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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NOLAN RYAN LEADS THE INDUCTEES TO THE IRISH-AMERICAN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

On Tuesday June 14th at 12 Noon, The Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame will induct Nolan Ryan, John McGraw, Big Ed Walsh, Gene Monahan, Steve Donohue and Terry Cashman at Foley’s NY (18 W 33rd St) Here are the bio’s for the newest inductees:

  1. Nolan Ryan (Current Living Ex-Players)

Among the most dominating right handers in Major League history and known as the “Ryan Express,” Nolan Ryan is baseball’s all-time strikeout king (5,714).  He holds numerous records including seasons played (27), no hitters (7), and strikeouts in a season (383). During his storied career, Ryan recorded 324 wins for the Mets, Angels, Astros and Rangers.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1999 and was a member of MLB’s “All-Century Team.”  Ryan played a key role for the 1969 New York Mets by recording a 2 1/3 inning save in Game 3 of the World Series.  He is currently part owner and team president of the Texas Rangers.

  1. Big Ed Walsh (Hall of Famers and Legends)

One of the top pitchers of the early 20th century, Big Ed Walsh is baseball’s all-time ERA leader (1.82).  In 1908, he had one of the greatest seasons in history, winning 40 games and posting an ERA of 1.42.  Born in Plains Township, PA, Walsh had four 20-win seasons, six sub-2.00 ERA seasons, and was a World Series champion with the Chicago White Sox in 1906. He owns the second-best WHIP (1.00) in Major League history, compiled a win–loss record of 195–126, and recorded 1,735 strikeouts primarily for the White Sox.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1946.  A meteoric star of the “Dead Ball” era, Big Ed Walsh is the quintessential great but overlooked Irish American in the game of baseball.

3.   John McGraw (Hall of Famers and Legends)

With his 2,763 managerial victories, John McGraw ranks second only to the legendary Connie Mack in Major League history.  A dominant figure in early baseball, he led the New York Giants for 31 years, winning 10 pennants and three World Series.  McGraw managed in both the first World Series and the inaugural All Star Game in 1933.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1947.  John McGraw was also an exceptional player who hit .334 lifetime and stole 436 bases.

4.   Gene Monahan/Steve Donohue (Trainers)

Long time New York Yankee trainers Gene Monahan and Steve Donohue have attended to numerous World Series teams.  They were named MLB’s best trainers by the Professional Athletic Trainer Society in 2010.  Monahan, who is proud of his Irish roots, is a throat cancer survivor and is one of three employees to span the entire length of George Steinbrenner’s ownership.  Earlier this year, he announced his retirement at the end of the 2011 baseball season.  Donohue, whose ancestors hailed from Cork and Wexford, has been part of Yankees’ training staff since 1986.

5.   Terry Cashman (Entertainers)

Terry Cashman is best known for his hit song Talkin’ Baseball, which was inspired by a photograph he saw of 1950s icons Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Duke Snider.  The song struck a chord with fans during the 1981 baseball strike and has grown in popularity ever since.  Over the years, Cashman has revised the lyrics of Talkin’ Baseball to accommodate every Major League team’s history.  Now widely known as “The Balladeer of Baseball,” Cashman played for the Detroit Tiger organization during the early 1960s. Born Dennis Minogue in New York City, Terry Cashman’s Irish roots are in Co. Clare.

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BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE ANNOUCES IT’S ALL STAR SELECTIONS

