Was Last Night’s No Hitter The Start Of Something Bigger ?

 

This post will be all over the place, so let me apologize in advance because I still can’t get my thoughts all in one place after watching Johan Santana’s no hitter last night. What has me all verklempt is this was more than just the first no hitter in the history of the NY Metropolitan Baseball Club, it was more a display of what this little thing of ours, being a Mets fan means. If the non-believers don’t grasp the concept of Mets fandom after last night, they never will and that’s their loss.

The look of determination on the face of Santana will stay with me for a long, long time as will the image of Terry Collins who was put in the worst spot of al,l worrying about the health of his Ace and the historical place this game was headed. Later we would learn that Santana would sing his own version of The Weight as he told Collins he was not coming out of this game taking the load off the manager and putting on him.

I thought of Josh Thole, just activated after suffering a concussion guiding Santana along. After a week- ten days of working out in a back field of Pt. St. Lonesome to this electrifying moment, I was hoping his head wasn’t hurting.

I thought about Mike Baxter who went above and beyond the call of duty crashing into the left field wall to make a catch that is now another in memorable catches in Mets history. Watching him come off the field with Ray Ramirez holding his arm, I thought the worst but then this morning I read Baxter quotes where he said “I’ll be ok, it’s not about me it’s Johan’s night”. Baxter typified the all for one, one for all attitude this team has taken on.

I thought about Gary Cohen calling the game on SNY and Howie Rose calling the action on WFAN, they are not just the Mets play by play men, they are one of us. I feel even closer to them since we are all from the same generation who got into Mets Fandom on the ground floor. I’ve always wondered if our paths ever crossed way back when in the Upper Deck at Shea maybe during a Craig Swan start or cheering a Willie Montanez home run, complete with the stutter step home run trot. When the no hitter was “in the history books” as Howie noted, Ron Darling, who was extremely fired up in the late innings of this game, and Keith Hernandez, who was astonishing quiet maybe superstition took over, asked Gary if he thought the no hitter drought would ever be broken and without missing a beat Cohen said “NO” I got a bit misty in the eyes when Gary said that because I knew exactly where he was coming from.

I thought a lot about Johan Santana. I thought about all the hard work he put in to get back on a Major League mound and like Bobby Ojeda said on the post-game show pitching “on back fields in front of tumble weed and three legged dogs”. This is part of the professional athletes life that many fans either ignore or just don’t care about. The work that Santana put in after his shoulder surgery is what separates him as one of the top pitchers in MLB to the guy holding on or trying to get a roster spot. All pitchers at this level can throw a baseball, it’s the few who have the work ethic and the intelligence to make the climb to the top that stand out. When Santana went down with his shoulder injury that needed surgical repair he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. He worked his ass off in rehabilitating the shoulder and in getting himself back on his game right where he left off.  After last night’s performance all those days with the physical therapist and then on the back fields of the Mets minor league complex with the sweat dripping off him to the scrutiny of Dan Warthen and Terry Collins in spring training to the skepticism of the media and fan base, wondering which Johan Santana we would see, has paid off big time. What we’ve seen is one of the best pitchers in Mets history and a player with the heart of a lion.

Last night was not about the owner and how much money he has or doesn’t have  nor was it about whether this team is playing over their heads, no, it was about what it’s like when you sign on to become a Mets fan. There are good days and some bad days and then there are days like yesterday that wash away all the bad.  If you’ve decided not to support this team because of your disdain for the ownership, well you’re stupid. If you learned anything last night it’s not about the Skill Sets, it’s not about the Robinson Rotunda, it’s not about the outfield walls and it’s not about the Shake Shack, it’s about the 25 players and it’s about us and for all of you who have been avoiding Citi Field, you better hop back on the bandwagon and buy some tickets and come out to watch this team play because I don’t think they are done making history, the no hitter might just be the beginning of something very special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Last Night The Mets Were Fugly

There are loses, bad loses and I can’t believe it loses which is where I’d file last night’s stunner. To have a 4-0 lead handed to our Ace against a team that has scored the least runs in all of baseball and to do it with a Buffalo flavored lineup, it looked like this would be one the best wins of the season, but then in the 7th with one on, Santana served up an 87 mph meatball fastball to the Pirates version of Mike Nickeas, Mike McKendry, that was deposited over the left center field wall to tie the game at 4-4.

Santana seemed to labor from the 4th inning on as he lost command of his fastball and it seemed ironic that Santana who has had a tough time recording a win when he was out pitching the opposition would be in position to get a win in game where he was ordinary at best.

