New York Mets: Wayne Krivsky

Mets morning briefing 3.18.12

March, 18, 2012
Mike Pelfrey takes the mound as the Mets make a two-plus-hour drive to Kissimmee to take on the Houston Astros. The Mets then will have Monday off, with the complex closed until a Tuesday night game. Monday will not be quiet, however. Inside U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff's courtroom in lower Manhattan, jury selection and opening statements are expected to occur Monday in the $386 million lawsuit against Fred Wilpon and family regarding Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. The trial is scheduled to last 10 additional days.

Sunday's news reports:

Jon Niese tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings despite allowing all six leadoff batters he faced to reach. Still, the Mets lost to a split-squad Atlanta Braves team, 3-2, on Saturday at Digital Domain Park. Daniel Murphy had a two-run single for the Mets, but Chuck James and Ramon Ramirez combined to allow three eighth-inning runs. The Mets are 0-7-1 in their past eight games and have the worst record either in the Grapefruit or Cactus League. Read more in Newsday and the Daily News.

Zack Wheeler allowed an unearned run while tossing three innings for the Double-A squad in the first day of minor league exhibition games. Read the full Buffalo and Binghamton recaps here. Watch video of Wheeler facing Cardinals farmhand Raniel Rosario here. Read more on Wheeler's outing in the Daily News, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• The Mets signed infielder Oswaldo Navarro to a minor league contract.

Anthony Destefano in Newsday previews the Madoff-related civil trial that opens Monday. Writes Destefano:

[Trustee Irving] Picard's case, Rakoff has said a number of times, is far from rock solid. The trustee has to prove that the Wilpon defendants were willfully blind and ignored warnings about Madoff. Noted white-collar defense attorney and author Stanley Arkin describes the concept of willful blindness this way: "You turn your head away from facts that cry out for inquiry and you take no steps to make inquiry." Rakoff said it will be up to the Wilpons and partners to demonstrate that they weren't willfully blind to the fraud.

Barry Meier in the Times suggests Mets fans may want the Wilpons to lose the entire $386 million at stake. Of that amount, Rakoff already has declared the trustee is entitled to the profits made in the two years before Madoff's arrest -- as much as $83 million. Writes Meier:

The proceeding took place in the people’s food court (technically, the bar and snack stands along the right-field line) at Digital Domain Park before Friday’s game, in which a Mets squad was demolished by the Detroit Tigers, 9-0. The verdict of fans polled, while not unanimous, was clear. Put simply, they would like to see Wilpon and Katz have their financial clocks cleaned so the only option will be selling the team. “That is the biggest hope that I have for the Mets this year,” said Judy Sromovsky, a longtime fan who lives in Bridgewater, N. J.

The Daily News also outlines what's at stake in the case.

Jeff Bradley in the Star-Ledger has a Q&A with Justin Turner. Turner credits former Cincinnati Reds GM Wayne Krivsky, also a former special assistant with the Mets, for his opportunities at the major league level. "He was the GM of the Reds and drafted me in 2006," Turner told Bradley. "He got let go by the Reds and went to the Orioles and traded for me there. And then he came over to the Mets and picked me up when the Orioles put me on waivers. I owe a lot to him. He believed in me. He’s the reason I got this chance." Krivsky now has landed with the Minnesota Twins, where his career first ascended.

• Bench coach Bob Geren, a former major league catcher, tells the Star-Ledger Josh Thole is going to be prepared for games. Writes Bradley:

“He’s going to come to the field at a certain time at the start of the series to do his preparation from the video,” Geren begins. “Then, at a certain time, he’s going to meet with the pitching coach to go over it. He’s going to be heavily involved in the pitchers’ meeting, passing on what he’s observed. He’ll talk to the pitchers in between innings about how that inning went and who’s coming up next. That’s just the beginning.” Geren says when other players are playing cards on team flights, he expects to see Thole with his iPad, watching video of the next opponent. Not only does Geren want to see Thole putting in extra time, he wants the pitchers to see it.

Mike Kerwick in the Record looks at the competitors to take the lefty specialist role in the bullpen while Tim Byrdak takes approximately another five weeks to recover from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Garrett Olson likely is the frontrunner. The Mets have pulled Josh Edgin into major league camp, even though he has not pitched above Class A. James appears the primary consideration beyond Olson. Daniel Herrera is the fourth competitor. Writes Kerwick:

On road trips, the left-handed reliever likes to sneak away, stealing a moment for himself in the cheap seats. Accompanied by his Nikon D700, he sets up shop high above home plate. Garrett Olson chooses a lens. He snaps a photo. Then he quietly returns to the clubhouse. These are his butterflies, the camera his net. Olson has attempted to capture a portrait of every major league stadium. During his six seasons in the majors, he has compiled a modest collection. "Not all 30," Olson said before the Mets' 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday at Digital Domain Park. "Maybe half. Just a guess." There is one important stadium missing – the leopard absent from his safari. "This one," he said. "Citi Field. Certainly this and a lot of National League teams."

