Hey NY Highlander Fans, You Think This Post Season Is Bad, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

I’ve always felt that once you sign on to be a fan of a sports team, you’re a fan for life. Like a marriage, good times and bad, and till death do us part.  Fan support has been a big topic this weekend as for the first that I can remember a professional post season sporting event in NYC was played before a lot of empty seats, and in all places, Highlanders Stadium.

I was very surprised to see so many tickets available for Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS games in the Bronx. The tickets that were available on Stub Hub were way under face value as well so what the hell happened?

Myself and Mike Silva discussed this last night on our Sports Media Watchdog Podcast going over many different reasons from cost of tickets, commuting, and traffic all play a part but the feeling I get is many Highlanders fans just have no faith at all in their team and with Derek Jeter done for the remainder of the post season, it seems the fans have packed it in for the year just like the Highlanders offense.

It was discussed a lot during the season as the Bronx Bastards were hitting home run after home run many fans and media types had concern that this club was not built for the post season where most game runs are at a premium.  The Highlanders look at playing small ball like it’s an affront on their manhood, but a bunt here, a stolen base there, a little hit and run might be how they have to go after the Tigers. The Highlander pitching has been superb to the point where I feel C.C. Sabathia is underrated as a pitcher and big game performer and you cannot say enough about the job Hiroki Kuroda did on 3 days’ rest. Problem is I can’t find a Highlander fan who shares my feelings, all they see is an impotent offense and their Captain lying prone on the infield dirt.

The Highlander fans have really turned to heels when it comes to their team, the players, especially Nick Swisher are having a tough time accepting the taunts and cat calls from a fan base that has “if we don’t win the World Series the season is a failure” mentality that management and the teams PR department has branded into their heads.  This is what happens when you promote ad nausea that you are the 27 Time World Champions, and put up billboards like this around the city and sell obnoxious t –shirts and generally act like no other team in baseball is worthy of being in the same league as you. Even your fans stop buying that bullshit.

Problem for the Highlanders is their fan base is not prepared for failure. The Highlander fan of my generation who remembers when attendance figures of 3,000 or less at the REAL Highlander Stadium were the norm and how the Mets were the darlings of New York, knows that as great as the winning feels, the cycle does bring you to hard times as well, but you stick with your team thick or thin. The new Generation of Highlander fan that jumped on the bandwagon the last 20 to 25 years doesn’t have the heart to support a losing team.  Let’s face it with the combination of age, Hal Steinbrenner looking to cut payroll, a barren farm system and the teams in their division not only getting better but they also smell Highlander blood in the water knowing that the once mighty New York Highlanders are no longer feared.

It happens; the great Core players that led the Highlanders to championships are gone. Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are the Four Horsemen of the great Highlander run. Rivera and Jeter will be back but they are both will be coming off severe injury and an age where players decline rather than improve. There could be tough times ahead for the Highlanders but just think fans you have a whole lot of Highlander Classics and Highlander-ograhpy’s  to watch on YUCK until the next cycle of winning comes along hopefully that won’t come around for a long long time.

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“LET’S WELCOME THE HOST OF MAD MONEY, OMAR MINAYA”

Some days you have to fish for something to write about and then there are days like today where the stories come fast and furious. Before we get to the Mets news a little bit about the Jets-Pats game last night. You all know I’m a fan of the NY Football Giants but I was very happy the Jets won last night maybe it’s a kinder sprit that Mets fans have with Jets fans as we both live by the “what can go wrong, will go wrong” mantra so when I saw Randy Moss catch that 16 yard TD to tie the game all I could think of the Mets/Jets fan out there questioning what awful deed they had done in their life that sentenced them to this form of torture. One thing the Jets have over the Mets is Brett Farve; the Mets need a Brett Farve.

 

No way in hell am I getting my hopes up that the Mets will (a) Make a serious pitch for C C Sabathia and (b) go higher with a contract for Sabathia than that of Johan Santana. Now that’s not to say I wouldn’t want the Mets to pursue C C I’ve gone on record at the end of the season that I’d want the Mets to go balls out for the Hefty Lefty but it’s just not the Skill Set M.O. to go toe to toe with the Highlanders in a biding war. I still don’t understand the logic that the Highlanders have more dough than the Mets as what do the Highlanders have that the Mets don’t (besides the 26 World Series flags) Both teams have new homes, their own television network, and meddlesome kid owners so to me it’s not a question of topping the Highlander offer it’s more what effect would a bigger than his contract have on Santana. If Santana says to the Mets that he’s cool with his $22+ mil a year and gives his blessing to go get C C and make the Mets the most feared team on the planet then Omar should pull out all stops. If this is just a ploy to turn Pack A Day Hank into a chain smoking fool then back off because as much fun as that sounds to me I’m tired of getting all hot and bothered and then suffering with another case of Mets fan blue balls that this team has given us over the years. Either make a solid proposal to land the big Kahuna or stay the fuck out.

