Mets-cetra

 

As the equipment truck heads down I-95 towards St. Lonesome there is a few pieces of Mets information in the news today, so let’s take a look-see shall we?

According to the NY Post, Fred Wilpon and Uncle Saul Katz would like to build a casino on the soon to be re-developed Iron Triangle. Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.  The one think the Mets have going for them in this new scheme business venture is that Governor Cuomo is a proponent of having casinos in New York State but mostly he wants them upstate New York and not in the NYC limits. This reminds me of the time years ago the urban legend around Brooklyn was that Frank Sinatra was buying up a whole bunch of real estate because casino gambling was coming to Coney Island. Of course that never happened. Neither will Willets Point Casino. The part of the story that made me choke on my bagel was that the city has “handed” the Wilpon’s 23 acres of NYC real estate back in 2011 that they have turned into park spaces. Nice of the Bloomberg administration to be giving away land maybe folks in Staten Island, Rockaways and Breezy Point can get a nice gift like that.

Are the decision makers in the MLB Commissioners office on vacation or just asleep?   Can someone give a ruling on whether the Mets can have their 11th pick in the Entry Level draft protected or not so the club can get down to business and sign Michael Bourn. The Pirates are being reward for not doing their due diligence on Mark Appel  taking the RHP with the 8th pick in the last year draft and having the pitcher turn down $3.8 mil to go back for his senior season at Stanford.  It’s not just the draft pick that concerns the Mets it’s the slotting money that the club would lose that has them in the conundrum they’re in concerning Bourn.  Not an easy decision for Sandy Alderson.

I really, really, really like Johan Santana but can he stop with the” I want play in the WBC” proclamations?  How about getting in shape and being ready for opening day for the team that PAYS you?  I get all this Nationalism and stuff but Santana finished the season on the disabled list so the Mets are within their rights under the CBA to tell Santana no way and I would bet that Sandy Alderson will stick to that. This is Santana’s last year (months?) as a Met so what’s he gonna do? Besides the Mets need for Santana to show some positive starts so he can be used as trade bait in July.

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The Bronx Sure Ain’t Burning With Highlander Fever

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Check out last nights Sports Media Watchdogs Podcast where Mike Silva and I talk about my day  at Highlander Stadium, Mike’s bet with Michale Kay, The Giants season preview and a look at the NHL Lockout.

I haven’t had much time to post this weekend as the last holiday of the summer has been a whirlwind between having a big barbeque at my house, the up early to get to Highlander Stadium (more on the in a minute) and now today off to Coney Island to see and root for the Brooklyn Cyclones as they try to get the NY-Penn League Wild Card spot.

Yesterday I was at Highlander Stadium for an event where the NY Highlanders were honoring young men who had achieved the status of Eagle Scout in the past year. So with my son and nephew achieving this we were all invited to the game between the Highlander and Orioles.

All the Scouts were brought on to the field for a pre-game ceremony and they too a group shot that was shown on the giant TV screen in centerfield but no player joined them to take a picture or shake their hands, oh well. We were given seats in the terrace section of left field which is just below the upper deck. Problem with that section is you can’t’ see left field or left/center field, so I missed Mark Reynolds two home runs which made my delayed cheering a bit awkward, oh yeah I was rooting for Buck’s Birds yesterday for sure.

The stadium is massive, so big that to see everything there is from food and stores would take you all game to see. If you sit up in the upper reaches of the stadium and would like to go all the way to the field level where they have a food court, you’re going to miss at least two innings getting down there another inning getting food and another couple of innings getting back upstairs.  Not really worth it.

The seats, especially the bleachers are so far back from the action that even when fans make noise they’re not a factor in making a difference. I’ve heard louder fan noise at Shea/Citi Field after a 2 hour rain delay when maybe 1,500-2,000 fans were still in the park. It could be the weekend crowd in the Bronx is different than the weeknight crowd as the upstate contingent of Highlander fans show up regularly on the weekend for day games (leaving the parking lot it’s funny to see the Major Deegan northbound bumper to bumper and the southbound entrance to the FDR south a breeze) but the stadium was monastery quiet most of the game and for a game that was crucial to the Highlanders it was a bit of a shock to me.

