Eddie Yost 1926-2012

 

…….and coaching 3rd base for the Mets Eddie Yost………………

From 1968 to 1976 before the Mets would come up for their first at bat of the game, Lindsay Nelson or Bob Murphy would inform Mets fans that Eddie Yost was manning the 3rd base coaching box. Yost to most of us young Mets fans just knew Yost as a coach on the Mets (when I was a kid I never thought of Yogi Berra as a Highlander but as a Met when I got a little older and studied his career boy was I shocked!) and a guy from Queens, but Yost was as a player who lived by the baseball commandment that a walk was as good as a hit.

Yost passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Andrew Schiff and Mathew Silverman have this through biography of Yost on the SABR website that is a definite must read.

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Observations From Opening Day at Citi Field

Observations from opening day at Citi Field:

I’ve been going to Mets games for 48 years, I was 6 years old in 1964 when I went to see Bob Gibson beat the Mets  on May 9 th, and as excited as I was back then I was just as excited yesterday to be at Citi Field for opening day.

Outside the ball park before the game there was a great positive energy that non-Mets fans just do not understand. I stood near the SNY broadcast area where Bobby Ojeda, Chris Carlin and the iconic Ralph Kiner conducted the pre-game show. There is a segment of younger generation Mets fans who really don’t appreciate Kiner and what he means to charter member Mets fans like me. Ralph, Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson were a constant summer time companion on TV and radio. Nelson left in 1978 and that was shocking, but we still had Ralph and Murph. Murph left in 2003 and that was sad but through it all Ralph Kiner remained, albeit on a limited basis but Ralph always knew when to show up when you needed that boost of Mets elixir because when you’re a middle aged Mets fan the sight and sound of Ralph Kiner brings back memories of a simpler and great time of your life.

Lots and lots of CARTER 8 jersey’s and t-shirts on display yesterday along with signs and banners praising Carter and mourning the loss of Gary Carter. The Mets held a wonderful pre-game ceremony starting with the players, coaches and manager all wearing their warm up jerseys with CARTER 8 on the back and having Carter’ jersey hanging  up in the dugout.  It was also touching to see Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, Bobby Ojeda and Mookie Wilson catch the first pitch from Carter’s wife and children along with the unveiling of the KID 8 patch on the outfield wall and video of Carters Mets career that would make even the most cynical Mets fan dab their eyes.

Seems the only people who are obsessed by the Mets attendance are the Mets Media Haters and Highlander fans.  The Mets Media Haters harp on this due to their lack of talent and originality, I mean how much talent does it take to answer a telephone for five hours a day while reading a newspaper and sucking down soda after soda or sit at a laptop staring lovingly at your Derek Jeter gift baskets while writing what a great GM Pee Wee Cashman is because he is so brilliant in having a $200 mil payroll to cover up his fuck ups. The Highlander fan knows that the first time the Mets show any success the Highlander reign of attention in this city will be over.

Citi Field was jammed packed yesterday, the line at the Shake Shack was a couple a hundred deep, the fans lined the Shea Bridge soaking up the sunshine which could explain for some of the empty seats you’ve seen. The crowd responded well to the player introductions, sure some folks felt it was a good time to boo Mike Pelfrey and Jason Bay but for most part the Mets faithful was happy to see their beloved team back in action.

I didn’t see any of the usual Highlander fan jerk offs who come to Citi Field wearing their Jeter jerseys and caps which is encouraging.

The Mets have made an upgrade on the main scoreboard to where it’s  setup like Gameday on MLB.com a virtual scorecard showing not only what the player has done in previous at bats but also showing you the location of balls put in play in those AB’s. The pitchers line as well as pitch count, pitch selection and pitch count are there as well as both lineups, the player at bat’s season stats and career numbers as well.

I have never bitched and moaned about the prices at the concession stands but $6.80 for a Nathans Hot Dog is ridiculous. Compare that to $11.50 for a turkey with mozzarella and gravy on a semolina hero at Mama’s of Corona, why would you go for the hot dog?

Nothing better than watching Johan Santana work. Frist two innings he had a bit of a command issue, which is to be expected as I’m sure his adrenaline was flowing like Niagara Falls but it was the 5th inning that really sent the message as to what a competitor he is and why Santana is one the best starting pitchers in baseball. He wanted badly to get 5 innings in today as his pitch count was limited to 80-85 so he knew this was his last frame of the day. Getting Freddy Freeman out on strikes to start the inning was big because Santana killer Matt Diaz doubled to left and you could see the finish line of this start was near.

