Hey Terry Collins, Only You Can Prevent Clubhouse Fires!

I like Terry Collins. Terry Collins knows more baseball than you, me and anyone else who calls themselves a baseball fan and although he didn’t say it quite the way he should have, he’s right no Mets fans knows what goes on in the teams clubhouse better than he does. But with all that it seems to me, an outsider that the players are running that clubhouse and because of past bad experiences as manager of the Angles and Astros, Collins is too worried about a repeat of those experiences in Anaheim and Houston.  The problem with that is, Nice Guy Terry Collins is going to end up in the same place as an Angry Guy Terry Collins, out of a job.

The Saga of Jordany just won’t go away.  It’s the talk of the town and now it has spread across the nation. In a story in USA Today, LaTroy Hawkins and Marlon Byrd, two players new to the Mets, have called out Valdespin in print for being an obnoxious little shit. What does this have to do with Collins? Well, if I’m the Mets manager I’d call both of these veterans into my office and rip them two new assholes. Valdespin is hated for lack of baseball decorum so why is Hawkins and Byrd treated differently for violating the baseball tenant of what’s said in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse ? This Valdespin situation is been going on too long, you think a Tony LaRussa or Billy Martin would let this go on? These are the kind of situation that Joe Torre was at his best in, making sure little clubhouse fires don’t turn into infernos. Terry Collins is thisclose to having to put out a 3 alarm fire.

So Valdespin flips a bat and embarrasses Jose Contreas and is charged with a capital crime in baseball, but talking about teammates to the press has no repercussions? What a bunch of bullshit. What’s the standard? When does the manager get mad enough to call his team together and read the riot act to shut the fuck up and put all this hate towards Valdespin and aim it at the opposition?     

Sandy Alderson has said on many occasions that the Mets win/loss record would not dictate if Collins gets an extension of his contract. Collins will be judge on the progress the team has made from last year to this year so right now Collins looks like a prime candidate for a 1 bedroom at Del Bocca Vista. If anything this team has regressed badly. Now that’s not all Collins fault, that blame goes more to the front office and ownership that essentially has written off 2013 and has its sights on 2014 and beyond. The problem though that Collins has is the front office wants to see what he can do with the so called talent they have given him. That’s quite a task.

Collins needs to start challenging his players. He has to stop worrying that if he becomes Terry Hard Ass they will revolt instead of their current state of being revolting to watch. Good Guy Terry is not getting much of anything out this group so maybe it’s time to rattle some cages.

Yesterday I attended the Mike Francesa and Bobby Valentine breakfast at the Hard Rock Café. Valentine, an early riser, was at the Hard Rock so early that he came around to each table to chat with the folks in attendance.  I’ve been a Valentine fan for a while and yesterday just enforced my admiration for him. After the program, Valentine hung around and was talking with a few of us who didn’t have to run to work. At one point while having a nice chat on baseball, Valentine said “com’on walk with me while I get something to eat” and as he tried to find some breakfast he never broke stride in our conversation.

Bobby V had some very interesting thoughts on the game:

As a player who was beaned, once right near his eye that a doctor said if it were an inch up, probably would have blinded him, he feels the “unwritten rule” of hitting someone is stupid and should not be tolerated.

When asked about Roger Clemens throwing the bat head of Mike Piazza’ bat at Piazza, Valentine said the team was in shock when happened and after hearing about Clemens using PED’s it all came together to him that Clemens was wound up on something that night. He also said that Bud Selig spoke to both he and Joe Torre letting them know that he didn’t want anything to go one in this series that would embarrass baseball.  So it was quite surprising when Clemens wasn’t discipline or tossed for his actions.

Bobby V could not believe how there was this much fuss over the Vladespin home run pimp job and the fact that it’s still being talk about and how he can’t understand why Valdespin is not in the Mets lineup every day. When Francesa said that Vladespin might not produce a lot if he played every day , Valentine countered with how do we know unless he plays and pointing out that no one else is producing so give him the shot as he can hit, has power, can steal a base so why is he being wasted on the bench?

