My Day At Highlander Stadium with Terry Collins, Joe Girardi and Dunkin Donuts !

This isn’t the best commercial acting I’ve ever seen but you have to admit, it beats the hell out the SUBWAY ads with Joe Torre and Willie “But it’s toasted Joe “Randolph

Yesterday I was invited to an event at Highlander Stadium by Dunkin Donuts that featured an appearance by Highlander skipper Joe Girardi and our own Terry Collins. This was a much different experience than I’ve had at Citi Field when myself and other Mets bloggers have been invited to participate in the pre and post-game activities that the main stream sports media attend daily.

Before I get to the access I had to the managers, a little about how they do things media wise in the South Bronx. When I arrived at the stadium I headed for Gate 4, the press gate, as I entered there are two x-ray machines just like what you see at the airport. I had to put my knapsack on the conveyor belt so it could be scanned, I didn’t know if this was a routine for everyone or just anyone affiliated with the Mets that had to be screened in such a way, maybe my 50th Anniversary pin set off a red flag. From there I checked in and was told to wait for a member of the Highlander security force who would then escort me to the Audi Club.

As the Highlander constable along with a rep from Dunkin Donuts walked me to the club, the DD rep asked me if I was impressed with the way the suite numbers were named after Highlander players who wore that corresponding number, I just looked at her and said, “I’m here as a Mets blogger so I couldn’t care less” to which she started staring at the carpet like she lost a quarter and the Highlander constable started talking in his wrist. Still the long journey continued until finally we hit Yonkers where I believe the Audi club is located.

There I was surrounded by Dunkin Donuts coffees, both hot and cold and so many donuts that I thought of dialing 911 to alert Mayor Bloomberg of the felonious assault by calorie in progress at the Audi club. I grabbed an iced coffee and headed to the area where the presser was to be held. To my surprise, this wasn’t a bloggers/writers event; it was more of an owner/operator of a Dunkin Donuts event.

As Terry Collins and Joe Girardi are introduced, I see Girardi is wearing his Highlander home jersey, just the jersey not full uni and Collins is wearing his “business casual” sport coat slacks and open collar shirt as he said he knew that a Mets jersey is not a welcome site around here. That kind of pissed me off, I would have loved for him to come in in full uni or at least his Mets warm up and cap just to make a statement and stop giving in to the Mets are the step child bullshit that’s allowed to go unchallenged. It got my blood boiling enough to go on a bit of rant that I thought may have gotten myself an early exit from the event.

There weren’t any main stream media at this unveiling of Collins and Giraridi as spokesmen for Dunkin Donuts ice coffee it seems Girardi reps the iced caramel and Collins the ice moca, and the fact that the team that wins the Subway Series that manager will received a $25,000 donation to their favorite charity. When it was brought up that the teams could split the series 3-3, the DD execs looked confused and a bit embarrassed and gave the” we’ll come up with something” answer. How about giving both managers $25k a piece? For what they charge for a dozen donuts I’m sure it’s doable.

So after a lot of playful banter between the managers, the floor was open to questions. Myself and the few other bloggers (I didn’t see anyone I’ve met before but there was one other Mets blogger there or at least one other person asking Terry Collins questions besides me) were off to each side of Collins and Girardi but we had to fight for Q & A time with the fans in attendance so it was time to get aggressive.

I’ve mentioned a few times here that of all the people I’ve met and had a chance to talk to at Citi Field, Terry Collins is the only one who intimidates me, well after yesterday I think I’m over that. I think it was the location Highlander Stadium and the fact just about everyone in the room was a Highlander supporter, that I started to assert my Mets blogger self.  While most of the questioners were raising their hands to ask questions I had enough and just called out to Collins and have him look my way so I can get some queries in.  I ask about Jason Bay and his availability for last night’s game and Collins told me he’s be in the lineup he wouldn’t tell me where in the lineup as I guess he didn’t spring it on Bay that he was batting 8th  , at 11 Am,  I followed up with where will he play LF or DH and was told LF. I then continued my bogarting of the event by asking about Omar Quintanilla’ fractured  finger and my new obsession, when Ruben Tejada will return as the everyday shortstop. Collins gave a look of “yo ixnay on the injuries-ay” and the rest of the attendees were like yeah enough with the Mets questions. Well too damn bad ! I don’t care about David Robinson or Brent Gardner on the DL or how many home runs Curtis Granderson will hit (Girardi is a baseball manger folks not a goddamn fortune teller) so have some fucking manners, let me get my Mets questions in and then you can go back to your inane Highlander inquires about the style of underwear Derek Jeter wears.