After getting Jason Heyward to fly out to Bay, all Santana needed was one more out but he struggled against Tyler Pastornicky and Tommy Hanson walking both of them to load the bases for leadoff hitter Michael Bourn.  This was the at bat of the game. Santana fell behind Bourn 2-0 giving the crowd of Mets fans an uneasy feeling since it was September of 2010 when we last witnessed Santana pitch we forgot how much heart this man has on the mound. He got Bourn to hit a comebacker to him and with what adrenaline was left nearly threw the ball over Ike Davis head but Ike caught it stepped on first inning over with no Braves crossing home plate. Welcome back Johan.

Andres Torres pulled up lame in the 7th on Pastornick’s triple and while I hate to see anyone get hurt, I hope Torres takes all the time he needs to get that calf 100 % so we can get a good look at Kirk Nieuwenhuis as the everyday center fielder. Hopefully when Torres comes back it will be as the 4th outfielder,

Daniel Murphy 2 for 4 yup #ImWith28

 

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NEW YORK METS WHO STAYS WHO GOES HITTERS DIVISON

Okay, day 1 without Mets baseball has passed and I’ve gotten over the shakes and cold sweats that Mets withdrawal usually brings on. Today, besides getting ready to root my ass off for the Detroit Tigers (I may even buy a pack of Marlboro to put next to my Gates Brown, Dick McAuliffe, Mickey Stanley and Mayo Smith baseball card shrine I’m constructing for this series) and deciding if today is a good day to sneak out of work early to go see Moneyball, I figured this would be a good day to go over my “Who Stays and Who Go’s” from the Mets 2011 roster. So in the words of the late great Bob Murphy, “Fasten your seatbelts”:

Ike Davis-If anything good comes from the freak injury that Ike suffered it will be that Sandy Alderson may have seen the light and will overhaul the Mets training staff. A healthy Ike and hitter friendly alterations to Citi Field’ outfield dimensions could shoot Davis to superstar stratosphere. Hell Yeah Ike Stays!   

Ruben Tejada-Will he be the everyday 2nd baseman or the everyday shortstop that is to be determined what is fact is he’s here to stay and will play every day at one of those position in 2012. STAY.

Justin Turner-When Turner comes to bat with no one on base, he’s Mario Mendoza. With men in scoring position, he’s Mr. Clutch (.350/.480/.500 w/RISP) Not great range in the field but serviceable bench player. STAY

Jose Reyes-If Alderson can get creative with options and funky clauses in a contract, there is a chance that Reyes remains a Met. If an owner looks past the hammy issues or feel its training staff can cure Reyes of his leg malaise then Jose may get stupid money thrown at him. Alderson has a figure in terms of money and years that he won’t cross to keep Reyes and I still feel he hopes there is a team out there that blows his offer away as Alderson really doesn’t want to burden the organization with another long term deal. The heart says stay but the head says GO!

David Wright-No player on this team has become a bigger enigma than Wright. The only thing keeping me from saying put him on the trading block is the bringing in and lowering of the fences at Citi Field that have spooked Wright since day one. With a year left on his deal at $15 mil, DW is still affordable but his defense has deteriorated as much as his offense. Part of me wonders if the Mets would be better off with Daniel Murphy at 3 rd as a better option right now. I’ll stay with Wright for 2012 at 3rd base for two reasons; first, you wouldn’t get max return on him in a deal and two, with the new hitter friendly Citi Field maybe that will wake up DW stagnant bat.  A lukewarm STAY

Jason Bay-If Alderson could ever move his suffocating contract; he’d do it in heartbeat. Add Bay to the list of players who could be born again by shorter LF wall. Bay works hard and is respected in the clubhouse so to deal him for a bad contract would also mean you’re getting a bad guy (Carlos Zambrano or a John Lackey) so I guess what I’m getting at is he’s STAYS.

Angel Pagan-The expiration date on Pagan’s big league career has been achieved. Pagan 2011 was nothing like Pagan 2010 but more like Pagan 2009 which not a vintage year. GO.

