“All The Little Chicks With The Crimson Lips Go, Cleveland Rocks Cleveland Rocks……………..”

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 In honor of the Mets playing the Indians this weekend

 

I was all pumped up for last night’s Ravens-Broncos game, even with the usually silly bullshit pre-game hoopla that the NFL loves that probably says more about the American viewing public that the league and the NFL (give the people what they want, I guess) itself. So after the insufferable Ryan Seacrest came on the field, I was begging, PLEASE, PLEASE  LET”S HAVE THE KICK OFF!!!!!!! Next thing you know Al (I’ve got the horse right here, his name is Paul Revere…) Michaels tells me there is a weather delay due to lighting in the area. “Sigh”, something’s telling me check my At Bat app and watch some baseball.

I tuned into the Yankees-Red Sox and let me just give a few observations on that experience:

Michael Kay is not a good baseball play by play man. I’m not trying to be nasty here, after listening to him for a few innings he doesn’t have the voice or the right style or cadence you need to announce baseball games.

Where were all the Yankee fans? Lots of empty seats and the big ball orchard in the South Bronx. Just goes to show, there is no such thing as a diehard Yankee fan.

The Yankees sure could use a catcher.

With the exception of Robinson Cano, there is no everyday Yankee I’d take over the Mets starting 8.

It’s painful to watch Nora Desmond Derek Jeter play shortstop

Just looking at the Red Sox with those scraggly beards makes me itchy.

Joba Chamberlain sucks

I switched back and forth from Ravens-Broncos to Yankees-Red Sox, when the Yankees started to make a game out this in the 7th inning; I abandoned the football game and stuck with baseball. For all the hype the first game of the NFL had and I bought into the hype, it took Yankees-Red Sox to show me that baseball is still KING!  

Scott Kazmir will match up with Zack Wheeler tonight in Cleveland in a game of Mets Phenoms’ past and present.  I found the post I wrote after the Kazmir-Victor Zambrano trade from 9 years ago WOW!

I’m starting to be swayed by Lucas Duda as the 2014 Mets first baseman. I think the front office might be leaning in that direction as well. A tandem of Duda/Josh Satin in 2014 at 1st base may not be too bad. It is amazing how comfortable and more confident Duda is when playing 1st base. Duda reacts to playing left field the way I do when my wife asks me to clean out the garage.

I don’t understand some Mets fans upset that the club hasn’t called up Ruben Tejada to take over for Omar Quintanila. Do you think Sandy Alderson is enjoying watching Q or Justin Turner play shortstop instead of the 23 year old Tejada? Don’t you think with all the holes Alderson has to fill this off season, he wishes shortstop wasn’t one of them? Don’t you think the reason that Ruben Tejada is not up with the big club is Ruben Tejada? Alderson let the fan base know in a non-sugar coated way that Tejada’s work ethic sucks and his time in the bushes is for him to reflect if he really wants to be a big leaguer and if he does, he needs to work and work harder to make it. This is nothing new with Tejada, Terry Collins has had a red ass over Tejada, the last two seasons, not because he dislikes Ruben but because he sees a talent being wasted by a piss poor attitude and work ethic. You want to be angry about Q starting at short every game? Direct that anger where it belongs, at Ruben Tejada.

I’d love to see Hunter Pence in right field for the 2014 Mets

How about taking a run at obtaining Jose Bautista? You have to figure with the Jays ownership can’t be happy with the way this season has gone after investing money and trading for players they felt would lead them to the post season.

Joey Bats will make $14 mil next season and in 2015, with a team option in 2016 for $14 mil or a $1 mil buyout. Bats solves your power problem and left field problem as well .

Oh by the way, the Blue Jays play the Twins tonight. So what? The pitching matchup is R.A. Dickey vs. Mike Pelfrey.  

The Irish will kick some Blue and Maze ass tomorrow night.

 

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Baseball Fever: Catch It!

Putting my Mets fandom on the side for the moment (although I am wearing my Mets cap & sweatshirt today) yesterday was a baseball fans paradise. Four games, four series, some great games, one not so great game but even a bad baseball game is better than no baseball games, am I right?