CANO, LONGORIA HEADLINE ALL-STAR VOTING BY BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE
New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was the leading vote-getter in All-Star Game ballots cast by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, outpacing Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.  Cano received a whopping 45 votes, with only Longoria and Texas’s Josh Hamilton also reaching the 35-vote level in the American League.  Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies led the National League with 36 votes.
Cano was the clear choice at second base by the BBA, with only the one vote received by each of Seattle’s Chone Figgins, Texas’s Ian Kinsler, and Boston’s Dustin Pedroia keeping Cano from an unanimous decision.  Longoria’s 39 votes outpaced Boston’s Adrian Beltre (with six), with Michael Young of the Texas Rangers a distant third with two votes.
The rest of the American League infield, if selected by the BBA, would feature Minnesota’s Justin Morneau, who just edged out Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera by two votes for the first base nod, and New York Yankees’ captain Derek Jeter at shortstop, as he more comfortably finished ahead of Elvis Andrus of the Rangers and Alex Gonzalez of the Toronto Blue Jays.
While the Rangers were close with many of their infielders, it is in the outfield that they finally break through, as Hamilton led all outfielders with his 35 votes.  He would be joined in the outfield by Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford and Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki, who used a late surge to surpass Alex Rios of the Chicago White Sox for the final slot.  Texas also would be honored with the designated hitter, as Vladimir Guerrero easily outpolled the Red Sox’s David Ortiz for that position.
The battery for the American League was Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins and David Price of the Rays.  Mauer won handily over Boston’s Victor Martinez, while Price got the nod to start over the Mariners’ Cliff Lee.
Races in the National League were a little more competitive.
The closest race was in the middle of the diamond.  As of right before the deadline, Philadelphia’s Chase Utley and Atlanta’s Martin Prado were tied with 16 votes apiece.  The late votes pushed Utley over the top 19-16.
Other close races included third base, which saw New York’s David Wright take out Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman by four votes and Cincinnati’s Scott Rolen by six, and the last outfield slot.  Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Andre Ethier were overwhelming picks, receiving 30 votes each, but Chicago’s Marlon Byrd slipped past Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen by two votes in the last surge of voting to take the final position.
Rounding out the National League selections were Colorado catcher Miguel Olivo, St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols and Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez.  Jimenez was the overwhelming choice to take the ball for the senior circuit, receiving over 30 more votes than his closest competitor.

All members of the BBA were eligible to make their selections.  Bloggers were allowed to vote for either the American League, the National League, or both leagues if they so desired.  Ballots were published on the individual blogs as a show of transparency.

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in 2009 and numbers 184 blogs covering all major league teams and various other aspects of baseball among its members, as well as blogs and sites that have affiliated as Friends of the BBA.  The official website of the BBA is located at www.baseballbloggersalliance.com.  The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  Members of the BBA may be heard at Blog Talk Radio each Tuesday night with their call-in show, BBA Baseball Talk.

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J.J. PUTZ WAS HURTIN’ FOR CERTAIN WHEN HE JOINED THE METS

You’re a Mets fan, and even with the underwhelming personnel moves this off season the  front office has made and the anger you have about this bunch of underachievers, you looked at the calendar today as see February 1 and you know that in17 days, pitchers and catchers will report to Port St. Lonesome.

You try to look beyond the fact the team has holes on the defensive end and the pitching staff can with either be solid or shit but you’re a Mets fan, you know that miracles can happen. But then, you read a story like this where J.J. Putz, the former Mets reliever now bullpen fodder for the Chicago White Sox, tells about his season with the Mets. A disclaimer Mets fans the following excerpts are graphic and may not be suitable for all readers. If you suffer from high blood pressure, night sweats and have heard voices in your head, proceed with caution.

Putz claims he was damaged goods when he arrived in NY via Seattle but (this is where it gets upsetting) he was never given a physical exam by the Mets. Here is what went down as per Putz:

  When the trade went down last year, I never really had a physical with the Mets,” said Putz. “I had the bone spur (in the right elbow). It was discovered the previous year in Seattle, and it never got checked out by any other doctors until I got to spring training, and the spring training physical is kind of a formality. It was bugging me all through April, and in May I got an injection. It just got to the point where I couldn’t pitch. I couldn’t throw strikes, my velocity was way down.”

 

So the Mariners sent a player not fit to pitch to the Mets probably realizing that the inept Mets front office would never notice. Do you get the impression that the rest of MLB thinks, the whole Mets front office fell off a turnip truck?

Now, as bad as that declaration by Putz was, it gets even worse as we see here in a statement that will be dissected and maybe, just maybe be what’s needed to be a   cleansing of the Mets front office of incompetence and give this organization the high colonic it needs. This is Exhibit A that the New York Mets organization is run by a bunch of fucking liars:

 Being hurt is never fun, especially when you go to a team like New York, where the expectation level is so high, and you’re not able to do what you know you can do. (The Mets) gave up a lot to get me, so it was disappointing and frustrating.”

