GARY CARTER INTERVIEW W/KULT OF METS PERSONALITIES

I remembered that the good folks at Kiners Korner did an interview with Gary Carter sometime last year their Blog Talk Radio podcast and lo and behold I get an e-mail for Nik Kolidas with a link to the interview and a note saying he thought I’d enjoy hearing it again. Not only did I enjoy it, I felt I had to share with you folks as well.

This seems to be the last live interview that Carter participated in

A big tip of my Mets cap to Nik, Matthew Fazelpoor, Taryn Cooper, Gene Anthony and Rob Z. on a job well done.

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MY HATRED FOR BILL CONLIN GOES BACK A WAYS

I’m sure many of you have read the stories concerning former Philadelphia Inquirer baseball writer Bill Conlin and the sickening accusation that he sexually abused children, some who were his niece and nephew, over 40 years ago. It’s so sad that these people have had to carry this burden around with them for all these years and now due to the statute of limitations, Conlin cannot be arrested and prosecuted for the alleged crime he committed which is a shame.    

I bring up Conlin here because I got an e mail to moderate a comment on this sight from a poster named Edgy DC who found a post I wrote here back in November 2007 about a feud I had with Conlin back then via e mail.  Check out the post from November 23, 2007 where I discussed with Conlin that a Phillies blogger wrote about how he felt David Wright was more deserving of the NL MVP award than Jimmy Rollins. The back and forth I have with Conlin is pretty comical but with the severity of the allegation against Conlin now, I feel bad I didn’t wait for outside Shea Stadium and beat the living shit out of him.    

Big thank you to Edgy DC for finding this post and linking it back

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A TEAM THAT INFURIATES ME MORE THAN THE METS?

Every morning I check my e mail and Twitter hoping there is some kind of Mets news to read about and to discuss, today I’m hoping all is quiet on the Flushing Front because I am exhausted from yesterday even though I didn’t do a damn thing but watch TV.  

One of the best features of having FiOS is the NFL Red Zone Channel. You get live cut ins of every NFL games without commercial interruption and when your team is playing on Sunday or Monday night, Red Zone is wonderful. I watched most of Patriots-Redskins (Tom Brady is totally frustrated that the Pat defense is so bad he has turned into an Arena Football League QB having to put up a zillion points to win a football game) and then switched over to Ch 5 to watch Tebow Time (I get that a lot of people are turned off by the religious zealotry of Tebow as people like that get on my nerves as well, but you have to put that aside when looking at this guy. The most over used phrase in sports in “he’s a winner” but the fact is Tebow is a winner. He’s won at every level of football he’s played including QBing two National Championship teams and he’s won a Heisman Trophy.  I get that he is as inaccurate a passer as the local weatherman with a winter forecast but he does make big plays when it’s needed and his teammates believe he makes them and the team better. That’s all that counts. )

After all that I was still waiting for the main event of the evening, Giants-Cowboys. I was totally pissed off that this game wasn’t the 4PM FOX game as I wanted to watch the finale of Boardwalk Empire. I would have put up with the insufferable team of Joe Buck and Troy Akiman just to find out what happens to Nucky Thompson and Jimmy Darmondy. Giants-Cowboys took precedent over the illegal activities in Atlantic City.     

As much as the Mets put me through the ringer, the angst they’ve given me over the last couple of season can’t compare to the love/hate I have for the NY Football Giants of the last couple of years.

I don’t think there is a player or coach on this Giants team I haven’t shouted profanities at my TV at this season? Head Coach Tom Coughlin annoys the living shit out of me with all his reactionary faces to every single play. No one gets more “YOU SHOULD BE FUCKING FIRED” rants than Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride (a Jets fan buddy and I got into a heated discussion over lunch on whose team has the worst OC my Giants with Gilbride or his Jets with “That asshole Shotty”) I cannot stand Brandon Jacobs (not as much as a despised Jeremy Shockey and Palxico Burress when they were G-Men) and there are many times where Eli Manning goes from looking like Johnny Unitas and then like Dave Brown but I never curse at Eli, I  like Eli a lot to the point I feel right now he’s the best quarterback in the history of the New York Giants.  That brings me to last night’s Giants-Cowgirls game.