Valentine is a proponent of sabermetrics and talked about his time as Texas Rangers manger when he had hired Craig Wright as his Sabermetrician  for the Rangers. He spoke about how he also waited on line at bookstores waiting to get the latest copy of The Bill James Abstract on its release day. As much as he used advanced analytics as a manager he said that the statistics are a very good barometer of what a player did in the past but not in predicting the future. Valentine went on to talk about how you could project what a player could do but as we see with many players unforeseen circumstances arise and throw off the statistical projections.

Valentine loved the enthusiasm of the teams that participated in the World Baseball Classic and spoke to people at MLB during the finals in San Francisco about encouraging teams in MLB to not supress players to show the type of emotion that Latin countries and not be so stuffy. Valentine was candid in saying that MLB needs to find a way to get more women and minorities to come out and watch baseball games.

On his year with the Red Sox, Valentine said it was an experience and another “notch on his belt” and not much more. He also said that while he was a fan of Bill James and was looking forward to working with James, he never once heard from him nor was he ever given any statistical reports. Valentine was shaking his head as he told that story.     

 

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Calling All Mets Moms !

The NY Mets are looking for a few good Moms to join in a panel discussion giving feedback to the club on how to make the Citi Field experience better as a family event.  This is quite an astute move made by the club as any man with kids knows it’s Mom who keeps everything progressing in the right direction.

Moms never fall asleep on the couch when watching their kids. Moms never hold up take out menus and say “what would kids like for dinner? Italian? Chinese? Or how’s about a trip to Micky D’s? And no woman who has ever bore children has ever sat down and watched Sponge Bob Square Pants and laughed out loud? None. You know why? Moms have that special pragmatic way of handling things that Dads are just not equipped with.  So the Mets reaching out to the Moms of the fan base is quite frankly a stroke of genius.

The organization is trying to make a strong effort to make your day at Citi Field one you would want to do again. Let’s be honest here, the male baseball fan can deal with a dirty bathroom or a rude usher and a Schmohawk or two acting up with the hops and barley hit their brain, but Moms do not tolerated any of that and I’m sure the women who sign up for this panel will have ideas and opinions on how to make a day at Citi Field one that is enjoyable and find practical ways to utilized the staff and amenities at Citi Field in a better more efficient way .

I still don’t think even a panel of Moms can work to get Dads to admit that short cut he knows to beat the traffic on the Grand Central was a big mistake.

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End of the Line in The South Bronx ?

I miss good ol’ Stump

As a baseball fan you can’t ask for more that this first round division series has given us. Four series all going five games is a baseball fans nirvana especially for those of us who detest the NY Highlanders. It’s a good thing I have unlimited texting in my phone plan since my Highlander fan pals were relentless in their venting to me even though they know I’m rooting hard for the Orioles.

All season my Highlander buddies spoke about how the power display their team put on this season was good for plenty of oooo’s and ahhhhhhh’s but come the post season they will have to be able to manufacture some runs. Now me as a Mets fan rooting for a team that has the power of a 10 watt bulb, andwith the distain I look at customers at the bank who complain that the teller gave them all $100’s and $50’s when cashing a check,  just wants to say why you no good greedy bastards.  But what do you know; the Highlanders have had a world of trouble pushing a run across the plate with good old fashion small ball. The long ball though has saved their season and when you get past the dramatic way Raul Ibanez went about tying and winning Game 3, if not for those two knocks, the fish wraps and social media would be in a three alarm tizzy over the demise of the Highlanders.     

Even if the Bronx Bastards win today and I think they will as CC Sabathia is only second to Derek Jeter on this team to show up when needed (sorry Ibanez still has a Philadelphia  size horse shoe up his ass) and I think both of them will find a way to win this game, it safe to say those of the Highlander persuasion need to reflect on this series and if they are honest and clear thinking which is hard to find in that demographic , they will admit the days of champagne baths and championships the next few years will be few and far between. I have news for those of you in denial Highlander fans, the team you love to mock; the NY Mets are in better shape organizational wise than your Highlanders and that’s counting our broke ass ownership.