Ok time to watch Collin McHugh take on the Cards for a few innings then head to Coney Island

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HEY METS FANS, SANDY DOESN’T CARE WHAT YOU WANT AND THAT’S A GOOD THING

Sandy Alderson could not care less what you think.  He knows if it were up to Mets fans, not only would Wally Backman be the manger of the team but everyone associated with the 1986 Mets, with the exception of Tim McCarver and Steve Zabriskie, would have some kind of meaningful job in the organization. Alderson knows how much we all worship our last conquering heroes and he couldn’t give a rats ass. That’s what I like about Sandy Alderson and it’s clear he’s the right man to run the Mets.

There is no other fan base in this town that is as sentimental about their past than Mets fan.  We savor and love to reminisce about seasons past, not just the good but the bad as well. As the years go by, the great seasons become immortalized and the bad seasons start to have redeeming qualities, it’s just how we are; we can’t help it, we’re an emotional bunch. That’s why we are in no position to say who the next manager of the Mets should be.

It looks as though Wally Backman will not be considered for the Mets manager’s job. There will be outrage about this in the Land of Orange and Blue as how dare Sandy Alderson not give us the man we want.  Make no mistake I love Wally as much as you and that’s the problem.

Last year going to Brooklyn Cyclones game was better than any of the previous seasons going to the ball park on Coney Island because I was so pumped up about Backman being the manager. I bored my son to tears with stories about Wally and how he and Lenny Dykstra were the one-two punch at the top of the order that set up a kick ass middle of the lineup of Hernandez-Carter-Strawberry and how Backman never had a clean uniform and would anything on the field to win. It’s this kind fanboy admiration that makes me recues myself on picking the next Mets manager.  Of course my heart says Wally Backman but my head says let a guy with no ties to the organization and a guy who has succeed in this job before pick the manager that he sees will fit to carry out his plan.

There are some in the younger demographics of Mets fans who are anti-Backman and who are tired of hearing about the 86’ers. I can see their point. It’s similar to my late mother who one day when friends of hers and my father had come to visit and part of the conversation swung to the “good old days”. Nothing got my mother’ ire up when the “old biddies” pined for the ‘good old days” when bread was three cents and milk was a nickel.  My mother would tell them “yeah and when you got the flu it killed you” which was followed with an eye roll and then a lecture later that those biddies were horse’s arse’s.  But  while the those Mets teams of the mid 80’s should have won more than they did, I can’t forget that going to Shea Stadium back in the day was like celebrating New Years Eve, Spring Break and Madi Grais every night , it was THE place to be. Maybe $iti Field will be that way someday instead of being the catering hall/shopping mall it is now. But I digress……

Whoever Sandy Alderson and his All Star Band of front office folks pick to manage the Mets there will be outrage by this passionate of all passionate fan bases.  If it were up to the fans, Backman would be manager, Doc Gooden the pitching coach, Darryl Strawberry the hitting coach and Lenny Dykstra the 3rd base coach and Mazz as Wally’s bench coach. That’s thinking with your heart and with unbridled emotion. Alderson is thinking with his head and is taking his time to make his decision because (a) it doesn’t look like any other manager hires are in the works (if you want to count the Pirates job fine) and (b) the manager right now is not important because the Mets will not be signing any big ticket free agents  this off season.

All I can say is let’s put some faith in Alderson, a man with a winning track record that he’ll make the right choice of manager . Of course the first time the Mets go on a five game losing streak all bets are off.

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GO GET THE SYM-PHONY THEY’RE PLAYING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP IN BROOKLYN

I’m about fried with this Walter Reed no show debate but it just shows how badly the Mets need a PR firm to come in and do a much needed makeover on how this organization does things and how to get a POSITIVE message not turn into a negative one . When an event like a trip to meet with injured soldier’s turns into a frenzy of negativity something is definitely wrong and it’s time refocus and reinvent how your franchise is viewed by your fans and throughout baseball.

One way would to bottle or just promote the folks running the Brooklyn Cyclones who do a great job on Coney Island year after year with game day promotions and making the overall atmosphere at MCU Park very enjoyable. It doesn’t hurt to put a talented, hustling team on the field either.

The Cyclones took game 3 of the NY-PENN League Semi-Finals and will now move on to meet the Tri-City Valley Cats, a Houston Astros farm team, in the Championship best of 3 series. Darrell Ceciliani has bounced back from knee injury to get back to his hitting ways and C Blake Forsythe (who has not impressed me at all at bat and most definitely behind the plate) had a big 2run HR over the center field wall that is 412 ft from home plate and has not been cleared too often.     

