NY Mets Bloggers Conference Call with Rusty Staub

Just about an hour ago (took a look around which way the wind blows) I had the privilege to be on a conference call with fellow Mets bloggers to talk to Rusty Staub. Rusty is in town for a big weekend, first on Saturday the first 25,000  Mets fan attending the 1:10PM game against the San Diego Padres will receive a Rusty Staub bobble head and then on Sunday, Rusty will be a judge for the big Banner Day presentation.

Staub was a two term Met (1972-1975 and then 1981-1985) and is one of the more popular Mets of all time. When my turn came up to ask a question, I wanted to focus on the adjustments he had to make when he was traded to the Detroit Tigers of the American League. Staub was a 13 year National Leaguer and back then, pride in the league you played in was a major characteristic of big league players. I asked Staub about what it was like to learn the American League style of play which was more a power league and of course the league with the designated hitter. Staub explained he was not a fan of the DH and he made it known to his manager Ralph Houk. The Tigers had traded Willie Horton to the Texas Rangers and Houk named Staub his DH for the season. Staub said he wanted no part of DH’ing and put The Major on notice that he would do it for one season. It ended up Staub was the Tigers primary DH for 1977 and ’78 putting up some very impressive numbers but Staub was clear he was not very happy being a full time DH.

I also inquired about playing in the All Star games back in the 1970’s when the game was a very big deal. I remember reading about NL President Chub Feeney going into the NL clubhouse to give “his” team a pep talk same as Lee MacPhail with his American Leaguers. Staub spoke on no matter which All Star team he played on winning the game was paramount in the minds of all the players.

When talking about switching leagues, Staub touched on Albert Pujols and his struggles so far as an Angel. Rusty said it takes time for any player even one the caliber of Pujols to learn the pitchers and get comfortable with his new team. He emphasized that learning about pitchers you have never faced before as a big obstacle as it seems all hitters keep a “book” on pitchers they face so when switching leagues it means a whole new tome.

It was quite a thrill to get to speak to Rusty who was one of the most productive and popular players in the team’s history and very much worthy of a bobble head day and to be a judge for Sunday’s Banner Day  Parade.

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

GOBBLE GOBBLE

 

I thought I’d look at some of the Mets news of the day before I start reading more into the new CBA that seems to have those who follow amateur baseball and player development up in arms with how many restrictions there will be on clubs when it comes to drafting players from the June entry draft and players from the International player pool.

It figures when the Mets have made it their mission statement to invest in the draft and in cultivating home grown talent that these new restrictive rules go into effect.

If we see Adam Lowden roaming the outfield of Citi Field in 2012, it won’t be a good sign.

Jose Reyes finished 11th in MVP voting, to me that does not translate into a 6yr/$120 mil player

Jerry Seinfeld just got a dog and he named him Jose after Jose Reyes, he’s a cute little dog but he’s no Shamsky. By the way why can’t celebrity Mets fans like Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Matthew Broderick, Ray Romano, Kevin James, Chris Rock to name a few form a syndicate and buy out the Skill Sets?

That’s it for today and until Friday unless Bernie Madoff sends Freddy Skill Sets a note from the big house on where he buried the missing millions he pilfered (I have a vision of the boardwalk at Brighton Beach as a starting point) and the Mets announce the signing of Reyes,  Albert Pujols , Mark Buehrle and C.J. Wilson if not enjoy your Thanksgiving, put your worrying about the Mets on the back burner and look around the table at dinner and give thanks for those who are with you and remember those who aren’t.

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

SANDY ALDERSON WILL BE WHEELING AND DEALING THIS OFF SEASON

I don’t understand how some members of our Flushing congregation have a hard time comprehending that due to the financial problems of our beloved Skill Sets, it is not business as usual when it comes to restructuring this Mets team.  There will be no more careless bidding on free agents (I’ll see your 4th year and raise you a 6th year) as has been done in the past. Let’s put the cards on the table right now, the Mets will not sign Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, CC Sabathia or Ted Williams severed head.

Now that does not mean it will be a quiet off season, in fact I’m looking at what will be the busiest off season in Mets history. When you look around and the needs of this team (again as opposed to years past when the Mets focused on wants instead ) there are so many, it could take two off seasons to fill the gaps.

There is still a need at 2nd base, Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy are not every day 2nd basemen. Turner, while a hustler, leaves much to be desired in the field and as for Murph, he may get killed trying to turn a double play. So a bonafide 2nd baseman is on the want list. Ben Zobrist would look nice in a Mets throwback uni.