Hal Steinbrenner is no chip off the block, where Daddy George would spend to mask mistakes and take on contracts no matter what; Prince Hal has one goal in mind, to bring the payroll down to where he’s no longer paying into the MLB welfare system known as revenue sharing.  With a minor league system barren of talent what will the Highlanders do? Does ownership have confidence in Pee Wee Cashman that he can rebuild the talent base a la Stick Michael and Buck Showalter? Why do I give a shit? Well, until this post season is done with, the Mets won’t be making moves so I guess I have nothing better to do but to eavesdrop on my neighbors who I thought had it all and find out they just might have less than me.

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Knuckleball ! Tough To Throw But Enjoyable To Watch !

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Had a great time last night  at the World Financial Plaza enjoying the premiere of Knuckleball!, at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Drive-In Theatre.  Before the movie there was plenty of activity on the plaza on what turned out to be a nice comfortable, rain free evening downtown. There were tents set up with different activities and free popcorn for movie goers but the area that had the biggest swarm of folks was the make shit bullpen where fans could line up and enter and get free instruction on how to throw a knuckleball.

As we stood off to the side (I was joined by my son and Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest for the evening’s movie viewing we also met up with Tayrn Cooper and her husband Ed Leyro as well as having a fine chat with Shaun Clancy the proprietor of Foley’s NY) we were witness to a grand entrance by the Four Horseman of Knuckleballing, Jim Bouton, Charlie Hough, Tim Wakefield and our own R.A. Dickey. The four headed to the make shift pen where a line snaked around the plaza for the opportunity to learn the secrets of throwing a knuckleball. Bouton, Hough and Wakefield were going in and out of the pen but Dickey stayed there for the full hour showing kids and some adults, the grip and release of the mysterious pitch, and seemed to be having a great time doing so.

The movie itself was very, very good. Even if you are not a baseball fan, you could still appreciate the stories of these players who with the exception of Phil Neikro, took on learning the knuckleball a last ditch effort to make it in the big leagues, so you get all the baseball footage and story line to keep the baseball junkie like me interested but you also get the human interest story for the non-fan. That is great movie making.

Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey are feature most prominently in the film, with great footage of Wakefield as a Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league first baseman and R.A. Dickey as a Tennessee Volunteer but my favorite scene in the film was a golf outing with Niekro, Dickey, Wakefield and Hough and the sit down they have afterwards discussing how each pitcher was introduced to the knuckleball.

The film will be showing during the Tribeca Film Festival and it will be out in DVD form as well, I know this because I was approached by someone from the film who was looking to get some material to add as extra footage for the DVD, so I was filmed talking about the knuckleball and R.A. Dickey and what he has meant to the Mets (the film crew loved my Mr. Mets cap) so hopefully I’ll make the director’s cut of Knuckleball!

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ACCORDING TO THE 2012 BILL JAMES HANDBOOK, THE METS HAVE NO DEFENSE

for a copy of the 2012 Bill James Handbook check out ACTA Sports  

My must have book of the baseball off season is the Bill James Handbook (ACTA publishing) and this off season is no exception. I just got my hands on the 2012 edition of the Handbook and as usual it is filled with stats and essay’s that help any baseball fan make informed thoughts when looking at your teams needs for the coming season.

One of my favorite features in the Handbook is The Fielding Bible Awards.  John Dewan puts this section together and enlists some of the great baseball minds to vote on the awards. This year the voters are:

Bill James

Baseball Info Solutions (BIS) Video Scouts

Hal Richman creator of Strat-O-Matic  Baseball

Joe Posnanski

John Dewan

Peter Gammons

Doug Glanville

Rob Neyer

Todd Radcliffe Lead Video Scout for BIS

Tom Tango Fan Poll

These ten voters rank players at all nine positions using a 1-10 voting system, the votes are tallied and the top 10 players are listed. For our purposes let’s look at how the Mets defenders faired

At first base Daniel Murphy (yes Daniel Murphy) graded out at #10 with 18 total points.  Bill James voted Murph 5th, BIS Video Scouts voted him 10th, Joe Posnanski voted him 5th and John Dewan listed him 6th on his ballot. This is why I won’t be shocked when Murphy is dealt this winter  to play 1st or even 3rd base where he grades out positive as well in exchange for one of the many needs the Mets have this off season. It’s at 2nd base where Murphy is a -2 in the Runs Saved (RS) category and why the Mets need to think of defense first at second. By the way Justin Turner grades out at a woeful -11 RS at 2nd base.

