The Emotion of Baseball

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So if you weren’t sitting with two boxes of Kleenex last night during the Say Good-Bye to Mariano Rivera segment of Yankees-Rays, you’re a heartless bastard with no feelings or emotions.  At least that was the consensus on social media last night.

No doubt it was a special moment at Yankee Stadium last night when Rivera came in to pitch for the last time at home (or anywhere) and I watched and thought it was great but did it punch my emotional buttons? No. Did I get misty eyed with Andy Pettite and Derek Jeter came out to remove Rivera from the game? Nope, sorry. Did I think it was a nice moment? Sure.

Mariano Rivera is without a doubt the greatest closer in baseball history. He is a sure first ballot Hall of Famer –he won’t be a unanimous first ballot honoree because we all know some shithead from the BBWAA will leave him off their ballot in “a look at me moment”-but  since he was not a New York Met, then my emotions stayed in check.

Sorry if that pisses off the ultra-sensitive types but I save my baseball tears for the New York Mets, both happy and sad occasions.

I don’t get why the baseball writing eggheads get so bent out of shape over events on the field that fall under the “unwritten rules” of baseball. Seriously, what is it about this code of conduct that baseball players have amongst themselves that pisses you off? Is it that it doesn’t fall under your view of baseball through the eyes of statistical analysis? This is no way a knock at the analytic work done by many of these folks, if you are a MLB organization that doesn’t have a fully staff analytic department, then you’re in the working in the dark ages. I love how  baseball execs have so much data to look at and study to make help make important decision in player personnel to help achieve the ultimate goal of winning the World Series.  You still have to take the human side into account as well.    

When Brain McCann waited at home plate for Carlos Gomez to arrive after putting on an embarrassing display of being an ass hat when he hit a home run of Paul Maholm, I thought it was one of the best on field statements I’ve seen in baseball in a long long time. McCann just standing there explaining to Gomez just what an asshole he was and daring him to go through him to touch home plate showed me that McCann was standing up for his pitcher, his teammates and his organization. He should be applauded. Sadly some folks didn’t see it the same way I did and to tell you the truth I was a bit surprised by some of the reaction.

As I said, it was mostly the people who seem to be the baseball intellectual types that thought McCann was a jerk.  None of the McCann bashers mentioned that Gomez was still holding a grudge from being hit by a pitch from Malhom (who throws about 85 mph tops and that’s with a running start) earlier in the year. The first pitch of the at bat, Gomez nearly swung himself out of his uniform as he wanted to hit the pitch to Buckhead . He damn near succeeded on the next pitch which he hit a towering home run. Gomez stood and admired the shot then glared at Maholm to which Freddie Freeman screamed at him and he yelled back at Freeman while he leisurely strolled the base paths like he was out for a constitutional on the deck of the Queen Mary. As Gomez went down the 3rd base line, staring into the Braves dugout, he was startled by McCann standing in his way of touching home plate, a destination Gomez never arrived at. At that point the benches emptied and the Braves went after Gomez and any Brewer that stood in their way.     

Now why anyone who watches, covers or has played baseball was surprised at McCann’s actions baffles me. It’s the same way I can’t understand people getting upset when Tiger Woods curses after he hits a bad shot.  Those people have obviously never been on a golf course, same with the folks who are appalled by baseball player’s behavior on the field.  

What do they think happens on the field and in the dugout and clubhouse? This may come as a shock to some of the finger sandwich and high tea crowd but baseball players use very bad language at times, in fact they use the bad language a lot on the umpires. Ball players (I hope I don’t offend anyone here) also spit nasty tobacco juice and sunflower seed shells and (hold on to your pearls Francis) blow their nose without a tissue. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. The floor of a dugout is as nasty as a subway platform.

As much as baseball has to go forward using statistical analysis in decision making it also cannot forget the on field emotion of the game as well. I don’t know about you but my love of baseball didn’t come from a calculator it came from first watching it, then playing it , then embracing the camaraderie of being on a team. There’s no better feeling than being on a team that has each other’s back. There’s no better feeling than playing on a team that wins. There is no better compliment in baseball than “he plays the game the right way”.  If you can’t understand that, then I have pity on you, you’re missing a great game.

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Sandy Alderson Finally Makes Some Moves, But Are They The Right Moves ?

 

That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more…..

                                                                                      Popeye

 

You could also hear that quote coming from the Mets GM ‘s suite at Citi Field yesterday as  Sandy Alderson finally made some moves to  at least shake up a team that seems content with losing.  Ike Davis, Mike Baxter and Robert Carson head to Vegas and Rick Ankiel heads to wherever it is baseball players who can’t play baseball anymore go. To say it’s about time is an understatement, to say what took you so long is more precise.

