WHEW!!!! Where to start? I feel like a detective arriving at a crime scene, who found the body? Any witnesses? Ok, start canvassing the area.
I hadn’t have time to post since Wednesday morning as I’ve had a whirl wind couple of days.
Wednesday I was granted a media credential. Yes you read that right, a MEDIA credential. Never in a million years did I ever think I would walk into Shea Stadium/Citi Field press entrance and say to the receptionist “Good afternoon, I’m Steve Keane of the Eddie Kranepool Society” and have her reply “Hi Mr. Keane here is your credential, the managers press conference will be starting in few minutes, go right in to the interview room”.
It was great to have a nice showing of the Mets Blogger-ratzi as Caryn Rose, Kerel Cooper, Ed Marcus, Mike Sliva, Joe Janish and Rob Castellano on Wednesday as we were welcome to attend Terry Collins pre game press conference. The only stipulation was we weren’t allowed to ask questions which was fine as the media assigned to cover this game does this for a living and have deadlines to meet, believe me it was a kick just having the main stream media looking at us with that “ there goes the neighborhood look.
After the quickie presser, we were led out to the field to watch batting practice. It was a bit awkward at times, I’m standing right in front of R.A. Dickey and I’m like should I say hello? Ask him how his cracked nail is? What are you reading these days? We were allowed to go into the dugout so as I entered, standing at the bat rack is Daniel Murphy, again I have to restrain myself from going all fanboy there. From attending events over the winter at Citi Field, I’ve learn (a) don’t wear any Mets gear, which is tough when three quarters of your wardrobe has either Mets or and interlocking blue and orange NY and (b) be prepared with good questions. I’m not there to swoon; I’m there to get as much information as I can. I have to say, I let my guard down for a moment though, as Josh Thole was strolling to the dugout, I was standing right at the steps as he came right next to me and I blurted out “Hey Josh how’s it goin”? And Thole put his hand out for handshake and replied “doin’ great how are you”? I kind of felt, oh no did I break protocol? Then I thought,” Well I’ll say I made a rookie mistake” on me not Thole. I then composed myself and went back in to investigative mode and canvassed the area for info and I got some good stuff.
Many of the folks I talked to were very surprised of course by the awful start of the season the team has had but what they found more shocking was the venom spewed by some of the fan base. A lot of the talk was about, it’s fine to boo and be pissed off by the early play of the team but the level of nastiness towards the Mets by Mets fans is unprecedented. A few people I talked to could not believe the hate coming from what Mets fans were in the Citi Field stands. Look, no one would say any Mets fan is wrong for being angry and disillusioned by this awful start, but some of the remarks I’ve heard on opening day and talk radio and on Twitter and Facebook have been a bit outlandish. There is no question that the Mets have found more ways to beat themselves and have given away too many games and this start of the season has sucked more than any of us imagined but what was your best case scenario for the team before opening day? I felt, give me 82-84 wins and be in the hunt for the Wild Card spot as my best possible. Did anyone think this team was better than the Phillies or Braves? I didn’t think so.
Again please don’t take this as any excuse for the horrendous play in the field by this Mets team. This opening home stand has been a embarrassment and every single player on this team needs to step up his game and step up fast. I’d even include the manager in that as well. I feel for Terry Collins in the fact that from talking to guys who spent all of spring training covering this team in St. Lonesome, there was more hands on instruction done in that camp than the last two put together. Collins main goal was to tighten up the fundamentals that have been lacking with the big league team and in the minor league system for years. As pissed off as you are as a Mets fan over the recent piss poor play, it’s nothing like the angst the manager is going through. So far TC has been composed and has his player’s backs but another few games of this bullshit and I’m sure Mount Collins will erupt.
What I’d take the manger to task over and this is not earth shattering as it’s seems to be the overwhelming consensus, is not walking Troy Tulowitzki with 1st base open and 2 outs. In hind sight, I think Collins would love a mulligan there. What has me the most annoyed is that Tulo was never made uncomfortable in the batters box at any time in this four game series. I don’t say throw at his head but for Christ sake couldn’t someone on the pitching staff step up and dust him? This bothers me because when I first met Collins over the winter my first question was will you change the culture of this team letting the opposition come into your home ball park and do whatever they want with you. I gave him my opinion that the past couple of years the Mets have a rep for being soft and when punched they never punched back. Collins told me I wasn’t wrong in my assessment and it was something he said he would change. He even pointed out that if he had been the manager when Chase Utley took out Ruben Tejada last year, he would have led the charge out of the dugout to confront Utley. First at bat tonight I’d like to see Larry Jones eat some Georgia clay just to send a message.
Someone in the Mets P.R. department needs to tell Collins to cease and desist with the we played hard or how proud he is that the team battled back those replies have to stop like yesterday. We have heard the Rich Kotie/Art Howe/Willie Randolph refrain more time than we ever need to hear again. When Sandy Alderson took over and hired Collins for the job, the mantra was that honesty and transparency would be the bedrock of the new management team, well it’s time to live up to the new company motto and stop with the we battled back, tried hard line of horseshit because playing hard shouldn’t be rewarded it’s to be expected.
Another topic of conversation around the dugout was what will be of Jose Reyes? Will he be traded mid-season if the team is out of contention? If he stays, will the Mets sign him to a long term deal? How is long is too long and how much money is too much money for the Mets? Of a bunch of us discussing this no one had a definitive answer or solution. Many of us feel, the lack of money will be a bullshit excuse. If the Skill Sets plead lack of funds then that is a flat out lie. If it’s years on the contract that would be more of a reasonable topic of debate.
As far as the Skill Sets legal woes go, word on the street is the players couldn’t give a shit about their problems as long as there are sufficient funds to cash their checks. The day the bank shouts out “insufficient funds” then they’ll care.