The Sweet Success of Opening Day

 

So far so good, the New York Mets are undefeated in 2013. Matt Harvey tries to keep the line moving tomorrow night. Here are some observations on yesterday’s opening day win:

I wasn’t in attendance at Citi Field yesterday due to my son coming back from a two week trip to Italy and Switzerland. At 17 years old he’s already been to Europe and hiked the New Mexico desert. When I was 17 I was happy to just spend time going to Coney Island and playing stick ball.

I watched all the festivities on SNY. The pre-game show started at 11:30 AM and right away the chemistry between Bobby Valentine and Bobby Ojeda was a hit. I can guarantee the spread sheet contingent of baseball fans would disagree with everything Valentine and Ojeda have to say about baseball which makes what Valentine and Ojeda say more valid.

Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Burkhardt were in mid-season form yesterday. Hernandez had the line of the day. After KB interviewed the stunning Emily Rossum and threw it back to the booth, Hernandez mentioned that there are times he envies Kevin and the job that he has. Welcome to the dirty old man club Keith.

I still can’t understand why SNY has a 90 minute pre-game show but still has to interrupt game action with pre-recorded interviews?

What did I tell you about Collin Cowgill? As fabulous as his Grand Slam was in the 7th I was more impressed by the hustle double he hit in the 4th that normally would have been a single to center but Cowgill was thinking double right out of the box. Love that!

The worst outfield in baseball went 4 for 12 with 2 BB 3RS and 6 RBI (4 RBI from Cowgill and 2 from Byrd)

SNY put a camera on Jon Niese after the 6th inning where Terry Collins was coming over to tell him his day was over and a let him know “Job well done” Niese was very animated in making his case to stay in the game. There was a meeting between Collins, Dan Warthen and John Buck along with Niese pleading his case to stay in for the 7th inning. It was decided to let Niese go back out to start the 7th. It seems there was caveats that as soon as Niese was to throw his 100th pitch, he was done for the day. Even though Niese got 2 quick outs, Collins brought Brandon Lyon in the game to get the last out. SNY then aimed their camera at Collins giving an explanation to Niese on why he took him out. When the lecture was over  Niese had a big smile on his face and Collins go this message across.

I’ve mention about meeting Jon Niese and finding him as dull as dish water, yesterday between seeing him interact with John Buck and with Collins and Warthen, it looks like Niese has a new and improved personality which I feel goes hand in hand with the confidence he has that now knows he is a top flight big league pitcher.

Speaking of John Buck, how great is it to see a bon fide big league catcher handling the Mets staff.  You can see that Buck is a future ML manager. SNY showed inning after inning, Buck sitting with Niese and it seemed that they were going over their game plan. After the game, Buck was praising Niese saying he would the ace of any staff he pitched for. Whether you or I believe that, you have to love Buck pumping up his teammate like that.

Got to feel for poor Ike Davis, while everyone in the lineup made a contribution, Ike took the Golden Sombrero.

Got to feel great for Scott Rice and a great gesture by Terry Collins to give the 14 year career minor leaguer the ball in his first ML opening day.

Scott Achinson looks like a guy who just competed in a fantasy camp, he’s the oldest looking 37 year old I’ve ever seen.

No Mets game today but tonight R.A. Dickey will make his Blue Jay debut. I’ll be watching that one and rooting for R.A.

 

 

 

 

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Bobby Valentine to SNY???? Giddy-Up!!!!!!

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It would be a boon to SNY’s Mets coverage to add Bobby Valentine to the pre and post game show. IN fact I hope SNY takes it further and adds Bobby V to the broadcast booth when either Keith Hernandez or Ron Darling are not scheduled. Talk about must see TV.

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THE NEW YORK HIGHLANDERS, THE MOST BORING TEAM IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

 

 

                                                                                   The Late Lamented Yankee Doodle

 

I really cannot figure out why anyone would root for the NY Highlanders. Sure the championship aura that is slammed down everyone’s throat is the major reason and I understand that the majority of Highlander loyalist are really fans of the championships and not the team itself but my God is there a more boring tight ass sports organization than the Bronx bastards?

