Cuddyer for Hire

 

 

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

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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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Matt Kemp to Mets??????

 

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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Where will the line be drawn when it comes to advertising on NBA?

nba_jandunks_01NBA currently has a television deal with ESPN and Turner worth as much as $930 million. This deal is due for expiration in 2016. This explains why NBA got on a 9 year deal worth $24 billion. This kind of deal will translate to an increase in NBA’s salary cap and give rise to larger contracts, ticket prices and adverts.

You might think that NBA hit their jackpot with this kind of deal but it’s not so. They are having sleepless nights trying to increase on their current revenue. One of the other ways they will create more advertising space is through the use of player’s jerseys. Yes, they will place adverts on jerseys but this is just a rumour for now. This has been practised in many soccer leagues and has not interfered with the players’ performances and will not when it comes to basketball players.

From the look of things, it might not affect the fans directly, but might do so indirectly. This will bring about inflation in all aspects of the league and will alter basketball. We might not just compare this with soccer since this is a culture with them and might be something new with basketball.

The culture behind soccer and basketball betting is different and commercialism and social hierarchies are different in the USA compared to other parts of the world.

Basketball quality has always been changing but we must acknowledge that it is currently at a different point that it was in the past. Commercials and endorsement deals have propelled NBA players to a higher level of popularity. Players just have a lot of influence on who will be their coach and the kinds of teams they will be playing for.

If you are a basketball fan, then you can recall that in the times of San Antonio Spurs fans knew that the wins where made because of teamwork and not because of the stars who were playing the game. The game is coming to a change and inflation on the salary cap is significant. This being so, we would conclude that advertising plans and new TV deals affect the pattern.

As we speak, NBA will not stop at nothing to make more money. As a fan you should wake up and come to terms with what’s happening and demand for better quality at a better price. With smart use of the internet and social networks, it will be so easy for players to communicate your views.

Brace yourself, the 2014-15 season is approaching but you need to understand that NBA will go that extra mile to make sure that they raise enough money for the new season and to run the league.

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Touch Base with the Best Games at CaesarsCasino.com

1The 2014 World Series is underway and the Kansas City Royals are taking on the San Francisco Giants for the ultimate honors in baseball. There are plenty of accolades to go around, and Kansas City certainly deserves praise for its monumental efforts in reaching the final stage of the competition. Baseball’s ultimate prize is up for grabs, and it’s going to be an absolute firecracker of a contest. Fans at home will no doubt be glued to their TV screens, PCs, smartphones and tablets for all the news, reviews, updates and results. In between the manic Internet surfing, there is always time for a little personal victory lap. If you’re in New Jersey, you’ve likely heard about the recent regulation permitting online gaming. It’s not baseball gaming, but it might as well be because it features edge-of-your-seat excitement coupled with big winning potential – it’s all there in abundance.

Caesars Online Casino Hits it out of the Park!

Everybody loves a winner and who better than Caesars to create an online gaming brand of note. All the illustrious entertainment that players have come to associate with Caesars Atlantic City is now available at its signature online gaming hub. This NJ online casino is filled with hard-hitting action from the moment you step up to the platform. Don’t worry about sliders and fast balls and curveballs – just click to play and you’re in. Everyone’s a winner at this online casino, but more of that later. The gaming variety is impressive, and it speaks volumes about the power of a user-friendly platform that prides itself in simplicity. Driven by HTML 5 technology, players can expect a hassle-free, no download gaming platform with all the bells and whistles they’ve come to love from the iconic brand. There’s been plenty of fine tuning along the way to get this online casino up to standard – but that’s what you would expect at the highest levels of the game.

Fully Licensed and Regulated Online Gaming – New Jersey Style

2CaesarsCasino.com received its official licensing and regulation in November 2013, and it has been in the major leagues ever since. As one of the top 3 brands in New Jersey, Caesars Online Casino raises the bar on excellence. Never complacent, and always striving for better, this online gaming destination is the crème de la crème. The gaming variety spans slots games, video poker, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and beyond. Each of the games loads up in seconds, and in no time at all you can be spinning and winning your way to the big time. But before you get started, there is the issue of compliance. According to the Department of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), all players must be at least 21 years of age and physically present in the state of New Jersey. The software is fully compatible with Android smartphones and tablets, iOS smartphones and tablets, PC and Mac too. It’s the all in one solution to online gaming for players. Geolocation tracking technology ensures that all real money play takes place within the state of New Jersey – nowhere else.