 

The Willets Point Project has been approved by the NYC Den of Thieves so now all the back room maneuvering can begin. I’m just wondering if this Sabathia talk is a coincidence now that Willets Point will go from a rat infested shit hole to a convention/entertainment area that you know will have Sterling Equities fingerprints all over it. That’s why I laugh at idiots like Mike Francesa who downplay the money the Mets have their disposal. King Mikey better watch his ample ass that the Skill Sets don’t purchase WFAN and make Manhasset Mikey the host of Mets Extra.

 

Boardwalk Lee Mazzilli will be looking for work as he was bounced from the analyst chair at SNY Mets Pre/Post Game.  Maybe Lee can get some work at Brennan and Car or at Randazzo’s Clam Bar. It looks like the suits at SNY are waking up and seeing the suckitude of the on air talent they foist on Mets fans. I’m not done with my investigation but I have a strong suspicion that Matt Yallof is either a cousin or nephew of the Skill Sets/Uncle Saul Katz family as how else would he keep his job.

 

None of it matters because starting Jan 1 2009 the Baseball Network will be on the air and I get to see Hazel Mae again in all her beautiful glory. As part of my bucket list I have Hazel Mae, Tila Tequila and me spending a weekend in a champagne glass hot tub at the Mount Airy Lodge in the Poconos.

 

For a thorough analysis of the Nick Swisher to the Highlanders deal (a good pick up by Pee Wee Cashman) check out Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Digest.

 

A post from Curt Schilling on his 38pitches site usually gives me a stomach ache but this one taking on the case for Jason Varitek was very good, so good in fact in the Red Sox don’t want Tek I’d love to see the Mets sign him as an upgrade over Brian Schneider. Hat tip to BBTF for the link 

 

No blogging this weekend as I’m going on a trip with my son and his Boy Scout troop to the USS Massachusetts up in Fall River MA. It’s an overnighter so by the time I get home Sunday evening after being surrounded by 20 kids in a confined area I’m going to need a sedative. All this to make sure my kids put me in the good nursing home.

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SPLITSVILLE

It’s up to Big Pelf to bail out the Mets today and gain a spilt with the “Stros. Speaking of Big Pelf, how come I couldn’t find a PELFREY 34 T-Shirt at Shea Stadium? I looked at the souvenir stands on the Upper Deck and outside the Stadium and not one PELFREY 34 shirt. I admit I didn’t ‘t go to the team store as I was hell bent to get my free sports bag as my other fifteen or so other Mets sports bags don’t get lonely. I have so many Mets bags from giveaway days that when we go on vacation my van looks like the Mets equipment truck. It’s not just sports bags either it’s coffee mugs, lunch bags, bobbleheads, pens, key chains, t shirts, seat cushions, baseball cards, 2000 NL Pennant flags and my prized possession a CD of Meet The Mets, original and 80’s version and an instrumental played  by Jane Jarvis.  That list doesn’t even count the blankets, drawstring bags and hats I have from filling out credit card applications.  Yes I am seeking help for my Mets tchotchke addiction.

 

I was ready to get on the bully pulpit on how the Mets need to shut down John Maine right now but Mike Silva at NY Baseball Digest saved me the venom (by the way while your at Mike’s site click on his link to his interviews which are fantastic), it is admirable that Maine has taken on pitching through pain and that he has put team before self but he really is not helping the team or himself if his signature pitch the late giddy up fastball has lost it late jump. As we witnessed on Saturday without that second wind his fastball is very hittable. If surgery is needed then do it now so he is ready for spring ’09. Maine is way too valuable to the Mets to mess around like this.

 

It’s not time to think about the off season I know but when it comes to focusing in on who the Mets need to go after in the free agent market the number one name on their list had better be C.C Sabathia. With all the money the Mets are making, money is no object they have to be major players for Sabathia. Forget about Texieira I WANT CC.

 

I wish I knew what is really going on with Gimp Castillo? Did he beg out of activation on Saturday? Did Warlord Jerry win his power play with Omar? Is he not ready for prime time physically and or mentally to play? Or is it that he sees the team playing winning baseball and is putting team before himself?

 

Tonight at Shea the Shea-Goodbye Countdown goes to 16 remaining games. Yesterday Mex took down number 17 as he should but tonight the man who should take down number 16 will not be in attendance and it breaks my heart. Dwight Gooden for what ever reason has be estranged from the organization that gave him his start and put up with a lot of bullshit along the way and has aligned himself as more of a Bronx Bastard than a a Met. Doc was never known for making good decisions. What makes it even sadder is today is the anniversary of Doc becoming the youngest pitcher in the modern era to win 20 games in a season when he did it as a 20 year old back in 1985. Yeah kids, those were the days

 

Great story by Bob Klapish in yesterday’s Bergen Record (tip of the Mets cap to Repoz and the Baseball Think Factory) on his journey back from his devastating injury while pitching in a semi pro game. Scary stuff. Get well soon Klapper.

 

 

 

 

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