Some observations:

The Strasburg Shutdown will haunt Mike Rizzo all winter if the Nationals do not advance at least to the NLCS. How much do the Nationals miss their ace since both Jordan Zimmerman and Edward Jackson have not come up big in games 2 and 3? Leo Mazzone didn’t hold back in his criticism of the Nationals not just shutting down Strasburg but the way they did it with so much pomp and circumstance. I wonder if Rizzo when staring into his morning oatmeal regrets how he and the organization went about handling Strasburg. Maybe a skipped start or reassignment to the bullpen was the better move and maybe Rizzo is finally coming to the realization that the postseason is a privilege not a birth right unless of course you were born in the South Bronx.

I have made it known here that I am a big Tim Lincecum fan and I’ve been as stumped as everyone why The Freak lost his mojo this season. As much as deep down Lincecum was seething over being demoted to bullpen duty, he didn’t sulk, didn’t throw a tantrum and said all the right things but make no mistake when you are a two time Cy Young Award winner and a wear a World Series ring, you have that certain something that separates also ran’s from champions . Lincecum stepped up like a champ yesterday as a Bruce Bochy’s stomach was doing flips every time Barry Zito delivered a pitch until he couldn’t take it anymore and lifted the sorry lefty. After great relief work by George Kontos and Jose Mijares it was time for The Freak to come in and step up. Not only did Lincecum step up, he dominated. That’s what winning players do.

As pissed off as I am over Raul Ibanez becoming the next fairy tale hero of Highlander lore, you can’t help but smirk a bit at the busted ass luck of the NY Highlanders. The last innings of the Highlanders-O’s game is the essence of how great a game baseball is. Joe Girardi made the biggest move of his managerial career in pulling the hitter formerly known as Alex Rodriguez in favor of Ibanez. Rodriguez made a wonderful grandstand move jumping up and down as if he was really thrilled for Ibanez. A-Rod said all the right rehearsed lines after the game talking up team before me and how he’s matured and is all about winning and a lot of other happy horse shit. There is no way in hell when Rodriguez went home last night and stared at his I AM CENTAUR mural above his bed that he didn’t shed a tear and spend a sleepless night trying to figure out where it has all gone wrong.  A-Rod is the Anti-Freak/      

I’ve loved watching the Oakland A’s games this year, especially the games at the Coliseum.  I have no answer why the A’s fans don’t come out in force all season as they do in the post season but I’ll say this, for all the fan bases involved in this post season , they are the most vocal and creative of them all. Every crowd shot you see is of fans deck out in A’s clothing, with banners and signs and beating drums and tom-toms, can you imagine trying to get a drum into Citi Field or Highlander Stadium? Imagine real live working class baseball fans left to be baseball fans? I lasted until the 7th inning on this game since it was after midnight and I had to get up at 5:15 this morning for work. Add to that I had watched baseball from 1PM that afternoon, I didn’t need to count rosin bags to fall asleep. It wasn’t until I turned on 101WINS while shaving that the great Mark Ernay relayed the news that the A’s came back from 3-1 down to win 4-3. Before leaving for work I just had to take a peek at the highlights on my At Bat app to see Coco Crisp come through with the game winning hit, the 15th time the A’s have walked off with a victory. The A’s get to live another day for a Game 5 showdown with Justin Verlander. Don’t count these A’s out as you can see from this quote from Josh Reddick, the A’s have a winning attitude:

“We’ve heard a lot of people say we’re not smart enough to know when to lose a game like most people do,” said Josh Reddick, who started the rally with a single. “We’ve been battling till the 27th out all year and we’re not going to stop now.”

WOW! Battling till the 27th out, what an outstanding concept are you listening Sandy? Terry? Anyone?

 

 

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I Can’t Wait For The Day When The Mets Are Better Than Competitive

The” Ol’ Perfeser” knew how to hold a presser 

 

I’m really starting to feel sorry for Terry Collins. No matter how he tries to construct a lineup, he can’t find a 1-8 that can provide any offensive punch.  He tries to match right vs. left and vice versa, he tries to move the parts around in different slots of the lineup and still nothing works.