Shortstop will be manned by Ruben Tejeda. Get used to reading that.

In a perfect world, the Mets would have a whole new outfield in 2012. But we Mets fans live in the most imperfect world on baseball earth.  I’m sure Sandy Alderson will try very hard to move Bay and his cement shoes contract. Unless he is willing to eat a lot of dead presidents or take back another unseemly contract, this will be near impossible to do. Angel Pagan should be an ex-Met soon and Lucas Duda looks to be attractive trade chum. Of course the name Grady Sizemore comes up as a choice for center field but his injury history is a huge caveat. There will be suitors for Sizemore among teams that have outfield depth, something the Mets lack. Coco Crisp and David DeJesus are nice fall backs or how about BJ Upton (get him with Zobrist in a mega deal with the Rays?  Would the Rays take a package of Murphy, Duda, Parnell and another minor league pitcher for both?) or how about a deal with the Orioles for Adam Jones (is Mike Pelfrey a viable trade chip? Would you trade Jon Niese for Jones? Hummmmm?)

The bullpen and starting pitching will be the toughest to fill as we have seen in this past post season, pitching is at a real premium these days.  There is a glut of closers on the market and one, Joe Nathan has declared the Mets a destination of choice, if a two year deal with incentives could be worked out with Nathan that would be a great signing by Alderson.

Josh Thole is not an everyday catcher, in fact he may be better off in Buffalo learning the tools of the trade but that won’t happen, I don’t think.  I’d love the Mets to get their hands on Chris Iannetta or Nick Hundley but I think I’d settle for Kelly Shoppach as a tag team partner for Thole. A top flight catcher is hard to find.

I can see the Mets making a lot of deals this winter, when you are strapped for cash, the barter system is the way to go. As the late Bob Murphy said “Fasten your seatbelt” and be careful of getting whiplash.

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

IF I HAD A HAMMER, I’D HAMMER IN THE MORNING I’D HAMMER IN THE EVENING ALL OVER CITI FIELD

With the report yesterday that the Mets will construct an 8 ft wall in front of the 16 ft Great Wall of Flushing in left field and the more dramatic change in right center field where the Mo’ Zone little alley way will be no more and the distance from home plate to right center field goes from 415 ft to 390 ft tells me unless he is bowled over with a huge return, David Wright will be a Met in 2012 and most likely beyond that.

Not only have the dimensions of Citi Field been altered for the benefit of Wright but they should aslo help Jason Bay as well as both he and Wright have been traumatized by the fly balls to nowhere in Citi Field. I guess you could call it psychotherapy through carpentry.

The Mets announced they have released Ryota Igarashi. This move is about six months too late.

A lot of talk about Albert Pujols not talking to the media after Game 2 of the World Series, a game where El Hombre made what could have been scored an error, allowing what proved to be the winning run to advance to 2nd base. There were some folks on Twitter that felt it was no big deal that Pujols not only blew off the press by not being at his locker to answer questions but hid in the back of the off limits section of clubhouse until they were gone.  As a baseball fan how could you not be insulted by Pujols action? This wasn’t some game in August against the Astros, this was Game 2 of the World Series. Of course Tony La Russa had Pujols back he always does right or wrong but someone in the Cardinals organization needs to let Sir Albert know he has a responsibility to speak to the media after a World Series game.  What they’re afraid of that he’ll sign elsewhere as a free agent?  Pujols is better off in St Louis or another small market as he would never survive in NY, Boston, Chicago or LA

I hope the Jose Reyes saga plays out fast instead of the slow festering ache I believe it will. I have come to grips with the fact that Jose Reyes will be an former Met in 2012. Just read this post from Howard Megdal who knows exactly how the organization is ready to play out the Reyes Passion Play. Oh by the way, Reyes, no Reyes I will still but tickets to Mets games in 2012 and hopefully beyond that, and please when Reyes signs with the Nationals or Angels or Red Sox please don’t compare this to Tom Seaver getting traded to the Reds, that is too fucking ignorant for me to comment.