As I’m watching this game I went over in my head how much I hate the Dallas Cowgirls. Then I started thinking what opposing team of my favorite teams do I hate the most? I ran through all the teams I root for Mets, Giants, NY Rangers, Boston Celtics and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and came up with this list:

Los Angeles Lakers

Philadelphia Flyers

Dallas Cowboys

Philadelphia Eagles

USC

Philadelphia Phillies

 I put the Lakers first on the list because in this modern day of teams fraternizing and always hugging and laughing with each other, when the C’s meet up with the Fakers there is true unadulterated hate between them. These are the two greatest organizations in the history of the NBA  and neither would piss on the other if they were on fire. I love that.

I guess it goes back to 1974 when the Flyers beat the Rangers in the playoffs and the whole Broad Street Bullies era took off. To this day Bobby Clarke is the opposing player I hate to most.

The Cowboys? Jimmy Jones, the whole stupid star at mid-field, Americas Team my ass

The hate for the Iggles is a family hand me down. My father never got over Chuck Bednarik’ hit on Frank Gifford.

Still remember how upset my old man was after the Anthony Davis game when USC came back to beat Notre Dame that sealed the end of the Ara Paseghian era at South Bend.

Now when it comes to the Mets it’s hard to find a real rival. When the Mets were good in the 80’s the rivals were the Cubs, Pirates, Cardinals. Then it was the Braves and lately the Phillies but there has never been that one team with a long history of a rival with the Mets. I never looked at the Highlanders as a Mets rival but more of a neighbor I just ignore.

I was ready to bail from the Giants game right after the Tony Romo 50 yard TD pass to Dez Bryant that put the Cowgirls up 34-22 with like 4 minutes left in the game. I was thisclose to clicking the DVR for Boardwalk Empire but I was just to numb to change the channel. I just kept thinking “well, as bad as this loss is at least there will be a house cleaning of the coaching staff and the Chin will take over” next thing I see Eli marching his team down the field, shredding a Cowgirls  secondary and going to TE Jake Ballard who looked like Gulliver to the Dallas Lilliput DB’s for a TD that brought the Giants to within 5 of the Cowgirls with just 3 minutes and change left in the game. Unfortunately the Giants had to go back on defense. I have no faith in the D which really really bothers me because the Giants have always been known for their D-Fence. Miraculously the D steps up at the most crucial time in this game, well mostly Jason Pierre-Paul and Chirs Canty did the steppin’ and the Cowgirls had to give Eli back the ball.

For all the hype that Tim Tebow gets, Eli Manning is becoming one the best QB’s in pressure situations in all of football. Manning would not disappoint leading the Giants to a game winning TD drive. Does K Gilbride ever get it through his head that Eli in the no-huddle is as good as brother Peyton in these situations? Give Eli the keys to the offense and sit back and look like a genius why don’t ya.

Of course even after the Jacobs TD this game wasn’t over not until JPP says it’s over with his huge block of a last minute Dallas attempt of a game winning field goal. The NY Football Giants are in 1st place in the NFC East and control their fate to get to the post season. All this happened in a matter of minutes.

PHEWWwwwwwwwwwwwww! I’m exhausted time to get to bed. Or so I thought. My wife tells me “you have to watch Boardwalk Empire, you won’t believe what happened” Aw shit, I’m now I have to sacrifice another hour of sleep. It was well worth it, I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen yet but HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT!

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HEY METS FANS, WHO NEEDS TWO?

After the news broke yesterday about the NY Mets Third Annual Adjustment of Ticket Prices, I got an e-mail inviting me to a conference call with Mets Executive VP of Business Operation, David Howard to ask questions about the new dynamic pricing on Mets tickets. As most of you know, I’m not a fan of Howard’s and from what I hear the feeling is mutual. After last night’s conference call nothing has change in our relationship.

