R.I.P. BOB FELLER

Bob Feller passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Of course we all know that Feller was one of the greatest players to ever pitch a baseball, and if you didn’t,  don’t worry he’d tell you. The man lived a full life as a baseball player and a baseball entrepreneur, selling what else but Bob Feller.

What does sadden me about Feller’s death is he is one of the last of his greatest generation, who put down their bats, balls and gloves to do something much nobler, volunteering to serve his country by joining the military during war time. No two words get thrown around so cavalierly in sports like “hero” and “Warrior” for athletes who really do nothing but compete in an athletic completion, which cheapen those words. Bob Feller was a hero and a Warrior and he earned both those descriptions the hard way.

As usual Joe Posanaski has all the right words about Bob Feller, so take some time out today and read this post by Joe Pos.

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R.I.P. BOBBY THOMSON

Just heard the sad news that former NY Giant,and the man who hit the most famous home run in baseball history, Bobby Thomson has passed away.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Thomson and if you didn’t better, you’d never know he was not just an ex-baseball player but a player who hit the Shot Heard Around The World. He was very soft spoken and awfully polite when I met hm at an event to commemorate the 1951 season (my dad was a die-hard Giants fan and Thomson and Carl Hubbell were his two favorite Giants of all time)  but when the name of Sal Yvars was brought up, it brought out the Scottsman’ temper. Yvars was the player who claimed he gave Thomson and other Giants tip offs on what pitches were coming by stealing the opposing catchers signs using a telescope while Yvars was perched by a window in centerfield of the Polo Grounds.

Condolences to the Thomson family

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LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT………..

I don’t have much ambition today; I mean when the folks down at St. Lonesome start Tweeting about parking spots, I know I have company in the “can’t get it together” mode. Seriously don’t you people get tired of busting on Daniel Murphy?

Ike Davis participated on a Q & A over at Baseball America and was quite entertaining I must say. Here a few of my favs:

Josh (New Jersey): What are the pressures of playing in a big media market like New York?

Ike Davis: I’m looking forward to play in NY. The only way to play baseball is to have pressure on yourself and to expect to win everyday.

{careful what you wish for Ike}

Matt (Cedar Rapids, IA):  What are your favorite things to do in your downtime?

Ike Davis: I fish and hunt as much as possible when I have free time.

{has there ever been a baseball player who didn’t like to fish and hunt? I’m waiting for the player who says he likes making scrapbooks and shadow box frames}

Rich (NY): How do you feel your time in Brooklyn during 2008 prepared you for playing in New York?

Ike Davis: Playing in Brooklyn gave me a look of how involved the fans are. They live and die with their teams in NY.

{how you going to keep them down on the farm after they’ve seen Mermaid Avenue ?}

steve (glenville ny): Which position do you like playing better right field, first base or pitcher? Which do you think you are best at?

Ike Davis: I would have to say first base because I have played it more but I don’t mind the outfield either.

{hummmmmmm this got me to thinking, what about Davis to RF and Murphy stays a first base ? }

Great column this morning by Kevin Kernan of the NY Post on Jason Bay. I’ve mentioned before I was in Boston and at Fenway when Bay made his debut for the Red Sox and taking the place of Manny Ramirez is a whole lot tougher than coming to a 90 loss team. You have to admit this little nugget from Bay is impressive:

“Having played in that market (Boston) it’s all about putting up numbers, regardless of where you are. I find it funny; you got the ‘best shape of my life’ routines. People don’t care if you come in the best shape of your life or not, just show up and produce. It’s all about production.”

“Show up and produce” simple and to the point. That should be the Mets motto for 2010.

USA-Switzerland

Russia-Canada

Finland-Czech Republic

Sweden-Slovakia

This is called hockey heaven !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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SATURDAY MUSINGS

19 days until pitchers and catchers

I have been invited to attend  a presentation of Bloomberg Sports new baseball statistic and analytic tool that will be offered to fans and a more intense version to all 30 MLB teams.  I hope to be giving some updates at this event through TWITTER so check out my Twitter account during the day tomorrow if you’re interested and if you’re a fantasy baseball player this is looks like a product that will interest you very much.  Check out this article by Paul Greco of Baseball Digest Daily who got a look at the product at the winter meetings this past December.

