Why Do Baseball Writers Hate Mike Piazza ?

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I’ve never met Mike Piazza. People I know have met him and have had dealings with him and have told me some not so nice stories about him. When Piazza did not show or even send a video thank you as other members of that team did (Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Roger McDowell and Davey Johnson) at the SNY taping of the naming of the 50th anniversary all-time team, I asked around why the man named as the greatest catcher in Mets history wasn’t there, all I got was a lot of looking down on the ground and a some well…..ummmmmm…….aaaa…….’s as a response.  I’ve never been a big Mike Piazza fan and for me it was from conversations with folks who dealt with him and just my sense that he was more of a “me” player, perfect example was his stubbornness to not take ground balls at first base until he broke the all-time record for home runs by a catcher.  Even with all that bias I have against Piazza, I still think he’s a first ballot hall of famer and to tell you the honest truth I’m SHOCKED at all the negativity he has gotten from the voters in the Baseball Writers Association of America and it looks like what myself and every other Mets fan thought was a lead pipe cinch-Piazza going in as a first ballot HOF’er-isn’t going to happen.

The anti-Piazza block of scribes claims that due to nothing more than a case of back acne, Piazza is guilty of being a juicer. There’s absolutely no proof of a positive drug test nor was Piazza’s name mentioned in the Mitchell Report that links Piazza to usage of PED’s.  For every voter who casts a ballot minus Piazza’ name on it, 1,000 Tweets of “You’re an asshole” hit Twitter. I’ve tried to figure out why these baseball writers would embarrass themselves by not only leaving Piazza off their ballot but be so public about it. My conclusion is it’s not about the steroids it’s that the writers just don’t like Mike.

Think about it, baseball writers and players have feuded for years. Ted Williams hated the Boston scribes and vice-versa. When Williams was inducted in 1966, 27 voters left the Splendid Splinter off their ballot. Look how long it took Eddie Murray and Jim Rice to be enshrined. Murray and Rice hated the press and made their life difficult so when the time came, the writers turned the tables on them with some out and out hate. How about Albert Belle? Take a look at the 10 seasons Belle but together and argue that he is not worthy of a plaque in Cooperstown. Do you know what percentage of votes Belle received?  In 2006, his first season on the ballot, Belle got 7.7 % of the votes. In 2007 he garnered 3.5 % of the vote which in turn made him ineligible to be on any future ballot. A player who finished his career prematurely due to injury with a line of .295/.369/.564 and 381 HR 1239 RBI gets just two years on the ballot and goes from 7.7 % of the vote to a messily 3.5% ? Now that’s hate. I know Belle was a prick with ears to everyone he encountered in the game  but it goes to show that when the members of the BBWAA can get revenge they go on an all-out assault, which in my very convoluted way brings me back to Mike Piazza.

I don’t recall Piazza having any real animosity with the media except for when the NY Post questioned his sexuality. Piazza was never a great quote machine (neither is the sainted Jeets) and I’ve never heard of any “feud” between Piazza and the media so this could just be something in my own mind that fuels the feeling the press is out to get Piazza. Other than that or a positive drug test how could you not vote for Mike Piazza for the baseball Hall of Fame?

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Hey NY Mets, Someone Has To Care!

In the name of the Kranepool, The Seaver and the Holy Gil Hodges. Gil, this team, this organiztion is killing me. I’m so tired of not just the losing but the way this team has no fight in it. Remember when you came the manage the Mets in 1968 and you told your players the days of the loveable losers was over and that if you weren’t ready to dedicate yourself to being a winner then you couldn’t be a part of your team? What happened to that thinking Gil? It came back in the 80’s with Frank Cashen and Davey Johnson then it vanished again and made a bit of an appereance in the mid 2000’s. But Gil, we are back to the ways of old, players have given up, the manager once a bit of a spitfire has a beaten look to him, he has no answers and if he hasn’t lost his clubhouse he’s on the brink. My God Gil, how does this happen and why does it always happen to the Mets ? Please Gil you have to help us, send a message, you are still loved and revered by Mets fans that’s why I turn to you in our time of despair. In the name of the Kranepool, the Seaver and the Holy Gil Hodges Amen.