Lucas Duda-If Duda can become just a serviceable right fielder (which means not tripping over his own feet or turning left when he should turn right) to go with his power bat and run production ability, the Mets will have an All Star for years to come. In fact Duda and Ike can become the new faces of the franchise. STAY.

Josh Thole-Great guy, decent contact hitter, disaster behind the plate. Catcher is a position that the Mets need to shore up badly as Casey Stengel said “You need a catcher because without one there would be a lot of passed balls” unfortunately even with Thole behind the plate there were a ton of PB’s (16) yes I know we have R.A Dickey and his knuckler on staff but shit 16 PASSED BALLS? COM’ON.   Thole is serviceable with a decent bat and more importantly he works cheap. STAY

Ronnie Paulino- Word on the street is Paulino has poor work habits and is not very good at working with the pitching staff on going over hitters tendencies. Add his deficiencies along with Thole’s and you can see that the organization has a big problem behind the plate. With a lot of young arms here and on the way the need for a solid veteran defensive catcher should be item #2 on Alderson’s to do list this offseason right after dealing with Jose Reyes. GO.

Daniel Murphy-Safe to say you can add Adlerson and Terry Collins to the #ImWith28 Club. Murph will STAY and Collins will find a way to play him as much as he can. Where that is? That’s why Collins gets the big bucks.  If it weren’t for his injury Murph would have finished in the top 10 in batting average no doubt about it. STAY.

Willie Harris-Started off his Mets career very shaky but rebounded to become a valuable bench player. Has a good ability to get on base and can play multiple positions. Harris also become a leader in the clubhouse and helped make it a better place. Harris wants to come back and the Mets should bring him back but Alderson won’t make that a top priority. A halfhearted STAY   

Scott Hairston-I nearly forgot about Hairston as he’s been out all of September with a knee injury and played sporadically when he was healthy. GO

Nick Evans-I’d love to ask Evans what is it like to be DFA on five different occasions and not have one team put a claim in for you? You would think it would be a blow to anyone’s self-esteem but Evans kept going back to Buffalo and produced and kept getting the call to the big leagues, the man is the picture of perseverance. I have a lot of respect for Evans and he can play either corner spot on the field. Someday a team will wake up and give him a chance on a big league roster. I just don’t think it will be the Mets. With regrets I say GO.

Jason Pridie-No great shakes in CF, can’t hit for shit and has an ugly beard. GO.

Mike Baxter-If I am fortunate to speak to Terry Collins in the off season the first question I want ask him is “What did Mike Baxter do to piss you off to the point of burying on the bench”? I would have loved to see more of Baxter. On the final day of the season I was happy he hit the home run but I was more impressed with the way he busted his ass down the 1st base line on a groundball. Baxter also looks pretty good in RF as well. Baxter played a bit of CF in the minors which is why I’m puzzled why Collins played Pridie over him. What was there to lose? I hope Baxter gets a shot in spring training but it seems he has Buffalo written all over him. A shaky STAY   

   On Monday I’ll go over the pitchers who get to stay or should be sent packing

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WHO REMEMBERS WHAT HAPPENED ON APRIL 22,1970?

Ask me where I left my cell phone or a family members birthday or where I put my glasses and I stand and stare like a dumbass trying to remember, but ask me where I was on April 22nd 1970 and I can remember vividly.

It was Easter vacation and I spent my time off where I spent all my time off at my favorite resort, the school yard of P.S. 105 on 59th St off 10 Ave in Brooklyn playing baseball. While we played we listened to the Mets-Padres game from Shea on a transistor radio because Tom Seaver was on the mound for the Mets.  What’s better than no school, playing ball and listening to Lindsay Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner call a Mets game with Seaver pitching?

Now this is the beginning of the Mets first season as reigning World Series Champions, and the Highlanders were a few years removed from their glory days (although the Highlanders got off to a slow start the did rally to win 93 games in 1970 but they still finished 15 games behind Earl Weaver’s Orioles who won 108 games and the World Series that year) now, as juvenile as I am at 52 years old just think what a little asshole I was at 12 years old (Moiser (Bobby Murcer)? Wadda ya snififn’ glue or somethin’?  fuckin’ Tommy Agee’s ahundred fuckin’ times betta ‘dan Moiser.  Get the fuck outta here!) so I berated all my Highlander fan friends (believe me they have given it back to me in spades over the years) to the fact that my team the Mets, were the best team in baseball.