So you can see neither Murph nor Ginger Turner rated in the top 10 (Ruben Tejeda by the way was a +1 in RS at 2nd base) my favorite non-Mets player Dustin Pedroia finished #1 with 97 pts

A big surprise was at shortstop where Mets icon, Jose Reyes didn’t come close to a top ten finish with a lowly 6 pts to his name.

I don’t know if this is a surprise or not (I’ll leave it up to you) but at 3rd base David Wright did not garner a single vote. The Wreck of Miguel Tejada received votes from Glanville, Posnanski and Dewan . MIGUEL TEJADA!!!!!! If that doesn’t motivate D-Wright to get his leather groove on, I don’t know what would?

Jason Bay finished out of the money in 15th but at least he was ahead of the 500 lb left fielder a/k/a Carlos Lee

In the section dealing with centerfielder’s I’ve stared at the page for hours, held it up to the light then to a mirror and still not a sign of Angel Pagan, in fact if the Handbook was released on vinyl and you played it backwards you would hear Pagan is dead. Could Sandy Alderson give us a shiny new centerfielder for Christmas?  Can he find a way to get Peter Bourjos or Adam Jones ? Hell, I’d settle for Coco Crsip.

In the right field category there isn’t a Mets representative and I have a strong feeling there won’t be one in the 2013 Handbook either.

24 catchers received Fielding Bible Award votes, none were named Josh Thole. Kelly Shoppach received 12 votes and would a perfect tag team partner for Thole who in all fairness is still learning the tools of ignorance trade on the Major League Level.

The highest rated Mets defender is none other than Robert Allen Dickey, R.A. to you and me.  I wonder if Dickster can play 2nd base or centerfield on his four days off?

That’s just some of the great features in the 2012 Bill James Handbook and it’s also a very useful reference as we play amateur GM of the Mets this off season.

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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.

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RATS IN THE CELLAR

New York City blues
East side, west side blues
Throw me in the slam
A catch me if you can
Believe
That you’re wearing
Tearing me apart

Another day another dismal loss added on with poor play and some questionable managerial moves and non-moves. Welcome to Mets baseball 2011.

Two weeks into the season and the day after postmortems are getting tougher and tougher to write. Maybe those of us who saw blue and orange sugar plums this winter time to take a reality check here and admit this is not a very good baseball team and instead of patching the roof and the cracks in the foundation, maybe management should just tear the house down and rebuild it. The land underneath is much more valuable than the shack that sits on it.

Now it’s easy for me to sit here and say rebuild it because I’m not going anywhere, baseball fan wise that is. The best part of this swirly of a season is tickets for Mets home games are at Polo Grounds prices on the secondary market. Last night before I left work, I checked Stub Hub and you could get a ticket in the Promenade for 2 bucks an XL Dunkin Donuts coffee cost you more. Last night on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN, Mike Steffanos and I talked about this and how going to Citi Field this summer could be like it was back in the mid and late 70’s, get a free ticket, go to the game, put you feet up on the seat in front of you, and extend both arms out to the seats on to your left and right. Talk about luxury seating?

So Brad Emaus was fired after 40 odd appearances at the plate to be replaced by Ginger Turner who looked as shaky as the Skill Sets finances at 2nd base last night. It looks like Turner and Daniel Murphy will form a platoon at 2nd base and hopefully Murphy has removed his head from his ass and has gotten the message that players play and managers manage. To me, Emaus while not at all impressive, got a raw deal here. That is a very small sample to give a guy who you anointed just a month ago as your 2nd baseman, to really know his truth worth. If you dump Emaus for his poor play this early then how do you justify keeping the dreadful Scott Hairston on this team. I thought Hairston would be a good 5th outfielder but right now he’s just a lazy over the hill stumble bum who needs to go like yesterday!