Howard started the call by reiterating what was in the press release where the organization has scraped its Platinum, Gold, Silver, Tin Can tier pricing to a new pricing program where Mets tickets will be priced like a commodity. Just like gold, silver and pork bellies (the Skill Sets have really morphed into the Duke brothers   ) the price of a Mets ticket will now be set by market demand, however there is one caveat, there is a minimum price a ticket will go for and it will be what a season ticket holder paid for their ticket, which is fair as the organization is protecting its best customer. Ah,  but this being the Mets there always a “read the fine print” moment  and in this case it’s giving season ticket holders a deadline of November 7th to make a payment to commit to 2012 season tickets. This is a full  month earlier than usual and as Howard Megdal points out right at the time teams can have exclusive negotiating rights with its own free agents.  The Mets fan cynic in me says this means that there is no way the club will resign Jose Reyes and  they want to make sure those who hold season tickets  make an early commitments  before they can decide if a Reyes-less Mets team is one they want to invest their discretionary income.

I’m not a season ticket holder but I did at one time buy partial plans but with different commitments and such, I decided to buy game tickets when I know I’m free to go to games. So under this plan I will have to play Russian Roulette Mets style to buy my tickets. The price of tickets will vary as to who the opponent is and if the team is in contention or an also ran. So a seat for a game against the San Diego Padres on a Monday night in September will  a whole lot less than a game against the Highlanders on a June Friday night.  Classic supply and demand.

The question I posed to Howard was about all the seats with no ass’s in them behind home plate and how watching the current post season games from Citizen Bank Park, Comerica Park and Rangers Ballpark where there are real good old fashion baseball seats with fans in them as opposed to Citi Field where fans would rather sip Chardonnay and talk about how happy they are that the financial intuition they work for is sucking the country’s economy dry, than watch a baseball game. So courtesy of Amazin’ Avenue, who has done a fantastic job of transcribing the conference call (a big tip of the Mets cap to Chris McShanne and James Kannengieser )  here is my question and Howard’ response:

Steve Keane, Ed Kranepool Society: This is the 3rd year in a row that the organization has revamped its ticket program and it seems like the organization has a problem reading its fan base. Watching these postseason games, especially games at Citizens Bank Ballpark, Comerica and Arlington, you see the seats behind home plate are regular stadium seats, whereas at Citi Field they have these big expensive luxury seats. Has there ever been any thought of taking those seats out by the Champions Club, and putting in seats where fans will actually sit in those seats during games.

 

DH: The Champions Club is behind home plate but not immediately behind home plate on the field level. It’s actually technically off of the field level concourse. They sit above the Sterling Seats. With regards to the Champions Club in particular, we are actually changing that club and making it an all-inclusive club. While the prices are essentially remaining constant, there is going to be complimentary food and non-alcoholic beverages served.

 

I think in regards to the Delta Club, which is the club that’s on camera from the center field view during games, those are upholstered theater-style seats. They are very comfortable. They are a premium seat. They are basically sold out. Again, you may not see people sitting in those seats all the time. They may be in the club, they may be in the back, they may not be there. Those seats are sold, so we don’t have any plans at this point to change those. What happens is that the team starts to win more, it gets more exciting; people will be in those seats on an increased basis.

So in essence, who gives a shit if someone is sitting in the seats, THEY’RE PAID FOR!!!! And they are sold out (I guess those were the tickets that sold like “hotcakes” last season) Howard’s thinking is we can get the corporate suit here to wine and dine during games but it’s you annoying Mets fans with your rent and mortgages and families to take care of and on top of that insisting on having a winning team that we need to buy tickets.  There has to be some bloodline between David Howard and M.Donald Grant .

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FREDDY SKILLS GONE WILD

 

When I turned on my computer this morning there was a e-mail from the New Yorker with a link to a story written by Jeffery Tobin about Freddy Skill Sets and the rise and fall of the Skill Sets financial world. There are quotes it seems from Bernie Madoff, that makes both Freddy and Uncle Saul look like a couple of patsies when it came to finances.

The real bombeshell though is Freddy’s take on some of players, these comments are sure to start a violent shit storm with the Mets fan base.