The beauty of this platform is that there is so much variety for players to enjoy. Slots games present players with big winning potential with no skills or strategy required. You could be a complete novice or a seasoned professional player and stand exactly the same chance of winning with whatever slots game you play. Some of the most popular slots games are: Big Vegas, Savannah Sunrise, King Kong, Rags to Riches, Star Trek and Monopoly Plus. If you fancy your skills at the tables, you will love the blackjack games on offer. These include Vegas Blackjack, European Blackjack and Win Win Blackjack. Roulette is always a big money-spinner, with titles like European Roulette, Double Roulette and standard Roulette. Video poker titles like Jacks or Better, Aces and Faces and Deuces Wild will test your poker prowess to the max. Table games like Online Baccarat, Raise It up and Ultimate Texas Hold’em are winners in anyone’s book. To cap it off, there are progressive jackpot games. These beauties are loaded with cash – they’re the equivalent of home runs in baseball.

Hot Dogs, Cracker Jacks, Beer and Caesars Online Casino…

3Caesars Online Casino games are a terrific accoutrement to the 7 game play-off series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals. All throughout the latter portion of October, leading into Halloween and beyond, players will be spoilt for choice with entertainment options. The San Francisco Giants took the first play off 7-1 against the Kansas City Royals, but KC fought back to claim a 7-2 victory in game two. Kaufmann Stadium and AT&T Park will be no doubt be packed to capacity with eager baseball fans cheering on their teams. Capacity crowds of over 40,000 people are expected for each of the seven games, and those stadiums will be filled. When the winners are crowned on October 29, fans will erupt. Everyone is wondering if the KC Royals can break a 29 year drought by hoisting the World Series trophy, or whether the 2010 and 2012 winners – the San Francisco Giants – can do it for the third time. In between innings, fans in New Jersey will be able to keep the proverbial ball rolling with plenty of big winning potential at Caesars Online Casino. As an added incentive to get started, New Jersey players can enjoy a generous $10 welcome bonus (no deposit needed) and a dollar for dollar matching bonus up to $300 on their first deposit!

 

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Why you should bet on the Mets

The Mets are a New York professional baseball team that’s based in the borough of Queens, New York. The Mets were founded in 1962 and have been among the best teams in baseball. The longevity of the team gives you more reasons to bet on them.

But as you plan to make your bet on the Mets, there are some tips you should bear in mind.

Know your odds

You need to understand that money-line betting needs to be approached different compared to a point-spread. You need to be disciplined and not make it a habit investing huge on the Mets just because it is among your favourite teams. The Mets are a good choice to bet on, but you could still see that your bankroll is growing smaller when not careful.

Drill in your head that even pro teams lose.

Have a budget

Do not go blindly making a big bet on the Mets while you could have bet on another team or sport. You need to have a budget on the amounts to wager on each team or game. Have a budget for the whole season is you may. This way, you will be in a position to bet through the whole season.

Know who is playing

You need to be cautious on who will be playing and who will not. This way, you will know whether the team is likely to win or not. If there will be major players out of the game at your time of betting, then you might consider supporting the opponents team. In most cases, when the Mets are having consecutive games, there will be major players placed on the bench to handle the crucial games against strong opponents or games that might not be of much relevance.

To assist you in making a smarter bet, the sportsbook you will be betting with will always have the start pitchers in any baseball bet right next to the game lines. This is because the start pitcher is the individual player who has control over the odds in the game.

 

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There’s A Right Way And A Wrong Way To Run A Bullpen

 

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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Citi Field Still Under Construction

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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Can Man United Win the 2014/15 Title?

Now there’s an interesting question to pose? Is it at all humanly possible for them to drag themselves back into the title race?

You might say they are almost mid table, but that would be unfair. They currently sit within the top 10, but with stiff competition from the likes of Tottenham and Crystal Palace who have hearts desirous of a win against Man United – anything could happen.

The odds on who will win the Premiership have been focussing on Chelsea and Man City, but with Southampton having such a blistering start, companies like Sbobet and Mansion M88 are changing their odds weekly.

Let’s have a quick look at the teams involved and their current season so far.

Man United – well we all know they’ve not had a great start with only 2 wins so far this season in the Premiership. But it’s not that they haven’t been scoring, the problem is they’ve been conceding goals at the wrong times. With a 5-3 defeat against Leicester, they hit a low patch and now they need to start to turn things around. For all your Man United fans out there, we feel for you, we really do.

Tottenham – a dark horse and a silent favourite of many fans. Many of us like to see Tottenham do well, and this season could be their crowning glory. Last season 2013/14 they managed to get 6th position, just outside qualification to European competition. Always a great disappointment but a great catalyst for this year’s Premiership.

Swansea have had a fabulous run over the last few years, reaching the Premiership for the 2011/12 season reaching 11th. Then in the 2013/14 season they won their 1st piece of major silverware- the League Cup. They are definitely a team to watch this season!

So even looking at those three teams, excluding the BIG 2 – it really is anyone’s championship.

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Post Season Thoughts

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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Happy Anniversary Bobby Thompson and The Shot Heard ‘Round The World

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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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Tickets

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.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.