I asked Collins about David Wright and how it seems that now that he is the most tenured Mets player he has taken his leadership in the clubhouse up a notch. Collins agreed saying that his treatment of the young players is fantastic and when other players see his work ethic and preparation they follow suit. I then inquired about Ike Davis and if there was anything he has seen in his last few games that would lead him to believe that Davis is ready to break out of this horrendous start. Collins gave a politicians answer going on how Ike’s teammates are behind him and how he’s working so hard to get back to where the club feels he should be but nothing on if Collins thinks he’s ready to bust out. After watching Ike last night it’s going to be a very hard sell by the front office to keep him on the big league roster. Whatever it is, losing most of the last season to injury or the bout of Valley Fever, Ike’s not right and has become an almost automatic out at the plate.

The last question of the session came from a Highlander blogger I believe (I’m kicking myself in the ass for not asking his name and who what site he wrote for) who asked Joe Girardi if he could do something to help the Highlander Bloggers  get access to the team. Girardi had no idea what he was talking about he told the blogger he has no control over who what or where when it comes to media access. At that point I had to give the Mets props and tell the audience that the Mets have been very gracious in letting me and other bloggers have access to Collins and his players and how fortunate we are that they give us the opportunity. Up yours NY Highlanders brass!!!

When the Q & A broke up, the Highlander blogger came over to me and said how he wished the Highlander’s would follow the Mets line of working with the bloggers. I said to him “The Highlanders are run by a bunch stuffed shirt tight asses who have no use for social media” I guess I said that a bit too loud as the Highlander constable started to walk towards me, I just put up my hand and said “it’s fine, I’ll show myself out” with that I grabbed another free iced coffee and head for the downtown 4 train. My work there was done.

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NEW YORK METS RELEASE THEIR 2012 PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE

The New York Mets have released their Promotional Schedule for the 2012 Season:

April 5   Magnetic Schedule (SNY)             ATL         1:10 p.m.

April 7   Texting Gloves (Verizon)              ATL         1:10 p.m.

April 21 Shopping Bag (Natural Balance) SF           1:10 p.m.

April 22 Tom Seaver Bobblehead (Citi)    SF           1:10 p.m.

April 22 Mr. Met Dash    SF           1:10 p.m.

April 25 Mr. Met Window Cling (Xerox)  MIA       7:10 p.m.

May 4    Collector’s Cup (Premio)               ARZ        7:10 p.m.

May 6    Drawstring Bag (MLB Network) ARZ        1:10 p.m.

May 6    Mr. Met Dash    ARZ        1:10 p.m.

May 26 Rusty Staub Bobblehead (GEICO)             SD           1:10 p.m.

May 27 Banner Day         SD           1:10 p.m.

June 2   Visor (Nathan’s)               STL         4:10 p.m.

June 3   Hall of Fame Induction + Cap (Citi)            STL         1:10 p.m.

June 4   Senior Stroll        STL         1:10 p.m.

June 17 Keith Hernandez Bobblehead (Gold’s Horseradish)          CIN         1:10 p.m.

June 17 Mr. Met Dash    CIN         1:10 p.m.

June 22 Cap trade (Chevrolet)* NYY        7:10 p.m.

June 23 Cap trade (Chevrolet)* NYY        7:15 p.m.

June 24 Cap trade (Chevrolet)* NYY        1:10 p.m.

July 7     Mini-bat (GEICO)             CHC        4:10 p.m.

July 8     Mr. Met Poster (Xerox)                CHC        1:10 p.m.