The piece is long and I’m going to read it now so here’s the link so you can get a gander of it for yourself. Sometime later this morning I’ll be back with some comments but from reading Mets Blog and Adam Rubin’s Mets Blog this morning, losing two of three to the Highlanders will be a fart in the wind after this story gets it fill of eyeballs.

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WELCOME TO OPENING DAY, LET THE SCREAMING BEGIN

Turned on my computer this morning to check my e-mail and lo and behold there was a message from Mets manager Terry Collins. What? You got one too? And you? You mean you all got an e-mail from the Mets skipper? Shit, I thought I was special.

The crux of the letter was that after years of awful baseball played in Queens, the Mets will now play the game the right way. In a roundabout way, Collins is letting us now that after his years as minor league coordinator his suggestions fell on deaf ears, that the organization was run by a bunch of clueless dolts who were fundamentally bad at teaching the fundamentals of baseball.

But now the time to talk about the season is done, it’s time to put up and show Mets fans that this is the dawning of the age of good baseball, the kind of baseball we, as paying customers don’t mind being priced gouged over (The Mets still don’t understand that the prices they charge for tickets and concession are, as Jimmy Macmillan would say, “TOO DAMN HIGH” you want to build goodwill with the Mets fans, you should have lowered your ticket prices by 50 %  and allow families to buy kids meals at the food stands at a discount) if the team does all the things that TC said in his opening day missive, the fans will come back. The problems the last few years in Flushing was the fans cared more than the players did about the team but it’s time to put all the horse shit of the past behind us, new front office, new manager, new attitude? I hope so. LET’S GO METS!!!!!!

I’ve always felt NY Ranger fans were the most passionate of all New York Sports Fans (I don’t want to get into the late season swoon by the Blue Shirts as I’m trying to have a positive day even though the Rangers are going into the tank and as I walked from the Subway to my office this morning, I had to deal with ice cold rain hitting my face, so far, so shitty) but I think the Mets fans have taken over the top spot. Yesterday afternoon, the Mets announced their opening day lineup:

Jose Reyes, ss

Willie Harris, lf

David Wright, 3b

Carlos Beltran, rf

Angel Pagan, cf

Ike Davis, 1b

Brad Emaus, 2b

Josh Thole, c

Mike Pelfrey, rhp

With the sight of Harris in the 2 hole and Thole in the 8 spot, a little bit of holy hell broke out on Twitter over this slotting. What other fan base is that passionate that they look at the opening day line up on the eve of the opener and go into shit storm mode? Had they waited to hear Collins reasoning maybe they wouldn’t be popping blood pressure pills today:

“Not only will Willie Harris start on Opening Day in left field in place of injured Jason Bay (left rib-cage strain). Harris also will bat second in Terry Collins’ first lineup as Mets manager.

The reason: Harris is hitting .267 with one homer, two RBIs and seven walks in 22 career plate appearances against Marlins ace Josh Johnson — good for a .500 on-base percentage.

“Strictly numbers,” Collins said about selecting Harris over Lucas Duda or Scott Hairston. “We talked about the importance of getting out of the gate. This guy [Johnson] is one of the best in the league, one of the best in baseball. And if you’ve got a guy who hits this guy, it would seem to me you should get him in there.”

Duda has never faced Josh Johnson, and Scott Hairston is 0 for 5 with a walk and two strikeouts vs. Johnson. If Jason Bay was healthy, all this fan angst would have been avoided as Angel Pagan would have been in the #2 spot and Bay in the 5 spot and Harris on the bench. By the way, to make things worse, Bay is 4 for 9 with a home run vs. Josh Johnson. Can’t we just enjoy the day, Mets fans?

Another stain on the Minaya/Manuel resume, Big Pelf pitched in pain last year.

