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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Yeah Baby Smallball !!!!!!!

 

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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Rants and Raves

                                                                                                                     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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Kevin Burkhardt , We Will Miss You

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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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deGrom deMan!!!

 

 

 

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For all the bitching and moaning I’ve done about the Mets this season and the last few seasons, last night was one of those games that thankfully had me turn off the cranky meter. Sure the Mets lost but more importantly, Jacob deGrom sent out a message to Mets fans, do give up the ship just yet.

Last night was a pitching performance reminiscent of Tom Seaver’ many starts as a Met. Seaver would pitch these gems like deGrom and strike out a dozen or more and dominate the game but end up with a loss or a no decision. deGrom was dominate last night with a fastball that he threw like a laser with amazing command and a curve ball that has Marlins hitters shaking their head.

Add in deGrom’s performance with the news that Matt Harvey was hitting 95 mph in his last throwing session of the season along with Sand Alderson proclaiming that Sterling Award winner LHP Steve Matz will vie for a spot on the big league roster next season and suddenly the on field fortunes of the Mets are looking a whole lot better than piss and moaners like me seem to think.

Alderson will have a lot of trade chips over the winter. Right now the starting rotation of 2015 looks like Harvey , deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergarrd and Bartolo Colon. I didn’t include Jon Niese or Dillion Gee because I feel very strongly they will both be ex-Mets. Same with Daniel Murphy, he will be a goner as well. What this trio brings back separately or in packaged together is up for debate.

Why wouldn’t you shut down Vic Black for the rest of the season? Why would you even attempt to make him keep pitching in games that are meaningless? Let him get rested and healthy for 2015.

It’s one thing to be upset with Jenry Meija’s celebrations; it’s another to keep it in house. There was no need for Terry Collins to go public with his displeasure of Mejia’s “reeling in the big one” the other night against the Nationals. The Nats have kicked the Mets ass from Flushing to the Beltway , so a little success made Mejia go a bit overboard. But if Collins has a problem with it, he needs to keep it between himself and the player. He also needs to tread lightly and not mess with Mejia’s head; in fact the manager should go all out in praise of Mejia. Jenry Mejia has battled injuries, surgeries  and worked his ass off to get back on the mound. He’s been jerked around by the organization by making him a starter then a reliever, then a starter and then a closer.  So instead of acting like a cranky old man, Terry Collins should be throwing out praise of Mejia any time his name comes up with the media.

Speaking of Collins, it looks like he’s coming back for another season. Look I guess it is what it is, but I hope that he comes back WITHOUT an extension of his contract. I don’t care about him being a lame duck manager, if Alderson is serious about 2015 being THE season the Mets will contended for the post season, the safety net of a guarantee contract for the manager has to be taken away.

With Collins coming back will his coaches return as well? I would think you have to shake it up some and the biggest shakeup should be the pitching coach. It’s time for Dan Warthen to go and Frank Viola brought up as Mets pitching coach. All of these young studs on the pitching staff were groomed by Viola and now that they are ready to blossom in the big leagues, who better than Frankie V to work with them at the big league level. No matter how you feel about Warthen, the move to Viola as Mets pitching coach makes total sense.

 

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Get Off My Lawn

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Boy lots to get to here and I may even piss a few people off but I’m at a point in my life where I don’t give a fuck who likes and who doesn’t like as long as my wife and kids love me I’m good as gold so hold on tight and if you are upset by some comments in this post well tough shit.

First let’s look at the law suit brought on by Leigh Castergine, the fired VP of Ticket Sales for the NY Mets.  Ms. Castergine as you all know was fired from her job as the head of ticket sales for the Mets and at the time of her firing many of us who have met her were puzzled as to why she was let go. Being a single mom was not on the list of friable . I can also say that I have met Jeff Wilpon as well and yes he’s is as clueless  in person as you’d expect. That’s why I believe everything Ms. Castergine filed in her court papers. I could see Wilpon and his band of executive idiots acting the way they did. Do I have proof of all that all that is alleged to have happen? No, but my instincts tell me they did.

After the Rockies series some of the followers of the Mets were living it up thinking that this team had not just a shot at .500 but a 1973 “Ya Gotta Believe “miracle in them. But then came the big bad Washington Nationals, a team that treats the Mets so brutally that I’m sure it is against some or part of the Geneva Convention.  The Nats did last night what they do every time they play at Citi Field, they hit bombs over the wall that has the fan (s?) at the ball park ooooing and ahhhhhing like they’re at a 4th of July fireworks display.  Not only is this an embarrassment to the Mets it also hurts the precious hearts of the Pollyanna Mets fan who think this team is actually good. The Mets have a 29-48 record against teams with a .500 record or better.  Against their fellow second division counterparts the Mets are the Kings of Suck with a 42-28 record.  So think about that when you say the Mets a one or two bats away from being a contender.

You know what I just realized? I have absolutely nothing in common with most baseball fans and writers under the age of 40. These are the folks I like to call the New Age baseball experts. They know so much about the game of baseball and not only dismiss folks of my generations knowledge of the game they have no respect for it either.   And it’s just not older baseball fans that they think are dumb but older men who actually played baseball at its highest level some of whom are enshrined in the sports Hall of Fame.

