Classless and clueless

It’s going to be widely discussed today so there’s no need for me to spend that much time on it, but just to weigh in: The Mets organization proved itself to be both classless and clueless in firing Willie last night (actually, this morning).

I heard a few interesting things on my way into work today on ESPN Radio that I wish I could have recorded and replayed here. I won’t quote since I’m going by memory, but here’s the gist of what I heard:

  • Steve Phillips: The Mets organization works backwards in coming to executing a decision. They made the decision to fire Willie and then the worked backwards to figure out when to do it. They didn’t want to do it on Memorial Day. Not on Father’s Day, either. So they let Willie fly across the country and then whacked him AFTER he won, AFTER he spoke to the press, finally the press release was issued at 3:15am. So that was their plan, as pathetic as it was. They actually decided this was the best way to do this. Let that ruminate for a moment. The way this was done has made Willie a martyr, even in the eyes of the fans who wanted Willie ousted.
  • Bill Madden: The way this execution took place was the worst, “undignified, astrocious” in his 30 years of covering NY baseball, and that includes all of the Boss’ pathetic, ill-timed firings. His interview was amazing in its insight and brutality. He basically skewered the entire front office. He tossed a grenade on Tony Bernazard, the ass’t GM. All of the Latin players seek out Tony, not Willie. Tony would hang out with buddy Manny Acta when the Mets would travel to DC. Madden puked on Jeff Wilpon for being angry that Willie got a better contract than Wilpon wanted him to get. The backbiting that Madden described is terrible and proves there’s a systemic problem within the Mets dis-organization. There’s a poll on Madden’s Daily News site that has the vote of 82% – 18% against the timing of the firing. That 18% thought the timing was right may give you some insight to the craziness that Mets fans are.
  • Jayson Stark: “An abomination“. ‘Nuff said.

UPDATE: Buster Olney’s blog is out and he defines the issue beautifully in his opening paragraph:

The personnel meetings the Mets hold are said by participants to run on for hours, the discussion often turning circular and pointless. And maybe that’s when it starts to happen in their organization when they get to the point where the staff members are so beaten down emotionally and intellectually that they don’t have the ability to stand up and scream: Are you people crazy? Are you serious? Because this is a really bad idea — no, no, wait, let’s go one step further: It’s really just flat-out nuts.

Make no mistake about it; this sort of thing happens in conference rooms and board rooms of companies daily, across the world. But, luckily for us, the Mets do it in clear view of knuckleheads like me. Continue reading Classless and clueless

Anecdote of the day

Loyal reader Osmodious shared a story in the comments section of my recent posting “Hating Boston: Not just for NY’ers anymore”. Far be it from me to withhold the rants of a fellow madman, particularly one who is not a Yankee fan, with a great anti-RSN rant:

We went to Baltimore over Memorial Day and saw the Yanks play the Orioles… two rows in front of us was a Red Sox fan (who looked like something out of the D&D Monster Manual, in the ‘Gnomes and Dwarves’ section) and his troglodyte wife. They were the loudest and most obnoxious people in the entire ballpark…and there were a LOT of Yankee fans there!

Seriously, this asshat ruined the game for scores of people (many of whom actually MOVED to get away from him). Kevin Millar is a hero but Johnny Damon is a traitorous bum…yeah, whatever (these are the same types that boo ARod, forgetting that he was willing to take a pay CUT to play there but their management screwed it up!).

People badmouth Yankee fans, but the fact is that Yankee fans are also BASEBALL fans. Red Sox fans are masochistic retches that are incapable of feeling anything other than the huge chip on their shoulder. I have seen Yankee fans cheer an opposing player for a ‘Web Gem’…and I have seen Red Sox fans shout obscenities to Jorge Posada in the batter’s box about his son’s medical condition. Sick, sick people.

Thanks, Os. Continue reading Anecdote of the day

Hating Boston: Not just for NY'ers anymore

See, it’s not just NY’ers who find Boston fans insufferable, annoying, etc. The good folks in Philly, always a barometer of sanity within their fandom, had some fun things to say about our Sawx brethren:

I see people. I see annoying people. I see annoying people wearing blue hats with a red B on the front.

And they’re . . . they’re . . . everywhere!

Yes, it is the seemingly annual invasion of the denizens of Red Sox Nation. (Motto: In Us We Irritate.) It is a nation whose currency is based on being cloying, self-important, pompous, overly loud and, regrettably, ever-present, and the economy is great. Axis of Evil? You make your list of nations that belong and I’ll make mine.

Wait, there’s more contempt, and far be it from me to withold it:

There’s nothing cuddly or cute about a team with a $133 million payroll. You can’t be an underdog if you spend like the Kennedys. If the Red Sox – who struggled to draw one million fans under the penurious final seasons of Yawkey family ownership – were once a cold-water walk-up on Kenmore Square, they are now a gated compound on the Cape.

Oh, I know. The fans sing songs together and have other adorable rituals, and tend to overlook small things like the fact that Manny Ramirez is one of the most selfish, self-indulgent players in the game. Ah, c’mahn. He’s a Sawk.

Well, self-indulgence loves company, so much so that somewhere around 15,000 fans nationwide have sent in their $15 to become official citizens in the nation, complete with membership cards and newsletters and probably a secret lyrics sheet.

