COACH ‘EM UP FELLAS’

Its official the somewhat new and improved Mets coaching staff has been announced via press release.  The names are the ones we figured on.  Old School Dan Warthen and Chip Hale remain on staff at their positions. Obie becomes Terry Collins sounding board in the dugout. Mookie Wilson is back with the team as first base coach (and I’d bet outfield and base running coach as well)

Two names that were added are of hitting coach Dave Hudgens and bullpen coach Joe Debus, here are their bios:

Hudgens spent the last five years (2006-2010) as the Field Coordinator for the Cleveland Indians.  He is currently managing Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League.  Hudgens was the hitting coach for the Oakland Athletics in 1999 and from 2003-2005.  He managed four years in Oakland’s minor league system from 1985-1988, including three years at Medford (A) of the Northwest League.  Hudgens, who was originally selected by the Mets in the first round of the January 1975 draft but did not sign, served as the Athletics’ Assistant Director of Player Development from 1996-1998 and 2000-2002.  He played six minor league seasons with the Athletics and Indians and appeared in six games with Oakland in 1983.

Debus was a professional scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2009-2010.  He served on the coaching staff of the Orix Buffaloes in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League during Terry Collins’ tenure as Manager from 2007-2008.  He served as the minor league catching coordinator for the Dodgers from 2002-2004 and in 2005 he was the bullpen coach for the big league squad.  Debus began his coaching career in the Dodgers minor league system in 1990 and served as a coach or manager through the 1999 campaign.  In 2000 and 2001 Debus was the General Manager of the Elmira Pioneers of the Independent Northern League.  He played 10 seasons in the minor leagues, advancing as high as Triple-A.

This what you’d call a “grizzled” coaching staff

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LOOK AT WHAT THAT DICKEY DO

Well one thing the 2010 Mets aren’t lacking in is drama, with ex-Mets trying to school new Mets and the bullpen coach telling the Diva Closer to shut the fuck up and the manager’s job status as volatile as the Dow Jones this is becoming a lot of fun.

I remarked on Twitter last night that I wondered where R.A. Dickey leaves his shopping cart during games. Dickey looks like the guys you avoid at the supermarket who bring in cans and bottles for the nickel deposit. Dickey has been outstanding in these last two starts and a huge upgrade over the Ritalin Kid that’s for sure. Plus the Dickey jokes on Twitter never get old.

Speaking of Dickey, did you get a look at what has been reported as Evan Longoria’s manhood? If I were packing something like that it would be the picture on my drivers license. Most definitely NSFW

I saw the video of the squirrel that ran on the grass at Target Field during last nights Twins-Highlanders game. The squirrel really looked lost and confused as he ran around out of control to the point the game had to be held up. The squirrel, who was identified as Rocket J. Squirrel of Frost Bite Falls MN said he was looking for the Tony O’s Cuban Sandwich concession stand when he got disoriented, he claims with the ball park’ so new he was still trying to find his way around the place.

I am definitely getting myself an I LIKE IKE t-shirt

Nelson Figueroa is the first player in the history of professional sports to get screwed over by a team. Give it a break Nelly Figs will ya!

After the Mets defeated the Phuck Phaces last night I had the pleasure of talking to Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley a member of ESPN Sweet Zone blogs (as well as Baseball Prospectus Baseball Digest Daily and Heater Magazine) on my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN show last night. You can check out the podcast right there a Kranepool Society (see the player on the lower left sidebar) or at my show page at Blog Talk Radio or downloaded it to your iPhone, iTouch, or iPod at iTunes.

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SCRATCH ONE OFF THE BUCKET LIST. THE EDDIE KRANEPOOL SOCIETY MEETS EDDIE KRANEPOOL!

My bucket list isn’t very long just few things I’d like to do before my ass burns in hell:

 

Capture Osama Bin Laden and put him on display at Astroland there by saving Coney Island.

 

Land a jetliner in the Hudson River (yeah I know that Sully guy did it already but it looked so cool on the video I’d just like to try it once)

 

Watch baseball highlights in a heart shaped bath tub with Hazel Mae

 

Go clothes shopping with Don Cherry 

 

Hit Mega-Millions and use the money to reopen CBGB and wear spandex and boa everyday and hang out with David Johansen.

