Dwight Gooden Sits Down With Mets Bloggers for a Q & A Session

Here is an audio clip from last Friday, when Dwight Good met with the Mets bloggers at Citi Field for a twenty plus minutte Q & A to talk about his new book DOC:A Memoir (co-authored with Ellis Henican and published by New Harvest/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

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Take Note: Mets v. Phillies 2 Night at CBP

Some interesting information in today’s Mets game notes from Citizens Bank Ball Park as the Mets  take on the Phillies for the first time this season.

The Mets hit the road for the first time in 2013 and this trip is tied for the second longest of the season. The Mets will stay in Philly for three games then off to the Twin Cities for three weekend games and then off to Colorado for four games. Hope the equipment guys packed the long underwear, ski hats and snow shoes.

Yesterday’s come from behind walk off win was the Mets 3 of their 4 wins of one run. Last year the Mets were 20-22 in one run games. Hopefully they will do much better than that make this year.

The Mets have hit 6 home runs in their first 6 games. The 1962 hit home runs in their first 7 games so take that for what it’s worth.

The strikeout machine known as Matt Harvey takes the mound for the Mets tonight. In his first 11 starts with the Mets Harvey has K’d 10 batters or more 3 times. Only Dwight Gooden has been better than Harvey in the K Korner with 4 games out of 11 with 10+ punch outs.

David Wright LOVE hitting at CBP in fact Wright has the most home runs hit by any visiting player with 16 dingers in 74 games.

The starting pitching enjoyed a great first week of the season posting a 1.98 ERA in 36.1 innings pitched.

Outstanding effort by the Mets bullpen yesterday left the fire brigade with a 3.57 ERA which puts them right in the middle of the back of big league bullpens.

Congratulations to Scott Rice, after 14 years of awful bus trips, Rice got his first major league win yesterday!

Let’s hope the broken down velocity down more fly balls allowed Roy Halladay shows up tonight and not the 7-0 1.78 EAR vs. the Mets since he joined the Phillies Roy Halladay.

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All We Have Is Hope

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My pessimism for the upcoming season of my beloved Mets intensified a bit because one of our cats woke me up before I wanted to rise and shine for a bit of breakfast.  So after filling the bowls with leftover grilled chicken breast, I went to the living room with the intent of browsing Netflix for a movie. But first I took a tour of the 1763 channels on my FiOS system and lo and behold I stumble on to The Last Play at Shea on The Movie Channel.  I was going to turn the channel quick so as not get involved in this film but then the face of an old friend, the late Dana Brand came on my screen and that made me sit up straight with a touch of sadness. Then another blogger buddy was present on the TV, Greg Prince sitting in a seat at the our old house, Shea Stadium talking about all the great times we had at that place and more sadness fell over me. I started to think out loud and staring at Mittens our cat and shouting to him “Where did we go wrong”???? Mittens looked up for a second and went back to cleaning himself off after his satisfying breakfast.

Where did we go wrong? When did this organization make the turn from Ya Gotta Believe Boulevard to Embarrassment Lane?   I’m watching the film and seeing the Mets of the 80’s I just stared and drifted off into the Way Back Machine of my mind. Everyone hated us back then.  As a Met fan of that era we all had a “Do you know who the fuck we are” attitude that rubbed off on the fan base from our beloved team.  Keith Hernandez was that guy who rolled the cigarette pack in his sleeve, Darryl Strawberry was a physical specimen who hit baseballs liked they owed him money,  Ray Knight would smack the shit out you because he could,  Gary Carter was the definition of don’t mistake kindness for weakness.  Dwight Gooden had guys coming down with the flu on days he took the mound and they were led by the chip on his shoulder skipper Davey Johnson. The New York Mets were MLB’s Bad Ass’s

Today the Mets are the kick ass’s as in they have been on the receiving end of the ass kicking they use to hand out. Not to mention a team that plays in a tidy baseball McMansion, Citi Field as the old Mets with bad attitudes played in a tenement called William Shea Housing Project.  As much as I try to accept Citi as the new home of the Mets and try hard to let the past of Shea go, when I see movies like Last Play at Shea, I wonder if we are cursed. Is there a Curse of Shea Stadium?

