Whew! What a day we had at the 2015 Queens Baseball Convention on Saturday at McFadden’s Citi Field. Where to begin?

First off I want to thank all those who put together the QBC, not only was it an honor to be a participant; it also gave me something to write about. So many people came up to me asking when I’d be posting again here at Kranepool and the answer I gave was when the Mets do something for me to write about. Well, the QBC gave me the material I needed for a post.

Ed Marcus and I were asked to moderate a panel with Mookie Wilson. While we were on our way to Queens we were discussing on how Mookie would receive us and we went over our line of questioning. Our fears were erased when we met with Mookie before heading to the panel room. You’ll not meet a nicer man than Mookie, cordial, upbeat and ready to go. He enjoyed the hour long Q & A we conducted and from the reaction of those in attendance many thought Ed and I connected well with Mookie but it was Mookie who made it very easy as he connected brilliantly with the audience.

After the Mookie Wilson panel, Ed and I were ready  to head to our next moderating  assignment a panel on 86′ Mets: The Movie with Heather Quinlian and author Erik Sherman  who was Mookie Wilson’s co-author and is currently working on a book about the 1986 Mets in a Boys of Summer type narrative. I was impressed that Heather interviewed Ed Kranepool for the movie and I’m very jealous that she got to do the interview on Ed’s yacht in the Hamptons. It got me to thinking and pitching a pilot for a TV show.

Me and Kranepool sitting on his yacht having a beverage or four watching a Mets game and giving our critique of the game. Then I toss out some random games from the past like “Hey Ed remember back in August of ’65 when Tug McGraw out pitched Sandy Koufax at Shea”? Then I just sit back and sip my drink and let Ed take it away.

I missed most of the Wally Beckman panel but I did get to meet Wally in the back room of McFadden’s. There were a few of us back there talking and carrying on and Wally enjoyed the bantering so much he said “close the door and let’s talk baseball” Sorry my lips (fingers?) are sealed but I will say Wally Backman is everything you thought he was and more, just a great guy and straight shooter.

You know how after you’ve been to a big affair like a wedding and you kick back at the end of the evening with a night cap and just relax? Well the QBC nightcap was the fantastic and moving presentation of the Gil Hodges Unforgettable Fire Award to Ed “The Glider” Charles. Greg Prince was the M.C. for this event and in the way Greg handles everything with class and grace, this was the perfect way to end an outstanding day of Mets baseball and fandom.  The Glider had the fans rapped   attention with his stories of his days in the minor leagues in the Braves organization and his shot at big leagues with the KC A’s. It was his story about facing Satchel Page though that had everyone smiling as it’s not every day you get to meet a man who played a big part in your teams world championship and played against the great Satchel Page.

I got to meet so many good people and real die hard Mets fans that it has given me a big boost in my Mets fandom. There were no cranky pants fans there, no owner bashing  or second guessing of front office moves, it was just die hard root for the Mets win or lose Mets fans in attendance. Sure there is a day and time for rising up but Saturday at the QBC it was all sunshine and blue and orange balloons.



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I don’t love it and I don’t hate it, that sums up my opinion on the signing of Michael Cuddyer to a 2 yr $21.5 mil deal. It does shine light on some of where the Mets are headed this off season.
What I don’t love about the deal, it’s not a blockbuster move meaning it’s not Matt Kemp. Cuddyer will turn 36 years old during spring training and I don’t like players over 35. Cuddyer while a good hitter with some power has to prove the injuries from last season aren’t chronic; if they are this will be a wasted move. Cuddyer is an awful outfielder and I see no reason for him to play right field. I’d rather have Granderson and his pop gun arm there and not Cuddyer.
What I like about the deal, the Mets are a better team today than they were yesterday. I like very much that there was no rumor of this signing anywhere. That tells me that Sandy Alderson has gotten through to Fredo Wilpon to keep his mouth shut and stop leaking information.
Sidenote: This lawsuit that is hanging over Fredo’s head may be a blessing in disguise for the organization. With all the time and energy Wilpon will have to put in to be exonerated of the charges, he may not have time to stick his beak in the baseball business. Hopefully the case drags on for a while

