I had the pleasure of having Matthew Silverman author of the book Swinging ’73:Baseball Wildest Season (published by Lyons Press) on the Kranepool Society Podcast recently to to talk about his book and the 1973 baseball season
A daily account of the trials and tribulations of the New York Mets. Contact me at email@example.com
I had the pleasure of having Matthew Silverman author of the book Swinging ’73:Baseball Wildest Season (published by Lyons Press) on the Kranepool Society Podcast recently to to talk about his book and the 1973 baseball season
Mike and Steve talk about start of the baseball season. Hear them remember Johan Santana’s career, talk about the promising Mets prospects and Hal Steinbrenner’s media tour. They also will chat about the NCAA tournament championship game and Tim McCarver’s retirement.
Congratulations to R.A. Dickey on his winning the 2012 NL Cy Young Award. Here is a clip from the film Knuckleballwhere Dickey shows his craft
In a perfect world, R.A. Dickey would be a Met 4 Life. For an organization run as bad as a Guy Fieri restaurant that also suffers from public mocking like no other team in town that doesn’t have a bench warming Christian QB, through all that muck and mire there has been one beacon of enlightenment for Mets fans. His name is Robert Allen Dickey.
Dickey’s rough road traveled in his life and baseball career has been rewarded with his being named the 2012 recipient of the NL Cy Young Award. This award does not just legitimize the pitch that made him a star, the knuckleball, but it goes to show how sweat equity in a craft and a belief in one’s self pay off.
You would think the announcement of Dickey winning the Cy Young would set off a huge celebration in the Land of Orange and Blue. Mets fans should be making sure they secure a ticket for April 1st 2013, opening day of the baseball season at Citi Field. Mets fans should have a smile and warm feeling during this off season just thinking about hearing Mets P.A. announcer Alex Anthony make the following proclamation:
“Ladies and Gentlemen….boys and girls ….please direct your attention to the area in front of the pitchers mound where Commissioner Bud Selig has special presentation…..”
At that point the sellout crowd rises as one with a ghost of Shea Stadium roar as Selig with Cy Young plaque in hand presents it to today’s starting pitcher, R.A. Dickey. Dickey tries to say a few words to the fans, a fan base that has fallen in love with not just the pitcher but the man and his life story and his rebirth as a husband, father and baseball player, but he can’t as the crowd of 40,000 Mets fans are serenading him with chants of “R.A DICK-EY, clap clap…clap, clap..clap R.A. DICK-EY, clap, clap….clap, clap, clap…… “What a scene….what pride in being a Mets fan….what…..may…..never….happen…..
I understand that discussing trading Dickey is an option. As you and I think with our hearts, Sandy Alderson thinks with his head and is trying to obtain players who will help turn this team around but who would you get back in trade that would push the Mets to that level and is better than having R.A. Dickey on this team? It’s not like Dickey is looking for a big time deal either, a 3yr/$25-$27 mil deal would be more than suffice for him. Instead of dealing away a guy like Dickey the Mets need more players like Dickey.
Here is a player who in 2010 played with a plantar fasciitis injury and took pain killer injections on his day to pitch. Last season he played with a torn stomach muscle that he waited until the season was over to get surgery on. You can’t put a price tag on a will like that.
The Mets love to monitor social media and I’m sure they were all over Twitter and Facebook last night so that means they saw the reaction of the fan base to the announcement of Dickey winning the Cy Young. The Mets brass was in attendance for the last game of the 2011 season at Citi Field when Mets fans skipped school and work and any other responsibilities they had in life to come see a second division team close out another lack luster season that featured the now annual second half collapse only because R.A. Dickey was pitching for his 20th win. Those new to the organization BS (Before Shea) were stunned by the support and the atmosphere Mets fan displayed that day. If the organization wants to keep that fan feeling and want to give as David Howard calls them “the dormant Mets fan” a reason to buy a ticket to a game at Citi Field, they will extend Dickey’s deal and reap the benefits. Unless Alderson can get back Mike Trout the best move is to not move R.A. Dickey.
Have you come off the ledge? Good. If Mets fans are going to react to every game this season like they have over last night’s season opener, there will be a shortage of nitroglycerin pills in NYC hospitals by June.
