It Was The Best Of Nights, The Worst Of Night’s At Citi Field

The photo was from Mets Merized Online and taken by Clayton Collier who also has a great write up of the Q & A the Mets Bloggers conducted with Phil Niekro, R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield

It was another Mets blogger-rattzi day at Citi Field yesterday and it was almost the best bloggers day ever. I say almost because there was an unfortunate incident late in the game that put a damper on the events of the day. Josh Edgin and Andres Torres with his ability to kill a rally with a signal ground ball, played the sad clowns. So instead of all of us heading home with the wonderful memory of chatting with 86er Barry Lyons, Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield along with an outstanding performance by the 2012 winner of the Clff Floyd Light At The End Of The Tunnel Award Matt Harvey, the lasting image of the day was a Ryan Howard 2 run home run off closer of the day Edgin.

The day started with Terry Collins and his daily FEMA update on his club. Collins is the definition of a ‘fox hole guy”, as bad as this team is, as inept as they are at the basic fundamentals of baseball, as dismal as the outlook for next season appears, Collins still talks about his players being talented and how they are playing out the season to the fullest and those of us in the conference room feel our pant legs getting drenched from being pissed on but being told it’s just condensation from the air conditioning unit.

So after a few eye roles we head out to the field to watch and schmooze while our heroes stretch and take BP. After a few minutes of observing and kibitzing, the blogger group was introduced to former Mets catcher Barry Lyons.  We spent a good 20 minutes with Lyons talking about everything from his days as an 86er, to Davey Johnson to catchers calling pitchers other than the pitching coach and how the 1986 Mets would have fared in the new social media world.

Lyons spoke of the special bond he and his 1986 Mets teammates have and how winning a championship builds that special bond forever. Lyons was wearing his Mets Alumni golf shirt and mentioned how even though he played for other teams (Dodgers, Angels, and White Sox) he will always be a Met. In fact, Lyons even spoke of maybe getting back on the field as a manager in the Mets minor league system. I told Lyons that if he needed an advocate for him to take over the helm in Brooklyn I would be honored to head the campaign. Hopefully the Mets front office acknowledges that Lyons is interested in getting back to coaching to managing in the organization as gives him strong consideration for a job.   

From our session with Barry Lyons, we headed over to meet the stars of the movie KNUCKLEBALL , which I can’t stress enough is a must see for all baseball fans, Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, our own R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield. We first spoke with Niekro and Wakefield, and then R.A. Dickey joined the group. It was nice to see the camaraderie between these three men who belong to a special fraternity or as Niekro said “the freaky group”. We then talked about who are the next knuckleballers on the horizon. Dickey talked about Frank Viola’s son, who Dickey worked with a bit in spring training, who was trying to learn the pitch and another young many name Steven Wright. I asked Dickey whether the Mets or any other organization seeing the success that has had with the pitch, would work with pitchers who have fallen from prospect status to just organization fillers to become an asset to the big league club. His answer was all it takes is one organization to take a chance and be bold enough to take on that initiative, to which both Niekro and Wakefield nodded in approval.

All three men stated that they would do all they could to help any pitcher who had the patience, the competiveness and the work ethic needed to master the pitch. If anyone does get to work with these gentlemen and with Charlie Hough or Tom Candiotti, they should consider themselves fortunate.  

With the pre-game Q & A’s over, we went up to the Champions Club to enjoy the ambiance and watch Matt Harvey’s 2012 Farewell Tour. After getting some food and a beverage, myself, Ed Marcus, Matt Falkenbury and Randy Medina sat down to discuss this lost season and what is on the horizon for the off season and 2013. In a room with, I’ll say roughly 100 people milling around the bar area and food stations, the four of us were the only one’s talking Mets baseball or anything remotely  close to baseball talk and even in a fine establishment like the Champions Club, you still get douchenozzels walking around in Highlanders garb.  The lack of etiquette is appalling.

Matt Harvey was on the bump as we made our way to the seats, first batter Jimmy Rollins home run just over the orange line on the right field wall. UGHHHH!!!! , but then Harvey gets the next three batters , 86 year old Juan Pierre, Life Alert spokesman Chase Utley and the ghost of Ryan Howard to end the inning on a high note. From innings 2 to 5, Harvey faced just 12 batters and was in full Ace mode. But of course the Mets being the Mets and being at Citi Field all they could muster was a run to tie the game until David Wright hit a baseball over an outfield wall for a go ahead home run. A Festivus miracle I tell you.     

So going into the 9th inning we have the Mets, at home, with a lead, Josh Edgin filling in as closer with Frank Frisco nursing a right elbow riddled with tendonitis, 2 up 2 down, open the book as we are ready to put this baby……..in…….ah…………shit…………..!

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BE CAREFUL METS HATERS, YOUR SNARK MAY COME BACK TO BITE YOU

Ok, Ok, I get it the Mets are broke and the Skill Sets are in denial as their empire is crumbling all around them, so can all the copycat writers stop with the regurgitation of the Skill Sets financial quagmire please. How the hell can anyone write about the rise and fall of Freddy and Saul after Howard Megdal ,  who has written extensively on this subject, put all the pieces together in his book Wilpon’s Folly. Everything that has been dished out by other writers is just a total rip off of Howard’s hard work. There is without a doubt more honor amongst bloggers than there is among the main stream media.

Let’s set another record straight as well as we get closer to reporting date of spring training. The club that will report to St. Lonesome in a week is not the re-incarnation of the 1962 Mets. They are not the 1986 Mets either.  This is not the worst team in baseball either; right now the Mets are a middle of the pack team. Sure the Mets will be a disadvantage playing in the stacked NL East but after what we’ve seen of this club last year do you really think they are going to lay down or go through the motions? Do you think Terry Collins or Sandy Alderson will tolerate that? While on the subject of Sandy Alderson, Twitter is all a twitter over the GM tweeting some self-depreciating humor about the club; some folks are outraged over the snarky tweets that Alderson has tweeted. I guess those folks just don’t get it, Alderson possess an outstanding dry sense of humor and is using social media as a platform as satire on all the comments about the teams money situation. Got get with the program folks this is the thinking fans GM.