I like that Alderson seems to have a plan in place and it looks like the next big move will be for a shortstop. If the Mets do land a top flight everyday shortstop, I think it will mean the departure of Daniel Murphy. Say Alderson can acquire Starling Castro or Alexi Ramirez then you could move Wilmer Flores to 2nd base and take the money Murph would get ($8-$10mil for the year) and pay Ramirez for the season or Castro for about 2 years. Thanks for everything Murph.
I like that Alderson had no problem in giving up a first round pick, all the amateur scouting directors on social media need to give it a rest with the fawning over draft picks and prospects. The farm system built by Paul DePodesta is solid with a lot of talent. It’s time to stop worrying about what goes on in Savanah and Kingsport and worry about what goes on in Flushing. This is not the NFL or NBA where first round picks make an immediate impact and from the Cuddyer move Alderson is telling us the rebuild is over that the Mets are a NOW team.
And another thing, when this deal was struck, Mike Francesa was going over the games of the Jets, Giants and the NFL on a Monday as he does every Monday during the NFL season. His show quickly changed over the Mets, Mets and more Mets (I listened to Francesa on my way to St. John’s University to attend a dinner where my son was inducted into the National Honor Society. Next week my daughter has her NHS induction. We are a blessed family.) The best part of the program were callers identifying themselves as Yankees fans saying they wanted to talk about the Mets and Cuddyer. This goes to my theory that this is a bandwagon town and all those Yankee hats you see will soon be traded in for Mets caps and once the Mets start winning this city will be draped on Orange and Blue. Believe me I’ve seen it before.

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Welcome to the Matt Kemp to the Mets bandwagon. Step up still some seats available. It’s been awhile since we’ve had some passengers here on Kemp to Mets bus but hey better late than never I always say.
Last night Ken Rosenthal Tweeted that the Dodgers are looking to move at least one of  three outfielders named Carl Crawford, Andre Either and the big prize, Matt Kemp. As I wrote back in October 2013, Kemp would make a perfect move for the Mets. Kemp has showed bounce back ability from injury that cost him time in 2012 and’13 and he is a right handed power hitting outfielder the Mets sorely need. Of course there is always an obstacle when it comes to the Mets making big moves, in fact there are two obstacles , money and Sandy Alderson’s over thinking that stand in the way of Kemp protecting the brand new right field fence of the Citi Field.
With about $107 mil owed to Kemp over the next 5 years, the Dodgers would eat some salary which I guess would be calculated to the quality of player the Mets would send back. The more money the Mets take the less in personnel they’d have to give up. We’ve heard the Wilpon’s yell from the owner’s box bully pulpit that they have the cash to spend, well here is the chance to step up and prove that not everything that comes out of Jeff and Fred’s mouth is an untruth.
The money part is usually a drawback with the Mets but the GM has to take a bit of heat as well for not being the most aggressive mangers in the game. Alderson at times is too precautionary when it comes to personnel moves which come from his background as an intellectual. Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and say “Fuck it, let’s go for it” if there were ever a time for the Mets to embrace that philosophy it’s this off season as Mets fans are waiting to see if moves will be made to turn a team with tons of pitching talent into a contender. If not, the Mets fans will be saying “Fuck it, let’s go to the shore” this summer.

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So we are all set for the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals to meet in the 2014 World Series.  As a Mets fan this post season gets tougher and tougher to watch as we see ball parks full of fans (notice no empty seats at either AT&T or the K during games? No one hiding in clubs or standing on line for 3 innings for a hamburger) cheering their ass’s off. It kills us to watch this, it hurts our blue and orange hearts as we want sooooooooooooooooo baddddddddddddddddddddly to have an October like we had in the 80’s and at the start of the new millennium.

Many of us have been there, we know the feeling the cranks of SF and KC are going through. We’ve also felt the pain of the Cardinal and Oriole fan as well. But right now we are in baseball fan limbo. Our beloved Mets are neither the worst team in baseball but are far from the best. We have hope in our young pitchers and the fact that you can win with starting pitching that can go 6 or 7 innings as long as you have a deep and effective bullpen. The Mets are on the verge of possessing both.  But we lack the right leader to orchestrate the strategic pitching moves needed to win.