Think about it the Mets haven’t been the same since the move to Citi. The owners were taken in by a flim flam man named Madoff, real fans have been moved out to outfield stands while the areas around 1st base, 3rd base and home plate have been surrounded by cement and security guards stationed to make sure no real fans try to sneak into the plethora of empty padded seats vacated by the swells who would rather sit in air conditioned luxury of a club while drinking expensive wine and eating gourmet foods.  Back at Shea the food sucked but the baseball was good, I’ll take winning baseball with an over cooked hot dog, half thawed pretzel washed down with watered down Bud any day.

There is hope, hope that the tide is turning. Where the everyday eight are not much to look at, the pitching staff has some talent and charisma. Matt Harvey looks like he could have anchored a staff in the 70’s or 80’s. Zack Wheeler and Travis d”Arnud should make a solid contribution once they are freed from Super Two purgatory.  Other than that and few wet behind the ears minor leaguers, there is much to be optimistic about with this 2013 edition of the NY Mets.

I hope I’m wrong.  I hope Lucas Duda visits the Wizzard of Baseball Oz to  get some baseball confidence. I hope I’m right about Colin Cowgill that he is the surprise of the season. I hope Ike Davis has the breakout season he and Mets fans have been waiting for. I hope David Wright finds some support in the lineup, I hope Freddy Skill Sets is not pissing on our legs and does have money to allow Sandy Alderson to bring in a big league bat with power. I hope the bullpen doesn’t suck like last year. I hope Citi Field is full of METS FANS in September making noise and rooting for a team that plays hard and wins baseball games. I hope I’m not setting myself up for disappointment.

 

 

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Hope Shines For Shannon Fund Raiser

As most of you know Shannon Forde of the Mets Media Department is battling Stage IV breast cancer and fund raiser has set up to help her and her family with the expenses that have come up during her fight.  There will be a dinner and Greet and Meet on Thursday November 1st from 7PM to 11PM at the Westmount Country Club which is located in Woodland Park NJ. Ron Darling will emcee the evening’s proceedings which will include an open bar, cocktail hour and dinner.  There will also be a silent and live auction for memorabilia from all the teams in the New York area and other teams from MLB as well. Tickets for this event are $100.

There will also be a special Meet and Greet at the same time and same venue as the dinner. Tickets for this are $250 and includes meeting and receiving autographs form  Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, John Franco, Bobby Ojeda, Edgardo Alfonzo, Ed Charles, Ed Kranepool, Matt Harvey, Daniel Murphy, Willie Randolph and Joe McEwing.

Along with the dinner/Meet and Greet there is an ongoing online auction that includes some truly once in a lifetime experiences that you can bid on like personnel pitching lessons for R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana, hitting lessons from David Wright, meeting Kelly Rippa and Michael Strahan and touring their studio, visit ESPN headquarters in Bristol CT and get a behind the scenes look at Baseball Tonight set with a guided tour and how about this one? You can bid on being a New York Highlanders P.R. Department employee for the day!

As you’ve read and heard (excellent job by WFAN and Mike Francesa who have made mention of the charity every day during the drive time show) Shannon is revered by everyone who has had the great fortune to be around her, especially the group of Mets bloggers that she and Danielle Parillo have graciously taken under their wings and provided us with access we never thought we’d ever have to cover and be around the team we’ve loved our whole lives.

If you cannot attend the dinner/meet and greet you can still make a donation to this great cause, you can send you generous donation via check made out to Hope Shines for Shannon and send it C/O DTRF P.O. Box 3145 Point Pleasant, NJ 08742.

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R.A. Dickey is Dominant, Wanna Bet?

 

Back in the day I used to place a dollar or two wagers on sporting events. In 1985 Dwight Gooden was having one of the greatest pitching seasons in the history of baseball going 24-4 for the new day is dawning NY Mets. Not only was I caught up in the jubilation of Doc as a Mets fan, I was cashing in as an investor in Gooden’s pitching performances as well.  Gooden’s season that year helped me take some chances with investments on underdogs since if I lost some money on a longshot I always had Doc as my U.S. Steel.

