My Day In The South Bronx

The new Highlander Stadium pale’s in comparison to the original 

 

As much as another bullpen meltdown set me off after yesterday’s Mets game , what added to my anger was where I spent the early part of my afternoon, Highlander Stadium.

Yup, I went to see the NY Highlanders take on the Los Angeles Angels Who Reside in Anaheim Orange County California at Highlander Stadium.  I had a whole day to myself as my son and his friends high tailed it to Great Adventure and my wife and daughter went with friends to see Ghost, leaving dear ol’ dad home alone, so I had to find something to do besides do some work around the house. Our beloved Mets were in Atlanta and the Brooklyn Cyclones were on the road, even the Staten Island Highlanders were traveling, damn not a baseball game to be had around here, except for the Bronx Bastards. I go on Stub Hub and buy a ticket in the upper deck for $30 bucks and off to the SI Ferry and 4 train I go.  Of course I am incognito and I’m happy to report I did not see one patron wearing Mets gear at this game unlike the dickheads who wear Highlander paraphernalia at a Mets-Astros game at Citi Field.

As I walked through the mall main concourse the first thing I think of is this has got to be the highest concentration of Caucasians in the boro of the Bronx since the old Swede himself, Joanas Bronck landed there in 1600’s, seriously I didn’t know if I was at a baseball game or a George Strait  concert in Branson, MO . There were a lot of tourists and tons of the upstate/NJ/CT crowd as well. It’s a much different clientele on a weekend as it on a week night but I think you can say the same for Citi Field as well. The suburbanites seem to make a big deal out of these trips to the outter boros by carrying in as much food from home as they are allowed to get past the security guards.  They also have a tough time in figuring out where their ticket says they should sit, most of the fans at the game yesterday looked at their tickets like a contestant on Survivor does at a puzzle challenge. It’s not that hard folks Section, Row, Seat all clearly marked on the ticket and throughout the stadium. Then when they finally figure out where to sit, they lack common courtesy:

Ticket Holder: Excuse me is this Section 422 Row 13?

Me: Yes

TH: oh great we have seats 5 & 6

Me: OK but this is seat 28

TH: OK so can we get through?

Me: you want to walk all across this whole row to get to your seat? Why don’t you just go back down and come up the other side of the section so you don’t disturb the whole row of people?

I may as well had been talking in Pig Latin this schmuck had no idea what I was talking about so finally I said fuck it, go ahead at least the rest of the row knew what I was talking about and gave this guy and his gal pal (both of course with cocktails in their hand) dirty looks.

I love listening to Highlander fans, there were three guys in back of me complaining after Robinson Cano hit a 3 run HR because Joe Girardi whom they refer to as “Super Genius” refuses to play small ball to get ready for the post season. The Highlanders lead all of baseball in Home Runs and these dolts want them to play “small ball”?

The most disturbing sight for me was after a Highlander home run on the side video boards they put up a picture of Michael Kay and his Alien sized dome with his mouth moving up and down and the words “See Ya” next to it. EEEEEWWWWWW!!!!!!!!! It gives me the chills just thinking of it.

So as for the game itself what pissed me off about the Mets loss yesterday was how the Highlanders beat the Angels. Freddy Garcia labored through five innings but not to worry because that’s all the Highlanders needed from Garcia as Cody Eppley pitched two solid innings in relief and David Robertson and Rafael Soriano took care of the eighth and ninth, ball game over, the beauty of having an effective bullpen.

By the time I got home from the South Bronx I caught the last three innings of Mets-Braves.  First off, why would you try to get a five out save out of Bobby Parnell? That’s not putting your player in a spot to succeed and shows you why Bob Geren was axed in Oakland. Here it is that Bobby Parnell has pitched very effectively lately as the ninth inning closer coming in to start an inning and Geren tries to destroy all the confidence building Dan Warthen and Terry Collins have worked at with Parnell. And what the hell was up taking Ruben Tejada out with a double switch for Rony Cedeno ? I don’t care if the pitchers spot was coming out Cedeno for Tejeda ? Bullshit.

Sometimes as Mets fans we forget that the core of this team is very young and still learning the big league way of playing baseball. Kirk Nieuwenhuis is really struggling as is Lucas Duda and you have to expect this. I’d  say the for Josh Thole as well plus he should not be the starting catcher (nor should Mike Nickeas) if reports are true that the Mets are looking at Kelly Shopach then please Sandy Alderson bring him in.

What has Mets fan in a tizzy is, we see there is no great team in the NL and we have the memory of past second half collapses burned in our memory.  I hope this second half the club can put up at least a 39-35 record that would give the Mets 85 wins and a shot at a Wild Card spot.