Mario Lemieux has made an offer to buy the Pittsburgh Pirates. Could Mark Messier make an offer to buy the Mets (PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!)

Over at Bugs & Cranks they want  to help find out if you have a “baseball problem” so they have seven events that you could watch instead of  watching  a Cincinnati Reds-Florida Marlins game at Golden Girls Stadium. Of the 7 questions, I answered Reds-Marlins to 5 of them. The only two events I chose over the baseball game were watching UConn- Tennessee  women’s basketball game (Gino Auriemma and Pat Summit are two of the greatest coaches in sports history) and Fulham @ Aston Vila in the EPL.  So I guess I have a serious baseball problem.

I’m getting a little worried about my Boston Celtics. KG is not close to his top condition, Rasheed Wallace has no conscience at the 3 point line, and the corrupt NBA refs are all betting against the C’s in every game. At least no one has pull a piece in the clubhouse yet. Tomorrow is a big game as the Lakers ship off to Boston, if there are three NBA refs not on the take I hope the league assigns them to this game.

Hey Johnny Damon, shut the fuck up! You want to blame someone for the reason you’re not employed by the Bronx Bastards any longer? Look in the mirror caveman.

I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Daniel Murphy fan and I take a lot of shit for that. But it’s nothing compared to the abused I took for my support of Gregg Jeffries.  It wasn’t until I met Jefferies that I realized what an asshole he was. I’ve told the story before where John Franco brought Jeffries to a club in Brooklyn one night where my friends and I were at as well and Jeffries tried to pick up every girl in the place not caring who they were with. Not the wisest move to make at a club in Bay Ridge.  It’s good to see an older and wiser Jeffries as I read in this piece by Kevin Kernan in the Post. Best thing that ever happened to Jeffries was leaving the Mets.

We’ve always paid our gas bill to the Brooklyn Union Gas Co., in fact my dad’s first job in NYC was laying down gas pipe for the Brooklyn Union Gas Co. out in the wilds of Canarsie in the early 30’s. Then one day the gas bill came in with the name Keyspan on it, no more Brooklyn Union but Keyspan was the name of the new ball park in Coney Island so I was cool with Keyspan. Then one day the mailman delivered a bill from National Gird. What the hell is National Grid? National Grid is what Keyspan and Brooklyn Union were but now since there is no more Keyspan and I guess the folks at National Gird are not baseball fans, the name has to come off the ballpark in Coney Island and a new name is needed.

The Mets who own the stadium could do the right thing and name it after Gil Hodges or even rename it Shea Stadium but I doubt they will.

On Twitter yesterday I mention how a good ball park name would be Egg Cream Stadium or get Fox’s U-Bet Syrupto buy naming rights. In fact, why don’t’ the Cyclones (forget the Mets doing this as they can’t even put a deli in $iti Field where I can get a good pastrami or brisket sandwich and a Dr. Browns soda. I think a lot of my Mets anger would go away with a good brisket and a Dr. Browns Cream Soda at $iti Field) put in an Egg Cream Bar at the Coney Island ballpark?

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ALMOST HALL OF FAMOUS

 

I guess congratulations are in order to Andre Dawson for his election into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Hawk was a solid baseball player and from what you read, was a very nice guy and it seems as long as you’re a very nice guy to the media, you eventually get in the Hall. That would explain why Albert Belle is no longer on the ballot. Belle was an unbelievable offensive player putting up big numbers and one of the great run producers of his time, but the guy made Ron Artest look stable. It’s not just that Belle was a nasty sumnabitch, I honestly think the reporters covering the teams he played for and the out of town media we’re scared shit of him. The only way for payback is to not just keep in out of the HOF but knock him off the ballot altogether.

