on a daily basis.

For someone like Alderson, there is no room for


Does Smart Mean Good?

Since the Mets have done little in the way of providing storylines this winter, the media and blogosphere has had to grasp at straws in order to create content that involves the Major League Baseball team in Flushing.

One of the more recent angles has been the “intelligence” of the Mets’ new front office and their possibly not-so-coincidental targeting of similarly “smart” baseball players.

If you haven’t already read, new GM Sandy Alderson is a graduate of both Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School; his assistant Paul DePodesta is also an Ivy Leaguer, a grad of Harvard. Their combined smartness is expected to make the Mets a better organization. If you believe the Mets were a “dumb” organization before, then there is certainly some credence to that thought — even if DePodesta’s brains didn’t keep the Dodgers from recording the second-worst record in their LA history in 2005.

But when the intelligence angle is extended to the players, I’m not so sure it holds much water. The prospect of seeing brainiacs Chris Capuano, R.A. Dickey, and Chris Young in the clubhouse was interesting enough for an article in The New York Times, but that trio’s success will depend much more on their arms than their heads.

Maybe I’m just being my typically pessimistic self, but it wasn’t that long ago that the media made a big deal of John Maine’s intellect. More recently, there was Stanford grad Chris Carter, whose background in stem cell research apparently wasn’t valued enough by the Mets’ braintrust to offer him a contract.

One of my all-time favorite baseball stories about intelligence was rehashed by Mets By the Numbers a few days ago. It recounted the story of Jay Hook, an original Met whose sketches describing the Bernoulli Principle’s involvement in the flight of a curveball were published in an industrial magazine (pictured left, from the MBTN website). As it would happen, not long after the article’s publication, Hook was lit up (as he often was) by the opposition’s bats, prompting manager Casey Stengel to remark, “It’s wonderful that he knows how a curveball works. Now if he could only throw one.”

I know, I know — it’s a slow winter, and the writers have to come up with something. Intelligence is as good a topic as any; it’s hard to argue — at least, when there aren’t games being played — and getting smart ballplayers neatly follows the story of the intellectuals in the Mets’ fantasy front office.

What do you think? Would you feel more confident about the Mets’ chances if they acquired players with higher IQs?


Sandy Going Over Slot

On Friday during a blogger-only conference call I had the opportunity to pose a question to Mets GM Sandy Alderson.

My question:
You hired a new field coordinator and a new scouting director. Do you bring any kind of special philosophy in terms of scouting amateur talent and developing it through the minor league system?

Sandy Alderson’s answer:


How About Jose Canseco?

Many Mets fans are lamenting the lack of a big-time player acquisition this winter, which is due to the Mets’ limited finances. The team just doesn’t have the money nor the wherewithal to bring in someone who can make an impact in 2011.

Or do they?

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the Mets need to think out of the box. How about signing Jose Canseco?

When you’re done laughing, consider the following:

– Jose was a central figure in Sandy Alderson’s success as a GM in Oakland
– Canseco is one of the few available hitters who can make Citi Field’s dimensions seem small
– His presence will sell tickets
– He’ll come cheap; likely he’ll play for the MLB minimum

Of course, Jose has his negatives — age being the most concerning. But advanced age didn’t prevent the Mets from hiring Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins, did it? Both of those men were hired because they had experience, and previous success at the MLB level — two things that Jose also has. And before you say it’s crazy to sign a 46-year-old free agent, remember the Mets did exactly that on this day in 2005, when the Mets inked Julio Franco to a 2-year, $2.2M contract. Hopefully I don’t need to remind you that the last time the Mets made it to the postseason was 2006, with Franco appearing in 90 games as one of their top players off the bench and a calming influence in the clubhouse.

There is some concern as to whether Jose can still play the field (some may argue he was never able to play the field), but I’m not suggesting that the Mets make him an everyday player; and can he really be much worse in a corner OF position than Fernando Tatis?

As for the steroid thing — which I’m sure has been on your mind since reading the headline of this post — perhaps you are not aware that Jose Canseco stopped taking steroids in 2008, and has been clean ever since. Of course we don’t know for certain whether he can still swing a bat with as much power as he had when he was juiced, but what is the harm in giving him a tryout to find out? If it turns out he can still hit, sign him to a minor-league contract, invite him to spring training, and see what happens. At worst, he gets cut. At best, the Mets get a very cheap, big-name slugger who will put fannies in the seats.

Is there a bigger name, or a bigger bat, currently available for a lower cost?


2010 Analysis: Chris Carter

The Animal impressed manager Jerry Manuel early on in spring training, and became an immediate fan favorite for his energy, intensity, all-out play, and likable personality. His story and swing were so well received that it was something of a disappointment when he didn’t go north with the big club in April. But the demotion was temporary, and further fueled his legend.


Condolences to Sandy Alderson

Awful, awful, awful news: Sandy Alderson lost his father this evening.

The 87-year-old John Alderson, a former Air Force pilot, was killed in St. Petersburg, Florida after being struck by an automobile.

From Sandy, via MetsBlog:

Our entire family is devastated by his loss. He was a beloved father and grandfather who will be deeply missed by all of us. He and I shared many baseball experiences over the years and he was excited about Spring Training and Opening Day at Citi Field. I am terribly saddened that we will not be able to share those new experiences together.

John Alderson served our country and protected us in THREE wars: World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Thank you, sir.

God bless him and the Alderson family.