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

USING TWITTER TO SET PEOPLE STRAIGHT

Last night while watching the Mets-Cards game and enjoying the return of Jose Reyes and short timer Carlos Beltran, I went back to a bad habit that I thought I had overcome, going on Twitter while watching the Mets. I tried breaking this habit because I couldn’t take the fill in the player’s name “You Suck” and then when said player comes through the same Tweeters comeback with fill in the player’s name “I<3 you”. It get tiring. Well last night I guess I’d had enough as Jose Reyes made his second great play at short. Bases loaded 1 out and Albert Pujols  at bat against Bobby Parnell and the Mets holding a 2 run lead. Pujols hits a ground ball at the 2nd base bag Reyes snares hit and touches the bag while trying to avoid getting wiped out by the runner gets a laser beam throw off to Lucas Duda for the double play. An outstanding play if there ever was one.

 

Now the play by play of than call by Gary Cohen was as usual perfect. Well to everyone but 1050 ESPN’s Don LeGreca. When I read that Tweet I was ready to scream, this guy works with arguably the worst play by play man in baseball in Michael Kay (John Sterling sucks as well, I know but at least Sterling is entertaining, Kay makes homicidal thought run through your mind) so I had to take matters into my own fingers and tweet back to Mr. LeGreca. He in turn tweets back that he is a big fan of Gary’s (don’t give that first name basis bullshit you just ripped the guy for an over the top call when in fact it was a great call and you look like a horses ass) and that wasn’t the point of the Tweet. Then what was the point? Saying the DP started by Reyes was routine? That makes you ignorant. Saying that Cohen’ call was “over the top” that just makes you look jealous and petty.

 

I think I’ll Tweet LeGreca back (before he blocks me) about he felt about his boss Kay and the way he not only ruined the Derek Jeter 3,000 hit call with his constant” listen to me try to make the moment mine” diatribe when Jeter homered and then how he went on to felate The Captain the rest of the game.

See that is the glory of Twiter, you say stupid shit and then your set straight. Let’s see who pisses me off tonight.

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 NY NL CHAPTER OF THE BBA STAN MUSIAL AWARD BALLOT

The NY NL Chapter of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance is proud to cast its vote for the 2010 Stan Musial Award given to the leagues Most Valuable Player. The Chapters vote is as follows:

1st Place-Joey Votto

2nd Place-Albert Pujols

3rd Place-Carlos Gonzalez

4th Place-Troy Tulowitzki

5th Place-Adrian Gonzalez

6th Place-Matt Holliday

7th Place-Ryan Zimmerman

8th Place-Dan Uggla

9th Place-Ryan Howard

10th Place-Aubry Huff

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

MY 2010 ALL STAR GAME SELECTIONS

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I‘ve been asked to make my All-Star selections. The All-Star Game used to be a real big deal a long time ago but now unless it’s played in your city and you are involved in the FanFest and stuff like that, it’s a rather ho-hum three days with out Major League Baseball. I’ve always felt instead of an All Star Game, baseball should make it a 3 Day Festival of Baseball.

You could have a day of an Old Timers Day celebrations at all the ball parks, with each team honoring its history and players of the past by bringing as many former players in  for autograph and picture sessions with the fans. Another day could be a triple header of baseball where the organizations top three farm teams could compete in the big league ball parks. Here in NYC we could have Buffalo-Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Binghamton-Trenton, St. Lucie-Tampa play. Start the first game at 10AM and go from there. It would be a big baseball Block Party. On the third day bring the big league team for a Fan Appreciation Day to let the fans and players mingle together.

I’d much rather have a three day event like that than to see some superstar get one at bat, then climb in his limo for a ride to the airport to get out of town as fast as possible.

Oh well, here are my All-Star sections:

1st base

NL Albert Pujols

AL Kevin Youkilis

2nd base

NL Chase Utley

AL Robinson Cano

3rd base

NL David Wight

AL Evan Longoria

SS

NL Hanley Ramirez

AL Marco Scutaro

LF

NL Ryan Braun

AL Josh Hamilton

CF

NL Angel Pagan

AL Torri Hunter

RF

NL Andre Eithier

AL Jose Bautista

C

NL Miguel Olivo

AL Joe Mauer

P

NL Ubaldo Jimenez

AL David Price

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

WOW THERE IS IS RETALIATION IN BASEBALL

I’ve been following the Mets so long I forgot that there are still some teams with a ball sack. The Cubs Alphonso Soriano was hit with a pitch in the back of the head and thankfully he was ok and took first base. When Albert Pujols came up to bat Cubs pitcher Rich Harden plunked him right on the hip with the first pitch. Pujols stared at Harden who looked at him right back and the home plate ump walked Pujols down to first base.

WOW here I am just wishing my center-fielder would get his pants dirty and the Rich Harden shows a teammate  he’s has his back. If a Mets pitcher did that I might faint from the shock!

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.