On August 25 of 1985, Dwight Gooden was going for his 20th win of the season and I was down a couple a three hundred bucks. The Mets were playing the Padres at Shea and I was not missing this game for anything, but before going to the game, I called my “investment banker” to make a substantial investment in this game as it had break even or better written all over it. The call went something like this:

Me: “Yo what’s up?  it’s me, Irish” (We were the only Irish family in the heavily Italian /Jewish area of Boro Park)

Investment Banker (IB) “Hey how’s it hangin’

Me: “A little to the left HA! HA! (Brooklyn humor) wadda ya got on Mets-Padres

IB: 4

Me: 4? 4 what?

IB: 4 runs

Me: what da fuck is 4 runs?

IB: da line on da game. Mets is favored by 4 runs

Me: since when do you make a line with runs?

IB: Since Gooden started winning every fuckin’ start and costin’ me money

Me: but the Daily News has a line of 11-12 (the line there would be if you bet the Mets you would have to bet 11 bucks to win 5, if you bet the Pads you would bet 5 to win 12 really $5.50 the $.50 the vigorish)

IB: Then call da fuckin’ Daily News and bet wit dem. Ya lucky I’m takin’ any bets on dis game, only my regulars are getting a line everybody else its off da board so you should feel special you fuckin’ ingrate.

Me: OHHHH Whad da fuck ? Fine gimee da Mets 100 times

So what I did was bet $550 that the Mets behind Doc Gooden would not only beat the Padres but they would beat them by more the 4 runs.  The Mets won 9-3 but it took 4 runs in the 7th and 1 in the 8th to seal my winning bet WHEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

I thought about this game and some other games I’d bet on while watching R.A. Dickey pitch last night for the Mets. When was the last time the Mets had such a dominant pitcher in the rotation?  Pedro Martinez in 2005 was great but not dominant as Dickey. You have to go back to Dwight Gooden to find a Mets pitcher who was as good as R.A. Dickey has been this year for the Mets. Could you find two pitchers who are more opposite? I’ve haven’t looked a pitching betting line in a while, next time The Dickster starts I may have to peak. I wonder where that investment bankers number is and if he’ still in business?

 

 

 

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THE LAST TEMPTATION OF OLLIE

If reports are true, Ollie Perez is pitching for his Mets life this afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Lonesome. Terry Collins is saying that this isn’t true that Ollie will pitch again after this start, but if he has a typical OP start, command issues, lack of zip on fastball, tons of walks then what’s the sense of giving him another start ? At some point you have to stop wasting your time with OP.

The Mets money woes may not be as dire as we think. The Skill Sets spent $15K on dirt. DIRT!!! But it seems like $15K spent wisely.

Ed Marcus posts up #6 in his all time Mets list. He was baseball’s Marlboro Man and one of my favorite Mets of all time and now he entertains us on TV. Just be careful if he asks you to help him move.

Adam Rubin posted his idea of what the Mets 25 man roster will look like on opening day. He has both Perez and Castillo off the team which is fine by me. He has Taylor Buchholz in the pen but notes that Jason Isringhausen is still in the mix and could grab Buchholz spot. Nick Evans is not on Rubin’s roster either and that is upsetting as Evans has worked hard to get back to the big league level but he’d have to beat out Chin-lung Hu or Willie Harris for a spot and I don’t see him beating either players out. There has to be a team that could use a good righty bat who can play both corner infield positions?

Dwight Gooden’s life just gets sadder and sadder. He has now agreed to become a sideshow act for Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab show on VH1. The show is like a junk yard for D list celeb’s that have their lives have swirled out of control. How in the world did Doc become a D-Lister? That is as crushing as his fight with drug and alcohol addiction.

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IT’S OFFICAL: 2 YEARS AND AN OPTION ON A 3RD FOR R.A. DICKEY

 

From the New York Mets via press release:

FLUSHING, N.Y., January 31, 2011 – The New York Mets today announced that they have signed righthanded pitcher R.A. Dickey to a two-year contract with a club option for 2013.

Dickey compiled a 11-9 record in 2010 and finished seventh in the National League with a 2.84 ERA.   He became the first pitcher in team history to go 6-0 in his first seven starts and tossed the 35th one-hitter in franchise history on August 13 at Citi Field to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0. The only hit he allowed was a sixth-inning single by pitcher Cole Hamels.

 “R.A. had a breakthrough season for our organization last year, meriting this new contract,” said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson.  “We expect R.A. to be a major part of our success going forward.”