Bruce Bochy taught Mike Matheny a lesson last night and I hope our manager was taking notes. Matheny left Michael Wacha hung out to dry instead of going to Trevor Roesnthal in the 9th inning.  Bochy, with the knowledge that his closer Santiago Casilla, who has been a lock down closer for the Giants all season , was working for the third day in a row and was showing signs of overthrowing, waited until Oscar Taveras  was announced as a pinch hitter to go bring in Jeremy Affeldt  for the lefty v. left matchup which was won by Affeldt.

Matheny then makes a move in the bottom of the 9th inning that will be discussed and dissected for years and years but may in fact lead to a change in pig headed philosophy in baseball.  Instead of going with his closer Trevor Rosenthal because under the Gospel according to Tony LaRussa, ”though shall not use thy closer in a tie game on the road”. That’s fine for a Sunday game in August but here were the Cardinals fighting for their post season life. At this point you go with the best arm you have which is Rosenthal, not a pitcher who has not thrown a meaningful pitch in 3 weeks and who has been hampered by a sore shoulder.

From the outset you could see Wacha was not comfortable as he was squinting to get the signs from catcher Tony Cruz. First batter Pablo Sandoval wasted no time with a first pitch single to center. After Hunter Pence flied out (Sandy Alderson must start twitching when watching the Giants hit, there’s no hunting for strikes with them it just see it and rip it) to bring up Brandon Belt. After seeing how aggressive Sandoval and Pence were, Wacha tried to keep his pitches down in the zone, problem is he never came close to the strike zone, walking Belt on 4 pitches. How in the world does Matheny just sit back and not bounce out of the dugout and summon Rosenthal? Or Marco Gonzalez or Randy Choate for the lefty v. lefty matchup against Travis Ishikawa? It leads one to believe that Matheny lost confidence in his pen. You just knew when the count to Ishikawa went to 2-0 (6 straight pitches out of the strike zone by Wacha) that he was going to be swinging from his heels at the next pitch. Sure enough the 2-0 pitch was down and in, just where left handed hitters like it, and Ishikawa swung and became an immortal player in Giants history.


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There was nothing with the fences at this place  

What do Citi Field and the Belt Parkway have in common? They are both constantly under construction.  Is there a ball park in the country that has gone under so many renovations in such a short time as Citi Field? While the Skill Sets were spending so much time planning how many exclusive restaurants and clubs they could build inside the park that regular working class Mets fans are barred from, maybe a little more time should have been spent on the dimensions  of the outfield walls?

The Mets are ready to move the right and right center field (a/k/a The Carl Furillo Memorial Outfield Wall) in a few feet because David Wright and Curtis Granderson can’t hit fly balls over them.  I guess lost in the planning was the fact that the Washington Nationals come to Citi Field for 9 games a season and as we know, love to abuse the Mets pitchers with tape measure home runs. Lucas Duda could wallop 40 homers in 2015 with the shorten distance to right and right center which means he would have to be paid about $20 mil a year and that means Mets can’t afford him so he is dealt away and wins more home run crowns and eventually Duda is inducted into the Hall of Fame with an Angles cap on his plaque.

The NY Yankees would be making a smart move by hiring Omar Minaya as a member of their front office.  We can debate Minaya the GM but Minaya the scout/talent evaluator is one of the best in baseball.  He would be an asset to an organization that really needs a complete overhaul.

Read this article on the last season of the Nassau Coliseum and story is so true, ball parks and arenas like Shea and the Coliseum will never be built again. These venues were for fans of the teams that played there. It was fans who filled these buildings and it was the fans that made the buildings come to life.  The players thrive off the fans who booed when you screw up and then turn around and cheer you back to life.  These buildings were not for the Guci crowd but for the hard core crank. No one went to Shea or the Coliseum for sushi or a steak dinner fans went to root for their team.

Today the fan, the rowdy supporter of the team is as welcome in the new state of the art ball parks as a wilted head of Romaine lettuce in the chi-chi kitchens of the fancy dining halls at these venues.