Mike Puma in the Post quotes pitching coach Dan Warthen regarding Edgin as saying: "I’m not going to talk about major leagues right now for him. But I wouldn’t be surprised if some time this year we saw him.”

• The Post quotes a Mets official as saying it's "50-50" whether the Mets sign left-hander C.J. Nitkowski. Newsday reported last week a deal was likely and seemed imminent.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post wonders whether Johan Santana or Andy Pettitte will contribute more this season. Writes Sherman:

Both lefties missed all of last season, albeit for different reasons. Santana was recovering from shoulder surgery while Pettitte took what now amounts to a one-year sabbatical. Santana is close to a necessity for the 2012 rotation-thin Mets. Pettitte appears a luxury for the rotation-deep Yankees. Santana is seven years younger than Pettitte, but the shoulder ailment he is trying to return from does not come with a high success rate, and certainly not a speedy one.

• Sherman also says there really are only four positives for the Mets -- Santana, the middle of the order, the bullpen and their pitching prospects.

• Infield coach Tim Teufel tells columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post that he is using Chase Utley as an example to Murphy of how to turn double plays, because Utley also has a larger frame. Teufel also is repositioning his middle infielders. “The goal for us is to become better at double-play turns, and that means being more aggressive on groundballs, getting the transfer a little bit quicker,’’ Teufel told Kernan. “So I’m moving the guys in a step and one step closer to the bag. We’re going to give up a little bit in the hole, but it’s more important that we are on time and under control, a little less lateral and back movements and a little more angle direct to the ball movements as an infield.’’

TRIVIA: Eight players started in right field for the Mets last season. Can you name them?

Saturday's answer: Jose Valentin started for the Mets at second base on Opening Day in 2007. Luis Castillo had the Game 1 nod at the position the next three seasons, followed by shortlived Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus in 2011.

Mets morning briefing 9.24.11

September, 24, 2011
Friday's Mets-Phillies game was rained out. It will be made up as part of a split doubleheader Saturday. Cole Hamels opposes R.A. Dickey in Game 1 at 1:10 p.m. The 7:10 p.m. night game features Joe Blanton and Dillon Gee. As a result of Dickey getting pushed back a day, Terry Collins indicated this very likely will be the knuckleballer's final start of the season. Sunday's game has been pushed back an hour, to 2:10 p.m.

Saturday's news reports:

Jose Reyes may be entering his final homestand as a Met, and Collins said he planned to chat with the shortstop given everything swirling around him -- from the looming free agency, to the NL batting-title race, to his precarious left hamstring. With the Mets rained out and Reyes idle, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun slipped into a first-place tie with Reyes at .329. Matt Kemp, bidding for a Triple Crown with the Dodgers, is hitting .326. Kemp is tied for the NL home run lead with Albert Pujols at 37. He has 119 RBIs -- a six-RBI lead over Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard. Read more on Reyes in the Record, Post and Newsday.

• Turns out, Lucas Duda's crash into the outfield wall at Busch Stadium during the first inning of Wednesday's game in St. Louis may be a concussion. Duda is now suffering from headaches. He had an MRI on Friday and is unavailable to play, perhaps for the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, Angel Pagan also has a headache and potential concussion. Pagan hit himself with a bat during the follow through of his swing during the first inning of Thursday's game in St. Louis. After being checked on by a trainer, Pagan completed that game, but developed a headache. He was examined by a doctor Friday afternoon and was scratched from the lineup for the series opener against the Phillies before the game was rained out. At least Jason Bay was poised to return to the lineup after missing three games in St. Louis with an illness.

• The Mets informed Omar Minaya deputies Wayne Krivsky and Bryan Lambe they are out with the organization. Both scouted for the organization this season. The moves were expected since their contracts were expiring and Sandy Alderson and crew want their own people in place. Lambe received the word from Alderson during the third inning of a game he was staffing for the Mets at Nationals Park on Friday night.

