I’M A BIPOLAR METS FAN

It has taken me all day to put a post together about yesterday’s Mets Christmas Party that myself and other Mets bloggers were honored to be invited to. The reason it’s tough writing today is that this organization has pulled at every emotions a person can have, love, hate, compassion, pride all of these feelings swirl in my head when it comes to the New York Mets.

All of the financial mumbo jumbo brings out the hate in me. I hate Bernie Madoff, I hate the Skill Sets for getting involved with this rat bastard and not having the god damn street smarts that every good son of the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn is born with. I hate with a fucking passion that the Mets have become a joke to the main stream media and to fans of other teams who have taken Mets bashing to the bully level. The main stream media in this city has been busy destroying the organization and no doubt the owners of this team have given them plenty of ammunition to bash them, but to see these jackals mingle amongst themselves having a grand old time at Citi Field as the get ready to compete with each other on who can write the best ”Mets sucks” column puts me in a rage. I hate that the owners treat the fan base like idiots. I’m no John Kenneth Galbraith but I can figure out the more loans you take out to pay your bills, the more broke you really are. Someday soon JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and the other 29 owners of MLB are going get fed up and chase the Wilpon’s like Colangelo chased Looie Dumps in A Bronx Tale. It infuriates the shit out of me that the Skill Sets just keep adding debt on to debt and insist on feeding us a line of horseshit about the minority owners who will be riding down Roosevelt Avenue on white horse with millions of dollars in their saddle bags to save them. The Wilpon’s are beyond saving. There are some outstanding people who work for the New York Mets and I have had the privilege of meeting them. From the media relations folks and the marketing and ticket sales and services people who work unbelievably hard at their jobs trying to sell the Mets brand on and off the field, when you see how hard they work and how long a day they put in, you get a tremendous appreciation into what goes into running a major league sports team, a job that would be tough enough in this city without all the turmoil that ownership is presently enduring.

So as the hate wears of that’s when the love starts, as I mention I love how the folks who work for the team do their jobs and do so with pride and professionalism, especially Danielle Parrillo, Director of Communications and Shannon Forde, Director of Media Relations.  I love hanging around with my fellow Mets bloggers at the events we get invited to. We all come from diverse backgrounds as Mets fans and bloggers and we all write from different angles but we all have one main thing in common, we love the Mets and want this organization to succeed.

As ridiculous as this may seem, I have some compassion for the Skill Sets. Yesterday I was venting to one of the Mets front office folks on how I wish the Wilpon’s would just sell and get the hell out of my Mets fan life. The response I got was “Fred and Jeff would sell their homes and live in Citi Field if that was the only way they could keep the team”.  As we finished up our Q & A with Sandy Alderson, as he was leaving our group I went over to him to ask what he thought would happen on the season finale of “Homeland”, as we chatted about what we thought the biggest cliffhanger would be, none other than Jeff Wilpon joined us. That’s right me, Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon. Whoda thunk it? Wilpon was asking us about the show as he’d never seen it so we discussed the premises of it with him. When our little quorum broke up, I looked over at Jeff and said to myself how sad and beaten down the guy looked. I thought back to what was told to me about how he and his father would sell everything to keep this team but the look and demeanor of the guy was of one who knew the end was near. For the first time ever, I felt sorry for him, well maybe for a minute. You and I know this will not end well for the Skill Sets. I’ve yet to read anything from people who are savvy in dealing with all this financial information (your main guy for this should be Howard Megdal, in fact if the Skill Sets were smart they’d hire Howard as a consultant to help them figure out an exit strategy here)  on how the Wilpon’s can save their ownership of the team and with John Harper’s piece in the NY Daily News today you can see it will be sooner more than later when the Skill Sets will have to surrender control of the Mets.

When that day happens I won’t be rejoicing. I’ll be happy that they will have to sell and that an owner with capital will come in (I am just very very nervous about Cablevision and  Jim Dolan buying the team) and hopeful it will lift the pall that sits stagnant over Citi Field but I’ll feel a bit sad for the Wilpon’s as this will be a crushing blow to them, losing the Mets. See I’m not a total prick.

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FREDDY SKILLS: UNCENSORED

After reading Jeffery Tobin’s piece in the New Yorker, which by the way was the best article  I’ve ever read on Freddy Skill Sets and Uncle Saul Katz and how they’ve went from a couple of shmucks from Bensonhurst to being a couple of schmucks from a gated community in Nassau County , it hit every emotion I have about being a Mets fan.