Mention “baseball’s unwritten rules” to a New Age baseball fan and they spit out their oatmeal chocolate rat turd exotic beer. Mention them to folks of my generation who get the head nod and a “damn right” as we drink our cold Bud with a whisky chaser (that’s a Boilermaker you little shits) see we grew up learning the game from guys who learned the game in the 1940’s and 1950’s. We grew up in an era where not everyone made the team and the only way you got a trophy was by earning it, a trophy for just showing up? What are we a bunch of fucking pansies?

We learned that the game owes you nothing and you are part of a team and the team sticks together. It was how you built a winning attitude.

Ah the winning attitude, this also gets the New Age baseball fan’s skinny jeans in a bunch. They believe that’s a myth mostly because there isn’t a metric to measure a player’s heart or desire.  I played with and against guys that you just knew had that desire to win and would anything possible to achieve that goal. I also played with and against guys who I knew just didn’t have it in them to do whatever is was to win by any means necessary.  I knew plenty of guys who never wanted a ball to be hit to them in a crucial spot or to get up to the plate with tying or winning runs aboard. I’m sure there are guys in the big leagues that are like that as well. But to the New Age baseball fan this is as factual as the Easter Bunny.

Now before you call me a dumb ol’ bastard, let me say I do embrace the use of analytics in baseball and any organization that doesn’t have the best and brightest people available in their analytics department is a poorly run organization. The teams that meld together the analytics department with their scouting department are the ones that win.  Now hold on to your black rimmed glasses you baseball hipsters as much as the metrics can tell you how a hitter or pitcher can perform you still have to know about that player’s makeup. Yes, I know many of you New Agers hate this part but it’s a fact of baseball life. Just like in the job market, players are vetted and checked out to see if they have what it takes to make it in professional baseball. Scouts want to know the work ethic of a prospect. Does have a passion for the game? Does he show up for practice on time? Does he skip practices? What are his grades? Family situation, friends, interests outside the game. All these factors along with the numbers go into drafting and signing a player.

So I guess this is the part where I apologize for being a cranky middle aged man but like I said I don’t give a shit if you agree or disagree but thanks for reading you little asshole LOL!

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Everyday Is a Day of Remembrance

 

What you see above is a picture of Angels Circle located in Staten Island. As you come up Fingerboard Rd to Hylan Blvd this once little traffic circle has become for the last 13 years a memorial to those Staten Islanders who were killed in the attack of the World Trade Center on September 11th 2001. There are pictures of sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers and fathers in this memorial. I pass this intersection just about every day. My daughter goes to school just down the street. So when I hear people say “never forget” I smirk because for majority of people this is the one day that they do remember what happened to NYC that day, the other 364 days I doubt anyone even gives the attack a second thought. Not New Yorkers though and especially not Staten Islanders.

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Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast 9-7-14

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Check Out Baseball Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with WBAR NYC on BlogTalkRadio

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On the latest episode of the Kult of Mets Personalities we discuss the Wilpon’s keeping the Mets payroll in the bottom third of baseball, the odds of a managerial/coaching staff shakeup and Sandy Alderson’s history of free agent signings in the years he ran the Oakland A’s.

Enjoy the very spirited debate of this Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast

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Mets Baseball Like It Used To Be

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This scene could never happen today, I’m there somewhere in shallow left field. I’ll never forget my wife’s parting words to me when I left for this game “please don’t get arrested”    

If there was ever a good time for SNY to air The Good Doctor, the documentary on the career and life of Dwight Gooden, last night was it. After that mess of a so called baseball game the Mets played in Miami earlier in the day, watching and listening to Gooden and his former teammates not only brought back great and not so great memories (the brutal off the field life Doc led) but it showed what the city and what Citi Field could be like if the organization ever got to back to putting winning as priority one.

Back in 1983, Mets fans knew something special was coming. The only real pipeline to the minor league news was the delivery every two weeks of Baseball America. We read about the Jackson Mets in AA and the Tidewater Tides of AAA, were bursting with talent.  Darryl Strawberry was the first star to arrive and pound out baseballs over outfield fences, ran like a track star and played a tremendous right field.  Keith Hernandez was brought over from the Cardinals as well that season and for the first time in quite a while there was hope in Flushing.

Of course 1984 brought Gooden and also Gary Carter and it brought the Mets as a contender. Mets fans wore their Cub Busters t-shirts to Shea as the Mets fan started to feel good about the team as the revival of the franchise was underway.

1985 was the best Mets season ever that didn’t produce a pennant or World Series winner. It was when for the first time in years; Shea Stadium was the place to be.  I was 27 years old in 1985, with shoulder length hair, a fuck you attitude, and a high tolerance to alcohol and partying just like the players on my favorite baseball team. After games we’d head to Rusty’s Restaurant for ribs and more drinks and applaud the players as they turned up there for a night of fun.  I’m so happy that cell phone cameras were years away from becoming reality.

Shea Stadium and Rusty’s were our version of social media, that’s where the Mets were, that’s where the Mets fans took the persona of their team. Out of town fans didn’t venture into Shea Stadium. It was a pit. It was dirty and in need of repair. The bathrooms leaked of water and other liquids. It was cramped and everyone drank too much, cursed too much and just raised a lot of holy hell. It was fucking paradise.

My shoulder length hair has been replaced by a clean shaved head. I haven’t had a drink in 16 years sticking mainly to seltzer and lemon or unsweetened ice tea. My idea of partying is any night I’m not snoring on the couch at 9PM. It’s kind of hard to explain what the 1980’s were as a Mets fan to the millennial Mets fan of today, I usually just say “Kid you shoulda been there, we had a ball”

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