If I have an issue with Collins it’s in his post-game press conference after losses which are coming at a rapid pace this second half, when he talks about competing, repeating the mantra “we have to compete”. Why settle for being competitive, why not say we need to find ways to win and find players who are winning ballplayers because right now the Mets are devoid of such animal.

Collins last night spoke of finding out who is willing to give his all to winning baseball games and who is here to just get a couple of hits, throw 6 innings and be happy with personal achievement.  This is the fourth straight season I’ve heard this late season lament. The problem is the Mets are a passive bunch. The one time a player shows any kind of fight, he’s ridiculed.

Last night Jordany Valdespin batted for Scott Hairston in the 8th inning with 2 on and 2 out and the Mets down 2-1. Valdespin hitting a little roller, runs down first base and seeing it’s going to be a foot race between him and Rockies first baseman Tyler Covin, decided to dive head first into the bag, something that is not encouraged, and was out by an eyelash. Valdespin jumped up and got in umpire Adrian Johnson’s grill even though  the replay proved Johnson’ call correct, it was good to see a Mets player upset enough to go nose to nose with a man in blue.

Sure, Valdespin head first slide into first base wasn’t the smartest move but if you listened to Gary Cohen, you’d have thought it was a pre-meditated plan by Vladespin. I’m a big Cohen fan, he’s one of the best play by play men around, but his treatment of Valdespin is over the top. I understand that Valdespin is not the most like player in the Mets organization, I’ve yet to meet anyone connected with the team that has a nice thing to say about JV1 but I’ve never heard Cohen go after players who have been under performers like Jason Bay. In fact, bring Bay’s name up to anyone in the organization and they start every conversation with “what a great guy…..”  in fact I would have like to have heard Cohen take Ike Davis to task for his lousy at bat in the 8th inning where he struck out and looked badly doing so.

There is nothing better than listening to Bobby Ojeda go off on the SNY post-game show. Ojeda pulls no punches and tells the truth is not afraid to hurt some feelings of either players or coaches. SNY is missing the boat by not giving Ojeda and Ray Lucas a show on the network.

Isn’t it time to just shut Johan Santana down for the season? Let him take this MRI and then put him on the 60 day DL so you free up a spot on the 40 man for Collin McHugh.

Let’s play guess the lineup, here is the lineup I’d use for tonight’s game:

Tejada

Murphy

Wright

Davis

Hairston

Baxter

Valdespin

Shoppach

Young

 

 

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Mets Dreck Pt. 2

 

What else is there to say about last night’s game than what Terry Collins said in his post-game presser :

“I haven’t the faintest idea. I don’t know if it’s fatigue. I don’t know what it is. We didn’t run the bases. We didn’t play good defense. We didn’t drive in the runs we needed to drive in. It was a combination of a lot of things. We didn’t pitch very goodl. It was the worst Dillon’s pitched probably in awhile… We’ve played two bad baseball games here. We are a better team than what we’ve played.”

I’m not buying the fatigue factor at all, it’s not like Collins is running out the same eight guys game after game, in fact everyday seems like there is a different lineup.  Two areas that were a big problem last year and are still a big problem this year, the defense and the bullpen have to be addressed soon or the feel good first three months of this season will be forgotten fast.

As much as I love Daniel Murphy the leash on his 2nd base job is getting shorter and shorter. 28 is getting another start today against the Cubs but it could be Collins is ready to go to a platoon of Murph and Ronny Cedeno . Last time I was at Citi Field sitting in on Collins’ pre game press conference, the question of Murhpy’s slump came up. What was interesting in Collins response was he and hitting coach Dave Hudgens had told Murphy to take a break with watching video and taking batting practice in the indoor cage, which sounded to me like Collins was cryptically saying Murphy suffered from paralysis from analysis.  Collins also spoke on how Murphy keeps changing how he holds his hands from at bat to at bat along with his stance in the batter’s box. For all the hard work and dedication that Murphy puts in it seems like Collins is hinting that he’s overdoing it and needs to relax.