It was a typical Seaver game, pitch lights out and get no run support but this was the San Diego Padres, give Seaver one run and this game would be over.

After 6 innings Seaver had K’d 10 and the Mets held a slim 2-1 lead, the only Padre run, a solo home run from Brooklyn born and raised Al Ferrara. In the top of the 7th Seaver sent Nate Colbert, the Padres top hitter, Dave Campbell (yes THAT Dave Campbell) and future Met Jerry Morales down on strikes.   Come the top of the 8th and same thing 3 up and 3 down all on strikeouts. That’s 16 K’s in 8 innings for Tom Terrific. Now Seaver has all our attention. We leave whoever was in the dugout, in charge of letting the rest of us know when it was the top of the 9th inning. When we here “the Padres are up” we all run to the radio to hear the finish of this remarkable game.

BANG-BANG-BANG, the last punch-out was Seaver’s 19th and the 10th batter in a row to go down on strikes, a new all time record for strike outs in a game (since topped by Roger Clemens) and the most consecutive batters struck out, a record that still stands (by the way, Ike Davis’ dad Ron K’d 8 batters in a row for the Highlanders on May 4th, 1981). Al Ferrara played a major part in this game, he hit the solo home run for San Diego’s lone run and he was the first and tenth strike victim of the streak.

Wow, what an unbelievable game, I remember it like it was yesterday…….. Hey, anybody see my keys?

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WE HAVEN’T HAD THIS DIS-SPRIT HERE SINCE 1979

I didn’t watch one pitch of yesterday’s Mets-Phillies game. With opening Sunday of the NFL in full swing and the New York Football Giants on Ch. 5 and Tom Brady and the Pats on Ch. 2, there was no reason to move the dial any further. Oh I didn’t blow off baseball altogether, by 4PM I was ready for the Giants-Padres game and the match up of Tim Lincecum and Matt Latos, in fact my baseball viewing from today on will include watching the Giants, Padres, Rockies, Rays, and the on the downward spiraling Highlanders.

It hit me around 7PM last night when I didn’t even know that the  Mets lost to the Phillies 3-0, that the NY Mets franchise has collectively climbed in the Mr. Peabody and Sherman’s Way Back machine and have arrived at 1979.

What year 1979 was. I was 21 years old with more hair than I knew what to do with (give me a moment please………………………..sniff! sniff!……………..ok back to the post) hanging out at Max’s Kansas City and CBGB. Going to the Palladium to see The Clash and Graham Parker and the Rumor (The Palladium was a great venue, first time I ever saw Bruce Springsteen ad the E Street Band was there in 1976, YES I SAID 1976!) I spent my winters and spring watching the NY Rangers from Section 432 in my Blue Seat all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals where they lost to Les Habitants but at least the Blueshirts beat the Icelanders as that was the year that no good scumbag Denis Potvin took out Ulf Nilson and the POTVIN SUCKS Chant was born.

More to the point of this post though, 1979 was the year the NY Mets drew 788,905 live bodies to Shea Stadium, less than 10,000 a game (9,621 to be precise) and I can not remember if I were a part of that 788,905-details are very hazy-but I’m sure I was because it was Richie Hebner’s one and only season as a Met and I remember him giving Mets fans the finger. I also remember it was Ed Kranepool’s last year. I remember Bob Murphy telling the tale of Ed Glynn a relief pitcher who also hawked hot dogs at Shea as a youth. The one bright spot of ’79 was that miserable, no good, saboteur of the franchise; M. Donald Grant was no longer around, dumped by Lorinda de Roulet after the 1978 season. But the team still sucked.

Right after the season, de Roulet thankfully sold the team as she had no clue on how to run it, she sold it to the dynamic duo of Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon and the rest as they say is history.

Myself and many Mets fans lived through 1979 and not only was it not fun but it was painful. Painful because of what could have been. What if Tom Seaver was never traded ? What if Joan Payson wasn’t sick and then dying during the advent of free agency with that asshole Grant advising her ? Remember Mrs. Payson had no problem spending money on her team, in fact when the Mets were born in 1962 she told Horace Stoneham that she wanted to buy the contract of Willie Mays and money was no object. What would have happened if Whitey Herzog would have been named manager after the death of Hodges instead of the overmatched Yogi Berra?

