File image of New York Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon talking to reporters at a news conference in New York

Fred Wilpon apologizes to the Mets, but it’s not good enough for some


Fred Wilpon was going to fly to Chicago to apologize to the Mets in person, but after talking to Terry Collins and other team officials about what made the most sense, he chose to avoid a possible media scrum and apologize via speaker phone to Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and the Mets, who took the call in the Wrigley Field clubhouse.  According to the Daily News he called David Wright separately, as he is not with the team at the moment due to his injury.

So I guess our short regional nightmare is over.

Or not, because according to Mike Vaccaro in the Post, Wilpon needs to apologize to fans too.  Which I find kind of confusing because I’m not sure what injury his comments in the New Yorker caused them.  Were they under some Wilpon-fueled delusion that the Mets were championship contenders? And that this delusion was firmly in place until the moment the evil Wilpon let his guard down and revealed that — no! — the team was, in fact, “shitty?” Is that the betrayal for which Wilpon needs to apologize?

Seems like a stretch. Most Mets fans I know are more than familiar with the state of the team. And while they wish that Wilpon’s comments didn’t happen due to the distraction they have caused, I don’t get the sense that their substance represents an insult, the kind of which the angry season ticket holder Vaccaro quotes complains of.  If you bought what Wilpon has been selling for the past couple of years that’s your own fault bub. Anyone with a lick of sense knows that the team has been a mess for a while. The people who were actually harmed here were Beltran, Reyes and Wright, it seems.

Back to them: I did find one thing that Jose Reyes had to say rather amusing:  “he’s the boss and he can say what he wants to say.”  That’s right out of the Derek Jeter play book back when George Steinbrenner was running the show in the Bronx.  That little quote usually ended any Big Stein-inspired flap and, over time, diminished the significance of any given incident.

So, the lesson: if you want to sound off on your team, make a habit of it so that everyone can get into a good serve-and-volley rhythm, thereby defusing the story.

Orioles interested in Denard Span

Denard Span
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Leave a comment

MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.

Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.

The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.

Blue Jays showing interest in Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
Leave a comment

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.

Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.

Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.

After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.

Trevor Cahill considering the Pirates as a potential destination

Trevor Cahill
AP Photo/Paul Beaty

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.

It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.

Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.

Blue Jays narrow GM search to two candidates: Tony LaCava and Ross Atkins

Tony LaCava
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.

LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.

Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.