I admit I follow very few of the Highlander beat writers on Twitter or bloggers for that fact but I read all the stories out of Tampa and a few of the blogs (until my head hits the desk from dozing off) and I feel like I’m back in the 6th grade reading about the Dewey decimal system or constellations of the solar system (I hated science when I was a kid, most my time in science class was spent surveying the girls trying to determine who was wearing a bra and who still wore t-shirts, my own little science lesson Ha! Ha!) The Highlanders are sooooooooooooooooooo uninteresting.

The Sainted shortstop, who not only lacks range in the field is inadequate when it comes to social situations as well. I love that Bobby Valentine gave him a poke over his overrated flip play back in 2001 ALCS. Instead of Jeter coming with a witty retort, pointing out that Valentine only saw what was on his TV since that’s where his ass was parked in front ofit for that post season, he gave the same lack of passion response he gives to every question.

Same with Alex Rodriguez, who quite frankly has turned into the clock watcher we’ve all had the displeasure of working with in our life. A-Rod has become a pick up my paycheck guy who cares more about which starlet he’ll share his lair with than his on field performance it seems.  He has figured out that his contract is so toxic and he is so broken down that an act of Congress would be the only way to get him out of town, so why not sit back and enjoy.

You look at the Mets and what the team lacks in money it makes up in personality.  Are there any Highlander players on Twitter? The only one I can think of is Nick Swisher but I’m sure his Tweets are monitored by the Steinbrenner Information Teams version of Bagdad Bob.  I don’t see any of the creative Highlander fans on Twitter coming up with the best hash tag in Twitter history, thanks to Jed Smed who came up with the daily #MetsHashTags that  trends around the world.   

Maybe they are out there but where are the Highlander media folk or bloggers at spring training send back reports about the team and the goings on in camp? Didn’t the Highlanders get booted from last year’s post season in the first round? With a $200 mil + payroll would that be considered a colossal FAIL? Where are the critical commentaries? Isn’t there a story how the Core Four is about to be reduced to Core Two and eventually One once we know Mariano Rivera’s “secret”? Has there been a story where a reporter asks Joe Girardi about the improving AL East and what will it take for his team to make the post season? By the way can you even fathom, Joe Giradi taking questions from bloggers as Terry Collins did earlier this week? His flattop haircut would catch fire.

Now I know after I post this and some fans of the Bronx Bastards read it, the feedback I’ll get is that I’m an asshole and the Mets suck. They would be half right.

Highlander fans don’t yell Mets Suck not out of hate but out of fear. Don’t think the fans and the hierarchy of 161 St and River Ave are not just a bit nervous that the Mets will be not only a good baseball team but a story of the summer, because as we’ve seen with the NY Giants and the NY Knicks, New York loves a sports story, especially one with a great plot. The Giants with their 7-7 record and win or go home final four games of the season, topped off by a Super Bowl win will be chronicled in many to be published books.  The ongoing saga of the NY Knicks and Jeremy Lin could turn out to be as big a story as Willis Reeds Champion Knicks, but if this Mets team shows it is not the downtrodden bunch that many make them out to be, it will be a Highlander nightmare.

As it is now, this past week it’s very close as to which team was featured on the back of the tabloids the most between the Knicks and Mets. One day it’s Jeremy Lin, the next it’s Johan Santana. It seems the only time the Highlanders get in the papers is when some trollop of Cashman’s comes forward.

Think of the story lines, if Mets play above the negative expectation, owner’s with debt up to their fake tanned foreheads cut more payroll than any team in history but the teams manager instills a confidence in his players that they are major leaguers and have to play like major leaguers. The Ace of the pitching staff comes back like no one ever has from a devastating shoulder injury to breathe life into the rest of the staff. The solid number two who possess a mesmerizing knuckleball and a spot on the NY Times Best Seller list wins baseball games and a Pulitzer.  Ike Davis, David Wright, Lucas Duda and a back from the dead Jason Bay on the cover of Sports Illustrated as “Air Flushing” due to the resurgence in their home run hitting prowess.  Mets sweep the Subway Series with one of the games a no hitter tossed by Mike Pelfrey and as the game ends, the Twitter servers blow up like the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display.