The move to send Davis to Vegas is about a month too late. The only thing that saved Davis from a trip to Sin City was his rebound second half of last year. Alderson and his staff were waiting for the resurrection of Ike to happen like last year but after a while there comes a time the organization goes from believers to doubting Thomas’ and now it’s up to George Greer, the Mets Vegas hitting coach and manager Wally Backman, to work on getting Ike right at the plate and maybe also in the head.

Davis seems to be another Met who may be suffering from a sense of entitlement. It’s something you hear from folks who are around the club that one of the biggest problems with the team and through the organization is this sense of privilege that players who have not earned the right to put on airs are the ones with their noses up and pinky’s out.  This was a problem with the Minaya regime and it seems it’s still a problem under Alderson. Yesterday’s game would have been a great time to send a message that stupidity and carelessness will no longer be tolerated.

In the bottom of the first inning with two outs, and Daniel Murphy at the plate, Jordany Valdespin, I guess not realizing that he was (a) in scoring position already and (b) there were two outs, decides to take off for 3rd base, of course he was thrown out. It’s a stupid play if a 10 year old does and it’s infuriating when a so called big leaguer does it. So at that point I’m thinking as was Ron Darling during the SNY telecast, here is the perfect spot for Terry Collins to declare no more. No more tolerance of stupidity, time to make an example out of Valdespin and remove him from the game. Tell him take a shower ,watch tv,  eat a sandwich I don’t give a rats ass what you do up just get the fuck out of my sight. But no that’s not what happened. Collins did give JV1 a talking to but left him in the game. If this were the minor leagues I would say letting Valedespin get an earful would be fine but this is Major League Baseball where you are supposed to be ready to play at the highest level there is of the game.  Add in that your team has lost 5 of its last 6 games and your last loss was a 20 inning disaster where you went 0 for 19 with RISP  and you have lost 8 of 11 games to the Marlins, a team that is 10-41 when not playing the Mets, a benching of Vladespin was more than justified.

So after another hopeless performance by his team, Alderson made his moves but who would he bring up? Josh Satin, Collin Cowgill and Josh Edgin are now officially New York Mets. What? You’re underwhelmed? Well you should be.

While the critics wail away at Alderson and his staff for not signing free agents (since he is the GM and not the Owner he can only spend what the owner allows him too) and for not trading for top flight major league talent which is hard to do when the rest of baseball knows you are desperate for major league talent and ask for the few precious talented prospects you have in return. It’s not Alderson’s fault that he is fresh out of Beltran’s and Dickey’s to deal for prospects. But why let the facts get in the way of fan stupidity.

Now I’m not saying that Alderson hadn’t made mistakes sure he has, two years in a row the Mets front office has failed to build an efficient bullpen, in fact if the front office just put together a league average bullpen the Mets would be in better shape than they are today. The front office has also failed at finding that diamond in the rough that Alderson’s protégé , Billy Beane has done very successfully in Oakland.   

Of the call ups the Mets have made, I would have been much more enthused if the names would have been Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler and Jack Leatherstrich.

It would be nice to see Flores play 2B and have Daniel Murphy move over to 1st base in Ike’s absence since the Mets feel if they move Lucas Duda to 1st base and then back to left field when Ike returns that Duda would need to visit Dr. Sidney Friedman to help gets his head together.

I’m so tired of hearing that Wheeler is ready, Wheeler is coming, Wheeler, Wheeler , Wheeler…..BRING HIM UP ALREADY!!!!!! The indecision of this organization annoys the living shit out of me sometimes. Make a god damn decision tell Jeremy Hefner it’s not you it’s us and move him to the pen and go with a rotation of Niese, Harvey, Marcum, Wheeler, Gee. You not only bolster the starting rotation but you add a bullpen arm that can give you multiple innings.

Jack “LeatherRocket” Leathersich is a lefty reliever who has striking out hitters at the AA level at a rate of 17 per 9 innings. Why not take a shot and bring this young man up to see what he can do a big league level. I doubt he will be as bad as Robert Carson .

Sometimes this organization is too cautious; instead of being bold and putting the youngsters in a challenging spot.  Let’s see who can swim at the deep end of the pool.   

    

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The 4 Craziest Arrests In MLB History

When it comes to living under the microscope of the public eye, pro athletes have to endure the same level of public scrutiny as their silver screen counterparts. This often means that their bad behavior is broadcasted to the world — especially when one of our beloved ball players has broken the law.