I laughed at Freddy gushing over his “Ebbets Field” and not having the smarts to realize that the majority of Mets fans hate the design and the Brooklyn Dodger influence of the ball park.  I was angered by his quotes about his best players. David Wright, whether you or Fred think he is not a superstar, has done more for this franchise on a positive level since he came up than anyone in the whole Mets organization. A few years back, Keith Hernandez mentioned on SNY that David needs to learn to say know to all the appearances he was making to promote the team as it just adds to the wear and tear of the season and is not worth it when rest is needed to stay fresh for the season. But Wright’ make up is he can’t say no to a sick child in a hospital, or to a military vet in a VA hospital or a school where he can have a positive influence on kids. This past winter, I attended the Mets Christmas party that was held for some inner city kids. It was one of those unbelievably cold winter days and here was Wright taking off his Santa Claus suit to come over to talk to myself and the other Mets bloggers in attendance. As cold as it was outside, Wright was dripping with sweat as that Santa Suit was stifling hot and he wore it until every kid came up to him to receive a Christmas gift . When I greeted Wright with a handshake I said to him “Is there anything you don’t do around here” and he replied “this isn’t work, this is fun, just to see the kid’s smile makes it worth it” We then began asking a few question and the one response  and image that stuck with me was that of a sweaty, tired David Wright leaning on a wall talking about his accomplishments as a Met saying “all I have to my name as a Met is NL East title and that’s not enough”

So when Freddy Skill Sets says about Wright, “He’s a really good kid, A very good player, not a superstar” I find that totally offensive. Last season I wrote that I felt Wright should approach the Skill Sets and demand a trade. I felt he needed to go to a better baseball environment where smart baseball people were in charge and rich owners just sat back and mined their own business. I pictured Wright on the Cardinals, Red Sox or Giants teams that are on solid ground and excelling as not the main cog in the engine but one of the pistons. So I guess that means I think like Freddy, that Wright is a very good player not a superstar, well on the Mets he’s a superstar because he has never, ever embarrassed this franchise and everything he does on and off the field is to promote the Mets in a positive light, which is an a near impossible task. No one in ownership has ever done iota of good for this franchise than Wright has done and for Freddy Skill Sets to disrespect Wright like he did in this article is totally classless.  

Do you know how much money and how many years Jose Reyes wants in his next contract? No you don’t and neither do I and neither does anyone else. Reyes has said that he wants to remain a Met for his whole career, during a media gathering at Cit Field right before spring training.  Reyes has made Long Island his permanent home. He has moved his parents from the Dominican Republic here to live with him, his wife and his kids. Jose Reyes loves being a Met and loves being a New Yorker, so where does Freddy get this idea that Reyes is looking for a “Carl Crawford contract”? Reyes is not getting a 7 year deal from the Mets or anyone else. The highest I can see for Jose is 5/$100mil but now with the diss from Freddy, I’m sure Reyes will look for the best deal he can get. Freddy’s big mouth might have just cost the Mets a hometown discount.

Carlos Beltran had to battle through a gauntlet of assholes to get his knee operated on and then rehabs his ass off to get back on the field to earn his paycheck. A lot of players after getting dicked around by management over a medical procedure would take their sweet time and come back when they thought it was best for them and not the team.  The thought never came into Carlos Beltran’s mind. He has not only worked his ass off to get back on the field, he’s changed position (unlike a certain diva shortstop in the Bronx who refuses to move off a position he hasn’t play well at in about three years) and has been giving the team a solid bat and adjusting to his new position flawlessly and has helped both his replacements, Angel Pagan and Jason Pridie with instructions on how to play the tough centerfield of Citi Field and for all this, he hears Freddy Skill Set say what a dick he was to sign him. Enjoy Carlos Beltran for the next month he is as good as gone from the Mets.

Just when you think there was no more earth for Freddy to scorch I’m sure his statement about his “shitty team” and that’s how “lousy clubs play” has gone over well with the ticket sales department and the public relations group.

From spending some time with the people behind the scenes at City Field these statements are an out and out punch in the gut to those folks who work hard and try and try and try to make this team relevant, to the point that people would actually spend money to come out to Citi Field.  Is Fred this delusional that he thinks he can call his team “lousy and shitty” and have these folks spin it positively? How does a ticket rep for the Mets call a prospective season ticket purchaser today and convince them to but Mets tickets? How does the P.R. staff come up with an ad campaign to get you to come out to Citi Field to see the Mets?  Freddy and Saul can spew old man stupidity all day and night, I’ll still go out to Citi Field this summer to watch the team, I’m sure Freddy and Saul laugh about a schmuck like me and that’s cool ,they can laugh now but I’ll be laughing later when Irv Picard beats their dumb ass in court and they have to sell the team and I’ll still being coming to Citi Field and rooting for my favorite baseball team and Freddy and Saul will be looking for that two-family house in Bensonhurst so Freddy can live upstairs and Saul down the basement. Just like old times.