Can it happen? Who knows? But, get your popcorn ready just in case.   

 

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OLD MAN CHASS ON BOBBY VALENTINE

Murray Chass The Jack Ass-curotsy of pitchershiteighith.com

I received a link today of a post that Murray Chass (the big dumb ass) wrote about Bobby Valentine and how he can’t stand BV and BV couldn’t stand him either. Chass it seems felt it was his duty to call Larry Lucchino the Red Sox CEO, to find out how the Sox managerial search was going. I guess after screaming at his grand kids and staring out the window for hours making sure no one parked their car in front of his house, Chass decided he needed to know if Bobby Valentine was THE GUY the Sox were ready to hire as their field boss.

From reading the post it’s clear Chass has an agenda, in fact since Chass was canned by the NY Times he’s had a hard on for lot of people and he’s in denial that he has gone from being the National baseball writer for the Old Grey Lady to a blogger . Chass will never identify himself as a blogger but that’s all in the denial side of his old ass life. Anyway, Chass has gone and dug up gossip and innuendo from Valentine’s days as Mets manager using the one player that Valentine really had no use for, Todd Hundley to make his case but back to Chass calling Lucchino. The Sox CEO told Chass that Valentine had a great interview and then wanted to know what Chass thought of BV, I’ll let Chass tell you in his own words his feelings on Bobby V:

I would rather not have people I am interviewing ask me questions. In this instance what I thought about Valentine or any other candidate shouldn’t matter. I am not the one hiring and paying the new manager.

On the other hand, Lucchino asked a reasonable question, and the primary problem I had with it was whether I should offer some vague, non-committal comment or answer honestly. Of course, I chose honesty because I expect honest answers from the people I question.

“I have found him to be the most disliked man in baseball,” I said. And I added, “He doesn’t like me and I don’t like him.”

I didn’t offer any details, but if Lucchino wants to know why I made those statements, I will enlighten him here, which is a more appropriate place for a reporter or columnist than the telephone.

One thing we know about Valentine is there is no middle ground when it pertains to how people feel about him. I admit to be being a big fan of his but I can see how his personality could grate on one’s nerves if you had to deal with him on an everyday basis but what I take issue with Chass is his view of Valentine is personal not business.  No place in his column does Chass give Valentine credit for being an outstanding bench manager.  You can hate the guys guts but you lose credibility when he don’t acknowledge that Valentine gets more out of what he’s given than anyone in baseball.   

Chass really embarrasses himself when he critiques Valentine’s managerial record by harping on the fact his teams never had a first place finish:

Valentine undoubtedly talks a good game; that’s why ESPN hired him. But ESPN doesn’t have to worry about a won-lost record. While it’s a fact that Valentine managed the Mets to two consecutive wild-card berths in 1999 and 2000 and the World Series in 2000, it’s also a fact that in 14 years with the Rangers and the Mets he never managed a team that finished in first place.

 

Presumably, the Red Sox, who have not participated in post-season games the last two years, have studied Valentine’s history (and not just tested his knowledge of Jamesian sabermetrics) and know that he ranks third in history among managers who have managed the most games without finishing in first place.

 

Valentine took over a Mets team in 1996 that had stopped to listening to Dallas Green whose method of motivation was to scream at his players “to look in the mirror” and man up. Valentine’s main strength was getting the most out of his 25 man roster but he had to deal with a few clubhouse lawyers who became very comfortable living the high life in the Shea Stadium clubhouse one in particular was Todd Hundley. I’ll get to Hundley in a minute, Chass just kind of glosses over the fact the Valentine won a pennant with the Mets and if not for the shit the bed performance by Kenny Rogers would have had back to back pennants under his belt. Someday Chass should let us know what he thinks of Bobby Cox whose teams finished in first place 14 times but has one World Series flag to fly? What about the greatest manager to ever put a pen to a lineup card Tony LaRussa, winning a World Series with a wild card team?  What Chass doesn’t get is all you have to do is get in the tournament, who cares how you got there? I’m sure there isn’t a Cardinals fan out there complaining how their favorite team got to post season as they are reveling in their successful post season tour.