Hopefully the Mets will be so good this season that Gary, Keith, Ron and Kevin Burkhardt won’t have to discuss the Skill Sets/Madoff financial fiasco. By the way, yesterday at work I listened to the Highlanders-Tigers game on WCBS. I don’t know how Highlander fans do it, listening to Suzyn Waldman made me want to punch someone in the face; the screeching of her voice was making my skin crawl. I thought she was just there to read commercial spots and give out of town scores? Yesterday, she wouldn’t shut up, even as I begged her through the radio (please you annoying yenta SHUT THE FUCK UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP) which kept my co-workers in a jolly mood. Sterling doesn’t bother me that much. Sure he is the worst play by play man in the history of sports broadcasting but for some strange reason I get a kick out him. Even his schmaltzy home run calls make me chuckle (“you’re on the Mark, Texiera” or “The Grandy Man Can” are so lame their hysterical) the TV side is no better as the male version of Waldman, Michael Applegate, is as much a shill as Sterling but nowhere near as entertaining. Mr. Applegate is in fact down right annoying and what pisses me off more is I have no choice if I decide to take in a Highlander game on TV I have to watch YUCK as MLB Extra Innings blocks the feed from the out of town team. Plus I’m spoiled as Gary, Keith, Ron and Kevin are the Gold Standard of baseball broadcasting.

Check out THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN Podcast on Blog Talk Radio or as a download on iTunes

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TRACKING DOWN HATERS AND THE JOHN T. BRUSH STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

There  has  been a lot of chatter over a piece that Jeff Pearlman wrote for CNN about tracking down a couple of guys who sent him some hate e-mail over a blog post he made about Jeff Bagwell not being Hall of Fame worthy. One of the e-mails was cloaked in deception as a civil response to Pealrman’s anti- Bagwell post but when Peralman opened the link he was struck with a pornographic image instead. What made it worse was he was sitting with his 7 year old daughter when he opened it.

Pearlman’ naiveté of opening a link sent by a stranger can be debated but what can’t be denied is that Pearlman went  all George Costanza on his ass. Remember when George was driving  Danny Tartabull to a PBS fund raiser when he thought another driver had given him and Tartabull the finger and chased the guy all the way upstate NY only to find the guys’ finger was in a cast? Well, that sort of what Pearlman did.

Pearlman doesn’t reveal how he tracked these vile critics down but he did and when he confronted them on the phone, they were shocked and I guess a bit scared that their cloak of anonymity was lifted.

When you write a blog you have to expect nasty and vile comments. On this site, I’ve had commentators who have left some awful comments about me personally and some of my posts. If they are funny or creative I let them stand, but if they are about someone else either a subject I’ve written about or another commentator I delete them. I can’t tell you how many racists and homophobic comments I’ve had to delete over the last few years. I won’t ever allow that here.

Now I wouldn’t go to the extreme that Pearlman did unless someone made a personal threat against me, if that happened I’d probably got to the police with it as my ass kicking days are over. By the way Pearlman is all wrong about Bagwell, the guys belongs in the Hall of Fame. If Jeff or anyone else thinks I’m wrong you know where to find me. I ain’t hiding.

The San Francisco Giants brought the 2010 World Series trophy to NYC this weekend. Greg Prince and Caryn Rose both got to lay eyes on the great baseball prize. As many long time readers here know, my dad was a huge NY Giants fan and even when they left town he still rooted for them until 1962 when the Mets were born. Not only because it was a new NL team (There was never ever a thought of my dad becoming a Highlanders fan. You had a better chance of him saying the Queen of England was a pretty good gal than have him say anything nice about the Bronx Bastards)but by playing in the Polo Grounds, he could now get back to his old stomping grounds.   So for all sons and daughters of old NY Giants fans I’d like to tip my Mets cap to Bill Neukom for not forgetting the franchises roots.

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A BLOGGERS PARADISE

I was fortunate to be one of the bloggers  invited  to attend the Mets Holiday Party  yesterday and it was quite the experience.