The Mets had a good shot at taking the lead back in the 8th as Kirk Nieuwenhuis got a pinch hit single to lead off the 8th and made it 3rd on a Ronny Cedeno ground out and a wild pitch, runner on 3rd 1 out all the Mets need is a fly ball but up steps Mike Nickeas who of course strikes out. I wish Terry Collins would give Rob Johnson the bulk of the playing time while Josh Thole recuperates. Nickeas just cannot hit and his defensive prowess quite frankly is overrated.  I’m guessing that Johnson‘sore thumb is still a problem and the reason he’s not behind the plate every day.  After Nickeas failed to get Nieuwenhuis home, it was left to Andres Torres and his icicle of a baseball bat to get the job done and of course he failed as well with his shitty little ground out 4 to 3.

When Nickeas, Torres and Ike Davis are in the same lineup they are 3 automatic outs add in the pitchers spot that 4 outs so multiply that by say 4 times through the order, that  16 of the 27 outs you get in a game that you are giving away. Nickeas shouldn’t start another game, Torres is ready to be regulated to 4th outfield status and Ike it seems is a DL activation away from becoming a Buffalo Bison. When Vinny Rottino gets the nod over you, lefty or no lefty, it’s safe to say you’ll be headed upstate soon.

Now if the top of the 8th didn’t piss you off enough, the Mike Baxter-Kirk Nieuwenhuis mix up of Neil Walker fly ball sure had to. Simple “Fundies” right there, it’s the centerfielder is king of the outfield and to their credit both Baxter and Kirk took responsibility for the screw up for what became the winning run on 3rd base. As bad an offensive team as the Bucs are, they at least were able to get the runner on 3rd home with less than 2 outs.

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

What? Positive NY Mets News?

There are times when I’m glad I was wrong, and this is one of them and I have a lot of company. Not many Mets fans thought Johan Santana would be ready to take the mound at Citi Field on April 5th but the word out of St. Lonesome is Santana will indeed be the NY Mets opening day pitcher. Maybe that will movtivate some Mets fans to buy a ticket for opening day.

This is a big step for Johan and the Mets as it gives the fan base some hope that this will not be the dismal season many predict and hopefully a healthy and productive Santana will help raise the game of the rest of his teammates. Don’t underestimate the fact the Mets ace will pitch on opening day, I can guarantee you the teams of the NL East and rest of MLB look at the NY Mets a lot differently than they did a month ago.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

THE BENCH MOB RULES

 

 

After a week sleeping in a tent in the woods of upstate New York listening to wolves howling in the middle of the night and having nightmares of a bear in a Highlander uniform attacking me in my tent, I can say without a doubt that it’s good to be home.

Not just because I missed my wife and daughter but I missed watching the Mets as well. I haven’t felt that way in a couple of years so yesterday it was nice to hit the couch with a cold drink and a meal without dirt and bugs in it and watch the through ass kicking the Mets administered on the Phuck Phaces.  The offense was explosive with bench mob members Scott Hairston and Nick Evans busting out and the Mighty Celtic Daniel Murphy (.349/.408/.465 RISP .383/.408/.489 RISP w/2 out) continuing his solid season but again it was the pitching of Jon Niese that stood out.  Niese has stepped up as a solid starter for the Mets not just for 2011 but for season beyond.  Niese is not an ace but he will be a good solid 2 or 3 for the Mets for years to come.

I’ll get into more stuff tomorrow as I’m still trying to get my back to straighten up again and get my system reintroduced to edible food. Even with all those drawbacks a week away with my son on a camping trip is worth every mosquito bite and bad meal and sleeping in less than ideal conditions.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

IMAGINE THERE’S NO REYES OR BELTRAN, IT’S EASY IF YOU TRY

Wally Backman has signed on to stay in the Mets organization and will mange somewhere in the minor league system. In reality, Backman didn’t have much choice. Backman is still miffed that Sandy Alderson didn’t hire him for the top job in Flushing, and the one area where I agree with Backman is on his lack of major league experience as a manager. I think the fact that Backman played 14 seasons of Major League ball should  have  had a big advantage over Terry Collins not even having a cup of coffee in the bigs. If the managerial criteria is big league experience then hands down Backman should have gotten the job over Collins.