Out on the street 

Where I grew up

First thing they teach us

not to give a fuck

That kind of thinking can’t get you nowhere

Someone has to care.

-The Roots “How I got Over”

Leave it to the Mets to ruin a wonderful MLB debut by Collin McHugh and let Mike Francesa give them a thorough and well deserved ass reaming on his radio show after the game, although Francesa shitting on McHugh’s performance was uncalled for but everything else in his rant and rave was well deserved.

I’m at a loss for words with this latest collapse and I even more dazed and confused over Terry Collins proclamation that Daniel Murphy is “out of gas” and needs a couple of days off.  I’m stunned Colins would use the words “out of gas” and “fatigued” knowing that the fan base are like sharks off the coast of Cape Cod and are circling as they smell blood in the water. What did Collins and the Mets think the fan reaction to Murphy being out of gas would be, sure sit out a few games and rest up? Shit, not in this lifetime.

Am I pissed off about this??? You bet your dragging ass I am. I’m like everyone else, I drag my ass out of bed every morning to go to work and hope that (a) the assholes I work with won’t piss me off to the point I want to stab someone and (b) that there is some overtime to grab so I can provide a little more for my wife and kids. You want fatigue; try getting up at 5AM take a train, a boat and another train to get to work. Then work a twelve hour shift and repeat that commute to go home. Am I complaining?  Hell no! I will never complain about going to work and how I get there, you know why? Because my family depends on me, it keeps me motivated.

So when a baseball player, a baseball player I like very much, is sitting out games because he’s out of gas don’t expect me to accept that as an excuse.

As I said when I stated this rant and rave, I wish I know who went to who with this but either way it seems Terry Collins is getting to that “don’t give a fuck” stage with this team and that is very, very sad like the Roots song says in “How I Got Over” that type of thinking can’t get you nowhere, someone has to care and has to care right now.     

 

 

 

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HIT? NO, I’LL FOLD

“Perception is reality in our game and the perception I have right now is we’ve folded it up,” Collins said in a passionate postgame news conference. “You want to see intenseness? You want to see me be intense? You guys are going to see it. I won’t play that game. You come and play the game right. I don’t care what the situation is. I don’t care about anything but playing the game correctly. That’s all I care about. Our fans should be upset. I don’t blame them one bit.”

Those are the words of Mets manager Terry Collins, who kind of erupted after the Mets latest loss yesterday. The Washington Nationals, a team that could become a big thorn in the Mets side the next few years, came into Citi Field with nothing to play for except that they are a professional baseball team that gets paid a lot of money to compete and they are managed by Davey Johnson, who actually won a championship in blue and orange clothing and was raised in Baltimore under Earl Weaver during the halcyon days of the Orioles of the 1970’s

As I was getting ready to do this post I read Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Digest and he hits on all the same points I was ready to lay out here so thank you Mike you’ve saved me from another 1,000 post on the demise of the Mets. Silva’s analysis of David Wright is 100 % spot on:

Although David wants to win and tries hard, he continues to allow his surroundings to get the better of him. When the team goes bad he doesn’t rise above it; he becomes part of the problem instead of the solution. He needs to realize that behavior gets him the same treatment as the other 24 players; $14 million dollar salary and All Star resume be damned. I wouldn’t trade Wright coming off this type of season, but he needs to be told that 2012 is his last chance to turn his Mets career around and show the organization he is closer to the player we saw from 2005-2008.”

You know, we all killed Freddy Skill Sets when he said that Wright was a good kid and a good ballplayer but not a guy who carries the team, and guess what? Freddy was on target. Wright is a good baseball player who would thrive on a team that has outstanding players. He’s more a supporting actor than a leading man. Quite frankly, I don’t know what value he has in the trade market over the winter but I would think Sandy Alderson will find out.

Speaking of the GM, he’s been mighty quiet during this tailspin, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Is he sitting back taking notes of who has “folded up” to decide who stays and who goes?  Most likely.