From the time I arrived at the frozen tundra of Flushing (it was a bit surreal as I was the only passenger getting off at the Citi Field-Willets Pt. stop on the 7 train and the wind was whipping and there was still wisps of snow on the platform. Then walking out of the station there was not a soul around the ball park.  It felt like the kind of dream I’ve had after one too many late night slices of pepperoni pizza before going to bed) and walked into the Seaver entrance of the ball park, I had a very awkward feeling. The guard at the door asked me if I was “media” or a guest.  I immediately turned into Ralph Kramden “Aaaaaa Humm-a-na-Hummm-a-ana, I don’t know” and with that I shoved a copy of the e mail of my invite at him. The guard made a call and told me to have a seat and when the check in begins, look for your name on the “media list”. Say that again but a bit slower? Sure enough on the “media list” we’re my name and my site along with other bloggers.  After checking in, I walked to the elevator with Sweeney Murti, the Highlander beat man for WFAN. When I asked what he was doing here ( like I’m now the keeper of who belongs and who doesn’t) he told me he was covering this for the MLB Network (oh ok permission to come on board the ship) Knowing that he has mentioned he’s a one time Phillies fan, I asked him about the Cliff Lee signing and if he was happy or sad since he covers the Highlanders. It was here where I realized how much difference there is between the MSM and bloggers, Murti told be it didn’t matter to him as he has not rooting interest either way.  It finally hit me, this is the man’s job. It doesn’t matter who wins or losses or who’s a nice guy or who’s a prick, he just covers the Highlanders as that’s his assignment. WFAN could tell him tomorrow that they are going to switch it up and have Ed Coleman cover the Highlanders and him cover the Mets and it would not phase Murti in the slightest.

There’s the difference, as a blogger I have an emotional attachment to the New York Mets.  There isn’t any objectivity here. There is anger some (most) times and sarcasm and general wise ass-ness here but it stays within the Mets fandom. We can call the owner names and curse the OP and Castillo contracts for burdening the organization but if someone outside the “family” says anything we get our backs up and we stick up for the team and the organization. Now the last few years, this has been quite difficult. So my trek to Flushing yesterday was as much a fact finding mission to see what this new regime will do to cleanse the sins of the past administration as it was to try to find out if the team is headed in the right direction.

As our little group of bloggers stood around basically trying to figure out where to stand, where to leave our coats, and where the bathrooms were, we were saved by Danielle Parillo of the Mets P.R. who gave us the itinerary for the day (and for that I am grateful, Danielle) we were led to the media area and split into three groups, print, TV and bloggers. Yes, we had our own section. After the GM, MGR and players were done with the first two groups they were led to the bloggers section.

Sandy Alderson was the first to meet with us, we introduced ourselves and shook hands with the GM and then began the Q & A.  It’s hard not to be impressed by Alderson. I perceive him as a man of cool and confidence, I don’t think much rattles this man. Each question was met with direct eye contact with the inquirer and there were no one or two word answers.  The main questions were of course about pitching , Alderson made it known that was his main concern as well. He is not going to sign a pitcher just because his name is familiar with fans; this front office will do its due diligence from scouting reports to in depth analytical study on pitchers to find the right fit. Alderson’ personality is the polar opposite of most Mets fans, he’s patient.

Terry Collins was next to talk to us and if anything the man is intense. It is going to be quite intriguing to see how his high energy” if you’re not part of the solution your part of the problem” style will play in the Mets clubhouse. I explained to him my biggest grip with the team and organization over the last few years  was the “woe is us” attitude from the ownership to the front office to manger, coaches and players where losing was accepted and injuries were used as a crutch. Collins let me know that this will not happen with this team, those days are over. He also said that this will be addressed on day one of spring training.  As with Alderson, the Ollie Castillo question came up and Collins gave the same answer as the GM that both these guys won’t stay on the roster if they cannot produce.  Collins also said that Ollie is on the list of starting pitchers come spring, so if anything the Ollie Castillo question will not be answered until the end of March. Patients Mets fans, patients.

Ike Davis was the first player to talk to us, when asked about Dave Hudgens the new hitting coach, Davis said he was thrilled as Hudgens is an “ASU (Arizona State University) guy and he also very happy that Ken Oberfell will be on the big league staff telling us that playing in Buffalo for Obie was the best baseball experience he’s had.

