“ALL THE FANS ARE TRUE TO THE ORANGE AND BLUE”

Tomorrow at Citi Field there will be a press conference to announce plans for the New York Mets 50th Anniversary celebration. There will be special days to commemorate past Mets players and moments in Mets history. The big news however is the 2012 Mets will look like Mets, dressed predominantly in blue and orange.

Of course this is a blue and orange letter day for The Mets Police who has fought the good fight for a years to bring back the traditional Mets home and road unis , even going as far to concede the use of the dreaded black tops on a limited basis to get the organization to stay strictly blue and orange.  

The Mets have gotten the message as the black tops and hopefully the black and the garish black and blue caps will be relics of the past.

More about this tomorrow as I’ve been invited along with other Mets bloggers to attend the presser to get a firsthand look at the new/old uni’s.    

I have been called a “Sandy Alderson apologist” by some but I have to hang my Mets cap on to something positive and Alderson’ track record says he can be successful with limited funding and his way of doing business, building the farm system and implementing a regiment throughout the Mets minor league system is exactly what I believe in. Ed “Rusty Jr.” Marcus writes about the Alderson honeymoon today at The Real Dirty Mets and how some Mets fans want a miracle but what is needed is patience.

If the balmy temperature’s here in NYC don’t have you thinking baseball, how about the release of the Mets 2012 spring training schedule then.  There is a bit of a twist for next spring as the Mets and Bronx Bastards will meet at the end of the exhibition season. The Mets and Highlanders used to meet regularly during spring but once Dave Kingman blasted two home runs off Catfish Hunter in a televised game back to NYC in March of 1975 (big build up for this one as it was Tom Seaver vs. Hunter who had signed the biggest free agent contract in baseball over the winter, New Years Day to be exact) Big Baby George said he had enough of the Mets. See the Mets used to rule the NYC baseball world.

Oh, and mark Wednesday March 7th on your calendar as that’s the day the Mets face ex-teammate Jose Reyes and his Flamboyant Fish for the first time in Jupiter.

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2010 NY METS: THE HALF EMPTY TEAM

48 hours until opening day and Mets fans are getting their finest Mets regalia ready for opening day.  The jersey’s are washed and hung, the Mets caps with a nice bend of the brim and you can almost taste the garlic-parmesan  fries . The weatherman claims it will be 70 degrees on Monday so a nice blue three quarter sleeve under your brand new egg shell pinstripe home uni may do. By the way , what will the Mets be wearing on Monday ?  I would home the new pinstripe uni’s and all blue caps. Pomp and Circumstance will be there as well (Pomp never travels without Circumstance but Circumstance has had a stellar solo career).  So the fans will there, the new uni’s will be there, the new Mets Hall of Fame will be there, the old Home Run Apple will be there, the new  and improved Mets décor of $iti Field will be there but there will be something missing on Monday ? Know what it is? OPTIMISIM. Sure there will be some in attendance who preach “My Mets Right or Wrong”? but those of us who have waited through a winter of frigid temperatures, snow storms, and record rain and flooding not seen in these parts since an ark ferried animals in pairs, know  the motto for the 2010 Mets: HOPE FOR THE BEST, EXPECT THE WORST.

I would love to be optimistic, to sit here and tell you this Mets team will contend in the NL East and come September, will be in the thick of the pennant race. I would love to tell you I feel the Mets will be a n “Aw Shit!”  team:

“Who we playin’ in our next series”

“The Mets”

“Aw Shit, there on tough team right now”

But………..I can’t.

Now that’s not to say I won’t root, root-root for the home team and it’s a damn shame if they don’t win, but looking at the 25 players coming North and the management making the decisions , I can’t make a case for the NY Mets to make it to the 2010 post season.

The biggest mistake management made this off season was not deciding to either  fire Jerry Manuel  or extend his contract for another year.  Manuel’s job status is going to become daily fodder on blogs, newspapers and most importantly sports talk radio. You know early on Manuel will make a move or non-move that will have Mets fans heads explode and odds are he’ll makes such a misstep when the next day is an off day so the angry mobs can spew and spew.  You either have confidence in the skipper or you don’t , right now the only reason Manuel was not fired is because the Skill Sets couldn’t stomach paying him $1 mil to sit on his front porch back home in Cali.