The Barclay Center won’t come close to the atmosphere of the Coliseum or the ability to enjoy a hockey game since you are going from one of the great “hockey barns” with the best site lines of any rink to the worst venue for hockey with obstructed views and awful site lines, but the sushi is to die for.

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I would take Puig on the Mets in a HEARTBEAT!!!! 

Some rants and raves on the MLB post season:

This has not been a great post season for managers unless your name is Showalter or Bochy. Matt Williams managed his Nationals like a neophyte. Ned Yost has gone small ball crazy and is fortunate that his less than powerful hitters have found some post season potency.  For whatever reason some Cardinals fans have less than flattering comments for Mike Matheny even though he’s leading his team to its third straight playoff berth. Then there is Don Mattingly who in his defense has no bullpen to fall back on and then lost his mind in game four by not playing Yasiel Puig and then making matters worse by using Puig as a pinch runner and sending up Justin Turner as a pinch hitter with the season on the line.

Buck Showalter and Bruce Bochy are the best there is as mangers in MLB. I have said time and time again if Showlater was running the Mets the last four years the club wouldn’t be in a post season draught. Bochy has a handle on his club and runs a bullpen better than anyone in the game. It helps to have a team of players who have no egos and are team first and love playing for Bochy and the San Francisco Giants. The Giants may not be the most talented team in they know how to win as Hunter Pence said to his teammates “We got that motherfuckin’ champions blood”

What the four teams left in the post season have is what the Mets lack, a winning mindset. As we have seen with the Dodgers, Nationals and Angels, money and talent do not necessarily make for championship teams.  As I’ve spoken about before here, most under 40 baseball fans who are blinded by statistics, dismiss the character and chemistry of teams as a major building block in how a team goes from pretender to contender. Talent is of course a main ingredient in being a contending team but the ability to get 25 players to pull the rope in the same direction is just as big. The Orioles, Royals, Cardinals and Giants are all pulling that rope in the right direction.

3 commentators in the broadcast booth only works on SNY with Gary, Keith and Ron. They are the gold standard.  Fox Sports 1 booth of Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci are mismatched triplets. Buck has gone back to being the Joe Buck that America can’t stand, the smarmy, too cool for school guy who tries so hard to be witty and funny and fails each time guy. Verducci, a fine writer has turned into a self-important bore who talks as if he was with Alexander Cartwright when the rules of the game were written. Reynolds is a good baseball guy that the stat-geeks hate because stat-geeks hate guys who actually played big league baseball; gets drowned out by the overpowering personalities of Buck and Verducci.

Surprisingly I enjoyed the team of Matt Vasgersian and John Smotlz doing the Giants-Cards NLDS series. I usually can’t take Vasgersian as he is another guy who tries to do standup comedy during a ball game but he and Smotlz shows some nice chemistry on the broadcast.

The best of the best though is listening to KNBR and Mike Krukow  (Kruk) and Duane Kuiper (Kuip) and John Miller calling Giants-Cardinals and then tuning in to KLAC and the immortal Vin Scully. They make baseball fun.

If the Dodgers are tired of Yasiel Puig, I’d love to see him in right field for the Mets.  Sure Puig can play out of control at times and his baseball acumen needs work but you cannot deny he is the total package as a baseball player. If Sandy Alderson was ever going to make a bold move now would be the time to see if and what the Dodgers want for Puig.

I like the Orioles in five and the Giants in six

I can’t stop watching this video just wonderful



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Back in 1951, my family lived in a 4 story walk up tenement in Sunset Park Brooklyn. My dad was the lone NY Giants fan in the building; hell I think he was the only Giants fan in Sunset Park.  When the Dodgers won an NL Pennant, the neighbors would hang a funeral crape over our door. From 1938 to 1950 there was a pennant drought for the Giants.

My dad didn’t go to the game on October 3, 1951, he worked his shift as an armed guard for First National City Bank (now known as Citi Bank) on Exchange Pl in Lower Manhattan and listened to the end of the game on a transistor radio in the guard’s locker room.  After he went absolutely nuts when Bobby Thompson hit historic home run, he realized he had to get home to hang that funeral crape up on a neighbors door.