The only segment of baseball fans that doesn’t have bad feeling for Robbie Alomar not getting in the HOF, are Mets fans. During the reign of the Alomar disaster in Queens, I was dining in one of my favorite spots, the RF food pavilion at Shea Stadum, when I encounter a guy wearing an ALOMAR 12 uni top. When I mentioned that he was one brave Mets fan to wear that jersey, he told me his was a cousin of Alomar’s. We spoke for while and I ask Robbie’s cuz, “what’s the problem with your cousin” he told me the whole family was stumped. He said Alomar was so happy to be in NYC as there was a lot of family there to keep him happy but the cuz then said “he feels like he can’t do it anymore”  The problem that Mets fan had with Alomar was he was coming here off a strong year in Cleveland .336/.415/.541/.956 20HR 100 RBI 30SB so when the deal was made to come to the Mets, we were farting through silk WHAT AN ACQUISTION!!! But what followed was one of the classic crash and burns of a player in baseball history. All said in done, Alomar should have gone in as a first ballot HOF’er his Mets years aside, he is one of the greatest 2nd basemen of all time.

Supposedly 5 voters sent back blank ballots, two of which are Jay Mariotti and Lisa Olson of AOL. Mind-boggling!.  I know it’s in vogue to call Mariotti a douche bag but a few years ago, Mariotti did a radio show on the defunct One On One Radio Network (620 AM here in NYC) along with Jim Lytke of the AP. It was one of the better sports radio shows I’ve listened to. Mariotti was not the dickhead he has evolved into today. As for Olson, she has always sent in a blank ballot since becoming eligible to vote. I don’t know what to say about that but why even be a member of the BBWA?   The Hall of Fame would be better off letting bloggers pick the Hall members; at least we’d take it seriously.

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SAY HEY HAPPY BRITHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILLIE MAYS

THE GREATEST BASEBALL PLAYER EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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PLOP, PLOP FIZZ, FIZZ THAT’S WHAT NO RELIEF PITCHING IS

Here is what you need to know about last night s loss, Boardwalk Lee Mazzilli thought it was the worst loss of the year. Now when Pollyanna Lee says it’s bad, IT’S BAD.

 

As with all of these types of Mets losses we look for the player or players to rip the shit out of and there is always the usual suspects but one name seems to come up whenever there has been a shit the bed moment this season and that’s Scott Schoeneweis forever now known here as The Mush. The Mush besides having the inability to get a big out has the worst body language in sports. He always looks to me like the last place he wants to be is on the pitchers mound in a big spot. I feel this theory is true because Warlord Jerry used him as a last resort as he went to the junk yard six times before calling for Mush.  

 

This disaster is not all bullpen related, in fact Brian Stokes, Joe Smith and Balls of Steel Aaron Heilman all did great jobs. Sure Luis Ayala broke his cherry with a blown save (welcome to the Mets,. Luis) but a little better relay by Damien Easley and maybe if Brain Schnieder stood in front of home plate he’d have gotten Jason Werth but that’s neither here nor there. The guy who is not feeling the heat he should is my guy Petey who when staked to a seven run lead let it get away. Petey put J-Man is a position to go heavily into the weakest part of the team, the bullpen to save this game. 

 

You can go after the offense for not adding on runs and if you want to kill Sugarpants and the Greatest Puerto Rican baseball player of all time whose last name is not Clemente go ahead but when you scored your runs when the offense puts up seven runs early the pitching staff has to win that game. No excuses.

 

The bright spot was Petey hitting 90-91 on the gun but the problem was two fold, his location and his movement as he was lacking in both.  If your going to throw straight fastballs and keep or pitches down in the zone at Citizen Bank then you might as well forfeit the game and save everyone over five hours of agony.

 

When the off season comes around the biggest task for the Mets front office will be the dismantling of the bullpen and build a brand new pen that might even include a new closer now that Wags is damaged goods. Forget about spending big money on Mark Texieria who is more luxury item than need. Spend the dough on CC Sabathia and sit down with the brain trust and try to put together the best bullpen you can find. That’s baseball in the 21 Century it’s the bullpen stupid.

 

As much as my nuts still hurt from getting them kicked last night I’m not panicking because we have seen this all season. The Mets will win tonight and then go onto to Florida and win at least 2 of 3 and then go to Milwaukee and beat then in the series as well because it’s been like this all year, whenever we are ready as fans to throw in the towel this team proves us wrong. I just wish they’d leave my balls alone.

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