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WELCOME TO BAILOUT BA$EBALL

This matchup used have TV execs salivating, as the baseball teams in the  two biggest television market go head to head in a three game weekend series. The team that abandoned its home for the glitz of Hollyweird against their little half-brother, Sunset Blvd vs. Time Square, Koufax vs. Seaver , Chavez Ravine vs. Ebbets Field Lite,  two of the most valuable franchises in fiefdom of Selig, $2 billion dollars’ worth of baseball teams selling the game on prime time on FOX Game of the Week and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, Cha-Ching-Cha-Ching-Cha-Ching.  

Oh how the times, they are a changin’ both teams have gone from gold bullion to junk bonds by two owners who have made a total mess of each franchise, the Dodgers owned by a guy from Boston who made his money in the parking garage business, the Mets, a real estate developer . The Mets owner got fucked over by a guy he thought was a great friend but was a no good thief. The Dodger owner fucked over his team by taking the profits and pissing them away. The Dodger owner then accused his wife of fucking her bodyguard and then filed for divorce and the court hearing exposed both the owner and his soon to be ex-wife to be baseballs version of Bonnie and Clyde. The Mets owner went to his brother in law, who is the partner in the team, with concern about that friend of theirs who is investing the team’s money. The brother in law said “Don’t worry” and you’d thing the Mets owner, with Bensonhurst roots would remember the old neighborhood proverb “Don’t worry is doing 10-15 in Sing Sing” alas they were swindled and not only that, they were named in a law suit to recover the ill-gotten gains they received from the Ponzi scheme their friend was running.

So tonight starts a three game series with two teams that no one ever thought would be on the MLB dole, both teams have become welfare teams, the Dodgers so broke, that MLB has taken over control of the operation, the Mets are not to the point of the Dodgers where they can’t pay out paychecks but they are in such bad shape that they may have to trade their 27 year old shortstop instead of paying him a competitive wage.

Both teams need new owners, new blood and most important, a steady cash flow to bring them back to respectability. I could not care less about the Dodgers finding new stewards, in fact part of me is happy as hell they are going through this tough time as its deserved payback for leaving the Boro of Churches. The Mets situation however is no joke, for me and all my fellow Mets fans the current state of the franchise is downright travesty.

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VALENTINES DAY TURNS TO APRIL FOOLS DAY

Looks like you take a day off around here; it takes a while to catch up. Yesterday my wife and I renewed our wedding vows, as the church we were married in Regina Pacis in Bensonhurst, held a day for all couples married at that church to come back and renew their vows with a football wedding reception to follow.  It was a load of fun and we met people we hadn’t seen in a while and my kids were subjected to “Brooklyn is the greatest place on earth” stories for the millionth time. By the way, that’s how I get my kids to do their homework, when they are watching TV I go into the living room and say “You know when I was a kid……………..” and they run to their rooms. Works every time.

After a terrific weekend I turn on my computer and I see this:

What I read was “The Mets today Released Ollie Perez” not “all stories talking about Perez MUST CEASE UNTIL OLLIE IS RELEASED.”

This was my response to Sherman’s tweet.

By the way, Ollie is in camp and by the look on Terry Collins from this post from Adam Rubin it looks like he saying “Shit, I thought I locked all the doors”

Daniel Murphy is in camp and has told Terry Collins he is here to do whatever is asked from him to help this team win. Get ready for a lot of Murphy love from me.

I’m being very cautious on Terry Collins. I’ve spoken to him twice this post season and he’s intense and comes off as a real live and die by baseball, kind of guy.  He has spoken extensively about preparation all winter and running his camp with order and efficiency. When I spoke to young guys like Josh Thole, Bobby Parnell and Dillion Gee they all dealt with Collins as Mets Minor League Coordinator and they all are glad he is their manager at the big league level. R.A. Dickey and Mike Pelfrey both mentioned “energy” when asked about Collins. Pelf told us that even during lunch with Collins, that the manager spent the whole time diagraming defensive positioning on cut off throws from the outfield and on what pitchers are responsible for on defense and where they should be in different situations. Pelfrey marveled at Collins’ energy and passion. All that is great but the fact is he quit two of the three managerial jobs he had and that’s a huge caveat to me.

After reading Andy Martino’s terrific piece in the NY Daily News yesterday, I’m hoping Collins is right that he has learned from all the stops and has changed for the better. Collins mentor is Jim Leyland and he realizes he made some bad mistakes in communication with his players, that times have changed and he needed to change with the times and that this is his last shot at managerial redemption.