Carlos Beltran came by and the first impression I got meeting him in person for the first time, was how big he is. He’s very broad in the chest and shoulders so you can see where his gets his power from. He told us his knee feels great and that his has been working out and is ready for spring training. He said the Mets have told him that he is the centerfielder and that he is happy about that but if there is someone in the organization that the club feels is better suited for the position, he has no problem moving to right field. I get the sense that he wants to show he’s a team guy but I can tell he wants to show the skeptics he can still man the middle of the outfield. I asked him, since the knee is feeling better will we see the speed come back, he joked and said that at soon to be 34 years old he can’t run like when he was 24 and then asked me if I can still run when I was 24 (I was the oldest of the group) I laughed and said “I can’t run like I did when I was 44”, we laughed and Carlos said “I’m only kidding with you” like I’d take offense? We bonded Beltran and I get that contract extension ready Sandy!

Jason Bay says he is headache free and has no signs or symptoms from his concussion. He looks fit.  Last season is still gnawing on him and spring training can’t come soon enough to suit him. I asked him how do the players stay below the noise and by that  I mean the extensive media coverage, the talk radio loudmouths, the many bloggers and playing in a city where baseball season is 24/7/365. Bay said that playing in Boston helps with that but he said coming from Pittsburgh to Boston was a definite shock. He said that as professionals they can’t let the outside forces take away their focus.

After entertaining the kids by playing Santa Claus (Marty Noble who was attendance really should have donned that Santa suit he has the physic for the job) David Wright came over to us. I remarked to him “is there anything you won’t do for this organization”? He gave me that patented D-Wright smile and said he will do whatever it takes to help this organization. From talking to Wright, the impression I got was, he’s happy about the regime change. He didn’t say anything specific but the word he used a lot in our conversation was “discipline”.  This is something that Matt Cerrone spoke about on my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN show last night, the players in the last few years have felt this sense of entitlement like they didn’t have to prove anything to anyone and that playing for the Mets was like a Supreme Court appointment. That is over and done.   When asked about meeting Sandy Alderson, Wright  again mentioned the discipline aspect of Alderson and how much he respected his baseball resume and just as important his dedicated service to the country. Wright told the group,he sees a lot of his father, a police officer, in Alderson.  Wright also spoke of Collins and again this is just me speculating, I don’t think David was a big fan of Jerry Manuel . Wright mentioned how Collins is a motivator and will instill (that word again ) discipline. My take is that the clubhouse has been dominated by a bunch of players who feel they are on scholarship when all they are, are walk-ons.  From listening to Wright it seems it the Mets were overdue for this change in management.

For more on the day at Citi Field with the Mets check out the great job that Rob Castellano of Amazin’ Avenue did in putting together a great video recap of the interviews.

Back when I started doing this blog eight years ago, I was envious of the bloggers at a now defunct site Elephants in Oakland who wrote about the Oakland A’s as they were given an audience with Billy Beane.  As we all know the A’s under Alderson and Beane were the most progressive of front offices. The same thing when Theo Epstein  took over the Red Sox and Paul DePodesta ran the Dodgers. Here I was as a Mets fan stuck with Joe McIllvaine a GM who much better fitted for a head scout or head of minor league development, Al “The Empty Suit” Harrazin, Steve “Lively Libido” Phillips, Jim “Never Had A Chance” Duquette and Omar “See Joe Mcillvaine Description” Minaya running my favorite team, turning a blind eye to present and future of baseball management.  When I knew that the Minaya regime was ready for over throw, the first name on my wish list was Sandy Alderson and ownership came to its senses and hired him and not only Alderson but his top lieutenants Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi. To the average everyday Mets fan, who gets his Mets news from fish wraps and entertainers on talk radio, they don’t get the excitement of this new regime that resonates from those of us who sit on our laptops all day wondering you will manger Appalachian League Kingsport Mets but in due time they will.  All the bitching and moaning about not signing a big ticket free agent is off base, this front office may be the best free agent signings in Mets history.