 

Especially when the Mets told Putz not to talk about being hurt with the media.

 

“I knew that I wasn’t right. I wasn’t healthy. The toughest part was having to face the media and tell them that you feel fine, even though you know there’s something wrong and they don’t want you telling them that you’re banged up.”

 

There you have it. You can’t believe anything you hear out of Mets managment. What little shred of credibility the Mets front office had is gone now. Now you know why Carlos Beltran went outside the organization to get his knee fixed and you know why no free agents want to come to Flushing. $iti Field might as well be in Chernobyl, it’s that toxic.

What’s the over/under when Jason Bay’s knee blows out? 40 games?

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RULE V DRAFT:BASEBALL’S CLOSE OUT STORE

Don’t know much about RHP Carlos Monasterios, who was plucked from the Phuck Phaces by the Mets in today’s Rule V Draft.

 

Monasterios pitched for Clearwater in High A and for Reading in Double A last season. He’s 23  years old, 6′ 2″ 175 lbs and hails from Venezuela. From looking at his numbers last year, Monasterios looks like a spot starter/long man out of the pen, so he could be another candidate for the 5th starters spot with the Mets or at worse a middle reliever.

 

Monasterios pitched in 37 games combined last season complying a 5-6 3.73 ERA in 89.1 IP. Monasterios gave up 79 hits and walked 29 and K’d 75 with a 1.20 WHIP   

 

So it seems like Carlos Monasterios is the best acquisition of the off season so far.

UPDATE: Mets selected RHP John Lujan from the Chicago White Sox with their next pick in the RULE V draft. Lujan is 6′ 1″ 200 25 yrs old relief pitcher who went 3-5 4.45 ERA in 37 games for Brimingham Double A. In 58.2 IP Lujan walked 28 and K’d 51

One more arm in the pen I guess

UPDATE 10:02 AM Forget Monasterios the Mets just dealt him to Dodgers

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BELIEVE IT OR NOT THERE IS GREAT BASEBALL BEING PLAYED AROUND MLB

The days watching baseball get tougher and tougher now that our Mets are non-entities but last night I watched what was one of the best baseball games I have seen in years.

 The Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox hooked up last night in a game that if it were a post season game would be an instant classic. King Felix Hernandez and Mark Buehrle worked fast, threw strikes and neither one gave an inch. King Felix was helped out by great defensive plays by Adrian Beltre and Ichiro and Buehrle had impeccable command, The game went 14 innings until Junior Griffey drove in the game winner with a single to right to give the M’s a 1-0 win.

 

So Carlos Delgado has pulled an oblique muscle as he tries to come back from hip surgery. Only the NY Mets could get a guy hurt rehabbing from an injury. Nah, nothing wrong with the team training staff <eyes pointed up to the sky>

 

I watched part of Petey’s return and it gave me a big YAWN!!!! I watched the Philly telecast and Tom McCarthy nearly pissed his pants going wild over Petey hitting 91 on the gun. He looked hittable and I’d bet by his third start he’ll get his tits lit.

 

By the way Mike Silva has video of the Shane Victordouchebag getting a beer bath from some fat slob in the Wrigley bleachers. Phillies fans are outraged by the Cub fans gross behavior. That’s like Hugh Hefner calling Dennis Hoff a pimp.

 

The Mets have decided to wear throwback uni’s this weekend but they will not not be “Mets Throwbacks” but more like the uniform worn by the 1905 World Champion New York Giants. The difference though will be a Mr. Met patch on the sleeve and the sleeve cuffs will be blue and orange. Next season the Skill Sets have planned to rename the team the Bridegrooms.

 

Check out Pro Baseball Central tonight at 9PM EDST as Joe McDonald and I talk about the mess that is the NY Mets and what the future of the franchise looks like you can join the conversation as well at (646) 595-4462. If you can’t join us live you can listen on the podcast right here at TEKS or on our Pro Baseball Central site.  

 

More than Beltran, or Delgado or anyone of the dozen players on the DL The player who is missed the most is Jose Reyes, not just for his bat and glove but for his energy. Love him or hate him you can not deney this lifeless bunch of Mets could use a does of Jose-Jose-Jose.

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