The one thing that should save Ike Davis from a fine and suspension is the incompetence of umpire Manny Gonzalez. Gonzalez blew the pick off call in the 8th inning last night and Ike just put his glove on the umps arm which is an automatic ejection but I’d hope Gonzalez apologies to Ike today for blowing that call.

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Another Great Mets Bloggers Night at Citi Field

Yes that’s Cleon Jones sharing some pizza and great stories from back in the day with Mets Bloggers. Thanks to Shannon Forde and Danielle Parillo for the picture and the great hospitality they shows us last night at Citi Field, The pizza by the way is called the Cleon (patra) Jones from Two Boots it was delicious 

I had a great day/night out a Citi Field last night which the Mets held another of the Mets blogger nights and it was a busy one for sure. I have some audio I’ll be downloading in a few days and I’ll have more to post as well as I’m pressed for time this weekend between baseball games today and tomorrow and Monday and some family stuff to do tonight and of course tomorrow and add in I’ll be at the 92nd Street Y for the announcing of the All Time Mets team to coincide with the 50th Anniversary season.

I’ll just add a few things that I’ll have more to talk about as the week goes on.

I had the pleasure to chat with Sandy Alderson during batting practice and to observe the teams two top draft picks, SS Gavin Cecchini and C Kevin Plawecki . Alderson is very happy that both players were available to the Mets at their turn especially Cecchini who the GM was their #1 target as the not only love his on field ability but he has as the GM put it “off the charts makeup”

I spoke to Plawecki’ parents at the press conference and told them I was excited that their son would play for the Brooklyn Cyclones. I also told his mom and dad, who are staying in town to watch his debut on Monday in Brooklyn, to have Kevin take then to Gargulio’s for dinner and spend some of that bonus money.

If you would have told me back in 1969 when I was an 11 year old watching Cleon Jones catch Davey Johnson’s fly ball for the final out of the World Series that sealed the Mets as World Champions that 43 years later I’d be hangin’ with Cleon and eating pizza at Mets game with him I’d have thought you were on strong narcotics. Well, there we were me, Cleon Jones and Two Boots pizza. WOW!!! Or as Greg Prince said to me “that’s Cleon Freakin’ Jones “

If you were at the game last night and you booed Jason Bay as he came off the field with what we now know is a concussion, you need to stop calling yourself a Mets and you need to take stock of what a low class asshole you are. Bay has been a major disappointment since he signed with the Mets and I understand the frustration fans have as he is the last remnant of the old regime that ran the baseball ops but to boo a guy who gave his body to make a play and a guy who gives 100 % and goes head first into the wall with his history of concussions, is totally classless and you should be ashamed of booing him but then you knuckle draggers have no shame.

I didn’t stay for the Reo Speedwagon concert and if it were 30 years ago I still wouldn’t have stayed for the concert .

 

I am still with 28 (#ImWith28) but I have to say, Daniel Murphy needs a couple of days off. Terry Collins would like to have him stay out of the batting cage as well but that goes against Murph’s work ethic. Collins made mention on how Murph is non-stop at working on his stance and hitting in the cage and viewing video and as much as TC and Dave Hudgens tell him to take it easy a bit that just makes him work even harder. With Justin Turner back from the DL you could see Turner and Jordany Vladespin  give Murph a needed break from 2nd base for a couple of games.

 

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Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times: 50 Years From The Mets Junk Draw

Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times, has put together a 50 Years From The Mets Junk Draw column that looks at 50 of the best and most interesting moments in Mets history that are not the obvious choices, such as:

 May 2, 1963: Skipper Casey Stengel decides to do something different. He inserts catcher Choo Choo Coleman in the batting order’s leadoff slot. To this day, it’s still the only time any catcher has led off for the Mets. New York wins, 10-3

 WOW  who’da thunk that?  I would have bet either John Stearns or Mackey Sasser would have hit at the top of the order during their Mets career.   I bet Josh Thole hits in the leadoff spot at least once as a Met

Aug. 9, 1963: Jim Hickman hits a walk-off grand slam for the Mets, an achievement that’s extra special because it ends the 18-game losing streak of Roger Craig, the team’s best pitcher in their early horrible years.