In the last stages of his life, two things my dad spoke about in length were growing up in Ireland and Bobby Thompson and The Shot Heard Around The World.  Happy Anniversary!

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That’s the Say Hey Kid getting ready to address Giants fans in NYC as the club brought the 2012 World Series trophy to the city where it all began


I guess all the 40 and under baseball fans are still getting over the shock of Ned Yost and his Smallball Royals coming back and besting the Oakland A’s on Tuesday night. Now I think Ned Yost leaves a lot to be desired as a manager and his in game maneuvers make Terry Collins look like genius but I have to say his small ball approach makes me smile. It’s the same approach I used as a manager in youth leagues up to high school.  In any league we played I was the only manager that worked on bunting and double steals. When I had a high school summer team we were totally over matched by teams that played together as travel teams for many years and most of the players were top high school players on Staten Island. I had about three players who played on varsity high school teams and the rest were kids who played for me since Little League and just loved playing baseball. The best compliment I got from other mangers and parents and spectators after our games, win or lose was “ you guys sure have fun playing baseball” Yup we sure did.

The reason I love small ball is I had maybe two or three players who could hit with any sort of power. So we worked on bunting, stealing and going first to third and a lot of times it paid off. The heads of the leagues we played in would always say “you don’t have the best team in the league but you have the best prepared team for sure” I wore that as a badge of honor.

So I salute you Ned Yost, keep small balling them baby!!!!

I’m very happy the Giants won last night and now go take on the Washington Nationals. I’m rooting for the Giants to win the World Series because the ownership group running the team, led by Larry Baer has never forgotten the organizations New York roots. Last time they won the World Series they brought the Championship trophy and Willie Mays to NYC. The Giants are a class organization from top to bottom.

Lot of debate over the Wild Card play in game. Some say it should be best of 3, some say best of 5 but to me one and done is the best. If you want an automatic berth then win your division otherwise man up and win the game. We need to stop the bullshit with what’s fair and not fair, strap it one win or go home!

Seems the Mets will be tweaking their uniforms for 2015, I would love to see them add blue pants to go with the blue tops similar to the Brooklyn Royal Giants unis they wore this past season.

For the love of God, Derek Jeter GO AWAY!!!!




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                                                                                                                     Re2pect our original #2


I’ve had a larger than usual work load lately so that has kept me away from my duties here but since I have few minutes let me vent about a few subjects:

I’m happy that Sandy Alderson signed up for another 3 year hitch as Mets GM.  It tells me that there is light at the end of the losing tunnel and that all is not as forlorn as many of us Mets fans feel it is. I’m not so thrilled with Terry Collins coming back for 2015 but it seem he’s coming back on a short leash which makes no sense. If he’s not the man to lead this team to the post season, then why not cut ties with him now. Rumblings you hear, Freddy Skill Set is a big fan of Collins so I think there was a discussion with Alderson about keeping him to start the 2015 season. After hearing Alderson give the old “Is she pretty? Well she has a great personality” response to the press about Collins, it looks like a compromise was made between ownership and the front office that the team better get off to a great start or Collins is a goner.

Wally Backman deserves a spot on the big league staff just for a reward for his hard work and winning results in the Mets minor league system. He’s earned it.

It’s situations like David Wright’s shoulder that pisses me off (among other things) about this organization. Wright is dealing with strained ligaments in his shoulder and he played with this injury. Wright was not hurt, he was injured two completely different things. Yes it’s quite noble of Wright to play through the pain but at some point Alderson with the doctors diagnosis, should have ordered him off the field and shut him down for the season. Now we have to wait to see if this rehab program he’s going through helps strengthen the shoulder and ligaments, if not and he needs surgery , Wright will most likely miss the beginning of the 2015 season. That’s not heroic, that’s stupid.