Sure it sucks to lose on opening day (night?) and Big Pelf was far from good but some Mets fans are acting like the season just ended instead of just starting. Maybe it’s due to the Mets proficiency of winning on opening day or maybe it was the sheer dominance of Josh Johnson or maybe it’s that we are dying to root for a team that looks, acts and plays like a confident Major League Baseball team, but if you’re bringing a football mentality to this baseball season, you’ll get burned out by Memorial Day weekend. There’s going to be rough patches, and that’s when we’ll see what the team and the manager is made of. If I could give Terry Collins a bit of advice, don’t fall into that bad habit of saying the team how proud you are that the team played hard and never gave up, that’s not to be commended it’s to be expected. Collins did make a move that worked out nicely as Willie Harris 2 for 4 breaking up Josh Johnson no-no.
Big Pelf had a rough night; if that two seam doesn’t sink then he’s sunk. Give Buck some credit on that at bat, he worked the count to his favor and proceeded to foul of pitch after pitch, not only seeing Pelf’s full arsenal of pitches but also frustrating Pelf to make that perfect out pitch, a sinking two seamer that Buck will either over swing at at strikeout or hit on the ground for tidy double play. Pelfrey came with the two seam but instead of breaking down and in it was up and away enough for Buck, who has power, to extend his arms and place the ball on row over the right field fence. As bad as that pitch was, it was the strength of John Buck that put it out of the park.
Pelfrey then fell into that lack of focus that he needs to get over if he is to be a top shelf pitcher as he let Omar Infante walk into second base with a stolen base in the 5th . That was followed by a Hanley Ramirez single which ended Pelf’s night.
I had the honor of being invited to a bloggers conference call with Mets manager Terry Collins last night. Collins is upbeat , excited and quite confident about his team. I posed the question to Collins on how will he keep this club together when adversity hits, as it always does in a 162 game baseball season. Thanks to Michael Baron, here is my question and a full transcript of the conference call. I tip my Mets cap to Michael for doing this transcript under adverse conditions as there was a load of background noise during the call:
Steve Keane: This Spring, camp has been upbeat, although there have been a few bumps in the road. It seems the players have fed off your enthusiasm. Over the course of the season, there will be losing streaks, and in the past, those spread and festered. The Mets, over the past few years, haven’t been known to be mentally and physically tough. How do you combat that?
Terry Collins: Not everyone has the answer. People think there is a process we go through to get through it. In a losing streak, a lot of guys get concerned with individual stats, and we need to combat that. Its all about communication, and making sure they continue to believe in themselves. Not sitting back, and waiting for things to happen.
The toughest part of managing or coaching is getting your players to buy in to what preaching, getting them to put team ahead of self and so far this spring from the quotes and stories from Mets players, they seem to be buying what TC is selling.
Caryn (Metsgrrl) Rose had a great question for Collins about him being a players manager and I think this was a real honest and revealing answer from TC:
I think it means a lot – in the past, I was probably not a players manager. Through the years, I have realized the importance of constant communication, and never taking anything for granted. That is done with experience – from my first few years, I was worried about only managing the game, and thinking everyone was on board with it. I look at it as a compliment.
Keeping the lines of communication open is KEY for a manager. When the players have to guess what you’re thinking or feel you’re playing head games, you are destine to lose that player and your team. I would say TC learned that lesson in Anaheim and will not make that mistake again.
Izzy has agreed to stay in extended spring training for two weeks as the Mets try to fit this bullpen. It worked out as well as Sandy Alderson could have hoped as he gets to keep two or the three relievers he had to decide on.
The more these stories keep coming out about the Skill Sets shaky financial status, it seems the only conclusion I can see is the Skill Sets selling the team. Freddy Skill Sets has his heart set on keeping the team in the family for generations to come but I doubt if his wish will come true.
As I was typing up this post, word came down that Luis Castillo has been cut by the Phuck Phaces. Andy Martino is getting ready to file a discrimination lawsuit against the Phuck Phaces on behalf of Castillo.
