Please Support the Fund Raiser for Shannon Forde

 

Last week at our monthly Met Bloggers night at Citi Field the friendly face I always look for was right there in the conference room where you see Terry Collins before and after every game. Shannon Forde, the Mets Senior Director of Media Relations came over to give me and the other bloggers a big welcome.

Shannon and Danielle Parilleo the Mets Director of Communications are the Mets bloggers den mothers. They take us into the places we’ve all dreamed about being in, the managers press conference, on the field for batting practice, arranging players for us to interview and assuring Jay Horowitz that we are not bad people. It’s people in the organization like Shannon and Danielle that make me root harder for this team to win because they work so hard they deserve a World Series ring as much as any player.

While watching BP last week at Citi Field myself and Ed Marcus went over to say hi to Shannon and tell her how much we missed her at the last bloggers meet up. Shannon has that personality that just makes you want to hang out with her to the point where she is much more interesting to talk to than any of the players, the same players by the way who seem to have much love and admiration for her since they know firsthand how hard she works at her craft. Her work at Citi Field is just a part of what she does as she is a mom and a wife and handles all those responsibility flawlessly and with her trademark smile.

It was while we were hanging out by the Mets dugout that Shannon told Ed and me that she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. At that point both of our knees kind of buckled. But leave it to Shannon to stay positive and tell us she’s going to fight this and beat it and with the great support group she has both with the Mets and within her family, I have no doubt that she will beat this insidious disease and continue to be one of the best and most important members of the NY Mets and continue to lead a bunch of nomad bloggers around Citi Field.

To support and give back to Shannon for all she has done for so many, her friends have organized a fund raiser for her at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park NJ on Thursday night November 1st for 7PM to 11PM. Tickets for the dinner are $100 and that includes dinner dancing a cocktail hour and open bar. From 7:30PM to 9:00PM that evening, there will be an autograph session featuring Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, John Franco, Bobby Ojeda, Edgardo Alfonzo, Al Leiter, Ed Charles and Eddie Kranepool. For $250 you get to meet with these members of Mets Royalty and get an autograph as well.

If you cannot make it to the dinner you can still make a donation. All the information is at Hope Shines For Shannon.  

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R.A. Dickey Profile In Courage

Of all the things that have happened to me since I started blogging about my beloved NY Mets, the club reaching out to myself and fellow bloggers, granting us access to the team and front office folks has to be the best and most rewarding part of covering the team. If you’ve read my posts from the times I’ve been out to Citi or to any other baseball event where I’ve had the honor of speaking to R.A. Dickey, you know my respect and awe for the man, well if the excerpts of his new book “Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball are any indication how the rest of the book will read, my admiration for Dickey will be off the charts.

It takes a certain kind of courage to come out and bare your soul to the masses as Dickey has done in the excerpts he read yesterday.  If a positive comes out of Dickey’s revelation of sexual abuse as a child and thoughts of suicide as an adult, is the Mets follow through with the promise they made last year of coming out with a PSA on bullying and teen aged suicides. No team in sports has a better spokesperson than R.A. Dickey, the organization shouldn’t pass up this great opportunity to educate the masses.

The blogger-ratzi was invited to Citi Field this past Monday night for a noshing on the newest food offerings at the ball park this season ( I was invited but had to decline the invite since this nasty head cold I have has now made its way to my chest making me more miserable than a normal day, a trip to the doctor is on tap for this afternoon) you can read the reviews from Faith and Fear in Flushing, Mets Police, On The Black, Optimistic Mets Fan  and top Mets foodie Ted Berg .

Great news by the Mets that the family of Gary Carter will be throwing out the first pitch next Thursday at opening day. Shannon of Mets Police has an interesting thought on a surprise that could happen on Thursday.

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A TWEAK AND A TEAR EQUAL A BAD DAY AT CITI FIELD

 

Two injuries yesterday will bring two major decisions for Sandy Alderson this off season.  There are still 49 games left in the 2011 season, but the injuries to Jose Reyes and the season ender for Daniel Murphy will have Alderson and his staff busy trying to decide what to do with both players.

While we Mets fans have overdosed on Jose Reyes’ coming out season, we have seen twice now in the last month why a long term deal for the charismatic shortstop may be what the fans want but front office may have, with good reason point to the caveat of Reyes is Reyes, when he’s of sound mind and hammy. Right now, the hammy is not so fine and for each time it’s tweaked, Reyes’ bargaining position takes a hit. Before this small outbreak of hamstring aliments, it looked like a longshot that the Mets would go 7 years on a deal for Jose. Now, I doubt the Mets would go over a 5 year deal, nor should they.  If Reyes were to sign with the Mets for 5/$110 mil, I feel it would be a win for both sides, if there is a team out there willing to get into a bidding war where a contract of 6-7 years for $132-$154 million becomes the bid price, then I’m sure Alderson will step aside and wish Jose well. If that happens there will be a huge outcry from Mets fans against the organization and that anger will be short sided.

As for Daniel Murphy, My love and admiration of Murph has never been disguised at this site.  Given an everyday spot in the lineup has proven that Murph is not just a big league hitter but he is a batting crown contender. His work ethic is second to none and he never is insubordinate which believe me is a big deal to a manager, as he plays wherever the manager places him. Is he a complete player? No and his baseball instinct has been rightly questioned but the positives with Murphy greatly outweighs the negatives. He not only hit for average but he hits doubles and he is a very productive hitter with runners in scoring position (.364) and with RISP 2/out (.355). With all that, we may have seen the last of Daniel Murphy in a Mets uniform. 

The only reason I come to this conclusion is the only two position that fit Murph are 1st base and 3rd base, which are positions that are not open now or next year or the year after. I’ve heard some rumblings by Mets fans of having D-Wright move to LF next year and shift Jason Bay (if Alderson can’t pull a disappearing act on Bay this off season) to RF, and then you could place Murph at 3rd. That is a lot of player movement and I’m sure Wright will not be happy about being asked to move and I don’t see Bay as a RF’er.

Murph has proven he is an everyday player and he’s proven that if he plays 2nd base anymore he might  get killed, so with no corner to go to, Murph may be a valuable trade chip this winter. A solid hitter like Murph has American League written all over him. I’m sure the A’s, Rays, Tigers or White Sox would love to get their hands on a player like Murphy.  I’d hate to see it happen but there may be no choice, as much as Murph has a potent bat, the Mets just don’t have a place to put him when it comes to defense.

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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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WHAT ABOUT JERRY GROTE?

 

I don’t give a rats ass about the numbers and Hall of Fame credentials Pepsodent smile and all that, my favorite Mets catcher of all time is was and may forever be Jerry Grote. Not even close. Go ahead flame my ass about this I don’t give a fuck you hear me all you Piazza and Carter fans.  My guy Grote was the original Captain Red Ass.  Nobody fired a ball back to a pitcher (including The Franchise) with purpose like Grote did.  Add in the fact that he wore a wool baseballall cap with the bill turned up (no protective helmet for him) that my young whipper snappers readers was a man’s catcher.

So why the “Get off my lawn” diatribe you wonder? Well the good folks at The Hardball Time have an outstanding post on the comparison between Mike Piazza, Pudge Rodriguez and <head bowed> Johnny Bench that fired my middle aged ass up this morning

For all my love of Grote I also have a deep respect and admiration for JB. In fact last time I was up in Cooperstown I bought a Reds t-shirt with BENCH 5 on the back. Check out the posting as it breaks down all three’s offensive and defensive numbers   

Still, the guy I want behinf the plate for my team is Jerry Grote.  Now GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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