Omar Minaya is a bit of a different case. He’s still around due to money but he won’t be fired not when he is owed three more years of salary if anything he will be given a position as a high paid scout. There are no more free lunches in Flushing.

Just looking at the personnel, the best you can hope is 81 wins, and that’s without any of the medical disasters of last year.  The front office talks about confidence in the starting pitching, especially Ollie Perez and John Maine but they jettison Jon Niese ,a player who at the start of spring training it was said would be used slowly due to his surgically repaired hammy.

The bullpen will be made up of an All Star closer (Frankie Rodz) a LOOGY turned set up man (Vitamin Pedro) two pitchers from the Japanese League (Ryota Igarashi and Hisanori Takahashi) who are not the first Japanese pitchers to fling for the Mets but hopefully they are the first two to do it with some success, a middle reliever who made the team because he makes $975K (Sean Green) over a guy who is a Man of the People (Nelly Figs) who would make just over league minimum, a guy who is a long reliver in starters clothing in Fernando Neve and a twenty year old, Jenry Mejia who really should be learning his craft in the bushes but is here to save the manager from an all expenses paid summer vacation.

The offense is in disarray as well with three starters out. Carlos Beltran is working out and could be ready by sometime in May (June?) he’s on the DL because he went to a doctor to get his aching knee looked at instead of subscribing to the Mets method of handling injury by rubbing dirt on the injured body part  and having the gall to let the doctor remove twenty five bone fragments without saying “May I?” to the Jeffey Skill Sets. The other  two  starters on the shelf,  were struck by illness (Jose Reyes) and a good old fashion baseball injury (Daniel Murphy sprain knee sliding into second base) Reyes should be back by the weekend and Murphy hopefully in a few weeks , but both these injuries wreck havoc on the line up as Alex Cora and Mike Jacobs are hardly the right understudies for the jobs. Neither  is Fernando Tatis, a nice man from what I’m told but he has this nasty habit of killing rally’s by hitting into double plays at the most inopportune times and quite frankly should not be on this team over  a guy like Chris Carter who is younger and has a work ethic and intenseness that is sorely lacking on this team.

The other problem and unlike Jay-Z the Mets seem to have more than 99 problems, the biggest being that  every team in the NL East has gotten better.  Last year the only team in the division the Mets won the season series from was against the Nationals (10-8).  Against the Braves they were a woeful  5-13. The Phillies beat the Mets 12 out of 18 times and they dropped 11 of 18 to the Marlins. It wasn’t just injuries that lead to this kind of suckitude.

So where do I think our beloved Metsies will finish ?  Believe me I ‘d love to say the Mets will be a positive surprise this season but I doubt they will even be a .500 team.  The Mets and Nats will fight it out for 4th place

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PLAYERS IN BLUE CAPS WITH SMALL ORANGE BUTTONS, TALL GUYS IN GREEN SHORTS JUMPIN’ AND DUNKIN’, HOCKEY AND FOOTBALLERS DRESSED UP IN BLUE JERSEYS, THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE TEAMS

When it comes to thinking about the New York Mets this past weekend, my mind was like a car stuck in the mud, just spinning my wheels. Seriously it’s hard to come up with any more ways to analyze Jason Bay and a 5th year (isn’t every year now that the Mets are desperate to sign a big name and have to always over pay in either years or money? I thought the signing of Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran and the trade and signing for Johan Santana was supposed to end that and make the Mets THE team that players wanted to join?) or if Ryan Garko or Garrett Adkins would make a great tag team partner for Daniel Murphy or if Matt Capps or Mike McDougal would make the best set up man for Frankie Rodz or if Ben Sheets, Chin Ming Wang or Justin Duchschere would be the best slightly damaged merchandise scrap heap signing or how Omar will fill the four other spots in the starting rotation, but we have talked about these moves almost as much as the NY Post has obsessed over who Tiger Woods has been banging.

 

My mood is very, very glooming today due to the awful defensive display put on by the New York Football Giants last night against the Iggles from Philly. With the Dallas Cowgirls losing to the San Diego SuperChargers (if it’s December you know it’s wintertime and the Cowgirls will choke) and a big fuck you to Flozell Adams who if he played in the Staten Island Touch Tackle Football League (of which I played in some 30 years ago, 30 YEARS!!!!!! HOLY SHIT)  would be in a hospital recovering from reconstructive surgery on a knee, for being a cheap shot bitch, but I digress……..what a time for the Giants D to come up small and for the special teams to fall apart as well. Oh, an a word to Iggles Coach Andy, (more Chins than the Hong Kong phone book) Reid, your fat ass will not be going to the Super Bowl so enjoy your win over the Giants, only coaches who haven’t won shit would chest bump with their players after a regular season win.    