Who’s on second for the Mets in 2011? My guess? Daniel Murphy and a defensive infielder (Joaquin Arias or Luis Hernandez) start the season. Reese Havens if we can stay healthy, gets about 200 AB’s in the minors, and takes over the position, moving Murph to a super sub role.   

I’ll watch Mets-Phillies tonight because Jenry Mejia is getting another start in a match up with Roy Halladay but come 9PM I’m switching over to what has become must see TV, the NL West pennant race. The Rockies are on a roll with 7 straight in the win column and then at 10PM it’s Giants-Padres from Petco Pk. The only way this night gets screwed up is if the game is not on CSN Bay Area and I don’t get to here my second favorite announcers Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow. The way the Mets are going, I’m starting to sway back to my roots with the Giants since I have the MLB Extra Innings, I’ve enjoyed these late night romps with Kruk & Kuip .

 Check out my NFL WEEK 1 picks at NY Football Blog and don’t forget I will be joining Frankie Maniscalco on NY Football Blog LIVE on Blog Tak Radio Sunday Night at 9PM ET to talk Giants-Jets and the Buffalo Bills football  

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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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DOWN GOES SANTANA……… AGAIN

 

I was going to take a break from blogging today but a few items of interest have given me the urge to vent, so a venting we will go:

Johan Santana either hurt his right pectoral muscle or his shoulder or he broke a finger nail or his left arm was amputated from just above his elbow. Take your pick because no one knows for sure especially the manager who has trouble decipher the difference between a pec muscle and a shoulder.

So let me see if I have this right, you can criticize the President of the U.S., the Pope, Muslims building a community center in Manhattan, the NYC Transit System and your In-Laws but you can’t criticize Jeff Francoeur and his inability to hit a baseball with any authority or the fact that his nice smile and balls to the wall hustle might be a façade as when his playing time was cut due to lack of production he had his agent go crying to management that he wanted out. You know what, sometimes you Mets fan get want you deserve, a losing team and incompetent management.

Yesterday Wally Backman met with Jeffey Skill Sets on Coney Island. Today and tomorrow Wally gets to see me at MCU Park ( I’d love to meet with him in fact I’d take him over to Gargulio’s for a little escarole and beans and scungilli my treat) It seems Wally was a little taken aback when asked if Jeffey offered him the Mets managers job while visiting the Cyclones chief. Yeah I’m sure you two talked about the carpets and drapes.

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WALLY-BALL IS FANNNNNNNNNNTASTIC

I spent the night at Coney Island watching the Brooklyn Cyclones tear apart the Hudson Valley Renegades 16-5, check out Amazin’ Avenues recap of the game.

I’m loaded with work today so the post will be brief but this was the third game Cyclones game this season and Wally Ball is something else. The best part of watching the Cyclones is that Wally Backman coaches 3rd base and he has this team running the bases with aggression.

Backman got his first ejection from a game as a Cyclone in the top of the 9th inning as he questioned a called HR but that looked foul but the umps called it a fair. Now you say, the Cyclones were up 12 runs what the hell was Wally doing arguing? Well earlier in the game the base umpire (there are only 2 umps in NY-PENN games) called a Brooklyn runner out at first where he looked safe, by a lot that ended a Cyclone rally. I guess the umpire knowing Backman’s rep didn’t want to hear him, so he jogged out to the outfield grass after the call as Backman jogged across the field to the home dugout staring down the official. Wally wanted to go after him but the ump just kept jogging further out to the outfield. It was quite funny to watch.

But Wally filed that play away in his head until the 9th when he used the botched home run call as an excuse to let the young umpire know he can run but he can’t hide from him and it’s best to take your ass kicking from the manager like a man.

It was “Let’s Go Get A Beer Doc” moment for Wally.

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SICK AS A DOG, WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

…..cause you really ain’t that young……….. 

 

I have a nasty chest cold today and feel like shit so I’m hoping the Mets keep their trade hand pat as I’d hate for them to pull off a blockbuster today like getting Albert Puljos and Adam Wainright for Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez and Tony Bernazard’s wife beater, as my energy level as now at dragging ass.

 

One announcement before I mainline Vick’s Vapor Rub, the Mets signed Japanese RHP and Tommy John surgery survivor Ryota Igarashi. Igarashi, 30 will be given the set up tole to Frankie Rodz to lose this spring as he possesses a 90+ FB and a killer spilt/sinker (or so they say)

Igarashi will also represent the Mets at the Nathans’ Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4th.