 Dickey, 36, had his contract selected from Buffalo (AAA) of the International League on May 19. The Nashville, TN native set career highs in wins, starts (26), innings (174.1) strikeouts (104) and complete games (two).

 The 6-2, 216-pounder finished with 11 victories even though he didn’t pick up his first until May 25.  It was only the fifth time in club history that a pitcher reached double figures in wins in a season after not recording a victory in any of the team’s first 45 games (Bob Shaw, 1966; Rick Aguilera 1985 and 1986 and Dwight Gooden, 1987).

 Last season with Buffalo, Dickey he threw a near perfect game and set a Buffalo modern-day record when he retired 27 straight hitters on April 29 vs. Durham.  Fernando Perez singled on an 0-2 pitch to start the game before Dickey set down the next 27 hitters in order.

 The Mets have now reached agreements with two of the three players who were eligible for salary arbitration. The team signed Mike Pelfrey to a one-year contract on January 18, while outfielder Angel Pagan has yet to reach an agreement.

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MY TOP 50 NY METS OF ALL TIME

As I posted here the other day, Ed Marcus a/k/a lagranderusty is looking for readers to post a list of top 50 Mets of all time. What follows is my 50 All Time Mets, some are no-brainers and some are “are you kidding” the names are in no particualr order:

Ed Kranepool

Tom Seaver

Jerry Grote

Jerry Koosman

Tug McGraw

Ron Hunt

Al Jackson

Bud Harrleson

Rusty Staub

Tommie Agee

Cleon Jones

Felix Milan

Jon Matlack

Dwight Gooden

Ron Darling

Sid Fernandez

Keith Hernandez

Gary Carter

Darryl Strawberry

Nolan Ryan

John Olerud

Edgado Alfonzo

Rey Ordonez

Robin Ventura

David Wright

Jose Reyes

Mike Piazza

Randy Myers

Jesse Orosco

Roger McDowell

Al Leiter

John Stearns

Todd Hundley

Craig Swan

Ron Swoboda

Frank Viola

George Theodore

John Milner

Ken Boswell

Wayne Garrett

Turk Wendell

Carlos Beltran

Lenny Dykstra

Wally Backman

Bob Ojeda

Mookie Wilson

Kevin Mc Renyolds

Cliff Floyd

Bernard Gilkey

Richie Ashburn

 

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WELCOME TO STORYTIME WITH GARY, KEITH AND RON

 

As stated here and on other sites, the repartee of Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Burkhardt have helped take the edge off another unfulfilling season by the NY Mets. Last night was no exception.

Just as I was ready to switch over to the Rays-Jays game, Gary Cohen brought up the comments by Wally Backman about the Mets managerial job. Wally kind of hinted that some of the moves that Jerry Manuel has made this season are not particularly the same ones he would have made as Mets manager. No one is better than setting up his partners like Cohen and this subject got Hernandez and Darling going and we were off to the drag races.

Darling seemed offended by Wally’ statement saying there should be some sort of code of conduct between mangers. Hernandez then added it wasn’t such a bad thing like when Gary Carter practically put his thump and pinky to his ear during an interview and mouthed ‘Call me Jeff” into the camera. Darling agreed and you can just tell that back in the day, Kid Carter was a handful in the clubhouse. Hernandez then went on to let us know that Wally likes to talk. He mentioned that when the Mets were to play the Astros in Game 5 of the 1986 NLCS Backman was crowing in the clubhouse how the Mets were going to win that game. Hernandez said he went over to Backman and told him to keep quiet, and reminded him that Nolan Ryan was pitching (against Dwight Gooden in one of the great post season match ups as Ryan K’d 12 and walked just 1 in 9 inns while Doc pitched 10 innings and got a ton of ground ball outs as the Mets won the game in 12 innings on a Gary Carter single scoring guess who? Wally Backman) to which Backman replied in his Wally Way “Who gives a fuck”!