July 8     Mr. Met Dash    CHC        1:10 p.m.

July 21   Edgardo Alfonzo Bobblehead (Verizon) LAD        1:10 p.m.

July 22   T-shirt (Subway)               LAD        1:10 p.m.

July 24   Gift Card (Dunkin’ Donuts)           WSH      7:10 p.m.

August 11            Travel Case (Delta Air Lines)        ATL         7:10 p.m.

August 12            Tote Bag (Toyota)            ATL         1:10 p.m.

August 12            Mr. Met Dash    ATL         1:10 p.m.

August 25            Mike Piazza Bobblehead               HOU      1:10 p.m.

August 26            Mr. Met Dash    HOU      1:10 p.m.

 

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RATS IN THE CELLAR

New York City blues
East side, west side blues
Throw me in the slam
A catch me if you can
Believe
That you’re wearing
Tearing me apart

Another day another dismal loss added on with poor play and some questionable managerial moves and non-moves. Welcome to Mets baseball 2011.

Two weeks into the season and the day after postmortems are getting tougher and tougher to write. Maybe those of us who saw blue and orange sugar plums this winter time to take a reality check here and admit this is not a very good baseball team and instead of patching the roof and the cracks in the foundation, maybe management should just tear the house down and rebuild it. The land underneath is much more valuable than the shack that sits on it.

Now it’s easy for me to sit here and say rebuild it because I’m not going anywhere, baseball fan wise that is. The best part of this swirly of a season is tickets for Mets home games are at Polo Grounds prices on the secondary market. Last night before I left work, I checked Stub Hub and you could get a ticket in the Promenade for 2 bucks an XL Dunkin Donuts coffee cost you more. Last night on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN, Mike Steffanos and I talked about this and how going to Citi Field this summer could be like it was back in the mid and late 70’s, get a free ticket, go to the game, put you feet up on the seat in front of you, and extend both arms out to the seats on to your left and right. Talk about luxury seating?

So Brad Emaus was fired after 40 odd appearances at the plate to be replaced by Ginger Turner who looked as shaky as the Skill Sets finances at 2nd base last night. It looks like Turner and Daniel Murphy will form a platoon at 2nd base and hopefully Murphy has removed his head from his ass and has gotten the message that players play and managers manage. To me, Emaus while not at all impressive, got a raw deal here. That is a very small sample to give a guy who you anointed just a month ago as your 2nd baseman, to really know his truth worth. If you dump Emaus for his poor play this early then how do you justify keeping the dreadful Scott Hairston on this team. I thought Hairston would be a good 5th outfielder but right now he’s just a lazy over the hill stumble bum who needs to go like yesterday!

I can see where there is angst among some in the fan base not happy that Terry Collins didn’t rip 2nd base ump Doug Eddings a new asshole after his awful call against José Reyes. Some feel the manager needed to go out there and take his frustration out on the clueless ump as it would make them feel good to see someone act like a lunatic like them selves. Quite frankly I don’t think this group would have cared. I’m not saying they don’t care about winning and losing no I don’t think that at all but Collins acting a fool on the field is not going to turn Bobby Parnell into Goose Gossage or Mike Pelfrey into Dave Stewart or Ginger Turner into Jeff Kent. As we witnessed in the Rockies series when Troy Tulowitzki dug his spikes into the batters box and Mets pitchers were polite enough to let him get comfortable, this is a very nice group of young men who are a bit shy when it comes to confrontation.

Bobby Parnell has numbness in his middle finger, Mike Pelfrey has numbness in his skull and collectively Mets fans have become comfortably numb.

If I were Terry Collins I’d have thrown the whole righty/lefty thing out the window in 7th when he had Chin-lung Hu bat for Pedro Beato.  With 1st and 2nd 2 outs how do you let the weak hitting Hu pinch hit? I’d have gone with Murphy or Willie Harris in that spot. Both players have a better chance of getting a hit with the bat hanging out of their ass than Hu does with it in his hands.

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EVER HAVE ONE OF THOSE MORNINGS ?

