David Einhorn Brings Legitimacy to Ownership

For a few years it seems as if Fred Wilpon, a real-estate guru, was more focused on the building of Citi Field rather than the team on the diamond. Wilpon, a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, built an Ebbets Field homage to his old team with the stadium design. Originally there was hardly any Mets artwork or memorabilia in the stadium, symbolic of how Wilpon routinely forgets about the Mets and their loyal fans. When it comes to the actual real estate of the field, Wilpon even messed that up. He took Shea Stadium’s dimensions (a pitcher’s park) and pushed back and raised the fences. You’d think that a real estate mogul could at least hit that one out of the park, right? Well, neither can the expensive Jason Bay.

Wilpon was blind to the fact that Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya were working in ways to save their necks. Minaya desperately signed Bay to plug in the hole in left field. Hindsight is 20/20 on Bay, but it should be noted that the savvy Theo Epstein wanted no more of Bay in Boston. To make matters worse last season, Manuel begged for the young Jenrry Mejia to make the team as a reliever. The Wilpons should have stopped them right then and there.

Cue in the bright lights as David Einhorn steps into the Owner’s Box. Einhorn is a Cornell graduate and the President of Greenlight Capital, a hedge fund known for short selling stock. Maybe he can turn this practice into profits in Flushing, before the whole team goes down the drain with the Wilpons.

It’s easy to see another organization that is getting some help from Wall Street. Take a look at the Tampa Bay Rays, who have gone to the playoffs in two of the last three years despite having a very low payroll. Stuart Sternberg bought a piece of the franchise in 2004, and with the help of fellow Goldman Sachs employee Matthew Silverman, took full control over the organization a year later. Using their Wall Street wits, they turned perennial losers into heavy hitters in a loaded American League East division by changing all that was wrong with the team. It’s possible Einhorn has the same moxy.

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Coming This Fall?

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Opening Day: Game 1

Mets @ Marlins – 7:10 PM @ Sun Life Stadium

For the Mets:

Jose Reyes, ss
Willie Harris, lf
David Wright, 3b
Carlos Beltran, rf
Angel Pagan, cf
Ike Davis, 1b
Brad Emaus, 2b
Josh Thole, c
Mike Pelfrey, rhp

For the Marlins:


Chris Coghlan, cf
Omar Infante, 2b
Hanley Ramirez, ss
Mike Stanton, rf
Gaby Sanchez, 1b
Logan Morrison, lf
John Buck, c
Donnie Murphy, 3b
Josh Johnson, rhp

Notes:

  • Brad Emaus will make his Major League debut, wearing #4.
  • The Mets beat Johnson last year at Citi Field, aided by a David Wright opposite field home run.
  • Willie Harris starts in LF, but look for Lucas Duda the rest of the series.
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Michael Young? Pass.

Metsblog posted this a short while ago: Rangers willing to pay half of Michael Young’s salary. This essentially is a retweet off Yahoo’s Tim Brown twitter account.

This should have zero relevance to Mets fans. Young has 3 years at $16M a pop for a grand total of $48M left. Even half of that means $8M a year in addition to giving up prospects.

Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll take my chances with any of the young guys over the 33 year old “Young”.

 

 

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Scouts Think Duda Could Be Like, Totally Awesome

From the always-on-the-ball Adam Rubin:

One scout who watched Duda as a youngster in the instructional league said he remembers seeing a similar “inside-out” swing from Adrian Gonzalez as a younger player and never imagined he would become a major league slugger. But the scout watched Gonzalez and begin to turn on those inside pitches rather than flick them the other way, like Duda is now starting to do.

Now if he could continue on last year’s success, prove he’s not a AAAA hitter and become an average outfielder, the Mets will have something really special in spacious Citi Field.

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Adam Rubin Agrees on Duda in RF

After reading the ESPN NY Mets Blog, it appears that Adam Rubin has come to the same conclusion that I did yesterday–that Lucas Duda may be the best option in right field if Carlos Beltran goes down for an extended period of time.

The day after it was determined that Carlos Beltran needed to be shut down for four or five days because of left knee tendinitis, it appears no coincidence that Lucas Duda finds himself in Wednesday’s Grapefruit League lineup in right field.

Sandy Alderson said Tuesday he was not resigned to Beltran opening the season on the DL, and indicated a short-term absence likely would be covered by Scott Hairston and Willie Harris. But using Duda in right field the day after Beltran was temporarily shut down suggests the organization may prefer Duda to Fernando Martinez for a longer-term absence. At the very least, Mets brass wants to get Duda acclimated to the position to allow for that possibility.

Duda has not previously logged an inning in right field this spring. In fact, a natural first baseman, he has been exposed to left field in the minors. But he has not played right field in any professional game.

“We’ll see today,” Duda said about the right-field exposure. “It will probably be an adventure out there in right field today to say the least.”

Here’s today’s lineup:

Mets
Luis Castillo, 2b
Angel Pagan, cf
Daniel Murphy, dh
Jason Bay, lf
Ike Davis, 1b
Lucas Duda, rf
Russ Adams, 3b
Josh Thole, c
Chin-lun Hu, ss

Chris Young, rhp

Also pitching: Josh Stinson, Blaine Boyer, Francisco Rodriguez, John Lujan, Manny Acosta

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Carlos Beltran’s Tendinitis

As someone who has undergone two knee surgeries in my lifetime, I understand Carlos Beltran’s pain. I’ve tried to come back too soon and not felt 100%, and it isn’t a good or natural feeling. The pain still lingers and ultimately there is doubt and caution in the mind of the athlete.

I’ve experienced knee and shoulder tendonitis as well. It downright sucks and the only thing that can be done right now is rest. Therefore, Carlos will sit out at least the next 5 games, but I think it may extend further. I’ve always contested that Carlos is a tough player who tries to play through so many nagging injuries, and I still believe it now. However, despite him wanting to play, the Mets must think about backup options for right field. Without further ado, here are some guys (in no particular order) who will now get more attention this spring:

1.       Lucas Duda – The Duda would be a favorite to get consistent at bats if Beltran were to hit the DL. The only problem is that his defense would be severely exposed in right field. Think Adam Dunn. Not too graceful in spacious right field. However, his power potential could compensate for that.

2.       Fernando Martinez – Can he stay healthy? Who knows. He should really spend more time in AAA proving he can stay healthy and mash the minor league pitching before he gets another shot in the show.

3.       Kirk Nieuwenhuis – Should definitely stay in AAA. If Fernando isn’t ready, either is Kirk, who only had a cup of coffee in Buffalo–and didn’t fair well.

4.       Nick Evans – Could get some playing time in right, but honestly isn’t a competent enough outfielder to play there everyday.

5.       Willie Harris/Scott Hairston – This is the most likely combination if Beltran is merely out for a short period of time. They could make decent bench options but their offense would be severely exposed if given enough playing time.

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