While criminal activity and sports is nothing new, these MLB baseball players top the charts in terms of outlandish arrest stories. Here are the top 5 craziest arrests in all of major league baseball’s storied history.

1) Mike Leake

You’d think that a salary of $425,000 (plus a signing bonus of 2.3 million) would be enough cash for Leake to enjoy a comfortable living. However, many Reds fans were left scratching their heads in bewilderment when this wealthy pro athlete was arrested in 2011 for. . . misdemeanor shoplifting? Apparently Leake took a page from fellow five-fingered celebrity bandit, Winona Ryder, when he stole six t-shirts off the clearance rack at a Macy’s Department store. Maybe he just didn’t want to wait in line?

2) Pete Rose

Rose was yet another well-paid ballplayer who felt the need to have a side hustle to make extra cash. In 1990, Rose plead guilty on two counts of tax evasion for failing to report earnings he made through selling autographed memorabilia, and horse race winnings.

Unlike his colleague Mike Leake, Rose’s crime amounted to over $366,000 which he eventually had to pay in back taxes and interest. His punishment was more severe as well. While Leake merely received a slap on the wrist and an embarrassing  charge on his criminal arrest record, Rose was sentenced to five months in a medium security prison, fined $50,000, and ordered to complete 1,000 hours of community service.

3) Jim Leyritz

Our list takes a more serious turn when Yankees playoff hero, Jim Leyritz, when he was arrested in 2007 after he was involved in a drunk driving crash that killed the other driver. Leyritz was charged with a DUI and vehicular manslaughter. It was later discovered that the other driver who killed was also intoxicated and Leyritz was acquitted of his manslaughter charge three years later in 2010. To make legal matters even worse for Leyritz, he was also arrested in 2009 on an unrelated charge of battery against his former wife.

4) Byron McLaughlin

McLaughlin proves that pro baseball players getting arrested is nothing new. Back in the late ‘70s, McLaughlin played baseball for the Seattle Mariners by day, and ran a shady counterfeit shoe business by night. McLaughlin partnered with Korean manufacturers to create knock-offs of popular name brands such as Converse, Adidas, and Vans.

McLaughlin was selling the shoes across the border in Mexico, sometimes bringing in over $750,000 in just one month! The craziest part of this story? After McLaughlin plead guilty to money laundering charges, he fled the country and has never been seen since!

The 2013 MLB season has just started, and hopefully the latest round of draft picks won’t struggle with the same ethical dilemmas as their pro baseball predecessors.

Author byline: Jessica Ruane is a writer for Instant Checkmate.com, an online service that provides arrest records to the general public.

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NY Mets Need Johan Santana Ready, But Not For Opening Day

 

The NY Mets hired a new Strength and Conditioning coach for 2013, his name is Jim Malone. Malone was hired in early November in an effort to upgrade the way the players in the organization physically conditions themselves for the 2013 season and beyond, especially when little nagging aches and pains have some guys taking time off due to soreness not injury, you would also think his first duties as the S&C coach would be to meet with Johan Santana and oversee a workout plan for him after the abrupt end of his season. I mean, it stands to reason right that Santana’s health would be of optimum importance to the Mets?

I don’t just look at Santana as the Ace of this Mets staff, I also look at him as Sandy Alderson’s prime blue ribbon steer, the one commodity that Alderson has left to sell off for some much needed calf’s to restock the Mets farm. Santana should have been given the best feed and a comprehensive workout program that would strengthen his surgically repaired shoulder and his endurance. He was given none of that by the Mets, and now Alderson is surprised that Johan Santana cannot make the proclamation that 99.9 % of players make when they report to spring camp that “he is in the best shape of his life”.

Talk about not doing due diligence, how in the world did the Mets not monitor the lefties off season workout activities?  I would think that every player in the organization sits down with the training staff and strength and conditioning staff and charts out a winter routine to make sure guys report to St. Lonesome in tip top shape. This isn’t reserve clause era baseball anymore where players have to take jobs selling insurance or laying brick, the biggest job most players have is staying out of their wives way, so I’m sure vast majority of baseball players hit the gym in the winter time, because as I said in the above paragraph all we here from players today at reporting time is they are “in the best shape of their lives”.

All the talk now is about getting Santana ready for an opening day start at Citi Field. Seriously, that should not be the top priority, no the Mets need for Santana to work at getting that left shoulder strong and if that means he doesn’t come up North until the beginning of May then so be it. Santana’s value to the Mets isn’t what he brings in his starts, no, his importance to the Mets is what he can bring back in trade.