Back to Todd Hundley, it was no secret back then that Valentine wasn’t a fan of Hundley and Hundley felt the same about BV.  Hundley talks about his relationship with Valentine:

 In Hundley’s view, the problem with Valentine began when the manager appeared to be jealous of the player’s standing with the fans. ”He comes into a whole new situation and goes right after I guess the most popular guy,” Hundley said. ”It’s not my fault I’m the most popular guy.”

Hundley was especially upset at the timing of Valentine’s comments on his sleep habits because his mother was being treated for cancer and his wife was pregnant.

”I’m talking to my mom while she’s going through chemotherapy,” Hundley said, ”and I’m helping my wife with taking care of our two kids and he’s saying I’m out and about.”   

 

It’s true that Valentine gave a”wink-wink, nod-nod” statement about Hundley not getting enough sleep which was Valentine speak for Hundley being a hard partying guy. I have no proof that he was or wasn’t but I’m sure it was the manager sending a message to a player and the player reacted negatively. If it’s true that Hundley wasn’t getting sleep due to worrying about his mom and wife then Valentine was dead wrong to bring that up but what we saw with Hundley was he was not a true team player. When Mike Piazza was brought over from the Marlins it was Hundley who was affected the most and it hurt Hundley to no end that Piazza was coming to the Mets and was the new starting catcher. Hundley felt he was the most popular Met (I think Bernard Gilkey, Lance Johnson and of course Edgardo Alfonso were right there as popular Mets) but now with a super star like Piazza on the team he had to take a back seat in fact he had to find a whole new place to play, as Hundley was exiled to left field.  That’s when Hundley ceased being a Met. His play on the outfield was one of indifference; you knew his Mets days were over. Was Valentine the reason? Maybe part of it but the mostly it was the acquisition of Piazza that was Hundley’s problem.

Without a doubt Valentine is a very polarizing person, but he has a track record of turning teams around when he occupies the mangers office. I’m not sure that Valentine is the guy to run the Red Sox bench as I feel their problems run a lot deeper in that clubhouse but you know the Red Sox will be prepared and they will be interesting.  Valentine vs. the Boston Media will a show all by itself.

 

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WINNING UGLY, BETTER THAN LOSING PRETTY

Back in 1983, Tony LaRussa led a band of Chicago White Sox to the AL West Division title that were so disrespected, many opponents said of them they were Winning Ugly,  many of the East Coast sports writers felt if they played in the AL East they’d be a 2nd division club. In 2011, LaRussa is still managing and still winning and in taking the NL Pennant last night in Milwaukee, he still has his team Winning Ugly.  I’m not a fan of LaRussa as he comes off as believing the baseball Hall of Fame should have been built in his hometown of Tampa FL since it was he who invented baseball, but last night for the first time I really felt bad for him during this ugly Game 6. You could see the frustration on his face as he watched Edwin Jackson piss away a 5-1 lead in the second inning, and he had to go to his bullpen much sooner than he had hoped. If we learn anything from this post season it’s even the top echelon teams in baseball have woeful starting pitching so in order to win you need a well-stocked bullpen, something that Sandy Alderson has alluded to in his state of the Mets press conference at the end of this season.       

One more note on that 1983 White Sox team, Jerry Koosman was a stalwart of that pitching staff winning 11 games and saving 2. Many around that team felt the season turned around when GM Roland Hemond sent 2B Tony Bernazard (Yes THAT Tony Bernazard) to Seattle for 2B Julio Cruz.

Check out Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Digest as he has an interview he conducted with Bobby Valentine who is plugging a movie he was an executive producer on called “Peltotero” which follows tow Dominican teen agers as they pursue a career in the big leagues.  By the way, I agree with Mike’s thinking on Jose Reyes, and I bet that’s the path Alderson will take with Reyes’ contract negotiations as well. He will not get in a bidding war for the shortstop.

WOW now I know why I had such a great night sleep, Wally Backman has decided to stay in the Mets organization. A Festivius miracle I tell ya!