Ever have days where you feel like this guy? First, I attempted to make a turkey sandwich to bring to work but I got bum rushed by our two cats and it cost me two slices of roast turkey to thwart the attack. Then when I get to the Chambers St Subway station, I realize I have but seventy-five cents left on my Metro card so before I exit I go renewed it at one of the two kiosks near the exit. Both kiosks are occupied so I run over to the newsstand in the station to pick up the News and the Post. I can not break the habit of buying these tabloids; it’s kind of like the last remnants of the “olden” days when all my info came from newspapers, and a hard habit to break.

Anyway, I go back to the Metrocard kiosks and this young lady seems to be playing these machines like your old Aunt Bess works the slots at the Borgota in A.C.  Seems her credit card wasn’t going through on either unit, so instead of clearing them out she just walks away. Are you fucking kidding me? Even though she was damn cute I still had to give her a “oh, what the fuck”?, early in the morning. So now I have to clear the machine and as I’m doing that, a 2 train from Brooklyn rolls in and of course the Brooklynites getting off the train need to recharge their cards as well and with me clearing the machine and dipping my credit card and putting in my zip code I start getting the “oh what the fuck treatment” I don’t have time to tell them my story as I still have to get coffee and go punch in, so it’s off to my favorite Dunkin Donuts on Chambers St.

Now I’ve written about the change in personnel at this DD and the service has gotten worse, where as the Hindu Princess that worked the counter would see me and have my XL coffee, milk only ready. They even knew my signs better than any Mets player did from Razor Shines last year. They’d point at the dounuts and bagels and if I pointed at my stomach that meant “no way, too fat today”  If I did want something I’d just flash the number of fingers that corresponded to the breakfast special on the board, like a basket ball point guard calling out a play. By the time I reached the front of the line my order was ready. Life was good. Now there are two Latina Princess behind the counter and quite frankly I don’t mess with them because I think they can kick my ass. One is nice but slow the other is pissed off to be working there and always has a smirk on her face. Everyday the line gets longer and longer but today topped it off. The line was out the door and onto Chambers St, the actual street! Now I had no time to wait so it was off to Plan B the 7-11.

Not bad coffee is very fresh, nice big cups and it’s even cheaper than DD. One problem the dickhead behind the counter is too busy looking at his bills to come to the register. So it what could be a record, I had my second “Oh, What the fuck”? of the morning and it wasn’t even 7:30 yet.  So I get to work, punch it, open my yogurt (yes it’s an I’m too fat day today) open up the Post to read Mike Vaccaro’s telling me  “what we have here in St Lonesome is a failure to communicate” as it pertains to Jose Reyes and his Thyroid.

It can’t be this difficult can it? Player goes for tests. Tests results come back. Doctor calls player with results. Player tells agent who in turn tells management. Management, medical staff, player, player agent either meet or set up conference call to get all the facts straight in order to send out press release. So who lost their way here? Why is this so difficult?

So far we know that Reyes either has or doesn’t have a Thyroid condition. If he does ,it can be regulated by diet or medicine. He will or won’t be back at spring training this week. It’s either very early in the spring or it’s getting late to worry about Reyes. Reyes will either lead off on opening day or bat 3rd. My head will either explode by noon or I will bang my head into my office wall.

Wait for the press release.

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WHEN JOSE COMES HOME, SO GOOD, HE’S THE PRIDE OF THE NEGHIBORHOOD

 16 days until pitchers and catchers

I’m a bit cranky this morning so bare with me. Last night I had to run to my local Walgreens’s on Hylan Blvd to pick up a prescription and I got stuck on the checkout line behind Staten Island Chuck who was buying hair gel and a bottle of Brut cologne. Chuck was hoping to get a part on Jersey Shore after his cameo today at the SI Zoo (by the way Chuck didn’t see his shadow so it will be an early spring )

Then this morning, the Dunkin Donuts I stop at every morning on Chambers St has changed up the counter personnel and I’m not very happy about that. My two Hindu Princesses are no longer at this location (seems the guy who owns the Chamber St DD has a few of them around the city and has moved my two favorite ladies further uptown) and have been replaced with a couple of Latina’s with bad attitudes. My order is not complicated, XL coffee just milk, and I use a DD debit card to pay for it and NO I don’t want any fucking donuts with that!!!!!   