Look, I’d be as happy as any Mets fan is the Skill Sets sold the club and moved on, never to be heard from again but I’ve been rooting for this team for too long and my love of baseball too deep to let their difficulties spoil my summer. As I said in an earlier post I’m rooting for Daniel Murphy and R.A Dickey and after reading the piece in the NY Daily News on Jason Bay, I’ll root hard for him as well. Sure this team pisses me off a lot, I’m mad as hell that the team doesn’t have money for starting pitching depth or a decent left handed bat for the bench but as angry as I am, I can’t wait for the first spring game out of St. Lonesome on SNY.

I have no right to tell people how to spend their money and no one has the right to do that to me, if you feel not going to Citi Field or watching the team on SNY or buying Mets merchandise will drive the Skill Sets out of power, that’s your right but for me not going to Citi Field or watching SNY or listening to games on WFAN or buying a Mets 50th Anniversary jersey  would just make me fucking miserable (or more fucking miserable than a normal day)it’s what I love to do.

If you want to root against the Skill Sets that’s fine but to root against the Mets and by the Mets I mean the players, coaches and manager, that’s just plain stupid.

Remember all your favorite MSM columnists in this town were ready to burry Tom Coughlin, Jerry Reece and the coaching staff of the NY Football Giants  in December, today they have Coughlin in the Hall of Fame, Reece is a genius and the coaching staff was right to stay the course. Two weeks ago, the media was running Mike D’Antoni out of town on a rail, Melo was out with injury and Amare had a family tragedy to deal with so the Knicks were finished, But, out of nowhere came Jeremy Lin and now the media is ready to kill Melo and Amare if they don’t come back and mesh with the rest of their teammates as Jeremy Lin has brought his Harvard Chemistry Set to turn the 2012 Knicks into 1969 Knicks.  So take note of all the MSM folks who are predicting that the Mets will suck this coming season and when they become the surprise team in MLB, remember who called bullshit first when the fish wraps start comparing Terry Collins to Billy Martin as his “gritty, gutsy”  Mets win more games than they lose.

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HEY METS FANS, SANDY DOESN’T CARE WHAT YOU WANT AND THAT’S A GOOD THING

Sandy Alderson could not care less what you think.  He knows if it were up to Mets fans, not only would Wally Backman be the manger of the team but everyone associated with the 1986 Mets, with the exception of Tim McCarver and Steve Zabriskie, would have some kind of meaningful job in the organization. Alderson knows how much we all worship our last conquering heroes and he couldn’t give a rats ass. That’s what I like about Sandy Alderson and it’s clear he’s the right man to run the Mets.

There is no other fan base in this town that is as sentimental about their past than Mets fan.  We savor and love to reminisce about seasons past, not just the good but the bad as well. As the years go by, the great seasons become immortalized and the bad seasons start to have redeeming qualities, it’s just how we are; we can’t help it, we’re an emotional bunch. That’s why we are in no position to say who the next manager of the Mets should be.

It looks as though Wally Backman will not be considered for the Mets manager’s job. There will be outrage about this in the Land of Orange and Blue as how dare Sandy Alderson not give us the man we want.  Make no mistake I love Wally as much as you and that’s the problem.

Last year going to Brooklyn Cyclones game was better than any of the previous seasons going to the ball park on Coney Island because I was so pumped up about Backman being the manager. I bored my son to tears with stories about Wally and how he and Lenny Dykstra were the one-two punch at the top of the order that set up a kick ass middle of the lineup of Hernandez-Carter-Strawberry and how Backman never had a clean uniform and would anything on the field to win. It’s this kind fanboy admiration that makes me recues myself on picking the next Mets manager.  Of course my heart says Wally Backman but my head says let a guy with no ties to the organization and a guy who has succeed in this job before pick the manager that he sees will fit to carry out his plan.

There are some in the younger demographics of Mets fans who are anti-Backman and who are tired of hearing about the 86’ers. I can see their point. It’s similar to my late mother who one day when friends of hers and my father had come to visit and part of the conversation swung to the “good old days”. Nothing got my mother’ ire up when the “old biddies” pined for the ‘good old days” when bread was three cents and milk was a nickel.  My mother would tell them “yeah and when you got the flu it killed you” which was followed with an eye roll and then a lecture later that those biddies were horse’s arse’s.  But  while the those Mets teams of the mid 80’s should have won more than they did, I can’t forget that going to Shea Stadium back in the day was like celebrating New Years Eve, Spring Break and Madi Grais every night , it was THE place to be. Maybe $iti Field will be that way someday instead of being the catering hall/shopping mall it is now. But I digress……

Whoever Sandy Alderson and his All Star Band of front office folks pick to manage the Mets there will be outrage by this passionate of all passionate fan bases.  If it were up to the fans, Backman would be manager, Doc Gooden the pitching coach, Darryl Strawberry the hitting coach and Lenny Dykstra the 3rd base coach and Mazz as Wally’s bench coach. That’s thinking with your heart and with unbridled emotion. Alderson is thinking with his head and is taking his time to make his decision because (a) it doesn’t look like any other manager hires are in the works (if you want to count the Pirates job fine) and (b) the manager right now is not important because the Mets will not be signing any big ticket free agents  this off season.

All I can say is let’s put some faith in Alderson, a man with a winning track record that he’ll make the right choice of manager . Of course the first time the Mets go on a five game losing streak all bets are off.

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