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YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO TAKE A STAND

If it weren’t for the idiocy of Major League Baseball, all the talk last night and this morning would have been about the emotional and beautifully choreographed pre-game ceremony at Citi Field to honor the memory of the attack of September 11th and the first responders that gave their lives and the others who risked theirs to help others.

I was brought to tears seeing Mike Piazza lead a parade of heroes from the right field side of Citi Field and John Franco doing the same on the left field side.  Then having the ball park lights dim for a moment of silence followed by a spine tingling rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by Marc Anthony. Franco and Piazza then took center stage in their snow white Mets uni tops with the words “9-11-01 we will never forget” embroidered on the sleeve just like it was 10 years ago, to deliver the first pitch of the game. In an eerie silence, Franco, a “Noo Yawk” guy through and through tossed a perfect strike to Piazza, the man who made the Mets relevant again. In fact  what struck me about last night was how sad it was for two reasons, the first was what the commemoration of the evening was for of course, the other, it reminded me when the last time the Mets were a big deal in this town, that choked me up as well.

The Mets wore the same snow whites that they had on 9-21-11, the first sports event in NYC since the demise of the Twin Towers, but on their heads that night were the caps of the FDNY, NYPD, and PAPD the three groups the club had become very close to due to their working side by side during the awful aftermath of the attack. At the time MLB said the Mets couldn’t wear those caps during a major league game and the Mets in turn led by Bobby Valentine told MLB to kiss their New York City ass, we’re wearing them.  What did MLB do? Nothing, just like every other bully that is stood up to. The Mets wore the first responder caps and celebrated in those caps when Mike Piazza, he of the NYPD batting helmet as well, hit his home run that put a smile on faces that thought they’d never smile again. It was not just a classic NY moment or one the best moments in Mets history it showed that baseball, just like during all of the countries dark times, came through once again, it always does, its what makes baseball the great pastime it is.

The Mets of 2011 asked MLB if they could have permission to wear the hats of the first responders again as they did 10 years ago. MLB said no, just like they did 10 years ago. This time though the Mets rolled over, scared to take a stand. There was no Valentine, or Franco, or Ventura, or Zeile on the team to tell MLB to take their no cap memo and shove it up their tight ass’s. The players thought about ignoring the order but claimed the organization would have been severely punished if they did. If the Mets banded together and wore the caps, what was MLB going to do? Absolutely nothing.  Again to beat the bully you need to stand up to the bully.

I don’t know if I’ve told this story here but if I did I apologize but I think it should be told here.  As I’ve mention on numerous occasions, I manage a 14-15 year old Babe Ruth Team on Staten Island.  During the heat wave of the summer, a day that was 97 degrees, I had scheduled a practice. We try to have at least one practice a week during the season to work on some deficiencies and to go over the pitching rotation for the upcoming games. We also take a round of infield/outfield drills and batting practice, in all it runs about two hours. The place we like to practice is Miller Field in the New Dorp section as it was a one time air base during WWII and has plenty of fields to choose from. Now because of the heat I was ready to cancel practice and let the boys enjoy their pools or whatever they were doing to stay cool. Every kid that I called said, “ah coach it ain’t that hot we can practice” my son told me he was getting texts from some players asking him to convince me to hold practice. What could I do? They want to play, fine let’s go practice. So with the equipment and a case of water, off to Miller Field we go. We were the only people in the park. Acres of land at our disposal. As we were half way through batting practice a federal parks department employee pulls up to the field asking “who is in charge here”? “ Well, that would be me”, “do you have a permit to play here” Ms. Fed asks. “A permit? For what? To play baseball”? “Yes” she said, “Ah no” I say “Well, she says then you will have to leave”.

After I stopped laughing I ask here to clear her cart from the pitcher’s mound so we could continue to play. Again she ask me if this was an organized team and where was our permit and on and on really annoying the living shit out of me. I told her the organization we played for and that we had permits to play games here but being a programed bureaucrat all she knew was I didn’t have permit for the field and I had to leave. At this point I asked her what her title was and she rattled off some administrative rank, I then told her to call someone with authority to make me leave, like the Federal Park Police, and while I wait for the police to come, we will continue to play baseball.