Reading that Jose Reyes is ready for take off, takes a bit of the edge off the JJ Putz allegations of ineptness in the Mets front office from yesterday, and I was enjoying Kevin Kernan’s article until I got to this paragraph:

  Mets GM Omar Minaya watched Reyes work out last week and was thrilled. Executive VP David Howard was at yesterday’s session, and after watching Reyes blaze down the exact same kind of track that is used in Olympic races, noted, “Mets fans have forgotten how good he is.”

This fucking David Howard is turning into the reincarnation of M. Donald Grant. Why is the Executive of Business Operation watching a workout of a player? Shouldn’t Omar and John Rico and Wayne Krivisy and Jerry Manuel, be the guys making the evaluation of Reyes along with Ray Ramirez and his staff? What’s next for David Howard, overseeing the chop meat at the Shake Shack? No Shyster Dave, we have not forgotten how good Reyes is. Dumb ass !

This isn’t hard. Players play. Coaches coach. Owners own. Fans bitch. VP of Business Ops handles the clubs business. What Howard should be doing is busting the balls of the guy who owns SpongeTech

Jarrod Washburn has taken out a restraining order against the Mets from ever contacting him.

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MY PEACEFUL EASY FEELING RUINED

I spent the morning at the Staten Island Ice Pavilion watching my daughter ice skate. I was really enjoying myself  watching her glide along the ice and my XL Dunkin Donuts coffee and drifting off into thoughts of what will happen next week at the Winter Meetings especially since I will be joining Joe McDonald starting Monday night at 9PM EST on Pro Baseball Central with live reports from Las Vegas. I’m trying to tell myself that Francisco Rodriguez is the missing piece to the pen. But then I contradict myself with thoughts of Kerry Wood closing and then passing the torch to Eddie Kunz, Bobby Parnell or Bradley Holt. I drift off in the thought of Omar Minaya pulling a deal that no one saw coming like this nutty one I read this morning. I even day dreamed of D-Wright working out with a mind set of leading his team to the post season and an MVP award. It felt sooooo good to think good baseball thoughts that I could see and feel myself in my Mr. Met t-shirt, shorts and flip flops on a beautiful 80 degree Saturday waiting on line at the Shake Shack stand at $iti Field Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh But of course someone has to drop a turd in my punch bowl.

 

As soon as I heard “Well we’ll sign C.C  then Burnett and Texiera and that will put us back where we belong” Ughhhhhhhhhhh Highlander fans. Can’t a man enjoy a Saturday morning without these blow hards? Then blow hards buddy Nit Wit chimes in “Yeah and wit Joba and Wang we’s will have da best rotation in baseball because we is da Yankees ya know” and they both laugh like retards. Now I try to ignore them and just chill with my java but of course they can’t leave well enough alone. “We ain’t like dem looosers da Mets” says Blow Hard to which Nit Wit replies “Uhhhhhhhh Da Mets suck” 

 

Now my morning is ruined. I’m ready to get my daughter to go find their daughters and do a Tonya Harding on their ass but then I decide to do my own dirty work. I pull my Mets cap a little more down in the front and turn to them and say “If I were you guys I’d worry more about the Red Sox and Rays than the Mets, since you can’t beat either of them” They see the Mets cap and reply to me how the Mets choked and how they are losers and yada, yada yada. I answer them the best way I could. I told these jokers that at least Mets fan realize their team’s flaws and are intelligent enough to look over the possibilities available to them to fix their problems and go back and forth with each other unlike Highlander fans who just say “buy whoever is out there”

 

Both dopes knew nothing about the teams farm system other then they both thought Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy should be traded and that Joba will win the Cy Young. After I heard that I was thankful my daughters lesson was over and we could leave and I did with a good feeling knowing that it’s good to be a Mets fan.

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Tickets

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