So tonight let’s see if the manager is serious or just giving lip service.  I’d sit Wright and Pagan and if Bay can’t go please, enough of Willie Harris all he’s good at is preparing whip cream pies, put Nick Evans in LF and let Josh Satin play 1B. I know there isn’t much to choose from but the mangers best friend is the bench when he wants to get his message across.

 

 

 

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GREATEST…………….GAME………..EEEVVVEEERRR….

 Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times has another great post today as he goes in depth on the Mets-Reds game that was played 25 years ago today. This game is famous for the Davey Johnson use of Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell shuttle from pitcher’s mound to the outfield and for one of the best baseball fights ever when Ray Knight knocked out Eric Davis for sliding into him at 3rd base.

I don’t know if this game has been available to SNY for its Mets Classics but if not, they need to pay whatever amount need be to obtain it even if it’s the Cincinnati feed because this was one of the best games ever!

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A FRIDAY QUICK HIT

I’ve got a ton of work to get to today and if the rain holds off a baseball game to manage tonight so just a few quickies before my nose meets the old grind stone:

Good medical news finally as Davis Wright will head to Port St. Lonesome and engage in baseball activities that hopefully gets him back to the Mets by the All Star break. I love Jose Reyes telling Wright to “Have fun in St. Lucie” then laughing to reporters “There is nothing to do there”

Hopefully all Chris Capuano is suffering from is a cramp in his abdomen from not being sufficiently hydrated and not some oblique-intercostal bullshit muscle pull thingy.

The whole back page of the NY Daily News today is just bunch of sensational bullshit, in fact I just spent more time on it than I should have.

The Jim Riggleman resignation is the talk of baseball today. After reading Ken Rosenthal’s article on Riggleman walking out on the Nats you can say there are two sides to the story and when you start hearing the manager and scouts all agree that GM Mike Rizzo has a problem with communicating with them, you could see that Riggelman’ ultimatum that his contract option for 2012 be picked up or else was a cry to get the GM’s attention. Bottom line is Riggleman quit on his team and what makes it worse is his team is on a roll as they are just 4 ½ games off the Wild Card and they have been winning at home so Riggleman comes off as a real selfish prick with this move. I agree with Rosenthal as I definitely see Davey Johnson being the first choice to take over the Nats for at least the rest of the season as this is the perfect Davey Johnson situation.

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A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF OWNERSHIP?

So neither Mayor Moneybags or Jerry Seinfled are interested in buying the Mets. That’s fine by me because I am very much interested in buying the Mets

 (first thing I’d do is redesign Citi Field and make it like Cameron Indoor Stadium where all the seats in the field level of the stadium would be for Mets fans only and by fans I mean in order to sit there you would have to take a 10 question quiz on Mets history. For every question you get right I deduct a dollar off the already low 20 bucks I’d charge for the seat. Then I’d move all the club seats holders to the Promenade and make up the difference in my new ticket price plan on them. Oh and I enclose the whole promenade as so not to disturb the high rollers with our screaming and yelling of LET’S GO METS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)   

Except I lack the one thing that would make that happen. MONEY, but both Bloomy and Seinfeld are filthy rich so if they front me the cash, I would be happy to take ownership over from the Skill Sets.

Alex Remington on FanGraphs puts out the theory of the Mets going with a public sale of stock in the team as a way to raise capital and keep control of the franchise. If this happened I would definitely buy in. Remington mentions the Boston Celtics in his piece as a team that stock was available in back in the mid late 90’s. Being a Celtics fan, I bought 100 shares of Celtics stock for 8 buck a share. When the current management took over control of the team they wanted make them private, so they offered the shareholders $35 a share so my $800 investment brought me back $3500 and the right to say I once was a part owner of the Boston Celtics.  

Ed Marcus’ Top 50 Mets of all time checks today with #27 Jesse Orosco. Of course we can never forget Orosco on the mound for the NLCS and World Series clinchers and of course coming to the Mets from the Twins for Jerry Koosman but the game that stands out to me is July 22, 1986 in a 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Davey Johnson had both Orosco and his tag team partner Roger McDowell stay in the game by rotating them from the outfield to the pitcher’s mound.