The everyday menu at Foley’s NY is always first rate but with the start of the 2011 Baseball Season, they have added a bunch of specials to commemorate the season openers:
Francona’s Terry-Yaki Steak Skewers: $5.00
Thai (Cobb) Chicken Skewers: $5.00
Dustin Pedroia’s Buffalo Shrimp: $5.50
Miguel Cabrera’s Loaded Fries: $5.00
Welkes’ Wings (Bucket = three orders): $12.50
Cliff’s Phil-Lee Cheesesteak Sandwich: $5.95
Justin Morneau’s French Dip $5.95
Sean Casey’s Irish Burger $6.50
Coursi’s Chicken Club Wrap $5.50
Additionally, Foley’s has named a menu item for every team in the major leagues:
Mets: David Wright Sandwich
Phillies: Philly Cheesesteak Wrap
Braves: Fried Chicken Dinner
Marlins: Fried Fish Sandwich
Nats: Washington Apple Pie
Cardinals: Toasted Ravioli
Pirates: Pittsburgh Steak Salad
Cubs: Chicago Dog
Astros: Texas Sirloin Steak
Reds: “Reds Hot” Chili
Dodgers: LA Pizza
Padres: Fish Tacos
Rockies: Beer Battered Onion Rings
Arizona: Chicken Southwest
Giants: French Dip
Yankees: “Swish” & Chips
Red Sox: Shrimp & Scallops
Toronto: Poutine (French fries topped by cheese curds and gravy)
Orioles: Maryland Crab Cake Sliders
Rays: Cuban Sandwich
Tigers: Mini Chili Dogs
White Sox: Chicago Dog
Twins: “Juicy Lucy” Burger
Royals: KC Burger
Indians: Cleveland Carrot Cake
Rangers: Texas T Bone
Angels: Artie’s Nachos
Mariners: Chicken Eggrolls
A’s: Garlic Wings
Looks like tomorrow or Friday will be a long lunch day for me to sneak over to Foley’s
Don’t forget to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN Podcast from last night with my guest Matthew Silverman author of 50 AMAZIN’ SEASON . You can listen here at Kranepool Society (lower right side bar) or at the show page or as a download on iTunes.
WOW! I swear I made an attempt to go to work this morning. I got up at 5AM and looked out the window and thought twice about heading out. Then I went downstairs to put on the TV to see what the situation was in the city it was there the little scrawl under the screen said the Staten Island Rapid Transit has suspend service. As I type this, service is still down as the snow drifts have covered the third rail so they have sent the diesel powered work train out to clear the rail to get the train moving again.
It’s not the ammount of snow although on Staten Island there must be close to 20 inches, it’s the wind that causes drifts of 3 to 4 feet.
Here is what it looks like from my front door
I was lucky to get the storm door and front door open as the snow driffted to the right of the doors. There are steps and a walkway under that blanket of snow, also lights along the side that may not be seen until the opening day of baseball season
Where it gets tricky is from the side door to the driveway and the garage where my yard has a Siberian feel to it
Good thing I kept a shovel inside. Problem here is, I keep a refrigerator in the garage and of course I need to get to it for a gallon of milk and orange juice, so there is a negotiation on going as to whom wants that milk and juice badly enough to go fetch it.
First let me offer my sympathies to those of you who root for the NY Jets as I can’t even imagine what that Mets/Jets daily double fandom is like. Last night myself and Kendrick Thomas co-hosted NY Football Blogs Live on Blog Talk Radio where we broke down the Jets-Dolphins game and looked at the road ahead for the Jets and a preview of tonight’s Giants-Vikings neutral site matchup at Ford Field. My rant against Brett Farve is worth a listen.
By the way, as bad as Jets strength and condition coach Sal Alosi’ un-sportsman like move, tripping Nolan Carroll as he went down the side line on a punt return was, the cries for Alosi to be fired is comical. The NFL allows players who are convicted of DUI’s and vehicular homicide to thrive in the league but a coach doing something stupid should be burned at the stake. If MLB operated like the NFL, The Used Car Salesman would be America’s number one villain. Maybe the NY Daily News Eye-Sore Team will stop wasting newsprint on the steroid witch hunt and do some real investigative reporting on the NFL. Yeah, fat chance.