 

Can you feel the holiday spirit just oozing out of me? After that Giants game last I got to think of all the teams I root for which gives me the most of my rooting interest, Here are the candidates:

 

New York Mets

 

The first sports team I’ve ever rooted for and the team that gives me the most aggravation. More the way the ownership and front office go about its business is what infuriates me as the Mets are the only team I root for that does not embrace it’s history, in fact the owner not only had to be shamed into honoring the teams past but is shocked that the fan base is so adamant in celebrating the history of the team.  Freddy Skill Sets ain’t exactly Tevye, you know what I mean?

 

New York Giants

 

I got involved rooting for the Giants as a kid when I started playing football at age 12. My oldest brother had season tickets for the G-Men and I got to go once in awhile (at Highlander Stadium no less) and then my other brother became friendly with the Mara’s though business so it was a natural progression to become a Giants fan. Back in the 70’s, the Giants were not very good but I was a kid and my older brothers were Giants fans so I went with the flow. But then came the 80’s and the G-Men were the cream of the NFL crop (thank you George Young and Bill Parcells) then it became cool to root for Big Blue. The Mara’s also celebrate the teams history fully as they have owned the team since it’s inception in 1925 and it doesn’t hurt they are proud Irish-Americans as well.

 

New York Rangers

 

No one in my family were hockey fans when I was a kid and now there are still no hockey fans in my family today but me. My relatives always said I was a little “different” but growing up my neighborhood in Brooklyn was a hockey hot bed. We had the finest roller hockey rink in the city on 53rd St and Ft Hamilton Parkway (it’s still there by the way) so as teenagers we spent a lot of fall and winter days playing hockey, and of course we were Ranger fans. Saturday nights on Ch 9 were Rangers Hockey Night (your Schaffer Circle of Sports) I got to see Brad Park, Eddie Giacomin and my all time favorite Ranger, Walter Tkachuk play in their famous Blue sweaters. Again there is strong tradition with the Broadway Blueshirts as they were an Original Six (I love that title Original Six!!!!!!) While I watched the Rangers on Ch 9 and listened to them on radio, I didn’t go to a Rangers game until I was 18 but the first hockey game I saw in person was a NY Raiders of the WHA game at Madison Square Garden back in 1973 (I was 15 and a bunch of us hopped the on the Sea Beach to Manhattan with our G.O cards and got blue seats for the Raiders for a couple of bucks, the Raiders played at 1 PM and the Rangers at 7:30PM. We thought about finding a hiding place in MSG until the Rangers game at night but figuring we never told our parents about our field trip to Manhattan, they might not be too happy if he didn’t come home until 11 PM or so) I held Rangers season tickets for 10 years but with a wife and two kids, it’s hard to go to 40 games a season and when you can’t make the games and have to eat the tickets, it gets quite expensive, but I was there to see the Rangers win the Stanley Cup and remember the banner in the Blue Seats that night “Now I Can Die In Peace” Of all the fans in this city no fans are more loyal than the Garden Faithful of the Rangers.

 

Boston Celtics

 

I know what you’re saying, “No Knicks?” No. Again every Sunday in the winter, I’d watch the NBA on ABC with Chris Schenkel and Jack Tyman and it seemed every Sunday, the Celtics were on TV. Sure I watched the Knicks on Ch 9 (WOR Ch9 was our sports channel only the upper crust in Manhattan had something called “cable tv” ) but I was mesmerized by John Havlicek, JoJo White, Coach Red Auerbach and the great basketball player of all time, Bill Russell. Plus, I thought they were all Irish because of the shamrock, green and well they were the Celtics. Of all my rooting interests, this team has won the most championships and I know a lot of fans hate the team and its fans for that fact. Tough shit!!!!!!!! It is weird though when I go to MSG to see the C’s dressed in my Celtics regalia and Knicks fans yell at me to “go back to Boston” and I yell back “I’m from Brooklyn, asshole” Classy, I know

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