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“COME IN” SHE SAID “I’LL GIVE YOU SHELTER FROM THE STORM”

 

 

 

 

 

Suddenly I turned around and she was standin’ there
With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair
She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

 

That is the Willowbrook section of Staten Island. The pond in Willowbrook Park  over flowed

 

There is never a good time for a hurricane to hit your town but when you are in the middle of remodeling your basement and your yard is full of debris and trash you want to get rid of, well 7 inches of torrential rain and 60 mph winds are not what you need to add to your everyday life upheaval .

My new French drain did its job as it should but I did get a leak in my dining room ceiling but my biggest fear of losing power did not happen and I‘m real thankful for that otherwise my basement would have been under a few feet of water. After all this a portable generator is on my must get list.

A couple of final thoughts on Hurricane Irene, while watching TV and following on Twitter you could tell who rents and who owns, the people who were out getting wine and movies to ride out the storm were renters. The folks out buying plywood and filling sand bags were owners. I was up all night Saturday hoping that the drains and sump would work, at one point of the storm I sat in the basement just watching the rain water flow into the pit like Niagara Falls praying the sump and sewer system could handle all the water, I’d much rather have been sleeping off a drinking and movie binge. Second, I’m not real crazy about living on Staten Island but god damnit do the local TV news outlets know the place exists?  I saw more reports on LI and Westchester and Hoboken NJ than I did on Staten Island. I know it’s the forgotten boro but the only TV station to cover anything on the Island was FOX5 who had reporters in the Bulls Head section and by Midland Beach.   Memo to the NYC Media, close to 300 residents of Staten Island lost their lives on September 11th 2001 please don’t forget us during your over the top coverage of the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

Back to baseball today as Mets play a twi-nighter against the Fish. Let’s hope that Dillion Gee can have a strong performance today and that R.A. Dickey get a much deserved win and a big welcome back to Jose Reyes and his healed hammy.

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WHEW!!!!!!!! IT’S HOTTER THAN JOSE REYES !!!

Why can’t every game be like last night’s Mets-Brewers game? A solid 6 inning by Chris Capouano in his return to Milwaukee, and 9 up 9 down by Beato, Izzy and Frankie Rodz add in a 2 run triple for Jose Reyes and you have a Mets fans paradise.

No way will Jose Reyes be traded by the Mets, no way.  Somehow, some way the Mets will sign Reyes to a new deal. When it was first mentioned that trading Reyes was on the same level as when Tom Seaver was dealt I thought that was ridiculous but now I can see that  the departure of Reyes could be the move, that straw that breaks the fan base’ back.  Mets fans of my generation will be very angry and maybe we won’t go to as many games or maybe we won’t make watching games on SNY a nightly event but even as distasteful a thought of not seeing Reyes at short, I’ll still call myself a Mets fan. It’s too late for me to switch my baseball allegiance but I could see the 30 and under crowd turning on the organization and heading elsewhere if Jose Reyes becomes an ex-Met due to money. This is a very serious issue that the Skill Sets, Minority Einhorn and Sandy Alderson have to seriously take into account when dealing with Jose Reyes. If the Mets let Jose Reyes go, then you might as well turn Citi Field into Old Trafford.  I can’t see Reyes wearing a diferent uni ,  I just can’t .

They did play soccer last night at Citi Field and it looks as if it was a success. The only problem I see is the fans are really far away from the pitch. It was smart of whoever put this match together to pick two teams from countries that make up the biggest percentage of the boro of Queens population, Ecuador and Greece.  The Ecuadorian players however, had issues with the MO-ZONE.

By the way, I am going to my first professional soccer game on Friday as my daughter’s soccer team got tickets for the Red Bulls-Revolution game at Red Bull Arena. One more venue to add to my list.

I bought one of these t-shirts. You should too.

Ok I’m out of ideas on what to do with Jason Bay and I think Terry Collins is as well.

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BETTER LATE THAN NEVER I GUESS

It’s been one of those days.  I was in every boro of the city except for the Boggie Down Bronx and I’m guessing I may hit the home of the Highlanders, a 5 broro cycle if you will, tomorrow.  So I’m just getting in to read e mails and news and also draft my fantasy hockey team so hold on to your hats:

I was asked to write a guest blog at the site 85% Sports. It’s about  how the corporate-ization of sporting events have killed the die hard fans influence for the home team and total “at the game” expirence.

