THE 2012 NY METS SEASON WILL BE GOLDEN

It was quite the day at Citi Field today as the organization announced plans for the celebration of its 50th Anniversary.  I was fortunate to have been invited to the festivities of the day and as I left Citi Field I felt invigorated about being a Mets fan.

I’ve all but given up trying to explain to non-Mets fans why it is I love this team so much. It’s like looking at one of those pictures where if you stare at it a 3D figure pops off the page or when you look at a cloud formation and see a horse or George Washington’s face and the person with you says they don’t see a thing, when I see a Mets uniform or a collage of events like the video we saw at today’s press conference it’s makes you want to shout I SEE IT!  I SEE IT! I BELIEVE! I BELIEVE!

Hard to imagine it is 50 years since Joan Payson brought National League baseball back to NYC. What’s even harder for me to believe that I’ve been attending Mets games for the past 47 of those years.  When  I saw David Wright come out in the retro home uni,  ivory colored with blue pinstripes and Mets in blue with orange trim and WRIGHT 5 on his back and Lucas Duda standing tall in the classy road gray with NEW YORK in old English style letters  (Ike Davis wore the snow-white uni with the same blue and orange Mets and NO BLACK SHADOW!!!!!!) all I could think of was Jack Fisher handing me a peach between games of a double header in 1965, weekend series at Shea when the Dodgers and Giants would come to town with Koufax and Mays, listening to my father talk about “this Seaver kid” in 1967, relatives and family friends who were Brooklyn Dodger s fans happy in 1968 that Gil Hodges was coming back to the Mets to be their manager, being 10 years old and shocked to find out that Yogi Berra played for the Yankees???? WOW! Crying when Jimmy Quals broke up Tom Seaver’s perfect game and brought to tears again nine years later when Seaver was shipped out to Cincinnati, the euphoria of 1969 and 1986 and the heartbreak of the 2000 World Series and 2007 NLCS. The Mets are a microcosm of life, great times, tough times, and puzzling times.

As I said Mets bloggers were invited to the presser and I was pleased to sit with Ed Marcus, Greg Prince and Matt Cerrone but there was one blogger at event today who in the words of Yogi “made this day necessary” and that’s Shannon of The Mets Police. Shannon through his site pushed management to bring back Banner Day and to drop the black jerseys and caps (I am thrilled to report that the black cap with the blue bill is gone for good) and for that we Traditionalist Mets fans are forever grateful.

With so much gloom and doom coming from the fan base so far this offseason it was nice to be a part of a positive Mets day.

Now for the hold on to your Mets cap part of the post, I got to meet David Howard today and it was a very pleasant experience (no, I’m not going soft here I’m just being honest) we shook hands and spoke  and had a few laughs and we even talked about our kids, see on the kick off of the Mets Golden Anniversary it’s all good.

 

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PITCHING AIN’T NUTHIN’ BUT A GEE THANG

It’s like this and like that and like this and uh
It’s like that and like this and like that and uh
It’s like this and like that and like this and uh

 

It’s hard not to get excited watching Dillon Gee pitch; he’s like a combination artist/illusionist on the mound. To be a successful pitcher you have to be able to deceive the batter and Gee’s pitch of deception last night was a cut fastball. Gee felt his slider would not be effective after throwing his pre-game bullpen so he decided the out pitch of the night would be a combination of his two seamer with a bit of cutter movement and his changeup, add that  to his fastball and the Braves hitters were off balance all night. No matter what happens for here on this season, Dillion Gee’s starts are a must watch for Mets fans.

Terry Collins is using his last option with Jason Bay by dropping him to the 6th spot in the lineup. If he can’t get it together there then it’s time to bring up Lucas Duda or F-Mart to platoon in LF with Bay or as Mike Silva suggests, ask him to go to Buffalo to work out whatever problems it is he’s having. If it comes down to where he’s spooked by Citi Field then Bay has a big decision to make, right now with his contract he is untradeable and he’ll to make to some big time concessions to go to a team where  hitting the ball over the left field seats is a bit easier.