I can see where there is angst among some in the fan base not happy that Terry Collins didn’t rip 2nd base ump Doug Eddings a new asshole after his awful call against José Reyes. Some feel the manager needed to go out there and take his frustration out on the clueless ump as it would make them feel good to see someone act like a lunatic like them selves. Quite frankly I don’t think this group would have cared. I’m not saying they don’t care about winning and losing no I don’t think that at all but Collins acting a fool on the field is not going to turn Bobby Parnell into Goose Gossage or Mike Pelfrey into Dave Stewart or Ginger Turner into Jeff Kent. As we witnessed in the Rockies series when Troy Tulowitzki dug his spikes into the batters box and Mets pitchers were polite enough to let him get comfortable, this is a very nice group of young men who are a bit shy when it comes to confrontation.

Bobby Parnell has numbness in his middle finger, Mike Pelfrey has numbness in his skull and collectively Mets fans have become comfortably numb.

If I were Terry Collins I’d have thrown the whole righty/lefty thing out the window in 7th when he had Chin-lung Hu bat for Pedro Beato.  With 1st and 2nd 2 outs how do you let the weak hitting Hu pinch hit? I’d have gone with Murphy or Willie Harris in that spot. Both players have a better chance of getting a hit with the bat hanging out of their ass than Hu does with it in his hands.

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“HEY JEFF, WE NEED A 4 DOZEN WRIGHT 5 T-SHIRTS ON THE FLOOR ON THE DOUBLE”

I’m here today to praise the Skill Sets not burry them especially Freddy and Uncle Saul who I feel are the ones that have finally figured out that Little Jeffey needs a timeout and it’s time to let the smart guys run this franchise. Listen, Jeffey doesn’t need to be totally out of the picture, he can still do inventory at the Team Store, or help cut up the peppers and onions for the sausage concession as long as he is out of the baseball ops I’m a happy Mets fan.

With all this new found happiness with the new and improved front office will Mets fans be happy with whoever is chosen to be the Mets manager? It seems Wally Backman is the fans favorite but if all the reports are true, it looks like Terry Collins could be the leader in the clubhouse with his ties to DePo and Sandy Koufax but maybe Backman would be given the choice to be third base or bench coach? Same with Chip Hale.  What about Old School Werthen? Maybe a return of The Jacket? Stay tuned!

Rusty Staub has been named on the Hall of Fame ballot to be voted on by the Veterans Committee which has Ed Marcus leading the charge for enshrinement for Le Grand Orange.

I agree 100 % that as soon as the Justice League of Flushing finds a field manager, the next move is to boot Ray Ramirez and his staff and hire some real honest to goodness physical trainers.  Now that Omar (Rub A Little Dirt On It ) Minaya is gone and that scoundrel Charlie (Blackie) Samuels has been shunned, how is that Ramirez and his voodoo gets to stay?  

The ESPN team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are no more. I never had a problem with Miller although he is much better as a radio announcer than a TV head and Morgan I won’t disparage as he is one of the best baseball players I ever saw (not so good at analyzing on TV though) ESPN has a chance to put two guys that employed by the WWL that would be a must listen for any baseball fan, put John “Boog” Sciambi and Bobby Valentine together in the Sunday Night Booth. That would be downright entertaining.

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DELIVER US FROM EVIL, FRED WILPON!

11 days until pitchers and catchers

Yesterday I hopped over to Mid-Town Manhattan (where miraculously  there was no snow on the ground when I left about four inches of the white stuff on my walkway in Staten Island) to attend a meeting of the Casey Stengel Chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR). It was there that I met up with Dana Brand who was one of the guest speakers at the event.

As I greeted Dana I asked him “So are you ready for pitchers and catchers” ? He gave me that look you give the dentist when he says “would you like Novocain or gas”?  Dana was not the only Mets fan in attendance that had that same queasy feeling bout the 2010 Mets season.

I never thought it could happen but the Wilpon’s have now displaced the Dolan’s of MSG as the worst owners of a NYC franchise.  I thought I despised Jeffey Skill Sets more than most but after talking to the Mets fans yesterday, I see I have competition.