Johan Santana is the last of the high priced players of the Omar Minaya era and the last real trade chip Sandy Alderson has left that isn’t named Harvey or Wheeler, if he is healthy.  Right now the Mets need Santana and Malone to sit down and work out a conditioning plan that gets him back on the mound with a strong left wing that throws strikes. If it takes the next 4 weeks of spring and a DL stint and a couple of rehab starts in Las Vegas then so be it.

This is not to disparage Santana or to call him out for not working out this winter, not at all. Santana when healthy was a force with the Mets  a guy who not just competed but rose to challenges  when faced with them.  Of course there was last years no hitter which will leave Santana (and Mike Baxter) mark on Mets history.  His first year with the Mets on July 27th 2008, a day after the Mets used every pitcher on the roster in a 14 inning loss to the Cardinals; Santana pitched a complete game and beat the Cards 9-1. Then on September 27th Santana beat the Marlins 3 hit shutout on 3 days rest to keep the Mets playoff chances alive. Oh yeah he did that with a torn meniscus in his knee as well.

Santana is as tough as a two dollar steak, coming back from the meniscus tear, elbow chips and reconstructive shoulder surgery. No question Santana will now work to get back into the rotation but now in the last year of his contract with the Mets, the cold reality is, he’s a short timer.  The question Mets fans should have about Santana isn’t if he will make the opening day start, it should be can Sandy Alderson move Santana to a contending team for a blue chip outfield prospect by the July trade deadline.

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THE HURT LOCKER-ROOM

You think Jack LaLane ever pulled or strained an oblique muscle? Helllllllllllllllll No!  

 

As much as we would like to have someone’s head on a platter when it comes to the rash of muscle injuries that have plagued the Mets, it seems the real culprit here is the culture of the weight room and maybe the laziness of the players for not doing their due diligence when it comes to stretching and preparing to play baseball.

The Mets strength and conditioning coach is Brad Andress. Andress has an impressive resume where he began his career with the Tigers from 1990 to 1999, he then moved on to the Colorado Rockies for nine seasons. Andress also was a member of the 1982 Penn State football team that won the National Championship in 1982. Andress joined the Mets last season. It would be a bit extreme to blame him solely for the epidemic of oblique muscle pulls and strains that have hit the Mets as this is not just a Mets problem but it seems to be a baseball problem .

I don’t think there is anyone of my generation who didn’t hear all through high school that weight lifting was bad for you as a baseball player. It was drummed into us that weight lifting would make you stiff and inflexible and hamper your ability to swing a bat properly.  As years have gone on we have seen baseball players not only embrace the weight room but adding supplements as well to bulk them up to the point they looked more liked contestants in a body building competition than ballplayers.

With the ban on PED’s and the now in place blood testing for HGH, maybe it’s time to go back in time and shut down the weight rooms or at least monitor the work the players do with weight training and go back to focusing on flexibility and working more of a callisthenic exercise routine?

Something has to change with the way baseball players are training because whatever they’re doing now is not working.

David Wright is headed to NYC for and ultra sound test and a cortisone shot. Tim Byrdak will join him to have his knee checked out which must be in bad shape if he’s being sent to NYC to have it examined. This is why the Mets are thisclose to singing CJ Nitkowski to a minor league deal as the other two lefties that had a shot at pitching out of the Mets bullpen Robert Carson and Danny Herrera have been hobbled by injury as well.

Capt. Kirk has had a set back as well from, (what else?)  a strained oblique muscle. With Scott Hairston out with (what else?) the same injury but more severe and Jason Bay lost in the batter’s box, there could not be worse time for Nieuwenhuis to go down with injury.

Lucas Duda and Danny Herrera seem to be ready to get back in action as both boarded the bus for Lakeland and today’s game against the Tigers so that’s a bit of good news. But Reese Havens is still out with back troubles, I’m very close to leaping off the Reese Havens bandwagon.

If anyone cares here’s my Final Four picks:

Baylor

Florida

Ohio St

Kansas

Florida over Baylor

Ohio State over Kansas

Florida over Ohio St

 

 

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THE NEW YORK METS ARE UNDER MY SKIN

Now that we have the holidays out of the way, we can now look forward to spring training for what should be quite the interesting Mets season.

Eric Simon of Amazin’ Avenue had an interesting post today on how bad will the Mets be in 2012? Of course the number one item on his list of things that will impact the season is the Skill Sets financial situation, something that will most likely overshadow what goes on, on the field but Simon also touches on the health and availability of Johan Santana, the hitting of Jason Bay and David Wright and where the offensive production lost from Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes will come from.