The primaries are over. The acceptance speech has been given. Now Howard Megdal has thrown down the gauntlet to Jeffey Skill Sets with this summit letter, putting the Mets owner on notice that the people have spoken and Jeffey owes Howard an interview for the Mets General Managers job.  Let’s see if the Skill Sets understand the concept of LOGIC, PASSION and TRANSPARENCY

Oh yeah, by the way, the Mets GM job is wide open as it’s as good as a lead pipe cinch that Omar Minaya will be stripped of his GM duties. Guess what I bet, Jerry Manuel gets fired at season’s end too. DUH!!!

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HOCKEY NIGHT IN CORONA ?

Someone needs to get Howie Rose one of those Queens Real Estate handouts they have at the supermarket, as it might be easier to move back to the boro of his birth as none other than Mr. Islander, Chris Bota says the Skill Sets are ready to build an arena in the Iron Triangle and the Icelanders will move down the L I E and call it home:

  Jones Lang LaSalle, the project management company for the upcoming $500 million renovation of Madison Square Garden, has begun work on a feasibility study for an Islanders arena at Willets Point — the property surrounding Citi Field, the second-year home of the Mets.

“This is beyond the preliminary stage,” said the source. “You don’t bring in a big hitter like JLL unless you’re serious. This tells me the Islanders and Mets have made progress in a partnership to take the hockey team to Queens. If Charles Wang and Nassau can’t cut a deal, this will be a great option.”

It’s a bit puzzling why the Skill Sets would get involved in building an arena if they were not looking to either buy the Icelnaders from Charles Wang or just become a partner.  There is always the the idea of the Icelanders becoming much needed winter programing for SNY but I believe the team has a big time contract with MSG so that my or my not be tough to break.

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WELCOME TO ST. LUCIE: THE 6TH BORO

Craig Calcaterra’ favorite past time is bashing the Mets (he’s a Braves fan so that explains that) which should piss me off, but the does it so well and is very witty that it doesn’t. This week he is at Port St. Lonesome and had two anecdotes that well, quite frankly made me laugh out loud.

  My doctor recommended that I take extra good care of myself while on assignment, so I stopped at a liquor store Saturday night to stock up on some Kentucky medicine. Behind the counter was the friendliest and least discreet clerk I’ve ever met. He asked me if I was in town for baseball and I said yes. He then told me that Mets pitcher John Maine had been in there a half hour earlier, came up to the counter with a bottle of Grey Goose and was getting ready to pay for it when a Mets coach walked in. Maine and the coach talked for a few minutes, and then Maine walked out, forgetting to buy his vodka.  I got this mental image of him getting back to whatever social gathering he was attending and someone asking him where the booze was, only to have Maine go “Ummm, oh. Man.”

Something tells me Dr. Ed Coleman was pissed that Maine came back empty handed.

I woke up yesterday morning to get my continental breakfast on, and in the lobby was a young woman in black spandex pants, Mets fleece and Mets cap yelling at one of the desk clerks.  Seems she left her car someplace the night before — obviously not at Maine’s party, as there was no booze there — and needed to get a cab to go and pick it up. When told it would be 45 minutes before a car could get out there, she yelled “I’m from New York and this sh– doesn’t fly!!  I live an HOUR outside of Manhattan, and I can get a car to my house faster than that!”  I suppose she has a point about 45 minutes being a long time to wait, but I’ve found that one generally doesn’t get what one wants in this world by telling people that you come from someplace better and more important than they do.

 

You what I find funny about this, whenever I go out of town; I usually like to avoid my fellow bridge and tunnel-ers. My problem is as soon as I open my mouth I reek of Brooklyn and in fact I’m proud of that since it seems the great Brooklyn dialect is a dying language but when one of my fellow outer boro “brudders of sistahs” act up at an airport, hotel or restaurant, someone will inevitably turn to me with a shake of the head, “Humph, those New Yorkers” at that time I break out my Irish brogue, cultivate from years of living with parents born in County Sligo. So if I were in that hotel lobby and asked about Lady Going Ga-Ga I’d have said “Ah tis sad, she’s actin’up” Hey, sometimes it’s best to go undercover.

I rarely ever listen to Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason on WFAN but from reading a post on Mets Merized Online I read that Carton who tries to be a Howard Stern type jock but falls woefully short in the gift to be offensive and very funny, made some irresponsible about Jose Reyes and his health. If these quotes are true and I have no reason to believe MMO is making them up, how could WFAN keeps this low rent shock jock wanna be employed? Then again WFAN has become a station that can only attracted advertisers for hair plugs, hard on medicine and scams to donate cars for children so what should I expect. I’m sure a big pussy like Carton would never go into the Mets clubhouse and say to Reyes’ face what he’d say in the microphone. 

Brian Costa via TWITTER says Frankie Rodriguez is back in camp.

Who is this Nick Evans of which you speak ?

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