By this time in the winter, as a baseball fan ,Super Bowl Sunday signals the home stretch of winter and knowing that spring training is around the corner. Usually for Mets fans we start to think of April and opening day, and opening day is usually cold. But we never cared about the cold. We wore Mets sweatshirts under our Mets jackets and figured our Mets gloves and the knit Mets hat we got last season on Fan Apprecitaion Day would shied us from the elements. We were just happy to have a ticket and a seat to root for our favorite baseball team. But from what I’ve read and heard from Mets fans this winter,  I have a feeling opening day at $iti Field will not be a hot ticket, in fact I figure the longer you hold out the better your chance to get a prime seat for below cost.

Where and when did this all go wrong? I’m starting to think the demolition of Shea Stadium will become our Curse of the Bambino, or Billy Goat.

When a team opens a new ballpark, the fan base is usually fired up about the new home and the great amenities so you’d think as Mets fans we’d be happy about all there is at $iti Field. But the more I talk to Mets fans and the more I think about it, maybe we should have stayed at Shea. Shea was a pitchers park and no one screamed to pull in it’s fences. But after one season at $tit, the cry is, “the outfield fence is too high” “the ball doesn’t carry” “the fences need to come in” what we’re really saying is “this place sucks, we want our Shea Stadium back”. Face it Mets fans we hate change and we hate $iti Field.

Now I ‘d say it’s mostly us old timey Mets fans that hate change and I know I’m of that crowd, it surprises me that I’m like that with the Mets as I embrace progress with everything else in my world. I guess I need one small part of the old world to stay with me. I still want pinstripe unis with no name on the back and blue caps with and orange NY. I want organ music instead of ear splitting pop shit, and this from a guy who still listens to Black Sabbath albums with the volume on 10 but at a baseball game I want to here the Mexican Hat dance played on a Thomas organ. I don’t want to be told to “Clap my hands” I’m not a idiot I know when to clap and when to cheer and when to say “AH SHIT!!”. I want my teams National League heritage to be displayed and educate fans of where we came from how our lineage evolved from the days of John McGraw and Mel Ott and Carl Hubble to Bobby Thomson and Willie Mays along with Zack Wheat and Joe Medwick and Dolph Camli and Jackie Ribinson and Duke Synder. NYC was always an NL town until now that the Wilpon’s let that distinction slip away and for that they should be ashamed of themselves.

Jeff Wilpon has not only surpassed Jim Dolan as the most spoil son of a rich man in NY sports but he is close to reaching M. Donald Grant status as a franchise killer. But we shouldn’t put the blame all on young Jeffey, I put  90% of the fiasco that is now the NY Mets on Fred Wilpon. Freddy has the power to tell sonny boy, “I’m sorry but you are in way over your head here my boy, it’s time for me to find a real baseball man to run this franchise and bring it back to respectability and to being a championship baseball team”. If Fred Wilpon does not step up and do what is right for the NY Mets franchise, he will become as hated here as much as Walter O’Malley. The only difference is Mets fans might be wishing he move himself and team someplace else.

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BERT SUGAR’S BASEBALL HALL OF FAME, A Living History of America’s Greatest Game

 Bert Randolph Sugar is THE sports historian of our time and he has a new book out that is a comprehensive look at the Baseball Hall of Fame called Bert Sugars Baseball Hall of Fame, A Living History of America’s Greatest Game (published by Running Press) I have been to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY four times and each time I’ve been there I’ve seen an exhibit or artifact I’ve missed in my previous trip and now with this outstanding book that is full of great pictures and of course the writing of Bert Sugar  it puts it all the awe and beauty of the HOF in your hands.

There is a section on the great concessions and give aways by teams throughout the history of baseball. One of my favorite pictures is of the fans of the White Sox during the Bill Veck era where he gave the fans in the grandstand cue cards to decide managerial decisions.  There are of course stories and pictures of all the great players enshrined in the Hall that leaves you wanting to make a trip upstate.

This book is a must for the baseball fan that loves the games history and loves the photographs of players and teams from the beginning of the game to the present  Give it a spot  of honor on your coffee table.

 

  

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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.