As much as I would to re-live 1979 all over again I wouldn’t want to relive the Mets season of that year as the Mets were so bad no one cared. At least we still care, we still have passion for this team, though it’s mostly negative, it’s still passion. Let’s hope the right moves are made for a new GM and manager and that deadwood and players who don’t like it here are sent off, no matter the cost monetarily. It’s time to restore some pride in this organization but I’m not optimistic the people in charge are intelligent enough to pull it off. All Jeffey Skill Sets needs to do is start collect batting practice baseballs, clean them and use them again and he’d be Linda de Roulet all over again.

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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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BOB MURPHY NOMINATED FOR THE IRISH AMERICAN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

One of my favortite places to eat and watch sports is FOLEY’S NY PUB & RESTAURANT, 18 w33st in the shadow on the Empire State Building, has released the names of this years nominees for the IRISH AMERICAN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME:

Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame Announces Nominations for 2010 Induction Class

 

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

 

New York, NY (March 15, 2010) –  Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.) today announced the nominations for 2010 induction into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (IABHOF).  Voters include past inductees into the IABHOF and a panel of baseball historians.  Results will be announced in April 2010.

HALL OF FAMERS and LEGENDS

Big Ed Walsh – Baseball’s All-Time ERA Leader

Michael “King” Kelly – Baseball’s First Superstar

“Mighty Casey” of the Mudville Nine by Ernest Thayer

CURRENT LIVING EX-PLAYERS

Dale Murphy, Long-time Atlanta Brave, two-time NL MVP

Joe McEwing – “Super Joe,” now a manager in the White Sox minor league system

MANAGERS

John McGraw – Legendary manager of the NY Giants

Tom Kelly – Minnesota Twins two-time World Series winning manager

BROADCASTERS

Tim McCarver – Network TV analyst

Bob Murphy – Longtime Mets Broadcaster

EXECUTIVES

Brian Cashman – GM, NY Yankees

Bill James – Stastician, Red Sox Consultant

ENTERTAINERS

John Fogerty – Writer/Singer of “Centerfield”

Bill Murray – Cubs Fan, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” singer at Wrigley Field

John Cusack – Star of “Eight Men Out”

Rosie O’Donnell – Co-star of “A League of Their Own”

“It’s a strong and deserving class of nominees for the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame this year.  All of these men — and one woman — have made significant contributions to the game,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia outside of Cooperstown. 

With the blessing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Foley’s, a popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires and fans, created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize players, managers, executives, journalists, and entertainers of Irish descent.  Inductees are chosen based on a combination of factors, including impact on the game, popularity on and off the field, contributions to society, connections to the Irish community, and, of course, ancestry. 

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, 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.

“Starting Nine”

The “Starting Nine” inductees were: the late Mets and Phillies reliever Tug McGraw, Yankee announcer John Flaherty, sportswriter Jeff Horrigan, NY Mets groundskeeper Pete Flynn, retired sluggers Mark McGwire and Sean “The Mayor” Casey, Kevin Costner, star of Field of Dreams and Bull Durham, legendary owner-manager Connie Mack, and longtime official scorer and sports columnist Red Foley

The 2009 inductees were: longtime Brooklyn and LA Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, sluggers Steve Garvey and Paul O’Neill, longtime umpire Jim Joyce, veteran sportscaster Vin Scully, and Ed Lucas, a blind reporter who has covered the Yankees and Mets for more than 40 years.

About Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant

A popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires and fans, 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” features walls adorned with 2,000 autographed baseballs, hundreds of bobbleheads, game-worn jerseys, stadium seats and other artifacts that make Foley’s the best baseball bar in New York and one of the best sports bars in America. Foley’s is home of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame and features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia outside of Cooperstown.  For more information, call (212) 290-0080 or visit www.foleysny.com or www.facebook.com/FoleysNYPub.

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A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR THE HEAD ?

It’s that time again when my head is so full of shit…..errrrr I mean minutia that I have to do a purge, a cleansing of the mind if you will, so as always this becomes a bumpy ride with a lot of detours so as the late great Bob Murphy would say “fasten your seat belts”

Does anyone really care what Tiger Woods has to say today? And why does the MSM feel they need an explanation for Woods dirty deeds? They only people Le Tigre` should make amends with is his wife, family and most importantly his sponsors who I’d say Woods fears the most at pissing off. Sure Tiger makes a bundle on the PGA Tour but his empire was built on his ability to hawk products and that has been severely damaged and his imagine is most likely beyond repair. Besides, nothing gets settle with the Mr. and Mrs. Woods until they both appear on Oprah. I could care less who Tiger was knockin’ boots with but I will say this, if he were my son in law or brother in law, he’d be doing this presser today with a wired jaw.