Jim Hickman had terrific power and hit some home runs as a Met but the lure of obtaining Brooklyn born and bred (and Boys High baseball and basketball standout) Tommy Davis from the Dodgers was too strong so Hickman was shipped to LA for Davis. Davis by the way played one season for the Mets in 1967 and was dealt in the off season to the White Sox for Tommie Agee and Al Weiss.

Sept. 16, 1975: Since 1950, quite a few baseball games have ended on a walk-off walk, but none have happened as late as this one. The Mets top the Expos 4-3 when Montreal’s Don DeMola walks Del Unser with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 18th inning.

 

It has always seemed to me that the Mets have played more long extra innings games than any other team in baseball history

 

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SECOND WILD CARD? WHY NOT US?

There is a very interesting post on NY Baseball Digest today by Joseph Del Grippo on Johan Santana and his comeback from shoulder surgery. I find myself becoming obsessed with Santana’s comeback for many reasons, his impact on the Mets winning baseball games by anchoring the starting pitching staff, coming back from a surgery that takes a much longer time to rehab from and one that other pitchers have failed to comeback from and how does he prevent his arm/shoulder from being injured again.

DelGrippo touches on Santana’s mechanics and how from watching video he sees no change in the way Santana delivers a pitch, thus his feeling is Santana’s injury problem comes from the way he delivers the ball and if he doesn’t tweak that he will hurt himself again .  Mechanics are the bedrock of pitching or I should say the ability to be consistent with repeating ones mechanic.     

What conflicts me with this is, the way Santana delivers the ball has made him a huge success and even though DelGrippo may be right that by altering his pitching motion, Santana could stay in good health but would he be effective plus at this stage of his career it may not be the easiest task for Johan to alter his delivery style.

Looks like MLB will add a second Wild Card team starting this coming season, something I have no problem with especially since it gives the Mets a little more of a chance for a post season berth. For 2012, it will still be a bit unfair as the inter-league schedule and unbalanced schedule tilts the scales in favor of some teams over others but it does validate and makes winning the division much more important and rewarding. With the Houston Astros going to the AL West next season it would make sense that a balance schedule will be implemented as with 15 teams in each league there will be an inter-league game every day.  As much as I’m not of fan of inter-league play, I’ll live with it for an extra playoff spot.

Howard Megdal touches on the Mets catching situation and his hope that the Mets would bring back Ramon Castro with the extra fins that Freddy Skill Sets has in his shallow pockets. I always like Shriek when he was here and he would be an improvement over Mike Nickeas, who it seems Mets fans are trying hard to convince themselves can contribute as Josh Thole’ backup, but the truth of the matter is Sandy Alderson doesn’t have much faith in Thole/Nickeas or any backstop in the Mets system. That’s why names like Castro and Pudge keep coming up.

I’m starting to lose faith in Reese Havens

October 4th 2012 Cincinnati Reds @ NY Mets in the Wild Card Knock Out Game at Citi Field!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who’s with me?     

 

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CONGRATULATIONS TO JOHN FRANCO BUT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN US

Yesterday the New York Mets announced that John Franco will be indicted into the team’s Hall of Fame this coming season with the pomp and circumstance commencing on June 3rd.

There has been much speculation this winter on who would be selected as the next honoree to the Mets HOF, some folks feel Mike Piazza should have been named and of course he should but it looks like the Mets are waiting for his enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame so they can throw a really big shindig with Mets HOF honors and a number retiring ceremony as well.

Franco gets the honor this season for many reasons, he played 14 seasons with the Mets, holds the record for most saves in franchise history and most importantly he’s a Wilpon loyalist. Franco holds a job with the club sort of like the Mets Ambassador to Public Functions, in which he’s perfectly suited for. Late season, he volunteered his services to mentor Bobby Parnell in finding his way to the craft of closing baseball games, which if I were the pitching coach I would have strongly voiced my opposition to but it seems the front office didn’t have a problem with since it seems the GM really has no use for Parnell as we see with the addition of Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco which relegates to Parnell to fighting for a bullpen job.    