More debate over the subject of retiring Gary Carter’s #8. What gets lost in this debate is the fact that the Skill Sets are so clueless when it comes to the history of the team, that’s why when you read the recent magazine articles where Freddy Skill Sets claims his love for the Mets is pure 100 % BULLSHIT. He’s a Brooklyn Dodger fan who never got over the team leaving Brooklyn. He and the rest of this dysfunctional ownership have no appreciation for those you have worn the Mets uniform or for you and me who love the team, they have to be shamed into doing anything positive when it comes to this team. As Mets fans we want something to celebrate, the negativity has drained most of the life out of the fan base.

On this day in 1973, the Mets made Lee Mazzilli out of Lincoln High School in Brooklyn their first pick in the MLB Entry Draft. If you’ve read this site for a while you know I’m not a big Mazzilli fan.  I was a sophomore at FDR High in Bensonhurst when Mazzilli was drafted and though I had never met him I heard a lot about him, not any of it complementary from players on the varsity baseball team.  When Mazzilli came up with the Mets he’d frequent a few of the Bensonhurst/Bay Ridge spots my friends and I hung out in and he acted like an ass anytime I saw him. When he was traded to the Rangers in ’82 it was the best thing for him, he needed to be taken down a notch or two.

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FREDDY SKILLS: UNCENSORED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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TO BAD THE REST OF THE WORLD CAN’T BE LIKE BROOKLYN

I have spent more time at MCU Park this summer than I have at Citi Field. For one thing the baseball team in Coney Island is a lot more fun to watch than in Flushing and the fact that I can get from my driveway to the parking lot at Abe Stark Rink in about a half hour helps as well.

The first thing you notice about the crowd at MCU Park is the diversity. I know the bashing of Citi Field for its Ebbets Field look and Brooklyn Dodger influence is en vogue amongst Mets fans and I feel sorry for those of you that hate the Brooklyn feel of the ballpark because it’s obvious you didn’t grow up or ever live in Brooklyn. On any given night at a Cyclones game there are more different races and ethnic groups represented than the ” It’s A Small World “ride at Disney World.  Where else but Brooklyn can you sit in a row with a couple of families from Crown Heights, one Orthodox Jewish, the other African-American and next to them a family with the women wearing the traditional Muslim Hijab ? You see Asian’s, Irish, Italians, Latinos , Poles you name the ethnic group and I guarantee they have been in attendance at a Cyclones game.   I’ve been going to Cyclones games from the very first year they were in business in 2001 so in ten years I’ve gone to well over 100 games, I have never seen any kind of fighting, physical or verbal anytime . Just a bunch of fans rooting for Brooklyn to win.  See, we all can get along as long as a baseball game is involved.

What I do get a kick out of is the yuppies and hipsters who have just discovered Brooklyn and act like they made some rare discovery that no one ever knew about.  Brooklyn has been like that forever.

As for the team, this may have been the best Cyclones team ever. I’ve been critical of the Skill Sets for stacking the deck at Coney Island to make sure they have a winning record but this year maybe you could make the case that Corey Vaughn or Darrel Cecilliani should have been bumped  up but I think a full season of success, especially for Vaughn who was drafted this past June, was better call on their development and besides a championship flag flying over the Parachute Jump out in right field would look  very nice.

The Cyclones lost last night and have one more regular season game to play today on Coney Island before the playoff start on Tuesday. They play one road game in either Williamsport or Jamestown whichever one takes the wild card and then back to Brooklyn on Wednesday. I hope to get out there on Wednesday for that game because not only as a born and raised Brooklynite do I have a rooting interest here but as a Mets fan we can only hope that players like Vaughn, Celliani and Jeff Flag keep getting better and make it to Flushing along with their manager to bring the same positive esprit de corp of Brooklyn to Queens.

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