So my question to you my loyal readers, what is your expectation for the Mets this coming season? What is a realistic expectation of this team and what will be their standing in the NL East, a division that could be up for grabs if the reports of Prince Fielder signing with Washington are true. Can you see anything short of a last place finish in the division? Right now, I can’t.

Where do you see Johan Santana this season? For me, I’d be surprised if we see Santana pitch for the Mets before June.

What to do with David Wright? Wright is not a player, right now that could realistically bring back a treasure trove of young talent but what if he is invigorated by good health and more friendly dimensions of Citi Field and puts up a .300/.380/.500 line with 15-17 HR’s and 75-80 + RBI by the All-Star break, do you keep him and hope a new owner comes in with cash to re-sign him or is the lure of young robust baseball players to tempting to turn down in a trade?  I’m still undecided on this one but I am leaning towards a deal if the Mets get back a blue ribbon prospect or a young Major Leaguer under club control.

When I go to opening day at Citi Field, who else will be there? If you are a true blue Mets fan and having been going to Mets games your whole life I can’t see how now you decide to sit this season out. No one has a right to tell you how to spend your time or money but as Boggy said, “a hot dog at a ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz”. So true, I mean today when I left for work I had on a sweater, coat, scarf and wool hat. You know what? That sucks. I want to wear shorts and t-shirt and have a scorecard in my hand. I have made peace with myself that the Mets will not be very good this season to the point that 100 losses would not shock me. However, there is still a part of me that small sliver of Mets fan naivete` that still has me holding out hope that this season could be full of surprises and I want to be there to enjoy them.  I know all the die-hards will be out at Citi Field on Thursday April 5th at 1:10PM, will you be there? If not tell me why not?

It’s funny the other teams I root for in other sports are playing at a level where they are contenders for championships in their respective leagues but it’s the Mets that are on my mind the most  and my biggest concern. Crazy shit eh?

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MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE

Famous Last Words

One  of the great topics for debate when it comes to team sports is how much does team chemistry play in making a difference between a winning or losing team.  There are many who believe team chemistry is a bunch of bullshit and it’s mostly those in the sabermetric segment of baseball fans who take this position and feel that folks like me who believe in this part of the game are relics of the past and that whether you’re BFF’s with teammates or a big time snob, as long as you produce on the field that’s what counts. In some ways they’re right, Jeff Francouer had a million dollar smile and a ten cent approach at the plate while he was with the Mets.  Barry Bonds was one miserable prick in the Giants clubhouse but he is still considered one the best baseball players of all time (I’ll leave the PED discussion for another time) but there is still something about having a group of people who have the same goal, winning and will do whatever has to be done to achieve that goal. When you have that collective mind set, I feel you have a greater shot of being a winning team than if you have a team that is just a collection of talent who worry about their 2 for 4 day and their statistical resume than winning games.

I bring this up because of four teams I’ve watched over the last month or so, two teams that have that “team chemistry” one that doesn’t and one I think will have it.

I’m a Boston Celtics fan and if there is a team that thrives on chemistry and is the best case study on the subject it’s the C’s. For the bulk of his career, Paul Pierce was the best the Celtics had to offer but as the losses piled up with exception of a trip to the NBA Finals in 2001, Pierce was ready to bolt Boston until GM Danny Ainge made two deals that put the Celtics back into the forefront of the NBA,  obtaining Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. All three players were All-Stars and future Hall of Famers as well; this melding of talent would either be a big success or a major failure. It’s been a rousing success. All three superstars under the direction of Head Coach Doc Rivers have checked their egos at the locker room door and preached the value of teamwork to their teammates. Ainge also added a great supporting cast who all have the same team first mind set. Garnett uses the term “Ubuntu” which loosely translated from African culture means a sense of community. Yes it helps greatly that the team employs four players who are all time greats and one in Rajon Rando who will be in that same group when his career is over. When you watch the C’s play you know right away what the mission statement is, to win Banner 18 and to do it by any means necessary.

A team that is nowhere near having Ubuntu are the NY Knicks. Here is a team that is just a red hot mess.  The best guy in the entire Knicks organization is the GM Donny Walsh, who took over a disaster of a team, got them below the salary cap for the first since the inception of the cap, who then went out an acquired two superstar players and has made The Garden the mecca of basketball once again. For his hard work and dedication what did Walsh get in return, a knife in his back wielded by the clueless owner of the team Jim Dolan. The head coach Mike D’Antoni preaches offense, offense and more offense with his “7 seconds or less” fast break style. A style that will never win without the player’s ability to play even plausible defense, which the Knicks don’t do.  But the biggest problem with the Knicks is they have two superstars who don’t seem to know how to mesh. Amare Stoudemire was THE show for the bulk of the season with the Knicks. He was the focal point of everything from merchandising to promotion of the team, he was anointed the next great Knickerbocker. As the team had early success the chant of M-V-P cascaded from the fans at MSG, they loved their Amare. But wait, all of a sudden another superstar joined the team, this player was born in Red Hook Brooklyn but raised in Baltimore MD and won a National Championship with Syracuse and did everything in his power to be a Knick. Move over Amare make way for Carmelo Anthony.