Well, instead of calling the police, she called her supervisor who in turn called the league president who had to come down to the park to make me leave the park.  So while I’m being screamed at with threats, I told my assistant coach, to continue with the practice this way I’ll go argue with these women long enough for all the players get their batting practice swings.   For a good half hour, we argued back in forth about the lack of common sense being applied here, which was enough time for the team to finish practice. When the coach told me practice was over, I thanked the ladies and said “yeah you know what, your right we don’t belong here, we’ll leave”.

I didn’t give a shit about the two Federal Flunkies but the woman who ran the league was so mad at me she stopped talking to me. It didn’t bother me in the least, you know why? She couldn’t do anything to me, what could she do, tell me I can’t manage the team anymore? No. Luckily I had all the parents of the kids behind me 100 %. That’s why I took the stand. I knew there was nothing anyone was going to do to me to make me regret my decision.

As I told the Feds, this will make a great story in the Staten Island Advance “Youth Coach and kids Thrown out of Park For Playing Ball” or maybe one of the local TV stations would love to expose the story, I had me some bullets in my gun.  Sometimes you have to take a stand.

That is what has me pissed off at the Mets, especially David Wright. If Wright led the way and wore the NYPD cap he wore in the dugout on the field what was MLB going to do? NOTHING! If the whole Mets team would have worn the caps on the field what was MLB going to do? NOTHING!

The bad publicity from this should be a huge embarrassment to MLB and I can’t believe no one in the P.R. department didn’t beg Bud Selig or Clueless Joe Torre, who by the way showed is true colors as a big time phony,  to let the Mets wear the caps.

You know what in the long run maybe MLB was right did it really matter if the Mets wore the first responder caps? No one was watching anyway, especially with the Jets-Cowboys game on NBC.

Enjoy those single digit post season ratings in the post season Bud, you douchebag.

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I GUESS CIVIL SERVICE JOBS PAY BETTER IN CONNECTICUT THAN IN NEW YORK

So Bobby Valentine is trying to put together a group to buy the Mets or at least a minority share. I doubt that BV has the coin to pull this off but he what he does have is the “it” factor and the ability to front the franchise in a positive way unlike Freddy, Jeffey and Uncle Saul who infuriated the fan base. If he can get some deep pocketed investors to join him and let him be the out front guy, it could be interesting

 With the passing of Duke Snider yesterday, lost in the days news was the untimely passing of former Met Greg Goosen. Last night the Mets 1965 Yearbook played on SNY and there was Goosen shown as one of the up and coming young stars of the Mets along with “Robust” Ron Swoboda, Johnny Lewis and Ed Kranepool. Goosen was also a key figure in Jim Bouton’ classic book,  BALL FOUR. One story, when Goosen was a teammate of Bouton’s on the 1969 Seattle Pilots on a bus ride passing an old building  that had an inscription” Erected in 1883″, to that Goosen replied “that’s some long errection. R.I.P. Greg.”

Sniff, Snifff what kind of smoke is that, that Chipper Jones is blowing up the Mets ass? Hickory? Mesquite?

On my last visit to Citi Field, I wrote about Josh Thole being a good guy and helping me get access onto the media scrum by moving a chair and taking my backpack for me now if that weren’t enough to endear Thole to me it was announced that he will be the Mets union rep this year. So now Thole and I are Union brothers in arms. Sorry all you wanna be union busters!!!!!!!!

How in the world could anyone watch the Academy Awards when the Knicks-Heat game was on at same time? I’m not even a Knicks fan but I was glued to that game. As a basketball fan it’s good to see the Knicks and St Johns back on the right track and have the city talking basketball again.

Oliver Perez still sucks.

Mets and Nats today in St Lonesome. Big Pelf makes spring debut, Dan Murphy plays 3rd base, F-Mart DH, Castillo gets another start at 2nd Base

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“HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAY:THE BOBBY VALENTINE STORY”

The life of Bobby Valentine is a reality show waiting to happen. After I realizedI wasn’t making it to work today, I turned on Ch2 news (I watch Ch 2 news because I have a huge crush on Mary Calvi. Not only is she gorgeous but even as she’s telling me it’s another Snowgedon day it just seems much more pleasant when she explains it) and all I hear about is this awful traffic jam on I95 near Stanford CT. As the on scene reporter is giving the details, in the background there is a man directing traffic, not just any ordinary man but none other than Stanford’s Safety Director and former Mets manager, Bobby Valentine.