Continue reading Hating Boston: Not just for NY'ers anymore

Knights of the Roundtable

Only regret is that I wasn’t invited, but this roundtable at Biz Of Baseball is worth the read. Of course, I have no reason to have expected an invite in the first place….

Shyster was invited (damn him!) and focused on a big topic of mine: The Draft (rule IV). Clearly, we’re of the same mind, even if the system has been bent to benefit my rooting interests more than most…

I fear we are approaching a day of reckoning with respect to the Rule IV draft. It’s original purposes — to put a cap on signing bonuses and provide a means of parity-encouraging talent redistribution — have largely been thwarted as as teams which pick high in the draft are increasingly unable or unwilling to pay the bonuses demanded by the players and their agents. This phenomenon, in turn, has allowed the richest and best teams to enhance their already-strong farm systems. I’m no wizard when it comes to this stuff, but it seems to me that revenue sharing money has to be tied to talent acquisition and development somehow, or else we’re going to see an increasing talent disparity as time goes on.

I think Craig buries within the “unwilling” line the fact that MLB has set “guidelines” for slotting values. But these guidelines are merely recommendations. The ADA‘s recommendation that I floss twice a day carries the same threat as MLB’s/Selig’s recommendation. With the Yanks, Sox, Tigers and some others leveraging their resources with no fear of retribution, they are able to draft players who, based upon their talents alone, should be drafted much higher.

The system is indeed broken but don’t yell at me for my team ignoring it. Can’t say I didn’t tell you.

Continue reading Knights of the Roundtable

Let's go to the videotape

With all due respect to Warner Wolf‘s patented call, it seems that MLB is willing to be very NHL-like and make a rules change on-the-fly. Color me stunned.

MLB presented the August date to umpires on Wednesday, for the purpose of using replay on “boundary calls” — was a fence or wall cleared or was a ball fair or foul? — for home runs.

The matter still must be bargained between MLB and WUA officials before replay’s implementation.

It’s all premature,” MLB spokesman Rich Levin told USA Today. “Nothing has been decided yet.”

Might it not happen? Yep. Might it happen? Yep, too. Stay tuned.

Continue reading Let's go to the videotape

More Sosnick, Bruce-Almighty style

With a very real fear of me sounding like a Sosnick-Cobbe shill, take a read:

Recent Jay Bruce Blog on

Importance of agents

submitted by JayBruce on February 13, 2008

What’s up everyone? Sorry I haven’t been writing too often lately but I’ve been busy with traveling and getting down to Florida. Today, being that spring training is about to start I’m going to write a little about the importance of my agent, Matt Sosnick. Having a reliable agent means everything when it comes to taking the pressure off of yourself and just making life much easier for you during both the season and the offseason. I can call Matt about anything imaginable and he will help me out with it. A few months before the draft back in 2005, I was with the Boras agency. All that I had heard about them was great things, and seeing some of the players they had was an attraction from the start. After a while things weren’t working out too well between us, for no other reason than the difference in opinions we had about certain things. The Boras corporation is great for certain people, just not for me. When I switched over to Sosnick Cobbe, I saw the immediate differences I was looking for in an agent. They treat everyone in the company like family, and they are there for anything I need. I feel very strongly about this agency and its presence in the baseball world for many years to come. You guys should check out the website and learn a little more about the agency and the players that are represented.

Continue reading More Sosnick, Bruce-Almighty style

It's about the wood, stupid

Evidently, the splintering maple bat epidemic is due to inferior wood and wood drying techniques, not the type of wood. In other words, “it’s about the wood, stupid“.

Every time [Sam, the company’s founder and the father of maple bats] Holman sees a maple bat break into three or more pieces, he said, it could be a sign that the maple was not dry enough before the bat was made. Holman’s company uses a vacuum kiln designed to thoroughly dry maple and help the bats remain durable and not splinter into dangerous pieces.

What about safety for the fans? Looks like Moose has our interest at heart:
Holman said M.L.B. could address the safety concerns for fans by extending the netting from behind the plate to the ends of the dugout. That possibility is expected to be discussed.

We’ve been saying that for 10 years,” Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina said. “We’d like the fans to be able to go home with their teeth.”

Continue reading It's about the wood, stupid

Quick! To the Matt phone

How do I go about explaining one of the cooler moments that I’ve experienced recently?

Earlier today, I received an email from someone portraying himself as “Matt Sosnick“. [I know Matt Sosnick as the agent for Jay Bruce, Dontrelle Willis and up until last week, Josh Hamilton.] In the email, “Matt Sosnick” asked for my phone number so he could give me a call. Could be spam, could be one of you knuckleheads having a good prank, could be a hoax. Except in the email, there was a copied roster of players, all with hyperlinks back to Sosnick’s firm’s website. OK, could still be a prank (I’m a suspicious sort). I checked the website and saw that it was just that, a direct copy/paste. Super-sleuth that I am, I dug a bit into the StatCounter and saw a number of IP addresses that were coming from the same place in California. All of these addresses visited my Josh Hamilton posting from last week during the day today, right about when the email arrived. So, I sent along my cell number. And waited. Anxiously.

Select View Full Post to continue reading.

Continue reading Quick! To the Matt phone