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METS FANS “MANAGING” TO STAY SANE

In a story today in the New York Post, Davey Johnson is quoted as saying that Terry Collins would be the right choice by the Mets to be the next manager.  As much as Johnson loves Wally Backman, it’s his opinion that Collins’ experience as the Mets Minor League Coordinator would help with the organization making a determination as to which farm hands are of immediate help to the big league club.

On the same day of this story comes word that Scouting Director Rudy Terrasas will be reassigned in the organization. So if Collins does get the job then the message sent will be that main job by this front office is to rebuild the farm system and the way they draft talent. Even if Bob Melvin gets the job I think the rebuilding of the farm system will still be the Alderson mission statement with Collins staying with the organization and working with DePo in such a capacity.

That’s why as Mets fans you need to forget about any big splash signings of free agents and unless Alderson is bowled over with a great return on a trade, the best moves you can hope for this off season would be the release of Ollie Perez (and the more he’s sucks in winter ball the better the chance that Alderson tells the Skill Sets “EAT THE CONTRACT “) and Luis Castillo. I’m fine with that.

There is a segment of Mets fans who feel the Mets should have gone after Dan Uggla. That would be fine if the Mets were a player or two away from being a contender but they’re not, so Uggla is not the answer.

This doesn’t mean the winter will be boring around here, just the opposite. This will be the most interesting hot stove since 1980 when Frank Cashen came aboard and was handed a mess to clean up and clean it up he did. Let’s hope history repeats itself.

Hojo’s Mojo at Mets Merized Online posts that the Sports Pope broke from his Pop Warner persona this morning to report that the Texas Rangers have inquired about Carlos Beltran and are willing to take on $10-$12 mil of his contract. If this is true, the Mets have to make this deal. Even if you get back a couple of prospects just the fact you’re freeing up $6-$8 mil dollars to spend on much needed pitching would push me to make this deal.

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BENGI GO HOME!!!!

Thank you Bengi Molina for NOT signing with the NY Mets and thank you Brian Sabean for bailing out the Mets with your offer to Bengi Molina.

Now that the Mets have $5 mil lying around they can either put that money towards giving Ben Sheets and incentive filled deal and strike before some other team grabs him or they could put that money towards a buyout of Rogers (Hornsby) Castillo or keep Castillo and use the money towards giving Orlando Hudson a deal and left Castillo be a part time player/groundskeeper. I know it’s a pipe dream that the Mets would buyout Castillo and sign O-Dog so please Jeffey Baby, let’s give the cast to Sheets!!!!!!

More good news, Jeff Francouer signed for just 1 year. Rumor is that Freddy Skill Sets and Uncle Saul Katz made a deal Richard Heene for one of his balloons and Jeffey and Omar are now orbiting around the skies of Corona.

Metsgrrl just received a framed picture from opening day at $iti field for being a loyal season ticket subscriber. The note that came with it wished her a HAPPY HOLIDAY. Obviously the Skill Sets waited until all holiday items were at 90 % off to buy the frames the pics came with.

As much as I feel the Mets need to go full force for at least 2 starting pitchers, they still need a catcher. I like Omir Santos but his presences behind the plate has been questioned within the organization. I’m fine with Henry Blanco as a one half of a catching tandem as he is strong defensively. I can’t see going after Yorvit Torrealba with a lawsuit against the Mets still awaiting trial so the guy who makes the most sense would be Rod Barajas. Barajas is nothing at the plate but he’s very good behind it and the Mets need a very good defensive catcher.

Yes it is outstanding that the Mets have announced that Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Davey Johnson and Frank Cashen will be inducted into the NY Mets Hall of Fame this summer. But isn’t it remarkable that all four of these gentlemen are not in there already. In fact the last player to be inducted into the Mets HOF was Tommie Agee in 2002.  Induction day will be August 1st,  so far that’s the first “must game to be at” for 2010.

Sad news from the NY Rangers. John Haligan the teams long time PR man and top Rangers and NHL historian passed away today at age of 68. For years I sat in Section 432 of Madison Square Garden watching the Rangers and Halligan and his wife Janet were the two of the great people at MSG. John always had time to talk to us between periods and he would bring us the score sheets and any news on injuries. He respected us as people and as Ranger fans. This is a very sad day indeed.