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TRAVELS WITH OMAR

Happy Labor Day weekend boys and girls and what a weekend it is, Hurricane Earl flamed out like Mets free agent signing, College Football goes full bore today (the DVR is ready to record the beginning of the Brian Kelly era in South Bend ) and I watched thee Brooklyn Cyclones record their 50th WIN last night and are ready to start the NY-PENN League playoffs Tuesday against either Jamestown or Williamsport,  and how nice would a NY-PENN Championship top off Wally Backman’ return to managing?

Allow me to too my own horn here for a moment as I am honored to have been named the President of the NY NL Chapter of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

So you don’t think Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel are dead men walking? First Jeffey Skill Sets goes to Brooklyn, I doubt there are any Skill Sets family members living in Bensonhurst or Gravesend anymore, to see about <wink!> “some structural plans”<wink!> at MCU Park and it just so happens that Cyclones manager, Wally Backman was walking by and had a chat with the Boy Blunder. I guess Backman not only is a very good field general but also has expertise in sheetrock and brick laying as well. Then Deadspin post a story about a group of Mets fans on a JetBlue flight notice a flight attendant having to help some asshole, the kind of asshole we all hate, try to push his big ass luggage into the tiniest space in the overhead, when the idiot got up to push the luggage in the Mets fans all gasped when they saw the culprit was OMAR MINAYA!!! Oh the humiliation not that he was a inconsiderate boob stuffing his luggage in a compartment but he was flying JetBlue which has no first or business class, just great unwashed class. Of course Omar was heckled by a few passenger/Mets fans but he never heard them as he donned his headphones and watched Cartoon Network all the way to Chicago. Oh and where was Asst’ GM John Ricco? Eh, eh, eh, Mr. Ricco was enjoying flying on Air Skill Sets with Jeff-er-oo while sipping drinks with paper parasols in them entertaining him with his plan to rid the Mets of excess baggage like Omar and Jerry.

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“OUR SECOND COLLECTION TODAY WILL FOR THE DESTITUE WILPON FAMILY”

Maybe I’m just a cynical prick, but this whole “Bernie Madoff stole my fortune” just doesn’t movemy sympathy needle one iota. It’s not like Freddy and Uncle Saul will be moving back to a one bedroom apartment above an Asian fish market in Bensonhurst any time soon, sure Bernie Madoff fucked the Skill Sets over and what makes it worse Madoff was a long time pal of Freddy Skill Sets but I’m sure  Freddy, Jeffy, Uncle Saul and the whole Skill Set clan will not be getting WIC cards sent to there Gold Coast homes any time soon, so save your tears for the men and women of the U.S. Military who are protecting you and for the first responders in your area who are on the scene when needed in emergency situation who are woefully underpaid for the services they provide us. Remember as well Manny is not a Mets not because of Madoff but because of the Used Car Salesman.

 

The Skill Sets worship at the altar of Selig and do what ever he commands them to do. It’s the baseball version of Jonestown. The Mets are not going over budget because Selig doesn’t want them going over the salary cap. What salary cap? The best salary cap in all of sports that’s what. The NFL, NBA, and NHL all have hard caps but the difference between those three and baseball‘ is they have a minimum payroll you have to adhere to, in baseball that is not an issue you can havea $20 mil payroll like the Marlins and never get a new stadium but they still make money playing on a football field in front of a lot of folded up chairs because once the get their cut from MLB (all inclusive with  national TV/radio, MLB.com etc. they’ve made payroll before they even sell a ticket) or a $190 mil payroll like the Highlanders and throw some coin in the pot for the oppressed small market kids that it seems the Skill Sets aspire to become if not for the fact that so many damn people keep showing up at the ballpark and watch and listen on TV and radio even they would feel shamed in acting in that manner.

 

As bizarre as this may sound I actually like Freddy Skill Sets (his kid is another story) because we are both from around the same neighborhood in Brooklyn and he is a very charitable guy and really my only beef with him and the rest of the Skill Sets in command of the organization is the way they allow themselves to walk lock step with Emperor Selig.

 

It’s like a game of Simon Says with the Mets when it comes to commissioner’s office more like a Selig Says. “Selig says, do not go over the luxury tax”.  “Selig says, make sure you use the slotting system in the free agent draft”. “Selig says, build a new ball park but figure out a way to get some tax payer dough to do it” 

 

If the Skill Sets would just come out say they have had enough of the oppression put on them by Selig and Co. and acted like they should, the flagship team of the National League, playing in the biggest and greatest city in the world before some of the most passionate fans in sports, I would never utter the name Skill Set in vain again in fact I would reach out to some of my “Brooklyn friends” to see what could be done about this Madoff guy. Anything for you Freddy, I’d even sit down and have a Dr. Browns with Jeffey to burrythe hatchet if that’s what it would take to get you to regain focus.

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