From there the SNY camera got a glimpse of Roger McDowell on the Braves bench and Hernandez had us all gather around the 50’’ Sony HD TV to hear the how Roger McDowell hated Gregg Jefferies guts. Keith brought up, as he has a many occasion (you get the feeling that Richie Hebner would be given a warmer welcome into the Mets Alumni than Gregg Jefferies ) how Jefferies was the only player on the team to have his own private bag for his bats, and Keith blamed Charlie Samuels for that as Darling added “you blame Charlie for everything” and the trio of announcers had a good laugh. Hernandez continued on how this burned the other players ass’s and McDowell had had enough of this little prima donna getting preferential treatment and proceeded to take  Jeffries bats and tossed them from the bag out into the parking lot at Shea. That yarn brought back memories of when Soldier of Fortune aficionado Randy Myers and McDowell took Jefferies bats and sawed them in half. I have mentioned here a few times  when John Franco joined the Mets in 1990 he tried very hard to get Jefferies to understand he needs to be more of a “we” guy than the me guy he was and to that end Franco invited Jeffieries for a night on the town in Bay Ridge Brooklyn. Franco was an acquaintance of a few of my friends so I’ve gotten to meet him on a few occasion so when he walked into the club where my buddies and I were hanging out, with Jefferies, we thought we were set for a pretty good night of partying. Well, after just about an hour at the club (The Penthouse for all you old disco types from Brooklyn out there) Jefferies was hitting on every woman in the place and nearly got the living shit kick out of him for it. Lucky for him the bouncers at the club were teammates of ours from our Staten Island Touch Tackle League team (Someday I’ll tell the story of when I ran down former Notre Dame and Pittsburgh Steelers QB Terry Hannraty  for a sack, the highlight of my journeyman athletic career) so Jefferies was spared a Bay Ridge beat down. Also that was the last time Franco ever invited Jefferies out for even a cup of coffee. When I was managing teams in Staten Island Little League, Franco’ son JJ was in the league and John would come watch him play when he could, When I saw him one evening at the complex I went to say hi and he said “Geez I see you everywhere around the Island (Franco lived just a few block from me on Staten Island) I laughed and then I asked him if he still kept in touch with Jefferies, Franco looked at me and said “Holy shit your were there too”?

Wow talk about making a short story long, anyway, Hernandez went on about the last game of the 1989 season when McDowell then a Phillie, and Jefferies fought as the last out of the game and season was recorded. The story in the NY Times paints a very ugly picture of that season and gives us a glimpse of the turmoil that the 90’s would bring. This quote from Phillies manager Nick Leyva sums up the feeling for Gregg Jeffries around baseball:

Nick Leyva, Philadelphia’s manager, defended McDowell by saying that Jefferies is not popular among his own teammates, then Leyva said, ”There were 30 guys on our side rooting for Roger and 20 guys on their side rooting for Roger.”

As a Mets fan, the one thing you should be rooting for right now is tonight’s game is a blow out early, maybe story time with Keith and Ron will talk about the nights at Rusty Staub’ restaurant on the East Side, that will be better than Taxi Cab Confessions.

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I HATE TO WISH TIME AWAY, BUT I CAN’T WAIT FOR OPENING DAY!

The Brooklyn Met Fan says we should not rush to judgment on Dwight Gooden’s latest arrest for DWI, BMF says that the story of what really happened will come out but Gooden is listening to attorney’s and not making a statement as of yet. As I posted in the comments section of BMF’s site, as most readers here know, I’m a big Gooden fan and having met him a few times he was just a great guy but when you drive while intoxicated I have a huge problem with you.

In much better news, Jose Reyes is back in St. Lonesome and it seems just his presences in the locker room has amped up the team. What Jerry Manuel has to watch for is Reyes trying to get two weeks of lost time into two days. Reyes is adamant about being in the Opening Day lineup, we all hope he is.

Mike Silva has posted a story on the old Mayor’s Trophy games between the Mets and Yankees which I never remember being a big deal.

Josh Levitt of Jorge Says No fame has started up another site, MLBfreeagency.com the site as you’d imagine will focus on current and up coming free agents and all around good baseball talk. It’s well worth your while to check it out and bookmark the site.

Johnny Maestro, one of he great Rock and Rollers of the 60’s first with The Crest’s (16 Candles) and then with the Brooklyn Bridge (The Worst That Could Happen “Girl, I heard your getting married/heard your getting married/you know that’s not my scene” )

Whose music was a stable of NYC, especially Brooklyn, died yesterday at the age of 70. R.I.P. Johnny

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Tickets

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.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.