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LET ME SHOW YOU SOME LOVE, YOU BIG LUG!

Let me join Ya Gotta Believe in saying I’m sorry to Carlos Delgado for wanting to run him out of town earlier this year. Who knew Del-GOD-o would turn around his season/career like he did? I didn’t that’s for sure but I got caught up in the rush hour a fellow starter to shower you with love and affection now you won’t look in my direction. But I want to make it up to CD how about after a game next week we hit the mobile taqueria on 108 St and have a little rice and beans and talk about our plans for October.

 

Word out of Flushing is that Mookie Wilson, Davey Johnson and Doc Godden have declined invites to the Last Day of Shea. I don’t care how pissed off these three are at the organization they should know that this day is not about the Skill Sets it’s about the Mets fans and the Mets players past and present. Sure Mookie is ticked off that he was not given a bigger role In the organization and that the Mets didn’t hold on to Preston Wilson or even bring him back to the team and the fact that fans like myself were angry with him about being decked out in Cardinal regalia during the 2006 post season, time burry the hatchet Mookie. Same with Davey the original bad ass has to realize he would be given a heroes welcome. And Doc, my god  with all the bullshit that he has been through in his life you would think he’s want to here the cheers from the crowd in the place where he made his name and fame? Maybe he loves the Highlanders so much because they are the biggest enablers around (see Martin, Billy former player/manager/violent alcoholic) and the Skill Sets tried in vain to get him on a straight path, whatever Gooden needs to be a Shea he heeds to feel the love from Mets fans Com’on Doc come home I’m not mad at ya.!  

 

As much as our bullpen makes us want to pull our hair out remember one thing, you will never here  “Now pitching for the New York Mets, Eric Gagne”  Gagne makes Aaron Heilman look like Cy Young

 

It is official the great exalted (and bloated ) Mike Francesa has pronounced the 2008 New York Highlanders dead!  To pay your respects, Suzyn Waldman will be sitting shiva in her home in Westchester.

 

 

 

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JUST A SONG BEFORE I GO

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh vacation time, it’s wonderful. Before I leave for Cape Cod and a trip to Boston and Fenway Park I will be in attendance at Shea for tonight’s game as the turnaround season rolls on. No post tomorrow as it’s a long travel day but I hope to post Monday my “Fitty’ Birthday” by the way , so before I get some last minute stuff done and head to Shea a few thoughts:

 

Two of the biggest players of this turnaround have been Carlos Delgado and Mike Pelfrey and not surprisingly both players have been helped by the change in manager and pitching coach. Delgado seemed to hate being at the ball park when Willie Randolph was in charge as it seems Randolph’s reign in the clubhouse was a tension convention but for some reason the main streamers give us just bits and pieces of  life in Mets clubhouse under Willie. I guess theiy will let us know when their books come out. Rick Peterson told Mike Pelfrey to never throw a curveball again. Dean of School Dan Werthen worked with Pelfery on his breaking ball to go with his 90+ heater to make him a complete pitcher. No bracelets, no gem stones just good common sense.

 

I can’t figure out Dirty Duaner. He gets ahead of batters and can’t finish them off. Is it bad luck or poor performance?

 

Brandon Knight, the definition of a journeyman, makes his Mets debut tonight as a stand in for Petey. Knight has had a great year in NOLA and was ready to join Davey Johnson and Team USA in Beijing but on the insistence of Dan Werthen he was summoned for this spot start.

 

Looks like the Highlanders stole Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte from the Bucs but I’m not worried about that as with all the rumors and names out there the guy I hope we land is Casey Blake. Blake has descent power and can player OF, 3B, and 1st  his one draw back is striking out a lot but we can live with that as Blake is the righty bat the Mets need.

 

Manny isn’t happy in Boston. The Red Sox front office, owners, players and fans are not happy with Manny.  I think you know where I’m going here, If I’m Omar I have to make a call in fact if Omar wants to give me Theo Epstein’s number and I’ll meet him for lunch when I get  into town.

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