Both these star players said all the right things at the ‘Melo presser (the same cannot be said of Dopey Dolan) and the first few games, the duo had Knick fans thinking it was 1970 all over again. But as the season has gone on, we see that both players are still trying to figure out who gets the ball when the game is on the line and how to get the rest of the roster to raise their game and guts to do what it takes to win games. We have seen ‘Melo glare at teammates who haven’t gotten the ball to him in crunch time and we’ve seen Stoudemire wonder what happened to the team he was the leader of and the coach trying to figure out how to appease two big egos. I guess you could say the Knicks lack “team chemistry”

Now the other tenant of MSG , is the exact opposite of their basketball cohabitants.  For long time NY Rangers fans like myself , the best trait of this Ranger team is they never quit and even in losses, it’s hard to get mad as they  are what hockey folks like to say a “lunch pail team” . Not only are they a hard working bunch but for the most part the Rangers roster is mostly home grown.  Ryan Callahan is the captain in waiting along with Brandon Dubinsky, Mark Stahl, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan  and King Henrik Lundquist  are all setting the tone for big run to the playoffs. No matter what happens in the playoffs, as Ranger fans we have to be pleased that the foundation of the team that will be a Cup contender for awhile has been set.  There is a very good blend of veteran and young players on this Ranger team. When you see teams like the Rangers play as hard as they do, as a fan your proud to say you root for that team. With the NY Rangers you have team and fan chemistry.

That brings me to the NY Mets. If your sole knowledge of the Mets was obtained through the NY beat writers, sports columnists and Twitter, you’d get the impression that this was the worst team in baseball. But if you watch the games and possess an open mind ,you’d come to the realization that the Mets are a pretty good ball club. Are they a World Series contender? Not this year. Will they be better than last year? No question in my mind they will.

There is a lot of familiarity with the players on the roster, most have played together either in the big leagues or in the Mets minor league system. R.A. Dickey had mentioned this during the off season that many of the guys on this team know each other very well. Dickey also mentioned that a baseball clubhouse is just like any work place, some of guys you’re close with and other guys not as close but when you put the same uniform you have that in common and that’s what’s important.

One of the biggest failures of the past front office staff was they let the clubhouse become fractured. The last two mangers seemed to polarize the clubhouse and that led to cliques forming between the players.  You can see this spring that the new regime realizes this has been a problem with the Mets as Terry Collins instituted the Sunday night bowling parties to try to form a bond within the team.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying if the whole team sat around singing Kumbaya  it will make the Mets a World Series winner, but if the TC and Sandy Alderson can change the climate of that clubhouse and Collins can get the team to buy into a team first mentality, that will be half the battle in getting the Mets winning games. I feel the seeds of that way of thinking have been planted. If the players realize that no matter how much money or how much time you’ve spent as a Met , means nothing  if you don’t produce something positive to the club, you’ll be gone.

Think about it, the past administration went out and brought in talented players at big money contracts and what do they have to show for it? A division championship and two players calling out their teammates for not stepping up and talking to the media (the infamous “they speak English you know” from Bill Wagner and Red Ass LoDuca towards their Latino teammates)   I think this will be a much better clubhouse and a much better Met team than most think. I can’t wait until a week from tomorrow and I really am excited for April 8th and the home opener. Forget about the mess the owners are in, forget about the nay sayers in media worrying about who the Mets fans are going to boo next. I’m not saying we should become a bunch of Pollyanna’s , but this Mets team looks like one we should be rooting for.

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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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NOW THE SKILL SETS HAVE TO BACK THERE WORDS

So the inevitable happened this afternoon at $iti Field when Freddy and Jeffey Skill Sets put the fan base out of it’s misery by firing Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel. First off, can the MSM put the violins away and give Mets fans a break about the termination of both of these men?  I’ve never seen the media make a fuss over auto workers or teachers losing their jobs like they are about Minaya and Manuel. Minaya is leaving with a $2.5 mil golden parachute and by the way, it looks like Minaya is totally gone from the organization as he stated in his only as Omar can way, that he was offered a position in the org but turned it down as he feels a new GM should pick his own front office. He didn’t rule out a return to the Mets in some capacity but he is free to find employment elsewhere.