 

Meet my favorite Mets player of all time Ed Kranepool

 

Well, scratch that last one of the list as yesterday my 44 year journey was complete as I finally met my Mr. Met, steady Eddie Kranepool. Oh I’ve come close a few other times. Once at a bank opening on 18th Ave in Brooklyn, Kranepool and Mets bullpen coach Joe Pignatano were at the grand opening signing autographed 8 X 10’s. When I arrived at the bank, Ed had already left but “Piggy” was there and not only gave me and my kids autographed pics but also found a few that Eddie had signed to give out later so needless to say the are prominently displayed at the World Headquarters of The Eddie Kranepool Society (a/k/a my basement) next to my Mr. Met bubble bath and my Ron Swoboda 12 oz tumbler from Sunoco.

 

A second time was at Keyspan Park when Ed was doing color commentary on a Brooklyn Cyclones game and I tried very hard to conceal my fanboy admiration so I could infiltrate up to the press box (this is how I get around Highlander Stadium like a Special Opps agent I go in watch the game and get out and none of the Highlander faithful know there is a spy amongst them) so when I received an e mail about yesterdays event I was as happy as Navin R Johnson (Steve Martin’s character in The Jerk) when he got his new phone book. I called right away and reserved my seat.

 

So now here I am bopping into Gallagher’s Restaurant yesterday and the first thing that I notice was the plethora of fat, bald middle aged guys in attendance (as opposed to moi as I may be bald and middle aged but I’m svelte <sticks out tongue>) and I thought here we are on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the 1969 World Champion team and the vast majority of the attendees were teenagers back then and for the next couple of hours we are all teenagers again. As I look around the bar I see Ron Swoboda holding court with a small group of businessmen (by the way I didn’t know what the dress code was for this event so I decided to gussie myself up real nice and wear a collar shirt over my orange Mets t-shirt that I got for filling out my 485th Bank of America Master Card application at Shea. That’s why I have more blankets than the Red Cross) I saw Emerson Boozer and shook his hand (which still has an ice pack on it from his grip) I acknowledged Art Shamsky (I’m sure you all read the NY Post this morning and I wish I hung around longer as I would have ran inference for Art when the ex came after him) and then as I made my around the bar there he was, Steady Eddie.

 

At first I felt a little intimidated to speak to him. When I told him I’m the guy who named his blog after him I didn’t know if he’d take it as the compliment I set it out to be or if he start screaming “You? YOU”RE THE GUY”? but thankfully it was the former. Krane seemed to get a kick out it and said he heard about it and asked me if I had a card with the website on it which of course I did, and then Ed gave me HIS BUSSINESS CARD!!!!.

 

I don’t know if it was fear of him being mad about the blog or just the anticipation of meeting him that my childhood was flashing before my eyes (visions of Ebingers Bakery, egg creams, The Sea Beach Line, The Worlds Fair, The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, my Mr. Met megaphone that I just ate popcorn out of, and cans of Rheingold the Orange and Blue aluminum shingles of early Shea, all set to the sound track of Jane Jarvis and her Thomas Organ) but I was nervous talking to Ed and he was just the opposite calm and relaxed, Steady Eddie. He got a laugh as I told him that he was and still is my favorite Mets player of all time because I was a left hand and played first base and not fleet of foot and went by the nickname “Kranepool” and how I had a Mets uniform with 7 on it and how I wish the Mets would retire that number since he still holds or is in the top ten in most Mets lifetime hitting categories. I tried not to ramble but I’m sure I did but he seemed to enjoy my carrying on.

 

One of the dangers in meeting someone who you grew up being a huge fan of is when you do get to meet them the experience is not what you had hoped, but I would like to thank Ed Kranepool for not disappointing me by being so gracious and making yesterday even better than I had hoped it would.

 

Now back to that bucket list. I wonder what Gretchen Mol is doing Saturday night?

 

 

   

 

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