• Judge Jed S. Rakoff is expected to rule on tossing all or part of the $1 billion lawsuit brought by the trustee trying to recover funds for victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme as soon as Monday. The ruling was expected in late September, and should come before the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah on Wednesday evening. For a refresher on the issues, read this "In Depth" piece from last month.

• Collins said he likely sees Duda in right field in 2012.

Andrew Keh in the Times looks at the disparity in success between the Mets on the road and at home.

BIRTHDAYS: Former outfielder Hubie Brooks turns 55. ... Bernard Gilkey turns 45.

Ex-Reds GM Krivsky, Lambe out

September, 23, 2011
Two holdovers from former New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya's regime were let go by the organization Friday, major league sources told

Former Minaya deputies Wayne Krivsky and Bryan Lambe are out, the sources said. Krivsky is the former general manager of the Cincinnati Reds. He was influential in bringing rookie infielder Justin Turner to the Mets as a waiver claim.

The departures were expected as their contracts expire and GM Sandy Alderson and lieutenants sought to bring in their own personnel. Both had scouting roles this past season.

Lambe actually was staffing a game in the third inning at Washington when Alderson informed him Friday night.

Mets morning briefing 3.5.11

March, 5, 2011
At 10:30 a.m. on a back field in Port St. Lucie, Mike Piazza-coached Team Italy faces the Mets' top prospects. 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey, a right-hander from the University of North Carolina, technically throws his first professional pitch in a game. (Harvey signed at the August deadline and had not thrown all summer, so he did not appear in a minor league game last year. He then was working out with the Mets' fall instructional league team, but a death in his family prompted him to return home to Connecticut just before he was poised to throw an inning or two.)

Meanwhile, the Mets continue their regular rotation of facing NL East teams, heading back to Disney to again face the Atlanta Braves. Mike Pelfrey is scheduled to start.

On to Saturday's news reports:

David Lennon in Newsday profiles the longest shot among the four second-base candidates, Justin Turner, who received his first Grapefruit League start at the position Friday. The 26-year-old Turner was claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles last May and proceeded to hit .333 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs in 312 at-bats with Triple-A Buffalo. He even hit for the cycle and went 6-for-6 in the Bisons' finale, but was snubbed for a September call-up when rosters expanded. (He did have eight at-bats in the majors with the Mets earlier in the season.)

Turner has two major obstacles in beating out favorite Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy and Luis Castillo (who is likely to get released, along with Oliver Perez.) One, Turner has a pair of minor league options remaining. That means he can be sent to Buffalo without being exposed to waivers. So if the original choice falters, Turner then can be summoned -- whereas once Emaus is sent back to Toronto or Castillo is released, it cannot be undone. Turner's second problem: His primary advocate was Wayne Krivsky, who originally drafted him while GM of the Reds, acquired him while a special assistant with Baltimore, and then was influential in the Mets making the waiver claim last year. Krivsky, who was a special assistant to Omar Minaya, remains with the organization because he was already signed through 2011. But Krivsky is now scouting for the organization and is not part of the inner circle.

Turner, by the way, is best known for his college days while at Cal State Fullerton, when he was beaned by a pitch. As Lennon writes:

Turner was nailed in the face during a semifinal against Stanford -- former Met Chris Carter was on that Stanford team -- and gained instant fame. Not the kind anyone would want, of course. Turner suffered a badly bruised face and a chipped tooth, but he returned to the dugout for the 10th inning of that game. The worst of it was a fractured ankle, the result of his attempt to twist out of the way. Turner continues to be recognized from that incident, mostly because of his red hair. Shortly afterward, Turner dyed it black to "get a breather" from the attention -- especially in the Fullerton area -- but there's no escaping the legacy of that pitch.

Jason Bay acknowledges his timing is off at the plate right now, suggesting he's behind fastballs because it's spring training and he's tinkering with his stance. His aim is to reduce extra movements and make his stance more closed -- the front foot closer to the plate, rather than farther away. "The only problem is I'm used to having a lot more movement," Bay tells the Post's Mike Puma. "Sometimes I feel like I need to be doing more, when in essence I need to be doing less. I've hit a couple of line drives over the second baseman's head, which I don't do a lot. That tells me my bat path is good, but I'm still off on spring-training timing. Some of those fastballs are beating me a little bit. ... I'm catching up to game speed -- 88 [mph] looks like 98 the first week."

Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger chronicles Chris Young's second Grapefruit League outing, during which the 6-foot-10 right-hander allowed an unearned run in three innings. Young was displeased with his early control, but he has been thrilled with the life on his fastball and no signs of past shoulder woes. “I felt strong," Young said. "The ball had life on it. It’s something to build on.” ... More on Young's outing in the Post, Times and Record. ... McCullough also weighed in on Turner and the second-base race.