Seems a couple of tractor trailers jack-knifed on the highway and being the conciencious civil servant that he is, Valentine came out to help help get the cars and trucks flowing again.

No truth to the report that one of the tractor-trailer drivers was Armando Benitez.

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WALKIN’ IN A WINTER WONDERLAND

I hope you are all enjoying this St Stephen’s (my namesake) Day nice and warm as we here in NYC are looking at a foot-foot and half of snow with blizzards conditions tonight which should make the morning commute just a joy.

Of course there is no Mets news but I did read an interesting post today by my buddy Mike Silva, where he ranks his top ten Mets teams of all time. As I commented on Mike’s site, it’s hard not to just award the top two spots on this kind of list to the 1969 and 1986 Mets, as they are the only teams to bring home a championship trophy to Queens.

Silva mentions the 1997 team in his honorable emotions and when you look at that team, there are some much underrated players in Mets history on the roster. Todd Hundley doesn’t get the mentions he should as his spilt with the club was not amicable, as he lost his job for the fact that Mike Piazza was a catcher and when he was asked to move to the outfield he was offended and really didn’t help himself with his playing left like a kid given a plate of Brussels sprouts.   It wasn’t all Hundley’s fault as the front office didn’t handle the situation as they should, such as dealing Hundley.

That team could get on base led by John Olerud with a .400 OBA followed by Hundley at .394 (and a team leading OPS of .943 on the strength of 30 homers) Edgardo Alfonzo at  .391 and Lance Johnson at .385

The pitching was good too led by Bobby Jones and his 15 wins and Rick Reed who won 13 games was the ace of the staff. The bullpen led by John Franco closing out games and Greg McMichale taking care of the 8th inning moved this club to a +17 over the  ’96 team in the win column in Bobby Valentine’ first full season as Mets manager.

Besides the World Series winners, who do you think were the best teams in Mets history?

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“HEY JEFF, WE NEED A 4 DOZEN WRIGHT 5 T-SHIRTS ON THE FLOOR ON THE DOUBLE”

I’m here today to praise the Skill Sets not burry them especially Freddy and Uncle Saul who I feel are the ones that have finally figured out that Little Jeffey needs a timeout and it’s time to let the smart guys run this franchise. Listen, Jeffey doesn’t need to be totally out of the picture, he can still do inventory at the Team Store, or help cut up the peppers and onions for the sausage concession as long as he is out of the baseball ops I’m a happy Mets fan.

With all this new found happiness with the new and improved front office will Mets fans be happy with whoever is chosen to be the Mets manager? It seems Wally Backman is the fans favorite but if all the reports are true, it looks like Terry Collins could be the leader in the clubhouse with his ties to DePo and Sandy Koufax but maybe Backman would be given the choice to be third base or bench coach? Same with Chip Hale.  What about Old School Werthen? Maybe a return of The Jacket? Stay tuned!

Rusty Staub has been named on the Hall of Fame ballot to be voted on by the Veterans Committee which has Ed Marcus leading the charge for enshrinement for Le Grand Orange.

I agree 100 % that as soon as the Justice League of Flushing finds a field manager, the next move is to boot Ray Ramirez and his staff and hire some real honest to goodness physical trainers.  Now that Omar (Rub A Little Dirt On It ) Minaya is gone and that scoundrel Charlie (Blackie) Samuels has been shunned, how is that Ramirez and his voodoo gets to stay?  

The ESPN team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are no more. I never had a problem with Miller although he is much better as a radio announcer than a TV head and Morgan I won’t disparage as he is one of the best baseball players I ever saw (not so good at analyzing on TV though) ESPN has a chance to put two guys that employed by the WWL that would be a must listen for any baseball fan, put John “Boog” Sciambi and Bobby Valentine together in the Sunday Night Booth. That would be downright entertaining.

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