At least this team didn’t tank in the second half of the season. So far their last three month record is 40-36 last year the second half mark was 41-43 so there was some improvement. However it’s time for the organization to step up and make 2015 a winning season.  .500 will not cut it the 2015 Mets have to either make the post season or at least be in the hunt for a post season spot if not this organization will lose whatever if left of a crumbling fan base. No exaggeration 2015 is now the most important season in Mets history.

I don’t hate Derek Jeter, in fact I admire him as his accomplishments. What I do hate is the commercialization of Derek Jeter and the fact the Jeter himself is a major culprit in whoring himself to every corporate sponsor who brings the green. If anything, Jeter, the Yankees and the corporate pimps have ruined the last season of Jeter. You have to be a devote Yankee fan to enjoy all this over the top worship of the Yankee shortstop. Mostly it’s the late twenty to thrity-somethings that just wet their pants over Jeter and they are the one that Steiner Sports, the memorabilia whore house,  caters to.

I get that the way Jeter ended his Yankee Stadium career was special for Yankee fans and the public who only come around when there is a big sporting event (is that redundant?) but I have to say I watched it and I had no reaction. I watched Jeter takes his bows and he seemed a bit emotional but again I had no reaction.  Does that make me a bad person?

Also I have no problem with Matt Harvey being at Yankee Stadium. I think the Mets are a little but perturb that he put it out there on his Instagram  account but there really isn’t much they can do. They shut him down from throwing and the team hasn’t allowed him on road trips all season and as Sandy Alderson said “there was no Rangers game” so what’s a guy to do with his free time?

When I went to California this past summer, the one item I wanted was a Hunter Pence t-shirt. I am a huge Pence fan the fact that he is a terrific player who plays with passion and is so unorthodox in hitting and fielding and is exceptional at both is amazing. But his personality is what draws me to him as I said he’s so passionate about the game in fact here is the video of his speech to his teammates after they clinched a post season berth


My wife came downstairs to use the computer and glanced at the TV and saw I was watching Mets-Nats and not the Yankees game. She said “You’re not watching Jeter’s  last game ?” I reply “Nope my Metsies are on and besides the Giants will be playing in about an hour so I’ll switch back and forth” then she says “I got to say you are one loyal Mets fan” I told her “ that was the nicest thing you’ve said to me since “I do”









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When was the last time you went to a baseball game but really weren’t there for the baseball game? Last night was a first for me. Last night my sole purpose to go to Citi Field was to say thank you to Kevin Burkhardt and wish him all the best of success at FOX.

There was a large gathering of Mets/Burkhardt fans on the Shea Bridge last night, enough for the Wilpon Police Force to break out in a cold sweat since crowd control is not a task the WPC is used to being involved in. For most of the game the fans on the Shea Bridge ate, drank (a beer vendor finally used his brain and just set up shop on the bridge and why not, the pigeons roosting in the Promenade aren’t buying Bud Light Tall Boys) and discussed the future of our favorite baseball team (Attention Mets: Your deGrom 4 for $48 ticket offer had every ticket plan holder outraged to the point just about everyone I spoke to who has a plan will not renew for next season. When it comes to Public Relations blunders no one does it better than the New York Mets)

We all signed a card that was designed and brought to the park by Darren Meenan of the 7 Line who if the Mets had a clue would hire him as their head of promotions and public relations. No one puts together events for Mets fans better than Meenan.

As the 7th inning got under way, Burkhardt made his way from the SNY booth to his adoring fans at the Shea Bridge. It says a lot about Burkhardt when the sole reason the many in attendance at the Bridge came here to thank him for his work as the Mets field reporter and to wish him the best of luck at FOX.

The sendoff by Mets fans to Burkhardt should be a clarion call to the ownership of this franchise. Mets fans are savvy and hip. We know who is genuine and who the phony fucking posers are.  Many in the organization especially Jeffy Wilpon, should take a lesson from Kevin Burkhardt, don’t be a phony, respect the Mets fans and don’t try to be something you’re not. If you act like a decent human being and conductor yourself with honesty and with a great personality, someday the fans will gather on the Shea Bridge to cheer you instead of looking for a lynching.

All the best Kevin, look forward to seeing you on FOX1 baseball coverage and with John Lynch on the NFL on FOX.


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The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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