I really need to lay down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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JEFFEY SKILL SETS PUTS ON HIS BIG BOY PANTS

Kids, I was thisclose to getting a word with Jeffey Skill Sets yesterday, thisclose.

I left my office on W.Broadway at 4PM to go to the game last night. I grabbed an uptown 2 train to Times Square and jumped on the 7 which just happened to be an express and I arrived at $iti Field by 4:45. To my surprise the gates at the O’Malley Shrine were opened and fans were filing in. I went down the left field line to watch BP after awhile I moseyed around the park, grabbed a hot dog (I swear Nathan’s makes two different brands of hot dogs, one for Coney Island and the other for general distribution as the Coney Island dogs are superior to the any other Nathan’s dogs off site. I swear on Coney Island they boiler the hot dogs in ocean water before grilling them) walked a little more, looked at sites, listened to the sounds and all of a sudden I saw a commotion in front of the Mets dugout. There with microphones, cameras and note pads was the CEO of the New York Mets, Jeffery S. Skill Sets holding court and me just 20 rows and a security guard away from my ultimate goal to heckle Jeffey. Now I knew there was no way in hell I was getting down there not with James from Woodside (that’s what it said on his badge) guarding the section.

So I had to wait until I go home from the game to hear what Jeffey had to say (just as well I didn’t get down to the dugout, who wants to get tossed out the ball park before a game and on your birthday no less) but from listening it seems that Omar acted out of frustration against Adam Rubin and what I found interesting was that Jeffey who usually calls his daddy and uncle by their first names, keeping it business like, said that Monday was an “embarrassment to him his father and his uncle” WOW this is personal. Omar’s in trouble here and it will take some big time fence mending with the Skill Sets and the press to save him. He better hope this on field resurgence continues as he is on thin ice and the temperature is getting hotter by the second.

This is where Minaya made his biggest mistake he made this personal and not business. His buddy got caught doing some nasty shit and Adam Rubin reported the facts and Omar got caught covering up Tony B’s transgressions. Omar wanted his pound of flesh and made himself into an ass doing it. Let’s see if he can recover from this.

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TIME FOR A NEW PLAN FOR THE METS

 

 

 

 

Sorry for no posting yesterday but I am preparing for my annual Boy Scout camping trip to Ten-Mile River  and my son decided it would be nice to get new sleeping bags and a frame backpack since he is taking  hiking and wilderness survival  merit badge classes this trip, so it was off to Campmor in Paramus NJ and from there it was on to Coney Island and our first Brooklyn Cyclones game of the season and it looks like if there is any meaning full baseball being played by the Mets organization this summer it will be at Key Span Park.

The Cyclones won their 8th straight home game last night coming from behind in the bottom of the 9th to win 3-2. Nicholas Santomuro had the game winning hit with a blast off the left field wall. The Cyclones are now 12-2 this season and have a 7 game lead over Aberdeen in the NY-Penn League’ McNamarra Division.  

At some point we Mets fans just have to come to the realization that this is not a very good team and stop screaming for a trade because right now a trade is like a band aid on a gunshot wound ,what should be debated is what direction is the organization headed and what can Omar Minaya do to fix what is a team that is so fundamentally flawed that everyone from the fans, owner, on field personnel, front office and coaches and managers throughout the organization should be embarrassed to wear a Mets uniform.  Its one thing to suck but to suck and not have the grasp of the basic fundamentals of baseball is scandalous. For all the heat Minaya takes for not making deals and for the one’s he makes that don’t work and for the bad contracts he has saddled the organization with (can’t wait for Ollie Perez to come back against the Dodgers next week, glad I’ll be in the woods for that) the lack of baseball intellect on display by the Mets has not gone reported and Omar has not been called out for it.

Omar is like me when I go to IKEA, I can pick out some really great book shelves and a gorgeous entertainment center  but when I get them home , I have no clue how to put them all together.  Minaya has an eye for talent and can find some bargains in the dumpster but he is at a loss at putting a full roster together.

Which is the big problem with the Mets, too many square pegs not fiting in round holes. Too many players out of position and too many players old and over the hill that break down physically and production wise when they are tested on a daily basis.

With his contract extension kicking in after this season Minaya isn’t going of to be fired  but there really needs to be a shake up in the front office maybe bring in a Paul DePodsda type of exec to work with Omar to bring a different perspective in judging talent and maybe better way of constructing a 40 man roster. Something needs to change as the way it’s laid out now ain’t working.

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The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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