Peter Botte in the Daily News reminds readers about the hockey ties of Young's wife's family:

His wife Elizabeth's great-grandfather was hockey pioneer and Hall of Famer Lester Patrick -- the legendary Rangers coach and the GM of their 1940 Stanley Cup championship team. Her grandfather, Muzz, played, coached and served as GM of the Rangers, while her father Dick Patrick is a part-owner and team president of the Capitals. Muzz's brother Lynn, his uncle Frank and his nephew Craig are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

• By the way, forgive Young if his attention is distracted Saturday. Young's alma mater, Princeton, can clinch the Ivy League basketball title tonight and an NCAA Tournament berth with a win at second-place Harvard, which is unbeaten at home and trying to stay alive in pursuit of its first Ancient Eight title in school history. Young hopes to attend an NCAA Regional in Tampa assuming Princeton makes it and gets assigned to that site.

Hisanori Takahashi isn't sure if the Mets' financial woes affected their interest in re-signing him, he tells Tyler Kepner of The New York Times. The Mets bid $3 million with a team option for 2012 before being forced to cut loose Takahashi because his original deal when he came over from Japan granted him the right to free agency after one year rather than the standard six years. Takahashi signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Angels. Takahashi, who has dealt with back discomfort in camp, is ticketed for the bullpen unless ex-Mets phenom Scott Kazmir flames out in the rotation.

• Record columnist Bob Klapisch profiles Terry Collins, comparing the combustible match to putting high-strung Tom Coughlin with a bad football team but also writing:

There’s a surprising calm this time around, maybe because he’s already been to the inferno and back. “Look, I took [managing] too seriously, I tried too hard to prove I could do it,” Collins said. “I reflect back on my time [in Houston and Anaheim] and realized, you know what, I didn’t enjoy it. That’s going to change, I promise you." Finally, he understands why [Joe] Torre was able to drive George Steinbrenner crazy all those years, why the idea of getting fired never frightened him. It’s because Torre had already been whacked by the Mets, Braves and Cardinals, which granted him a certain peace about his ultimate doom in the Bronx.

• Former Gov. Mario Cuomo, who is trying to mediate a settlement between Irving Picard and Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz, tells Newsday: "Both sides agree, 'Yes we are willing to make every effort to make settlement here.' ... What the judge was hoping was that there could be a settlement because it is better than litigation that is long and maybe even ugly. It is less expensive to those paying [lawyers'] bills."

Douglas Martin in The New York Times chronicles the life of ex-Met Greg Goossen, who died last weekend at 65. Writes Martin:

As a Met, he caught Nolan Ryan’s first big league game in 1966 and broke up a perfect game by Larry Jaster of the Cardinals with a two-out eighth-inning single in 1968. ... It was Casey Stengel who made Goossen a baseball trivia legend with one remark in 1966. Stengel, having retired as the Mets manager the previous season, was visiting the Mets’ training camp when he pointed at Goossen and was reported to have said, “Goossen is only 20, and in 10 years he has a chance to be 30.”

• The Daily News continues to suggest the Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation of Bernard Madoff may have been tainted, and reasons the Wilpons ought to be vindicated because of its apparent conflict of interest.

BIRTHDAYS: Mike Hessman, who appeared in 32 games for the Mets last season, turns 33. He was the active leader among minor leaguers in homers with 329 until deciding to play in Japan this season. ... Left-hander Les Rohr, the second overall pick in the 1965 draft, was born on this date in 1946. He made six appearances for the Mets from 1967 to 1969. ... Outfielder Larry Elliot was born in 1938. He hit .236 in two seasons with the Mets, in 1964 and '66.

Mets' next GM likely to come from outside

September, 13, 2010
Assuming the Mets do reassign Omar Minaya -- and I'm told any contractual language stipulating he cannot be reassigned should not be an obstacle -- a replacement is expected to come from outside the organization.

For a while, the conventional wisdom had been that assistant GM John Ricco could ascend to Minaya's role. However, a source who has discussed the topic with those in the highest levels of the Mets' hierarchy said the preference is for Ricco to work under someone with significant experience. The source added that Wayne Krivsky, the former Cincinnati Reds GM who is under contract to the Mets for 2011, is not going to be an integral part of any 2011 front-office configuration.



Bartolo Colon
11 3.85 125 161
BAD. Murphy .297
HRL. Duda 22
RBIL. Duda 66
RD. Murphy 69
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 145