The Apple gets there Hudgens crossed, one Hudgens is a hitting coach the other gets hit on. By the way that picture of Reyes with the sign is fucking hilarious and the pic of the lovely Vanessa is museum quality.
Sandy Alderson has another thing in common with Mets fans, he won’t go out of his way to watch Oliver Perez pitch. I know there is a lot of talk about using OP as a LOOGY and there may be some merit in that move but Perez and Castillo represent the FAIL of the Minaya administration. Perez not accepting a minor league assignment to work out his pitching problems and Castillo after having a game winning hit last summer and acting like he just had a wisdom tooth pulled is exactly that kind of mindset that has to be eradicated in the Mets clubhouse . I’m on board with the patient Alderson approach but some things just can’t let simmer. Both Perez and Castillo need to be released.
Johnny Cueto for Jose Reyes? I’d make that deal in a heartbeat if I were the Mets before Walt Jocketty sobers up.
Chris Jaffe has a terrific article up on The Hardball Times chronicling baseball mangers with the largest breaks in service form managerial jobs. He has a write up on Mets manager Terry Collins in the article.
“Hey Davis you suck” “Earn your money Baron”, LA Clipper fans heckling their point guard Baron Davis? Nope. It’s Clippers owner Donald Sterling sitting at courtside at the Staple Center berating his point guard during a game. I can’t get on Sterling too much, if I owned the Mets I’d probably act the same way.
It was a move long overdue. In fact give John Ricco credit for getting a live body for Jeff Francoeur but the organization shouldn’t have stopped there. It’s quite clear that again for the third season in a row the Mets have rolled over and died. How Jerry Manuel gets to fill out a lineup card today for the Mets is a smack in our Mets fan faces. Sure it doesn’t matter anymore this season but by firing Manuel and Omar Minaya today would send a message that a tidal wave of changes are coming. But I have absolutely no confidence that inept bullshit ownership has the balls to do this.
A real owner who owned this close to one BILLION dollar company would go into that clubhouse and rip the living shit out of this team. But that won’t happen. The only passion comes from the fan base. It’s not just a matter of screaming and yelling in fact screaming and yelling wouldn’t have any effect on this team anyway. If the owner would just go into that clubhouse and tell this team the truth that they are an embarrassment and what has him baffled is they don’t seem to mind that they are saddled with this label. The owner would also be of the right to let them know that this little Country Club mentality that has infected the clubhouse will be dismantled. The owner should then go on about how there will be a new GM and manager next year and if this new management team says to me that (pointing at players) you, you or you need to go, then you got to go. The owner should also stress that his office is closed to any player who has a baseball related issue, all of those inquires must go through chain of command from manager to general manager. If you have a personal or family issue as the owner, he should let them know he will help him as best he can.
As fans we can talk about who to cut, who to trade for, who to sign as a free agent but all that talk is a waste of words and oxygen unless ownership either cleans out the front office and makes a concerted effort to change the perception that the organization is clueless, leaderless and headed on the fast track to nowhere.
By a show of hands, how many of you Mets fans out there are still wearing your Mets gear in public? Not many I see. I can’t blame you as it wears you down to wear your WRIGHT 5 or REYES 7 and have to answer inane question after inane question about the team. I don’t know about you but I’m worn out from answering question after question about why this organization is so bad and can’t get out of its own way. All I can tell them is “Blogging about the Mets ain’t easy “
All you need to know about the player’s view of the team is in this Tweet from Steve Popper. First Rod Barajas now Francoeur, if the players don’t want to be here then why should I buy a ticket or watch SNY or wear drape myself in Mets regalia? Why do I feel the chasm between the team and fan base exists because the Mets fans take this much more personally than the players do? Did you see the smile on Francoeur’ face last night when he spoke to the media about being sent to Arlington? When was the last you smiled as a Mets fan?
I’ve seen some of the Tweets of Mets fan who are actually upset that Jeff Francoeur was dealt to the Texas, are you fucking kidding me?
The dog days of summer look to be going out with a bang in NYC as we will be in the grips of another heat wave just to top off one of the hottest summers in NYC history and for Mets fans, it’s just more month of uninspiring baseball before we get to see what changes will be made in Flushing.