But I see Collins getting the post as a sign that this organization will become younger, much younger and therefore hungrier than what we’ve seen from past Mets teams. Let’s face fact, the last three seasons, most Mets fans have despised the team and why? Most of us felt they were just a bunch of highly paid veterans you were more worried about there financial situations than the on the field situations. Then there is the off the field stuff like Johan Santana (who if he was healthy I’m sure Alderson & Co would have put on not only the trading block but the trading platter with an apple in his mouth but with $97 mil owed over the next 4 years we are stuck with a once upon a time Ace who if we’re lucky will be a back of the rotation starter in the next four seasons) and of course Frankie Rodriguez and Charlie Samuels. Sandy Alderson was brought in here not just to find better players but to win back the respect of Mets fans and teams around the league as well.

That’s why you are seeing, little by little that Alderson would like to rid this team of. Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran. I’m a fan of both players but it seems to me the new front office looks at both these players as part of the losing and unprofessional culture of the team. I have never had a problem with Reyes’ antics, in fact the guy plays better when he’s dancing and hand shaking but the perception around baseball is he’s immature jerk. When the Cardinals won the 2006 NLCS they were signing the Jose-Jose-Jose chant in their clubhouse and of course Reyes’ teammates just sat in their clubhouse licking their wounds listening to the mocking chants and did nothing. When it comes to doing nothing, no team takes shit better than the Mets.  I mean the guy leading the mock chanting was Bradden Looper who sucked ass when he was here and laughed in his former teams face and why? He knew no one would do anything in the Mets clubhouse.

Now this is not to blame Reyes for that not at all but what Alderson is looking at is Reyes worth a long term investment? Probably not.

Reyes will turn 28 during the 2011 season and the last two seasons have been plagued by injury and illness and maybe he does have a big season in him and especially if the Mets hire a new physical training staff that would help Reyes but if Alderson can get some pieces the Mets need for this renovation (I know you folks hate the term rebuilding so I’ll use renovation sounds less severe) I have no question he’d send Reyes off to the highest bidder.

Carlos Beltran right can be had for fifty cents on the dollar. If any team were to approach the Mets with a deal in which that team would take at least half of Beltran’ salary he’ll be an ex-Met faster than you could say “at the end of the day”.

Now I’m sure there is a large segment who disagrees with me on this and that’s fine but you can start to read between the lines here with Alderson. He’s already told you that there will be no big ticket free agent spending this off season. The best he’ll do is look over the non-tender list and hope the market of free agents will be so ample that some players, will panic and sign for under value. See, the interesting part of this new management team is it’s a patient bunch and they are dealing with a “I want it yesterday” fan base. It’s going to be fun to watch.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

NICE AND NIESE

It won’t be truly the year of the pitcher until a Mets pitcher throws a no-hitter. Last night was almost the night as Jon Niese, he of the defective hammy, was a 3rd inning Chris Denofia double away from Mets immortality. It’s coming I can feel it, or maybe that’s Western Omelet I had for breakfast.

I would guess that Johan Santana being 31 yrs old and coming off a couple of injuries would lose a bit off his fastball but I don’t think it’s the end of the world or the cause for him to be winless in his last in all but one of his last eight starts. Kevin Kernan was a way off base about Santana this morning, even with the great breakout season of Big Pelf, Santana is still the Ace of the Mets staff. Wake up Kevin, pitchers wins are so 1960’s.

Why didn’t Mets management throw that skanky-Yankee fan Lady GaGa out of Citi Field yesterday? Believe me when it comes to looking at women in a bra and panties I’m the last guy to complain but Lady GaGa doesn’t have enough going on to pull that look off, like these lovely ladies.  Keep your clothes on you no talent bitch.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

WHY LIVAN?

I think I’ve given up on trying to figure out the ways and means of Omar Minaya. I see where he has signed Livan Hernandez and even though it’s a minor league deal and in order to cash in he has to make the team, I still don’t get it. Wouldn’t that money be spent on something the Mets need like a lefty reliever? I don’t know how much Will Ohman is looking for but it can’t more than the $1 mil they Mets set aside for Hernandez, by the way if Ohman is looking for more than that he needs to wake up and smell the disinterest from the other 29 teams in baseball for his services.

 

The Warlord is in camp and dropped a bombshell that he is thinking of using Gimp Castillo in the 1 hole and dropping Jose Reyes to the 3 hole, in order to get Gimp’s bat going. I got to think Jose, Jose, Jose will be not be pleased with this.

 

Freddy Garcia had some bold words about gaining a spot in the starting rotation. If he’s as healthy as he says and can walk the walk his signing could be a huge coup for Omar and the Mets as a healthy and effective Chief is ace material.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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.