No training and medical staff has ever been under more scrutiny like the Mets staff, seriously can you name the trainer or team doctor of any other team in sports? So much as the focus this spring is on the players, there is as much or even more focus on the medical and training staff. With that, the staff has come up with a slogan “Prevention & Recovery”, it seems there are signs with this motto all over the St. Lonesome complex. It means that the med/training staff has made a conscience effort to do everything in their power to keep the players on the field and out of the MRI tube. The staff will focus more on stretching and agility exercises and working on areas that are more conducive to playing baseball and less emphasis on weight training. I’ll take this as a huge positive as it shows the organization detects a big flaw in the training program and they made a big adjustment. See I can be optimistic……..some…………what………….      

When I first heard that Eddie House was going to the Knicks for Nate Robinson as a C’s fan I was pissed, because I’m a big Eddie H fan but after thinking it over this deal could be the big jolt the team needs. Robinson is younger than House and can be a instant offense guy that House used to be and that’s the big issued here because as much of a House fan I am, the old shooting guard ain’t what he used to be. With Nate Robinson on board the Celtics now become the most entertaining team in the Association. Adding Robinson’s personality to KG, Perk, PP, RONDO and Big Baby could just energizes the Celtics to Banner 18.

Jerry Manuel will make his first spring statement today. There are a few Manuel stories in the fish wraps today bottom line is the J-Man Comedy Tour will be canceled if the Mets have a bad first month of the season, and that’s no joke!

“YOU KNOW WHO I AM ? LOOK AT ME BITCHES!!!!! YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I’M JOHAN SANTANA!!!! THE BEST THERE IS, THE BEST THERE WAS, THE BEST THERE EVER WILL BE!!!! (Thanks for the loan Brett Hit Man Hart)

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Hummmmmmmmm Jeff Francoeur……..very interesting this Frenchy character………..

I am half way through reading Willie Mays, The Life, The Legend by James Hirsch (Simon and Schuster) and I’m enjoying every page. I‘ve always liked Mays and I remember when he came back to the Mets even though he was not even half the player/immortal he was (I’m up to Mays and the Giants playing there last season in NYC and Leo Durocher leaving the team and the rough transition that Mays had from Durcoher to Bill Rigney and dealing with the deterioration of the Giants on and off the field) and so far in my reading, I’m still trying to get over the naive Willie Mays who was babied by Leo Durocher and coddled by Horace Stoneham. The early chapters are fascinating and Hirsch’s writing is compelling as he shows Mays going from a high school kid to a Negro League star and then barnstorming the South to being signed by the Giants as a 19 year old and the whirlwind move from being a Minneapolis Miller to a New York Giant.

Rod Barajas, yes we are waiting with baited breathe for a decision on whether Rod Barajas wants the Mets minor league deal or return to the Blue Jays with a minor league deal. I’m sorry but I have some paint I have to watch dry.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh I feel better now

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OH WHAT A NIGHT…………….

Boy, did we ever need that? In what has become one of the worst season’s on and off the field in the history of the NY Mets, last night had to prove to the Skill Sets that, yes we have a history and an outstanding one at that.

I was 11 years old (same as Gary Cohen) when the Mets became World Champions. You see all the negativism and anger from this current Mets fans base? Well now picture the complete opposite of that and you have the feel for what it was like around here in 1969.

Think of this for the first time in the history of newspapers the NY Daily News ran a COLOR front page just for the Mets. The news also sold buttons with GO METS on them and every Sunday had portraits of Mets players as inserts in the paper. Channel 9 the TV home of the Mets showed just about every game and all the games were on radio (WJRZ 970 AM) and Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner were the guys we brought into our homes for every game.