Seeing that Johan Santana spots an 8.03 ERA in the first inning of his starts, maybe on his days to pitch, the strategy should be reversed, have the closer pitch the first inning then let Santana work innings 2-8.
Congratulations to Wally Backman (future manager of the NY Mets) and his Brooklyn Cyclones on clinching the McNamara Division of the NY-PENN League.
Why do I have a feeling my football season is going to suck as bad as my baseball season.
Go get em Rapid Robert, at 91 Bob Feller is still tough as nails get well soon
That’s about it, Mets blogging ain’t as much fun as it used to be
For your listening pleasure, The Soft Parade
The problem with my Babe Ruth season being over is I now have to do all the things I need to do around the house that I put off during the baseball season. I’ll be very honest here, I hate doing any kind of home repair or building stuff because I really suck at it.
When my brothers and sister were growing up my dad was a part time Super in the building we lived in and he was very good at plumbing, doing electrical work, painting and any general repairs that were needed. Even when I was growing up he still did a lot of that stuff around our apartment building shelves or plastering walls and ceilings and any time I would ask him if he needed help he’d always say “Nah, go ahead and play outside” So I did and I became very proficient in playing outside.
Unfortuanltely with our season over, “I can’t go play outside” plus I’m not 12 years old either (well not age wise but in my head I am) and with a list of things to do I figured I’d take a break from the keyboard but listening to Jerry Mauel has taken m away from some important bath tub grouting.
Yesterday before the Mets-Pirates game, Manuel stated the he did not believe Jason Bay would return to the lineup this season. Now Bay has said during his convalescence that his goal was to return before the season was over. So where did Manuel get this info and was he basing it on medical reports or talking to Bay or did Omar Minaya him fill in? Com’on Jerry, inquiring minds want to know. Well, it seems Manuel was talking out of turn, he really had no information and as I said on Twitter, he pulled this out of his ass, just like his lineups. Then I got to thinking, what word sums up Jerry Manuel Mets Managerial run? The word that popped into my head was “Sloppy”
Back in spring training Manuel told the press that he was looking to use Jose Reyes in the 3 spot of the lineup. Not only did he not confer with the player, he also didn’t think about the impact it would have on Reyes moving from his more comfortable lead off spot and the avalanche of questions Reyes would be saddled with. Even after Reyes came back from illness and missing valuable time, Manuel stayed with his plan and of course it was a disaster.
Manuel then fought to have the prized farm hand Jenry Mejia make the 25 man roster out of spring and anointed him the Bridgeman to K-Rod. I guess the front office acquiesced to the mangers demands figuring he wanted young Mejia this badly we may as well let him have him, even if it meant retarding his long term development as a pitcher. So Manuel got his wish and proceeded to under utilize Mejia and in turn made a bad situation worse.
The manager also had a tough time communicating with John Maine and then blamed Maine for hiding injury. His bullpen management is as difficult to understand as plans for a bookcase from Ikea. His in game strategy is from the Wheel of Fortune School of Baseball. His inability to play guys like Chris Carter (you think Carter gets to play again today? Don’t bet on it) while a Jeff Francoeur gets to swing at every pitch like he’s he loading a bunch of quarters at the local batting cage.
There is a segment of Mets fan who feel this team is so offensively challenged that Earl Weaver or John McGraw couldn’t get this team to hit. Well we’ll never know that because Manuel has never been challenged by management. Oh sure big bad Jeffey Skill Sets went to Atlanta to give Manuel a stern lecture and what did the manager do? He came out of his office and looked at the press, all assembled to see if he was still Mets manager and when he was asked if was still the field general of the Mets, his reply was “I’m still wearing my uniform ain’t I” and with that he let out his signature Jerry Manuel Laugh.
Yep, he was right it was a joke. A joke on us Mets fans and the organization but Manuel can laugh all he wants he will still be slob of a manger to me.
Got to go I have a wood floor that needs sanding
Covering the New York Mets since 2003, The Eddie Kranepool Society gives daily coverage of the Amazins from a very irreverent perspective. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org