As I say, I really don’t want to piss in the punch here on Franco’s honor of Mets Hall of Famer but in my opinion, this year’s Mets Hall of Fame honoree should have been us, the New York Mets Fan.  How great a ceremony would it be to honor the long suffering Mets fan? The team could have selected the longest tenure season ticket holder to accept the award in our behalf and then commission a plaque with a nice mosaic of Mets fans who may be the most diverse of all sports teams in this town.  What better way to celebrate 50 years of Mets baseball than honoring the folks who really are the heart and soul of the organization, the Mets fan. Without us there is no NY Mets and in this upcoming season of apparent discontent, what better way to show how much we mean to this organization but to honor is with a plaque in the Hall of Fame.

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WITH THE NY METS IT’S TEAM FIRST

 

 

I would think by now every player on the Mets has gotten the message, you can be replaced, to that I say, it’s about time.

I know there is a segment of the fan base who get their balls in a uproar when they hear of their favorite player mentioned in trade rumors and we can see by the group whose pissed off that Jose Reyes is now a former Met,  who will miss Reyes by the way not for his baseball prowess but because they love his dreads or he helps them sell t-shirts and don’t have the capacity to look at it as solely the baseball move that it was. It’s the same way some have reacted to the scuttlebutt that Ike Davis and Jon Niese have been dangled as trade bait. I know it’s been awhile since the Mets have had a true general manager running their team but I’ll let you kids in on a secret this is how you run a baseball team.

Now before you call me an asshole (if you haven’t already) let me make it clear that I am not advocating that Ike and Niese be dealt but as a Mets fan you should be encouraged that Sandy Alderson is doing his job in trying to build this wreck of a franchise into a contending team for the long haul.

I get it that the Mets fan base is quite diverse but you can’t keep sucking year after year and keep players just because they were drafted by the organization or have nice dimples you need players who can actually step up and win some baseball games. Give me a flat ass, pimple face baseball player who can get on base, knock in runs or pitch seven innings a start any day of the week.

It’s quite obvious that Alderson feels there is not one player on his current roster he cannot live without and as a fan of the TEAM that should make you happy. When Alderson was first introduced as Mets GM he was asked about relationships with players, he let it known from the jump that he’s not here to be their friend but he would do whatever he could to help them if they needed his assistance.

I’m sure Alderson thinks David Wright is as fine a young man as he’s met in baseball but that won’t stop him for dealing him away for a front line pitching prospect or a top flight center fielder.  It’s not personal its business.

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SEPTEMBER SWOON

Well if it’s September it must be Mets Free Fall.  Just like white shoes and straw hats, the NY Mets go out of style come Labor Day.

The last three September’s have become Nightmare on 126th St & Roosevelt as Freddy Skill Sets worst nightmare has come true, the lack of meaningful baseball games played in Flushing. It’s why the organization has had to pull gimmicks out it’s ass to find a way to coax fans to Citi Field. From 2009 to last night the Mets are 26-44 in the month that baseball fans pay the most attention to, the month when the teams that are ready to prove they are worthy World Series contenders, the month we used to look at once tickets went on sale and made sure we secured tickets to the Braves series, the Phillies series now we look forward to Cult Movie Night or Thumb Suckers Awareness Night or a Celebrations of the People of the Aleutian Islands .

So let’s bring everyone back from this year because it’s just a matter of time before Mike Pelfrey turns into Don Drysdale and David Wright will turn into George Brett and Johan Santana will be the first pitcher to ever comeback from shoulder surgery to win the Cy Young Award and Bobby Parnell will become a gritty, gutty closer by growing a Fu Manchu moustache, and of course Jose Reyes will resign and the Mets will add a Santeria High Priest to exorcise the demons out of Reyes’ hamstrings.

Now that the chase for .500 looks unattainable maybe we should root for more loses to get a better pick in the 2012 Entry Draft.

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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.

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