The Mets were not just the talk of NY but of the whole country they were truly America’s team. This was an organization that was looked at as loveable losers until the Quiet Man took over and put an end to that kind of thinking. It was Gil Hodges who set the tone for the club. As Mets fans we all know of the love and devotion that Tom Seaver had for Hodges, not an appearance goes by when The Franchise doesn’t invoke the name of Hodges his stories. But the most told story about Hodges and his team always is about him taking out Cleon Jones during a game against the Astros on July 30 1969 for lack of hustle.

During his time on the SNY broadcast, Jones told that the only Hodges and he knew what really happened that day. Jones went on to say how Hodges didn’t yell or scream or get in his face he just told Jones that we can’t play like this if were going to win  and Jones realized right there that is wasn’t business as usual for the Mets. Hodges meant what he said in spring training that the loser mentality stops here and now and Jones knew after getting lifted from that game that the team was destined to win.

Some observation from last night’s ceremony:

I love how Eddie Yost came out and was still giving signs, and leave it to Howie Rose to remember that Lindsey Nelson would always say “and Eddie Yost, the sign man is coaching at third base…….”

Wayne Garret and Gary Gentry must have found the fountain of youth, both guys look like they could still play.

You know you’re an old time Mets fan, when you not only can recognize Duffy Dyer but your happy as hell to see him.

Here is the legacy of Yogi Berra, he is the only man other than the Pope who could get a standing ovation in both Highlander Stadium and $iti Field.

I loved how the music of 1969 was intertwined with the introduction of the players but I wish SNY would have left the cameras on the players instead of showing videos of them in their playing day. It’s called capture the moment fellas’

The biggest ovations of the night were for Bob Murphy’s widow and for Ralph Kiner and rightfully so.

I don’t I have ever seen Jerry Grote look so happy as he did last night. I wish he was with the Mets in some capacity as that is what the organization misses an Grote like mentality. I still can see him throwing back a ball to the pitcher at about 95 mph when he was pissed off at him for either crossing him up or not hitting his spot and non of the pitchers ever challenging him.

I’m glad Gary Cohen mentioned Ken Boswell not being there and not being acknowledged on the field. It seems Boswell had a falling out with the organization an declined the invitation to come. This is where the Skill Sets are absolutely clue less. With their track history, the Skill Sets are probably at fault here and should have made amends with Boswell to get him last nights ceremony. Boswell too should not be so cranky as to snub this reunion as I’m sure he feels hurt that the Mets treated him wrong (join the club Kenny) but he may regret it for a long time not being at $iti Field last night.

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, Tom Seaver is THE FRANCHISE!!!!

There may be no more underrated sports performer in this town than Jerry Koosman. The chant back then was “We can’t loose with Seaver and Kooz”

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LAZY FRIDAY AFTERNOON

I guess you can say I’m suffering from spring training burn out as I can not wait for the season to start in 9 days.

 

A must read is Matt Cerrone’s piece on his tour of $iti Field and it looks as if after all the bitching and moaning over the name and price of tickets and all the other minutia that myself and others have spewed all winter we can enjoy the fact that we have a first class ballpark to call our own that will be very different for our Shea experience.

 

I’m curious to know where you guys stand on the new studio team of Chris Carlin and Bobby Ojeda?. For me I’d say it’s a huge upgrade over Snoozeoff and Boardwalk Lee. I like Carlin. I always thought he was a good listen on WFAN and he did a good job covering the New York Football Giants as he has a jolly good personality. As for Bobby-O , he has star potential. I met Ojeda a few years ago when he was the pitching coach in Brooklyn and he knows baseball, is very opinionated and is funny as hell. The post game banter between Ojeda and Mex will be Must See TV mark my words.

 

Speaking of Keith Hernandez, he and Ron Darling will be handling the play by play for tonight’s Mets-Nats game on SNY. No Gary and no Burkhardt. I hope someone has their finger on the dump button.

 

And speaking of Gary Cohen, he has advanced to the Mets Greatest Announcers Championship Round at Amazin’ Avenue’ against Bob Murphy. Talk about your tough decisions. I had to put a lot of thought into whom I was voting for. So I went and did what I always do when I have a big decision to make, I went for a slice of pizza and a Manhattan Special. When I got back to my office, I went to my keyboard and made my choice. I am proud to announce that The Eddie Kranepool Society has backed Gary Cohen and will vote for him as the greatest announcer in Mets history. I think what swayed me was the fact I’m wearing my “It’s Outta Here” t-shirt today.

 

 

 

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