More from Citi Field on Getaway Day

So a few hours after we left Citi Field, after a Mets rain delayed and 13- inning win over the Oakland Athletics, Wednesday night into Thursday morning, it was back to normal. Another rain delay that moved the first pitch from the scheduled 1:10pm start to 3:25pm. Do the math right and that is a two-hour and 15-minute delay for everyone at the ballpark. They have to wait and wait.

Because of the interleague schedule, it is difficult to reschedule games. Teams try to avoid the old fashioned doubleheader, but it is getaway day and the Mets are headed to Texas immediately after the game. Oakland with the short hike to Philadelphia, and we heard the contingency plan, had the game been scrapped, Oakland returns to New York next month and again in August for scheduled games with the Yankees in the Bronx. So the A’s could have made a one game trip to Citi Field. Of course, that was all subject to approval…

With another good crowd assembling, advanced tickets and a walk-up the Mets awarded fans for their patience. Tickets from the Thursday game can be redeemed for complimentary tickets to the Mets August 11, Thursday afternoon Matinee game against the San Diego Padres. It includes paid, complimentary and tickets marked “No rain Check.”

One of the great parts of a rain delay is to catch up with some of your friends in the business. Mets radio broadcaster Wayne Hagin has been in the game for 26 years. Prior to the Mets he was with Oakland, San Francisco, Colorado and the St. Louis Cardinals. So he knows a little more or something about the game and a rain delay.

As the grounds grew took the tarp off the infield, Hagin observed the continued delay as the rain seemed to stop. The drying agent was put on the infield. No announcement has been made as to when the game would begin. So Hagin gave the answer looking towards the outfield bullpen areas.

“Look out there,” he said. “Do you see a pitcher warming up?” Meaning that the go-ahead for starting pitchers Graham Godfrey of the A’s, and Chris Capuano of the Mets to throw in the pen indicates that a first pitch would be thrown in a matter of a half hour or less. Hagin was right on the money. But he was more concerned about Mets travel plans to Arlington Texas. Rain delays on getaway day play with the travel schedule.

Said Hagin, “Takes a long time to move a team to the next city. Fans would be surprised.” That would mean rearranging the departure time, security checks at the airport, and making sure that the hotel rooms are booked for the team and personnel.  The team Traveling director and equipment managers have a more difficult job to make sure everything is in place.

Hagin and those traveling get an extensive itinerary that informs departure times to and from the airports, hotels, and ballparks. But once Hagin is up in the air, after a long day he sits back with some of his on air colleagues. “I have a glass of wine and fall asleep,” he says…

The Justin Turner walk-off winning run of Wednesday, attributed to be hitting by a pitch from losing pitcher Brad Ziegler apparently was something that had the Athletics talking until they reached the ballpark Thursday morning Turner was hit in the same spot, in the left thigh, by Godfrey in the first inning. There were no warnings issued by the umpires, Turner and Mets manager Terry Collins downplayed any talk about it being a retaliation pitch…

Angel Pagan is struggling again batting .242, looking like he was before he went on the disabled list on April 22nd.  He struck out, was retired on a fielder’s choice and flied out to right field…As for Jason Bay, after an 0-for-5 evening before and batting in the cleanup spot, he was dropped to the sixth hole, going 1-for-4…

David Wright on the disabled list since 18 with a stress fracture in his lower back has, been cleared to resume baseball activities. In other words the Mets could see their third baseman back in the lineup within three or four weeks. General Manager Sandy Alderson said the rehabilitation will be a “several week process.”

The CT scan Thursday gave Wright clearance and he will report to the Mets team complex in Port St. Lucie Florida to begin the process of returning to the lineup. That was good news because Wednesday it was reported Ike Davis, out with a left ankle sprain and bone bruise will need three more weeks to recover, and if Davis can’t do it,  there is every consideration the first baseman will opt for season ending surgery,,

Until the second installment of the Subway Series with the Yankees, next Friday evening, Citi Field will be ready. By the way, there are tickets still available.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under Afternoon Matinee, August 11, Contingency Plan, Drying Agent, Game Trip, Games Teams, Getaway, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Outfield, Radio Broadcaster, Rain Check, Rich Mancuso, San Diego Padres, St Louis Cardinals, Tarp, Thursday Morning, Top Story, Wayne Hagin

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on June 24, 2011

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Alderson Introduced As New Mets GM

Sandy Alderson had an auspicious debut as the new General Manager of the New York Mets Friday afternoon at Citi Field. There was the presence of a baseball veteran, knowledge and experience that obviously made an impression to Mets ownership during the interview process.