Minaya will find a job as a scout or player development person and by the way, I have never seen a guy so happy to get the ax like Minaya, he kept making the goofy grin after answering questions that quite frankly has me wondering if he is either relieved to the get the hell out Flushing or he’s an idiot.

Manuel will be fine as well, he will get a coaching job at a nice Christian school where he can play his Gandhi act with some Evangelical baseball players and they all go out and win one for the Baby Jesus.

With all the tweets I’ve seen on Twitter about telling fans to remember that “these are two good men who lost their jobs” and yada, yada, yada. Spare me the nice guy bullshit.  I’m sick and tired of the lets’ play nice mentality of this organization. Enough of Jeffey and Freddy,  who spewed the same old line of horseshit about how they love this franchise and how Freddy Skill Sets hurts after every defeat, wah, wah, wah cry me a fucking river. I’m sick and tired of talk, as the old saying goes ,if bullshit was electricity, the Mets would be a fucking powerhouse.  Give me a guy like Bill Belichick who is hated by the media because he’s a world class prick, but he is a championship winning world class prick.

Jeffey, Freddy, Uncle Saul and Dave the Shyster, you have no idea how much pain me and my brothers and sisters in Mets fandom feel.  You don’t wear Mets caps or Mets jerseys or jackets and have people say “you’re brave to wear that” I’m not brave you asshole, I’m loyal.  No matter how bad this team is and how badly the $iti Field personnel treat me and the constant urge to stalk Jeffey Skill Sets just to smack the shit out of him, I stick with this team though thick and thin and as a guy rooting for the Mets for 46 years there’s been a whole lot of thin but I still buy tickets, I still wear my Mets regalia with pride and I still stick up for this team when it’s attack by other fans.  I can bitch and moan about this team and organization every day at this site but I still count the days until spring training and the day tickets go on sale and make sure I secure my tickets for opening day. All I ask in return is for the ownership to make an effort to bring in a front office and players who have as much pride in the New York Mets as this fan base does.

I hope the Skill Sets were sincere in the message they portrayed today, that they want a solid GM who is progressive in his approach to building a baseball team. Minaya is a dinosaur whose way of running a baseball team is way in the past; it’s time to get this organization into the 21st century and use statistics along with scouting to build a solid organization. No more throwing money at players where you’re the only bidder in the auction. No more throwing millions at 30+ year old players who are as washed up as hypodermic needles on the Coney Island sand, no more turning the other cheek , time to step up for your teammates. The next 3-4 weeks may be the most critical in the history of the Mets franchise, let’s just hope we are not here this time three years from now regurgitating all this “we want to win” mantra. Please Skill Sets I’m begging you ,hire a Baseball Czar and let the man/woman whomever, run the baseball ops as they see fit.  Actions speak louder than words Freddy prove me wrong about you and your dopey son, please prove me wrong.

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BOB MURPHY ELECTED TO IRISH-AMERICAN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

 

 

Bob Murphy, Tim McCarver, Brian Cashman, Bill James, and Mike “King” Kelly to Be Inducted in Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 6, 2010

 

Housed in Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant Recognizes Players, Executives, Journalists and Entertainers of Irish Descent

 

New York, NY (July 1, 2010) – The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (www.irishbaseballhall.com) today announced its inductees for 2010: New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman, veteran TV analyst and former player Tim McCarver, longtime New York Mets announcer Bob Murphy, famed statistician and Boston Red Sox executive Bill James, and Mike “King” Kelly, baseball’s first superstar.

The honorees will be inducted on Friday, August 6 at Noon, when their plaques will be unveiled at a ceremony held at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant ( 18 W. 33rd St. ), which houses the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame.  Voters include past inductees and a panel of baseball historians. 

“This deserving group includes successful executives, a beloved voice of the New York Mets, a four-decade player and Emmy-winning broadcaster, and an early legend that time has nearly forgotten,” said Shaun Clancy, president of Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame and owner of Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia. 

With a blessing from Cooperstown, Foley’s, a popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires, media and fans, created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize players, managers, executives, journalists, and entertainers.  Inductees are chosen based on a combination of four factors: impact on the game, popularity on and off the field, contributions to society, and ancestry/connections to the Irish community.  The 2010 honorees are:

1.     Tim McCarver (Former Player/Broadcaster)

Born in Memphis , TN , Tim McCarver signed with the St. Louis Cardinals right out of Christian Brothers High School and was a two-time All-Star selection (1966, 1967) and World Series champion (1964, 1967).  During a career that spanned from 1959 until 1980, McCarver also played for the Phillies, Expos and Red Sox.  He was the favorite catcher for two Hall of Fame pitchers: Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton. 