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SOMEDAYS YOU’RE A PEACOCK, OTHER DAYS A FEATHER DUSTER

A very busy couple of days kept me away from here yesterday. It all started Tuesday morning. I had a 5:30 game that evening so I wanted to get my work done in the morning so I could take a couple of hours off. I get an e-mail from fellow BBA member, Daniel Shoptaw of C 70 at the Bat to see if I could pinch hit as host for the BBA Baseball Talk podcast that night. With my game at 5:30, there is a curfew of 2 hours after first pitch as we have no lights at the field where we play. The podcast was scheduled for 11PM so it all works out for me.

The way the game started for our team I thought it might even be an earlier night as there is a 10 run mercy rule after 5 innings. We were down 6-0 after 3 as our pitchers didn’t throw many strikes and the one’s they did were hit hard. After showing my annoyance with my offense for not being aggressive at the plate (“enough window shopping fellows, time to make purchase, swing the bats, next guy who takes a called third strike will need some big tweezers pull the splinters out of their butts”) they took my advice and got aggressive, that and the opposing pitcher getting gased, we get back in the game and make it 6-5 in the bottom of the 6th (we play 7 innings) and it’s getting darker and darker. Now to this point we have bases loaded two outs and as I say not much offense, I tell my runner on 3rd to get a good lead as he’s not being held and the pitcher is focused on the batter. First pitch, my runner goes more than half way down the line, and the pitch is a strike. When he gets back I tell him, if the ball gets past the catcher, run to the plate. Sure enough the next pitch is in the dirt, I scream to my runner (I coach 3rd base) GO! GO! GO! So he tears down the line and as he attempts his slide in the plate the catcher puts the tag right on his lead leg and is called out. Game over.

It took me a good half hour to leave the field. The kids were pissed off and I told them this loss is on me, I told him to run and if you guys want to be mad at anyone be mad at me. I know one of my other coaches wasn’t happy with my decision and I’m sure some of the parents weren’t happy either but to tell you the truth I don’t care. I play aggressive and sometimes it works sometime it bites you in the ass, so Tuesday night I had a sore ass.

Now by the time I get home, it dawns on me, “oh shit, I’ve got to host the BBA Podcast.” So I scramble to get some material together and at 11PM Daniel and I are on the air. Check out the show here I think it went pretty good for two guys pinch hitting at the last minute.

So yesterday I took a mental health day as my managerial decisions were still driving me crazy.

Metsermized online has a great must read post on the events of April 22, 1970, the day Tom Seaver struck out 19 San Diego Padres, the last 10 batters in a row. How fitting is it that The Franchise is in town to help inaugurate the new Mets Alumni Association where former Mets players from all eras of Mets history will be on hand at $iti Field and also represent the Mets at community events. I’m ecstatic over this new Met Alumni Association because, it’s long over due and the initiative of the association of having former Mets on hand at the ball park and having them rep the organization at events has been something I’ve been advocating for some time. Maybe someone in the front office is reading this stuff if they are, thank you. 

Looks like my projection of Carlos Beltran coming back to the lineup around the All Star break now looks like an optimistic view.

If Mets fans want to be ignorant enough to boo David Wright that’s there prerogative, but as bad as Wright has looked at the plate the last week, I still believe if Jason Bay and the suddenly ice cold Frenchy could start getting productive it would help Wright. No doubt the middle of the batting order is not very productive right now and maybe it’s time for a big shake up like say, moving Wright to the lead off spot and Reyes to the 3 hole? Then move Castillo to 8 and Pagan to 2 ? The lineup would look like this:

Wright

Pagan

Reyes

Bay

Francouer

Davis

Barajas

Castillo

Pitcher

All this is moot if you have a healthy Beltran and a productive Bay, in fact with both those player in the lineup and productive with the very good pitching the team has gotten early, the 6-9 record the Mets have would be no worse than 9-6 or 10-5 and with the Phillies at 9-5 in first place, Mets fans would be in a much better state of mind.

Ryota Igarhashi going down with a strained hammy is a killer right now. I guess Tobi Stoner can’t be called back up for 10 days from the time he was sent down so it looks like we’re stuck with Manny Acosta.

Now that we know Carlos Beltran is a couple of months away from rejoining the lineup, can we please give GMJ his release and bring up Chris Carter ?

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