And, Alderson, 62, who at one time built the Oakland Athletics teams that played in three consecutive World Series  from 1988-1990, and won the championship in 1989, may be what the Mets need. The immediate impact to slowly begin the process of getting the Mets back to playing baseball in October, though that may take some time.

Alderson is not a new kid on the block and has his own style. That was addressed when the question was asked about how his style would be different from his predecessor Omar Minaya.  “One of the things I like about a job like this is you have to act,” said Alderson.

And act he will. With financial flexibility, to make the Mets a contender again and not being the second team in town to the New York Yankees. Though during the course of his introduction to New York, there was no mention of the cross-town Yankees. Just a commitment to be in the free agent market every year, and not immediately in 2011

He stressed more than once about the job being fun, that baseball was entertainment, and not like Minaya, constantly talked about his job being, a  collaborative effort with ownership, the players and scouting departments.

“All the elements are here, a great area to be, and great fans,” said Alderson about why he took on the opportunity of a four-year contract through 2014 with a club option for 2015.

There is a lot of work to be done from financial flexibility, player personnel, to the hiring of a new manager. There are some candidates to succeed Jerry Manuel that Alderson has in mind. But the managerial situation will begin in a few days so Alderson can have one in place for the upcoming GM and winter meetings that plans a process for the upcoming season.

There is optimism at Citi Field as a new regime takes over. And that word of Collaboration that was so often mentioned will begin in the front office. Alderson saw that happen in his four years as CEO of the San Diego Padres where he led them to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2005 and 2006 and recently working as a special consultant to the Commissioner of Baseball for Latin America.

Alderson, the 13th GM in franchise history reminds many of Frank Cashen, the Mets Hall of Fame inductee who reshaped the organization and built a championship team in 1986. On Friday that renewed spirit of seeing those days again in Flushing Queens came when Alderson spoke.

But every Mets fan knows hope has always been eternal. Since the Cashen years there have been three close opportunities at bringing the prized trophy home. More so, a 2000 Subway World Series loss to the Yankees when Steve Phillips was the GM, and the 2006 NLCS loss to the St. Louis Cardinals under Minaya, a series that every Mets fan refuses to forget.

Will Alderson succeed in what Omar Minaya could not do the past few years?  “There is hope now,” said longtime Mets season ticket holder Eddie Lopez who sat at a table in back of the Caesars Club. “Minaya was around to long and he (Alderson) brings something to the table,” he said.

Lopez was one of the many season ticket holders that were invited to the welcome party because the Mets fan base is so important. The new ballpark, the fans, something also that Alderson reiterated in his remarks that was another reason why he took the job.

“Getting back to being a general manager was something I wanted to do under the right circumstances,” he said.  So whatever Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon said to Alderson during the interview process had to be the right circumstance.

It did not work under Minaya, even though he had the liberty to spend money. But you get the feeling there will be no favoritism played, no favors granted to player agents that Minaya had close ties with. The roster comprised from trades and a restructured scouting department that brings in homegrown talent.

Will there be an immediate turnaround?  It will be difficult turning it around in 2011 because the Mets are committed to $130 million in payroll.  Alderson won’t have the liberty to spend but plenty of roster decisions to address. Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, who get some of that payroll, and what to do with the bad image and contract of closer Francisco Rodriquez who was recently reactivated.

Alderson is just settling in. He would not provide much as to who or what for 2011, again hiring a manager he can work with is the first priority. But what every Mets fan wants to know, are our troubles and agonizing days of losing coming to an end?

Time will tell as there is hope. Jeff and Fred Wilpon did not have that concerned look, like they did a day after the season ended three weeks ago when they relieved Minaya and did not bring Manuel back.

This time the Mets hierarchy got it right bringing Alderson to New York.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under Auspicious Debut, Club Option, Collaborative Effort, Consecutive World Series, Contender, Cross Town, Financial Flexibility, Free Agent Market, Friday Afternoon, Kid On The Block, Mets Gm, New Kid On The Block, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Omar Minaya, Predecessor, Sandy Alderson, Top Story, Winter Meetings, World Series

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on October 30, 2010