After retiring as a player, McCarver became a six-time Emmy-winning broadcaster.  He has called games for the Phillies (1980-82), Mets (1983-98), Yankees (1999-2001), and Giants (2002).  Beginning with the 1985 Fall Classic, Tim McCarver has provided color commentary for more World Series games on TV than any other announcer in history.  He is frequently paired with Joe Buck as the lead team on FOX network broadcasts and also hosts The Tim McCarver Show, a nationally syndicated interview program now in its ninth season.

2.     Brian Cashman (Executive)

A native of Rockville Center , NY , Brian Cashman began his career with the New York Yankees as an intern in 1986.  He moved up the ranks and eventually succeeded Bob Watson as General Manager in 1998.  During Cashman’s tenure as GM, the Yankees have won six AL pennants and four World Series championships (1998-2000 and 2009).  Brian Cashman graduated from Georgetown Prep in 1985 and The Catholic University of America in 1989.  He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.  

3.     Bill James (Executive)

Born in Holton , KS , Bill James has authored more than two dozen books on baseball history and statistics.  He coined the term “sabermetrics” for his innovative statistical analysis of player performances.  James’ statistical measures gained widespread acceptance when Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane applied sabermetric principles in running his low-budget, small market team (chronicled in Michael Lewis’ bestseller Moneyball).  In 2003, James became a senior advisor for the Boston Red Sox and is credited with advocating moves such as the team’s emphasis on on-base percentage.  Bill James is a Viet Nam era veteran, a graduate of the University of Kansas , and was one of TIME magazine’s “Time 100” most influential people in 2006.  He is proud of his predominantly Irish heritage with grandparents named Burks, Yates, McCool and James.

4.     Bob Murphy, (Broadcaster)

A transplanted Oklahoman, Bob Murphy was a TV and radio announcer for the New York Mets from their inception until his retirement in 2003.  Beloved for his sunny disposition and “happy recaps” of Mets’ victories, he and colleagues Lindsey Nelson and Ralph Kiner described both the ineptitude of the 1962 Amazin’s and the ecstasy of the 1969 World Series.  From 1978 onward, Murphy served primarily as the Mets’ radio voice.  He welcomed fans to the team’s first game and called the thrilling post-season wins in ‘69 and ‘86.  Bob Murphy received the prestigious Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame and is a member of the New York Mets Hall of Fame.  He died of lung cancer in 2004. 

5.     Mike “King” Kelly (Hall of Famer/Legend)

Widely regarded as the game’s first superstar, Mike “King” Kelly was a colorful catcher, outfielder and manager.  Born in Troy , NY , to Famine immigrants and raised in Paterson , NJ , Kelly’s baseball skill and Irish charm made him one of America ‘s first sports celebrities.  He was the subject of a hit song, Slide Kelly, Slide, and a Vaudeville star.  A two-time batting champion and daring base runner, historians credit Kelly with developing the hit-and-run, the hook slide, and the catcher’s practice of backing up first base.  However, his greatest contribution was the popularity he brought to the game in the 1880s and ‘90s.  He was the first player to sign autographs, the first to publish his autobiography, and his trade from Chicago to Boston for $10,000 was one of the biggest deals in early baseball history (thus solidifying baseball as a business).  King Kelly was elected posthumously to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.

The game of baseball has long welcomed immigrants from its earliest days, when an estimated 30 percent of players claimed Irish heritage.  Many of the game’s biggest stars at the turn of the 20th century were Irish immigrants or their descendants, including Michael “King” Kelly, Roger Connor (the home run king before Babe Ruth), Eddie Collins, Big Ed Walsh and NY Giants manager John McGraw.  Today, major league teams regularly sign players born in Latin America, Japan , Canada , and elsewhere.

Shaun Clancy, an amateur baseball historian, created the Hall after learning about the rich heritage of Irish Americans in the sport dating from its infancy – a legacy that has been overshadowed in recent years by other ethnicities.  He decided to celebrate his roots and those who helped make the game great by creating a shrine to Irish Americans in baseball in 2008.

About Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant

A popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires, fans, and media Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant is located at 18 W. 33rd St. , across from the  Empire  State  Building .  The “Irish Bar with a Baseball Attitude” is adorned with 2,100 autographed baseballs, hundreds of bobbleheads, game-worn jerseys, stadium seats and other artifacts.  Foley’s is home of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (www.irishbaseballhall.com) and is considered one of the best sports bars in America . 

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